CHURCH BRIEFS

The Chronicle Express

St. Mark’s Episcopal

There could not be a more suitable day to return to receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist than Easter Sunday. On Easter, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was as full as it had been for over a year – and perhaps longer. We all wore our masks and we all managed to social distance, but we were all together!  

The church was filled with people dressed in beautiful spring colors of yellow and pinks and light greens. The abundance of Easter Lilies had their stamens individually and lovingly removed by members of the altar guild so that they did not overwhelm us with scent.   The organ was beautifully played by Carrie Ahearn, both to the glory of God, and also to her son, who was in attendance for the first time in many years. The sounds of children’s giggles inspired smiles from many “mature” children of God.  Ed Schultz, the Warden, welcomed us to the first Eucharist offered at St. Marks since November.   

We were reminded throughout the church service about the consistency of change. We read from the Gospel of Mark. We were told that this particular reading has three possible endings. What? I always thought that the Bible was, well, the Bible. Nothing changes in the Bible!  But the Gospel we read ended with Mary and the other women leaving the tomb and saying nothing because they were afraid. That’s so different from the usual Gospel of John which ends with Mary telling the Disciples with great joy that she had seen her Lord. We were also reminded that, in spite of change, so many things remain the same. Charlotte Ridley, a longstanding member of the church, fittingly, was the reader. The prayers remained the same. The renewal of our baptismal vows remained the same. We were together celebrating Easter as has been done for literally thousands of years.   

When Ed Schultz spoke at the announcements, he reminded us to continue our good work of caring for one another in the community, whether in church or working with other organizations. Dan Burner, in his sermon, offered that we can and should actively participate in making a decision to live our lives every day, as a loving Christian. The closing prayer reminded us that we should unite with one another and proclaim God’s love to the world every day. Yet another lesson that never changes.  

It was so lovely to be back in the community of faith that makes St. Mark’s our spiritual home. We do hope you will join us. 

Penn Yan First Presbyterian 

Like the return of the migrating birds, it is a sure sign of the spring season when caterers fire-up their huge chicken barbeque grills in our vicinity. Many of these BBQ events assist a variety of groups in fundraising efforts, which enables them to sponsor community outreach. There is nothing like the smell of BBQ wafting throughout Penn Yan; it draws us in like a beacon. This year is especially exciting, as it signals some return to normal activities and traditions. Weekend visitors will begin to arrive, people will once again be out and about enjoying our area, and everyone will need to be fed eventually, right?

FPC is fortunate to have reserved one of the earliest BBQ dates with host, Gale-Wyn. Our church’s BBQ will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., or until it sells out. It will take place at Lyons National Bank, 205 Liberty St., in Penn Yan. As always, you will have the option of a full meal or you can purchase just chicken. The cost will be $10 per dinner, which includes a roll w/butter and choice of sides, or a chicken half alone for $7. This year FPC decided to work on keeping our environment a little cleaner too, with the use of eco-friendly containers. Please join us for our annual event, in turn helping FPC provide assistance to local programs still in need. Hebrews 10:24 - “And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” An additional bonus, it will save someone in your family from having to man the grill or cook for at least one Saturday this season!

One of this area’s other favorite attractions, The Windmill, also opens on April 24. So, stop by FPC’s BBQ tent at LNB on the way, or afterwards, and pick-up your takeout meals. We ask that people remember to wear their masks and do encourage people to come early as we usually sell out. Perhaps you’ll choose to enjoy the meals later at a lakeside picnic area or local park, socially distanced of course.

Without the benefit of these types of fundraisers, 2020 proved to be a very difficult year for many smaller organizations when it came to financial stability. Such events are a vital part of what allows our churches and non-profit agencies to lend a hand with community services. People have choices in the diverse groups who hold these BBQs each year.  Many of these great organizations do important and positive work within our community, so by supporting them, they can return to their missions. Take a moment to consider which causes your “good deeds” could help to sponsor. We collectively thank you and appreciate your generosity.


Bluff Point Methodist

It was great for many of us to be able to worship in person on Easter Sunday when others stayed on the Zoom platform to join worship. With many more of us getting vaccinated, more are feeling comfortable with in-church worship. What a joy to be able to celebrate the day of resurrection with our church friends whom we have not seen in such a long time!

We had special music on this Easter day, and readings by Noah and Anna Detar, reminding us of the sadness of the week, of Jesus’s last week on earth. Jesus knew at the time that he would be betrayed and his fate would be to leave us. The absolute grief during the week ended with finding the empty tomb, and that Jesus had risen to save us.

These readings showed us not only what happened, but the reactions of those closest to Jesus. Even in the darkest of days we have been given such hope!

Children’s church continues on Saturday afternoons 4-6 pm. If you can help with any function, including teaching, crafts or meals, please let Pastor Sandi know. The children are enjoying their special time to learn about our Lord. If you have a child, young friend or grandchild, they are welcome to attend.

Please remember to register ahead with Babs for in-person church if you plan to attend a service in the sanctuary. In-person church remains limited, and is only on the first and third Sundays of the month for now, with all services still weekly on Zoom. If you can’t participate at 9 on Sunday morning, you can see the service at a later date or time by clicking the link on the church’s website. Services are all being recorded.

This Easter, Bluff Point Methodist celebrated both Zoom and in-person worship.  Here, Marguerite and Ron Miller show some of the lovely spring flowers they used to decorate the altar on this sunny Easter Day!


Penn Yan Methodist 

As the sun came up over Keuka Lake on Easter morning, we gathered at Indian Pines Park to welcome the joy of the resurrected Jesus Christ. Those gathered included people from several church communities, all warmly dressed against the sunny chill of the morning. Light came. Mary came. The disciples came. We came as we remembered the miracle of joy and perfection of the resurrection. We had come from the darkness of the night, from the darkness of our soul's night. We found peace there with others who had gathered. Led by Pastors Kristen Allen, Kim Lyons, and Deb Roher, and with music by Phyllis Baily, Phil Mann and Jim Russell, we drew together in the early dawn. Our voices joined in song and praise as we greeted the day, and the joyful remembrance of Jesus' resurrection.

The 9 a.m. “Sunday Break” Contemporary Service and the 11 a.m. Traditional Service both were adorned with pots of fresh flowers. The lovely Easter flowers decorating our worship centers are given in the memory of and in honor of our loved ones. Included on the altar were several blooming amaryllis tenderly cared for all winter by Jan Lounsberry. As you pass by the church, you will find them in the windows on the Chapel Street side of the church. Jan has been growing these lovely plants for 25 to 30 years after Grace Parsons brought one in for the sanctuary and gave her three bulbs that blossom every year. She has about 40 pots and there are 17 different colors. Jan has been gracing our altar with beauty for 15 years since her retirement from teaching in Naples.

At both Sunday Services we heard the Scripture from John 20: 1-18. Pastor Kristen spoke of how personal that scripture shows that Jesus is. As he addressed Mary Magdalene, he called her by name - she who had been healed from so much. He appeared to her and spoke the word “Mary” and told her to go tell his disciples of his living presence. As the scripture tells us, Jesus gets personal. We are all known to God through Jesus. We are all loved and cared for and given direction as individuals and as a church. We are to then go and tell those around us of the reality of God's living presence within us and among us all. As we enter the Easter season, let us enter with joy, with praise, and with grateful hearts. Come join us for worship. We meet every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. (both online and in person) and we welcome you. You can find us online at www.PennYanUMC.com or on our Facebook page.

Among the Easter flowers at Penn Yan Methodist was this impressive amaryllis, tenderly cared for all winter by Jan Lounsberry.


St. Michael’s Catholic

Christ is risen; he is risen indeed!  Being an Easter people means being in awe of God’s love for humankind and, as the Body of Christ, sharing that love with others. To that end parishioners are being called upon to make this world a better place by participating in events that benefit our residents. 

Will your family need high quality childcare this summer? Organizations across the Finger Lakes region want to know. If you’re a parent or guardian with kids 0-12, give your thoughts at www.healthikids.org/events/childcarefocusgroups.

In addition to this being a year dedicated to St. Joseph, it is also a Year of the Family.  Links are on our website to learn more about both. St. Joseph was a protector. Will we be protectors, knowing that April is Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness month?   (Contact Safe Harbors to learn more.) Or consider becoming a Creating A Safe Environment (CASE) trained volunteer. We love our volunteers!  

With Earth Day coming April 22, will we stand to protect the air and water quality of Seneca Lake by learning what actions we can take at Seneca Lake Guardian?  Will we join the nonpartisan Citizens” Climate Lobby to get the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act passed?  Will we participate in the Catholic Climate Covenant’s “Restore Our Common Home?” The interactive program includes prayers, readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested “restoration” activities.   

Our next Sunday = Funday will be April 25, 1-4 p.m. at the boat launch off Keuka Street. Come for tailgating, clean up trail walk. It will be a great day for finding God in others and nature! 

Magnificat, a Catholic ministry to women, will have its quarterly meeting via Zoom on April 17, 10-11:30 a.m.  Preregistration is necessary at shorturl.at/elqzT. This quarter’s speaker is an abortion survivor, rescued orphan and now mother, nurse and pro-life advocate.  Her story will inspire!

Dresden Methodist

We had a beautiful Sunrise Easter Service April 4 on the late beloved Betty Smalley's porch.  

Our regular service began with a prelude by organist, Sheryl Parkhurst. Toby Bond led us in a Call to Worship: “On this Easter Sunday, allow your souls to be replenished. Take in the joy. Take in peace. Take in the togetherness. Take what you need. And wonder. Wonder and imagine, and reflect, and question, and listen. Listen deeply to the words and the songs. Listen deeply to the Holy Spirit. And hear the words that God has for you. We emerge from the long days of Lent; our journey through the wilderness. And we acknowledge that there is a darkness that seems to loom in this world. And we remember that nestled within the great mystery of the resurrection is a great light. Search for that light, that hope on this day. So, we come into this space, this sacred space, and we bring ourselves; our whole selves. We encourage you to give God a hand clap of praise, to sing, to jump around, to dance, to celebrate. And, as we celebrate the Risen Savior, we invite you to bring your full selves into worship because Christ is risen!”

The Scripture, John 20:1-18, was read by Toby. Beautiful music selections were played on the organ by Sheryl which included: Come, Ye Faithful Raise the Strain; Thine Is the Glory; O Sons and Daughters, Sing Your Praise; The Strife Is O'er; Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna!; Women, Weeping In the Garden; I Know that My Redeemer Liveth; He Lives; In The Garden; That Easter Day with Joy was Bright; and Now the Green Blade Rises.

Pastor Marilyn Wood's message: “Mary Magdalene was healed from the seven demons that she had. Because she was forgiven by Jesus, she knelt at Jesus feet and poured perfume on them. She was devoted to Jesus and followed Him. She went to the tomb with myrrh. She didn't see Jesus in the tomb. She turned and saw Jesus, but didn't recognize Him at first. When He said her name, she recognized Him. She said, ‘Rabboni’ (teacher). He is everyone's teacher. He died because He cared for us. No matter what we do or how we have lived, there is forgiveness at the cross for each and every one of us.”   

Benediction: “What better way to go out into the world than to say ‘Christ Arose. Amen!’” 

Penn Yan Bible Church

The Penn Yan Bible Church will be hosting a conference on marriage entitled, “Lasting Love: Navigating the Seasons of Marriage” on April 23 and 24. The seminar will begin with a “Date Nite” Dinner on Friday evening at 6:30 and continue with three sessions on Saturday. The Saturday sessions begin with a light breakfast at 10 a.m. and continue till 5 p.m. A lunch will be provided.

The seminar is designed for all married couples and those couples considering marriage. Pastor Leo Galletta stated that, “the primary purpose for the conference is to help couples in all stages of their marriage, from the newlywed to the empty nesters and those retired. Each stage has its unique challenges. It will be an enjoyable time of relationship ‘refreshment’ with helpful insight and instruction for dealing with the common issues couples face.”

The sessions will be led by Pastor John Baker of the Gwinnett Community Church of Lawrenceville, Georgia whose ministry experience extends over 40 years. He will be assisted by his wife Tracy. The Bakers have been married 44 years. Financial Advisor Susan Priem will lead a session on finances.

The seminar is open to the public. A $20 donation for each couple is requested but not required. Seating is limited. Advance registration is required and can be done by phone 315-536-4523, by e-mail pybc@pybc.us or on the church web site at: www.pybc.us. Some nursery service will be available.

The marriage sessions at the Penn Yan Bible Church will be led by Pastor John Baker of the Gwinnett Community Church of Lawrenceville, Georgia whose ministry experience extends over 40 years. He will be assisted by his wife Tracy. The Bakers have been married 44 years.