St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
This Annual Meeting was truly a new experience but we managed to accomplish all the business; it is more than fair to say with a couple of glitches, more than one “please unmute,” some fun, good conversation but without any of the good food we usually have! The Rector reported that we are ok, in spite of the virus, because of the efforts of many of our parishioners. He thanked everyone for all they have done to help us stay connected.
Elections were held and the results are:
• Junior Warden (2-year, 2023) Jim Henderson
• Vestry (3-year, 2024) Alise Irwin, Kathy Sandberg
• So. East District Delegate (3-year, 2024) Cat Graves, (1-year, 2022) Pat Selwood, Alternate
• St. Mark’s Terrace Board (3-year, 2023) Anne Wolden
Linda Hunter, Treasurer, reported on the budget passed by the Vestry in December. Income was below budget because we were not able to conduct all our normal fund-raising events, but the forgiven loan under the CARES Act was very helpful in allowing us to continue paying staff during COVID-19. The total expense budget for 2021 is $143,585 while the projected income is $120,164.
Needless to say, we look forward to being back in our building in the, hopefully, in the not-too-distant future!
Dresden Methodist Church
The service Jan. 31 was opened with a beautiful prelude by organist Sheryl Parkhurst. The Call to Worship was:
Come Christians, join to sing: Alleluia! Amen!
loud praise to Christ our King: Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice, before his throne rejoice;
praise is his gracious choice. Alleluia! Amen!
Toby Bond read the scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. Sheryl Parkhurst played a wonderful medley: Reach Out to Jesus, Cleanse Me, When You Pray, The Longer I Serve Him, Something Good Is Going to Happen to You, Do You Know My Jesus?, Surely Goodness and Mercy, Almost Persuaded, After All, and I'll Fly Away. It was mentioned that "I'll Fly Away" was Grace Nussbaumer's and Betty Smalley's favorite song.
In Pastor Marilyn Wood's sermon, Barbie and Ken are "supposed" to be the perfect ideal of what people should be like. Actors and actresses attempt to be like they used to be before gravity took over. The movie "These Old Broads" attempts to recapture what was and now is not. They changed the outside appearance, but not the inside. The scripture lesson told how one man, Jesus, died for everyone, so we can change the inside and get a new start. The old life goes and the new life begins. Jesus' sacrificial eyes love all of us and we are all loved the same by God. We are new creations in Christ. If you ever diligently prayed for someone you didn't like, a change will come over you. Pastor told us of Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Co., who was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee. He read a poem he had written:
Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air
You’ve stripped away our heritage
You’ve outlawed simple prayer
Now gunshots fill our classrooms
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere
And ask the question “Why”?
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed
And yet you fail to understand
That God is what we need
What happened to our country where it refuses to honor God? There is hatred and violence. We don't need more TV religions and million dollar churches. We just need a change of heart and be humble. We need a simple trust in God. God says to love the unloved. We will have a better life if we let the old life go and become a new creation. Darrell Scott was a spokesperson for Christ. We need a better way and it's God's way.
The benediction was, “Go from this place knowing that God chose you and gives you the words to say and the mind to love each other as He loves you.”
Penn Yan First Presbyterian Church
Every New Year, at the January meeting, each Presbytery holds a special worship service to recognize and honor all of the Ruling Elders and Clergy who have passed away in the previous year. The Geneva Presbytery held their meeting on Jan.23, following this tradition with the desire to give thanks for our Elders past service and remember their names before the Lord.
In 2020, due to remote worship services and in some cases no worship services, compiling the list of names was especially difficult. Some churches still have no office hours or staff to allow the Annual Reports to be submitted timely. Of our Presbytery’s fifty-two congregations, only 19 churches were able to submit their report. Sadly within that small number of churches, our geographical area lost forty wonderful past or present elders. Our Presbytery overall witnessed a greater number of losses, by church, than in years past. The same can probably be said for far too many houses of worship throughout the country and world. With families and congregations often unable to grieve together and celebrate loved ones lives and accomplishments it only deepens the loss.
That made the reading of names at January’s service far more poignant and meaningful. Romans 12:10 tells us to “love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” FPC takes a moment to remember once more the contributions, dedication, love, and lives of our departed Elders; Bev P., Phyllis A., Nancy B. and also longstanding members; Sharon F., Eleanor S., Jan M., and Isabelle D.
Branchport Methodist Church
Our Sunday worship services continue on Zoom at least for the rest of February. In spite of not being together in the building, our service to the community continues. This month we have been collecting soap supplies like bar soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc. in honor of the Super (Soaper) Bowl. These will be donated to the Living Well. We are also collecting pet supplies for Pet Partner Connections. Pastor Kim will be picking them all up at the church on Sunday, Feb. 14 between 1 and 1:30 p.m. If you have things to donate, please drop them off then.
Pastor Kim will also be handing out Lenten information at that time to be used during worship time during Lent. If you cannot get there on the 14th, give her a call and she will mail them to you.
Please continue to reach out to friends and neighbors with cards and calls during this time of isolation. Also, keep those dealing with illness, grief and loneliness in your prayers.
St. Michael’s Catholic Church
National Marriage Week began on Sunday. The Sacrament of Matrimony is one of the sacraments of service, in which the couple recognizes God in each other and shows self-sacrificing love toward each other. God is there with them to give grace and joy. For each day of the week, an at home Marriage Retreat is available at www.usccb.org/resources/NMW%202021%20At-Home%20Marriage%20Retreat%20EN.pdf All married couples attending Mass on 2/13-14 (2/14 is World Marriage Day) will receive a special blessing. Visit “ForYourMarriage.org” for other resources. Sts. Priscilla and Aquilla, patrons of marriage, help us pray for all married couples.
Monday was the World day of reflection, prayer and action to end human trafficking. It is a 150-billion-dollar industry involving 40.3 million victims of modern-day slavery worldwide. Many more facts and action suggestions are found on Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Community’s Facebook page, posted Feb. 8.
The Friends of Recovery of NY (FOR-NY) are meeting in Albany Feb. 9. By sharing their stories of addiction and recovery, they advocate for assistance and hope for themselves and others who also suffer from addiction. We ask everyone to implore the intercession of St. Maximillian Kolbe, the patron of addicts, as we pray and act to offer Jesus as a firm rock on which to cling.
The Word 2021 FREE International Catholic Bible Summit runs from Feb. 11 - 13. God’s Word brings hope & peace, strength and comfort and faith and balance. Register for it at www.cardinalstudios.org/offers/HsmYrzEJ/checkout.
Have you signed the online petition to continue Nourish NY yet? This is our Public Policy focus in February. Gov. Cuomo supports the program. The money benefits those hardest hit by the pandemic – farmers and families that go to food banks. Although Gov. Cuomo’s budget request is $10 million more than our advocacy calls for, it is still necessary to sign the petition www.dor.org/petition/. Click the appropriate drop-downs to get your petition to the correct representative. Also let the Governor know you support renewed funding for Nourish NY by contacting him at www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form Follow it up with a phone call!
Whether New York gets Federal funding or not, our friends and neighbors need the help. View the video at www.agriculture.ny.giv/NourishNY. Ask friends and neighbors to join in.