Special to The Chronicle-Express

Bluff Point Methodist

Our scripture lesson Aug. 29 was Ephesians 1: 11-30.  In this writing, Paul again speaks to the people. Pastor Sandi explains that during the time of this writing, Paul is in Asia Minor. He is experienced in his writings at this point, and speaks to us about lasting gifts that keep on giving. Paul tells us to never stop giving thanks. 

Pastor Sandi reflects that many people journal about daily things they are thankful for- others just remember them.  He also reflects on those who give outreach work to our community, whom we should be thankful for. Those who give deserve thanks for wisdom and knowledge. Paul’s words lead us today. Pastor Sandi asked us individually where we feel faith and wisdom? What do we want the world to look like?

Pledge cards for the coming year have recently been distributed. Pastor Sandi asked us to pray on these, and return them this coming month so our church budget may be worked on for 2022.

Thanks to Ron Miller for all the work he did in heading Bluff Point Methodist’s group to another Hope Walk in Yates County to benefit those affected with cancer.

Yates County had a very successful Hope Walk. Memorial luminaries were placed along the walking path. There were fewer events and walkers at the site in person this year, likely due to Covid, but supporters were financially very generous in support of this so-important mission. Thank you to Ron Miller for support of this.

A memorial service was held for Steve Drumm, who passed away earlier this year, at Keuka Lake State Park. The Drumm family members have been long-time members of BPUMC. Prayers for Jim and Karen Drumm, and families in their loss of their brother, and for Steve’s wife, Diane.

Thank you to Peggy Beckwith for leading Bluff Point’s service the month of September.  We appreciate your inspirational message!

Sept. 5, Peggy Beckwith used the scripture from Ephesians 4: 1-6 for her sermon, written by Paul when he was in prison. He called for unity in the body of Christ.  She asked us to look at our hands. What don’t you like about your hands? What do they allow you to do? Do they give you pain? They are gifts? Look at your knees?  What would you do without them? Look at people? What do you like? What do they enable you to do? People around us are gifts of God. God gives us grace. Paul tells us how we are to be in the world. We need to maintain the unity of the spirit and remain unified in the body of Christ. Peggy gave us homework to do, to pray for other churches as well as our own.

Saturday Sept. 18 is Yates County road clean-up day. Please let Joyce Wiedrich know if you can participate. We will meet at the church at 9 a.m. and get our two-mile stretch done in an hour or so, if we have enough helpful hands!

Best thoughts go out to both our college and local elementary and high school students who have or will be returning to school very soon,  for both a healthy and safe school year!

Milo Center Methodist

Change seems to be the one constant thing in our lives. Some handle change more easily than others. This week, Pastor Kim's message and her newsletter were about seeing things in a different light. What a great reminder especially in the struggling times of our world. It is so important to have an open mind to people, situations, science and beyond. Sometimes it is as easy as taking a different route on a familiar path to see things in a different light, from a different angle. Jesus taught us to consider things from others' views in many stories in the Bible. This week it was from a writing in Mark 7. Jesus offered healing to a child whose mother begged for help but was not a Jew. He chose to help as he could even though her beliefs were different than His. If Jesus can learn and then speak and act differently, can we not do the same?

Collections for September will be for kidCARE. Socks, underwear, sweatpants, diapers or monetary gifts  would be a great help.

Birthday wishes to Kole Kerrick and Kayla Andersen. Prayers for all essential workers as they face long days with less staff, for children, parents, teachers and bus drivers as school begins. Uplifting healing prayers continue for Frank Francisco, Travis Zimmerman and those involved in the accident at Seneca Drums this weekend.

How can you help our church? Nomination committee is looking for your talents. Reach out to Pastor Kim to discuss how you can share your gifts.

Sunday School plans to begin on Sept. 19. Join us for church at 9 a.m. or via Zoom. 

Dresden Methodist

This week at Dresden UMC, Pastor Rachel Patchen spent some time talking about the book of Mark. In particular, she focused on Mark 7:24-37, where Jesus heals the daughter of a Greek woman and restores hearing and speech to a deaf man. Jesus has been traveling around the region of Galilee preaching, teaching, and healing. Exhausted, he attempts to slip away to the region of Tyre for some peace and quiet. However, the word of Jesus and his ministry has spread, and when Jesus reaches Tyre, there are already people waiting for him. The first person he interacts with is a Greek woman whose daughter is demon-possessed. Jesus challenges the mother, but she shows a deep understanding of God and Jesus' mission; for that; Jesus heals the young girl. He then moves on to the region of the Decapolis, again looking for respite. Yet again, word has spread, and a deaf man with a speech impediment is brought before him. Again, Jesus heals the man.  

So what can we do with these stories today? We see Jesus' human side in this scripture and in general in the book of Mark. Mark presents Jesus in a way that is relatable to us humans. We also see how Jesus restores what is broken rather than giving up or throwing it away. And lastly, we see how Jesus ministered to those outside of his target audience. These last two pieces are crucial for us today. We need to make sure that we "rub shoulders" with sinners and never discount anyone as too far gone. When we minister, we should not only look to help, support, and restore our brothers and sisters in Christ but also those who don't deserve it. Jesus didn't care that the Greek woman's faith was different from his Jewish faith; he still restored her daughter. Jesus didn't care that he gained a bad reputation for spending time with tax collectors -- he still built relationships with them. Jesus didn't care that the lepers were considered unclean; he still touched them to heal them.  We need to be forces for healing and restoration to all we meet, regardless of financial status, sex, gender, orientation, skin color, age, or anything else.  We should all hope that someday we are lucky enough to gain a reputation for dining with and ministering to sinners; what an honor it would be!

St. Mark's Episcopal

There are hundreds of songs about summertime. If you google “songs with the word summer in them” there are multiple lists of the top 250 songs. Many of us know the words to most of them. Hot Fun in the Summertime... Hot Summer Nights… Summer in the City. The word summer exemplifies ease and relaxation and fun for most, and we find that the same applies at St. Mark’s. Throughout the years, summertime has strengthened our parish’s spirit and we have shared that with the wider community.  

For years, we had a chicken barbecue with a rhubarb dessert. No-one knows why it ended, but as we were discussing it, we thought about bringing it back. September 22, we are having a turkey dinner. Until COVID 19, we had a Strawberry shortcake fundraiser at Cruising Night. This year, we just had our fundraiser at Oak Hill last weekend. We supported the Creation Week Camp for our younger community members. We shared an outdoor service with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at Keuka Lake State Park and shared a potluck meal afterwards. What is old, may be new again. Is there a church out there that would like to partner with us for a lovely outdoor service?   

And always, we share in the love of the Garrett Memorial Chapel and many of our parishioners participate in those services.   And we continue to support our summer visitors -- some for the summer, some for a single service. Our services this year are a bit different because we are “in the search” for a new priest, but no matter what we welcome all people to join us Sundays at 9 a.m. We hope you enjoyed your summer!