CHURCH BRIEFS: Painting the Penn Yan Presbyterian parking lot

Special to The Chronicle-Express
This photo of the 2009 painting in the Penn Yan First Presbyterian parking lot was taken by 13-year-old Josh Baxter from a plane flown by his father, Eric. Dozens of artists worked together July 25, 2009 at the Penn Yan Presbyterian Church to complete a giant painting depicting a photograph from the early 1900s. This year's painting, to be executed under the direction of Bob Gillespie Aug. 30-31, will feature ice boats on Keuka Lake.

Penn Yan First Presbyterian 

In conjunction with the Arts Center of Yates County, the First Presbyterian Church’s parking lot, on Main Street will literally be the scene for a great end-of-summer outdoor art event to be held on Monday, Aug. 30 and Tues. Aug. 31, weather permitting. Our church’s own resident artist, Bob Gillespie, plans to provide direction to volunteer teams as they sketch out and chalk paint a supersized version, 36 feet by 48 feet, of one of his original works of art depicting Keuka Lake ice boats. It will be a cool painting on a hot summer’s day! The parking lot itself will serve as our canvas. If the weather is in our favor, the “painting” could last for a few weeks. If rain is predicted for those days, the Arts Center will select an alternate rain date.

Anyone wishing to express their creativity is encouraged to participate so we can have several teams. Come and be hands-on in the process. Bob did this several years ago and it was a lot of fun. You can also see one of his more recent creations on the side of a building on Water Street in Penn Yan. For this group painting, we will be guided by the capable skills of Bob and craftsmen from the Arts Center. What better place than a church to orchestrate this new creation? The word “genesis” is defined in the dictionary as, “the origin or coming into being of something.” The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis. The earliest books of the Bible mention creativity often. “The Lord has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship to devise artistic designs …” Exodus 35:31-32.

Thanks to the funding for materials, from FPC’s Hattie Hardman Committee, supplies will be provided for volunteer artists. You will need to register to join one of these teams, so please contact or call 315-536-8226. FPC also welcomes all prayers for a stretch of good weather, so this beautiful creation can be enjoyed by all who go past FPC throughout the week!

Dresden Methodist 

At Sunday service Aug. 8, Pastor Rachel Patchen's message was "Unity as the Body of Christ."

Pastor Rachel Patchen is the new minister at Dresden United Methodist Church.

"The Bible uses the imagery of a body to represent how the church should function.  In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul uses this imagery to show how every Christian has a role to play in the thriving and success of the church. In Paul's day, the controversy was over whether new Christians should have to observe Jewish traditions such as circumcision and following kosher food laws. A council was called to make a decision, and they decided that no, Christians did not need to observe Jewish laws or traditions. Unfortunately, even though the council made this decision, many disagreed with it.  So Paul writes this letter to a church divided.  

"The church today experiences division too. The divisions look different, but they exist. There are global divisions, local divisions, and internal divisions. These divisions exist because everyone has an opinion on how the church should be run, who should be in leadership, and the goals of the church. Ego dominates discussions as people squabble over who has authority, who should be accepted in the church, and how to interpret the Bible.

"Paul's message reaches forward through time to our church, both global and local.  For the Body of Christ to function and thrive, we must be unified. Unity requires love, patience, communication, and shared goals. If different parts of the church are working against each other, then the church will be consumed and divided. And a house divided against itself cannot stand. Paul was concerned about the church crumbling in the first century, and we need to be concerned about it today.

"United in love, we can act as a force for good in our church, our community, and the world. As Dresden United Methodist Church looks to the future and the role it wants to play in the community, I would challenge you all to consider what role you will play in the future of Dresden and the good we can do if we just work together."

St. Michael’s Catholic

We encourage everyone to learn what they can about race and justice. The Penn Yan Public Library’s Conversations Café' will offer “Teaching About Race and Justice” on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. on Zoom. A panel of educators, academics, and a mental health specialist will discuss these questions and the ones you bring with you. “What is Critical Race Theory (CRT)?” “How is race, diversity, and equity being taught in schools?” Register for this event at More info?  Contact Alex @ 

Now is the time! Pope Francis is challenging us to publicly commit to a seven-year journey of ecological conversion. He outlined his thoughts in his 2015 encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’, On the Care of Our Common Home.” Have you read it yet?  Let’s read and discuss it together! Then using the action platform, we can see elements of the plan, pray for discernment of how to implement the plan and begin reaching the goals of the plan. The goals of the plan “support a spiritual and cultural revolution as we strive for total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology.” Contact Patty at the Parish Center to express your interest. 

St. Michael's Catholic Church in Penn Yan.

Registration is open now for “Feeding the Spiritual Hungers” on Sept. 15 at the Notre Dame Retreat House on Foster Road, Canandaigua. The schedule is: Conference 9:30 a.m. – noon followed by lunch, free time, confessions, and Mass at 2 p.m. Rev. Robert Werth, a long-time priest of our diocese, will be the leader. Register by calling 585-394-5700 or email Fee: $25.

Bluff Point Methodist

Thanks to Chris Wyant for great snacks after church last Sunday at Bluff Point Methodist.

Pastor Sandi gave another message from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians 2: 1-10. Paul looks at, and speaks out about love in this passage. He feels joy should be for everyone. He also speaks of his abundant love. We are not sure what happened to Paul when he was in Corinth, but likely it was something that gave him great sadness. He may have felt that the sky was falling down onto him. As a result of his experiences, Paul wants us to forgive those who have hurt us. He speaks of generosity, love, compassion, and faith. He realizes one will never make everyone happy. Some things we just have to let go of.

Pastor Sandi gave us homework to find forgiveness with someone who has deeply hurt us. This will also help with our relationship with Him, as well as mend a personal relationship.

Don’t forget to contribute to the Yates County Hope Walk, coming up later in the month.  We are  the Bluff Point Christian Crusaders!  Ron Miller will be taking donations for luminary bags to be placed along the walkway during the walk, in memory or honor of someone who has faced cancer.  All monies raised stay locally in Yates County.

Please join us in Zoom or in-person worship 9 a.m. Sundays.