Reflecting on Hebrews 4:9-5:10:
All worship of God stems from the original sabbath day of rest. Hebrews names that there is no parting of ways with Judaism in naming that there is still a sabbath rest for the people of God. Our call to worship in Hebrews is that we would enter that rest, that we would hold onto the confession, and draw near to the throne with boldness/confidence.
Spirit inspired worship in a vital church must be centered on who Jesus is, and who we are called to be. There are times where we neglect the rest, there are times where our worship falls short. The most important aspect of worship that we can never lose sight of is our genuine belief in God’s grace given through Jesus Christ. Our worship of God is central to Jesus being the one who has mediated our relationship with God.
As long as we hold to the confession of Jesus Christ as ‘the one who reconciles and makes whole’ our worship will not turn into idolatry (that idea that we make an idol anytime we place something in front of our worship and devotion to God). To be honest, all of our worship is imperfect, all of our words fall short of fully describing or fully advocating for all that we desire. Our approach to the throne is still done with boldness because of our recognition of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done, and how the Spirit intercedes even in our worship making it holy and beautiful before God.
Family Promise of Ontario County is alive and well and currently helping families in 3 apartments in Canandaigua and 2 in Geneva. Although our in church model has changed, there is still great work being done in our FP apartments and numerous families that have graduated from the program!
Here is a current “wish list” of opportunities congregations/ committees/individuals can get involved with, where there is no direct interfacing with the families. Please reach out to me by email, phone, or text if you need clarification or would like to volunteer for any of the tasks.
Family Promise Congregational needs
Donation Organizer – Assistance with large donations
Delivery of food to our families and our graduates
Guest Transportation – Doctor’s Appts, Mental Health Appts, SS Appts, etc.
Inventory specialist – someone willing to track our inventory and be responsible for pulling items for apartments.
Social Media specialists – Facebook, Instagram, someone willing to make posts
Tow & Carry Crew – Looking for team leader. As Items are donated or acquired, straight to apartment or where they are needed in lieu of day center storage.
Clean & Stock for apartments – towels, sheets, kitchen items etc…Get everything to inventory specialist. Taking inventory and bringing out the dirty. Take laundry and linen with family as they leave.
Congregations to adopt a new apartment, to paint, fix up…handman type work. Once a year, freshen up with paint, clean, fix etc….
Office Angels, people for clerical support and thanking donors telephonically. Notes put in data base.
Volunteers to meet with children, to occupy children, to read to children while parents are meeting with case worker.
Volunteer team to go through toy and book inventory and distribution for current items.
Volunteer who can cut hair…
Have a congregation adopt a family when they move in
1. Welcome Dinner – At Day Center
2. Transportation as needed.
3. Keep contact with the family
4. What personal items does the family need, where are their items stored, etc.
5. Teach budgeting classes, individual or with family
6. Teach Good Tenancy Program
Christmas Committee or Holiday Committee
Congregational Space for Christmas
Congregations and volunteers must understand that the families served can be encouraged to be vaccinated but cannot be forced. Volunteers must wear masks during family contact.
1. There will be new volunteer training available online in the coming weeks based on two modules, v101 and v102. This is both for new and current volunteers. Link is https://family-promise.coassemble.com/unlock/eXzJ5h3
2. David Simmons has taken over for Lauren Lamb as Volunteer Coordinator. He can be reached at the FP main number at 585-905-3988.
3. Our next “host week” in December 5 – 12. In lieu of in church hosting FP is requesting Byrne Dairy gas cards and food cards from Tops and Wal-Mart.
Thanks as always for all you do for homeless children and their families in Ontario County. Please reach out to Rich Cromwell directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-370-0839 if you would like to discuss any of the above information or would like to volunteer.
Are you curious about Vital Congregations and what these markers of vitality are? Do you ever want to talk about the sermon? Here is an opportunity to do both of these and to explore together in discussion who we are and who we want to be.
Why call it a “talk back?” The answer to that is fun and simple! In many ways the sermon is a chance for God and the Preacher to talk and the people to listen; but as the congregation it might feel like you don’t have an opportunity to respond to everything. This is your opportunity to “talk-back” to Pastor Nick, Clay, or other VCI team members about what VCI is all about, what is being stirred within you, and ask questions in a different way.
We want everyone to engage in this material as much as possible, because we believe the more we engage the content of VCI the greater the vitality will be for everyone.
In-person, Sundays after worship: Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21
ZOOM, Mondays 7-8pm: Oct. 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22
Topic: Talk Back Sermon/ 7 Marks Review, Time: 7-8pm
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88108807850?pwd=cWlZWjNYT0NjQUVRdGZCV3RrNHBWdz09
Meeting ID: 881 0880 7850Passcode: 206152
Lots of news coming from the Food Cupboard this month!
In September we fed: 633 adults, 353 children, and 172 seniors.
Angel Tree Program: Our program is going to be primarily virtual again this year. The link to the sign up is bit.ly/donateangeltree People can sign up there and we will have a dropoff box on the porch of one of our volunteer’s homes. All that information can be found at the link above.
Our Thanksgiving distribution will be November 18th and our Christmas distribution will be December 18th. Anyone who would like this assistance should call the Food Cupboard by Halloween at 585-924-2720. For the Christmas distribution, we would like to give pouches of cookie mixes, any flavor or brand. We’ll need at least 300, so if folks could pick those up when they are on sale the next 6 weeks that would be wonderful!
The Target registry has been updated to include the cookie pouches and some other items we need. This is the direct link or donors can go to Target.com, click on registry and enter Victor Farmington Food Cupboard.
From October 1st to December 31st we are part of the Target Circle charity program. If anyone belongs to Target Circle (this is not the debit or credit card), you get votes each time you shop. You can use your votes to help us raise money this quarter and it doesn’t cost the shopper anything!
November 30th is #GivingTuesday. Most nonprofits participate in this and the Food Cupboard will be participating from November 16th to 30th. More information will be coming out soon! Please save the date now!
Anyone who would like to help with deliveries this winter can contact Karen Guidarelli at the Food Cupboard. We are looking for two teams of two for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Some days we have no deliveries; some days we have 8, so we’re looking to split those with volunteers if we can.
We’re also looking for church cleaning teams for 2022. You would only need to sign up for two times per year since we have teams in once a month. You can choose a Tuesday (afternoon or night) or a weekend morning to come. Please contact me (924-5642) to pick a month for the first half of 2022.
One last note: We are currently allowing only fully vaccinated volunteers at the Food Cupboard until April 1st. If anyone is fully vaccinated and interested in volunteering, you can stop by the Food Cupboard MWF mornings or give us a call at the office number.
Hopefully you will be able to support the Food Cupboard in one or more of the above opportunities! We appreciate all the churches help to feed the needy.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:13-16
This past Sunday we were given an overview of what it means to be Vital through this scripture and how to be that salt and light. Jesus—we said—has declared these statements as indicative, as a given, as part of who we are as followers of God by God’s doing. We said that if we are followers of Jesus, we will be salt and light, and that means there is a noticeable difference about us just as salt and light are noticeable when present.
I reintroduced the Vital Congregations Initiative (VCI) and how we as a church need guidance and direction for our future. We looked back to the most recent sermon series “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask,” at the questions of “what do you need,” and “where do we go from here?” and said that we need to ask ourselves as the gathered people of First Presbyterian Church of Victor to answer these. Recall how sometimes the answer to “what do you need?” is a more existential answer about life’s meaning, purpose, and direction. I mentioned the life force, or what gives us vitality for our own lives, and how that is often multi-faceted. Further we compared that to why we exist as the Church universal, as well as why we exist as the gathered people of FPC Victor.
VCI will be a journey into those questions. It is about honest assessment of our strengths as a community and where we need to grow and transform into a more vital congregation. It will mean asking others what is noticeable about us as a church and coming to terms with any ways we have lost our “saltiness.” Today I want to invite you to do two things: First, is an invitation from me to you to participate as fully as you can in the work we will be doing because in many ways this is the work I was asked to do as Interim Pastor and I need all of your help to do this. Second, please read through these lists to learn about what VCI is and what it is not according to the people who put it together.
What this is:
The hope is this is the beginning of intentional, authentic relationships between the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission Agency and mid council leaders and pastors to:
• Come together as the people of God
• Pray: re-turn to faithfulness in God
• Inspire openness to the Holy Spirit’s transformation/change
• Honestly assess, discern and act
• Resource, equip and support leaders and pastors
• Practice missional evangelism and faithful discipleship
• Equip vital congregations and develop a praxis of sustainability and ongoing assessment
• Capture congregational stories and develop new measurements of vitality
What this is NOT:
• A universal program instructing churches and assuring vitality and sustainable life
• Another plan that promises an immediate fix
• A guarantee of revitalization for every congregation
• An attempt for the PC(USA) to tell churches what to do
• An institutional survival guide for membership, numbers and buildings
• An encouragement to tweak, yet remain the same
• A return to glory days gone by, nor a guidebook on calling the young pastor
I love the honesty named in this second list in that it names there are no promises that this will mean vitality, nor is it an attempt to be told what to do, and it especially is not about tweaking some things and remaining the same. No matter what it is or is not, I believe we will grow. I believe we will learn, and further I believe we will gain perspective on where we are going and who we are called to be.
The church is looking to fill two open positions: Choir Director and Nursery Attendant (18+). If you know of someone who may be interested or if you are interested in either position, please reach out to Pastor Nick for additional information. We appreciate any referrals from members of the church! Click on the link below for the job descriptions:
If you are wondering how you can gain more confidence, be more respectful, and grow in listening to and loving others then this study is for you. Our sermon and worship series “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask…” has a study element that goes along with it. Topics include the concept of place and culture, what pain we carry, what most we need, and how we continue to venture through life’s ups and downs.
Here is what to expect: video vignettes from the contributors of the study which go in depth to the questions asked each week, commentary and engagement with scripture, full print artwork to interact with, intimate conversation with others, and personal growth in practicing attentive listening as we answer some of the deep questions offered with the study. I am eager to dive in with you all to this work, and if you are at all apprehensive take comfort in knowing that anything you want to share you can, and anything you don’t want to share will be respected. This is truly a study where we all will get out of it what we put in, and I believe it will foster greater trust for all of us.
This is a 4-week study and will follow the sermon series. Pastor Nick will lead the discussions in-person on Thursday nights at 7pm and Sundays after church service and coffee hour. Please feel free to join on either day that is convenient to your schedule.
Week 1: September 16, 19 (Where are you from?)
Week 2: September 23, 26 (Where does it hurt?)
Week 3: September 30, October 3 (What do you need?)
Week 4: October 7, 10 (Where do we go from here?)
Peace to you all,
You and your family are invited to:
A day of fun, food, and fellowship at Stokoe Farms Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Fest on Saturday, September 25.
Many of us are missing the fellowship of in-person meetings so the PGV Healthier Congregations Team has organized this gathering for presbyters and their families focusing on fellowship, mission and fun.
Thanks to the generosity of the Stokoe family you can access the grounds and activities without charge anytime from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Be sure to join in the worship service at 11:30 and sandwich buffet meal at 12:15.
This day is open to all Presbytery members and their families. Come for lunch or just for fun but reservations are required for everyone attending.
Community Dinners will begin again at church and be held on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturdays of the month from 5-6:30 pm starting September 11th! Take-out meals will be available for people who call the church at 585-924-2289, during the Community Dinner time. Dinners will be brought out to your car.
*Please note that per CDC and NYS guidelines, vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks, but if you are unvaccinated we ask you to wear a mask until seated at a table with your dinner. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please call and we will bring a dinner out to your car. Thank you for your understanding!
Menus for September dinners:
Sept 11th- Macaroni and cheese (Girls Scouts host)
Sept 18th- Chili (St. Patrick’s hosts)
Sept 25th- TBD (Deacons are hosting)
Would you like to volunteer to help with our Community Dinners? We are looking for (7) volunteers for October 9th and October 23rd, from 3:30-7:30pm. Please follow the link here to sign up! Thank you for your generous support with your time.