First Baptist   Newsletter   Penn Yan   
February 2017
From the Pastor

Dear Ones,
I really enjoyed the holiday activities in December (Remember, these letters are written about a week before the end of the month for publication before the upcoming month and December a little more because of the office closings for the holidays.) Our Christmas service on the 18th centered on the poetry of Ralph Seager, whose faith was so apparent in his poetry. It was coordinated by Barbara Burke and it was great to have Deb Clancy emceeing the pieces that joined to form the whole. Everyone’s contributions were well received and very much appreciated.

The Candlelight service was well attended as usual and we shared a special time together. Christmas morning some of our families stayed home with visiting relatives or went to be with relatives out of town. The time together with those who came out, was very nice.

This month we are looking forward to our annual meeting on the 12th.

During December I made sixteen pastoral visits, and attended our church board meetings, conducted a funeral for Paul Nash and the ARC worship service.

I have to commend Nancy Marion, Karen Rasmussen and Trevor Conrad for their fortitude in manning a table at Starshine. It was colder than the thermometer would have led us to believe as the wind cut right through us.

I had the privilege of being a judge once again for an American Legion Oratory contest. And attended a Jail Ministry board meeting and led music for the Jail Christmas party.

As I conclude this letter I have to confess that I could use a little help. Being one of the more technically oriented in our congregation I find a number of extras on my plate. There are two areas where I could use some help. (I’m sure you think there are more!). First, we need someone to stay current on our Facebook page and act as a sort of community relations person.

And I think we could use someone to update our church history and organize it into a nice presentable format. That could have the dual purpose of preserving our heritage for the future and as a point of pride and information to share with the community.

As always, I count it a privilege to serve God’s Kingdom among you and Karen and I love you all more each day. (except Tuesday [just kidding!])

Blessings,Rev. Stephen Sanden

Upcoming Events

6 - chicken ‘n biscuits
13 - meatloaf
20 - macaroni ‘n cheese
27 - Chili

Annual Meeting - Sunday, February 12
*Reminder: The Annual Meeting of First Baptist Church will take place on Sunday, February 12th at 11:00 AM immediately following worship service. Following the meeting we will share a dish-to-pass luncheon.

Camp Fundraiser - Sunday,March 19
Mark your calendars now for the Christian Education March 19th Spring Fling Breakfast. Monies raised will benefit our FBC youth with Camp scholarships.

In Remembrance
In January we lost our good friend, Eleanor Stiles. Eleanor and Leon celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in 2016 surrounded by their children. Eleanor was a long-time member of Second Milo Baptist Church although she attended services at First Baptist Penn Yan where her husband Leon is a member. A service was held on January 28th and a reception took place in the Great Room where friends and family gathered to share remembrances. We covet your prayers for the Stiles Family during this difficult time.
Mid-Winter Class
We have several people in our congregation meeting with Pastor Sanden after worship on Sundays, in preparation for Membership. Marianna and Marisole Dalglish, Emma, Hannah and Sarahlyn Scharping, Paula Washburn and Kyle Miller, all are preparing for their Baptisms on Sunday, February 26th. There will be a congregational vote to receive them into membership and extend the Right Hand of Fellowship on Sunday, March 5th. Please keep this group and Pastor Sanden in your daily prayers as they prepare for this next step in their faith journey.
News from Christian Education
Adult Bible Study Class
The Adult Bible Class, taught by Rev. Donald Lawrence will continue the study, “Opening the Bible”. The lessens include the “why, where, what and how” answers needed to more effeciently use the Bible. Pastor Lawrence designed and has written a wonderful study plan that gives great understanding in using the Bible. The curriculum comes with study sheets, notes, videos and discussions. Bible questions and locations for special needs are given. The knowledge gained in this class is an investment forever!

For those church members who are unable to travel to chruch and wish to avail themselves to the study, call the church office at 315-536-9821 with your name, address and phone number and Pastor Lawrence will supply you with the study materials and answer any Biblical questions you may have on your mind. This is an excellent opportunity, - don’t miss it, and it is free!

Christian Education Committee
Suzie Willson, chairman of the Christian Education Committee, has announced that the Youth Group is planning a fund raiser for March 19, 2017 at the church from 8:00 Am to 9:30 AM. A Spring Fling St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Breakfast. The monies will be used for our church students camp scholarships. A wide reange of delicious breakfast treats and beverages will be available. The cost for the meal will be $7 for adults and $5 for children. So don your green and come celebrate the St. Patricks Breakfast!

Youth Class
Cheryl Stewart’s class has been studying the commitment of being a follower of Jesus. They also have several projects helping folks in the community and spreading God’s love! Several are getting ready to be baptized. All sing in the choir and help with church programs.

Letters to Share with You
Dear First Baptist Church,
I recently became aware of the service at Penn Yan First Baptist Church that remembered my dad, Ralph H. Seager. I wish I could have been there. I know dad would have been so pleased and honored that you thought so much of him and his poetry to remember him in this way, expecially at Christmas time. Christmas was always themsot special time of year for him and this is reflcted in his poetry. So thanks to your and expecially, Barbara Burke and Deb Clancy, for making this tribute happen.

You know, dad and mom - Ralph and Ruth- were devoted members of the First Baptist Church in Penn Yan from at least the mid 1930’s until their deaths. Their most long-lasting and dearest friends were also members of the church, and this included all of the pastors. The fellowship of the church community was a most important part of their lives as was the spriitual leadership each of the pastors offered.

I know dad and mom’s other living son, Keith, and his grandsons and grand daughters also very much appreciate this remembrance by the church, so our heartfelt thanks again to you and to the others who so kindly remember Ralph and Ruth.

Sincerely - Merry Christmas,
William (Bill) Seager

Dear Barbara and First Baptist Church,

I just wanted to thank you again for putting together last week’s service. I know Grandpa would have enjoyed it and I just loved it! It means so much to know how many people loved him and want to remember him in such a beautiful way.

So, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Deb (Seager) Connelly

Did You Know…
At the December Keuka Food and Christmas For the Needy distribution in December, the following statistics were tabulated:
.....Families served - 454
.....Children - 717
.....Adults - 886
.....Senior citizens - 155
for a total of 1758 individuals.
There were over 50 people from the community who volunteered to help out in one way or another. You helped to make this possible. Every time you donated a food item, you helped this program. Every little thing helps and it adds up to BIG results.

Backpack Program
The Backpack Item for the month of February is hot chocolate mix.

A Prayer for President’s Day - Written by Thomas Jefferson

Almighty God,
who hast given us this good land for our heritage;
we humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves
a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry,
sound learning and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people
the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endow with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy name
we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice
and peace at home, and that through obedience to thy law,
we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in days of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all of which we ask through our Lord. Amen.

First Baptist Church              Church Staff	
224 Main Street                   Rev. Stephen M. Sanden	
Penn Yan, NY 14527                Barbara Stewart: Music Director
Phone: 315-536-9821               Carrie Ahearn: Organist
E-Mail:        Jan Hafner: Accountant
Website:           Peggy S Smart: Secretary
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-Noon

Church Officers                    Our Schedule
Moderator: Nancy Marion            Sunday Worship - 10 AM
Vice Moderator: Sheryl Robbins     Youth Sunday School - 10:15 AM
Church Clerk: Mary Watkins        Adult Sunday School - 11 AM
Finance Officer: Diane DeLooza
Church Treasurer: Stan Ovens/Mary Watkins
Trustees: Greg Miller
Deacons: Barb Stewart
Christian Education: Suzanne Willson