First Baptist   Newsletter   Penn Yan   
From the Pastor's Desk
December 2014
As we wind down another year, we have had many blessings. Though Thanksgiving is passed, our lives in Christ should always be filled with thanks. If we spent all our days filled with thanks, it would never be enough to express the depth of our gratitude to God for his Son.

God has been moving in our church and we have been blessed to see more baptisms as well as great new members who are contributing to our ministries and fellowship as we yearn for and work for the kingdom of God. May we be used even more by God to do His Will.

God has also provided for our financial needs through the year, and we continue to be able to sustain our ministries and to add new ones.

It seems a consensus is gathering for a new hymnal as the quickest and most affordable answer to our music needs. We should be hearing from the Deacons very soon on their recommendation.

I know you’ve heard it in Christian circles for years now, but as we come to Christmas, remember, “Jesus, is the reason for the season”.

God bless us, everyone!
Pastor Steve

News and Upcoming Events

December Birthdays
4 – Kyle Miller
15 – Joyce Slocum
17 – Paul MacDougall
28 – Connie Apedeau
31 – Virginia DeLooza

Church & Community Supper 5:00 pm, Mondays - $3.00 per person
Followed by a free-family-friendly movie!

Pledge Forms
A reminder to turn in your pledge forms for the 2015 budget year. They can be placed in the offering plate or turned into the church office. November 30th was Dedication Sunday, but it’s never too late.

Backpack Program - Mac ‘n Cheese!
Nothing brings a smile to a kid’s face like those words do. Can you picture it? They come home from school in need of a snack. Or, they’ve just finished practice and they are hungry and need to replace some energy. Or, they’ve got a long night of homework ahead of them and they need sustenance. Or, …parents aren’t home and she is hungry. Can we put a few boxes (or instant cups) in our grocery cart to help support the Backpack program? Oh, thank you!

Hanging of the Greens - Saturday, December 6
Join us on Saturday, December 6th at 9:00 am to help Deck the Halls! We’ll play Christmas Carols and have a great time. Bring along a favorite snack or cookies to share.

Hey Teens!- Friday, December 12
Have you ever wanted to be a part of people that share many common interests with you?

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete”. 1 John 1:3-4

Through you, our teens here at PYFBC we have some of the most dynamic people in our congregation. We as a Christian Education Board feel that although you are a valuable part of the future of our church, you are a valuable part of our church right now.

We would like to invite you to the PYFBC on December 12, 2014 from 6-7 pm. We will have dinner (pizza) and fellowship activities for you. This is a teen group that will be teen driven. It is not going to be another church group where kids are told they have to do this or that. The Christian Ed. Board has discussed how this group needs to be different. We look forward to seeing you!

The Christian Education Board

“Joy To The World!” Cantata- Christmas Eve"
Join us in a celebration of carols at the Christmas Eve Service. The Penn Yan First Baptist Church will perform a Christmas Eve cantata on Wednesday, December 24th at 7:00 pm. This cantata features seven of the best loved carols of all time. Hear the narrations of the nativity and enjoy the music that makes Christmas so special.

The Choir has been rehearsing and is anxious to extend their Christmas gift to the public through music. The featured carols are Joy to the World, O Come Emmanuel, Away in the Manger, O Holy Night ( with special guest soloist), Hark the Herald Angels/Angels we Have Heard on High, O Come All Ye Faithful, and What Child is This. This will surely put you in the Christmas spirit.

Then join us for our candlelight ceremony where the entire congregation joins together in a circle of light singing the beautiful Silent Night. This annual tradition of turning to each other and lighting candles while singing the poignant Silent Night is a must see and do to open your hearts to the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t miss it.

Missions Report


Dear Friends: Since 1935, American Baptists have contributed to special offerings in their churches for retired ABC Ministers, missionaries and their widowed spouses. In 1977, ABC/USA created the RETIRED MINISTERS AND MISSIONARIES OFFERING (RMMO) as a formal program.

At this time of year, we express our gratitude for those who have served God so faithfully.

The RMMO supports those who have devoted their lives to God’s service by providing EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE in times of needs. The RMMO also provides a “THANK YOU” check for those eligible each year.

In 2013, RMMO provided “THANK YOU” checks to more than 3,350 recipients. $1,141,295 in emergency assistance and “thank you” checks were distributed. MMBB has established a goal of $1,200,000 for 2014.

As our part, we have set a goal of $859 for 2014. We will receive the RMMO on December 14, 2014. Please remember our retirees thankfully and give generously.

Your Board of Mission

Diaconate Doings

The Deacon’s met on Sunday, November 16th and approved a motion to purchase new hymnals. This will incorporate traditional hymns as well as newer praise songs so that we can alleviate the problem of the many inserts in the weekly Sunday bulletins. This decision will be turned over to the Advisory Board.

There will be a Baptism Sunday, November 30th where four candidates will be baptized. The Right Hand of Fellowship will be extended the following Sunday.

We discussed the upcoming needs of the Christmas season that includes decorating the church, candles, advent wreath, poinsettias, music, and bell ringing. We ask that if you choose to display a poinsettia plant for the altar during December, please see to it that your plant is watered. In memory of, or dedications of the plants should be either turned into the church office or a note put in the offering plates by December 21st. These names will be published in the Christmas Eve bulletin and the Christmas Sunday bulletin.

The nominating committee will be chaired by Barbara Burke and her committee is being formed to have representatives from the Board of Trustees, Christian Education, Missions, Diaconate, and Hospitality. Three members of good standing are also invited to be on this committee.

Community communion outreach has begun at the Homestead and will continue to grow to the Penn Yan Manor and Clinton Crest, as well as homebound members. If anyone knows of anyone in the community who would like to have communion in their homes, let the Deacons know.

We welcome four new members into the church through Baptism:
  Ralph Joseph E. Clancy
  Catherine Elizabeth Mac Dougall
  Paul George Mac Dougall
  George Jensen

On Sunday, December 7th following a short church business meeting we will welcome them with the Right Hand of Fellowship.

News from the Board of Christian Education

The Nursery is being maintained satisfactorily although we do not have a list of assigned people to help during Sunday Service. The Nursery door is open and the lights are on at that time. Families with infants and toddlers are encouraged to use the Nursery.

The Primary Class, taught by Sue Willson heard the Christian message of Thanksgiving in November.

This quarter, our Elementary class, taught by Diane DeLooza, is hearing the parables of Jesus.

The Bible Study group, led by Ed Castillo, meets after Sunday service in the church library. The class works with the Journeys Series published by Judson Press. This fall the topic is Hope and the class is studying the Book of Jeremiah.

The Board is very interested in starting a Teen Group. Our teens are the future of our church, and they are valuable to our congregation right now. The Teens Group will hold its first meeting on Friday, December 12th from 6 – 7 pm. Look for pizza, soda and some new ideas in teen fellowship. Jeff Champlain will be the advisor for Teen Group.

Our Christmas Pageant will be held during the Sunday, December 21st service.

Greg Marion will represent the Board of Christian Education on the Nominating Committee.

A Christmas Prayer

Heavenly Father, open our hearts to hear the song of the angels and to share the spirit of a peaceable Christmas. O Lord, make your salvation known to people the world over. As darkness descends from East to West, raise up your faithful in carols of praise and good cheer. Cause us to rejoice as those who have not been abandoned to the night, but are now called to the light – your grace and truth – once wrapped in swaddling clothes and now held closely to the chest, as we treasure the gift of mankind that has been entrusted to our care and keeping. O Lord, we pray for the precious little one of the earth. Help us to create for them a world of possibility and hope. Keep us from giving up and giving in – for they feel the touch of our decision. Bless us all in our many moods this Christmas, O Lord, and grant us your peace. Amen.

(From: “Prayers for USAF Chaplains – 2014”)

At Christmas, please remember our former Pastor’s and Spouses and our Church’s Retired Ministers and Spouses:

Rev. & Mrs Vernon Kuehn		Rev. & Mrs. Donald O’Polka
17137 Garfield St., Unit 3A	3204 Needle Palm Drive
Redford, MI 48240		Edgewater, FL 32141

Mrs. George Munger		Rev. & Mrs. John Tharp
1539 Swallow Drive		523 Court Street
St. Louis, MO 53144		Penn Yan, NY 14527

Rev. Richard Burke		Rev. Lindy Foody
c/o Redlands First Bap. Ch.	5545 Wellesley Ave. Apt. 9
51 West Olive Drive		Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Redlands, CA 92373

Mrs. Milly Bloomquist		Rev. & Mrs. Donald Lawrence
c/o Penn Yan Manor		349 Clinton Street
655 North Liberty Street,     	Penn Yan, NY 14527
Penn Yan, NY 14527