Name Change

Greetings friends, if you are confused, please don't fret as we have changed the name of the webpage to reflect the change that God has been leading us through. Three churches in Allegany county have closed, then came together to launch and brand new body of believers. One body many campuses. 

The Belfast, Friends in Christ in Fillmore and Rushford body of believers have engaged the hand of God moving here in Allegany County to become Northern KonXions United Methodist Church. 

Why KonXions? The spelling is from the words connection and Konionia. 

First, as beloved children of God we are all connected and called to be the body of Christ.   "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 
Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way. 1Corinthians 12:12-27


Second, “Koinonia is a transliterated form of the Greek word κοινωνία, which refers to concepts such as communion or fellowship, joint participation, the share which one has in anything, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution. It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ.” (Wikipedia)

Third, it was determined to capitalize the X in the middle of KonXions to represent that Christ is always at the center of our vision and mission to make disciples for the Kingdom for the transformation of the world.

The X also is historically connected to Chi Rho Symbol is an ancient Christian symbol, a Christogram that is made by overlaying the initial two letters (in capital) of the Greek word ‘Christos’ meaning ‘Christ’. Pronounced as ‘KEE-roe’, the monogram looks to have been formed with the English alphabets X and P.The Chi Rho symbol represents both Christ and Christianity and exists today in several variations. It is also behind the practice of abbreviating ‘Christ’ in Christmas to ‘X’.

Chi Rho

From the desk of Bishop Webb

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" -Micah 6.8
As the world continues to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus, we find ourselves facing the reality of another virus that has impacted our lives and societies, damaging our souls for far too long - the virus of racism.
The tragic killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis is yet another horrendous chapter in the injustice and system of racism that exists in our culture and remains unresolved. The cries for justice and change are ultimately not in response to this most recent event, but to the reality of the virus of racism left unchecked for centuries!
I pray with those who protest this injustice peacefully as they demand change. I am moved by the witness of law enforcement and other community leaders who are committed to justice and change, as they join the protests in spirit and action. I fervently pray that agendas not aligned to the protests seeking change in our reality of racism will lose their foothold.
I must confess that I feel overwhelmed and inadequate in how to respond and even to lead in the times we are experiencing. My spirit is heavy, and my soul mourns. Yet I know this - I must lead in the injustice of racism. I must acknowledge my privilege, confess that at times I have been complicit in racism and say enough is enough; our God calls us to a different way.
I commit to increasing my efforts against the virus of racism and I call on every follower of Jesus Christ in the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church to do the same. The change we need is deep, it is systemic. We must continue to work diligently to change the systems that allow racism to continue.
Within the Upper New York Conference we have been calling one another to do the work of "Imagining No Racism." I am deeply appreciative of the work and leadership provided by the Upper New York Conference Committee on Religion and Race for the resources they have developed and the ways they seek to equip us. I urge all of us to engage those resources and begin to lead the way in destroying the virus of racism. There can no longer be excuses for why this is not our work to do. I join several of my colleague Bishops in recommending that every white leader, clergy, and lay purchase and read the book: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (2018) by Robin DiAngelo. Not just to accomplish reading a book, but to be better equipped to lead the church in eliminating racism.
As the Church of Jesus Christ, we must also respond to a call to repentance within our own lives regarding racism and issue that call throughout the land in the name of Jesus Christ. Racism is sin! It is sin that perpetuates injustice. It is sin that maintains systems of oppression. The only solution to the reality of sin is a heart, mind, spirit and life transformed by the person of Jesus Christ! In these days, as the Church of Jesus Christ, let us make sure our allegiance is to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing else. It is only the truth of the Gospel and the person of Jesus that fully drives out darkness, changes hearts, heals wounds, and sets us free!
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr once said, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that". The love of God through Jesus the Christ is the answer and it's our call to boldly offer Jesus to the world around us. As we celebrate Pentecost, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit has equipped and empowered us to be witnesses of the transforming truth and reality of Jesus. Our world needs the Church of Jesus Christ to boldly live our mission in word, action and deed.
May I say yes! May you say yes! May we say yes!
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Mark J. Webb