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 First Baptist Church          January 2011 





Jan. 2             “God’s Lavish Gifts for Us”

                        Ephesians 1:3-14


Jan. 9  “The Lord of Justice”

                        Isaiah 42:1-9

                        Rev. Don Lawrence


Jan. 16            “You Can Count On God”

                        1 Corinthians 1:1-9

                        Rev. Don Lawrence


Jan. 23            “Portraits Of A Church”

                        Acts 2:41-47

                        Annual Meeting/Potluck Dinner


Jan. 30            “Distinctively Baptist”


GREETERS                                                              LAY READERS

  2 - Greg, Tammy, Erik & Kyle Miller                   Cristine Conklin

  9 - Barbara Gage & Pat Ames                                Barbara Stewart

16 - Margaret Miller & Jean Brewer                       Greg Miller

23 - Stan Ovens & Greg Marion                              Marge Moulton

30 - Gladys Kjar, Karen & Shane Furman               Greg Marion


JANUARY BIRTHDAYS                                                   

7 - Beth DeLooza-Travis                   22 - Fran Morse                                

12 - Melvin Cornell                            24 - John R. Tharp

20 - Paul Nelson                                 29 - Eli Clancy





Dear Church Family,


As I write to you the first of this New Year, it is with thanksgiving and expectation.


I am thankful for the privilege of serving as your Interim Pastor. Your graciousness and encouragement have blessed me abundantly.


I also thank you for your generous Christmas gifts, your cards, and your well-wishes during this holiday season. You have certainly made me feel welcome since the first day I arrived in Penn Yan.


As well as being thankful, I also approach the New Year with expectation about what the Lord can accomplish through us as we work together in the coming months.


Recently, I read the story of the feeding the five thousand and I noted that before Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, He had his disciples put the crowd into groups of approximately 50 people… No one ate alone… This was done by design. There is something about the Gospel teachings and most of the New testament that is utterly communal. Jesus started His ministry by gathering twelve disciples. Most of the letters from Paul were to churches, not individual persons.


The mission of a local church today has not changed. It is to be accomplished by the church community, not just a few people.


As I have observed First Baptist Church of Penn Yan during these past few months I have been blessed by the dedicated service of so many of the church family. However, more people are still greatly needed to get involved.


Therefore, I am asking you to do something. Ask yourself if there is something more you can do to contribute to the ministry of our church. If you are already involved, give thanks for the opportunity of service but if not, then volunteer to serve in areas where your gifts and talents are needed.


Remember, our church needs you!


May the Lord bless you and your family abundantly during the New Year.


Faithfully yours, Pastor Burke




The Advisory Council will meet on Thursday, January 6, at 7 pm to set the proposed the budget for 2011. All boards should have a representative present.


The Annual Meeting and Potluck luncheon will be held on Sunday, January 23, 2011. Lunch will be at noon in the Great Room with the meeting immediately following at 12:45 pm. Bring a dish to share and your own table service.




Phyllis Whitbeck

Jennifer Shoen



Come join us for a “Make Your Own Pizza” party.

Volunteers and craft donations are appreciated.

Watch the Sunday bulletins for the date to be announced soon.

Contact Eileen Modaffari at 716-225-4755 or



A course on Spiritual Development will be offered beginning on Tuesday, January 18, from 1-3 PM at First Baptist Church.  The course will be taught by Rev. Deborah Kamm, Pastor of Reed Corners Federated Church. The course is part of the Lay Studies Program of the American Baptist Churches of NYS. The fee for the course is $60.00 for credit and  $30 to audit. If you are a member of an ABC/NYS congregation your fee will be paid by the Finger Lakes Association.


Participants should bring a Bible to each class and plan to keep a journal.

The following texts are required for the course and should be ordered ahead of time:

     Bakke, Jeannette A.   Holy Invitations - Baker Books ISBN 9870801063275

     Bass, Dorothy C. (ed)  Practicing Our Faith - Jossey-Bass ISBN 9780470484111

Not required but strongly recommended:

     Buechner, Frederick Listening To Your Life - Harper One ISBN 9780060698645



Mary Beth Greene is having some serious medical issues and she would like to hear from her First Baptist Church friends. Let’s brighten her day with a card, letter, or telephone call. Her address is 108 Youngs Street, Penn Yan, and her telephone number is 315-694-7331.



Rev. Tharp is planning to take a trailer-load of bicycles, winter clothing and household items to Utica on the 29th of January. As you know, the Karen refugees come to this country lacking most everything. Please bring your contributions to our church before the 29th.



Many thanks to Cheryl Stewart, Rich & Barb Stewart, Erma Mullins, Greg & Nancy Marion, Shelley Bicksler, Sue Willson, Rev. Burke and anyone we may have forgotten for making our first Kidz Klub a success. A grand time was had by all.

The Board of Christian Education



Thank you for all of your prayers, cards, and hospital visits you made during Don’s recent surgery and recovery. Your encouragement and support have been really helpful. It is now ten years that we have been living here in Penn Yan and you have all become very dear to us.

With our love, Don and Kathie Lawrence




 Fill out this slip and turn it into the office to reserve your chosen Sunday for your memorial/honor bulletin.   The cost is $10 for one Sunday. In purchasing Memorial Bulletin Covers, you will help defray some of the church’s operating costs and at the same time memorialize or recognize a loved one. Printed in the bulletin will be the information you provide below. Please send this form to the church office along with your payment.


            In Memory of _____________________________________________

            In Honor of ______________________________________________

             Date Preferred _______________  From _______________________





On the readers table is a copy of the speech A. Roy Medley, General Secretary of ABC/USA gave to the Islamic Makassed Alumni Assoc. in Beirut, Lebanon. The speech covers areas in which Christians and Muslims can agree and work together for peace. This article is worth reading.



Ÿ         Our Elementary children worked through December towards our Christmas pageant. Under the direction of Shane Furman, our children enacted “Bethlehem’s Little Boy” a rhyming playlet by Cheryl Taylor. Held on December 19, during the Children’s Story time, the playlet was well received.

Ÿ         The theme for Adult Church School for January will be “God Sustains”. Ed Castillo uses the “Journeys”  series supplied by Judson Press to study our relationship with God. Adult Church School begins following the Sunday service.

Ÿ         Our Elementary program for January will address the life of Jesus. After the Children’s Story, our children go upstairs to continue worship with a praise song, prayer, and the Doxology. Children are encouraged to bring a coin or two so that they may participate when we practice passing the collection basket. Our program concludes with a Bible oriented less on the Old and New Testaments.

Ÿ         We held our first Kidz Klub dinner on Friday, December 17. Eileen Modaffari coordinated this fun filled evening with stories, crafts, and cookie decorating.

Ÿ         Plans for our Vacation Bible School for 2011 are beginning. With the aid of Sue Willson, we are developing a theme for the event witch will be held during the last week of June.

Ÿ         The Board has coffee hour during January. Come and enjoy a snack and conversation after church or grab a goodie before church school with Ed Castillo.



Ÿ         As this is being written, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. As of December 12, the amount needed to make your Mission Budget complete is less than $1000. $369 is needed for Institutional Support and $600 is needed for Missionary Support. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS AND GENEROSITY !

Ÿ         We urge you to start saving your pennies ! We will conduct the “PENNY PROJECT” during February, March and April. As you may recall, you raised $800 for the “BACKPACK” project of Milly’s Pantry. Your funding provided backpack lunches for needy children all through the summer break.

Ÿ         As part of our covenant with Yates County Habitat for Humanity, we will be selling “SUPER SUBS’ for Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 6. We have kept the price the same as last year - $7 per sub. Save your dollars to support this worthwhile project.

Ÿ         Last of all, please keep bringing in CAMPBELL PRODUCT LABELS, BOXTOPS FOR EDUCATION and cancelled stamps. These small items provide great support, when we join with other groups doing the same.

~ Your Board of Mission

         January 2011


MISSIONARY NEWS - There is a great report from BIM on the care of Cholera victims in Haiti. Our ABC missionaries working with the Convention of Baptist in Haiti have established two facilities in Haiti to both treat Cholera victims and educate the Haitians about sanitary porcedures. Water purification systems are being set up throughout Haiti. See the complete report on the Readers Table.



Steeple Roof Repair - We are looking to repair the steeple roof next spring.

Treasurer and Asst. Treasurer - We still need to fill both of these positions.

Historical Society - Lynn Duryea donated a copy of the book, “Inheritance of Time- Guidelines for the Village of Penn Yan Historic Preservation District”. It is in the church library for anyone interested in looking at it.

Custodial Service - In order to continue our once a moth cleaning service, we need someone who would be willing to pledge $15 per month for 2011. If this is something you are interested in doing, please contact either Sheryl Robbins or Diane DeLooza. Thank You !!

Wanted: Pledges. Did you get yours in yet?



National Ministries’ American Baptist Personnel Services has provided the Pulpit Search Committee with a comprehensive Guide entitled: “Calling an American Baptist Minister”. The Pulpit Search Committee has been meeting monthly (except for December) to work through the process outlined in this guide. Thus far we have completed the preliminary steps of developing a self-study and church profile. We have gathered church demographic information, information regarding our church history, how our church conducts business, how others in the community see us, and our church and worship life. To complete these areas, we have surveyed the congregation and asked boards and individuals to complete worksheets for us. We have also gone outside the church to other churches and organizations for their views of our church. Beginning in January, we will be moving into Phase II of our work. We will be developing information on what we believe as Baptists, our vision for ministry, what we want to do and what we want our new pastor to do and ministry priorities. By April or May we hope to be ready to develop a compensation and benefits package. We will then complete our Church Profile and prepare the Search Request for American Baptist Personnel Services to assist us in identifying potential candidates for our pastorate. As you can see, we have a great deal of work ahead of us. We will continue to need your prayers, support and input. We know God has a minister waiting to receive a call to come and lead our church forward. The Pulpit Search Committee will do everything we can to make this transition a joyous one.

The Pulpit Search Committee