Penn Yan United Methodist Church
In February the community of churches in Penn Yan were challenged by Rev. Sandi Perl of The Living Well to support the employees at Yates County Public Health who have been working tirelessly on our behalf for the past 11 months. The United Methodist Women of our church volunteered for the week of Feb. 23. We baked bread and wrote notes in celebration of the challenge. We have sent our thanks to the 15 employees with notes of appreciation and brightly wrapped loaves of banana bread. This ministry is simple and provides something good to eat at one's desk on a snow-filled day with coffee and fellow workers. We are blessed to have these dedicated workers at the Public Health Department.
Our church currently offers two worship services every Sunday online: Sunday Break Contemporary worship at 9 a.m., and Traditional Worship at 11 a.m. These can be found by going to our Facebook page, our website (www.PennYanUMC.com), or searching the church’s name on YouTube. Our 9 a.m. Sunday Break service is also meeting every Sunday morning in the fellowship hall. We wear masks and practice social distancing as we fellowship together. On Easter Sunday, April 4, our Traditional Worship Service @ 11 AM will mark the opening of that service in person once again. We have been and will continue to broadcast online, but we look forward to gathering with social distancing for a celebration of Jesus' resurrection! We welcome all who wish to celebrate with us.
And did you know there is a special place for kids every Sunday morning at our church? We meet every week at 10 a.m. via Zoom for Bible stories, music, and fun activities. Judy Hillyard is our teacher and during Lent she is helping the kids prepare a special Easter song with sign language that will be recorded and shared on Easter Sunday. All kids grades Kindergarten through 5th are welcome! You can find the link on our website (www.PennYanUMC.com) and our church Facebook page.
Penn Yan First Presbyterian
The third Sunday of Lent centers on the Ten Commandments, in essence telling us how we should revere God’s steadfast love for us and in turn how we should treat others. The March Presbytery meeting will focus on a related theme, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” borrowed from Fred Rogers’ television program, "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood." Did you know that Mr. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister when he began his television career? Mr. Rogers is actually honored by the Presbyterian Church (USA), each year on his birthday, March 20, with special programs created for “Mr. Rogers’ Day.”
Back in 1963, Fred Rogers had some groundbreaking ideas about children’s television programming. He incorporated real life lessons into each episode to provide teachable moments, in addition to the usual fare of make-believe, crafts and music. He has often said that, “he ministered to children and families through television.” One of the two biggest changes he made in the programming of 1960’s era kids TV was to take on the topic of certain feelings which other shows had purposely avoided such as; loss, sadness, disappointment and anger. He was also first to tackle subjects like death, divorce, diversity and war, at a level designed for children to comprehend. He tried to teach children that there were effective ways to deal with bad feelings which would not only make them stronger but help them see the good things in their lives. Mr. Rogers dealt openly with diversity, not only in terms of ethnicity and race but also talking about people with developmental disabilities. His lessons explained why cultural and ethnic differences should be understood and celebrated and why kids with developmental challenges “just wanted to be included and accepted as they are.”
Mr. Rogers focused on children learning about the people in their neighborhood and ways for them to be a “helper.” One of his most well-known sayings came from his mother who used it throughout his childhood. She had used it to calm him when he was dealing with scary things, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Mr. Rogers’ teachings emphasized practicing tolerance, acceptance, patience, kindness, and loving oneself, as well as others. Not bad lessons to teach children or remind ourselves of during this Lenten season. If we start simply by being a good neighbor, eventually we will find we have more in common than we realize. This leads to working together and shared responsibility for our community. “There is strength in helping,” he said and “helpers” were always Mr. Rogers’ heroes.
Dresden United Methodist
The Dresden United Methodist Church service March 7 was opened with a prelude by organist, Sheryl Parkhurst. Pastor Marilyn Wood asked us how we were and we responded "blessed.” Toby Bond read a Call to Worship, "God of All Ages". She read the scripture from John 2:13-22, "Jesus cleared the temple courts".
Sheryl played a lovely medley of songs: "More Love to Thee, O Christ", "More About Jesus Would I know", "O To Be Like Thee", "Fill My Cup Lord", "Blest Be the Tie That Binds", "Let Us Break Bread Together", "A Hymn of Joy, We Sing", "Here, O My Lord, I See", "Thee Face to Face", "O Breath of Life", "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing", "Anywhere With Jesus", and "Heaven Came Down."
Pastor Marilyn said that spring is closer and it's nice to see the snow melting. We turn our clocks ahead next week. It's the time of year when God puts a spring in your step. One of our members said she had a "wow moment" where the sunlight was hitting the church window and was reflecting through a prism that was in her house showing beautiful colors on her wall.
Pastor Marilyn opened her sermon by asking people about what they knew about pressure cookers. Someone mentioned that they could explode. She said that Jesus exploded when he saw the moneychangers in God's temple. She said that our lives can get to be too much for us. We say, "okay, enough", our valve goes off and we explode. We should look to God for relief from pressure. Jesus is our ultimate pressure reliever. We can say, "Jesus, help me" and He can help us to cast out the things that He doesn't want in our life. We can do that with God's strength. Each day is a new day. We can be filled with the Holy Spirit and Christ's love. It is in each and every one of us.
We celebrated Communion with prepackaged wafer and juice cups which we have in the pews. Benediction: "Go from this place with Christ walking along side, lifting our burdens if you let Him. He tells you it's okay".
Bluff Point Methodist
We are in the middle of Lent, approaching Easter and the Resurrection! It is a time of reflection and study.
The sermon this past week was based on the scripture from John 2: 13-16. Jesus was in the temple and found people selling goods, cattle, sheep and doves. Jesus became angry and told the vendors to stop making his father’s house a marketplace. Pastor Sandi told us that selling goods and exchanging currency in the temple was a common place event, and Jesus’s anger was not because of the animals or money changers per se, but because it was done during what would have been a holy and sacred time of worship.
What distractions do we have in our life? Some may be worry, pain, disruption, gossip and commotion. We are distracted by phone calls, anxiety, television, the internet and our computers. These things can all take us away from worship and focus on Jesus. Instead we should focus our energy into our relationship with God, and clear away some of the clutter in our lives.
Pastor Sandi reminded us to look at our current calls to action. The Well still needs cookies and goodies for its lunch programs. We also are in the midst of filling our reverse Lenten calendar with needs and food for The Living Well. Supplies of COVID-19 vaccine are now getting more prevalent within Yates County. It is hopeful people will accept and find an appointment for vaccine if they choose to be vaccinated. It appears restrictions may in time be more favorable for people fully vaccinated, and in turn people will find more safety and comfort in coming back to church to worship.
Penn Yan First Baptist
The Adult Sunday School class continues to meet studying the "Words of Jesus." They gather at the conclusion of the worship service. Thanks to the generosity of our congregation the Board of Missions has been able to make contributions to United Mission Basics, Keuka Food Pantry, Yates Christmas Program, Rushville Health Center, the Living Well and more.
Our church continues to support Special Interest Missionaries, Peter and Sarah McCurdy and their family. They recently made the transition from serving in Costa Rica to Mexico. Please join us in keeping them lifted in prayer. And, donations continue to come in for the Living Well's Lenten Calendar for their Needs 'n Things. The America for Christ offering was received on March 14 with a goal of $600. Check back here next week to see where we are in reaching that goal!
Branchport Methodist Church
What a joy to be able to worship in person in the sanctuary again! We are still practicing social distancing and wearing masks, but it so good to be physically there. We will continue with our Zoom connection also for those who are unable to get to the church.
At our Administrative Council meeting we very sadly decided to cancel our Red, White and Blue 5k again this year due to the uncertainty of the Covid situation. We are hopeful that the pandemic will be over by then, but the planning for the race needs to begin now and it is still uncertain what the future holds. But be watching for other events that are in the works for this summer!
This Lenten season seems to be flying by. Easter is fast approaching. Sunday, April 4 at 10:45 a.m. we will be having our Easter morning service outdoors this year to accommodate more people. So, just like our Christmas Eve service, bring your lawn chairs and masks and we will celebrate with music and scripture. A few prayers for beautiful weather would be appreciated!
Milo Center Methodist
It was wonderful to be together in our beautiful church building again. We had many people joining in person and some on Zoom. So great to have everyone. Hope to see you digitally or in person soon. Reach out to Pastor Kim at 595-857-7962 for details.
Our thoughts of those needing prayers of healing and peace are with so many. Our faithful disciples are lifting you up! Be strong.
The Milo Center youth are creating thank you shamrocks for the workers at our local Public Health Agencies. So grateful for the caring people in our community.
Our church will be providing lunch for The Living Well on Monday, March 22. Can you help?
Pastor Kim used our Lent seed project as a comparison to our own lives this week. A very thoughtful analogy. We are the vessel in which our faith seeds are planted. A person of grace is a true vessel of the Lord -- a teacher of God.
How is your Lent project growing? Are your seeds sprouting and filling their vessel? Words of a hymn reminding us "....You sowed your word of love here so many years ago. Your message found a welcome; your words began to grow. The seed took root and flourished; we hear and follow. too" We thank God for the blessings of a vessel to carry our faith seeds in. We will Forget You Not.
St. Mark’s Episcopal
Holy Week is our remembrance of Jesus’s last week among us as a mortal man and His journey through the week, His arrest, His crucifixion on Good Friday, and finally His glorious Resurrection on Easter Day as the Christ who is with us all today. St. Mark’s celebrates Palm Sunday on Sunday and reserves the Passion until we have traveled through the week beyond, the money changers, and the rest of the week until Good Friday and Jesus’s Crucifixion.
Blessedly, St. Mark’s will be returning to in person worship in the beautiful sanctuary on Palm Sunday, March 28, including a Procession with Palms, for a Service of Morning Prayer, with all the restrictions in place, i.e., physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and no singing. On Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m., there will be a Prayer and Foot Washing service, with the same restrictions in place. On Good Friday the liturgy at noon, will be that which is always used on Good Friday with the Passion Gospel, and all are welcome, with all the same protocols in place.
The Resurrection of the Living Christ will be the first Eucharist to be celebrated in many months on Easter Sunday, April 4. The times of the Sunday services are not available yet so if you are interested in attending either the Palm or Easter Sunday service, please call the office, 315-536-3955, or watch for our sign in front of the church. May you have a Blessed Easter!