- - - NEWSLETTER FOR SEPTEMBER, 2009 - - -    


 First Baptist Church

224 Main St. Penn Yan, NY 14527

 (315) 536-9821 e-mail:

Rev. John R. Tharp, Pastor



Our Worship Services for September


Sept. 6 “Who Are You Talking To?”

                        Psalm 84:1-12


Sept. 13           “Fishers of Men”

                        Matthew 4:18-22

Church School Rally Day


Sept. 20           “Let Go and Let God”

                        Proverbs 31:10-31

Phyllis Granger – Guest Pastor

                        Women’s Sunday

                        * Ladies: Remember to bring in your Love Gift Offering


Sept. 27           “A Baptist Birthday!”

Rev. Dr. Donald R. Rasmussen – Guest Pastor

                        Interim Executive Minister for American Baptist Churches of NYS

                         (See biography enclosed)





Sept. 6 Ethel & Jack Clancy

Sept. 13           Matt Scutt & Charlie Miller

Sept. 20           Women’s Sunday

Sept. 27           Jennifer & George Slocum






                                                                        Ecclesiastes 3:11

A message from Pastor John -

            Did you ever notice that your pets tend to live a very orderly, if not disciplined, existence? Our three dogs have specific rituals which they “doggedly” follow each day. When I get up (around 6 am), they go crazy because they know that their walk will happen just after I shave. After the walk, it is naptime. After supper it is beg for scraps time. And at 8:30 pm, it is doggy bone time. If any part of this daily ritual is forgotten they have ways of reminding us. Their awareness of order is what makes them excellent choices for guide dogs and therapy dogs. (Did you ever hear of a “seeing eye” cat or attack rabbit?)


            In spite of their many good qualities, it does not seem that concern for the future is much on their mind. Aside from burying a bone or waiting for their person to come home, it seems that their lives are pretty much one dimensional. Someone once told me that for a dog, time does not exist when their person is not there. We humans appear to be the only creatures that bear the weight of the eternal.


            In reality, we are surrounded by eternity. The universe in infinitely huge and sub atomic particles are infinitely tiny. For some reason God has selected us to grapple with the meaning of this. This amazing gift has prompted some of the most majestic of observations. Such are the words of the Psalmist (8:3-5).


            “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,

            the moon and the stars which thou hast established,

            what is man that thou are mindful of him and the

            son of man that thou doest care for him?

            Yet thou hast made him a little less than God

            and does crown him with glory and honor.”


            The beauty of this is that we have the option of “living large”. Living in the light of eternity gives us a depth, which animals do not have. It also gives us a richness that comes when we discover the Eternity of God in the center of it all. I like the verse in the hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” that says: “Only the splendor of light hideth thee.”


            Coming of the autumn is a firm reminder of God’s promise: “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) The gift of God to us is the spirit of eternity within the brief time we have on this earth. It is the gift that leads us to eternal fellowship with Him.


...... Pastor John




September Birthdays:

7 ~ Kathryn Clayson                                      24 ~ Greg Miller

8 ~ Mary Lou Hainsworth                             25 ~ Jack Clancy

11 ~ Sylvia Ansley                                         28 ~ Viola Gray

17 ~ Matt Scutt                                              30 ~ Barbara Burke

20 ~ Pat Ames


Women's Groups

Our two Women’s Groups are ready to resume their fall schedules. Won’t you consider joining them for fellowship?

Mary & Martha Circle

Tuesday, September 8 @ 10:30 am.  Marge Cornell will provide dessert for the group and will bring a devotion to share. Remember to bring your own sandwich.

Fellowship Class

Wednesday, September 23 @ noon.  Bring a sandwich for your lunch.




Congratulations First Baptist on yet another successful mission

outreach project! Through your loving and generous hearts we

were able to present a check for $301.00 (plus one final bag

of pennies) to Gwen Conrad, our Missionary with YWAM in

El Paso/Juarez.      To God Be The Glory!


Dear Friends,

            As a congregation, we are privileged to be stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many persons have been transformed by the power of the gospel working through the ministries of our church. Our staff at American Baptist Churches of New York State (ABC/NYS) work in partnership with us as stewards of the gospel.


Our Interim Executive Minister will be preaching here on Sunday, Sept. 28.


We will be taking a “Love Offering” for Regional Ministries on that day.

Your gifts will help transform lives across New York State and in our church. Please give generously.

Thank You.


In Christ’s Service,

Board of Missions


A Golden Opportunity Coming Up This Fall!


1.      God planned ahead for all your gloomy days?

2.      God arranged for encouragement to be right there when you needed it?

3.      God gave each of us the ability to console and encourage as well?

4.      “Encouragement is to a friendship” what “confetti is to a party”?

What does “encouragement” and “confetti” have in common, you ask? Well, both are light, refreshing, and fun. They’re “CHEER” you can throw someone’s way. But even deeper, each of them demonstrate the assurance you’re there, that you’re standing behind them and supporting them.  NOW HERE COMES THE GOOD PART…


A six-week small group study “Encouraging One Another” will take place this fall on Wednesday nights at 7 pm at the church beginning Sept. 23. Led by Cheryl Stewart it is open to anyone who wants to search the Bible for all the ways God wants us to know he didn’t leave us to face life alone. We’ll think, share, smile and fellowship as we search the scriptures for all God’s encouraging “love notes” to us. So what are you waiting for? Grab a handful of confetti and jump in! But be careful … you’re liable to find little pieces of what you discover stuck to you for a lifetime!



Church Library News

Have you browsed the library lately? There is a wealth of material there for your enjoyment.  You can find:

BIBLES                      BIBLE STUDIES                  CONCORDANCE



Be sure to sign your borrowed material out on the log provided.

A book by Karen Kingsbury – “Every Now and Then” was given in honor of

Helena Cranmer.



Fall Fest

Bring your ideas to the first planning meeting for Fall Fest 2009. Our first get together will be held at the home of Cindy Ovens at 10 am, on Saturday, September 26. This will be a brain-storming session, so bring your creative suggestions. The bazaar is scheduled for Saturday, November 14.



Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Supporting Family Caregivers: Faith Communities Can Help


A series of workshops are being offered co-sponsored by the Gene Bennett Program for Life Long Learning, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute and the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center UNY.


¨      A Holistic Approach to Caring for the Caregiver – Sept 16, 7-9 pm

¨      Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease – Sept. 23, 7-9 pm

¨      End of Life Care and the Importance of Caregiver Self Care – Sept. 30, 7-9 pm


To register online visit: www.crcds.ed or call 585-340-9540. All workshops will be held at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester.



Board of Christian Education ~ Summary of August 17 Meeting

2009-10 Teaching Staff

Pre-School – Sue Willson & Ethel Clancy

Elementary - Tammy Miller (Sept – Nov) & Diane DeLooza (Apr – June)

Pre-Teen – Greg Marion


We will hold a common worship in room 201 at the beginning of Church School (after the Children’s Story). During the first quarter the children will be able to recite the Lord’s Prayer and sing: Jesus Loves Me, To God Be the Glory, Gloria Patre, Doxology and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Refugees: continued…

“I asked God, can you please find someone for me,” said Khin Soe. “I don’t want my husband to be like those people, I asked God can you please find a good husband for me.”

A week later, she had found Aung Tin and they were married.

Though married, the couple continued to live life on the run. They delivered their first two children – a 13-year-old daughter Kapaw Sasah, and an 11-year-old daughter Kapru Htoo in the forests of Burma.

“We didn’t have a village, no place, because the Burmese military always attacked us,” said Khin Soe. “The first time I was so worried, the first baby, but I prayed to God to please help me (and) Aung Tin was my doctor.”

Finally, in 2001, the couple was able to flee persecution and come to the United States through a refugee resettlement program.  They came to Utica, New York, where the Tabernacle Baptist Church reached out to them. Tabernacle had been working with Karen refugees since 1999, said Edith Davison of their refugee ministry team. The church also has a historic connection to Burma, sending Cephas Bennett and his family out in the 1820s to serve as missionaries with the Judsons.

Khin Soe arrived pregnant, and soon gave birth to a son, Thomas Dale.

Two years later, the couple sent $10,000 back to their home village to build a new church, and this was after repaying the airfare to resettle them in the U.S., something all resettled refugees must do. Davison said.

“My home village is very old and the church there is very old,” said Khin Soe. “I decided when I was young, I would like to build that church, but I never had the chance when I lived in the jungle. I think God sent me here for people who live in my village.”

Now six years into their new life, the Moes have purchased a home. Aung Tin works as a technician and has earned an associate’s degree, and Khin Soe works with the public schools as a liaison to the Karen resettled community. And most recently, the couple became U.S. citizens.

“I was so happy when I got U.S. citizenship,” said Khin Soe. “I have never gotten citizenship before,” said Khin Soe, committing that people who have fled to the forests are denied citizenship in Burma.

Tabernacle Church, which ministered to about 75 refugees in 2001, now ministers to over 500 resettled Karen.

Many of those who come will be blessed to interact with missionaries – like Duane and Marcia Binkley – who serve in the U.S. an in Thailand (which borders Burma) working with displaced people living in the refugee camps on the Tai-Burma border, and with Karen, Chin and other ethnic persons being resettled by the tens of thousands in the U. S.


Did you know that ethnic Karen were some of the first converts to Christianity in the Burma mission pioneered by Adoniram and Ann Judson in 1814?


Karen have been a persecuted ethnic group in Burma for years. Estimates are anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million Karen are in hiding and internally displaced in Burma.


Over 155,000 refugees – mainly Karen – live in camps along the border of Burma in Thailand.

To learn more abut this information visit the ministry website of Duane and Marcia Binkley

Mission Trip Information Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 pm

There will be an informational meeting for anyone interested in going on the Mission trip to Mexicali, Mexico. The trip is scheduled for the End of October.  This is the 3rd(?) annual trip. If you are unsure about the details, come to the meeting to learn more. Here from those who have gone before.


The Trustees meeting on Aug. 11, 2009.

¨      The fence is now around the Air Conditioner. It hopefully will deter vandalism.

¨      We are getting hooked up with Time Warner to provide fast (RR) internet and phone service. As a package we will get better coverage for about the same price.

¨      The sink hole in the parking lot has been repaired and other spots patched.

¨      Pre-Concert food sales are going good. Thank you to all who have helped.

¨      A Steeple Jack has been contacted to look at slate on steeple. No call back yet.

¨      We are researching how long financial papers should be kept.

¨      We are investigating more ways to help people who are served by the Food Program.

¨      We are already thinking about the Fall Stewardship Drive.

¨      We have given approval for the Depression BiPolar Support Group to meet in our building once a month.

¨      We received a Certificate of Liability Ins. from Family Counseling of the Finger Lakes who use our building on occasion.

¨      The Trustees will be responsible for Coffee Hour in October.

¨      The next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.




The Board of Trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL THE PEOPLE who helped this summer with the Pre-Concert –In –The –Park Picnics:

~ To the wonderful people who donated food items/condiments/paper


~ To our “Master Chef” Greg Miller

~ To the Food Pantry and their continued support and generosity

~ To Stan Ovens for making food/drink runs

~ To Kathie & Don Lawrence, Cindy & Stan Ovens, Nancy & Rev. John Tharp, Erma 

    Mullins, Pam Scutt, Sheryl Robbins, Greg & Erik Miller, and Cheryl Stewart.

Because of our teamwork, generosity, personal time given, and donations we had another very successful season!                  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!



To those who donated food and helped make the sandwiches for the American Baptist Men’s Conference. We will receive $100 for the New Building Fund.


To those who donated $109.34 to the Dollar and A Prayer Offering for Camp Scholarships.


To those who donated $316.50 to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.



Green Lakes Report

At the end of June, Christian and I had the opportunity to attend the Holy Spirit Renewal Conference in Green Lakes. It was the perfect beginning to a summer that would bring some very big changes to the lives of both of us.

Before we left Penn Yan, Christian was a little upset about our upcoming move and his leaving his friends. Also, at the same time as the HSR Conference, PYFBC was having their own VBS that Christian didn’t want to miss. So, we encouraged Christian and told him he would have fun meeting new friend at the HSR Conference along with arts, crafts, games and other activities. The kids center held morning and evening sessions. Christian went on fieldtrips around the campus, talked about macaws, did arts and crafts, talked about macaws, went bike riding, walking, took a little trolley ride and also talked about macaws. He had a great time.

For me, I think the most I got out of the conference was realizing and honestly ADMITTING that my ability to trust others and most importantly, trust Christ and have him in my life needed a lot of work. Through our small group sessions, I think I realized that my life as a Christian is not a place or frame of mind that I could get to. In reality, a continuous journey that is not easy for me, but one that makes me hopeful that in time the trust I have for God, others and myself will come easier for me. Also, by nurturing my new and growing faith in Christ and his love for me, will help me overcome and break down the walls and obstacles I set up for myself.

I am very happy that I was able to spend this quality time with Christian, John and Nancy. I am also very happy and blessed to have gotten to know Tom and Katie better as they embark on their own Life Journey together. I look forward to experiencing the whole Green Lakes journey again sometime in the future.

                                                                                                  ~ Eileen Modaffari



Green Lake Experience

            We greatly enjoyed our experience at Green Lake this year. Singing praises to God and being in the company of old friends is always a refreshing experience for us. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Moreland who shared with us from his rich background of experience as a professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. His in depth analysis of the current cultural trends and ways of thinking in America led to a review of many of the tenants that are held as sacred in our culture. Issues like relativism and the unquestionable status of scientific analysis were primary pieces of his critique. He offered many avenues for Christians who feel that they have been pushed out of the market place of ideas. He offered well founded arguments for the authority of scripture and a solid basis for speaking the truth of Christ in a world which is wishy–washy due to it’s lack of a solid foundation.

            Other speakers included Reid Trulson, who offered the churches new insights in evangelism because of the new life being discovered by many of our mission churches. One of the points of hope that he raised up was in relationship to the work of evangelism in Islamic countries. He showed that many of the differences between Christians and followers of Mohammed are really cultural instead of religious. For example; the eating of pork and the use of alcoholic beverages is condemned by the Islamic faith however these are commonly accepted in the Christian community. On the other hand there are many of the Islamic community who value the teachings of Jesus and would draw nearer to the Christian church if it were not for the cultural differences.

            It was fun for us to introduce Tom’s fiancée, Katie and our friends Eileen and Christian to the beauty of Green Lake and to the Holy Spirit Renewal Conference. We shared a cabin together and the six of us experienced “close” fellowship. There were lively and sometimes deep discussion around our dinner table. Christian especially enjoyed riding his bicycle, the Children’s program and trying to convince everybody to adopt a macaw.

We would like to thank the good people at First Baptist Church for making this trip possible for all of us.                                                                         - John & Nancy Tharp


Food for the Needy News

It’s Back to School time, remember to shop for after school snacks for the children. Food for the Needy can use your help Sept. 23-25 in the mornings. Also, on Sept. 9 to help with the evening food distribution.


The Backpack Program is gearing up for Back to School. Remember to shop for the following items to help support the children of the community.

tuna                mac & cheese              fruit cups         

Snack bars      applesauce cups         fruit/pudding cups                 cereal bars

You can help with the backpack program on Wednesday evenings at 5 pm in the Great Room.


American Red Cross Needs~n~Things

hand soap                   laundry soap               paper towels               Diapers sizes 4,5,6     

kleenex                       toothpaste                   feminine products

Items for donation may be left in the box marked “Red Cross Needs-n-Things” in the front of the sanctuary.






Now is the time to indicate your preference for a Memorial  bulletin cover.

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.


            Date Preferred _______________  From _______________________


            In Honor of ______________________________________________


            In Memory of _____________________________________________