Church Briefs

The Chronicle Express

Milo Center Methodist

We are beginning a focus on the gospel of Romans. Through our readings and Pastor Kim's message we are reminded that Paul, as a servant of Jesus, wasn't always a follower. He didn't believe that all who were righteous would live by faith. Paul became a believer when he was confronted by Jesus after the resurrection while on a journey jailing and persecuting Christians. It reminds us to think of when our "ah ha" moment was that we took Christ into our hearts and truly became a Christian. We all have a story, we choose how we live our own story. Just as Paul, our background shouldn't define us, it is never too late to recognize our "ah ha" moment.

Prayers continue to Dana and Lisa Gibson and their family, Laurie Koek, and Dr Jen. Congratulations to Evelyn Little for her winning design of the Penn Yan Elementary School T-shirt. Birthday celebrations to Mark Andersen, Kathie Spanganberg, Joanne Kennedy, Della Ludwig, Jill Henderson, and Morgan Andersen. Happy Anniversary to David and Charlene DeMarco. 

Our young disciples will be holding "Small Change May" as they are planning funding for their mission projects. Bring any change for the collections you can share.

Our chicken barbecue plans are in full swing. If you haven't signed up to donate or help please do so. Many hands (while still being Covid safe) make lighter work.

Penn Yan First Baptist

First Baptist is receiving the offering for Church World Service Blankets program. Our goal this year is $160. To supply one blanket is only $10. The Board of Christian Education will host a chicken barbecue Saturday, May 22 from 11 a.m. until sold out in the parking lot of Lyons National Bank on Liberty Street. It is $10 for a complete dinner and $8 for chicken only. We will also partner with PY United Methodist Church and St. Michael's Catholic Church and offer Vacation Bible School for pre-school children through 5th grade. VBS will take place June 28 thru July 2nd. Our worship services are held Sunday at 10 am. We welcome you and your family to join us.  

Branchport Methodist 

The church members and friends have been working hard to spruce up the church building this spring.  So far, they have replaced the carpeting on the ramp and have fixed the bell so that it will once again ring on Sunday mornings!  Also on the list of things to do this year are a repainting of the tower and other trim on the church and fellowship hall. Some repairing will have to be done first. We are also hoping to install a gazebo for our picnic table to provide an outdoor space for all to enjoy.

Church services continue to be held in person and via Zoom. It is such a joy to see so many friends from around the country tuning in through Zoom! We have begun a weekly Bible study of the book of Romans, held each Thursday evening at 7 p.m., also through Zoom. If you would like to join us, contact Pastor Kim at 585-857-7962 for the information.

Don’t forget to put the May 29 Chicken Barbecue on your calendar! Ten dollars will get you a meal of a half chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, a roll, and a cookie. We start serving at 4:30. Drive thru only this year due to restrictions, but we can’t wait to be able to invite you all into our fellowship hall.

St. Michael’s Catholic

The Archdiocese of New York has created an informative video about the impacts of the proposed Equality Act. Watch it here: Once you are informed, please write your federal representatives to advocate against the injustices the Act will have upon vulnerable youth, churches, schools, shelters and businesses. On the local level, our regional Justice, Peace & Life Coordinator, Laurie Konwinski, also asks us to advocate for pregnancy help centers, like Birthright. The bill before our State houses would enable the NYS Health Commissioner to subpoena pro-life centers and force them to produce an overwhelming volume of data and reports. The pre-determined outcome of the “study” is to find the centers “limited” because they do not provide abortion, which the Catholic faith opposes. Urge our lawmakers to oppose this unnecessary and dangerous bill. Take action here:

This weekend we celebrate 50 years of initiatives that empower families, immigrants, new mothers, the elderly, and those in need have better lives. Please be generous during this annual collection. A special video message will be available. The Catholic Communications Campaign will also be celebrated. 

From May 16-24, we celebrate the great progress the whole Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. Thank you for doing all you can to be good stewards of all that God gives us. Programs for the college aged equip them to be advocates for environmental justice are available. Contact Patty for an application.

What if you had an opportunity to become part of a small group that gathered prayerfully to reflect on and share the Word of God? To make better connections between faith and life, and to live your faith more concretely in family, work, and community life? You can!  Many programs and webinars are available. Call Patty to get started. 

Penn Yan First Presbyterian

Over time, people and organizations evolve. It is just a natural progression as their needs and priorities shift. It occurs in personal lives, work places, and even in churches. The COVID pandemic has brought into sharp focus the necessity to alter methods and procedures required to accomplish what matters in our lives and institutions. Circumstances within many families have also changed considerably due to children converting to remote learning, lost jobs, illness, or the loss of loved ones. As we slowly resume activities, there is no doubt that the size and complexion of gatherings in most places will be different for the foreseeable future. Many volunteers who devoted time to all types of organizations are still leery about returning to in person activities. Fund raising efforts now require tighter organization and may need to be smaller when held in-person.

For these reasons, a few of FPC’s committees have chosen to join forces to offer more focused support for specific outreach programs, where the community has shown a greater need since Covid began. One such program is the Grab and Go Lunch offered by the Living Well Mission. Several churches and civic groups participate to provide the lunches that The Well normally served twice per week. The Well has recently expanded this service to three times per week. The Presbyterian Women (PW), who just held their first fundraiser in over a year, decided to help towards bridging this gap. PW in partnership with our Deacons are increasing their support to the lunch program. FPC will now provide more meals, on a twice-monthly basis. With children out of school much of this past year, people out of work, and shorter hours at food banks the need for these meals has grown dramatically. As summer approaches, school lunch programs will again be unavailable. The Living Well has helped fill this void for families.

As the priorities of our community continue to shift, FPC will strive to be flexible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 guides us: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Bluff Point Methodist

Bluff Point Methodist’s Bruce Westerdahl has a new look during these Covid times.

Bluff Point United Methodist Church has reopened on Sunday.  We still need to make a reservation with Babs for each Sunday and follow Covid guidelines.

Thanks to Peggy, our lay leader, for an excellent look at David, and some of his meaning behind the 23rd Psalm. Peggy took a long look at sheep and the shepherds that guide them in her recent sermon. 

Peggy Beckwith looked at verses 1-4 of the 23rd Psalm, perhaps the most quoted and well known of the psalms. David had been a shepherd, so he knew a lot about sheep. Sheep are not smart animals. If one sheep jumps off a cliff, the others following him are likely to do the same. Like sheep, we need direction in our lives. If your friend jumps off a cliff will you also do the same? Like sheep, we also need direction and guidance. Our behaviors need protection from our shepherd, and that shepherd is Jesus. Thank you Peggy, for your thoughtful words and guidance from scriptures with a sermon we can relate to our everyday lives.

It soon will be time for our bi-annual road clean-up and sprucing up the church yards. Be thinking of how you can help, when it is safe to plant annuals to beautify our sanctuary grounds.

Penn Yan United Methodist

This “prayer tree” is coming alive as people add their prayers each week during Penn Yan United Methodist Church’s series on Living Prayer.

Pastor Kristen Allen is leading us into the exploration of LIVING PRAYER this spring. Her message for mid-April begins with this simple story:

“I heard a story about a pastor with a kitten stuck up a tree. He tried everything he could think of to get it to come down, but no luck. Finally, he ties rope to the tree and attaches it to his car and slowly pulls forward, watching the branch slowly being pulled lower. Just as the branch is almost low enough to reach the kitten, the rope snaps – and the kitten goes flying. Well, the pastor looks all over for the kitten, but can't find it and finally commits the kitten into God's hands. The next day at the grocery store he meets a woman from down the block (who hates cats) buying cat food. ‘What's that for??’ he asks. She answers, ‘My little girl has been begging me for a cat. I finally said, 'If God sends you a cat, you can keep it.' Pastor, I saw it with my own two eyes. My little girl went into the back yard, got down on her knees and prayed for a cat, and the next moment, this kitten comes flying through the air and lands at her feet. So now I'm buying cat food, because Pastor, I had to let her keep the cat. It came from God himself!’”

Immediately I had these questions ... Does God have a sense of humor? How about the little girl's prayer request? Was it a miracle or a random set of circumstances? How will God use me today for some unknown result in another's life? Don't you wish all prayer worked like that? The series on living prayer is inspiring us to come together to ask God to teach us to pray. The series comes as the world reels still from disease, family distress, and loss of loved ones. Each week, Pastor Kristen challenges us, gives us an assignment, that strengthens our prayer life and gathers us as fragmented people in need of God's guidance and love.

Jesus stays connected to God through prayer as shown in scripture, as he often goes off by himself to pray. Prayer gives us wisdom for living in the middle of choices and options. We stay connected, open, to God by way of prayer, individually and as community.

Prayer gives us wisdom for living, and as we live, we come to follow Jesus, and live in joy and peace. We come together each Sunday morning at 9 a.m and 11 a.m. And we welcome you to join us in person, or online at www.PennYanUMC or on our Facebook page.