An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.


Wednesdays 6-7 pm in Building 1040, Room 202
Each month, a minister will offer a new study. See topics & descriptions below!

Childcare is provided for class time, and please feel free to join us at our Community Dinner at 5:30 pm in the Gathering Center! You do not need to be a member of Asbury First to join in—all are welcome!

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Bridging the Gap: Exploring Injustice in Rochester and Beyond...
Come join us as we learn about the history of oppression in the United States. We will unpack white privilege, systemic racism, and environmental injustice to better understand what we are called to do as Christ-followers in this deeply divided nation.
Facilitators: The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson, Pamela Dayton, & Brennon Thompson
*Dates have changed and are now February 21, 28, March 7 

People of Faith & The Gift of Prayer
During the Wednesday evenings in the Season of Lent, please join us for an exploration of the ancient biblical and theological understandings of prayer and to explore these understandings and implications for our own prayer life. This will be an opportunity to discover new practices of prayer and deepen our own prayer life.
Facilitator: The Rev. Susan Shafer
*Dates have changed and are now March 14, 21, and 28.

Balancing Justice & Mercy
During this class, we will tackle what it means to be faithful to our mission while addressing the realities of poverty in this community. We will also look carefully at the long-term viability and effectiveness of our ministries. Following this series, Robert Lupton (author of "Toxic Charity") will be visiting Asbury First during the month of April to offer a presentation on his book.
Facilitator: The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson

Christ on the Psych Ward: Meds as a Means of Grace
We invite you to come and learn how we, as people of faith, can be advocates for people living with mental illness and bring about systemic societal change in regards to mental health. We will start our study with a visit from David Finnegan-Hosey, author of "Christ on the Psych Ward."
Facilitator: Ian Urriola

Have questions about this series? Contact The Rev. Mike Mullin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Are you sick and tired of stressing about finances? Do you find yourself trying to scrape by each month until the next paycheck comes? If so, then you are like 72% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. It’s time to break the cycle and take ownership of your finances. Join us for nine Sundays starting February 18 (through April 22) from 9-11 am here at Asbury First on the second floor of Building 1010.

Financial Peace University is a 9-week course that focuses on how to manage your money in a way that honors God and principles we find in the Bible. Enrollment in the class costs $109/household, which pays for your workbooks, textbook, and online resources. The course is taught through video by Dave Ramsey, and class discussions give it, and you, accountability. You will be challenged in the waysyou have always done things, learn to communicate with others better and create a plan to put you on a path toward financial freedom...The fall class paid off over $16,500!

If this sounds like something you are interested in but are still unsure, come check out the first class for free! If you have any questions please contact Patti Crawford at (607) 760-5086 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ready to sign up? Click here!

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This Genesee Valley District Leadership Training Event will be held at Asbury First on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 9 am-4 pm. This is the District's annual Leadership Training Day, which offers a variety of workshops for which you can register. Lunch will be provided! Registration is $20. To find out more, read below. Please contact Pat VanVleck at (585) 355-1035 with any questions that you may have.

What is Informed to Transform?

Informed to Transform is for everyone—clergy and laypersons, leaders and those looking to lead, those who are spiritually enriched and those seeking more.

Where did the name Informed to Transform come from?

The name came from the desire to fulfill the Mission: "Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world". In order to Transform, we must be Informed about the teachings of Jesus Christ—as well as the workings of our church.

The goal of this event is to help all in attendance be more informed and educated in a way that prepares them to transform our world.

This year's workshops include:

  • Learning more about our United Methodist Faith and Practices
  • The role of the Laity in leadership of the church
  • Preaching through violence and political unrest while speaking to issues with grace
  • A Vacation Bible School workshop
  • Creating an environment that gets your church out of the 'Oh, no, it's another church meeting' mode
  • Conflict - how to change the cycle by how we respond
  • Youth ministry - how to make it sustainable
  • Volunteer in Missions Coordinators helping you discover God's call on your life through disaster response, mission and service.
  • How to take steps to safeguard your congregation
  • How to develop leadership in the church for greater vitality
  • A special opportunity in the morning session to participate in Hands on Outreach at Asbury First in our Dining and Caring Center and Storehouse.

For complete information, click here.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
Location: Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave Rochester, NY 14607
9 am Registration
9:30-11:30 am Workshop # 1
11:45 am-12:45 pm Lunch (Included with your registration)
1-3 pm Workshop # 2
3:15-4 pm Worship together

Click here for the registration link
View the event program here




Each year, United Methodist churches are required to gather their leadership together to accept bequests, affirm candidates for ministry, set the compensation package for the staff, elect the leadership slate for the next year, and review the proposed budget. This is called a charge conference and includes only selected members of the leadership of the church along with retired clergy. At Asbury First, our tradition has been to hold an annual church conference which preserves the same functions, but is open to all member of the church. This is a time for us to celebrate our successes together and to address any potential challenges. Thanks for joining us this year!

Watch the Conference Video Here!

View the Agenda here

View the Statement of Operating Revenue & Expenses

View the Proposed Annual Operating Plan for 2018

View the Annual Report here

View the Nominations here

See the Full Presentation Here

Christmas 2017 Large A Frame Sign OutdoorThe Christmas season can be a whirlwind of events-but remember to pause and spend time with God, as you are able. Our Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve worship schedule offers a number of ways to do just that (both in person and live streaming). Mark your calendars for these dates and times. We hope to see you there!* 
Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24
10 am
A Service of Poetry, Word, and Carols.
12 noon
A Service of Word, Carols, and Holy Communion.
4 pm
A Service for Families and Children featuring the Children's Pageant.
7 pm 
A Service of Word, Lessons, and Carols.
9 pm
A Service of Word, Carols and Holy Communion. 
11 pm
A Service of Word, Lessons, and Carols.
Christmas Day 
Monday, December 25
10 am
Joint Service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church25 Westminster Rd. Rochester 
New Year's Eve
Sunday, December 31
10 am
Traditional Worship
5-6 pm
Communion and Meditation.
Come and go as you wish.
Labyrinth will be available.
*Please note that our Christmas Day and New Year's Eve schedule is new this year

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Dear Friends,
Like most of the world, I watched the news from Sutherland Springs this week with sadness and horror. My heart breaks for the people of that small community and for children (mine and others) growing up in a world where this kind of violence is a reality. I am ashamed of the communal cycle of outrage and paralysis that has too often accompanied these sinful acts and mourn our society's inability to have honest conversations about guns, mental illness, public discourse, or even truth itself.
Those of us who proclaim the Prince of Peace have an obligation, both Christian and moral, to seek out the root of this evil. We must not allow ourselves to be numb to this new reality. This means confronting gun violence. This means dealing with mental illness. This means looking in the mirror and facing the violence and derision in our own lives. We can do this, but we will have to do it together. Over the next few months, we will be working as a congregation to provide forums to practice peace together--forums to have honest conversation about these communal challenges.
We also recognize another need. This act would have been abominable anywhere, but was particularly poignant for us because it occurred in a church--a place of sanctuary. As a result, many of us are looking ahead to this Sunday with some understandable trepidation. Fortunately, we have policies and procedures in place for many situations, including the unlikely event of an active threat during worship. These procedures are a part of a broader crisis management plan we have developed over the last two years and continue to update and refine. It was developed in consultation with other congregations and after special training by law enforcement on how to deal with an active shooter in a church. This week has provided us an opportunity to meet with and refresh the appropriate constituencies about these policies. We feel confident that we have taken necessary steps to plan and prepare for the worst, but we will continue to be diligent in our preparation and welcome any ideas to enhance the safety of our congregation (please direct your ideas to our Church Administrator, David Strong, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
In the end, there is no way to plan for every eventuality. All of us will have to do our best to safeguard our congregation while maintaining the spirit of Christian hospitality endemic to Asbury First. This is a sad week for all of us, but our call to Christian love and hospitality has not changed. We are a people who proclaim hope in despair, light in darkness, and life in death. No act or threat of violence can change our proclamation or our commitment to God's truth. This Sunday, as we do every Sunday, we will gather to love God and neighbor, to live fully, and to serve all. By God's grace, we will never stop. See you Sunday.
In Christ's Peace,
Stephen Cady
Senior Minister

Local Performers Unite to Offer Benefit Recitals for Church Music Programs


Pipes and Pistons: Baroque Music for Trumpet, Voice, and Organ will feature multiple concerti, sonatas, and arias by superb Baroque composers. Selections will include Vivaldi’s famous “Concerto for Two Trumpets,” arias by Handel and Scarlatti, and Franceschini’s “Sonata for Two Trumpets.” The events are free and open to the public, and free will offerings will be accepted, with all proceeds benefiting the vibrant music programs at local churches. The first performance will be held at Asbury First United Methodist Church on Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm, and the second is featured at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford on Sunday, October 29 at 3 pm. 

The events are a collaborative presentation by local musicians. Trumpeter Brett Long will be joined by fellow Nazareth College faculty, Kimberly Upcraft and Susan Cotroneo, on several soprano arias. They will be accompanied by Bruce Frank, organist for First Presbyterian Church. Max Matzen, trumpet professor at Utah State University, will also be featured on multiple selections. 

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At our Church Conference on Sunday, September 24, 94% of Asbury First members voted to accept the recommendations of the Trustees and Ministry and Space task force. 
We recognize and affirm that we are better together, and together we can fulfill our mission to love God and neighbor, live fully, serve all, and repeat! Find out about these projects below:

Please click below to see:
The Approved Projects
Frequently Asked Questions

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SummerSale AugustCelebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Storehouse Summer Sale!

by Elizabeth Church

This August we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Storehouse Summer Sale in support of the Asbury First UMC Storehouse. As we prepare to open our doors, we want to pause and remember the 49 years that preceded this event and its history

Founded in 1965 by five women of our congregation, the Asbury First UMC Storehouse has served thousands of families in need. Donations from Asbury First members and people throughout Rochester have provided clothing, bedding, and small household items to families. I wonder if our founding mothers could have imagined that in 2017, we would have 100 volunteers, serve 2,967 adults, serve 2,505 children, and receive referrals from 372 local agencies?

When founded, the Storehouse consisted of a few rooms and closets on the second floor of the building we call 1010 (on the west side of the sanctuary). Now encompassing the entire lower level of 1050 (the building that houses the church offices), the need has continued and increased. While supported by the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) the needs exceed what the AOP alone can provide. Fund raisers for the Storehouse help us to purchase socks, underwear, blankets and at times, winter jackets. Our sale dates this year are August 3, 4, 5, and this year, Sunday, August 6. Since we are run entirely with volunteers, and our church provides the lower level of 1050 for the operation, all monies go directly to supporting our clients' needs.  Last year, 2016, the sale generated over $10,000.  

With the contribution of the Bake Sale (held in the Welcome Hall) the total exceeded $11,000. We are so thankful and blessed that we can make the necessary purchases to support our guests!

Donations for the sale from our generous and large population make the Storehouse Summer Sale sale much more that a glorified garage sale. We have had furniture, household items, small appliances, vintage clothing, antiques and collectables, jewelry, linens, framed art work, accessories such as scarves and purses and so much more. Items are set aside and priced throughout the year as we receive small donations that could be a part of the sale. The week before the sale opens, many hands work long hours to get the sale tables set up, boxes opened and items unwrapped and priced. We are blessed with many volunteers who have years of experience and know how to merchandise the sale to make items appealing and attractive to buyers. Pricing is modest and great deals are to be found!

But we need you! During the sale, we need people to help customers and assist with wrapping purchased goods. We are extending the sale to Sunday after our annual tent service on the lawn, and helpers are requested for clean up after the sale. Your help with set up or clean up is greatly appreciated. If you can offer some time to support this vital ministry event, please contact Elizabeth Church, Sale Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 461-9802.

Tell your friends—and please come shop! You never know what gems you may find!

Storehouse Summer Sale Hours
Thursday, Aug 3: 4-7 pm

Friday, Aug 4: 10 am-7 pm
Saturday, August 5: 10 am-4 pm
Sunday, August 6: 11 am-1 pm
Saturday Specials: All items 1/2 off until 3 pm, followed by a Bag Sale
Sunday Special: Bag Sale from 11 am-1 pm


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Tent Week 2017 Is Almost Here!
Join us August 6-10 for music and games, great food, and lots of fun!

Tent Week at Asbury First aims to give people a great experience of the church, as well as welcome those living nearby who may be curious about our community. Our theme this year is Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Tent. We host a myriad of events under the tent on the front lawn of Asbury First that are FREE and OPEN TO ALL! Throughout the week, you can come and enjoy activities and experiences brought to you by Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures, Hikeyoga, Bossy Boutique, Roc City Pro Jam, local Rochester food trucks, and much, much more! Children and adults of all ages will delight in events, which are free and open to the public. All events are being held at the Asbury First campus, 1050 East Ave., Rochester, 14607.

Date Time Event Food Trucks
Sunday, August 6 8:30 & 10 am Open Doors: Worship Under the Tent
We will be worshiping outside on Sunday morning under the tent, and celebrating in the sun! 
Ice Cream
Monday, August 7 6-9 pm

Opening Night: A Neighborhood Party!
Relax at one of our turquoise picnic tables on the front lawn and get to know your local neighbors—but that's not all! Enjoy music from The Roc City Pro Jam, tour the neighborhood with The Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc. East Ave's Guilded Age: A Selective Stroll at 6 pm, take a free yoga class with Hikyoga_at 6:30 pm, test your skills with Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures_and shop at our Boutique Pop-up Shop under the tent. 

Chef's Catering
Tuesday, August 8 6-9 pm Diversity Fest! Open Celebration of Inclusion & Culture
In the spirit of inclusion, come celebrate the diversity of our city! Enjoy interfaith fellowship, cultural celebrations, and much more. This is a special day that highlights the unique perspectives and experiences of both ourselves and our neighbors. Plus! A special performance by the Rochester Gay Men's Chorus!
Wraps on Wheels
Wednesday, August 9 6-9 pm Open Mic Night Powered by Lovin'Cup
Show off your talents! From exhibiting your magic skills to singing a song, this night is a great time to get to know one another! Hot Shots Volleyball will also set up a number of courts for pick-up volleyball games that are open to all!
Whole-E Roasters
Thursday, August 10  6-9 pm The Farm is Open!
This family-friendly farm-themed night is home to a chicken barbeque, square dancing, a pop-up farmer’s market by Foodlink's Mobile Curbside Market, and more.
Smokin' Hot Chicks BBQ