Christ First UMC | 663 Lakeview Avenue | Jamestown NY 14701

Safe Haven Congregation

Safe Haven Congregations are local churches among the United Methodists of Upper New York that are particularly equipped to welcome anyone whose church has closed or disaffiliated. If you find yourself in these circumstances, a Safe Haven Congregation may be just what you need to fulfill your desire to Remain-UMC. Consider these United Methodist faith communities a resting place, with people who will care for you while providing a haven of peace and grace.

Safe Haven Congregations will:

  1. Provide a welcoming place to belong during this time of grief and transition, which might be for just a season, or for a lifetime. This includes a safe space with caring relationships, listening hearts, and unconditional love within a congregation that is confident it is remaining in the UMC.
  2. Provide all forms of pastoral and laity-driven care.
  3. This may also include providing physical space for “Remnant” groups to gather as they consider what it looks like to stay together.
  4. Offer ministry opportunities in which to engage – or not. There will be no pressure.
a. Worship: Providing worship opportunities, whether online or in person. These services will intentionally engage and welcome new people into their midst. They will also include the sacraments of communion and baptism.
b. Discipleship: Creating space to learn and grow through small group gatherings, Bible studies, and prayer opportunities.
c. Mission: Inviting fellow United Methodists into opportunities to serve through hands-on ministries. These might include anything that involves making a difference and sharing the love of God with others.
  1. Organize local Remaining UMC groups by proactively finding and connecting with individuals and groups displaced by disaffiliating churches.
  2. Connect individuals or groups with Conference and District resources to help them discern their next steps as they consider a new church home.
Whether you are an individual or a group of people who have become displaced or churchless because of closing or disaffiliation, Safe Haven Congregations will be there for you during this difficult time. As you consider what is next, specific pathways from which you may choose will continue to emerge as the Conference, Districts, and local churches come together to be The Connection at its best.                  
We love you. We care about you. We're here for you.