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Western New York

Contact: Gary Fallesen, coordinator

E- mail: 


The first “official” meeting of the Western New York Chapter took place Jan. 30, 2004 at Hope Lutheran Church in Greece, N.Y. This was also where the first public meeting of Climbing For Christ had occurred on Feb. 1, 2002. Seven people attended the 2002 meeting, one of the baby steps in the early development of this organization.

Latest News

Western NY Update: Chili fundraiser Feb. 22

Western New York Update Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 Serving up the perfect C4C mix Outdoor fun, hot chili, and you By Elaine Fallesen, women’s and family ministry, Climbing For Christ There’s a 100 percent chance of a perfect wintry mix coming this way Saturday, Feb. 22 as hot-chili weather hits the Western New York Chapter. Get out of your cabin fever and join us for Climbing For Christ’s first-ever chili fundraiser, to support C4C mission work that stretches from Tanzania to Nepal and to the ends of the earth. Just $10 gets you all the chili and fi... Read more »

Western NY Coffee Chat Jan. 23

Western New York Update Chat about fulfilling God’s dreams Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Elaine, Brendan, Joe, Gilbert, and Gary at Quorum Prosthetics in Windsor, CO last week. Greetings in HIS name! My wife Elaine and I are back from 2 ½ weeks in Colorado with C4C New Generation (Haiti) leader Gilbert Lindor and new staff member Missy Jean Dedrick of Denver. We pray that Gilbert is blessed by a new prosthetic leg to give him a new lease on life, and that Missy is blessed as she begins a new role with C... Read more »

Western NY Coffee Chat via Skype

Western New York Update Chat with Gilbert tonight Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Happy Haitian: Gilbert Lindor yesterday at Quorum Prosthetics in Windsor, CO. (Photo by Gary Fallesen) Greetings in HIS name! The Western New York Chapter continues its bi-weekly Coffee Chat at 6:30 p.m. today with a special Skype from Colorado. Jordan Rowley will host guests at Spot Coffee, 200 East Ave., Rochester, while I call in from Loveland, CO, where we’re staying this week with Haitian brother Gilbert Lindor. We brought Gilber... Read more »

Songs & Stories: Nepal

Join the Rochester-based staff of Climbing For Christ on Friday, Feb. 1 for Songs & Stories: Nepal. Jordan Rowley will lead us in worship, starting at 7 p.m., and Jordan and Elaine and Gary Fallesen will share stories from Mission: Nepal. This event will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, 1301 Vintage Lane in Greece, NY. Climbing For Christ has ministered in Nepal since 2008 and we are preparing to GO on our 16th expedition to that Himalayan nation. Come learn about the wonderful thing God has been doing in Nepal, give HIM praise, and support the staff as we prepare to GO on Climbing For Ch... Read more »

Western New York Chapter news

Fall fun and fundraising By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ It’s nearly the harvest season. Apples will be ripe in Hilton and the mission field is “white for the harvest” (John 4:35). Believe it or not, those two go hand in hand. Funds raised at Climbing For Christ’s popular food booth at the Hilton Apple Fest go toward the work HIS ministry is doing in places where others cannot or will not go. We put the f-u-n in fundraising this time of year. We also r-u-n for the money. Read on! Smoothie operators Lines form here! W... Read more »

Western New York fall update

Autumn is in the air By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ Labor Day is over. Back to work, back to school. It’s football season! Pumpkin spice is on every menu and in seemingly every food. Leaves are red and underfoot as I trail run. All of this means it’s time for us to turn to our autumn calendar. Here’s a glance at important upcoming dates with some additional details below. Plenty of PRAY, GIVE, GO opportunities. Hope you will be joining us this fall. Wednesday, Sept. 13-Friday, Sept. 29 – Mission: Nepal 2017, Part 2. Please pray for Jordan... Read more »

Bunny Hop Fun Run, Walk & Egg Hunt

  Hopping happy: The hunt for eggs was off and running. (Photos by Gary Fallesen) We give praise and thanks for $1,065 of support received through our inaugural Bunny Hop Fun Run and Walk at North Ponds Park in Webster, NY. Thirty-three people attended  Saturday, April 15, including nine children who hunted for 200 eggs created by our friends from Blessed Hope Community Church and Heritage Christian Services. Special thanks to Diane Sturmer, who helped organize the Bunny Hop and led supporters. The many participants in the first run, walk and egg hunt. Read more »

Western New York 2017 Heritage hike #2

Heritage hike is for the birds   Eating out of their hands: human bird feeders had plenty of action during our April 1 hike on the Bird Song trail at Mendon Ponds. (Photos by Gary Fallesen) No fooling, more than two dozen people attended the second Climbing For Christ/Heritage hike at Mendon Ponds Park on a cold, rainy April 1st. Event organizer Diane Sturmer noted that hikers came from Buffalo and all around Rochester, even though the weather was for the birds. “Out on the trail many enjoyed the chickadees landing on their hands to enjoy some food,” Diane re... Read more »

Bunny Hop Fun Run & Walk

What is the Bunny Hop 5K Fun Run and Walk? The first annual Bunny Hop Fun Run and Walk is eggs-actly what you’re looking for to fill your Saturday before Easter morning with a basket of fun! It’s your chance to help others by simply walking or running the one mile paved hiking path that circles North Ponds Park. Do it individually or as a team. If you so choose, you can also do it to raise money to help support Climbing For Christ. Make it a hare-raising event and challenge your friends and family to join you! How do I register for the Bunny Hop? Go online to ht... Read more »

Western New York 2017 Heritage hike #1

No snow, but lots of ’shoers on Heritage hike There was little snow for snowshoeing because of unseasonable temperatures in what was the warmest February on record in Rochester, NY, but that didn’t dissuade many who attended our Western New York Chapter’s first Heritage hike of the year on Saturday, Feb. 18. Climbing For Christ member and Heritage Christian Services spiritual life coordinator Diane Sturmer reports: “Thirty-two hikers and snowshoe adventurers gathered at the Mendon Ponds Nature Center to share one of the most beautiful days of the year! We cou... Read more »

Building on our Heritage

Climbing For Christ’s long-time relationship with Heritage Christian Services in Western New York continues as we begin our ninth year of hikes together. The kick off to the 2017 series is our annual “snowshoe adventure” on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Mendon Ponds Park nature center. Our group will meet from 10 a.m. to noon to snowshoe (or walk, if there’s no snow) around the Bird Song Trail and then share music, devotions, stories and prayer along with a light snack and hot cocoa. RSVP to Diane Sturmer. 2017 calendar: Snowshoe adventure at Mendon Ponds, Saturda... Read more »

Fun(d)raising weekend in Western NY

Team C4C: (left to right) Gary Fallesen, Mitchell Harris, Elaine Fallesen, Hayley Fallesen, Mark Eiwen, and Jaime, Justin and Jordan Rowley after running the Photo Finish 5K. The quote of the weekend: “It wouldn’t be the Hilton Applefest without a Walking Taco.” A foodie couple came to Climbing For Christ’s booth on Sunday to mark an annual tradition – consuming one of our Applefest favorites. For years we have sold “mountain-fresh” smoothies, pulled pork sandwiches, and the famous Walking Taco (a bag of Doritos filled with taco fixings). Apple... Read more »

Appeal of Laughter praise report

Laughs and gifts from the heart Dan Kulp performing in The Gathering Place at Hope Church in Greece, NY. Thursday, Feb. 11 began with a lake effect warning. Snow and blowing snow. So-called “hazardous travel.” In other words, Climbing For Christ fundraiser weather. On 390 near the Vintage Lane exit in Greece. If you asked local comedian Dan Kulp or any of the “Appeal of Laughter” organizers in the minutes before the scheduled starting time for a guess at the event’s turnout, none of them would have come close. Within minutes after starting there w... Read more »

Birds in the hand

Western New York Chapter: Heritage Hike Series   Carol with a bird’s eye view. Snowshoeing for the birds By Diane Sturmer Thirty of us from the Rochester and Buffalo areas enjoyed a great time on the Birdsong Trail at Mendon Ponds Park on Saturday, Jan. 30, as Climbing For Christ and Heritage Christian Services kicked off an eighth year of partnering to take hikes together. [See Take a Heritage hike.]   We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship, feeding Chickadees together, snowshoeing and hiking. The Chickadees were glad to see us out on the trail with open hands of bird s... Read more »

Take a Heritage hike

Climbing For Christ and Heritage Christian Services begin an eighth year of partnership with a snowshoe outing 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Mendon Ponds Nature Center. We’ll pray together, go for a walk, share stories, sing, and eat snacks – plus feed our feathered friends on the Bird Song Trail. RSVP to C4C member and Heritage staffer Diane Sturmer at If you need to rent snowshoes ($15) let Diane know before Jan. 20.   Our friend Carol always has the birds eating out of her hand. The rest of the 2016 hiking sche... Read more »

Appeal of Laughter

Join Climbing For Christ for an hour of laughs and sweets with Rochester-area comedian, pastor and author Dan Kulp at our “Appeal of Laughter” from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 in the Gathering Place Café at Hope Church, 1301 Vintage Lane, Greece. Dan is an exhausted and joy-filled dad of four children, three of whom are adopted and have special needs (Down syndrome, autism, Alfi’s Syndrome and spina bifida). Get ready to laugh, cry and be inspired as he shares life lessons with humor and love from his unique vantage point at this Climbing For Christ fundraiser. We... Read more »

A Night of Praise

We’d like to invite you to join us for a special event … Please invite someone so more people can learn about Climbing For Christ and they can be told about the amazing things He does (1 Chronicles 16:24).   Read more »

Western NY Heritage Hike (April)

Hiking with friends – feathered or not We had about 25 people enjoy time in the (chilly) outdoors on Saturday, April 11 for Climbing For Christ’s second Heritage Hike of 2015. The chickadees were still hungry and it was thrilling having them land on our hands for seed on the Bird Song Trail at Mendon Ponds Park in Western New York. After our hike, we enjoyed a time of prayer, devotions and stories from Gary and Elaine Fallesen about Climbing For Christ’s adventures. We also had time to share some of our upcoming Heart of Dance songs with many joining in. The friendships t... Read more »

Pray unceasingly for the persecuted

Our brother was going door to door in a Pakistani village, bringing the love of Christ to the people living there. Suddenly, two men appeared. They shook his hand. Then they showed him a pistol and told him, by name, “Your time is finished. Run wherever you can. But you must be killed.” We received word of this incident as we were preparing for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Nov. 2. It was a harsh reminder that we should be praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ every day. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). ... Read more »

Support our team

Time is running out We need supporters for our team. Cheer us on and cheer us up by donating to Team C4C, running in the George Eastman Photo Finish 5K on Saturday, Sept. 27 in Rochester, NY. CLICK HERE to go to our fundraising page. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV) Read more »

A Walk for Missions

C4C's Turning Point Trek Whether you’re into climbing or not, come take a stroll in the park with us on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. to celebrate and support HIS ministry of Climbing For Christ. This easy and informal 3-mile “trek” will begin at the park and marina parking lot off Petten St. Ext. (Rochester 14612) and follow part of the Genesee Riverway Trail to beautiful Turning Point Park. Along the trail, we’ll provide water and snacks along with some worship and a brief word from C4C founding president Gary Fallesen. The boardwalk at Turning Point Park.  ... Read more »

Record crowd walks in the woods together

Story by Diane Sturmer Photos by Gary Fallesen We had an incredible morning starting out with prayer and a group photo. But we needed to take more than one group photo because our group was so big. More than 45 people showed up for our April Birdsong Trail hike. It was a record turnout for our Climbing For Christ-Heritage Christian Services hiking series, which dates back to 2008.   Part of the group heading out. After praying and posing for the photo we ventured out on the trails. The birds were not as hungry due to the warmer weather, but we enjoyed the sights of the chipmunks an... Read more »

Western New York hiking event

Heritage hike series kicks off on snowshoes By Diane Sturmer Snowshoeing party. Eighteen of us from Heritage Christian Services and Climbing For Christ ventured out on the trails on Saturday, Feb. 15. The snow was perfect and the weather was cold, but not too cold. We picked out snowshoes and prepared for the trails. Each one of us was given by a cloth bag full of bird seed. Janet V. from the Adirondacks had made one for each of us filled to the brim with chickadee food. The cloth used for each bag had an Adirondack theme, flowers or wolves. The day began with a circle of prayer outside t... Read more »

Hiking Heritage continues

The Western New York Chapter of C4C is partnering with Heritage Christian Services for the sixth straight year for a series of hikes with our friends who have some developmental disabilities. The events: Feb. 15 – Snowshoe adventure, 10 a.m.-noon at Mendon Ponds Park. April 19 – C4C 10th anniversary hike at Mendon Ponds. June 7 – National Trails Day hike at Northampton Park. Oct. 14 – Bear Mountain adventure in Adirondack Park. Contact C4C member and Heritage staffer Diane Sturmer for more information. Read more »

Western NY Chapter: 5 years of Heritage hikes

Group photo at trailhead of Rocky Mountain. A mountaintop of love By Diane Sturmer “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people!” – Philemon 1:7 (NIV) Our time on Rocky Mountain in New York's Adirondacks on Tuesday, Oct. 15, brought much joy and encouragement to each of the 19 hikers. Individuals from Heritage Christian Services were so excited to make the summit. “I can't wait to tell everyone that I made it to the top of the mountain,” Kathleen said. She prayed earlie... Read more »
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