Church News


Sunday Worship - 10AM, Children's Church starts in September

Revitalization News  

-Pastor Ray Gilman, Revitalization Team member:   

When I arrived in July of 2020, Liverpool First UMC was in a bad position.  The church had agreed to begin a long revitalization process, yet a pandemic had closed the building to all activity - including in-person worship.  It has been a long year for all of us.

    Through it all, the Revitalization Team continued to meet - striving continuously to find ways to live into the Vital Congregations Consultation Report despite any pandemic restrictions.  These were not easy discussions in any regard.

    Happily, we were able to engage in the work of the Vision Team, review the data collected, and modify an intended retreat into a church meeting. The result of which is our newly adopted vision statement; “Loving all for Jesus. Serving all for God.”

    Similarly, the Discipleship Team has begun their discussion of the book “Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into The Game Of Effective Ministry”. This is their primary resource to guide their initial conversations together.  The Discipleship Team is working to develop an Intentional Discipleship and Leadership Pathway for the congregation. It is a large and important task and the team gathered is deeply committed to having the conversations that are necessary.

    As originally designed, the work of keeping Revitalization moving falls to the pastor of the church.  I consult with Reverend Aaron Bouwens frequently on a variety of topics.  Together we are creating a modified schedule that takes into account all COVID delays and jumpstarts the process from this point.  Soon, we will be announcing a Relational Health Workshop and the formation of a related team that will address interpersonal conflicts within the congregation. 

    Similarly, a One-Day Retreat will be held to learn about the process of bringing all ministry and activities of the congregation into alignment with the vision and to reinforce the process by which goals are developed and evaluated. Both the retreat and the workshop will be led by an outside resource person chosen in consultation with the Director of Vital Congregations. We have a lot to look forward to! 

Church Closed for 4th of July Holiday

The church office will be closed from July 2 through July 5. If you have an emergency please email  Elizabeth at

From the Pastor's Desk

Peace be with you,

    What a blessing to know the love of God and enjoy the gifts of the Summer season!  Many of us are especially joyful as we begin to experience life unrestricted!  I pray this is a time where each of us may experience personal renewal.  Let yourself rest.  Let your mind be at peace.  Let your life find a new, more comfortable rhythm.  I hope each of you can find contentment this season.  

    I am reminded that Summer ends quickly in Upstate NY.  Fall is closer than we might wish.  In September, the cycle begins again with school, group studies, and holidays.  All that we had hoped to accomplish pre-pandemic still waits for us.  The small efforts we made toward the work of Revitalization were truly monumental feats. I can’t begin to express the frustration so many team members felt waiting for things to open so we might gather together, teach and learn.  Through it all, we continued to plan and have every hope of revealing an updated schedule soon.  

    Our great adventure together with God continues. God is involved in this adventure at every level.  The Lord’s fingerprints can be seen everywhere. The Lord’s words can be heard through the mouths of those preparing.  The Lord’s energy can be felt in each new burst of strength past the point of exhaustion.  The Lord has plans for us all.  We will be renewed – enriched in faith and made prosperous in love.  The Lord alone has planted seeds of faith within us and nurtured them with a sincere belief in Jesus Christ our Lord.  We need not worry or fret.  We need only to let God be God.  We need only trust that the same power that brought you to faith will sustain the church itself.  The message is simple and timeless.  

We need only honor the truth of God’s words.

I am here with all of you and dream mighty dreams, make grand plans, and find God in the space between possibility and miraculous vision.  Let us strive together to offer a renewed hope to the lost and demonstrate loving forgiveness to those burdened by failure.  Let us be God’s workers in the fields of life. We will because God can.

May the Lord give you Peace,

Pastor Ray Gilman

The Community Fun Day is open to Liverpool First and our surrounding community. 

Please invite everyone to this event. We also have flyers at the welcome station that can be handed out.

We are in need of Fun Day Volunteers and donations.

If you would like to help please email 

Elizabeth at

We have started an Amazon Wish List if you would prefer to order the items. We have it set that the purchased items will be sent directly to the church.

If you would rather donate money. You can include it in your offering. Just note that the donation is for Community Fun Day. 

Senior News 

-by Sarah Bieling, Senior Ministries:    

Mission: to provide fun & fellowship to those in our congregation that are 55 years and older employed or retired as well as reaching out to our brothers and sisters in the community.

Our season began with our “Christmas In June” luncheon at Borio’s Restaurant on Sunday, June 6th.

Friday, July 9 we are taking a motorcoach to Auburn with lunch at The Springside Inn followed by Merry Go Round’s performance of “42nd Street”. This trip is SOLD OUT.

Saturday, August 14 we are taking a motorcoach to Lake George where we will board the “Lac Du Saint Sacrement” for a 3- hour luncheon cruise followed by shopping in downtown Lake George.  This trip is SOLD OUT.

Saturday, August 28 we are taking a motorcoach to the Finger Lakes. 9:30 am @ THE FINGER LAKES WELCOME CENTER, 
 10:30 am @ THE WINDMILL FARM AND CRAFT MARKET, Lunch will be "on your own' at one of the many eating options at the WINDMILL, 1:30 pm @ THE GLENN CURTIS MUSEUM, and 3:45 pm @ CROOKED LAKE ICE CREAM COMPANY. Jump on, this is sure to sell out quickly. Limit of 40.

Friday, September 17 we are taking a motorcoach to Pittsford, NY for the “Erie Canal Lock 32” cruise. More details to follow. If interested, do not delay this too will sell out.

Friday, October 8 we are taking a motorcoach to Chittenango/Cazenovia.  We will be touring “The Wild Animal Park’, lunch at Lincklaen House Tavern followed by shopping at Johnny Appleseed’s.  Seats are limited.

November 11-13 overnight trip to Lancaster, PA is SOLD OUT

Hopefully, we will be able to offer a few local events this summer or fall.

Olive branch News

On Monday, June 28th, Olivebranch will meet at 6 pm and enjoy boxed lunches from Brooklyn Pickle. 

Please make a reservation with Donna Auyer at 315-451-7359 or by e-mail at by Friday, June 25th, as there are a few meal choices to choose from. We will also focus on next year and how we would like to continue our dinners. All women are welcome. The same CDC protocol as for Sunday worship will be followed.

Olive branch is collecting items for the Cayuga County Head Start Program. 

*Boy and girl clothing 4T to 6T

*Socks and underwear (3T to 6T)

*Shoes (close-toed) and boots little kid 10 to kid 2

*Gloves, hats, and scarves

*Coats (light and heavy) and snow pants 4T to 6T

*Large umbrellas.

*Gently used learning toys and building blocks.

Christian Ed News

Children’s Church this fall. Everyone will gather in the Sanctuary for worship at 10 am. After the Children’s Moment, the children 5 to 10 years old may go downstairs and participate in a children’s service. The children will be returned to the Sanctuary for the end of service (communion, song, or baptism).

We are in need of Children’s Church Volunteers! 

If we can gather enough volunteers we intend to have a rotating schedule.  

If you are interested please contact Pastor Ray or Elizabeth.

email Elizabeth


COVID Guidelines now allow church kitchens to reopen on a limited basis. Hospitality has begun Sunday coffee hour again. Dinner/Fundraising has been asked about a BBQ.

This is entirely possible if enough men volunteer to grill chicken and enough ladies volunteer to prepare other foods and serve on a take-out basis.

Watch for sign-up sheets to help coming out in July. 

As guidelines evolve, the Dinner and Fundraising Committee will add inside events as possible. Again, the number of volunteers who sign up determines what is possible.

Outreach & Mission News

by Eric Holmes, Committee Chair

The Outreach Committee has moved beyond the pandemic to plan numerous activities that were not possible over the past year.  As most of us are vaccinated and we get back to a more normal life, we ask you to consider giving back to the community through our outreach efforts.

14 church members (10 adults and 4 youth) of Liverpool First recently gave back by participating in the Beautiful Mess Ministries “Be-The-Change” event on 5 June in the City of Syracuse. Participation included activities to help the broader Syracuse community at Brown Memorial United Methodist Church, the Connected Church, and the Chadwick Residence. This is the fifth year of Liverpool First’s participation in this wonderful outreach program.

First up this summer is the Summer Welcome Event that includes free ice cream sundaes and children’s activities bags, scheduled for the back lawn and parking lot for 19 June, 1 PM to 4 PM. This is an opportunity to welcome the local community, tell them about Liverpool First, invite them to the 31 July event and provide activities for the children to take home.

We have scheduled Brown Memorial Dinner for Sunday 22 August. We expect to be using the kitchen to fix a meal for the first time since early 2020. We will likely need volunteers to serve at Brown Memorial that Sunday afternoon. 

Matthew 25 Farm help is likely to be scheduled for late summer when harvesting is needed. The farm typically needs more help when school, including SU, is back in session and that source of help is not as forthcoming.

Our Outreach funds are in good shape, as our expenditures were down during the pandemic. We were unable to do some of the events we typically hold. We continue to look for good ideas to serve our local community, so please bring them to Outreach, but you should also be planning on being ready to serve.

Outreach at Liverpool First is more than just the committee that regularly meets and plans these events. It should involve All of Us. Please consider getting involved, bringing us ideas, helping to plan if you are called to do so, but most importantly taking part and giving back to the community.

Trustee News

Hello All LFUMC Members:

The Trustees have been able to remain active during the pandemic and maintain both the church and 600 Oswego Street Office Bldg. through these last 15 months.  First, let’s review how members pay for our church.  We have two budgets: Operating and Trustees Endowments.

The Operating Budget is provided by members’ tithes, offerings, and gifts.  It pays for all salaries, committee programs, utilities, some taxes, and the mortgage (which will be paid off in 2024).  A heartfelt “Thank you” to all of you who have kept up with at least part of your tithe or offerings during this partial closure. A yearly budget plan was impractical during the pandemic, so with Administrative Council approval, the Finance Committee went to a quarterly model that could react to an evolving partial closure.  With our financial year closing on June 30, a new set of quarterly budgets will begin.  Please continue your gifts!

Like any home, God’s House must be maintained.  The Discipline sets up a system whereby Methodist congregations are to care for their assets.  Most of the Trustees’ work is behind the scenes.  How do we afford to do it?  Our church is blessed to have had past members endow funds to do specific work.  These endowments are restricted and may not be used to substitute for the Operating Budget. They are invested and managed by the Trustees per the Discipline.  Each generates earnings in the form of interest, dividends, and capital gains which are reinvested, and from which funds are, or will be, available.  Our Office Building pays for itself through rents received and more careful planning.  In 2020 the 50-year-old interior front steps were replaced.  In April 2021, the 50-year-old sewer line was replaced.  This property protects the rest of our property from inappropriate development.  Some church costs like lawn and snow are shared monthly.

The Bardes Trust Fund generated earnings provide the budget to maintain our church building through paying for all preventative maintenance, insurances, routine upkeep, and small repairs.  Examples: the gas valve on the kitchen hot water tank has failed and is being replaced.  The lawn gets mowed.  In 2021 the street-front steps were sinking and have just been replaced.  Three other endowments have targeted restrictions per bequest.  The remaining fund was set up by many members’ small bequests, which were invested together to generate interest to be used for larger projects and emergency repairs.  With Administrative Council approval we used $97,000 in 2019-2020 to repair and rebuild the upper parking lot.  

The Trustees have a constantly evolving list of repairs we work from so that our work is done in a steady, timely manner and within funds available.  We aim to do one to two large projects each calendar year.  For 2021 we will be cleaning and painting the exterior of the church, in consultation with C&S Engineering.  They evaluated and did repairs in 2015, with the painting project put on hold at that time.  In 2020 larger projects were replacing two gutters on the 1856 Sanctuary and the roofs on the Bell Gazebo and over the rear portico.  Funds are available now to address painting the exterior.

Many thanks go to our Sexton, Michael Gloyd, who has done an excellent job during the pandemic keeping both buildings clean and sanitized with approved products so we could continue church activities.  We are continuing to follow the Guidelines carefully.  Outside groups that normally use the church are being invited back in with the stipulation that all participants be either vaccinated or masked. 

If you have any questions about the Trustees’ work, please speak to a Trustee: Mark Bailey, Bernie Bird, Mary Hoy, Cheryl Jachym, Kathy Kline, Bill Lowther.  If you are interested in serving, please speak to Sue Slenker.