CHURCH MEMORIES (as section header)
Now that the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Years season is over, it’s time to reflect on the past and look to the future. The past year has been tough for everyone. Many have suffered loss of loved ones, health problems and depression from isolation. As we look forward to this year, we still have the same problems, but maybe we can solve them with the help of our Lord. We can bring Christ deeper into our lives by attending church more often and reflecting on what our faith means to us. As Pastor Kim tells us, “Do not hesitate to reach out and lean on one another in prayer. One of the greatest gifts Jesus has given us is relationship. We don’t travel alone.
Our congregation is a welcoming congregation where friendships abound. We missed our fellowship meals and fun times together, but we look forward to a better year in 2022. Won’t you join us on Sunday morning at 10:45 am to share our faith? We meet in person and via Zoom. If you are interested in the information from Zoom, contact Pastor Kim at [email protected]
Happy New Year everyone!
Episcopal of St. Mark
Let there be light. This is what the parishioners of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan said about the new LED lighting in their church hall and conference rooms. Thanks to a generous donation from a parishioner and the help of volunteer parishioners, new lights were installed. Maintaining a church building is not an easy task these days.
St. Mark’s was fortunate to have expert volunteers to help with some maintenance projects and also to find expert contractors for special repair projects. But Saint-Marc has given high priority to the maintenance of its buildings.
The masonry work on the exterior has been a particular priority to mainly prevent water damage to the interior. St. Mark’s was able to find a mason specializing in restoration. A new roof is currently on the agenda.
Sometimes it becomes difficult for a parish to determine whether to devote time and money to a building or to local activities. St. Mark’s tries to find a happy medium.
Some might say that awareness is more important to doing God’s work. But for Saint Mark, their building is an important place to meet, worship, plan, study and build a community of people who are doing the work of God.
Bluff Point Methodist
We had New Years Communion this week, to bring the New Year 2022, to our all Zoom service. Pastor Sandi showed a video of the Shepherd’s wife. The angels proclaimed the Good News of the birth of Jesus. The Shepherd told his wife and many others about the stars and angels proclaiming the birth of Jesus. The Shepherd was certainly brave to tell the story. He wasn’t worried about what other people would think, or about sharing what he had been through.
How do we share our story of faith today? Do we think others would think we need a mental health assessment if we shared our faith with others or told this story? Sometimes it is difficult to tell our story of faith. We need to consider what sometimes prevents us from sharing our faith. Are we afraid of what others will think?
Pastor Sandi sent us and shared John Wesley’s covenant. Some important points are to set aside time to be with the Lord. Don’t lie to God. Decide to be faithful. Renew your covenant with the Lord. The start of 2022 is a good time to honor these resolutions.
Good year! Hopefully it’s healthier and hopefully a flattening of the Covid curve so we can worship in person together again.
Last week, Dresden UMC ushered in the New Year by considering the wise man’s journey to Jesus. The book of Matthew shows us that the wise men who went in search of Jesus came to his home to find a young child. We don’t know if they knew how long it would take them to find Jesus, but we do know that it took them about two years to get to Bethlehem. In life, we have taken many trips, some are short, like our commute to work, and some are long, like the journey of parenthood. Sometimes our trips take longer than expected. Like the wise, however, if we are faithful and follow God’s example, we can reach our destinations having learned something along the way. Pastor Rachel Patchen shared her most recent journey – going back to school as an adult. As she just finished her MA in Theological Studies, she reflected on how a two-year path to earning her associate’s degree has turned into a nine-year, three-degree path. Sometimes, following God faithfully means taking detours and paths we did not foresee. We all have trips like this, the ones that take longer than expected, the ones that take us to unexpected places and lead us to the growth and depth of our lives. May we all be patient enough to hear the voice of God as we travel and see his hand at work!
Announcements: Thanks to all the visitors we had on Christmas Eve; we hope you will join us soon! Join us this Sunday, January 16 for the service at 9:30 am We will save a seat for you.
Considering the limits of social distancing still needed within churches, PFC decided to try something new this year for our youngest future members. The Christian Ed Committee began running an online Sunday school program through Zoom last Sunday morning. It will be offered every other Sunday morning at 9 a.m. before our regular Sunday service at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend either event by calling 315-536-8235.
PFC Presbyterian deacons and women members will continue to support the twice-monthly Grab-n-Go lunch program in 2022. These two groups purchase and prepare a balanced breakfast which is then delivered to The Living Well for distribution. Last week they made hot meatball sandwiches and on January 19 minestrone soup will be on the menu. The Well continues to meet this vital need with on-the-go breakfasts three days a week, serving approximately fifty people each time. This requires the continued support of many churches and agencies in the area of our community to maintain this important mission and volunteers are always needed.
Epiphany was celebrated on January 6. The dictionary defines an epiphany moment as “A life-changing achievement that changes the rest of history.” In Isaiah 60: 1 he prophesied that all mankind should: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen on you. In the January newsletter, Pastor Paul wrote about the persistence of the Magi in following the star, and in today’s uncertain world, the persistence of different religions has continued to show in order to worship together and to carry out their ministries. Life Coach blogger Shannon Kaiser wrote of epiphanies: “These are mental moments about the state of our lives that provide instant clarity and motivate us to move forward in creating positive change.” May this year provide many epiphany moments for individuals to rise up and shine and help others by sharing their positive light.
Penn Yan First Baptist
A reminder that our services take place in the Great Hall during the months of January and February while the sanctuary is getting a makeover with a new coat of paint and new carpet. Those wishing to make a contribution to this work, please make checks payable to First Baptist Church of Penn Yan and note in the memo line “Restoration 2022”.
On January 16, we look forward to hearing a message from Dale Wakley. January we will hear from the Reverend John R. Tharp; and January 30, by Brian Bleiler. Worship services begin at 10 a.m. All are invited to join our family.
Milo Center Methodist
“Arise, Shine, for your light has come.” Isaiah 60: 1
Epiphany Sunday, Pastor Kim reflected on the days after Christ’s birth and how we can refer to them. Just as the sages trusted God and followed his word through the messages sent, they found Jesus Christ. They humbled themselves and gave gifts to a child. They didn’t know that the child they were visiting would be the one who would someday save us all, but they trusted God and followed the Pole Star.
It also reminds us to trust God and share our gifts with others. No matter what the future holds for another or their position in life, if we can offer help, we should. Use Christ as our guiding star, it is not enough to know where he was born, we must also live to glorify his name.
Prayers of strength to our returning students, to our friends facing medical issues and as Covid illness and death touch our lives. January birthdays to Kerry Brennan, Judy Jones, Alex Lyons and Charlene DeMarco.
Our offering of the Christmas Mission to UMCOR was a great success. Thank you to everyone who supported relief in the United States, in the tornado areas.