An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.



Outreach Task Force Report on Sunday, January 22

On Sunday, January 22 at 9:45 am in Fellowship Hall, members of the Outreach Task Force will present the results of their work, including an assessment of Outreach Ministries at Asbury First and a vision for the future. All are welcome to attend!

IdeasOur annual Church Conference will be held following the 11 am service on Sunday, January 22nd.


In addition to voting on the 2017 Annual Operating Plan and the nominations report, we will also be hearing a report from the Ministry and Space Task Force about the various projects under review around campus. All are welcome and we hope that you will mark your calendars to attend!

There's something for everyone at Asbury First!


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This February, your children are invited to learn, celebrate, and worship with us at Mini Vacation Bible School (VBS)! Find more information on Camp H2O, this year's Mini VBS, and discover more ways your children can get involved with the Asbury First community here.




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Join us for Easter worship! We will have services on:

Ash Wednesday

March 1 / 7 pm

  • We begin the holy season of Lent with a service that reminds us of our humanity and our reliance on the gift of God’s grace. This service will include communion and the imposition of ashes.

Maundy Thursday

April 13 / 6:30 pm (silent meditation), 7 (living tableaus), 7:30 pm (service)

  • Sanctuary open at 6:30 pm for silent meditation. Living tableaus of scenes from the life of Christ will be presented in the chancel during this time. 
  • At 7 pm, living tableaus of scenes from the life of Christ will be presented in the chancel.
  • At 7:30 pm, we will offer communion and a candlelight re-enactment of Christ's last night, ending with the placement of the cross on the East Avenue lawn by our Christ-figure. 

Good Friday

April 14  

  • Informal Holy Communion: 6 am with the Men's Prayer Group.
  • Envisioning the Passion: Noon. Holy Week-themed art and music by Voices Chamber Choir. A beloved Asbury First tradition.(note: there will be no evening performance of Envisioning the Passion)
  • Family Prayer Night, 6-7:30 pm., A come-when-you-wish child-friendly event, with communion, a labyrinth walk, and prayer stations.

Easter Sunday

April 16

  • Community Sunrise Service: 6:30 am, held at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 Goodman Street, 14620. 
  • Traditional Services: 8:30 and 11 am 
  • Chancel Communion service: 10 am (Note: brief service with no sermon.)


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The Taizé Community is a monastic community founded in 1940 and located in the small village of Taizé, France. Taizé is home to over a hundred monastic brothers, who come from Catholic and Protestant traditions. The brothers live and work together, spending much of their time in worship and prayer. Taizé describes itself as “a parable of community that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” 

Taizé is known for its particular style of meditative songs, which Asbury First sings at Taizé-style services during Advent and Lent. The songs are short, simple, and sung repetitively. “They express a basic reality of faith that can quickly be grasped by the intellect, and that gradually penetrates the heart and the whole being.” 

Since its founding, Taizé has become a destination for pilgrims from around the world. Speaking different languages and following different Christian (or non-Christian) traditions, the pilgrims are invited to spend a week living alongside the brothers. Pilgrims work to help maintain the community, spend time in individual and group reflection, and experience the full worship life of Taizé. 

In May of 2017, a group of young adults from Asbury First will be traveling as pilgrims to Taizé. 

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Come join new and old friends at the Syracuse Basketball/Asbury First Trip! It’s a noon ACC matchup in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, January 28 featuring SU and Florida State. We’ll safely travel via motor coach, departing from Asbury at 9:30 am. Approximate return time is 4 pm. We have reserved 55 seats for this exciting trip. Thanks to donations and a discounted group price, the total cost is $35 for adults and $15 for youth (12 and under). To reserve your tickets and transportation, send a check for the correct amount to the church office, noting the number of desired tickets (attention to Melody Guadagnino). Join this wonderful winter sports tradition, wear your orange and be ready to cheer with fellow SU fans. It’s a great trip for all ages and there’s even SU themed prizes given out on the bus!  Questions about the trip or need more details, feel free to call Craig Dennison at 507-9655. 



Join us for a fun pre-Valentine’s-Day evening of partnering yoga and chocolate tasting at Asbury First. We’ll feature easy moves that anyone can do, regardless of ability. All types of partnerships are welcome—just grab someone and join us! Or, if you prefer, we can match you up with another chocolate- and yoga-loving person for the evening. Following this gentle workout, you and your partner can sample some sweet treats at a chocolate tasting. Bring a yoga mat if you have one, and prepare to connect with your partner in a novel and engaging way. Spaces are limited, so RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




This holiday, we come together in worship, in celebration, and in community. We hope that as we gather, you and your loved ones can join with us to remember the meaning of Advent and Christmas and all the blessings of the season. All are welcome at Asbury First United Methodist!

Holiday Services

Christmas Eve - December 24Christmas altar

12 noon - Service of Carols and Holy Communion

Organ, harp, and voice.

4 pm - Service for Families and Children

Choral and handbell music and a pageant.

7 pm - Service of Word, Candlelight, Lessons & Carols

Choral, handbell, and instrumental music.

9 pm - Service of Word, Candlelight, and Holy Communion

Instrumental and vocal music with Communion.

11 pm - Service of Word, Candlelight, Lessons, & Carols

Choral, handbell, and instrumental music.

Christmas Day, December 25

10 am - A service of Lessons and Carols

New Year’s Eve, December 31

5-6 pm - Communion and Meditation Service

Come and go as you wish (The labyrinth is also available at this time)


Asbury First United Methodist Church and our interfaith partners invite you to join your neighbors on December 18 at 4 pm at School 17-Enrico Fermi for the second annual City Sing for Peace and Unity. We will walk out into the JOSANA Neighborhood together singing songs of peace. No charge, parking and refreshments will be available, bring your own candle!

 And a special thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make this possible!

City Sing Sponsor Poster 2016



December 6, 2016

Rochester Faith and Secular Communities Join to Sing for Peace

Rochester, NY – December 6, 2016 – A local coalition of both religious and non-profit organizations will come together to sing for peace and stand against the division within our communities, our nation, and the world this year. On December 18, Rochesterians of diverse faith and secular backgrounds will unite for the second annual “City Sing For Peace and Unity” at School 17-Enrico Fermi, 158 Orchard St, Rochester, NY, at 4 pm and walk in groups through the JOSANA neighborhood (weather permitting), singing songs of peace. The event is free and the public is welcome.

“At a moment when we are reminded of all that divides us, City Sing is an opportunity to bring our community together in the name of peace,” the Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady, Senior Minister at Asbury First United Methodist Church. “You don’t have to have any musical talent to sing for peace as the gathering of the community itself is a form of song,” Cady said.

Participants are invited to dress warmly and bring a candle or flashlight with them; songbooks will be provided. Singers will gather first at School 17-Enrico Fermi, and then will join individual groups that will move out into the surrounding neighborhood to sing.  

For more information, or for interviews with the Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady, Senior Minister, Asbury First United Methodist Church, please contact:

Jamie Least

Communications Coordinator

Asbury First United Methodist Church


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About Asbury First United Methodist Church

Through worship, education, outreach, and membership care, we develop disciples of Jesus Christ who live and proclaim the Gospel and thereby work to transform our culture. As an inclusive Christian community, we believe that our faith is shaped by the witness of Scripture, the insight of reason, the wisdom of tradition, and our personal experience of God in Christ. We represent diverse theological perspectives and faith experiences. This diversity enhances our common quest to be one in Christ.


AdventWinterWonderNightYou are invited to leave behind the hustle and bustle this season brings for one evening, don your pajamas, and enjoy a breakfast/dinner in the Gathering Center. We will round out the evening with special Christmas music and a family worship service in the Sanctuary. We hope you can join us as we look forward to sharing the magic of the season with you and your family.  Please RSVP to Paula Dugan by November 30 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 271-1050 x111.

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AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Asbury First every time you shop, at no cost to you. And it's easy! Go to and choose "Asbury First United Methodist Church" as your charity to support. Then, when you shop on Amazon, instead of using, use Any eligible purchase you make through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% to Asbury First! 

Interfaith Small

Are you curious about what other faith traditions believe? Would you like to know why Muslims pray at sundown? Do you want to learn about the differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed Judaism? Join us on the first Tuesdays of each month for the coming months as we host our sisters and brothers, our neighbors in different faiths. A faith leader and a member or two from these communities will be here with us to share with us their culture, tenets of their faith and traditions. Our hope is to make differing religious faiths less a mystery and more about dialogue and continued conversation. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and a time of fellowship afterward.

November 1

Dr. Rumi Mohammed and Imam Ismet who will share the Muslim faith with us.

December 6

We will host our friends from the Jewish community.

Future programs will include 

The Hindu faith, Buddhism, Bahai, Sikh, and more.


These events will take place in the Gathering Center, from 7 to 8:30 pm. All are welcome! If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Thiel at 271-1050 x. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Four Wednesdays, Starting October 19

6:30-8 pm

Gathering Center

Back due to popular demand! Whether you grew up alongside the characters, are just getting to know them, or read them to your children, you are invited to join us for a discussion of the themes of the Holy that run throughout these wonderfully creative books. In preparation for the new movie and in the wake of the eighth book, we thought we would bring back one of our most popular and requested classes. All ages are welcome and encouraged for our discussions. It would be helpful if you have read the books, but if you don’t mind spoilers, come along for the ride! If you are interested in being a part of the course, send an owl (or an email) to Melody Guadagnino at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will be meeting four Wednesday evenings this Fall, beginning October 19 in the gathering center from 6:30-8 pm. Feel free to come dressed up and with muggle or wizard treats. We hope to see you there!



This year we’re welcoming back a churchwide retreat, one of many dreams shared in the past year! All are welcome on this intergenerational retreat: we’ll have educational and fellowship opportunities for people of all ages and interests! From the opening bonfire to worship on Sunday morning and everything in between, there will be lots of opportunities to try something new, get to know other members of our church family, and grow in your faith. You’re welcome to come for the whole weekend or just for the day on Saturday, and scholarships are available. For more information, talk to Katie O’Hern. We hope to see you there!



You can register online here, or you can download and print a registration form and return the finished form to the Welcome Desk in the Welcoming Hall on Sunday mornings or to the chure during regular business hours.




What are the dates?

The retreat runs from Friday evening (October 21) through Sunday at noon (October 23).

Do I have to stay for the whole weekend?

You’re encouraged to stay for the weekend if you can, but we know schedules don’t always make that possible! You are more than welcome to come late or leave early if you need to, and there is a special rate for those only able to come for the day on Saturday. 

How much does the retreat cost?

Prices vary based on age and how long you want to stay; a detailed pricing chart is available on the registration form (available on the website or in the October issue of The Visitor). Scholarships are available—contact Katie O’Hern (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are in need of financial assistance. 

Do I need to bring anything?

Yes. Please bring sheets, towels, toiletries, and any other items you'll expect to need. You’re also encouraged to bring your Bible, and you might also want to bring a journal or other way to record your thoughts and reflections on the retreat. If you can, bring a snack to share! If you have a board game you love, bring that, too! We’re also looking for musicians to help us lead singing around the bonfire and worship services, so let us know if you’re willing to bring your instrument and share your talent with us! 

What will the Bible study be like?

Our Bible study this year will be led by guest speaker Sylvia Bull. Sylvia is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is passionate about Christian education in congregations and has many gifts to offer. She is a warm, engaging, and knowledgeable teacher who will help us GROW in our faith through Bible study together. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to reading the Bible or you’ve been studying scripture for years—this Bible study will have something to offer us all!