CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express

Milo Center Methodist

Congratulations, Pastor Kimberly Lyon, on completion of your course of study! We are so proud of you and honor the privilege to have you as part of the MCUMC family. 

We have heard the story before of Doubting Thomas from his observations after the resurrection. This week, Pastor Kim asked us to approach the story with a different mindset. Why did Thomas want to see Jesus' wounds and feel he needed to touch them to believe? The resurrected body was surely changed after death on the cross. The scars tell a story, not of ugliness but beauty. Boldly saying, "I survived." That is true of us with our own scars, physical or emotional, they are a symbol that we survived. For those needing to see proof that the man before them professing to be Jesus was truly Him, He was able to show His wounds and offer peace to all as He did.  After all, He died for our salvation. Blessed are those who believe without seeing. You will find peace. 

Prayers to Jeannine Andersen, Mildred Koek, Brian Winslow, the Tillman and Prior families, Frank Francisco, and Marie Cotton. Spread kindness wherever you can. Keep uplifting each other. 

Service and Sunday School are in person or Zoom Sundays at 9 a.m.

St. Mark's Episcopal

The people of Penn Yan are no doubt aware that they have an Episcopal Church in their town, specifically St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 179 Main St.  Less certain is whether many folks know what the word “Episcopal” means in the name of a church. (It may even be that not all Episcopalians know!)

The word “Episcopal” is simply defined as “of or pertaining to bishops.” The word for “bishop” in Greek is “Episkopos," which literally translates as “overseer.”  The Episcopal Church was named so because it followed the tradition of appointing bishops as clerical authorities. 

The Episcopal Church is the American-branch of the Anglican Communion, a global (catholic) network of churches joined together by common worship and historic unity with the Archbishop of Canterbury, England.  Anglicans trace their theological and historical roots to the 4th century church in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and parts of France.

It is one of our founding traditions that there is an unbroken line of succession from Jesus' apostles to present-day bishops. The Church of England is an established, state church headed by the king or queen and requiring loyalty to that monarch. Needless to say, the newly independent Episcopalians were not interested in swearing loyalty to the King. Fortunately, the Anglican church in Scotland was not a state church and had no loyalty oath. Bishop Samuel Seabury of Scotland was willing to consecrate the first American bishop by the actual ceremonial laying-on-of hands thus establishing the Apostolic Succession in the newly formed Episcopal Church.

 A bishop presides over a number of churches in a geographical known as a diocese. In this country the church is governed by a General Convention and consists of 100 dioceses plus 11 dioceses in other countries or outlying U.S. Territories. St. Mark's is a member parish in the Diocese of Rochester which is now in the process of calling a new bishop who will be elected at a Diocesan Convention by delegates from all of the churches in the diocese. 

 In February of 2008 the Rt. Rev. (the title of a bishop is Right Reverend) Prince Singh was elected as bishop of the Diocese of Rochester. In February of this year, 2022, he stepped down from that position. Often when that happens the body known as the Standing Committee of a diocese makes the decision to have a period of time, perhaps two or three years, during which an interim is chosen to be what is known as a Provisional bishop while a diocese considers what it is being called to in terms of their next bishop. 

Fortunately for the Diocese of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Lane, who had served for many years as a priest in this diocese, recently retired from his tenure as Bishop of Maine and was available to step in as provisional for Rochester. This he did in February of 2022.  Accordingly, the parishes of the Diocese of Rochester, including St. Mark's, Penn Yan, under the leadership of Bishop Lane, will now begin the task of discerning the will of the Holy Spirit for this particular part of God's church as expressed in the Anglican Communion.

Interim Bishop Stephen Lane of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

 If you would like to observe us, and pray with us, as we worship together during this age-old process, please come any Sunday at 9 a.m. You will be most welcome.

Bluff Point Methodist

Pastor Sandi asked us what we are doing to build the Kingdom of God. Just alone going to church only builds the foundation. We need to sacrifice with Jesus. We are the best kind of witnesses for Jesus! She reviewed scripture from Acts: 5: 27-32 for her Sunday message. This passage was written by Luke, a companion to Paul, during the late 1st century. This showed us that we are witnesses, called to a life of reconciliation and grace. We need to live every day with grace and proclaim our faith! We need to have a life of hospitality and reconciliation. We need also to like our neighbors and be neighborly. How can we do all that we are called to do?  We can only do this with the Holy Spirit!  We try, we may fail, and we try again. We work our way to the Holy Spirit and celebrate as we progress toward the Kingdom of God!  Our homework was to examine what we are doing to build the Kingdom.

Welcome back to after-church coffee with treats and snacks in our kitchen and gathering area at Bluff Point Methodist. We have so missed having those special social gatherings with our friends!  Thanks Marilyn, for baking for us!

Put on your sneakers and come help us with our bi-annual Adopt-a-Highway road clean-up along Route 54A near our church Friday, May 13 at 9 a.m., weather permitting.  We will meet at church and divide up, then proceed to the route. Many hands make light work!  It usually takes about an hours time if we get enough helpers. Contact Joyce Wiedrich if you have questions.

First Presbyterian 

While Pastor Paul and Linda were away enjoying their well deserved vacation visiting family, two Sunday’s ago, FPC enjoyed a different type of church service. Instead of a traditional sermon, FPC had the pleasure of a presentation from eight Keuka College students. The students participated in the Alternative Spring Break sponsored by the Center for Interfaith Engagement. It was hosted by the Tau House of Franciscan Ministries, in Cincinnati, Ohio. FPC’s Hattie Hardman Fund helped subsidize a portion of their trip, for which they expressed their gratitude.

The students were comprised of a diverse group of men and women with a wide range of educational majors, interests and ages. They did not necessarily know each other very well prior to this six day adventure but by the end had learned a great deal about each other and themselves. They’d become a well oiled machine that accomplished quite a lot. In that busy week they worked at Freestore Food Bank, a foodbank that models itself after a grocery store, which allows persons to shop with dignity, New Life Furniture, a store that makes and repurposes donated furniture, Matthew 25 Ministries, a facility that receives, sorts and delivers donations of used goods, and a Habitat for Humanity home site. Their tasks were as varied as organizing and packing medical supplies to be sent to Ukraine or plotting and setting fifteen fence posts at the Habitat site.

At the beginning of our Sunday service, each student read a passage of text from a different religious belief or teachings about serving others. Every passage emphasized that, in one’s selfless service of helping others, all of humanity benefits and we become better people for sharing of ourselves while working to motivate others in positive ways. It highlighted that most faiths share the same basic human values. On each day of the trip, they had an assignment to focus on a chosen “word of the day” and how it applied to their daily activity. Coincidentally, the words given included; Identity, Management, Availability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Attitude! Each student spoke about one of the words and the meaning it carried for them as it was woven into their service tasks and goals for the day.

The co-leaders of the program, Eric Detar, College Chaplain and Director of the Center for Interfaith Engagement, and Tim White, Associate Director of Residence Life and Community Standards, wrapped up our Sunday service by using two more words to describe these students and how they carried themselves throughout the week, “Grace and Dignity.” Grace in the empathy they showed towards others and the dignity they gave to those they served. At our service, they shared a valuable lesson learned on their trip, “always work to treat others with kindness and understanding regardless of their situation, they should not be defined by an experience.” This group of positive young people offer continued hope for our world. Thank you to, Kathleen, Jack, Samantha, Fiona, Matt, Karly, Kelsey, and Sydney.

Penn Yan First Baptist

On Mother's Day, First Baptist will receive the Church World Service Blankets + Offering. As a church we want to make a tangible difference for those in need. It's hard to know what impact you can make around the world so through this, we know we are helping those who have been displaced, are refugees, or disaster victims.

Sunday, May 8, Dale Wakley will share his message with our congregation.

Remember our Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, May 21, at Lyons National Bank parking lot on Liberty Street. Cost will be $12 for 1/2 chicken, salt potatoes, macaroni salad, or coleslaw and roll. Proceeds to benefit the new carpeting and repainting of our historic sanctuary.

Dresden Methodist

This past week at Dresden UMC, the congregation contemplated the words in Acts 5:27-32. After his death, resurrection, and ascension, Peter and the disciples have been teaching in Jesus' name. The Sanhedrin has warned them to stop their teaching, and because of their dissent, they have been brought before the council to answer for their crimes. Peter boldly proclaims that he must follow the authority of God over the authority of humans. Many questions arise from this scripture, and they must be handled with care. We are told to obey and respect our leaders and laws in other parts of the Bible. There is a time for both. For example, the Civil Rights movement was a time in our history when it was clear that human authority was flawed. God's authority tells us that all humans are imbued with his image and, therefore, valuable beyond measure. So Christians and non-Christians alike stood together to fight for the rights and value of human citizens. As Christians, we are called to stand up to injustice, sometimes committed by our own leaders and governments. This should always be done prayerfully, thoughtfully, and carefully. Jesus himself challenged leaders in his time, both religious and political. However, he never did so lightly. Additionally, Jesus wasn't concerned with imposing rules on anyone but rather with how people, especially the poor and marginalized, were being treated. Let us follow his example and seek justice and good in our families, communities, and our country.  

Dresden United Methodist Church Easter Egg Hunt. First row: Kiara and Dominic Cranmer, Addy Lewis, Brynn Lewis, Mason Patchen. Second row: Kaylee Patchen. Third row: Jaxson Young, Jacob Mcloud, Drake McLoud, and Kierra McLoud.

This past week has been quiet after the hustle and bustle of Holy Week! However, we are gearing up for summertime and have many exciting things coming soon. We are starting to plan our VBS program for the summer and have many opportunities to serve the Penn Yan area communities. If you're interested in more information, call the church Tuesdays or Thursdays. Also, our Children's Church program is going strong and has grown! We hope you'll bring your kids by to join in the fun!

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.

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