CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express

LeTourneau Christian Center

Located along the east side of Canandaigua Lake, LeTourneau Christian Center has been serving the Christian community for over 80 years. The staff at LeTourneau seek to glorify Jesus Christ through sharing God’s love and serving those who step foot on this holy ground. 

We added “Etcetera” to our program because we found that LeTourneau is the perfect place to bring paper crafters together for dedicated time to work on albums, create cards, or work on other crafts such as embroidery projects. Janet Cartwright’s dream from years ago began to take form in 2009 when Elizabeth Tremper came alongside to help organize the first weekend, held in the spring of 2010. Wonderful opportunities are here to fellowship with friends and family as well as make new friends. LeTourneau is also the perfect place to set aside time to seek God, enjoy His creation and be refreshed. 

LeTourneau is the perfect place to bring paper crafters together for dedicated time to work on albums, create cards, or work on other crafts such as embroidery projects!

We are so excited to host this wonderful group for the 13th annual Fall Scrapbooking Weekend from Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022. We hope to see you there!

Bluff Point Methodist

We now are in Easter week as this is written, looking through the sadness, questions, and disbelief with the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, leading to the Resurrection.  We read the whole Passion story from the gospel of Matthew in church, as we reflected on these events, along with music and a beautiful Palm Sunday selection by our choir. 

Our wonderful choir gave us a wonderful anthem for Palm Sunday at Bluff Point Methodist.  So good to have choir back. Alleluia!

An invitation to join our services at 9am Sunday. We have nursery and Sunday School availability for the young ones.  And for members, bring a friend to church!   

Congratulations to our Stacy Wyant, who recently won two Paul Harris medals for service to the Penn Yan Rotary.  Also, all the best to Noah Detar. He will be performing in the play "Into the Woods" with his Nazareth College musical theatre classmates April 28-30.  Tickets are available through the Nazareth College website.

Contact Peggy Beckwith if you can help with any of the coming up youth activities with our church, or also help with Sunday School, teaching our young ones about Jesus.

Easter Blessings to all!

St. Mark's Episcopal

“Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, bless the bed that I lay on.”  That is how some of us learned to recite the names of the writers of the four Gospels in the New Testament.  It was later surprising to some of us to find out that Mark's is generally considered to be the first Gospel written and was actually used as a reference for Matthew and Luke though most sources say that he did not, himself, walk with Jesus or hear any of Jesus' teachings first hand.

Mark is actually first mentioned in the Book of Acts and is generally seen to be not so much an early disciple of Jesus as an associate of others, for instance a cousin of Barnabas, with whom he traveled for awhile. Though younger than the others Mark apparently was useful to them, specifically as a translator for he was fluent in Greek as others were not. 

There is a very interesting sidelight to Mark's early association with the disciples. It seems that when things got a little tough in some of their travels Mark simply left and went back home. This did not sit well with Paul and it was not until quite some time later, perhaps when Mark matured a bit, that they reconciled. But they did and Paul, in his writings to the churches, called Mark a “fellow laborer” and told them “if he comes to you, welcome him.”  In fact, Paul tells Timothy at one point to “get Mark and bring him with you for he is useful to me in my ministry.”  Since Paul himself spoke Greek it appears that Mark must have had other useful attributes besides as a translator.  Primarily, though, Mark is known for being mentored by, and a great admirer of, Peter who was older but not as well educated as Mark. Mark, it is said, wrote down everything spoken by Peter and has even been called “the disciple and interpreter of Peter.” 

Today one of the places most associated with St. Mark is Venice, Italy and the story of how that came about is rather exciting. According to legend, St. Mark's body was taken from the church in Alexandria, Egypt, where the saint had been martyred, by two traveling Venetian merchants. The story goes that the priests in Alexandria feared that Mark's body might be damaged or destroyed during the persecution by the Saracens and so helped the two Italian merchants to take it away. Promising to safeguard the saint's relics, the merchants convinced the priests to allow them to return to Venice with the body of St. Mark while another body was put in its place. Supposedly Mark's body was placed in a chest and covered with a layer of pork and cabbage. When the Muslim officials asked to inspect the chest they were horrified by the smell of pork and closed the chest up quickly. There is much more to this tale which might make an exciting movie someday.

What we do know is that Venice is the city of St. Mark today. In addition to the famous Piazza San Marco, the winged lion is chiseled onto buildings, stamped into tiles and stitched into flags all over the city, serving as a constant reminder of the enduring relationship between the city and her saint, however he may have arrived there.

If you visit St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan and look at the marvelous stained glass windows, you might find the one directly above the old altar at the front of the sanctuary to be a bit puzzling. It is an artist's rendition of the “winged lion” which is traditionally the symbol of St. Mark. 

Sources say that the lion symbol has several meanings, one being St. Mark's description of John the Baptist's voice “crying out in the wilderness.” His voice is said to have sounded like that of a roaring lion. Also, St. Mark, represented as a lion, is derived from prophetic visions contained in the Book of Revelation. The lion is one of the four living creatures described as being around the throne of the Almighty and came to stand for the four evangelists. The lion is said to represent strength and the wings spiritual elevation and freedom.

If you visit St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan and look at the marvelous stained glass windows directly above the old altar at the front of the sanctuary, you'll see an artist's rendition of the “winged lion”  in the medieval style, which is traditionally the symbol of St. Mark.

Come in and see for yourself any Sunday at 9 a.m. – we will welcome you!

First Presbyterian 

Everyone mark your calendars in advance for April 30. Hard to believe the unofficial arrival of summer visitors is about to begin. The Windmill officially opens for the weekends one week from this Saturday. In conjunction with that popular event, on April 30, the first chicken barbecue of the year, hosted by Gale-Wyn and the Presbyterian Women (PW) will be held at the Lyon’s National Bank parking lot. Follow the smoke plume and smell of barbecue to Liberty Street, across from Aldi’s. PW will begin serving the barbecue at 10 a.m. until it’s sold out. For the reasonable price of $12, the full meal includes: ½ chicken, salt potatoes, choice of slaw or macaroni salad and a roll w/butter. You can also purchase just a ½ chicken, for $7.50.  We recommend coming early, as we have been lucky enough to sell out by noon in past years. Let’s hope for sunny skies.

This barbecue is PW’s major fundraiser for 2022 and we encourage everyone to support their efforts. The monies raised help in the funding of several community and church missions in which they participate. This includes the Blankets & Tools Program, Grab n’ Go Lunches, Thanksgiving Red Wagon Campaign and the Yates Christmas Program’s distribution of gently used items, held at our church.  FPC’s cadre of impressive females provide the “women-power” to shop, collect, sort, clean, cook, bake, prepare, package and deliver the food, clothing and household items for these and other programs. PW live by the verse in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

After so much isolation, our Church Life Committee and PW hosted a much anticipated brunch on Palm Sunday. Attendance was high and people remarked that, “the gathering was such a treat and like a breath of spring.” Spirits were high as well and smiles and laughter filled our fellowship hall. It was wonderful to finally have a real sense of normalcy return within the church. The entire Easter period and celebration of Jesus’ rebirth has seemed especially profound this particular year. May we all continue to share a sense of hope for the world.

Dresden Methodist

This past week, the folks at Dresden UMC and their brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe experienced Holy Week. Holy week begins with Palm Sunday as we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. However, the celebration is short-lived as a plot to have Jesus killed unfolds. On Passover, Jesus gathers with his disciples to share one last meal with them before he is killed - in this Passover meal that Jesus shares with his disciples, we find our roots for the Eucharist. That same night, Judas, one of Jesus's disciples, would lead the authorities to find Jesus so they could arrest him. Over the next day, Jesus would be mocked, flogged, put on trial, found innocent, and handed over to be crucified nonetheless. On Friday, Jesus, a blameless and perfect person, would be killed by the very evil he came to confront. And that seems like the end of our story, right? But it's not! Three days later, Jesus's followers would see him again, alive! Jesus had confronted the evil of this world, and when it seemed like it had defeated him, he rose once more and claimed victory over death and sin! And that is our legacy as believers! We get to claim victory over death and evil - that's the good news! Jesus shows us the way to defeat evil in our world through love and service. Jesus not only showed us the way to live and defeat evil, but he restores us so we can stand righteous before our heavenly father! That's a lot of good news, and those at Dresden UMC think it's worth celebrating! So we did, on Easter Sunday, we gathered, and we celebrated - we worshiped together, ate good food together, and fellowshipped together.  

A special thank you goes out to all who made our celebrations and services possible! It takes a lot of people to pull all these things together, and we are lucky to have some incredible folks around. 

And to those reading this who are still nervous to "check church out," we invite you to join our down-to-earth crew at Dresden UMC - you might just find it feels like home!

Announcements:

  • We invite you to join us on Sunday for service at 9:30 am. We'll save you a seat!
  • 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.

Penn Yan First Baptist

On April 24, we will welcome B. Dale Wakley as our guest speaker. Dale's message will be, "How the Spirit Convicts the World". Reading from Scripture, John 16:7-11. Our worship service is at 10 a.m. Sunday. You are welcomed to join us. 

Our American Baptist Women will meet together this month in a "satellite" gathering. There will be a country store auction, ice cream with all the toppings and much laughter.

Mother's Day is approaching and we will have Blanket Sunday Offering from Church World Service. In 2021 congregational gifts have provided over 191,000 CWS blankets and kits globally to families impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other crises. Over 8,000 were distributed in NYS alone. Ten dollars provides a blanket to a person in need. Last year FBC Penn Yan raised $346. Can we raise the bar?

Milo Center Methodist

Holy Week reflects life on Earth with sadness, joy, agony, and hope. So many ups and downs within this week. Faith to Doubt, Joy to Sorrow, Good to Evil and back to Good; Life to Death and JOY as Jesus returns to life. Pastor Kim took us on a journey from Palm Sunday through The Denial with readings, hymns and silent prayer.  An amazing week to reflect how this life is truly a journey that is mirrored so often to that of many years ago. The MCUMC family spreads blessings to you all this  Easter and every day beyond. May you find great joy and more  light than darkness in your life.

Think of a friend and send a note to share a smile. Prayers continue to many for quick healing, peace, good medical test results, and those things that are silent on our hearts. Congratulations was shared to the Penn Yan Rotary Club for its 100 years of service to our community. 

Our young disciples had a "Bumper Crop"  of items gathered for The Living Well's Lent calendar. Thanks to so many for your contributions.

Service and Sunday School are at 9 a.m. Sundays. All are welcome! 

Penn Yan Methodist

Almost 60 women from around the area gathered Monday, April 11 for a “Palm Monday Breakfast” at PYUMC. This breakfast is an annual tradition that was started about 50 years ago by the women of this church. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, it was an especially joyful experience to gather with our neighbors and celebrate this sacred week together. Beverly Cook provided music on the piano, along with soloist Phyllis Bailey.

Almost 60 women from around the area gathered Monday, April 11 for a “Palm Monday Breakfast” at PYUMC.
This breakfast is an annual tradition that was started about 50 years ago by the women of this church.

Rev. Kristen Roth Allen, pastor of PYUMC, shared a message that explored a little-noticed moment in Jesus’ life on the evening of Palm Sunday: his visit to the Temple. Mark 11:11 records that Jesus went to the Temple, looked around, and since it was late in the day, went away. Why did Jesus do that? And why did Mark bother to record it? Since the Temple was so much at the heart of Jesus’ life and of the identity of his people, there must have been many memories for him to reflect on as he looked around that evening. As the shadow of the cross loomed over his week, those memories were an important reminder of who Jesus was and why he came, giving him courage to face the terrible suffering and death ahead of him.

Pastor Kristen asked the women attending to pause and remember the people who set them on the path of faith. Who were those people who formed you and blessed you, who held your hand and prayed for you, who urged you to follow Jesus with courage? Is there a word from them that stirs in the shadows of this Palm Monday for you? What is God calling you to, that you need to be still and think about, and then move forward with resolve, and trust, and the with the joy of the Lord as your strength? At the beginning of this Holy Week, it was good to take time to reflect on these questions, and to enjoy the fellowship of other women on the journey of faith.

PYUMC has worship Sundays at 9 a.m. (contemporary) and 11 a.m. (traditional) as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and www.PennYanUMC.com. Nursery care is available at both services. Sunday School for grades K-5th meets every Sunday at 9 a.m. Youth Group for grades 6-12 meets twice a month on Saturdays. Contact the church office for details: 315-536-6711. Everyone is welcome