- - - - NEWSLETTER FOR OCTOBER 2008 - - - -    

First Baptist Church

224 Main St. Penn Yan, NY 14527

 (315) 536-9821 e-mail:

Rev. John R. Tharp, Pastor




Oct. 5              “Words, Words, Words”

                        II Timothy 2:14-19

                        Special Guest Rev. Don Lawrence


Oct. 12            Worship Team Sunday


Oct. 19            “Every Baptist A Missionary”

                        John 20:19-23

                        Special Guest Denton Lotz


Oct. 26            ”On Good Terms With God”

                        Romans 3:19-28

                        Special Guest Rev. Don Lawrence




Serving the Church in October:

Date                Lay Readers                                                  Greeters

Oct. 5              Sheryl Robbins                                   Charlie Miller & Matt Scutt

Oct. 12            Erma Mullins                                      Joyce & George Slocum

Oct. 19            Brittany Griffin                                    Mary & Bob Fullagar

Oct. 26            Jennifer Slocum                                  Marge Moulton & Pat Ames



October birthdays


1 ~ Margaret Mills                             16 ~ Doug Passage

5 ~ Sabrina Carey-Cooke                   19 ~ Marlene Guild

7 ~ Polly Logan                                   25 ~ Pam Scutt

8 ~ Jean Brewer                                 25 ~ Bob Fullagar

16 ~ Greg Marion                               25 ~ Scott Robbins                



A message from Pastor John:



Here we are already a month into the football season. People have donned their team colors and nervously await the outcome of each game. In a tight contest, we have often seen two teams which are teetering on the edge of victory or defeat, making desperate choices. The ball on the fitly-yard line. The clock is down to the two-minute warning. It’s fourth and one. Punt? Or go for it?


IF they punt, the outcome of the game lies in the hands of the defense. If they go for it, there is a risk that they will come up short giving the other team a chance to score. If the go for it and get the yard, they have a fresh set of downs and a chance to sew up the game with a TD or field goal. Either way there is significant risk.


David Romer, University of California, has studied this choice and determined that teams that “go for it” on the 4th and one are more likely to win the game. Why is this? Romer sees it as an “attitude thing” for two reasons. (1) Almost always the fans want to go for it, and the yelling of the fans can be a powerful plus, especially for the home team. (2) There is a big difference between “playing to win” and “playing not to lose”. Romer and others have discovered that fear of failure is often the primary cause of failure. Writers in areas of sports, finance, and faith have determined that risk is the path to victory.


They are  not talking about the blind foolishness that Yogi Berra suggested: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Rather they were talking about the studied and wise decision based on both logic and faith. This is the kind of choice that Robert Frost implied:

            “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -

            I took the one less traveled by,

            And that has made all the difference.”


The cross was 4th and one for Jesus. He knew that His Father would not fail him, even when the outcome seemed uncertain. Likewise, as people, as a church, as a nation, we face uncertain times. In many ways we are down to 4th and one. Yet, like Jesus, we are called on to remember the times God has been faithful, trust the power of the Holy Spirit, and follow the example of Christ in taking the next step. We need to survey the situation and lay it in the hands of God. With the crowd cheering, in the tension of the moment, and trusting in God, we need to go for it on 4th and one.


-         Pastor John



Coffee Hour Program for Sunday, October 5


Celebrating Mission

A program by our Board of Mission about the many wonderful programs and projects that are being supported through our Mission Budget. Come with us for a trip from Penn Yan to the most distant parts of the world where God’s word is being shared and God’s love is being felt by people of every age and circumstance - through Mission Support. You will be amazed!



Festival of Faith Weekend     October 17-19


We have a weekend full of activities for the 2008 Festival of Faith. Our special guest will be Dr. Denton Lotz, President of the International Religious Liberty Association.


The weekend will kick off on Friday evening with a church supper at 6 p.m. Dr. Lotz will talk with us on; “The Clash of Civilizations and the Mission of the Church Today.”



On Saturday our own Anne Scheel will prepare a Mexican Supper for your enjoyment. Dr. Lotz will again lead the group in discussing; “Reconciliation and Mission.”


Sunday we will wrap up our Festival of Faith celebration during our worship service. “Every Baptist a Missionary” will be the sermon delivered by our special guest Denton Lotz.


We hope you will plan on joining us. Mark your calendars now. This is a weekend you won’t want to miss!




Mary & Martha Circle

The ladies of the Circle will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, October 14. Remember to bring a sandwich.  At the last meeting they were able to get 10 bandages cut. In October they will continue to cut and begin to roll bandages.

Dessert will be provided by a group member.


Fellowship Class

On the fourth Wednesday of each month the ladies

Fellowship Class meets at noon in the library. In October, Marge Moulton will bring dessert for the group and will lead devotions. Remember to bring your sandwich.





 Trustees meeting notes - September:


·         Bake sale brought in $150

·         Dinners before the Summer Concerts brought in $1,020

·         Plans for promoting Mark Lawrence ‘s concert were finalized. Don Lawrence brought a tentative program to share. There will be refreshments following the concert.

·         We are getting estimates for a fence to enclose the air conditioner unit to deter vandalism.

·         Plans for the Stewardship Drive were gone over. We will have a kick off pot luck dinner on Nov. 9

·         The Quilters have offered to buy two more white tables for the Great Room.

·         People are needed for Hospitality and Greeting at the State Convention to be held at Keuka College Oct. 12-14. Please let Peggy know if you would like to help.

·         There will be hot dogs and hamburgers for sale on Sept. 20 at 6pm. This is before the presentation by Len Ortnezi, the Science Man. His program sounds like lots of fun for the whole family. Come, have dinner and enjoy a great program.

·         Flies have become a problem in the building. Please remember to close the outside door during church and non-church programs.




The following is an excerpt from a letter sent from Jim Davison to Jim Hogan, owner of Geneva Bicycle Center in Geneva.


I wish you could have been there in the basement of our church that Sunday in late August when we made available to our refugees from Burma the bicycles which you made available to them and which Pastor John delivered.


You could cut the excitement with a knife! One man, who lives in an apartment about two miles from the church and the Refugee Center, said in broken English, “Now easy to go to ELS classes! Saves much time!” (It took him 45 minutes to walk each way) There was a smile on his face from ear to ear and I heard a heartfelt “Thank you” voiced in English.


A young woman and her daughter (he husband still in the refugee camp in Thailand) both picked out bikes so they could ride together to the grocery store, to Karen friends homes and to church. Again smiles and a heartfelt, “Thank you” which I wish you could have heard.


            Unfortunately, the bicycles - all 18 of them - and the locks we had bought, were gone too soon while some still waited in line. The names of those who did not receive a bike we keep on the waiting list. Almost every Sunday, the long, metal railing beside the church is crowded with the securely locked bikes of those for whom their bike is their only means of transportation.


            So, again, we thank you and the crew of your Bicycle Center for putting these used bikes into good condition and donating them to these refugees from Burma who continue to arrive in Utica through our Refugee Center (87 new families since January). And we thank Pastor John for arranging to have them transported to Utica. You are all most generous in helping these refugees as they begin their new life in America!


                                                                        Sincerely Yours,        

                                                                        Jim Davison

For the Refugee Ministry Team



Thank You!

Thanks to all for your prayers, your food, calls, cards and caring

during my recent illness. It all helped and I am on the mend.


With Appreciation,

Judi Gibbs



Dear Members of the Penn Yan First Baptist Church,

On behalf of the board members of Yates Concert Series, Inc. , and the many people who enjoyed our concerts this year, thank you for your generous hospitality. You made us welcome in your beautiful sanctuary each rainy Wednesday and allowed our audiences to use your restrooms. We are extremely grateful to you. The enclosed check for $400 is an expression of our gratitude. Please know that we deeply appreciate all you did in making these concerts possible.

Thanks again,

Englelke Heggie



After Sunday school, a little boy said to his Mother, “You told me we were created by God, but Dad said we are descended from monkeys. Who is right?”

“Well,” the boy’s Mom replied, “your father is just talking about his side of the family.”                                                                                                   ~Joyful Noiseletter




Signs and Wonders

“God wants full custody, not just visiting rights on Sundays.”

·                                 South Seminole Church of Christ

Joyful Noiseletter




Jokes pastors can tell…


A nun who worked for a home health agency was making her rounds visiting homebound patients when her car ran out of gas. She walked to a nearby service station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.

But the attendant said he had loaned out his last gas can.  So the resourceful nun walked back to her car, picked up a bedpan she was taking to a patient, carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gas, and carried it back to her car.

            As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two passing Jehovah’s Witnesses watched from home across the street.

One Jehovah’s Witness said to the other, “If it starts, I’m turning Catholic.”

                                                                                                            Joyful Noiseletter

via Winslow Fox, MD

Chelsea, MI