Dedication of New Choir Robes

On Sunday, January 22, 2017, Pastor Linda Glantz performed the Order of Dedication For Choir Robes to bless and put into service our brand new robes. The choir is so happy to have new robes in a vibrant light gray with burgundy accents. Here are some photos from the service:

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Organist and Choir Director, Marie Follett, playing the prelude.

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Choir leading the congregation in the opening hymn – “Here I Am, Lord

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Choir gathered for the Order of Dedication

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Pastor Linda leading the Order of Dedication for Choir Robes

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Our Pastor, Choir, and Choir Director

(l-r): Pastor Linda, Kim Pritt, Kae Wilbert, Cathy Moore, Wilma Richardson, Jack Richardson, Reid Cole, Terry Wilbert, and Marie Follett

Extra robes were also blessed and put into service to accommodate future additional choir members – anyone interested in joining our choir?

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The choir singing our first anthem in the newly dedicated robes – an Acappella rendition of “Sing Out The News

A big THANK YOU to Melanie Norton for taking the photos for me! I rarely get photos of the choir because I can’t sing AND take photos at the same time….and, I really didn’t want to miss capturing this important event! Thanks so much, Melanie!

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October 30th – Pastor Appreciation

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Throughout the month, the congregation showed their appreciation to Pastor Linda in various ways. Today, we ended the month with a cake during our Coffee Hour after the service.

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Pastor Linda Glantz

Also, today, the men of the Chancel Choir sang Be Still, My Soul for the Anthem.

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(l-r): Pastor Linda (seated to the left), Jack Richardson, Reid Cole, and Terry Wilbert – accompanied by Marie Follett on the piano

AFUMC Perk Me Up Purse Ministry

Last year, the Albion First United Methodist Church Adult Bible Study had discussed setting and implementing a Big Hairy Audacious God-Sized Goal (BHAGG) in the form of a local community outreach ministry.  Three ladies – later to become known as the “Bag Ladies” – took the idea and ran with it. Cathy Moore and Judy Manley of Albion and JoAnne Fisher of Kendall, all members of the Albion First United Methodist Church, came up with the idea to gather gently used purses and fill them with supplies to make available to women in need within our community. As the plan developed, they decided to donate these gifts to Orleans County agencies specifically servicing battered women and women going through rape crisis situations. The idea was to provide “Perk Me Up Purses” to women who left bad situations with little more than the clothes on their backs.

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(l-r): Judy Manley, JoAnne Fisher, and Cathy Moore with a few of the many purses they gathered and assembled for donation to Orleans County Agencies serving battered women and women going through rape crisis in our community. 

Each “Perk Me Up Purse” contains personal care items, such as a comb or brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, nail file, tissues, eye shadow, perfume, nail polish, candy, small purse-sized package of feminine pads, and a personal note of encouragement. The goal is to provide women in these most dire situations with a few essential items to help them get by, freshen up, and find a bit of encouragement to move on. When the Bag Ladies presented their plan to the congregation, donations of purses, supplies, and cash began to come in to help them meet their goal. They soon were able to start assembling purses that will be blessed by Pastor Linda Glantz in the coming weeks and they will be ready to pass on their first bunch of “Perk Me Up Purses” to the designated Orleans Country agencies.

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Table loaded with purses – some filled, some still waiting to be filled – for the “Perk Me Up Purse” Ministry.

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Gallon-sized baggie filled with supplies, including a comb or brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, nail file, tissues, eye shadow, perfume, nail polish, candy, small purse-sized pkg of feminine pads, and a personal note of encouragement.

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Supplies are placed in a gallon sized ziploc baggie in each purse.

The project was originally going to be a one-time goal. But, as the project grew, the ladies decided to continue to coordinate efforts and turn this project into an on-going ministry for the community. Donations of supplies (listed above) or money to purchase supplies (one baggie costs approximately $10.00 to fill) to help this effort are greatly appreciated. Contact the church at 589-6430 to make a donation or you may mail your donation to Albion First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 361, Albion, NY 14411 – please specify “Perk Me Up Purse” Ministry when making a donation.

The Albion First United Methodist Church holds worship services ever Sunday morning at 9:30 am at the Christ Episcopal Church at 26 S. Main Street, Albion, NY.

2016 Children’s Day Service

Each year, the Children put on a program during the service marking the end of the Sunday School season. Today was that day for 2016. Here are some photos from their program:

The Youth Handbell Choir played Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty

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The Methodist Music Makers sang Kumbaya featuring Hailey Crawford on the flute and There is Love

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The message was in the form of a skit called The Heavenly Express, written by Sharon Kay Chatwell. The Sunday School students acted out the skit about how you get to heaven on the Heavenly Express. It was a cute story and they all did a very nice job!

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Kyle Norton and Dallas Ecker served as narrators of the story while they sat on a bench waiting for the train

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Lindsay Crawford was the ticket lady

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Kay Ecker stopped by with her ticket, ready to board

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Hunter Hering and Hailey Crawford talk about how they can get a ticket

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And, here they are ready to get their tickets

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Steve and Tiffany Crawford and Hunter Hering are a family discussing how the Heavenly Express isn’t something they may get to ride on as a family – some may go ahead of the others

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And…..Kelsey Crawford played the Conductor – blowing the whistle and declaring “All Aboard!”

Other highlights of the service were the hymns that focused on relationship between children and God: Jesus Loves Me, Tell Me The Stories of Jesus, and This Little Light of Mine.

2016 Native American Sunday Service

Each year, the First United Methodist Church picks a Sunday to celebrate Native American Sunday. This year, that special day of worship was held on May 22nd. Here are some photos from the service:

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Kae Wilbert talks about the meaning of symbols in the Native American culture with some of our youth during the Children’s Moment

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Kae works with the Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) and coordinates our annual day of Native American worship. During the service, Kae provided a report on the activities of CONAM and offered the sermon.

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Kay Ecker led the Proclamation and read the Epistle Lesson

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Leah Gibbs offered the Closing Prayer

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In this photo, Pastor Jack is offering the Benediction and led us in our closing Praise Song

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Kae Wilbert and Leah Gibbs after the service

Other features of the worship service that I was not able to get photos of include:

  • Dallas Ecker led the Opening Prayer
  • Melanie Norton led the Prayer of the Faithful
  • The Chancel Choir provided the Choral Prelude in traditional Native American language, “Heleyuyan“, led by Kae Wilbert with traditional Native American instrumentation
  • The Chancel Choir sang two traditional Kiowa songs for the Anthem: “Ah-ho Dawk’ee (God, I Thank You)” and “Dawk’yah towgyah thawy baht-awm (Take the Saving Word of God)“, again, led by Kae with traditional Native American instrumentation
  • Recordings of “Creator’s Song” by Joanne Shenandoah was played as the Prelude and “The Lord’s Prayer” sung in the Mohawk language during the Offeratory

It was a lovely service. Thank you to Kae for organizing it and for helping the Chancel Choir learn the songs we sang in the Kiowa language. It is always an interesting and meaningful service and I look forward to next year!

Some Recent Photos

Here are some recent photos I thought I would share:

Taken on May 4, 2014 – The Methodist Minstrels (Al Capurso and Doug, Ginny, and Jason Bauer) performed for us during the service. On the last song, “Get Together”, the children joined in to help play and sing!

By the way…..The Methodist Minstrels also performed at the Ecumenical Music Festival later that same day at the Albion Presbyterian Church.

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Taken on May 13, 2014 – the tulips are in full bloom at the church – so pretty!!!

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Two Upcoming Events

We have two new events planning in the coming weeks….both are not to be missed! Come join us….

# 1 – Friday, March 28 at 7:00 pm = Stand Against Racism Discussion Series – Topic # 3: Native American Topics, Speaker Kae Wilbert will lead the discussion and show the DVF “Unseen Tears”. Come out and join in on this important discussion topic.

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# 2 – April 3rd at 4:00 – 6:30 pm = Pastor Jack’s Famous Spaghetti Dinner – we found out that our pastor makes an AWESOME spaghetti sauce! So, of course, we’re taking him up on his offer to cook for one of our dinners! Dinner will include spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread, dessert, and a beverage and will cost $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children under 12. This dinner is one you will not want to miss out on! Come see why we call it “Pastor Jack’s FAMOUS Spaghetti Dinner”!

2014 Pastor Jacks Famous Spaghetti Dinner

Family Night Supper – March 2014

Every month on the second Saturday, we gather in our fellowship hall for a monthly Family Night Supper. It is a pot-luck style dinner and always proves to be a good meal topped off with great conversations and fellowship! There is typically a program of some kind sponsored by one of the church committees.

Well, tonight we enjoyed a very special treat!!! The program sponsors for this month was the Worship Committee – which includes the Chancel Choir. Marie Follett – our organist and choir director – arranged for Gary Simboli, Albion High School graduate and current music director at the high school, to sing for us. Gary brought Sue Thaine, Albion HS graduate and current Presbyterian Minister in Penfield, with him. Together, they beautifully entertained us with several old standards, such as Moonlight in Vermont, Moon River, Someone To Watch Over Me, and others. It was a pleasure to listen to them sing and capped off a lovely evening! I won’t forget this night any time soon!

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Good Shepherd Window

When approaching the north-east corner of N. Platt Street and E. State Street, you can’t help but notice the large, stunning stained glass window on the Platt Street side of the Albion First United Methodist Church. It is an amazing window. And as beautiful as it is from the outside, it is a thousand times more breathtaking from the inside. It is an absolute privilege to sit in the choir chairs at the base of the incredible wall of pipes of the organ and look across the sanctuary at this awe inspiring window. In the late afternoon and early evening when the sun is to the west, the window seems to come to life – it radiates the light shining in through the many facets and colors and makes me feel humbled in its beauty.

There is quite a history surrounding our lovely Good Shepherd window. The window depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd in the midst of several sheep across three Romanesque lancets as an interpretation of the 23rd Psalm – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”. The entire scene represented in the window includes various parts of the 23rd Psalm – Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the lambs representing sinners being cared for by Jesus and drinking from the still waters, the valley and pastures they are standing in, and Jesus holding a shepherd’s staff. The window was presented to the church by Rev. Henry Clay Woods, who was pastor here in 1911-17. The window was installed in late 1914 or early 1915 and has been a prized feature of the church ever since.

The following photos don’t do the window’s beauty justice at all. The next time you drive down Platt St, stop for a moment to gaze at the window’s details and, if you ever get a chance, come inside and look at it from the sanctuary – a very different perspective than from outside.

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Corner view from the outside

The Good Shepherd window, along with the two narrow stained glass windows on either side of it span the length of the main section of the sanctuary.

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Closer view from the outside

The second floor of this section is the west side (back) of the sanctuary

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As close of a view as you can get from the outside

Shows the Romanesque architecture and brick work showcasing the window

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From the inside with the light shining in to brighten up the details

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A closer shot showing more detail of the border lancets taken by Tom Rivers

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And, the most beautiful view of all……from outsite at night with the lights on in the sanctuary!  Awesome!!!

Some historic info in this blog was found in the book “Luminaries In The Firmament” by C.W. Lattin, Orleans County Historian – an incredible book of stained glass windows thoughout Orleans County

Awesome Beauty

Albion is blessed to have some beautiful churches.  All of the churches in the historic Courthouse Square district are rich in history and have features that make them special in their own way.  The Pullman Universalist Church is the most unique – built with Medina sandstone to look like a castle.  The Catholic Church is an amazing example of Medina sandstone with a majestic interior.  The church that anchors the downtown area as a focal point is the Presbyterian Church – also made of Medina sandstone – because of the tall steeple that can be seen by people driving up Main St from either direction.  Another personal bit of history connected to the Presbyterian Church for me is that the house my Grandparents owned for many years was originally located on the spot the Presbyterian Church now sits.  It was moved to its current location on Platt Street so that the church could be built about 1832 – of course, that was a good many years before my Grandparents bought it!  hehehe

Yes, all the churches in the historic district are incredibly special.  But, in my opinion, the Albion First United Methodist Church is the most attractive of them all.  It is one of the oldest churches in Western New York, built in the mid-1800’s.  The brick Romanesque Revival style building is located on the corner of North Platt and East State Streets kitty corner from the Courthouse and stands out due to its arched entryways, square bell tower, and some of the most beautiful stained glass windows I’ve ever seen.  And the beauty doesn’t stop at the door – the sanctuary is stunning, as well.  Four large sections of pews arch across the sanctuary beneath the huge stained glass window featuring Jesus and the lambs.  The pulpit sits against the backdrop of the picturesque pipes for the antique organ still in use today.  I so enjoy sitting in the choir and looking out over the sanctuary or sitting in a pew and gazing around at all the splendor.  It truly is an amazing sight to behold.

The following photos don’t do it justice — use them as a teaser and then come see for yourself!

Note the multiple gables and unique square bell tower.  But, the most stunning part is the huge stained glass window on the side of the building – that, along with the two arched windows on either side span the length of the main section of the sanctuary – incredible!

The church is listed in the National Registry of Historical Sites as part of the Historic Courthouse Square District.

The columns and detailing that adorn the front door make for a welcoming entrance.

Above the front entrance is stone or tile work that looks like a cross stitched sampler – very ornate!

The corner-stone tells of the building history.

The main section of the sanctuary, the pulpit, and antique organ – all set up for All Saints Sunday and Communion.

Detailed inside view of the breathtaking stained glass window on the side of the building.  This photo pales in comparison with seeing it in person!

The Bell Choir plays in the loft beneath the second stunning stained glass window – the one seen above the front entrance from the outside.

Interior doors all have beautiful stained glass, as well.

The church offices, a fifth section of pews, and stairways to the lower levels of the church are along the north side of the sanctuary.

There are multiple levels of rooms used for Sunday School classes, scouts, and other functions, including this room that is used for large gatherings and the many dinners and fundraisers held at the church.  In this photo, the hall is still decorated for the Chicken BBQ dinner held the night before the photo was taken.  To the left is a large kitchen used to cook meals for dinners and fundraisers.  Along the back side of the room (the green framed doors) is a library (left) and the Charles Howard Lounge – named after Charles Howard, who was a member of this church and world-famous for the Santa Claus School he operated in Albion.  If you don’t know who Charles Howard is, you can read a post I wrote on another blog about him at this link.

So, there you have it – a photo tour of our beautiful church.  As with all buildings that are close to 200 years old, there is some work needed to ensure it stays structurally sound and beautiful for another 200 years.  If you would like to help with the funds needed to complete this work, you may contact the church office at 585-589-6430 for information on how to make a charitable donation.  All donations of any size are greatly appreciated.  Please pray for a successful repair of this incredible piece of Albion’s history.