Church Briefs

Special to The Chronicle-Express

St. Mark's Epsicopal

St Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan is currently in transition. Our priest, the Rev. Dan Burner, retired from the diocese of Rochester. He moved to Arizona and is currently serving part time in a large church in Phoenix. St Mark's in Penn Yan has formed a search committee and is in the process of finding a new priest.

In the meantime St. Mark's has been blessed to have four retired priests from the Rochester diocese conducting services for us on an alternating basis on Sundays.

Rev. Dan Pope, who comes from Palmyra, has been one of them. Also we have had the Rev. Tom Gramley from Canaseraga as well as Rev. Kit Tobin from the Corning-Painted Post area. Our own Rev. Elizabeth Boesen, who lives here in Penn Yan, has also been assisting us. Elizabeth has been a member of our parish and is a retired Lutheran minister. Each of these individuals come with different experiences and they share with us each week their words of encouragement and teaching in their sermons.

Because our service starts at 9 a.m. these individuals must drive at least an hour to arrive at approximately 8:30, giving them time to prepare for the service. They serve other parishes as well which is why they alternate with us.

On those Sundays when we don't have a priest, we hold a morning prayer service led by one of our parishioners which is lovely. But without these priests serving us, it would be difficult to have regular communion services which so many in the congregation appreciate. St. Mark's is truly grateful for the devotion of each of them.

First Presbyterian 

As the air becomes crisp and the muted autumn leaves blanket our yards, thoughts turn to Thanksgiving. After a year and a half of navigating this pandemic, many of us have so much for which to be thankful. This November, many families are hoping to be able to enjoy a traditional family Thanksgiving again. Gathering around a table for food is uniquely human and we are the only creatures to do so. Being able to share a meal at a table brings nourishment not only to one’s body but also one’s soul. Tables and shared meals are featured prominently in the Bible.

Many houses of worship have always played an integral part in offering and supporting meal programs, especially during the holidays. At FPC, prior to the pandemic, our Red Wagon baskets which contained traditional non-perishable foods and a dessert were given to a number of families each Thanksgiving. A turkey was also available to be picked-up and was paid for from the funds raised during the annual Crop Walks. These turkeys were donated to many non-profit groups in our community. Sadly, with Covid restrictions, postponed fundraisers, lower volunteer numbers, lack of the availability of specialty holiday food items coupled with higher costs, and elimination of homemade baked goods, most non-profits have had to change the scope of their programs or even cancel them. FPC was no exception.

However, perseverance and generosity are certainly alive and well within our community. This Thanksgiving, the Council of Churches is having individual churches gather their donations and deliver them directly to the HOPE Center Keuka Food Pantry. ProAction of Steuben and Yates County will be supplying a choice of the main course, chicken, turkey or ham, depending on availability. Until the end of November, and by appointment only, in advance, HOPE Center will pack up the food boxes and make them available for pick-up by families. A huge Thank-You goes to the HOPE Center’s dedicated efforts.

This Thanksgiving, the Council of Churches is having individual churches gather their donations and deliver them directly to the HOPE Center Keuka Food Pantry. ProAction of Steuben and Yates County will be supplying a choice of the main course, chicken, turkey or ham, depending on availability. Until the end of November, and by appointment only, in advance, HOPE Center will pack up the food boxes and make them available for pick-up by families.

As with many obstacles, we have only to look to the Bible for guidance. Philippians 4:6: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” May you gather at your special table with those you love, be thankful, feel gratitude and count your blessings this Thanksgiving.

Branchport Methodist 

Sunday, Nov. 7 was our celebration of All Saints Day. We had a very special service to honor all those saints who helped shape our spiritual lives. The congregation shared stories and favorite Bible verses of their loved ones, and many favorite hymns were sung – “Rock of Ages,” “In the Garden,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” “Lord of the Dance,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “Amazing Grace,” “Pass it On,” “It is Well With my Soul” and “We Will Keep Our Faith Alive.” This congregation does certainly enjoy the beautiful music available to us through our hymnal and YouTube.

We invite all to join us for Sunday worship at 10:45, both in person and via Zoom.  Contact Pastor Kim Lyons at 585-857-7962 for the Zoom information if needed.

Milo Center Methodist

The definition of a saint — a very virtuous, kind or patient person. We celebrated All Saints Day with time for remembering the saints that have touched our lives, living on earth or within the heavens. Our service of special music and scripture filled the church as the autumn sun shone through. May we all strive to be remembered as a saint in someone's life. Ephesians 4:32: "Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you".

Many prayers were lifted for healing: Marty Kubli, a friend Pat, Jim Touhy, John Pangburn, and Holly Steckell. Prayers of peace to the family and friends of Stu Ovens. Birthday wishes to Hannah Martens, Piper Kennedy,  Joyce Chapman, and Charlie Chapman. 

Last Sunday, Bluff Point Methodist celebrated All-Saints Sunday, remembering the four parishioners who passed this last year, as well as other loved friends and family who have gone before.

Bluff Point Methodist

Pastor Sandi spoke of the Red Bird mission and the many pillows that we are sending them to provide comfort and love. Thanks to all who contributed!

Our scripture lesson was based on Psalm 127. The topic was building our houses. Not every house is filled with the Lord. We are asked to let the Lord into our homes. God wants us to work and to prosper, as we get to make our own homes. Pastor Sandi told us to remember the people of our home, and all the memories, whether they be sad, funny, good, bad or ugly. We need to invite Jesus into our homes. Without God there is no value in our home. Our houses are more than walls and a roof. We need to look at our houses and see what they represent to the world. 

Pastor Sandi passed out a giving tree for the Living Well. It focused on food and pantry items to help people through the winter months. 

Noah Detar once again hit a home run with his acting skills, playing the lead male role in the new play titled, A Girl Named Bernie. Awesome job, Noah!

We are ringing the bells at Tops market in Penn Yan Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m.  We have slots filled up, but if you want to also participate in this mission, come by and support your parishioners in this important mission. We often start the season singing Christmas carols as the bells jingle. This mission was started years ago by Floyd Tillman, and provides a large support for families in need during the holiday season.