CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express

St. Mark’s Episcopal

William Shakespeare said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.”

The Very Reverend Dan Burner of St. Mark's Episcopal Church has retired to Arizona, and the congregation wished him well at his final service.

At St Mark’s, we are in a period of transition. Dan Burner, our rector since June 1, 2015, has retired to Arizona. We were blessed to have had his energy and guidance.   Certainly his last year with us, navigating 2020 with all of its challenges, was not something anyone could have prepared for, and yet he continued to be part of our lives with weekly Compline and live streaming services, which will continue in his absence.   

So we stand together, without a rector. How does a spiritual community find guidance?  The wisdom of Shakespeare leads us. We ride the tide. We seek the floods of fortune.   We find fortune in one another and we become closer to one another, bolstering those who are feeling weak, and accepting vulnerability in ourselves when we need to be bolstered. We have such an incredible community that we are indeed the full sea. Our ventures may look different in the future, but they shall not be lost. We stand united, accepting the currents of change. We have one another and we have faith. Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” We are always in the company of God.  

We wish Dan well in his journey and future endeavors. 


Bluff Point United Methodist

We celebrated Memorial Day at BPUMC.  There are debts we can not repay to those lost defending the ideals of our country.  We also feel for family members of those lost in serving our country.

Happy Memorial Day from several from the Bluff Point Methodist congregation, as we remember the somber meaning of the day, and kick off the summer season.

Our scripture lesson was from John 3:  1-17. The Pharisees came to Jesus in the night. Pastor Sandi posed the question to us. Is it easier to go to Jesus in the day, or in the night? What makes us hesitate to go to Jesus?  Are we more vulnerable at one time of day versus the other? When you go to Jesus during the night is it more secretive?  Is it easier because you go to Jesus as you pray before you go to bed? Do you go to Jesus to confess, or do you hide from Jesus at night? Is there a time when you are more open to hearing or praying? We all know whenever it is that we go to Jesus that we will get an answer. 

This passage also talks about Jesus telling his followers that they need to be born again, of the water and spirit to go to the kingdom of God. 

A final thought from this passage is God talking to us about giving his son. 

June will bring more drive-through opportunities for us to share food and fellowship. Unlike last summer, we may either drive through or park and socialize with our church friends while enjoying a bite to eat! Summer is on the way!

St. Michael’s Catholic

Although we are now in a period called Ordinary Time (when we count the Sundays until the next liturgical season), things are anything but ordinary! 

We continue to encourage all people to stand for life by going to https://www.notaxpayerabortion.com. Make your voice heard on other issues like composting human remains, assisted suicide, recreational marijuana, and surrogate motherhood by going to https://www.nyscatholic.org .  

We are preparing to wish our parochial vicar, Fr. Jorge Ramirez well as he begins his new assignment serving the Ithaca suburb communities. More details forthcoming. His last Mass with us will be the 5 p.m. June 19.   

With all the sacramental responsibilities falling on Pastor Fr. Leo, we are also preparing to make changes to the weekend, daily Mass and Reconciliation schedules. Changes are not yet finalized, so please check our social media (www.OurLadyoftheLakesCC.org or https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofthelakescc ) or call 315-536-7459 to learn of them.  As soon as we have them, we will publish them here, too. 

And you are invited to continue to learn with us! Call Patty at the above number by June 28 to register for our summer book study of Behold Your Mother by Tim Staples. It focuses on the special place Catholics hold in our hearts for the Mother of God.   

What do you know about God, the Saints, and prayer? Families enrolled in faith formation delve deeper into those topics each year. It’s time to re-enroll/enroll.  Families, especially those with children, need to do this in order to be ready for sacramental preparation. The program we offer has components for toddlers up through high school.  Again, contact Patty. 

We are glad to be a part of the PY Ecumenical VBS set for June 28 through July 2 at the Baptist Church. This year’s theme is “Rocky Railway, Jesus Pulls Us Through.” Get an idea of the fun by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/nCeYDu4OPiU  Teen and adult helpers are also needed. 

Penn Yan First Presbyterian

June ushers in the Summer Solstice and that change in season brings with it many traditional celebrations. This year, most certainly we are all looking for reasons to celebrate life and the return to our ability to gather in-person to share in these joys with loved ones. FPC is happy to acknowledge several important occasions within our church family that have occurred recently or are coming up soon.

Babies and weddings are always a reason for celebration. Alyssa and Brett welcomed a sweet baby girl into their family and Liliane and Bill were united in marriage. FPC was also proud to welcome three new members into the church this month upon completion of their confirmation classes. Sierra, Elle, and Kaden were confirmed at the church on June 6.

June 12, the Sunday school children will be making a special craft to honor their Dad’s on Father’s Day. We extend Happy Fathers Day wishes to all Dads on June 20, which coincidentally signals the official start of summer. Look for a lot of outdoor BBQ’s and picnics that day!

June 25, Penn Yan Academy will hold their graduation and FPC congratulates Will, our only H. S. senior this year.  He’ll also be recognized at a special Honors Ceremony on June 20. This fall Will heads off to Clarkson University. It’s always good to have someone with engineering skills as a member in a church.

These additions to FPC’s church family and the accomplishments of our youth bring a renewed vitality as we start to navigate a “new normal.” As Christians we remain secure in the knowledge, that no matter the circumstances, life moves forward and there will always be reasons for celebration. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”


Branchport Methodist Church

It may have felt more like fall on the 29th, but at least it wasn’t raining for our annual Memorial Day Weekend Chicken BBQ!  Thank you to all the people who helped make it a success by baking cookies, making baked beans, mixing coleslaw and donating rolls, setting up, serving, and cleaning up at the end.  Special thanks to Jim Bedient and his crew of cooks who made the chicken so delicious.  This was truly a community effort and it would not have been so successful without all the help.  While a drive-through event is not our usual way of doing things, it worked out well.  We will be back on Sept. 4 for another barbecue!

The crew at Branchport Methodist Church working hard at their chicken barbecue May 29.

We continue to worship in the sanctuary and through Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10:45.  All are welcome!


Penn Yan First Baptist

June 6, First Baptist welcomed two new members by baptism, Mrs. Connie Kerrick and Miss Olivia Clinton. Both of these women have been involved in the life and happenings of First Baptist and we are thrilled to have them with us. 

The chicken barbecue that we sponsored back in May was a tremendous success, thanks to our workers and the community. 

For the past few months we have incorporated a "Spiritual Moment" at the beginning of our worship service. These brief messages, brought to you by various members of the congregation, are sometimes unrehearsed and spoken from the heart or they are researched pieces of topic. We love the feedback received and are very glad that this enhances your worship time. 

Our Board of Missions reports that our congregation at First Baptist has been very generous in contributions to our Mission Outreach in 2021. Both those that serve abroad and our special local needs. Thank you! 

Please join us for our worship service. We gather at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to our church family. 


Dresden Methodist 

Church service on May 30 was begun by a prelude by organist, Sheryl Parkhurst, and Toby Bond led us in a Call to Worship:

Leader: Let us give thanks to God for the land of our birth with all its chartered liberties. For all the wonders of our country's story.

People: We give you thanks, O God.

Leader: For leaders in nation and state, and for those who in days past and in these present times have labored for the commonwealth.

People: We give you thanks, O God.

Leader: For those who in all times and places have been true and brave, and in the world's common ways have lived upright lives and ministered to their fellows.

People: We give you thanks, O God.

Leader: For those who served their country in its hour of need, and especially for those who gave even their lives in that service.

People: We give you thanks, O God.

Leader: O, almighty God and most merciful Father, as we remember these your servants, remembering with gratitude their courage and strength. We hold before you those, who mourn them. Look upon your bereaved servants with your mercy. As this day brings them memories of those they have lost awhile, may it also bring your consolation and the assurance that their loved ones are alive now and forever in your living presence.

Toby read the Scripture Matthew 9:16-26, and musical selections were played by Sheryl: God of Our Fathers; The Red, White and Blue; My Country, Tis of Thee; God Bless Our Native Land; The Caissons Go Rolling Along; American Patrol; The Marines Hymn; Anchors Away; America, Our Heritage; This Is My Country; You're a Grand Old Flag; and God Bless America. 

Pastor Marilyn Wood's message: “There are two kinds of touch: Physical and Spiritual. Physical touch can help people. Hugs can comfort you when words seem useless. They can reassure you that someone cares. A study in Canada found that human touch is important for babies. If you see someone disheveled come through the church doors, would you be afraid?  Would you slide over in the pew to get away? It's important to be friendly with everyone.

“Spiritual touch can help people. The woman in today's scripture knew the power of just touching Jesus' garment would make her well. Jesus told her that her faith has made her well. People receive spiritual healing in many ways. There is a story about a lady who was an organist in a church who had a stroke. She had great faith.  After the stroke she had hip surgery, but she was determined to come back and play the organ. After all that, her great faith brought her back to be able to play.

“Our faith has touched us in ways we don't even know. We can't deny that we have been touched spiritually when we see in hindsight what has been done to help us.”

Benediction: “Go from this place in peace. It can begin with us through God and by God for all.”