CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express
The sign at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan always gives people something to laugh at, to ponder, or to hope for.

St. Michael's Catholic

Although we long for Covid to be behind us, we have free Covid-19 test kits and bottles of hand sanitizer available at all worship sites, the parish center and St. Michael’s School. Take one home today, or give to someone who needs one. 

On April 5, a day of prayer, “The Hope of Easter” – the Paschal mystery ... Jesus’ Resurrection and the hope it gives us!” will be offered at Notre Dame Retreat House by Fr. Tom Travers, C.Ss.R.  Please call 585-394-5700 or email ndretreat@rochester.rr.com  to register. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with admission at $2. Attendance will be capped at 50 people. 

Civilize It -- A Better Kind of Politics is a movement emerging out of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship). Its aim is to work across differences to listen to one another and connect around shared values, resulting in creative solutions for the common good (one of our Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching). Pope Francis gives us five tips to get us started. Read them at https://www.usccb.org/resources/5-Tips-from-Pope-Francis.pdf . 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing. One of the precepts of our faith is we are to celebrate it at least once per year (more often if needed). To receive the Eucharist in a state of sin shows disrespect for Jesus’ love and sacrifice and damages the sinner’s soul. Come rejoice in God’s love and mercy by celebrating this sacrament.  It's available April 4, 2:45-3:15 p.m. at St. Patrick’s;  April 5, 7:45-8:15 a.m. and April 12 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at St. Januarius’; April 11 at 6:30 p.m., April 15, 1-2 p.m. and April 16 from 1-2 p.m. at St. Michael’s. (Been a while? Use the cue cards found at the entrance of any confessionals.) 

Do you miss seeing some people at Mass?  What better time to give them a call to check on them!  Soon Easter will be here.  Don’t we want to celebrate with them?  Another precept of the Church is to receive the Eucharist at least once per year, in the Easter season. He wants to be in us, keeping us from harm and helping us to be His disciples.

Women of the parish have been invited to the Palm Monday breakfast, April 11, hosted by the Penn Yan United Methodist Women. They will offer music, food for the body and the soul, and friendship at 9 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church on Main Street. It is handicap-accessible. 

Keep on praying, fasting and giving alms.  We are growing closer to our Lord!  

Milo Center Methodist

Happy April Fool's Day! Our congregation changed seats throughout our beautiful sanctuary to bring a smile of wonder to Pastor Kim. As it was, the "fooling" was twofold  because the message Kim shared this week was about just that ... change and conversion. How easily do you accept change? Is your imagination able to see the treasures hidden in the clouds of the amazing sky? Close your eyes and enjoy a moment of the freedom that you had when you were a child within your imagination. Then picture yourself at the time of Jesus while He was healing sight, paralysis and even his own death. Through this time of Lent let us all from the hope and joy that we can imagine in a perfect world and remembering to put our trust in God and feel His love. Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and ALL there ever will be to know and understand." Imagine like Albert. 

Birthday wishes to Jaime Little. Happy Anniversary to Karen and Dale Hallings. We lift our prayers for Craig Prior, Frank Francisco, Brian Winslow, The Tillman Family, David Schiek, and Uncle Paul. 

Our young disciples have created "Bumper Crop" bags and distributed to those that want to fill it with items for the Needs- N - Things pantry. The children will deliver, sort and put the items on the supply shelves. A great local mission, thank you. 

Penn Yan First Baptist

Many thanks to member Erik Miller, of Hammondsport, for crafting this wooden cross for the Easter season at First Baptist Church of Penn Yan, 224 Main St.

At the end of March, three people were baptized into the Christian faith. Baptism is an outward expression of a person's faith and a covenant for a living relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Baptism is faith in action. We welcome Colin Beman, Kirsten Decker, and Nicole Pillsbury. On April 3, according to American Baptist Church's doctrination they were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship and accepted by the congregation as members of First Baptist Church of Penn Yan. Rev. Dr. John R. Tharp led the candidates through a searching of their beliefs and an understanding of what it is to be a disciple of Jesus.

On Palm Sunday, our service will be led by Mark Slomski of Naples. Worship is held at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Dresden Methodist

This past week at Dresden UMC, the congregation reflected on the parable of the Prodigal Son. In the story, there is a father who has two sons. The youngest son wishes to receive his inheritance early and asks his father for whatever would be left to him. The father gives his son his early inheritance, and the son leaves home, squanders it all, and ends up poor and starving. As he longingly lusts after the feed of farm pigs, he decides to return home and beg his father for forgiveness. As he returns, his father sees him from a ways off and runs to him. The father forgives him immediately and throws a big party. However, his older brother, who has stayed faithful to the family, is put off by all this — he doesn't understand why his younger brother should be forgiven, much less receive a celebration. His father responds, saying that they have always been together and all the father has also belongs to his eldest son, but this younger son, who has been gone, has returned, and that deserves a celebration! This story shows our relationship with God. Sometimes we are the rebellious and self-centered younger son, and sometimes we are the faithful and judgmental older son. But either way, God forgives us and accepts us when we turn to him!  

The folks here at Dresden UMC hope you will join us in the coming days, that no matter where you are on your faith journey, you will turn back to God and receive his mercy and forgiveness!  

Holy Week Services: Palm Sunday - Sunday, April 10, 9:30 a.m.; Good Friday - Friday, April 15, 7 p.m.; Easter Sunrise Service on Seneca Lake - Sunday, April 17, 7 a.m. (breakfast immediately following at Dresden UMC); Easter Service - Sunday, April 17 at 9:30 a.m.

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.

First Presbyterian 

Under the rule of the Roman Empire, to include ancient Israel, a sign of respect was to be shown for visiting Kings, High Priests and others in positions of power. The people in villages, towns and cities filled the main roads to welcome exalted guests by waving palm fronds. Fronds, stalks and cloaks were also laid down on the roads. Given that the “roads” were nothing more than dirty, dusty, muddy and rutty paths, the fronds helped to lessen some discomfort for both the riders and their steeds. Horses were also treated very well and were symbols of status, wealth and power.

As chronicled in all four canonical Gospels of the Bible and even mentioned in the Old Testament in Zechariah, Jesus was given this same level of honor six days before the feast of Passover and a week before his resurrection. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace was made with little prior notice or fanfare, on a donkey (an animal representing peace in Eastern religious tradition). Jews came out to welcome him en masse, not out of obligation but as true believers. They met him and laid down cloaks and fronds while waving palm fronds in praise, hope and adoration crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” John 12:13. In the future, this would be deemed Palm Sunday.

There are many welcome signs as this season of rebirth begins and “Palm Sunday launches the holiest days for the worlds Christians.” It seems fitting that FPC’s Church Life Committee will be hosting a brunch, in Crosier Hall, after Palm Sunday’s service. This will be our first in-person social event since NYS mask mandates have been lifted. On March 20, FPC revised our policy as well. Masks are now optional in the building. However, masks are still strongly encouraged for those who are immunocompromised or not yet fully vaccinated. For many of us, this gathering will be the first chance to finally enjoy an un-muffled conversation, along with a delicious brunch. We look forward to once again seeing the smiling faces of our members. As always, FPC invites you to attend our Palm Sunday service, at 10 am and stay for brunch.  

Bluff Point Methodist

Who Do We Listen to? Pastor Sandi led us in study of John 18: 28-40. We all are involved in conversations, and voices coming to and from us.  Pastor Sandi asked us who we listen to amid the chaos of life.  All of these voices are not from Jesus! 

Conversations with Jesus begin with prayer. Our daily conversations start with communication and relationships.  With intentional prayer we look at where we are and where we are going. Sometimes we lose Jesus through all of the voices around us,  and thereby may loose the truth. Sometimes we just need to stop and take a deep breath, and take heed of what we are saying to others.

Pastor Sandi gave us a neat way of looking at the progression of prayer, that she found through some of her studies.  These four steps include GIVE ME, MAKE ME, SHOW ME (how I should respond) and USE ME (to be your person on earth).  This seems a great way to look at our prayerful relationship and conversations with Jesus.

Reminders that we are welcomed at a Palm Monday breakfast at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church.  Continue to remember the Reverse Lenten Calendar to help The Living Well.  This is available in the sanctuary and at the Well.

Pet food month collections for the Well were very successful during March.  People often go hungry so their beloved pets are fed.