CHURCH BRIEFS (banner)

Special to The Chronicle-Express
St. Mark's is very proud of our new roof, the gift of a longtime endowment intended to provide for the maintenance of the church grounds. Proctor Roofing just completed the removal of the old roofing and the new installation of architectural roofing, which will protect our house for at least the foreseeable future.

St. Mark's Episcopal

St. Mark's is very proud of our new roof! It's the gift of a longtime endowment intended to provide for the maintenance of the church grounds, Proctor Roofing just completed the removal of the old roofing and the new installation of architectural roofing, which will protect our house for at least the foreseeable future. 

So anyway, as is common in the area, there was a Mennonite horse and buggy traveling along Route 14A just outside of Penn Yan. It was a very cold day – sunny, but below 15 degrees. The buggy was about halfway up the hill south of Oak Hill Foods. What was notable was that one of the riders of the buggy was walking alongside the buggy. She was smiling and holding the hand of someone inside the buggy as they slowly walked up the hill.    

One might be struck by the kindness of the act. A person got out of the buggy to alleviate the burden on the horse. One might take it even farther, and think of a time that they too, had practiced an act of kindness toward another in an attempt to relieve a burden. And one might even still reflect on the faith that was exhibited in that act of kindness. That woman knew that she was able to get up the hill and continue on the way. She knew that she would be able to complete the rest of the tasks that were on her agenda. She understood that kindness would only benefit another and would in no way jeopardize her needs. Why? Because she had faith that what she had was “enough.”  Instead of focusing on the cold, or her own needs, her faith became the foundation of that act of kindness.   

A child’s game says “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors, here are the people.” We might change that to say “Here is the church, filled with faith, and a roof above it all to protect us in kindness.”

Penn Yan First Baptist

The wait is over! This Sunday, March 27, we will be back in the sanctuary for our worship services. With repairs to the plastering, a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting ... Wow!

On this Sunday, Rev. John Tharp will share a message with us and we will be baptizing by immersion three candidates: Nicole Pillsbury, Kirsten Decker, and Colin Beman.

The ministering schedule for the month of April is as follows: April 3 - Mark Slomski; Palm Sunday - Mark Slomski; Easter Sunday - Rev. Don Lawrence; and April 24 - Dale Wakley.

Bluff Point Methodist

We went back to a week of Zoom-only church, secondary to our wild winds and March weather, but next week we will continue with both Zoom and in-person church as Sunday School resumes.

Our recent scripture lesson was John 12: 1-17. We listened to the story of how Jesus washed the disciples' feet, knowing that his time had come, and that he would be betrayed, saying when he came to Simon Peter that not all of the disciples were clean — he certainly knew which of them would betray him.  Jesus set an example for them to wash each other’s feet.  Traitors, betrayers, liars and thieves were all loved by Jesus.

Pastor Sandi asked us if we washed the feet of people that we don’t agree with?  What do we show others?  Forgiveness and grace can come with fear and judgement.  Pastor Sandi remarked that fear drives us in so much of what we do. Pastor Sandi gave us homework, to examine what and why that holds us back from washing feet and ministering to others.  We need to give our fears and reluctances back to God.

Bible Studies resume through Lent as we re-examine the stories leading to Jesus’s death and the Resurrection.  Remember contributions for pet food month, and the reverse advent calendar, with donations to the Living Well.

Milo Center Methodist

Pastor Kim reflected on the gospel reading from Luke today. "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." Our concerns, worries, sins and fears do not exclude us from God's grace. We can always count on God having a space for us at His table regardless of how far short we may feel. With this truth, let us be inspired to love more, to risk more, to reach out more, to include more. Praise be to our God. 

In person service and Sunday school are at 9 a.m. each Sunday. All are welcome. Our Lent Bible Study has begun. It is a group study with the Branchport UMC -- so  great to see them. Join us Wednesdays at 7 p.m. via zoom.

Our March outreach to The Living Well lunches is complete, thanks to Mildred Koek, Karen Hallings, and Susan Andersen. March altar collection has been focused on our furry friends at Pet Partner Connection. If you can contribute, please do. 

Do you smell chicken barbecue? The date will be June 11. Tickets will be available soon. It is presale only so get yours will they last. 

First Presbyterian

As we move through the days of Lent, Pastor Paul spoke last week of the importance of commitment and our responsibility to help one another. Each individual when given a set of circumstances determines which path they will take. In his sermon, Paul referred to this as “meeting our moments.” These moments reveal through our response in words or actions how we can change our lives or the lives of others. With the strength of his faith, Jesus always answered those moments with kindness, love, healing and by giving hope to the human soul and condition.

As the refugee population grows in Eastern Europe, the world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis of this century. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is focusing its assistance efforts by responding through the Presbyterian Disaster Program (PDA). The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine (EPCU) has 12 churches in various parts of Ukraine and PDA is working established partners, such as the Belgorod-Dnistrovskyi Christian Clinic near Odessa, they are making attempts to deliver medications and basic survival items for those Ukrainian’s unable to leave that region. For recently displaced refugees, Susan Krehbiel, Associate for Refugees & Asylum, stated “financial and technical help is now being directed to neighboring countries that are providing sanctuary and where it will have the greatest impact.”

Sadly, as this conflict continues, the Presbyterian Ministry continues its advocacy work at the United Nations and the Presbyterian Peacekeeping Program works to update policies and practices that will be needed if a cease fire can be reached. If you are interested in donating, the PC (U.S.A) website is: pma.pcusa.org/donate. Since there are hundreds of ecumenical and humanitarian groups with similar types of donation programs, there are certainly many options for anyone wishing to help.

One thing those of us of any denomination can do each day is to continue to offer prayers. Perhaps each of us can come up with our own unique way to “meet this moment.” Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.”

Dresden Methodist

This past week, the congregation at Dresden UMC contemplated what it means to be bold in their faith. The scripture reading for this week came from Luke 13:31-35 and told the story of Jesus being threatened by Herod. Herod threatens to kill Jesus, and Jesus responds by telling the messengers to go back to Herod and tell him that Jesus is busy, he's not done working yet. This is a pretty bold move on Jesus's part. Jesus calls us to that same spirit of boldness in our faith lives. He calls us to live our faith out loud. To love others boldly, to share our stories boldly, to step out of our comfort zones and really look at our world in its brokenness and then do something about it! Let's not squander this gift of life by being half-hearted, half-committed, lukewarm Christians!

Some of the ladies of Dresden Methodist Church participating in the virtual Stations of the Cross project that a few local churches are doing together.

What's going on at Dresden UMC? We participated in a ecumenical project with other area churches - a virtual stations of the cross.  It was a humbling experience to be able to record a portion of the Stations of the Cross service for this project.  The full video will be available in a few weeks, in time for Good Friday. 

Dresden United Methodist Church celebrated Jane Walk's birthday at our Bible Study, which is held on Tuesdays at noon. We bring a bag lunch with Bible study to follow. From left, Linda Decker, Sue Morris, and Jane Walk.

This past week, our Tuesday Bible study group finished the study they were working on and now are beginning a new book, Love Does, by Bob Goff. If you were waiting for the perfect time to swing by and check out our group, now is the time. We meet at noon on Tuesdays in the dining hall of the church.

The Church Council held a meeting to vote on leadership changes and talk about the church's future - keep an eye out, Livestream is coming soon. There are also rumblings of Dresden UMC offering a Vacation Bible School program this summer, so keep an eye out for more information

Are you in need of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, crutches, canes, etc.? Call Dresden UMC and ask for the First Aid Closet. We have equipment available to borrow for free. The First Aid Closet is also looking for donations of medical equipment to continue to meet the community's needs - if you have equipment you'd like to donate or have equipment you need to return, please get in touch with the church.

There will be a Community Dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 in the church dining hall. Please bring a dish to pass. Entertainment will be provided by "Mostly Memories."