Special to The Chronicle-Express

Bluff Point Methodist

Pastor Sandi has told us that Easter Sunrise Service will be at 7 a.m. at Indian Pines Park; we will have our usual 9 a.m. Easter service on Zoom, and hopefully in-church as well, if things go well.

Our lesson this past week was based on John 3:14-21. God gave us his son and eternal life if we believe. The world has been saved through him.

Pastor Sandi’s sermon was about looking at the light. We look at darkness in terms of the light. Every source of light is from God. Some people love the dark, as astronomers. We could not see the meteors or the stars if it were not for the dark. Our discovery and early photography were as a result of work in darkrooms. Some jobs depend on night and darkness. We all have stories involving light and darkness. Without darkness the light is not as bright. 

The kids will be having their own church at 4 p.m. Saturday. Contact Pastor Sandi for details if your child wishes to participate. 

Remember our communication center is open for Easter wishes. Only another week and a few days until Easter! 

St. Mark's Episcopal

The Episcopal Church honors the exemplary lives of some individuals by commemorating them as saints. Some are Episcopalians but there are many saints from other Christian faiths. One saint we share with Roman Catholics is Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador.

Born into a poor family in 1917, Romero started studying at a seminary but had to stop to earn money for his family by working as a gold miner. He managed to start seminary again, was sent to Rome to study theology and was ordained as a priest there. He returned to El Salvador and began his lifelong dedication to helping the poor, whose situation was made even more dire by the ongoing civil war in that country. He condemned the violence perpetrated by both the left and the right wings of the political spectrum – and was denounced by both the Roman Catholic Church and the national government. Archbishop Romero continued to speak out against the many violations of human rights perpetrated by the government. In 1980 he was shot during Mass while consecrating the Eucharist. The Roman Catholic Church canonized Romero as a saint in 2018; the Episcopal Church commemorates him on March 24, the date of his assassination.

Oscar Romero is remembered as a tireless champion of the poor and unserved. He insisted that “[t]hose who have a voice must speak for those who are voiceless.” He lived his life – and died - doing precisely that.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan stated their support for the blessing of same-sex unions and marriages.

Penn Yan First Presbyterian

In Upstate New York, with the changing of the clocks and the arrival of spring we can see the signs of brighter days and the greening of the land around us. People are glad the snow has melted, the water in Keuka Lake is free of ice and migrating birds are returning to the area to nest. If you look closely even the crocuses have begun poking their heads above ground. Rebirth is all around us.

Along with many other Christian faiths FPC is now looking forward to a different rebirth, the most important in Christianity, the resurrection of Christ. This coming week we observe Palm Sunday, which was given this name because Jesus entered Jerusalem on a path of cloaks and palm fronds. That was an ancient custom to show honor and reverence for people of great stature. The Bible proclaims Jesus triumphant arrival. It is also one of the few incidents in Jesus’ life that is so similarly documented in all four of the Gospels. In John 12:13, John spoke of the great crowd gathering, “so they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” The praise and celebration was short lived. Within days, the same people who had hailed Him a hero would turn on Him. However, this celebrated event makes it clear it held great significance in Jesus’ time but the retelling marks the importance of that day throughout history.

Jesus also foretold of his own fate in Jerusalem but the message he delivered and the reasons for his sacrifice were clear. We should remain humble. We do not conquer through fear and force but through love and mercy. If we practice patience, kindness, grace, forgiveness and love we will be at peace with God and ourselves. What a great message to bear in mind after a very long and isolating winter, as we begin to open up our doors and venture out again during this season of renewal. Our congregation is looking forward to these last Lenten Sunday’s and Easter, to share the joy of coming together in-person.

Branchport Methodist Church

This Lenten season we have been working on a project that has allowed us individual reflection and connection with our faith community.  Pastor Kim gave each family a kit to put together – dirt, seeds, mirrored hearts, a stone and a cross.  We each chose a vessel to put them in and we have been faithfully tending them and watching the seeds grow into sprouts. She also provided a prayer and a Bible reading for each week.  Thank you, Kim!

This week is Palm Sunday and we are again blessed to be able to worship in the sanctuary.  Join us at 10:45 Sunday morning.  If you wish to connect with us through Zoom, contact Pastor Kim.

Our Easter service will be outdoors so that we can accommodate more people with social distancing and we will be able to sing the beautiful Easter hymns! 

Milo Center Methodist

Many of you have asked when the famous MCUMC chicken barbecue will be held. A date in warmer weather is being planned. More details to come soon. We appreciate the support! 

Pastor Kim continued through our Lent discussion. She asked us to consider what image of ourselves we saw in the mirror. Self reflection. God sees us as His wonderful and beautiful creation. He sees us as one that can be redeemed, restored and renewed in His love. By looking in God's mirror we can better live out a life of loving God, loving ourselves and loving others. A mirror does reflect facts to us, however, our interpretation of those facts is in our own hands. Look at the metaphoric mirror that is your life, how do you give, pray or care for others  yourself? 

Prayers of sympathy and peace to the Shawn Meeks family upon his passing. Continued love and strength to Laurie Koek, Dana Gibson, Lisa Gibson, Dale Welker, and Tammy James. We ask for God's hand on them and their caregivers. 

Our special offering this month is for UMCOR as those disciples offer help to the areas in our nation struck by storms. Our local mission continues as we provide lunches to The Living Well this month. Thank you to those that are helping. 

St. Michael’s Catholic

We are more than half way through Lent, that period of self-denial that helps us prepare for the glory of Easter. How are you doing with your prayer life? Scripture study? Fasting? Almsgiving? 

For those who have been participating in Operation Rice Bowl, the outreach of the Catholic Relief Service, our sacrificial monetary offerings will benefit the people of Madagascar, El Salvador and Timor-Leste. We have learned about life in those countries and even prepared some simple meals representative of those countries. Log into your WeShare account to make a donation, or bring your “banks” and place them in the collection receptacles at Mass on Palm Sunday, March 28. 

Our next "Sunday = Funday" will be Palm Sunday afternoon, 1-4 p.m. This meet will have a missionary experience. We will meet in the parking lot of the church for a short procession with blessed palms. Then we will go in a caravan to the homes of those still isolating due to COVID-19 to deliver palms and the bulletin. We will return to the playground of St. Mike’s school for outdoor fun and tailgating.  

Penn Yan United Methodist

Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main St., is making preparations for Holy Week and Easter. On Palm Sunday, March 28, our 9 a.m. “Sunday Break” Contemporary Service will be both in-person (with face masks and social distancing) and on-line. The 11 a.m. Traditional service will be on-line only.

We will celebrate Maundy Thursday with music, prayer, communion, and drama at a 7 p.m. service both in-person and online.

On Easter Sunday, there will be three opportunities to come together to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection, and new life for all: Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. at Indian Pines Park, Contemporary “Sunday Break” Service at 9 a.m. in-person and on-line, and Traditional Service at 11 a.m. in-person and online. We will celebrate communion, and at the Traditional service there will be a baptism as well – along with lots of good music at all three services.

You can connect with our on-line worship on Face Book, or by searching for church name on You Tube and Boxcast. Links can be found at All are invited to attend or view on-line.

The Penn Yan United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Main and Chapel streets.

Dresden Methodist

The service March 14 was opened with a prelude by organist, Sheryl Parkhurst. Toby Bond read the scripture, John 3:14-21, then sang a lovely hymn set to the tune of Londonderry Air. Musical selections were beautifully played by Sheryl:  He Looked Beyond My Faults, We're Marching to Zion, Glory to His Name, All is Well, Easter People, Raise Your Voices, Close to Thee, At the Cross, Prayer For Families, Someday, I Will Trust in the Lord, When We All Get to Heaven, It's Real, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, and Nothing Between.

Pastor Marilyn Wood started her sermon saying, “As we walk in the sunshine today, know that God shines through us and around us.” We start out as a baby crawling, then we learn to walk. Our Christian walk is like that.  We may have learned about Jesus when we were young and as we grow older, we mature in our faith. Our faith grows and we become stronger. When we have concerns and trials, we know that God loves us. We are uplifted when we believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, we will not perish.  Our sins are gone. It gives us joy. We have hope and it keeps us going. Even on rough days, we know that Jesus is there for us whatever we go through. As Methodists, our cross is empty because we know that Christ is no longer on the cross. He walks with us. Even when we think He is not with us, He is. 

Benediction: Go from this place with joy in your step, knowing that God loves you.

Penn Yan First Baptist

The America for Christ offering was received March 14 and we are just a dollar shy of our $600 goal. Thank you! This month we are collecting tuna either canned or in a pouch for the Backpack Program. Looking ahead to April we hope to collect fruit cups for Backpacks. Our young people's Sunday School class is learning more about Jonah and others from the Old Testament. The adult class has been studying "The Words of Jesus."