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Thoughts from Olivia

Dustin and I were in Branson, MO with other District Superintendents from the USA/Canada Region last week. This was a meaningful time of retreat and education. The theme was “Imagine Kingdom Power/Future/Mission.” We really do need a holy imagination as we consider how to live and minister in this place and time. 

This caused me to think of the familiar story of Peter walking on the water from Matthew 14:22-33. The disciples were afraid they were seeing a ghost when Jesus approached them in the storm. When they realized it was Him, Peter asked Jesus to call him out on the water too. Jesus said, “Come!” and Peter did. We know what happened. It was scary. Peter started to sink. Jesus saved him. In the midst of this Jesus said, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” It seems obvious to us, doesn’t it? We don’t walk on water. It isn’t done. But we also know that with Jesus things are different. When we have faith we capture His imagination and we enter into His Kingdom. But Jesus says Peter’s faith is weak. 

Something that helped me many years ago was learning that any time Jesus says people have weak faith we need to pause. It feels like He might be frustrated, disappointed, or ashamed in these moments. However, there is another way to look at it. Jesus has more faith in us than we have in ourselves. He invited Peter to come, not to shame him, not as an object lesson, but because Jesus had faith in him to join Him there. Be encouraged today! Jesus has faith in you to be who He has called you to be! With that truth in mind, I’m hopeful and filled with faith as we imagine what God wants to do in and through us on the Upstate district. He’s inviting us to come. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Him as we do. He believes we can do it. With his strong faith buoying us up, let’s get out on that water together with Jesus.

Online Work and Witness Conference- September 29-October 2

It is not too late to register for the Work and Witness Conference! Since this is a digital platform, you can come and go as you want. There are several workshops to choose from and some great main speakers. You can register here: platform will open this Friday, the 17th so you can check out what is being offered!

Brooktondale Seasonal Camp Closing-September 29-October 2

To get the camp ready for the winter you are invited to come and help! Housing and meals will be provided. Please email Stan McLain or call at 315-396-8173, to let him know you will be there. This will help them with the meal counts. The Camp Board will also be meeting during this time on October 1 at 6:30pm at Brooktondale.

NYI Fall Retreat at Camp Lamoka, October 8-11, 2021

Send your teens to hear LenMarie Pascall from Metro New York District and to have a ton of fun! $130 for teens, $110 for adult sponsors if you register by October 1! Register here: 

ENC HomecomingOctober 14-17, 2021

Join Alumni and Friends in Quincy, Massachusetts to celebrate the continuing legacy of our great college! Visit here for more information.

Did you know? 

Our Wilmington church celebrated their 100 year anniversary this month and our Plattsburgh church will celebrate their's in October! Let's rejoice in God's faithfulness and the legacy of these two churches.

Coming Soon!
October is pastoral appreciation month. If there ever was a good time to show your pastor(s) that you love and support her or him then it would be now. Let's be thinking and planning how our churches are going to show appreciation next month. 

Have you checked out the new district website yet? You'll find a new look and updated content. If you think we are missing something then let Dustin know. 

Leadership Team Retreat

November 5-7, 2021, Greek Peak Resort: Reserve Today!

We are thrilled to announce that the District Advisory Board has decided to underwrite all the registration costs of this retreat. All lead pastors and staff members need to reserve and pay for their own housing, but there will be no additional cost for you! We know this has been a challenging season of ministry and wanted to ease some of the financial burden. Please fill out this registration form so we know how many are coming. To reserve your room you will need to call the reservation desk at 1-800-955-2754. Our Group Reservation Confirmation number is 249855 and the group name is "Church of the Nazarene." If you need additional financial help to attend, reply to this email. Scholarships are available! If you don’t need this additional help with the registration costs because your church has it budgeted, consider sending the district a check for $70 for one registration or $140 for a couple to attend. Mark in the memo “Leadership Team Retreat.” This money will help us with scholarships.

Pastor Groups
We advertised in last month's newsletter our desire to help facilitate small groups for pastors. There is no doubt that these last 16 months have been difficult and even isolating. We want to help you feel more connected and give you the opportunity to invest in colleagues on the Upstate district. If you haven't yet filled out our Google form to let us know you are interested then do so before the end of this month. We'll be forming groups to start in October. 

    Lead/Senior Pastors Form           Associate Pastors Form

Gift to Pastors!

Center for Pastoral Leadership at Nazarene Theological Seminary 

We want to make excellent Wesleyan-Holiness resources available to you. Our theology is so needed in this divided world. As a gift, the district is willing to provide any lead or staff pastor a FREE subscription to the Nazarene Theological Seminary Center for Pastoral Leadership. This normally costs $99, but we are making it free to you this year! This provides access to the NTS library, video content, continuing education opportunities, discounts to pre-marital counseling resources to assist you in your ministry, and more. If you would like to receive this, please fill out this form and we will get you signed up. 

We had nearly 25 pastors join our Zoom with Dr. Jeren Rowell from NTS! It was a rich time of thinking about our call as pastors and whether it has changed in light of the pandemic... it hasn't, but it was a good reminder of who we are called to be. Jeren has written an excellent book on pastoral theology that is worth your consideration. And during his talk, Rowell referenced Eugene Peterson's four part series on pastoral theology. If you have never read them they are very thought provoking and helpful. Sometimes, especially when we find life complicated and difficult, it is good to take time to be reminded of the essentials. 

Prepare for Advent by ordering Come Peasant, King written by our District Superintendent, Pastor Olivia. This devotional and accompanying materials will help your congregation grow in faith as we prepare for Christmas and the coming of the Messiah!

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Upstate NY District Church of the Nazarene · PO Box 258 · Clay, Ny 13041 · USA

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