CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express

Bluff Point Methodist

Jean Murdock and Sheri Hunt provided some yummy snacks following church this past Sunday at Bluff Point Methodist. Thanks, ladies!

Babs began our recent church service by reminding us with each raindrop there is a particle of dust — bringing us the freshness after our recent fall rains.

Pastor Sandi’s lesson was taken from Hebrews 9: 12-14.  Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God. The passages in Hebrews, written in about 60-90 AD were mostly for the Christian and Jewish believers. At this time, we moved from many priests to one high priest, being Jesus. When Christ came, teachings changed from good things to come to the realization that good things had come, in Jesus.

Pastor Sandi spoke of the topic of sacrifice. She asked us what is stopping us from seeing the Living God in our lives. She is sure most of us have sacrificed, but used examples of stories from The Living Well, where sacrifice is seen in many coming there to help others.

We are collecting pillows for RedBird mission in Kentucky this month. Pastor Sandi envisioned trucks going from New York state filled with pillows for those who need rest and a good night’s sleep.  Please try to bring them by Oct. 31 so they can be on their way and delivered by Christmas.

Many concerns this week from our congregation for several of our fold.  Please keep all in prayer.

St. Mark's Episcopal

There is nothing better than walking into an office and seeing the shelves filled with books. For some reason, a priest’s office always has the best books: a great selection of theology of course, from the old, leather backed books, to the newer colorful paperbacks. Usually, there is a preponderance of philosophy and sociology. These days, there are a few about addiction and substance abuse disorders. And there is always a small section that showcases humor, whether it is "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" or a Dilbert comic book.   

Generally, there are a few photos scattered about. Those shelves, filled with such weight,  literally and figuratively, share a sense of permanence with all who enter the room. This writer recently walked past the empty office of our rector, and was bothered by the empty shelves, long after that day and even week. Was it the few remaining and forgotten pamphlets and paper clips left behind that were bothersome?  

Time, though, as always, helps to change things. Wondering anew what the significance was, the empty shelves presented a different story.  Empty, yes, but somehow suggestive of things to come. Wondering afresh, are the shelves representative of faith perhaps? When low on faith, those empty shelves beckon loneliness and loss. But when connected and faithful, those empty shelves breathe with welcome and newness, inviting and exciting.The challenge is always to come back to those “empty shelves” in a new way, with open eyes and heart and always welcome what arises.  

As our search committee and vestry gather information to create a parish profile and a profile for our new rector, we are reminded each time that we gather, that our shelves will always be filled. We invite you to join us Sundays at 9 a.m.  

Milo Center Methodist

Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians to love God and thy neighbor. We do that in so many ways every day. As we are in ministry with one another we remember the faith of our ancestors that bond us to each other and those beyond our walls. Pastor Kim spread appreciation during service for the many tasks that make our little country church click.

We were able to share our recent collection of tissues and anti-bacterial wipes to the Penn Yan Central Schools. Also, thanks to Evelyn Little's caring heart we were made aware of the Dunning family needs and the challenge to help them happening at the Middle School and we joined the effort. An awesome way to spread the love of our church family. "Great is thy Gratefulness!"

Prayers to anyone that may feel they are in the dark can see the light. So thankful for those participating in the Out of the Darkness walk for our community. Blessings sent to the hearts of those in need of filling. 

Our young disciples have a surprise planned for Sunday, Oct. 31. Join them  at 9 a.m. to join the fun. 

First Presbyterian 

This coming Sunday FPC will observe All Saints’ Day, commemorating the faithful departed souls that our congregation has lost over this past year. In Revelation 14:13, a voice from heaven says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” We will remember and honor Larry Edgington, Jim Matzat and Peter Jackson, who during their lives were committed to supporting our church in various ways.

Sadly this past year it continued to be a challenge to hold the traditional gatherings many would have attended, in celebration of someone’s life. Too many of us have others in our personal lives that have passed on this year, as well as people we knew who were among the faithful in our community. Perhaps this Sunday we can view the day as an opportunity to remember the “ordinary” saints, who in the face of a pandemic’s darkness kept the faith, served others and lived a spiritual life to be admired. Whether you attend church in person, virtually, or just say a prayer at home, take a moment on Sunday to remember those who lived a life with purpose and brought goodness to the world while they were on earth.

Branchport Methodist

On Laity Sunday we celebrated the work of many hands that keep our church running smoothly. Whether it be through the prayers that we offer up, the financial resources that we share with the church, or the physical labor that we put into keeping the church usable, we are able to offer the community a friendly and welcoming place to meet and to worship.

Pastor Kim Lyons and the blessing of the new gazebo at Branchport Methodist Church

One example of our laity at work is the new gazebo that graces our side yard! We blessed it at the end of our service Sunday, Oct. 17. Many, many thanks to all who made it possible, especially Vince Bedient, who financed the project in memory of his wife; and Ken Munch, who took on the task of overseeing and meeting with the contractors. Many others helped by offering their expertise beforehand and later with adding electricity and lights, grading the lawn and planting bulbs for next spring’s enjoyment and cleaning and treating the picnic table. All of this work has come together to make a beautiful spot for reflection and worship.

One of our first uses for the gazebo will be on Halloween as we offer treats to the community children during Branchport’s Trunk or Treat celebration from 5-7 p.m. on the 31st. Come join us in some fellowship!

Our Sunday worship with Pastor Kim Lyons is at 10:45 a.m. All are welcome.

Penn Yan First Baptist

Thank you to our church family. We have exceeded our goal for the World Mission Offering! Although we ourselves are not able to serve in person, this money helps to support our missionary representatives around the world.

Our Remembrance Sunday will be Oct. 31, remembering our loved ones who have passed into the nearer presence of God.

Join us on Sundays at 10 a.m. Meet our church family. Come, worship our creator. God loves us. God is for us. God blesses us every day of our lives.

Dresden Methodist

Sunday, Oct. 17, Dresden UMC heard a scripture reading from Mark 10:35-45. James and John, disciples of Jesus, have asked to be put in seats of honor next to Jesus in the Kingdom of God. This angers the rest of the disciples, but Jesus responds by challenging their cultural view of power by telling them that whoever wishes to be great among them must first become a servant to all. This is not what most of us have in mind when we think of leaders or officials. We think of wealth, status, and power. The "great" in our culture have many that serve them but rarely serve others. Jesus tells us that to be great in God's Kingdom; we must serve others.

We as Christians should aim to lead as servants; we should also respect those who serve our communities. Covid has shown us that "servants" are important, essential even. Nurses, teachers, truck drivers, cashiers, and other folks who serve as a vocation have been essential in keeping our country and communities afloat during this uncertain time. Jesus says servants hold seats of honor; Covid showed us the same. So this week, let's try to be extra gracious to those who serve us. Let's also go the extra mile to be servants to others.  

Announcements this Week: Trunk or Treat and Pumpkin Painting will be held in the parking lot at Dresden UMC on Friday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 pm. We hope you'll join us for some family-friendly fun!

Dresden UMC will be participating in Operation Christmas Child this year. If you're interested in joining us, call the church during office hours (Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.) for more information.