Special to The Chronicle-Express
St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Hamilton St. in Penn Yan.

St. Paul's Lutheran

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!

Dresden Methodist

Last week at Dresden UMC, Pastor Rachel Patchen led the congregation in an exploration of  Psalm 84. This Psalm has been made popular by groups such as Matt Redman and Kutless, who have turned this ancient Hebrew poem and prayer into contemporary Christian worship music.  

Notably, in Psalm 84, the author demands that God hear their prayer. A bold move in the eyes of most Christians today. Pastor Rachel challenged the congregation to think about what it would mean to have the confidence, faith, and trust in God to pray forcefully, to demand God's attention like a child demanding their parent's attention. She compared it to how her kids, when they want something, no matter how small it seems, will jump, dance, and interrupt what she is doing so that she has to pay attention to them. She asked the question, what if we went to God like that? Like a kid who can't wait to talk to their mom or dad, jumping up and down, hardly able to hold in all the words they have to say until finally, it all pours out when they can't stand it any longer.  

This Psalm challenges us to pray with more confidence, more enthusiasm, more passion. We need to revitalize and reinvigorate our prayer lives. Maybe praying the Psalms can help with that! As we see God's people, the roots of our tradition, praying in ways that would make us blush, we should let ourselves be convicted and convinced that God can handle all our truths, emotions, and baggage. We should pray with the confidence that God really hears us.

Thank you, Elsie Goodman, for everything you have done and continue to do for Dresden UMC!

After service this week, Dresden UMC held a congregational meeting to discuss the structure of leadership and the future ministry goals of the church.  During the meeting, Toby Bond, on behalf of Dresden UMC, presented Elsie Goodman with a beautiful clock, thanking her for her time as a secretary for the church. Elsie served as secretary for 26 years before retiring to focus on her volunteer work at Dresden UMC's First Aid Closet and spend quality time with her husband, Herb.  

Milo Center Methodist

Sending birthday wishes to Joyce Rector on Sept. 2. Prayers continue for Frank Francisco and Jan Thorn as they face health challenges. Happy first anniversary to Kristen and Zach Noble and many more. Joy was shared for the growth of flowers and crops especially the sunflowers our young disciples planted and gave to our chicken bbq guests. 

Pastor Kim referenced a reading from James 1 as she asked us if we "are hearers that forget or doers that act?" As we see our own imperfect reflection in a mirror, hopefully we see both the inside and outside of the image that is looking back. Be sure to consider what your heart and soul are made of. As the young people in our lives grow and begin their own adventures, it often becomes a time of reflection ... Did we do enough? Did we teach them enough? Were we enough? and so on. No one is perfect, we were enough.  At this time and so many others in our lives we should turn to God's word. The Bible can be compared to a mirror except it is unlike any other, it CAN change us ... from the inside out. The transformation is powerful once you let God's light in. With His light let in we can become doers that act and not just hearers that forget.  

Branchport Methodist 

On the last Sunday of August, we were reminded of God’s love for us through our readings in Song of Solomon and James and through Pastor Kim’s message about a parent’s love for her children.  The Spirit Song that we sang tells us to “let the Son of God enfold you with his spirit and his love.”

We are celebrating the young people of our congregation who are beginning new adventures with college, new jobs and weddings and also the younger children who are looking forward to a better year at school.

Our second ice cream social was a great success. We served many church members, friends and neighbors and had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen in a while.

Our new gazebo is up! We hope to be able to use it for fellowship and church events.  If you came by for the Chicken Barbecue maybe you even got to sit at the picnic table.

Please continue to pray for all those in our world who are suffering.

The installers are busy at work on the new gazebo on the side lawn of the Branchport United Methodist Church.  Stop by and see the finished product!

First Presbyterian 

This past Sunday we gathered together with members of other area churches to enjoy our second Ecumenical service of the season. It is a joint service held over the Labor Day weekend as a way to celebrate our common faiths and welcome autumn with friends and neighbors. FPC’s Presbyterian Women will also come together next week, to enjoy their annual fall picnic at Keuka State Park. It is a celebration of all the good works they have accomplished over the year and the beginning of plans for the holiday season to come.

Today is also the last day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Ceremonies are conducted in which bread is tossed into a body of water — Keuka Lake is a perfect place — to symbolize the casting away of sin and to celebrate the creation of the universe. A feast is held that includes the eating a “new” fruit, as a symbol of their New Year. The fruit is often exotic and will come from a foreign country. However, for those not as adventurous in their eating habits, it can be a fruit from the area that is just coming into season. In Upstate New York, it would include fruits such as grapes, or local varieties of apples and plums.

This year many of us are grateful and thankful to finally be able to come together to celebrate for any reason, with or without masks. So wherever and whatever you have the opportunity to celebrate this fall, remember the words of Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when people dwell in unity!” While we should always honor and celebrate each other we must continue to pray, in unison, for those who are still facing a multitude of serious challenges, in our own country and abroad.