CHURCH BRIEFS

The Chronicle Express

Milo Center Methodist

Pastor Kim used a vending machine as an analogy to prayer this week. Once you ponder it, the similarities are so true. We put coins in the vending machine and expect the item we select to be given, just as we send God our prayers and expect Him to answer them as we ask. At times, the answers may not be exactly as we hoped, just like what item might fall in the vending machine.

Perhaps the greatest difficulty of prayer is that sometimes we just want to offer our coins and push the button. We don’t want God. We want something from God. We want God to change our circumstances. While God can and sometimes does change circumstances, more often than not, He changes us. God’s self-giving sustains, nourishes, strengthens, empowers, emboldens, and enables us to face the circumstances of life. We do so, sometimes with joy and gratitude, other times with pain and loss, but always with God. 

Prayers of strength to Barb Sutherland and family, Rose Webster, and Rosie C.

On Aug. 3 at 5 p.m., a Council of Churches Family Picnic will be held on the Milo Center United Methodist Church lawn. All are welcome.

Join us on Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. for a Council of Churches Family Picnic on the Milo Center UMC lawn. All are welcome. Come to the Country Fair at Vacation Bible School Aug. 8-11 from 5:30-8 p.m. For details check our Facebook page. Great fun will be had! Service is at 9 a.m. Sundays. 

Branchport Methodist

How appropriate it was to have a church service centered on the subject of prayer!  Pastor Kim’s sermon was about praying and not knowing how God will answer our prayers.  We are His beloved children being given the daily bread that we need in order to feed the world that hungers for wholeness.  We are imperfect humans, but God forgives us.

Our service of prayer abounded with concerns for our fellow parishioners who are ailing and dealing with grief over the loss of loved ones.  We know that, as the hymn we sang says, “God Will Take Care of You.”

Our fellowship time with the community on June 21 was a joyous time.  We sat in the gazebo and lawn, ate ice cream and talked and shared laughter!  Thank you to all who came to join us. Watch for news of the next ice cream social in August!

We welcome all to join us on Sunday mornings at 10:45.

First Presbyterian

A couple of Sunday’s ago, Pastor Paul’s sermon centered on the meaning, purpose and power of prayer in our lives. He focused on the Lord’s Prayer because so many Christians throughout the world know this prayer by heart and recite it often. Prayer was an essential principle in Jesus’ life and his disciples’ made a request of him to create a prayer that they could say aloud together. Faith is a regularly shared experience to unite us with God’s love and the Lord’s Prayer was meant to be communal. We need to build and nurture our relationship with God. Prayer provides a means of conversation. God is always available to hear our prayers and though there are times when the outcome still causes pain, sadness or loss, God keeps us in his care to ease our suffering. “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

In early 2018, a poll on “The Most Common Reasons for Prayer,” was commissioned by a UK Christian aid agency, Tearfund.  It indicated that in the top five reasons for prayer, “Family” was number one. This was followed respectively by; Thanking God, Health/Healing, Friends, and Financial Problems. Studies show in general, people tend to pray about issues directly impacting their daily lives. Global issues such as poverty or disasters rated much lower on the list. Of those surveyed, 94%, with a stated religious affiliation, prayed regularly. Even 20% of non-believers prayed in times of crisis.

Compare that to early 2020. “In March of 2020, as COVID-19 went global, Google searches on prayer skyrocketed,” wrote J. S. Bentzen, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. A Pew Study on prayer was conducted in the US in April of 2020. It showed that more and more people were being drawn to the power of prayer due to the COVID pandemic. Of Americans, 55% overall were praying for an end to COVID, 86% of those had religious affiliations and 14% were unaffiliated. This has been compared to “The Great Awakening” after World War II, when many Americans turned to prayer in response to that global crisis. In 1947, 75% of Americans were attending houses of worship and prayed regularly. Among the non-religious, 17% were praying weekly or monthly.

According to Chaplain Isabelle Hamley, “Many people are driven to pray at critical points in their lives, even if they are not religious. Praying spontaneously is about reaching out to a higher spiritual being and God is there to hear everyone’s prayers.”

Bluff Point Methodist

Please join us at services on Zoom or in person 9 a.m. Sundays;  the only weeks this summer we won’t be in our sanctuary are Aug. 7- the day of our BPUMC Church Picnic held on the grounds at Keuka College, and also Aug. 14, when there will be a combined UMC Yates County service at Red Jacket Park in Penn Yan.

Join in Bluff Point Methodist's services with Pastor Sandi Perl either in person or by Zoom.

Our scripture passage this past week was from Hosea 11: 1-11.  This scripture told of Israel being a beloved child.  The more he was called, the more he ignored the calling and went the other way.  The passage tells that even though Israel broke my heart and ignored me that he would continue to be loved and forgiven.  In life today, people let us down after we pour so much into them.  We have a forgiving God. Pastor Sandi asked us how we were going to help people in our community, giving patience and respect.  We need to count our blessings and be thankful! 

Lots of activities in August for families and kids. Check our website and newsletter.  Remember how much fun our ice cream socials are?  Come join us! All are welcome!