SUBSCRIBE NOW

CHURCH BRIEFS

The Chronicle Express

First Baptist Church of Penn Yan

First Baptist Church of Penn Yan wishes everyone a very blessed, prosperous and healthy New Year! Our worship services are held on Sundays at 10 am, wearing masks and socially distancing. All are welcome to join us!

Milo Center United Methodist Church

Blessings sent to our friends Tammy, Julie, Linda, Mary Lou, Lynn and Jen this week.

Strength is uplifted to all essential workers through the holidays and beyond.

Continue bringing in clean prescription bottles. We will be sending them to the mission in January. 

As in many churches around the world this week, Pastor Kim spoke of the story of Mary. However, as she discussed the famous poem then song "Mary did you know?" it became clear that those questions could be posed to any parent -- although the context and certainly the timeline are different. There are so many questions that come along with being a parent the first time or even the fourth. The next time you hear that song, think of it in terms of your experiences as a parent or a role model to a young person at some point in your life. God uses these questions to open us up. To make space for wonder, imagination and contemplation. They open us up to the awe of God and his love and grace. Every birth is a miracle and is an image of God if we open our eyes to it. As with Mary's conception, nothing is impossible for God.

Happiest and healthiest of new years to all! 

Bluff Point United Methodist Church

Our BPUMC congregation wishes all of you a wonderful New Year, filled with joy and good health, as we put 2020 in the rear-view mirror!

Company came for Christmas. Even though our celebrations were smaller, Jesus was with us all the time as we celebrated his birthday.

Pastor Sandi reflected as we were decorating and waiting and wondering on the threshold for the company of Jesus. Pastor Sandi read scripture and told that Jesus said he moved around to teach others, and did not need a large house. He never stayed in one place. God said it did not matter what the entrance to our looks like, it’s what is inside.  Jesus moved from place to place, as did Mary and Joseph on their journey.  Pastor Sandi told us that we need to share joy, love, hope and peace in our homes, by inspiration and sharing.  Pastor Sandi asked us what our threshold looks like.  Tensions are OK ... we need to seek out God’s word.  We have all been given so much.  

Our Zoom church service was filled with Christmas carols, as the kids lit the last advent candle. The decorated tree reminds us of past Christmases shared at church, with decorations we all brought from our homes.

This past week we celebrated our last church drive-through with hot chocolate, cookies and a nativity. We have found ways to stay connected, yet apart, and remain safe.

New Years wishes for a much better and healthier 2021!

Penn Yan First Presbyterian Church

As one unprecedented year comes to an end, the world is now able to look forward to a new year of promise in dealing with this pandemic. Within the first quarter of 2021, it is predicted millions of Americans will have received one of two vaccines now approved for use here. However, we must all still remain vigilant and careful around others until a substantial portion of the population gets vaccinated and more is known about the various vaccines' effectiveness.

Until then, we wait with great anticipation for the day people can return to wide scale in-person interaction with family, friends and humanity. For many of us, gathering together includes attending church services and activities. With this in mind, FPC will continue to follow strict guidelines for limited attendance at Sunday in-person services and proceed with great caution in allowing a return to the building for any activities. Sunday services will still be streamed and available for viewing afterwards. Other activities will be hosted via Zoom in the coming months.

FPC plans to begin our next Zoom Book Study program on Tuesdays, from 7 until 8 pm, starting on Jan. 12, 2021. The topic focuses on the Bible’s book of Romans and the title of the book is, “Paul for Everyone – Romans, Part 1, Chapters 1-8”, by N. T. Wright. It is published by Westminster John Knox Press and is available in both regular and large print. If you are interested in participating in our book group or purchasing the book, please call the church at 315-536-8235 or email firstprespy211@yahoo.com.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

In this Covid year most things are unlike ever before and the celebrations of Christmas are no exception. No large gatherings or performances, no indoor singing, and constraints on family celebrations. Christmas itself has not changed. The Incarnation is with us again! Take time to enjoy the rest of the season.

Many of us really enjoy myths, for their truth and often their wisdom, even when there is no fact involved! As we move through Christmastide, from Christmas Day until the Epiphany, Jan. 6, we all enjoy the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Was that carol written as a catechism for Roman Catholic children in England during the 200-plus years when the practice of their religion was outlawed by the Anglican authorities? Do the three French Hens really represent the Trinity, or the gifts of the Magi, or Faith, Hope and Charity?

Probably not, according to Snopes.com. It may be a lovely thought but the truth is that the song is thought to have originated in France and most of the original six gifts were various birds. The first print version dates to 1780 in a book for children, “Mirth Without Mischief” as a game of forfeits.

As a catechism it would not have been very useful since all of the beliefs, with the exception of the sacrament of Penance, were held by the Anglicans, and did not need to be hidden. The usefulness of a seasonal song as a teaching tool is limited at best and the gifts don’t suggest their meaning in any obvious way. It should also be noted that under Cromwell any observance of Christmas was banned.

While the carol’s connection to Christian theology may not be historic, probably dating to the 1990s, it can still remind us of our faith as we observe the twelve days of Christmas. So, Merry Christmas, everyone -- maybe the Pipers really do represent the 11 faithful Apostles.

Some of the purported meanings of the symbols:

True Love  =  God

Receiver of the gift (Me)  =  All the Baptized

Partridge  = Jesus Christ

2 Turtle Doves  =  Old & New Testament

3 French Hens  =  the Trinity

4 Calling Birds  =  4 Gospels

5 Golden Rings  =  Pentateuch, first 5 books of the Old Testament

6 Geese-a-Laying  =  6 Days of Creation

7 Swans-a-Swimming  =  7 Sacraments

8 Maids-a-Milking  =  8 Beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing  =  9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords-a-Leaping  =  10 Commandments

11 Pipers Piping  =  11 Faithful Apostles

12 Drummers Drumming  =  12 Points in the Apostles Creed

Dresden United Methodist Church

The Dec. 20 service at the Dresden United Methodist Church began with Sheryl Parkhurst playing a prelude of Christmas carols on the organ.

Toby Bond led our Call to Worship, which was by Lindsey Baynham, inspired by the Magnificat:

One voice: The womb of a young virgin leaps for joy, and the ultimate gift prepares to come into the world as a babe.

All voices: Come God, in the flesh, to your church.

One voice: God, you have done great things, and they continue.

All voices: Come God, in the flesh, to your church.

One voice: God, you have done great things, and they continue. You have flipped the script for the sake of connecting with a people, a young couple, and us.

All voices: Come God, in the flesh, to your church.

Toby lit the fourth Advent candle. She also lit the Christmas candle because we will not be meeting for church the Sunday after Christmas.  We will also not be meeting the Sunday after New Years Day.  It was decided not to meet those two Sundays so that we could stay safe due to Covid and the holidays. Toby read the scripture from Luke: chapter one, verses 47-55.

Sheryl played a beautiful medley of songs including: Born is He, This Holy Child; While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night; Sing Out The Tidings; The Holly and The Ivy; God Rest You Merry,Gentlemen; Come, All Ye Shepherds; Away In a Manger; I Wonder as I Wander; I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day; and Good Christian Men, Rejoice.

Pastor Marilyn Wood had Sheryl play through an old anthem, "My Christmas Prayer." Some of the words are: "O Come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee." Pastor told us that without Christmas, life would be impossible. Pastor told us that Luke touched our hearts by announcing that the Holy thing is the Son of God. Many are hungry for God at Christmas. We need a Saviour. Jesus was given to us and He is our salvation. He came to us to save us from our sins. Prayer gets us through. It is powerful and makes things possible. We can have a relationship with God by talking to him through prayer.  

Benediction: May this Christmas bring you closer to God, our Lord and Saviour.

Please remember that we will not be having church Jan. 3. We are trying to be extra safe. A reminder that we always check temperatures, wear masks, use hand sanitizer and social distance in our church.

St. Michael's Catholic Church

We thank everyone who made reservations for Christmas Eve and Day Masses, and joined us through our Facebook page for the live streamed option.  

The Christmas Season continues! On Jan. 1 we will honor Mary. She is the first Saint and patroness of the Americas. The Epiphany of Jesus happens on Jan. 3. We encourage everyone to continue to practice acts of charity and kindness, especially to those who are isolated, through Jan. 10, when the Christmas season officially ends.  

A reminder to any parishioners who like to ski, that we can join the Ski Club at our parish school. All six Fridays will be at Hunt Hollow in Naples. The first outing will be Jan. 15. Contact Keith Prather at the school, or see the attachment to Melissa’s Wednesday letter. Not receiving the Wednesday letter? Call 315-536-7459 to request it. Christmas blessings!