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First Baptist Church                            November 2012


From Rev. Sanden ~ Dear Church Family,

My dad is always saying, “It's never easy.” He means it in a light-hearted way, but sometimes it really isn't easy! Things come our way that may be complicated, hard to understand or just unpleasant. What can make a world of difference to us is our attitude toward our circumstance.


Some difficulties we embrace and celebrate because we know they have a good purpose. Others we endure willingly because we know that relief is on the other side (like a root canal). Other circumstances just leave us scratching our heads or even overwhelmed with a sense of futility or, “WHY ME?!!!”


It's always more difficult to face hardship or bad times when we see no purpose or redeeming quality. But the Bible has a comforting word for us.


Romans 8:18-31: I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God will edit to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth.


But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleades with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.


We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. Those who God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among believers. And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Indeed, who can be against us? Having this hope, our troubles take a different perspective and do not need to overwhelm us. Praise be to God, who is working all things for our good! ~ Pastor Steve

Wish These Friends a Happy November Birthday

2 – Jeanette O'Brien                         20 – Marge Cornell

10 – Clarence Ansley                         21 – Judi Scheel

11 – Eva Jean Best                            22 – Carrie Ahearn

11 – Barbara Gage                            27 – Margaret Drakely

Thanksgiving Service

The Penn Yan Area Council of Churches invites you to attend the Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service on Sunday, November 18, at 3 pm, at First Baptist Church. There will be a choir made up of singers from the area churches. Rev. Stephen M. Sanden will deliver the message. There will be a good will offering that will benefit the Yates County Food Pantry.

Thanksgiving Food Baskets: serving those without

Sunday, November 18 ~ You are invited to participate in the Bd of Deacon's assembling of Thanksgiving Baskets for needy families. We will meet in the great room following the worship service.

In Case You Thought You Missed It...

In October the World Mission Offering envelopes were accidentally left out of the newsletter. They have been included here this month so, if you haven't made your donation to the World Mission Offering, it's not too late. Use the WMO envelope found in this newsletter. Bring it to church or send it to the church office. Our WMO goal is $1000. As of October 16, we have received $214.

Calling All Bakers!

The Keuka Comfort Care Home is busy planning for it's 5th annual Holiday Cookie Walk and we are rounding up bakers. If you would like to bake up 6 dozen of the same type of your favorite, special holiday cookies, we would love to have you participate. To sign up call the KCCH at 536-1690 and let us know what kind of cookie you will be baking. The event is held at the First Presbyterian Church on December 15th, starting at 10 am. The Keuka Comfort Care Home is a two bedroom palliative care home serving the terminally ill in our community.

News from the  Bd of Christian Education

Want to operate a crane, watch a snake shed its skin, or feel your hair stand on end? Even better, would you like to go back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs and examine an actual dinosaur coprolite, (ask Lyle Conrad what that is!) or look for and discover fossils. We discovered it is possible to do it all when we took a trip to the Science Center and the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca last month. We had a great time, and some of us brought back trilobites! Ask Eileen Modaffari to show you photos!


This adventure was made possible by the men and women of FBC. In addition, we offer a full range of classes for Christian learning. The Nursery is fully managed every Sunday for those families who wish to take advantage of this service. Primary ages 3 to 5 are being taught stories from the Book of Genesis by Sue Willson. Our Elementary Class, ages 6-10, will consider the story of David, the King, taught by Diane DeLooza. These youngsters and Primary children go to class immediately after the Children's Story that is part of our Sunday Service.


Our Youth Group, ages 11- 14, meets at the beginning of Sunday service at

10 am and continues until the Offertory when the youngsters return to the congregation for the Sermon and Benediction. Eileen Modaffari is teaching this class and she tells us that there are interesting home activities for this group. Our Adult Class meets after Sunday Service in the library under the direction of Ed Castillo. Everyone in our House of Worship as the opportunity to learn about and enhance their Christian faith.


Stay tuned! We are planning other adventures. Christian Ed has the Coffee Hour in November, so look for goodies!

Highlights from the October Bd of Trustees Meeting

BT&T Mortgage ~ The Trustees agreed to put another lump sum payment of $5000 toward the principle of the mortgage. This will bring the balance below $35,000.


Stewardship Campaign ~ This will run throughout the month of November. Our theme this year is “Footprints of Generosity”. See the separate letter and pledge card in this newsletter and in the Sunday bulletins.

From the Search Committee

The final official act of the Pulpit Search Committee was to arrange the Installation Service for our new minister, Rev. Stephen Sanden. A committee was formed which included Nancy Marion and Barbara Stewart from the Search Committee, Tammy Miller, Chair of Pastoral Relations Committee and Cindy Ovens, Chair of the Hospitality Committee.


The Installation Service was conducted on Sunday, September 30, 2012. The welcome was offered by Rev. Trudy Goldman, Moderator of the Finger Lakes Baptist Association and Interim Pastor of the Savanna Community Church. Nancy Marin thanked those who assisted the Search Committee during the search process including Rev. Robert Shoesmith, Rev. Jane Lang, Interim Associate Executive Minister, Rev. Phyllis Granger, ABC/NYS Enhancement Team Representative and Interim Pastor of the Geneva First Baptist church. A unique and entertaining sermon which included cell phone calls from God was delivered by Rev. Robert Shoesmith, former ABC/NYS Area Minister and Lecturer at Northeastern Seminary. Finally, and most importantly, the Words of Installation were delivered to Rev. Sanden by Rev. James Kelsey, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches/NYS and former ABC-USA  IM Missionary to Italy. In addition to these honored guests, a number of other clergy from the Finger Lakes Association and area churches were in attendance to help us celebrate this important occasion. A lovely reception followed the service with special hors d'oeuveres prepared by Tammy Miller and members of the Hospitality Committee.

Missions notes:

Finger Lakes Association of American Baptist Churches Annual Meeting

Sunday, November 4, 2012 ~ First Baptist Church of Penn Yan

Registration  - 2:30 pm ~ Program – 2:45 pm

Guest: Roberta Stephens: long term missionary to Japan and special friend of FBC of Penn Yan. Roberta lives in Yokohama where she has a variety of ministries. She serves with the Japan Baptist Union Women in their ministries, and since she lives close to Kanto Gakuin, an American Baptist related educational consortium, she is engaged in a variety of other ministry opportunities. These include telling Bible stories to kindergartners, leading Bible studies with their mothers, and speaking at chapel services at Kanto Gakuin University. She works with the Sigma Society on the university campus, helping them to prepare for volunteer work in Thailand. She also recruits volunteers from the U.S. to work in partner churches of Japan Baptist Union. Her framework for all of these ministries is comprised of biblical literacy and personal evangelism.

Dish to Pass Supper – 4 pm – bring your own place setting


Special Guest Speaker at FBC

Roberta Stephens: Long Term Missionary to Japan - Sunday, November 11th. You won't want to miss this; Roberta will be our special guest on Nov. 11. We haven't seen her since before the devastating tsunami hit the region of Japan. Come, hear Roberta as she tells of her work. Roberta spent many years in northeast Japan working as a missionary at Shokei Girl's School, then in pastoral ministry at Schichigahama Preaching Place. Now her main focus is on Kanto Gakuin campus in Yokohama ministering to a variety of age groups in Bible study and evangelism.