CHURCH BRIEFS

Special to The Chronicle-Express

Branchport Methodist

Our service on Sunday began with singing the old favorite – “Jesus Loves Me.”  Pastor Kim Lyons’ message was about how we need to listen to Christ’s words and become like children again.

Coming up Sunday, Oct. 17, we will be blessing our new gazebo in our front yard.  We’re hoping to have an outdoor service that morning if the weather will cooperate and if we can manage the technology necessary for our Zoom participants. 

Also coming up, we will again be participating in Branchport’s Trunk or Treat celebration on Halloween. Bring the little ones and the not so little ones to get some treats!

All are welcome to our Sunday morning service at 10:45 a.m. We hope to see you there.

First Presbyterian

With the transition to October weather, FPC has had to say goodbye to our outdoor Sunday social gathering dubbed “Lemonade on the Lawn.” However, before we put the lemonade away for the season, let’s take a moment to reflect on how that outdoor event evolved and why it became so popular. The proverbial saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” was coined in 1915. It was made in reference to a man, Marshall P. Wilder, who remained eternally optimistic throughout his life, in the face of great adversity. Given the adversity that the entire world dealt with in 2020-2021, due to COVID-19 and its variants, we all needed to find ways to remain optimistic. Lemonade on the lawn provided FPC’s congregation a safe way to gather and catch up with each other’s lives over several months.

How ironic that the leader of our Synod of the Northeast, Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley, also began the October newsletter referencing the significance of lemons and what she called, “lemonade times, a time to dig deep and find resolve from the well that never runs dry.” She wrote of the need for all Protestant Christians to remain faithful, strong and optimistic. Dr. Ashley finds strength in hymns of faith and “the singing of angels.” She cites the hymn, “God of Grace and God of Glory … Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days.” The Synod of the N.E. had anticipated holding its annual Commission Meeting in person this year but a virtual gathering will be held Oct. 22-23 instead. This season’s theme will be “Standing in the Breach: Rooted in Our Faith.” The Synod will focus on how they can continue to support their Presbyteries through this season of brokenness and promote a season of hope for 2022.

We must all remain optimistic and hopeful that as more of the population gets vaccinated and booster shots are given, the risk of infection will lessen. Eventually gatherings can resume and we will be able to raise a glass of lemonade together to toast a more hopeful season. 

Milo Center Methodist

Our September mission collection was a huge success! The donations for kidCARE and the PYCSD will be of help to many. Thank you to our church leadership teams for the time and talent continuously given. It is such a joy to have more people in worship. Sunday School is alive with young minds and voices. Join us at 9 a.m. Sunday; all are welcome. Come as you are.

World Communion Sunday, Pastor Kim talked of the history of communion and the symbolism that sharing a table with others in Jesus name means. The Lord's table isn't just about breaking bread and sipping wine, it is meant to be a sanctuary for peace, forgiveness and understanding. Offering understanding to others and finding peace within ourselves for our choices or those of others that may affect us. She asked how we personally make sense of communion; is it with biblical readings, the world's situation or our own life  experiences? It is seen as a unity against the brokenness of the world, a sign of grace and healing. Jesus invites us to His table just as we are. 

Happy anniversary and many more to Jamie and Erica Little. Healing prayers continue to Frank Francisco. Congratulations to Dr. Pinky at Eastview Vet Clinic on the birth of her son. Many thanks for answered prayers. Bring your clean prescription bottles (with labels removed) to church; another shipment will soon be sent. 

Penn Yan First Baptist

On Oct. 17 we will receive our World Mission Offering. Our goal this year is to raise $550 to support International Ministries.  We thank Sue Willson and Connie Kerrick for Autumn decorations throughout our church building. Also, our thanks to the members of the Board of Christian Education for hosting the after-worship coffee hours during the month of October. A reminder of our ongoing ministries to collect cancelled postage stamps from your mail for U.S. Veteran rehab, Box tops for Education for PYE, applesauce cups and spare change for PYCSD Backpack Program. We hope to see you Sundays at 10 a.m. for church services!

Dresden Methodist

This past week at Dresden UMC, Pastor Rachel Patchen spoke about what it means to have childlike faith. The scripture passage this week was Mark 10:13-16, and Jesus tells his disciples that to enter the kingdom of God, they must have childlike faith. Many theologians over the years have said this means we must have unquestioning, undoubting, innocent faith. However, Pastor Rachel challenged that understanding by pointing out that kids ask a lot of questions! How many of you with kids have ever put new food in front of them? Unquestioning, undoubting, trust is not usually the response. Or have you ever had the "why?" conversation with a child? Kids ask a lot of questions; they are curious. God wants us to be hungry for information and knowledge; it's how we learn and grow! So keep asking the hard questions - keep learning and growing.  

Announcements: Bible Study will begin Tuesday, Oct. 12 at noon. Join us Friday, Oct. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for Trunk or Treat, Pumpkin Painting and a snack!  

Living Well

Here are Keuka College students Alaina, Sydnie, and Miranda, who pitched in to help at a recent fundraiser for The Living Well.

The Living Well had its first fundraiser since the pandemic Saturday, Oct. 2. This was a delicious barbecue lunch which was sold at Oak Hill in Penn Yan.  All enjoyed helping with this event and eating a tasty meal!  We were sold out by 1:30 p.m. Board members, volunteers and Keuka students participated in the event. The Living Well fundraisers have been previously curtailed since February 2000 due to restrictions posed by the Covid pandemic. We have had to rely heavily on other organizations and individuals during this time to raise funds to meet the needs of those many individuals we serve and help. 

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have continued to support us through these difficult times. We can only continue our community mission through our donors and those who support our programs and events.

Donations of food or needs (toilet paper, hygiene items, paper towels, detergent and the like) can be made by dropping them off at the Well during our business hours, 121 E. Elm Str., Penn Yan. Monetary donations can also be made on our website: www.thelivingwellmission.org.

Bluff Point Methodist

Marilyn and Gene James serve Elly Stempien communion during World-Wide Communion Service Oct. 3 at Bluff Point Methodist.

Thank you to Babs Steinert who took the helm this past Sunday, and introduced us to the writings and letter from Paul to Philemon, in Philemon 1-25.  Babs started by relating memories of a personal treasured letter she has kept-from Ft. Lewis, Washington, touching and rereading its pages, aged by time. In these days of internet messages and texting, some of the art of letter writing and keeping those treasured memories has nearly been lost. A written letter provides to you something in your hand to read again and again. The content and handwriting remain so familiar.

Paul wrote to Philemon, a church leader, while Paul was still exiled in a Roman jail.  Paul’s letter was about brotherhood, discipleship, love and forgiveness. Philemon had a church, a large house, and also was a slave owner. Paul was in a dark place and wanted to make a bad situation better. He felt that whatever one did should be in the name of Jesus. One should serve the Lord, not man. Paul felt obligated to send back a person, and sent Onesimus, likely a run-away slave belonging to Philemon. Onesimus had become a follower and helper to Paul, after meeting Christ. When becoming a Christian, Onesimus lived up to his name of useful, profitable and beneficial. Paul himself also wanted to visit Philemon when and if he was released from prison.

Babs reminded us that Oct. 16 is Stewardship Sunday. Please return your pledge cards for the coming year if you have not already done so.

Sincere condolences to our Trish DeMontfort on the recent passing of her father.