Church Briefs

The Chronicle Express

Milo Center Methodist

Thank you, MCUMC leadership team, for the consistent behind the scenes work on behalf of our beloved country church. The August meeting was productive and plans are in motion for Fall worship with our young disciples and community outreach.

The Church Picnic had a delicious meal and great fellowship. It was wonderful so many smiles were able to come together. 

Birthday blessings to Susan Andersen, Melissa Lilyea, Norman Koek, Bennet Hallings, Abby Lyons, and Steve Strong. Anniversary wishes to Frank & Linda Francisco and Ryan & Joanne Kennedy. Many thanks to Mildred Koek, Jeannine Andersen. and Susan Andersen for representing MCUMC with the Grab and Go Lunch at The Well this month.

As we see so much in the world that is out of our control, let us be reminded of what we each can do with our hearts and hands for our family and our local community. The lyrics below  were written in 1955, but we can make them timeless by doing our part each and every day. 

"With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow, to take each moment

and live each moment in peace eternally, Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”

St. Mark’s Episcopal

Two Episcopal priests are honored as saints in August, Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, both for their work with the Deaf community within the Episcopal Church.

Gallaudet was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1822. His mother was Deaf and his father founded a school in that city dedicated to teaching Deaf children. Gallaudet wanted to become a priest, but was encouraged by his father to spend some time teaching the Deaf first. He did so but still felt a strong call to the priesthood. He was ordained in 1851.

Alice Cogswell was a precocious little girl from Hartford, Conn.  She was just nine years old in 1814 when she met her neighbor Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.

In his first year of priesthood he founded St. Ann’s Church in New York City for Deaf people; most of the services were in sign language. His efforts were replicated across the country, inspiring many congregations to introduce services specifically for the Deaf population.

One of Gallaudet’s parishioners was Henry Winter Syle, who contracted scarlet fever as a child and became Deaf. Encouraged by Gallaudet, Syle became a priest as well, and in 1876 became the first Deaf Episcopal priest in this country. By the way, becoming a priest as a Deaf person was not at all easy: many opposed his ordination. At the time, anyone who had an impairment of one of the senses was not allowed to become an Episcopal priest. Shortly after his ordination, Syle established All Souls’ Church of the Deaf in Philadelphia.

Rev. Henry Winter Syle

Reverend Syle died in 1891, his mentor Reverend Gallaudet in 1902. They were passionate advocates for the Deaf community within the church and beyond; their lives are celebrated each year Aug. 27.

Although St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan does not have any special service to commemorate these holy individuals, there is a local connection. There is a Ministry of the Deaf for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, and the city of Rochester is home to one of the two leading educational institutions for the Deaf community, The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The other institution is Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, named for Reverend Gallaudet’s father.


Penn Yan First Presbyterian

Most of us, if given the choice, would hope to live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Researchers are now conducting studies advancing the theory that there is a link between people of faith and longevity. One of the first major observational studies was completed in 2016 by the Journal of the American Medical Association/Internal Medicine. Their conclusions found, “that frequent attendance at religious services and involvement in a religious group created a significantly lower risk of all causes of mortality.” The study further stated that, “Religion and spirituality may be an under appreciated resource to promote good health.” This and more recent studies have shown people involved in religious activities may extend their lifespan anywhere from four to seventeen years!

There are several theories as to why religious affiliation can boost longevity. People who are members of religious groups tend to volunteer and be involved in social organizations which provide a network for social support. Those with religious affiliations tend to avoid excess and bad habits such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs. They are more active and take part in “wellness activities such as prayer, meditation and exercise.” They are family focused and have lower instances of divorce. Maybe most importantly, “they have a firm set of values drawn from their religious beliefs which provide a sense of a greater purpose in life and a decreased fear of death.” All of those factors combined give us; reduced stress levels, less depressive symptoms, more optimism, better coping skills, and confidence to deal with what life puts in front of us.  

FPC is delighted to acknowledge that our congregation lends credence to this research. We are blessed to have many members who are in their eighties and nineties. Even in the midst of these difficult last two years, we have been able to celebrate two centenarian birthdays! In May of 2020, FPC had a drive-by parade to honor Martha Rouin. This August 14, Dick Gillespie turned 100. He was feted that day at an outdoor Open House attended by many family and friends. Dick was genuinely surprised and touched by all the visitors and cards. All attendees considerately wore masks, to ensure that Dick can look forward to celebrating 101 years. There was a wonderful article about Dick’s life in last week’s Chronicle-Express. Pastor Paul’s sermon that week was about “Wisdom.” A trait Martha and Dick know something about! This Bible verse seems apropos, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days shall be multiplied, and years will be added to your life” (Proverbs 9:10-11).

In support of keeping our older members and those too young to get vaccinations healthy, FPC has made the decision to re-instate the mask policy, for now, inside the church. We are asking all people, whether vaccinated or not, to please wear masks at all times while in the building.


Branchport Methodist 

It’s that time of year again!  We can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by!  Labor Day will soon be here and along with it, our annual chicken barbecue.  This year’s Labor Day Weekend BBQ will again be a drive-thru event thanks to the increase in Covid cases in the area.  It will be on Saturday, Sept. 4, beginning at 4:30 pm, so close up your grills and come on down for our delicious chicken (cooked by our good friends at the fire department), salt potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls and cookies. Members and friends of the church do all the cooking and baking except for the rolls. We still miss Barb Gifford’s talents in that area!

Be sure to check our Blessings Box on the front lawn for your emergency needs. Some generous gardener is donating fresh produce and we hate to see it sitting for a long time in the hot sun, so, even if it’s not an emergency need, grab it and enjoy!

We continue to pray for the sick, for the frontline workers, for our country and the hurting people all over the world.  To quote the hymn that we sang last week, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”