An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.



Can you believe we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the DINNER AMONG FRIENDS, the annual fundraiser for Asbury First’s Dining and Caring Center? We are hoping the 10th annual fundraiser will be the biggest and best yet—and there are many ways you can participate.


This is your personal invitation to join us on September 24, 2016 for an evening of fun, food and fellowship.  

We will start the evening at 5 pm with appetizers in the Gathering Center. From there, you will join your hosts at their home for a delicious meal and an evening of fellowship. The suggested donation for this fund-raiser is $50 per person but feel free to donate more or less (even if you can’t come). To R.S.V.P. to your invitation, contact Bonnie Kay at 473-8848 or 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In addition to the 10th Annual Dinner Among Friends we will be having our 2nd Annual Dinner Among Kids. This is a free event for children ages 4 and up whose parents are attending the Dinner Among Friends beginning at 5:00pm.  There will be appetizers, games, dinner, movies, stories and an outreach craft for the Asbury Dining and Caring Center (ADCC). Pick-up time for the children is 8:30 pm. 

For more information or to reserve a spot please contact Paula Dugan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 271-1050 x111.


Can you help us “Cook for a Cause”? PLEASE consider serving as one of our gracious hosts. Here’s what it entails:

As a host, you will hold a dinner at your home starting at about 6:15pm following the Pre-Dinner Reception at the Asbury First Gathering Center.

You can host as few or as many people as you wish.

Your meal doesn’t have to be gourmet. It can be as simple or as elegant as you wish. Have anything from a picnic with burgers and salads to Beef Wellington with roasted vegetables! You can also give your menu a fun theme (fall harvest fest, Hawaiian luau, Mexican tacos)—it’s up to you.

Not sure you want to tackle a dinner on your own? Why not host with a friend? It’s half the work and twice the fun.

Your guests will be a combination of those you invite and those who R.S.V.P. to our invitation to the congregation. Those who have hosted before often speak of the new friendships that have developed, as well as existing friendships that deepen when sharing a meal together for a good cause.

To sign up to host, contact Bonnie Kay 

(email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 478-5611).


As a member of Asbury First, you may already be aware of the ADCC and the work it does feeding the hungry—and that 100% of the donations from people attending the Dinner Among Friends, the largest fundraiser for the ADCC­, goes to supporting its mission. But did you know that the Dinner Among Friends also needs the support of corporate sponsors to make its goals?  In this, our 10th year, we would greatly appreciate you or your company joining the growing number of corporate sponsors who assist ADCC as we nourish, support, and transform the lives of our guests in the Rochester community with either a monetary donation or a donation-in-kind. We will, of course, frequently and publicly thank each sponsor.  For sponsorship option information, please contact Bob Castle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 298-0130.


Fifty years ago, in the fall of 1966, our then Senior pastor Dr. Davies helped four couples organize a new Sunday school class for adults. The fellowship class (named Double Ring) had been organized a few years earlier and was becoming very large. The class adopted the title of “Better Halves” and was the first to meet on the second floor of 1010. Through the years, the class at one time or another has met in every single room on the second floor. 

With the aid of Margaret Wilcox mentioning the class to new members and visitors, the class grew rapidly in size. In the 70s, it had membership of nearly 50 families! It was certainly a family-oriented class, as many of its activities centered around the children, such as the trimming of the Christmas tree in the educational wing, a kids’ Christmas party complete with Santa, the Halloween party, and the Easter egg hunt on the lawn behind 1010.

For the adults, Sunday morning classes were led by class members or individuals from the Cokesbury Adult Curriculum, and no year was complete without a Bible study accompanied by informational journals. Socials were held on nearly a monthly basis, including progressive dinners, pot luck suppers, and the keynote of the class, the annual (May) Chef’s Night. 

The men of the class bought the food, prepared it ahead of time or on site, served, and cleaned up. It was often accompanied by special themes and/or programs (e.g. a member’s solo bike trip across America). 

In the 80s, the name of the class was changed to Growing Spirits to reflect its inclusiveness. Later, they merged with the Living Edge class, which was organized after the Growing Spirits. Currently, it meets on the first floor of 1010 in the Meditation Room.

A catered dinner by Tasteful Connections is planned for Saturday night at 6 pm on October 1st at 1010 to celebrate 50 years together as a class. Current members, as well as former members, are invited to attend this affair and share memories. (To make things easier for all attendees, name tags will be provided!) Contact Linda Freed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jan Anderson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. If you wish to attend, the dinner is $25 per person, and your RSVP should be sent to Linda or Jan by September 21.

Jamie Least

Communications Coordinator

Asbury First United Methodist Church
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(585) 210-8484 x109

Asbury First UMC’s Third Annual Tent Week is Transforming Rochester, Building Community

Rochester, NY, August 1, 2016Tent Week, hosted by Asbury First United Methodist Church (AFUMC), is “in-tents,” as the Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II, senior minister of AFUMC, jokes. The “intense” week-long, family-friendly, and activity-filled event is held alongside Rochester’s Park Ave Fest from August 7-11, and both attendees and planners behind the event agree: Tent Week has more to offer Park Ave Fest attendees and locals than just a number of activities, like outdoor games, Beatles singing, and food trucks. It provides a radical sense of inclusive community.

“Church is about community and, at Asbury First, Tent Week is one of the ways we express that community,” said Rev. Cady. “During this week, we invite our neighbors to join us in everything from the public silliness of an intergenerational water balloon toss, or yoga. On one night, you might find the area musicians singing Beatles tunes, and on the next, area synagogues, mosques, and temples sharing their sacred music and dance,” said Rev. Cady.

The schedule kicks off with an outdoor Sunday worship service, followed by Movers and Makers on Monday—with yoga, bocce, Zumba, artisan jewelry, metalworks, and more. Tuesday features a battle of the Beatles bands, and Wednesday is Faith Fusion, featuring interfaith performances, a Muslim evening prayer, and much more. The week concludes with Spend a While on the Nile to celebrate the last night of this year's Egyptian-themed Vacation Bible School.

Tent Week offers Rochesterians a way to enjoy the waning Summer days in a unique, welcoming environment—and that especially includes non-church-goers, people of all other faiths, and the non-religious alike. “Asbury First is a big-tent kind of a church and we invite you to join us under that tent,” said Rev. Cady.

About Asbury First United Methodist Church

Asbury First is a warm, open faith community of 2,300 people in the city of Rochester, NY and runs many outreach ministries including the Dining and Caring Center, which serves 35,000 meals each year, and the Storehouse, which provides clothing and household goods to more than 6,000 persons annually. Find out more at and learn more about Tent Week at  



VBS 2016

"Spend a While on the Nile"

August 8-11, 9am-12:30pm

$15.00 per child, no more than $40 per family.

Children ages 4 through 5th grade have the opportunity to “Spend a While on the Nile” during Vacation Bible School at Asbury First this summer. They’ll take a jaunt back in time to ancient Egypt to discover what happened to Joseph as he went from Pharaoh’s prison to palace.  They will become a part of history as they see, hear, touch, and even taste what it was like to live in Pharaoh’s empire. Register your child online today!

Questions?  Contact Paula Dugan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All are welcome!

In early May, a gathering of United Methodists from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon for the 2016 General Conference. Held every four years, this group is the top policy-making body of our denomination, and the only group that can speak for the church as a whole.

Spring. It's a time for beginnings, for cleaning out the old and ushering in the new. Maybe that means stretching your mind by taking advantage of a new learning opportunity.  Asbury First can help.

Easter this year is Sunday, March 27, and Asbury First is featuring a variety of opportunities for worship and reflection in the week leading up to the holy day. GO HERE for a downloadable PDF of our Holy Week schedule.

Palm Sunday
March 20
Our regular services will be held at 8:30 (traditional worship), 10:00 (brief communion service) and 11:00 (traditional worship) a.m; palms will be distributed to all.

Maundy Thursday
March 24
Silent Meditation (6:30 p.m.), Tenebrae Service (7:30 p.m.)
The sanctuary opens at 6:30 p.m. for silent meditation. Living tableaus of scenes from the life of Christ will be presented in the chancel during this time. The Tenebrae service at 7:30 includes Holy Communion, followed by a candlelight presentation depicting the betrayal and flight of Jesus' disciples. The service begins in dim light, progressively grows darker, and concludes with a re-enactment of Roman soldiers leading the Christ-figure on a procession with the cross from the high altar to its implantation in front of the church along East Avenue.

Good Friday
March 25

  • Informal Holy Communion, 6:00 a.m.

In company with the Men's Prayer Group, all are invited to receive Holy Communion in the Sanctuary.


  • Envisioning the Passion, 12 noon

This service will captivate you with its use of religious art and meaningful Lenten Scripture readings to heighten your experience of Christ's ultimate gift to humanity. Accompanied by music for chamber choir, organ, and soloists. Voices Chamber Choir, under the leadership of Asbury First's Director of Music, Dr. William Weinert, will be participating. 


  • Family Prayer Night, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Come and go as you wish to this family-friendly event: visit prayer stations and take Communion in the Gathering Center throughout the evening.

Easter Sunday
March 27

  • Easter Sunrise Service

6:30 a.m., Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 South Goodman Street, 14620.

Asbury First is one of the co-sponsors, along with CRCDS, Third Presbyterian Church, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, of a sunrise service on Easter morning. All are welcome. Service lasts approximately half an hour.


  • 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Worship Services

Our traditional Easter Sunday services will be celebrated with festive vocal and instrumental music on a grand scale, and preaching of the Good News of Christ's resurrection and redemption of the world.

  • 10:00 a.m. Worship Service

A brief communion service (no sermon) in the chancel (front altar area) of the church.


Lenten Classes Help Us Grow in Faith and Understanding

What are your plans for Lent? This holy season offers a great time to grow in our understanding of God's role in our life, and our role in the lives of our neighbors. At Asbury First, two Lenten classes will help us to take a look at aspects of our faith experience.

Yoga for Two & Chocolate Tasting at Asbury First

Asbury First is planning a unique pre-Valentine's Day event on Friday, February 12 from 6-8 pm: a session of light yoga designed for partners of all sorts, followed by a chocolate tasting.