CHURCH BRIEFS

The Chronicle Express

Branchport Methodist

This is the Day!  We began our service by singing this beautiful song. May 15 was the day we celebrated Pastor Kim Lyons’ completion of her Course of Study to become a licensed pastor in the Methodist Church. It was a joint service with her other church, Milo Center. Many others came to celebrate with her – members from Rushville and Middlesex, along with family and other friends who have supported and encouraged her along this journey. We are all very proud of her!

Don’t forget the Chicken BBQ this weekend!  The drive-thru event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. Forget about cooking dinner – come grab your chicken meal and go back to enjoy the lake!

The registration forms for the July 4 Red, White and Blue 5K are now available on our website, www.branchportumc.org or on Falcon Timing’s website.  If you register online there is a $3 fee. To avoid this, you can print out the form and mail it in. June 16 is the deadline to be sure of getting a t-shirt since they have to be ordered by that date.

Pastor Kim Lyons accepting her gift from the congregation of Branchport Methodist Church on the completion of her Licensed Pastor Course of Study.

Milo Center United Methodist

What an amazing service at Branchport UMC on Sunday to celebrate Pastor Kim. Thank you for including the Milo Center UMC family.

"You're parting water, making a way for me

You're moving mountains that I don't even see

You've answered my prayers before I even speak 

All you need from me is to be STILL"

This is a verse from a song named "Still," beautifully performed at service by friends of Pastor Kim.  A perfect tribute to Kim on her completion of course of study as she described her cup overflowing with the Living Waters of Jesus. Sometimes all we need is to be still, stop trying to control what we can't and have faith in Jesus. He will lead the way. We are all so thankful that Jesus led Pastor Kimberly Lyons to our faith communities. 

Isaiah 40:28-31 was shared. If you are not familiar with it, look it up. It is a favorite, very thought-filled.

Continued prayers for peace to the family of Jeannine Andersen as they are deal with her loss. Thoughts are with Louise Payne and family for healing from illness and the loss of Jack. Prayers to the medical team supporting Heather James as she begins her journey with cancer.

May has many birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate; to all, have an amazing new year. 

Chicken BBQ tickets are SOLD! Thank you for the fantastic support of this important fundraiser for our church.

St. Mark's Episcopal

Each year, 40 days after Easter Day, Anglican, Roman and Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches celebrate the bodily Ascension of Jesus, the Christ, into heaven, an event that is described in Scripture as having taken place in the presence of 11 of Jesus' disciples. Many Protestant churches no longer celebrate this as a stand-alone event, but it is recorded as a principal feast of the Episcopal Church.

The story of this event is found in the first chapter of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. In it, Jesus is said to have taken his disciples out to Bethany where he lifted up his hands and blessed them. As the scripture says “while he was blessing them he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” Before this he told them to remain in Jerusalem and that after ten days the Holy Spirit would come upon them and they would be “clothed with power from on high” to preach the Gospel, proclaiming repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations. It is said that the disciples then “returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God.”

The Ascension, which was a very popular subject in classical art, was important to early Christians for several reasons. First, the Ascension signaled the end of Jesus' earthly ministry. God the Father had sent His Son into the world at Bethlehem and now the Son was returning to the Father. The period of human limitation was at an end so the Ascension signified success in His earthly work. All that He had come to do, He had accomplished. Next, it allowed Him to prepare a place for us in Heaven. (John 14:2) and indicated the beginning of His new work as High Priest and Mediator of the New Covenant. (Hebrews 9:15). Finally, it set the pattern for His return. Scripture tells us that when Jesus comes to build His Kingdom, He will return just as He left, literally, bodily and visibly in the clouds (Acts 1:11; Daniel 7: 13-14; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7).

In the modern era, Ascension Day itself was celebrated in the Episcopal Church as recently as in the 1960s, but that is not done regularly now. Instead, come and visit St. Mark's on what is now called Ascension Sunday, this year on May 29. The Rev. Kit Tobin will be celebrating the Holy Eucharist with us.

Penn Yan United Methodist

A Mother’s Day Tea was held by the youth group at Penn Yan United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 7. The youth invited all the women of the church, whether they are mothers or not, as a way of saying “thank you” for all the love and support these women give our young people. Tables in the chapel were decorated with colorful tablecloths and handmade treat boxes. The teens made cookies, served as greeters, and made sure each woman who came was supplied with refreshments. It was a joyful experience for everyone! Now the youth are working on something special to do for the men of the church on Father’s Day. Stay tuned!

Earlier that week, the church hosted “Summer Camp Night” for families interested in sending a kid to Christian summer camp. There were games, s’mores, a campfire, and information about what camping programs and scholarships are available. This church has a long history of sending many, many kids to summer camp, and wants to see that continue! Anyone who would like information about getting a child or teen signed up for summer camp can contact the church office.

PYUMC has worship Sundays at 9 a.m. (Contemporary) and 11 a.m. (Traditional) as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and www.PennYanUMC.com. Nursery care is available at both services. Sunday School for grades K-5th meets every Sunday at 9 a.m. Youth Group for grades 6-12 meets twice a month on Saturdays. Contact the church office for details (315-536-6711 or pennyanumc@gmail.com). Everyone is welcome!

The youth group at Penn Yan United Methodist Church held a Mother's Day Tea on May 7, inviting all the women of the church, whether they are mothers or not, as a way of saying “thank you” for love and support.
The Penn Yan United Methodist Church teens made cookies, served as greeters, and made sure each woman who came was supplied with refreshments at the Mother's Day Tea. They're considering what to do for the men of the church for Father's Day.

First Presbyterian Church of Penn Yan

This Thursday, in many parts of the world, Christians will celebrate Ascension Day. In the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox denominations this day remains a religious holiday as a High Holy Day or Feast Day. For varied Protestant denominations, including Presbyterians, John Calvin’s theology and the Protestant Reformation placed great importance not only on the ecclesiastical aspects of the Ascension of the Lord but also took into account the human aspects. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote, “The ascension of Christ is his liberation from all restriction of time and space. It does not represent his removal from earth but his constant presence everywhere on earth.” Presbyterian Church (USA) offers the reference from scripture in 1 John 3:2, “It does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when Christ appears we shall be like him.”

Another, though far more current, tradition will also take place this Sunday. For many years, several of our community churches have joined together on the Sunday before Memorial Day, to share in an outdoor ecumenical worship service at the Yates County Courthouse Park. If the weather turns uncooperative, the Baptist Church graciously hosts this service in their sanctuary. This year the service will take place on Sunday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Remember to bring a lawn chair for your comfort. The participating churches welcome everyone to attend this special community gathering. It is important that we always remember those who gave their lives for our democracy which allows all faiths to worship freely and for all of the other freedoms Americans enjoy. Please take a moment on Monday to honor the sacrifice of these service men and women. 

If our local weather has remained rain-free this past week (a big “if” in Upstate NY this time of year) FPC encourages you to take a drive or walk past our parking lot where a beautiful chalk art drawing, using the parking lot for the canvas, will hopefully be on display. It was created as a group project and sponsored in conjunction with the Arts Council of Penn Yan. It’s a great way to get younger people and those with artistic skills together for a fun afternoon of creativity.

Bluff Point United Methodist

Continue the Missions!

On a beautiful sunny spring day we completed the spring Adopt-a-Highway road clean-up, one of our church’s missions. Participants this spring were: Dana and Helen Schillinger, Stacy and Chris Wyant, Dick Smith, Michele Covert, Trish DeMontfort, Sherri and Norm Hunt, Jean Murdock, and Joyce Wiedrich.  Many hands make light work.  We got the over 2 miles of roadway cleaned up in just over an hour.

On Sunday, Pastor Sandi shared a message from the Bishop and his reactions to the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo, based on hatred.  This message also tied in to this week’s scripture lesson.

Our scripture lesson for this week was Acts 11: 1-18. In this passage, Peter was confronted with the Holy Spirit, and had to rethink his practices. Peter was talking about accepting Gentiles into the church. He was criticized for eating with this unaccepted crowd. Jewish believers did not know that Jesus had baptized Gentiles with the Holy Spirit. God gave even to Gentiles the repentance that leads to forever life. Pastor Sandi showed us that God plays no favorites. 

Our homework this week was to see how we help in our community, being a good accepting friend. What can we do to change things in our world?  We have been told to love one another, and to love our neighbors. This means we need to play nice and come together!

Jean Murdock and Sherri Hunt participated in Bluff Point United Methodist Church's bi-annual Adopt-a-Highway road clean-up on Route 54A.

Dresden United Methodist

This past week at Dresden UMC, the congregation thought about how the original teaching and gospel message of Jesus was only really meant for Jewish people. However, in the book of Acts, Peter and Paul struggle with what it means to include outsiders in their movement. "The Way," which is what Christianity was called in its earliest days, was spreading, and more and more people were interested in this new way of life. The rapid spread of Jesus' teachings meant many people outside the Jewish community were now intrigued by "The Way." God shows Peter, in a vision, that all must be included in the Kingdom of God, that all are made clean through Jesus. God shows Peter that the gospel should be shared with the gentiles, outsiders. Nowadays, the outsiders look a bit different, but the cry of the Biblical witness is to include. To include those who look different from you, think differently, and act differently from you. We are called to radical love, the kind of love that makes little sense in our world but makes perfect sense in God's world. The church's mission is to spread God's love, not judgment or rules, his love! If the church isn't doing this, I'm afraid to say it's failing its mission! So get out there and love your neighbors who look, think, and act differently from you.

What's going on at Dresden UMC?

Memorial Day is fast approaching! A Memorial Day Service put on by the Town of Torrey and Village of Dresden will be held at the gazebo on Main Street, Dresden on Memorial Day. Immediately following, there will be a chicken BBQ at Dresden UMC; this fundraiser's proceeds help support the church in its missions and ministries. 

Announcements:

--May 30: Chicken BBQ at Dresden UMC 

--We invite you to join us on Sunday for service at 9:30 a.m. We'll save you a seat!

--Are you in need of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, crutches, canes, etc.? Call Dresden UMC and ask for the First Aid Closet. We have equipment available to borrow for free. The First Aid Closet is also looking for donations of medical equipment to continue to meet the community's needs. If you have equipment you'd like to donate or have equipment you need to return, please get in touch with the church.