Church Briefs

Special to The Chronicle-Express
Are you looking for medical equipment or supplies? The Dresden United Methodist Church's First Aid Closet, located on Avenue A in Dresden, has many items to chose from.  Everything is free of charge and may be borrowed for as long as you need them. Some of these items include: canes, walkers, commodes, raised toilet seats, shower chairs, wheelchairs, chair lifts, hospital beds, and Hoyer lifts to name a few. There is no need for you to buy when you can borrow these items for no charge.  We have wonderful caring volunteers to help you.  If you need any of these items, call Herb and Elsie at 315-536-4794, Bill and Donna at 315-536-9639, or Trudy at 315-536-9434.

St. Paul's Lutheran 

St. Paul's Lutheran Church has been quiet on the church page, but we have been very busy on Hamilton Street! Church services are being held in-person and on Zoom weekly at 10 a.m. since August 2020. Holy Communion is celebrated the fourth Sunday of each month during worship. There were two baptisms Sunday, Aug. 1, and new members were welcomed Sunday, Aug. 29. Faith Formation takes place each Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m., and a faithful group of members gather for prayer on Zoom each Thursday morning. Our Social Ministry team has been busy helping to support the Living Well by preparing lunches to be distributed to the community twice a month. Council is meeting as are all other church committees. And, we are pleased to welcome back the outside groups that are using the building during the week.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, the members at St. Paul's will be busy with a fun activity. We will be hosting a “Free Family Fun Day” for our neighbors and friends. This event will be held on the church grounds at 135 Hamilton St. from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that Saturday. There will be games, crafts, face-painting, free hot dogs, and more! There will also be a “Priceless Yard Sale” with household items, jewelry, toys, games, books, puzzles, and more which everyone can “shop” for and take home for free! There will be no charge for anything that day ... it is a day just of fun and visiting with friends and members of St. Paul's. Join us that day and find a treasure that you have needed or wanted and walk away with a smile on your face!

Branchport Methodist Church

September already! Branchport United Methodist Church has had a wonderful summer! We have been able to worship in the sanctuary and on Zoom, welcoming many visitors. We had work done on our building and are working toward adding a gazebo on our lawn for everyone to enjoy. We had a couple of outdoor fellowship times serving ice cream to our guests. While we are still not serving our famous chicken BBQ indoors, we did have a very successful drive thru event in May.

Speaking of which – we are doing it again!  Saturday, Sept. 4 starting at 4:30 p.m. we will be serving delicious chicken, salt potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, a roll and a cookie all for just $10. You may also purchase just the chicken for $5 and a children’s portion for just $5. We have a great crew cooking and serving, so we hope to see you and be able to greet you as you pick up your meals!

September also begins a busy time at church as we assess what we have done in the past year and where we are going in the coming year. Please pray for us as we go about the business of the church.

Please also keep in your prayers all those in our world who are dealing with illness and grief, and especially those who are trying to recover from natural disasters.

St. Mark's Episcopal

You may have an undiscovered gem hiding in your pews!

Does your parish, or your denomination, have a particular prayer book that is used for most services? In my church it is called the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and has been around, more or less, complete with peculiar f-shaped "s" s  since 1549 when it began as The Book of Common Prayer and Adminifration  of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the CHURCH According to the Ufe of the Church of England.

The book was revised in 1552 and many times since then. It morphed into The Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer in 1789 when ... well you know what happened in 1776 ... and as such has had its latest revision in 1979. Some people think it's due for another. This writer will offer no opinion on that.

What we do recommend is that you take some time to look through your book and see what may be in there besides a specific rite, or outline of one, for Sunday services, baptisms and weddings.

In our Book of Common Prayer, for instance, there are Devotions for Individuals and Families, Prayers for Various Occasions, including for social justice, education and commerce and industry and even for our enemies.

There is also, we have found, a lovely service called Compline which has become a much-loved practice for a group of us who meet currently on Wednesday evenings at 8 p.m. on Zoom.

The English word is derived from the Latin "completorium" as Compline is the completion of the waking day in the hours of the monastic life. The service of Compline is truly an excellent way to end the day in a spirit of peace and hopefulness. Here are two of my personal favorites, to give you an idea:

"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake.  Amen." and a verse for repetition:  "Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace." 

Monasteries and convents often have guests and sometimes people would stop there at the end of their day to have Compline with the community. In that spirit, if any of you would like to join our Zoom Compline sometime, call the St. Mark's Office and leave your email and land mail addresses. Someone will endeavor to email you a link to the service and mail you a copy of the pages from our Prayer Book.

We hope you've enjoyed this little walk through one of our Episcopal Church hidden gems and hope that you might be inspired to search for some in your own pews. 

Milo Center Methodist

We blessed an altar full of school supplies. Our August collection was a success. Thank you to all that supported this important community mission. September's collections will be for kidCARE; any help would be great.

We celebrated the bright futures of our young disciples. Best wishes to them all as school, college and new jobs begin. Prayers continue to Jan Thorn, Linda Potts and those affected by Covid.

"Be strong in the Lord and in His power." Pastor Kim discussed the strength of God's protection just as Zion has been named as a place of sanctuary or peace. Where is your Zion? To some it may be in a dwelling, the woods, by the water or simply within their heart. It is the feeling of God living with us or within us. Take on the breastplate of God's righteousness as your armor and stand strong. As faith grows your connection to God will grow and will put down roots, move in and be ever present in your heart and mind. May your march to Zion be blessed.

Penn Yan First Presbyterian 

As we begin to move into September, we often think of children heading back to school. One school program already underway is in Tanzania, Africa. FPC helps to provide funding, through the Hattie Hardman Fund, of the Excel Education Foundation. During their school year, we are sponsoring twenty-three students who attend an educational boarding school. In addition, this year HHF has added money to the school’s food program so that every student will be able to enjoy one balanced meal each day. We are all well aware of the negative impact hunger can have on a child’s ability to learn.

Much closer to home, local families of school age children are looking forward to a reasonably smooth start to a new school year. A return to schedules, routine and in-person socialization would be welcomed. Many schools, organizations, and churches are also hopeful for a restart of after school activities this year. One program that FPC has previously hosted is the Girl’s Club. It is a weekly activities group for girls of Middle School age that focuses on building self-esteem as they enter their teens and prepare for high school. Idelle, our moderator, has been in touch with school faculty about recruiting new sixth graders and returning 7–8th graders later in the fall. As of this writing, based on policies outlined by the PYCSD and our church, masks would still be required. Stay tuned for updates!

Speaking of school and young “tweenagers,” kids will soon be walking to school, riding bicycles on country roads or boarding buses. Those of us on the roads will have to readjust to excited children not paying attention, school bus drivers navigating routes that are new, and traffic congestion around school areas. A great time to mention one of the “fruits of the Spirit” we have been given by God, patience. James 5:11 reminds us “We count those blessed who have endured. Ye have heard of the patience of Job…” Actually, as we are beginning to navigate a new normal this fall, it might be the perfect time to practice all of the fruits bestowed upon us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

Bluff Point Methodist

Some diligent workers cleaning up debris from the recent heavy rains at Bluff Point United Methodist Church after service.

This past Sunday, we studied scripture from Romans 13: 8-14.  We need to love one another. Paul wanted us to remember the commandments. We need to love your neighbor as yourself. Pastor Sandi told us that we need to put on the armor of light, not in quarreling or jealousy.  

Pastor Sandi reminded us of the song, "What’s Love Got to Do With it?" We need to remind ourselves to open our hearts and not let feelings hold our heart in anger.

Paul defined Christian love as respect. It is ongoing. We need to love through hurt and frustration. We do wrestle with actions of others. People hurt us, and God helps us through. There is evil in this world, but we individually can’t take it all on. God has to help us figure it out.

Many of us participated in Yates County Hope Walk on Aug. 28. All monies stay in our county to help cancer patients. What a great event!

On Sept. 18 Yates County will be having a county-wide road cleanup.  Please mark your calendars to help. We will be participating in our two-mile stretch on 54A of our Adopt-a-Highway on that day for one of our church missions.

We continue with both in-person and Zoom church on Sundays at 9 a.m.  See you here!

Dresden Methodist 

At Sunday service Aug. 22, Sheryl Parkhurst, our wonderful organist, played a prelude and we sang the hymns, "In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful,” "O Worship the King,” and "Praise the Source of Faith and Learning.” Toby Bond led us in a Call to Worship and read the Scripture, Psalm 111.

Pastor Rachel Patchen's message was on the Psalms:

“The book of Psalms is the largest book in the Bible, and it deals with a wide range of topics that explore what it means to be human, who God is, and who we are as people in a covenant relationship with God. There are three different types of Psalms found in the Bible. There are Psalms of Orientation, Disorientation, and Reorientation. Each of these types helps give voice to a different experience.  

“When things are going well, and we can easily praise God for the well-ordered nature of the world and our lives, we tend to resonate with Psalms of Orientation. When we feel lost, abandoned, alone, and confused, we tend to resonate with Psalms of Disorientation. Reorientation comes after we have been disoriented and we have learned something new from our experience that we can now bring to our understanding of life and God. We all go through these stages in cycles throughout our life, and the book of Psalms can help us connect with God in prayer, no matter whether we are oriented, disoriented, or reoriented to him.”  

Pastor Rachel talked specifically about Psalm 111, a Psalm of Orientation and Praise. She shared how Psalm 111 resonated with her this week. She explained how being in the vast beauty of the Adirondacks with family this past week helped her connect with God and fostered a sense of awe for both our creator and his creation. And secondly, how spending time in fellowship with her brothers and sisters in Christ helped her to appreciate the beauty of God's community. If you are struggling with how to connect with God this week, consider looking to the Psalms. Praying the Psalms not only connects us to the roots of our tradition but also gives a new perspective and voice to our struggles and triumphs! 

If you are in need of the Dresden First Aid Closet, you may call Herb and Elsie at 315-536-4794, Bill and Donna at 315-536-9639, or Trudy at 315-536-9434.

Dresden United Methodist Church operates their First Aid Closet on Avenue A in Dresden.