Special to The Chronicle-Express

St. Mark's Episcopal

Edith Cavell, Nurse

Edith Cavell, Nurse

From what we know of this woman, "nurse" is the title by which she would choose to be known, though in the Anglican Church, from which the Episcopal Church in the United States is descended, she has the title of saint. Often people with that title are like unreal, far-off beings after whom we name our churches. This one, you will see as a flesh and blood person and not so very far off in history.

Edith's father was an Anglican priest in England and when he became seriously ill Edith, who had taken a position as governess with a family in Brussels, Belgium, went home to care for him. After her father's recovery she felt a call to nursing and eventually returned to Belgium to open a nursing school there. So far Edith's circumstances seem directed by chance, but here is where she came to make a personal decision which set her on a different path.

Edith was home in England visiting her mother when the First World War broke out in 1914. On hearing of the threat to Belgium from the advancing German troops she felt it was her duty to return to Brussels immediately. There she continued as matron of Brussel's first training hospital for nurses. Eventually the school became a Red Cross Hospital treating casualties from both sides as well as civilians. But yet another calling soon presented itself and again Edith made a daring and selfless decision.

In November of 1914, Edith began sheltering British soldiers and funnelling them out of occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands. Working with the Belgian underground, including members of Belgian royalty, she became part of of a system of hiding British and French soldiers, providing them with false papers, money and even shelter in their own homes till the soldiers could reach the Dutch frontier. Now she was in direct violation of German law. The Germans became more and more aware of her actions and one comment in the record states that their suspicions were "further fueled by her outspokenness."

Betrayed by a Belgian collaborator, Edith was held in Saint-Giles prison for ten weeks, the last two in in solitary confinement. She made three depositions to the German police admitting that she had been instrumental in conveying about 60 British and 15 French soldiers, as well as about 100 French and Belgian civilians of military age to the frontier and had sheltered most of them in her house.

Edith was courtmartialed for treason, though she was not a German national, and sentenced to death. She was executed by firing squad on Oct. 12, 1915. The night before her execution she told the Anglican chaplain who had been allowed to give her Holy Communion "I am thankful to have had these ten weeks of quiet to get ready. Now I have had them and have been kindly treated here. I expected my sentence and I believe it was just. Standing as I do in view of God and Eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone. " These words are inscribed on her statue on St. Martin's Place near Trafalgar Square in London. The Church of England commemorates her in its Calendar of Saints on October 12.

Milo Center Methodist

This week we prayed! Yes, we always do ... but Pastor Kim asked us to consider why we pray. Is it a request, a confession, a plea for help or healing? God doesn't always answer the prayer quite like we may think or even wish He will. Other times it may seem our prayers go unanswered. That is likely not the case, but God has chosen a different direction for a solution.

Prayer should hold a place in our everyday life and not just by the need of the moment at hand. In every prayer we shall let God know the desire of our heart with thanksgiving. As we joined voices and shared this favorite hymn the words ring so true, "Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, when songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care He sets me free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He care for me". 

Birthday wishes to Erica Little, Dale Hallings, and Rose Webster. Prayers continue for Frank Francisco and others facing health woes.  Congratulations to Chris Koek and The 1950 Track and Field Team on their induction to the PYA Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Many thanks to Charlene DeMarco, Linda Francisco, Karen Hallings, and Mildred Koek for providing lunch for The Well this week on behalf of our church family. Our altar is bursting with collections for kidCARE and PYCSD for our September mission work. Great job! 

Service and Sunday School are at 9 a.m. All are welcome to join. 

Dresden Methodist

This week at Dresden UMC, Pastor Rachel Patchen discussed Mark 9:38-50. Jesus tells us if we experience stumbling blocks in life, we need to cut them out. He rather harshly tells his disciples that if they cause someone else to stumble, they'd be better off to hang a millstone around their neck and be thrown into the sea. He also tells them if their foot causes them to stumble, they should cut it off. Now this stumbling that Jesus is talking about has to do with people's relationship with God. If we are acting in ways that confuse other Christians because it's inconsistent with the faith we claim, we need to take action to stop. Likewise, if we are causing ourselves to stumble, we need to pinpoint the bad behaviors and cut them out. We certainly aren't expected to be perfect; if we were, we'd not need Jesus, but we are always supposed to be trying to better ourselves in discipleship and holiness. We will make mistakes, but rather than letting sin and brokenness be our scapegoats, we need to get back up, dust ourselves off, and try to do better next time.

Announcements: Bible Study will start on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at noon. Please bring a lunch and a willingness to discuss! We will be working through Pastor Francis Chan's book "Letters to the Church." We hope you'll join us! On Friday, Oct. 29, Dresden UMC will be hosting a Trunk or Treat and Pumpkin Painting outside in the evening. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more details!

Penn Yan Methodist

On Saturday, Sept. 11, the PYUMC Youth Group covered the sidewalks around the church building on Main Street with encouraging, uplifting messages using sidewalk chalk.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the PYUMC Youth Group covered the sidewalks around the church building on Main Street with encouraging, uplifting messages using sidewalk chalk.

The past 18 months have seen an unprecedented rise in suicide and mental health issues, and the youth at Penn Yan United Methodist Church are thankful to be part of the solution. On Saturday, Sept. 11 the PYUMC Youth Group covered the sidewalks around the church building on Main Street with encouraging, uplifting messages using sidewalk chalk. This was part of “Chalk the Walk,” a community-wide effort for National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week coordinated locally by The Living Well and the Yates Suicide Prevention Coalition. 

Chalk the Walk is all about spreading joy, optimism, and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk. With words and pictures, the youth left messages for passersby such as One Step at a Time, You’re Loved, Keep Fighting, You Are Not Alone, Jesus Thinks You’re Awesome (And So Do We), and Kindness Is Cool. One message read, “When someone speaks against you, speak well of them. When you are mistreated, treat them well. Repay evil with good and God will fight your battles. Amen.”

Penn Yan UMC’s youth group is open to all people grades 6 through 12, and meets on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church. Sunday worship at PYUMC is at 9 a.m. (Contemporary) and 11 a.m. (Traditional) as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and

First Presbyterian

The October “Vine,” FPC’s newsletter, mentions that with the help of a grant from the Hattie Hardman Tithe Committee more young people were able to attend summer sessions at Camp Whitman. Extra assistance was especially important this year because, due to COVID, and the negative impact it had on many families' income, some children may have otherwise missed that chance. Through its varied events, Camp Whitman provides an opportunity for kids of all faiths, races and gender identities to experience programs at the lake in a safe and fun atmosphere. These programs help to build self-esteem, encourage participation, learn acceptance and the likelihood you will learn more about yourself and others.

There have also been many changes and adjustments this fall as kids return to in-person learning and the classroom. To provide a respite from the changes or the occasion to make new connections with others, Camp Whitman will be offering a Day Long Retreat on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for those in Grades 6-12. There will be outdoor activities, campfire cooking and a hayride. Spiritual activities include crafting meditation, prayer stations and worship at the waterfront with the focus on, “(Where) do you see God?” The Bible encourages us to come together and share our thoughts about God and feelings about how we choose to interact with one another.  In 1 Corinthians 14:26, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you come together each one has a psalm, a lesson, a revelation, a way of speaking, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

If you are interested in attending, there are still some openings but registration ends today. The cost is $25, which includes lunch and dinner. Call Camp Whitman at 315-201-0193 or go online at Masks and social distancing indoors will be required. All 6th through 12th graders are welcome.

Penn Yan First Baptist

First Baptist received an Honor Certificate from Church World Service, in recognition of our support for emergency response and sustainable development around the world through the Blankets program.

A little history of First Baptist Church: In 1828, several residents had settled in Penn Yan. By 1833, the First Baptist Church of Penn Yan was founded by 27 members of the Second Milo Baptist Church who saw a need for a church in Penn Yan. The first small church building was built on the same plot as that of today. In 1871, the Romanesque Revival building of today was built under the direction of famous New York architect Horatio Nelson White. The cost was $25,000 and congregation members mortgaged their own homes to build the church. This building is today listed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings.

Oct. 17 is World Mission Offering Sunday. This offering seeks to support Global Servants and their ministry programs. Our goal this year is $700. Thank you for your support of the World Mission Offering. All are welcome to join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. 

Bluff Point Methodist

Thank you to Peggy Beckwith, who has led Bluff Point Methodist's services, along with Babs Steinert, during the month of September.  Great job!

Peggy Beckwith used scripture from Galatians 2: 1-5 for her sermon this past week. She told that Paul did not know all of the faith communities that he had visited. The faith communities began to wonder if Jesus was enough? Paul continued to write letters to these communities, even during the time he was imprisoned, for them to keep the faith. During the 1700’s, Peggy continued, George Whitfield, John Wesley, and Charles Wesley were active in promoting Christianity in England. Many were converted to Christ during this period. George Whitfield went from place to place, but in contrast to Paul and John and Charles Wesley, George never returned to the places he had visited. The Wesleys went back to build up believers, through class meetings and establishing foundations of worship. Much later George Whitfield recognized his mistake in not returning to the believers he had converted to Christianity. 

We start in home with teachings that we learn about God, and teach our children. We continue with studying scripture and going to church and Sunday School. God is in us as the body of Christ.

Peggy told us that a grove of trees is much stronger than any single tree.  The strength is in the roots. The roots are intertwined and give each individual tree more strength. Our strength is in love for one another. 

We are planning Zoom Bible Study beginning the third Tuesday in October. Peggy is also planning small groups of a Methodist Meeting. Contact her if you are interested. 

Thanks to the children for planting and tending their garden this summer. Delicious plum and grape tomatoes have been harvested for us to enjoy!

Thanks for all who have provided music, scripture, sermons, IT, after church coffee/snacks, Zoom and in-church services during the past weeks of Pastor Sandi’s vacation. We are a close-knit congregation!