CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express
The Chronicle-Express

Bluff Point Methodist

The kids planted tomatoes and carrots in their new garden bed at Bluff Point Methodist Church.  Stay posted as to how things are growing!

Several of our youth have recently started Confirmation Classes, working with their mentors. Pastor Sandi is still in need of prayer partners to work with the kids during the time of their classes. It surely is good to see more people attending church in the sanctuary these days, and see smiling faces. The kids have changed so much in the past 18 months.

After our in-house and Zoom communion celebration we studied the scripture of 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24, reminding us to be joyful and to give thanks. For the next few months we will be studying Paul, and all of the stories concerning his life and travels. Paul showed much wisdom. During his early time, Paul was responsible for killing Christians. This all changed, and Paul became very much involved in the church. His letters and journals date back to the year 0046. Pastor Sandi showed us on the map some of Paul’s travels to Corinth, Thessalonia, Jerusalem and Rome. In the 0050’s, Paul planted and built churches. He built spiritual disciples, people who practice means of Grace.

In our own discipleship we grow in relationship to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Some of the ways we accomplish this are through prayer, painting, drawing, helping others, communion and even with solitude. Pastor Sandi pointed out some ways that may keep us from this journey including fear, unworthiness, and vulnerability. Sometimes we get stuck and can’t complete the journey.

Our sincere condolences to Laura Hammond, Jean Murdock, and family in the loss of our faithful servant Amos Hammond. Amos was a long-term member and participant in our church, and will be deeply missed.


Penn Yan First Presbyterian 

This coming Sunday we will celebrate and remember our fathers who’ve worked hard not only to raise admirable children but to support and protect their families. One of the most often used prayers in Christian history begins with the words, “Our Father who art in heaven…,” in which we ask for support and protection for all of God’s children who trust and have faith in Him. Pastor Paul’s Father’s Day sermon will speak of God’s power and overcoming evil through trust and faith. In our Old Testament reading this Sunday, the story of David and Goliath provides a good example of how a father raised a son of faith who fully embraced the Spirit of the Lord.

David, the youngest and lowliest of eight sons with no prospect of inheritance, was left at home to tend the family’s sheep. He was too young to join his brothers, who had joined the Israelite army to fight the Philistines. He did, however, become a marksman with a slingshot protecting his sheep. David, in his mid-teens, was said to have a good heart, enjoyed playing his lyre, and exemplified faith and obedience to his father and God.

Saul, the leader of the Israelite army, heard of David’s skill on the lyre. David was enlisted to provide soothing music to the commander at the front lines. David had to go back and forth to Bethlehem to continue to care for the herd of sheep. When he returned to the front line he brought food for his brothers and their commanders. During those months David had noticed the champion of the Philistines, Goliath, who was a gigantic and ruthless man. Goliath was hard to miss as he was often decked out in 125 pounds of bronze armor with helmet, shield, sword, spear and a javelin. He had been taunting the ranks of the Israelites for 40 days, saying that if they chose a man to fight him one on one, and if he won, the Israelites would become the Philistines' subjects and the war could end. Even seasoned soldiers were terrified of him and no one would accept the challenge. David wanted to take him on. He was unafraid, had complete trust in God, plus he had the tools. His father had taught him patience, humility, strategy, and how to use his sling for protection. Saul relented and the day came. David stood behind the battle line holding his shepherd staff and sling. As Goliath approached with a shield-bearer leading the way he mockingly looked at the boy and said, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” David took a rock out of his pouch and as he took a few steps he calmly said “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” He quickly took his stance and fired into Goliath’s forehead. Goliath did not prevail; he lost his head quite literally. David went on to successfully lead thousands of troops; he was anointed and became the King of Israel at age 30 and reigned for 40 years. David had done pretty well for a shepherd with no inheritance, in part thanks to his father and our Father’s teachings.

Fathers want their children to be strong and happy. God, our Father, wants us to develop a good heart, demonstrate strength in our endurance, show patience in difficult situations, practice gratitude and always have faith. If we embody these traits, both “Fathers” will be proud. We can all display some gratitude towards the Dads in our lives this Fathers Day.


Milo Center Methodist

Happiest of birthdays to Cheryl Kerrick and Wilma Freeman. Anniversary blessings to Damon and Kerry Brennan. Prayers uplifted for Linda Potts, Laurie Koek, Dana Gibson, Myra Grabowski, Valerie Lerch, and Frank Francisco. 

Pastor Kim recited this poem during her message this week. We would like to share it with you.

I have asked for wisdom and life has provided me with problems to solve. 

I have asked for live and life has provided me with people to help in their problems.

I have asked for favors and life has provided me with potentialities. 

Many blessings to you, we wish you all that you need. All are welcome to join us for worship Sundays at 9 a.m.


Penn Yan First Baptist

Sunday, June 6, First Baptist Church of Penn Yan was honored to welcome two wonderful ladies into membership through baptism. Pictured are Connie Kerrick with her sponsor, Don Lawrence.
Sunday, June 6, First Baptist Church of Penn Yan was honored to welcome two wonderful ladies into membership through baptism. Pictured are Olivia Clinton (right) with her sponsor, Judi Scheel.

The Penn Yan Community Summer Happenings (VBS) takes place June 28 through July 2, for children who have completed Pre-K through 5th grade. This year's theme is "Rocky Railroad: Where Jesus' Power Pulls Us Through!" Once again this year we will meet at First Baptist Church beginning at 8:30 a.m. to noon. We are only able to accommodate 40 elementary age children and 10 pre-school (4-5 year old) children. Please register by June 21. Masks are required. Register online through our website, www.firstbaptistchurchpy.com, and follow the link. Paper registration forms are available from our church office. We will have lots of help from Penn Yan United Methodist Church and from St. Michael's Catholic Church. We look forward to this year's VBS!

June 20, we will recognize our Sunday School children, graduates, and Sunday School teachers. 

"Let Love Flow" is the World Mission Offering theme for 2021. Let our generosity ensure that the transforming power of love continues to change the world. Our goal is $580. For those visiting in the Finger Lakes, we would love to welcome you to our church. Our service is at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings. See you on Sunday! 

Penn Yan United Methodist

Although the music is wonderful at Penn Yan United Methodist Church, it’s actually not really about the music. It’s about joy! Joy in worship. Joy in praising God. Happiness in spiritual growth. And what better way to foster spiritual growth than through uplifting, inspiring music? At PYUMC, we love nearly all forms of Christian music, from the latest modern songs played on electric guitars, to ancient hymns on our grand pipe organ, more than a century old. And we employ just about every musical instrument: there’s a complete handbell choir (led by Mary Anne Cooper), and drums, cornets, trumpets, a clarinet, flutes, baritone, trombone, and more in our unique and joyful instrumental ensemble called “Gabriel's Bunch” (led by Phil Mann). Formed in the early 90’s, this Bunch continues to bring us holy joy every month. In addition to conducting Gabriel’s Bunch, Phil Mann leads our sanctuary choir. The traditional service also includes many soloists. One of the many soloists is Jan Lounsberry, who has been singing in the choir at Penn Yan UMC for over 50 years. Our organist of 11 years is Phyllis Bailey, who has been active in music for her entire life.

At PYUMC, we employ just about every musical instrument, including a complete handbell choir, led by Mary Anne Cooper (left).

When our “Sunday Break” Contemporary Service meets in the Fellowship Hall, the music is always upbeat and inspiring. Each week, the Praise Band leads the music with guitars, keyboard, vocals, and drums. Jim Russell and Mark Lefkus lead the music team for the contemporary service. Both services honor God and bring joy to worshipers.

And, of course, we love to sing! Want to sing? Everyone is welcome – sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. Want to play? We have a place for instrumentalists of any and every skill level. There’s a place for absolutely anyone who loves the Lord and wants to express it in song. It all began centuries ago with the Psalms (songs) of the Old Testament, and the beat goes on!

We welcome you to worship with us at either our 9 a.m. contemporary or 11 a.m. traditional worship service, or to join us online for worship on Facebook, YouTube, or at www.PennYanUMC.org. Nursery care is now available each Sunday. All are welcome!

St. Mark’s Episcopal

Juneteenth is celebrated June 19, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when the Union Army, under the leadership of General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced to enslaved people there that they had been freed. The Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect two years before, but it wasn’t until after the end of the Civil War in April 1865 that news finally reached many places in the former Confederacy, including Galveston, that slavery had been abolished.

The Episcopal Church encourages its members to honor this day by continuing to work toward ending systemic racism, in particular “environmental racism, noting the disproportionate effect that climate change has on people of color and indigenous communities” (episcopalnewsservice.org). Other areas to focus on would be the use of redlining to limit or deny financial services to people in nonwhite neighborhoods and the placement of superhighways across our nation, tearing up nonwhite communities. 

There will be no special commemoration of Juneteenth this year at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan, but there will be events honoring the day in Auburn, Ithaca, and at the Genesee Country Village & Museum.

St. Mark’s is a spiritual community that connects our creative tradition with courageous living in the present, and passionate hope for the future. As always, we invite you to join us at our Sunday service at 9 a.m. and grow with us!


Dresden Methodist

Sunday service June 6 began with Toby Bond playing a lovely prelude on the piano.

Louise Bond led us in a Call to Worship.

Leader: Who is my mother, and who are my brothers and sisters? Look around you and you will see them. They are not always the people you grew up with. They are the people who have joined the journey to learn more about God and the ways of God's people.

People: They are the people who abandon houses and land, fame and fortune - for the sake of the Gospel.

Leader: They are the people who pray through the night for the safety of someone else's child or for the healing of someone else's loved one.

People: They are the ones who offer a cold cup of water to people who are considered outcast. They do so in the name of Christ.

Leader: Who are my brothers; who are my sisters; where is my family?

People: Jesus said that: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother

Leader: Welcome to worship, family!

All: We gather to worship the God who has made us kin!

Louise then read the scripture lesson, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

Pastor Marilyn Wood's message: “Like the children's book, The Ugly Duckling, others may be mean to you about what you may look like, but God cares about you no matter what. We are all different. With Christ, we are a new creation. Old things have passed away and all things are new. We are not ugly, we are beautiful when we have faith and trust in God. Hold onto to God throughout your life. He will, like the verse from the poem by Francis Thompson, ‘Hound of Heaven,’ search for us and bring us back to Him. We should have perseverance and hold onto hope. God will not give up on us. There is a story that shows this: Two frogs were trapped in a bucket of cream. One frog gave up and drowned. The other kept swimming around and around, not giving up, making butter. He was able to get out of the bucket. God never gives up on us. With perseverance and holding on to hope, God will not give up on us. Solutions will emerge. Have faith in the unseen, hear and trust with your heart. Rest assured: He is ours and we are His. God is our handle on life. Reaffirm your love and faith: ‘God, I'm here, I'm yours.’” 

Benediction: “As you go from this place, know that Jesus lifts each and every one of us every day of our lives.”