CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express
The Chronicle-Express

Bluff Point Methodist

So good to once again hang out after church at Bluff Point Methodist on a warm summery day, chatting with our friends on Pentecost Sunday.

We can now gather together in church without reservations! So nice to see our friends and worship together. We soon will have more social events outside church and enjoy company and conversation!

Pastor Sandi spoke of the life of Dinah this past Sunday, reflecting on Genesis 33: 1-31.  Her story was told by the men around her, as at that time women had no voice. Dinah was one of the vulnerable women in the Bible. She reminds us that there are many sad stories in the Bible, and many large issues that prompt hours of discussion. Dinah had 11 brothers, but she was unheard. She was assaulted and taken advantage of in life. The impact of her treatment is however far-reaching. Whom do we care for? Do we care for the poor, the widows, the children, or those who don’t have a voice? Do we listen or pay attention to their needs?

We celebrated Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the church. The disciples were received by the Holy Spirit during this time. Over 3000 people were baptized. There was flame and celebration. Where are the movements and flames in your life?

The children have planted their garden.  Let’s watch things grow! 


St. Mark’s Episcopal

Ellen DeGeneres said, “If you want to get rid of stuff, you can always do a good spring-cleaning. Or you can do what I do. Move.” At St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan, it was time to get rid of stuff and we did not want to move so we did a very good spring-cleaning, and it was a cathartic, rewarding process.

It is amazing that there was anything to clean at all as we had only recently begun to use the church building again after many months of worshipping together online. A plan was made by the vestry to clean up both inside and outside the church, volunteers were solicited, and Saturday, May 15, many members of the church showed up with gardening tools, or aprons, or favorite dusting cloths and were put to work where needed. Our rector, Dan, brave person, climbed a ladder balanced on planks put across pews to be able to reach the lamps to install energy saving LED lights. The bell tower was swept out for the first time in several years, the church sign was repaired, and the pews were resupplied with goodie baskets with tissues, hand sanitizer, hard candy, welcome cards — and pencils. We also made sure there were hymnals available in each pew — someday we will sing together again! Outside the church the flower beds were weeded and planted — and a flower bed was discovered that we didn’t even know existed!

The best part was that we worked together for those few hours, in fellowship. Yes, we wore our masks and did not crowd each other, respectful of those who had not yet been vaccinated. But we worked together, in a shared space, creating order where there had been, well, definitely not chaos, but a bit of disorder. Spring cleaning at St. Mark’s was gratifying to say the least, as was coming to the Sunday service the next day, and seeing the new colorful blossoms outside and the bright, mellow light inside the church.

We invite everyone to join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. for Holy Eucharist. And we won’t ask you to help us clean.


Milo Center Methodist

Many celebrations were shared — graduations, prom, travel, sports successes, weather. We are truly blessed in so many ways. We also continue to lift up Dana Gibson, Dale Welker, Laurie Koek, Kristine Mattison and Valerie Lerch for prayers of strength and healing. Thoughts of gratitude to our farming community. We appreciate you.

Our message from Pastor Kim this week was a powerful one. She spoke about condemnation and how our sins aka "dirt" can be washed away with our faith in Christ. Who is to say that our past wrong doings can't be forgiven? Who will disagree with

the Lord?  Look at the Dream Team of Apostles that Christ surrounded Himself with. They all had a past life that held both good and bad, yet when Christ asked them to follow Him, they did. They essentially were washed of the "dirt" that their previous journey had left behind. Just as Paul urged the Romans to do, we can also see past our transgressions and believe in forgiveness. We often hold ourselves back. You and Jesus are the only ones that know your true story. He is willing to wash away our sins aka dirt, shouldn't we let Him?

We are meeting in person and via Zoom. All are welcome Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. Won't you join us? 

Penn Yan First Presbyterian

As May drew to a close, there were rays of hope surrounding normal activities. FPC celebrated Pentecost and the birthday of our Christian church with more people in attendance than have been allowed in the sanctuary for over a year. The Holy Spirit made its presence known! After the service we enjoyed our new version of coffee hour, “lemonade on the lawn.” Members are beginning to return and everyone was genuinely delighted to be together and catch up with friends in person.

Other steps towards this hopeful future include the revisions in guidelines by the CDC and loosening of worship restrictions in New York State. FPC Session held a special meeting and has now increased our Sunday worship capacity to 50 percent, approximately 70 people. At the moment, reservations are not needed. The warmer weather allows us to open the windows and the overhead fans help with air circulation. There has also been discussion regarding the possibility of outdoor worship. Session has however chosen to keep masks as a requirement within the church building for everyone’s protection.

The May letter from our Presbytery cautions that we still must remain vigilant. The spread of COVID and now variants has not been stopped in the U. S. and is still worsening in countries like India, Brazil and Taiwan. Even those of us who are fully vaccinated should not yet abandon our masks. Prudence is still being encouraged in our churches and sanctuaries and the wearing of masks is preferred to protect the vulnerable, some of whom have yet to be vaccinated. While there is certainly hope that we are emerging from this pandemic, after all this time we should not throw caution to the wind. Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

St. Michael’s Catholic

This week all people of good conscience are urged to stand up for life by registering at www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com  The abortion industry wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment of Roe vs. Wade to make taxpayers fund abortions at all stages of pregnancy. If this goes against your moral compass, please take action. 

We are approaching the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi on 6/6. We encourage everyone to register for “Why is the Eucharist ‘the Source & Summit of life’?” It’s a free webinar on June 5 from 9 – 11 a.m.  Presenters will explore John 6 and the Bread of Life; Living a Eucharistic Life and Enlightened eyes and hearts ablaze!  Register at https://bibleconference.augustineinstitute.org/  

All women are invited to Magnificat Rochester’s quarterly Women’s breakfast, Saturday, June 12 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Brook Lea Country Club, 891 Pixley Road (off Chili Avenue). Register via PayPal ($26) at www.MagnificatRochester.org .  After June 5: $27. Student $15. Guest speaker is Regina Civiletti, a mother and widow.  She shares Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness, forgiving the man who killed her husband by vehicular homicide. Masks required and social distancing will be honored.  

"Behold Your Mother" by Tim Staples is a book study we will be offering. It is a study in apologetics (a defense of the faith) on the special relationship we have with the Mother of God. Interested? Register for it by calling Patty at the Parish Center. 


Dresden United Methodist Church 

Sunday service May 23, started with an organ prelude and the Call to Worship, led by Toby Bond, who also read the Scripture: Acts 2: 1-21

The following musical selections were played on the organ by Sheryl Parkhurst: Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow; On Pentecost They Gathered; Wake, the Dawn Is Now Full Rising; Holy Spirit, Truth Divine; Shaping Spirit, Move Among Us; Like the Murmur of the Dove's Song; Wind Upon the Waters; Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove; Spirit; Spirit of the Living God; and Sweet, Sweet Spirit. 

Pastor Marilyn Wood's message: “Lighting the candles represents the flame of the Holy Spirit that came down at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit interprets in our minds what God is speaking to us.  The Holy Spirit encourages, guides and strengthens us. We are able to say that God is with us, helping us. We are blessed to have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always with us. We should listen to the Holy Spirit as God comforts, guides and strengthens us through the Holy Spirit.” 

Benediction: “May the Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”


Branchport Methodist Church

Welcome to summer!  Our first barbecue is over and we thank everyone who supported us. Watch for more community events coming up for the summer.

We are happy about the new CDC guidelines, but we are also being cautious for a while. Pastor Kim has asked that we leave our masks on when entering and leaving the church and while singing, but we can take them off if we wish while sitting in the pews. And we are also continuing using Zoom for worship and also for meetings for the time being. 

We hope that this will be a good summer for all. Be watching for big improvements in the coming weeks! We welcome visitors to join us for our Sunday morning worship service at 10:45 a.m.