Prayer Shawl Ministry

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Shawls and Lap Robes offered for blessings on the altar at Albion First United Methodist Church


The Prayer Shawl Group is a special ministry at Albion First United Methodist Church. A group of ladies work to knit or crochet shawls and lap robes to be given to people who are undergoing surgery or other serious illness, as well as shut-ins. Whether the ladies knit together in fellowship meetings or on their own, a lot of love and prayer goes into each and every shawl, which are typically given to women, and lap robe, which are typically given to men. The shawls / lap robes are placed on the altar and blessed by Pastor Jack prior to being presented to the recipients. These gifts include a prayer and a note of well wishes for their speedy recovery.

We welcome anyone who would like to participate in this ministry.


Let’s Eat!

I have come to the realization that Methodists love to eat and that if I go hungry in this church, it is my own darned fault!  In the past few months, I have attended (to the best of my recollection) five dinners, eight luncheons, and had some sort of cookie, cake, or other snack every Sunday morning during Coffee Hour after worship services.  That’s a lot of food!  And there have been some that I’ve missed or had a conflict and couldn’t attend.  I’d like to highlight the two most recent events – both within the past couple of days.

First:  Sunday, the 18th, was Consecration Sunday, so of course we had a celebration after worship services.  The celebration consisted of a pot luck lunch with an amazing variety of food to choose from and a delicious cake baked by Laurie Cole (which, by the way, was decorated the photo I took of the Good Shepherd window seen in a previous post on this blog).  I do believe this was the best pot luck lunch that I’ve attended, so far – it by far had the most food, biggest selection, and largest number of attendees.  It really was a great meal and fellowship.  And I suppose it goes without saying that I didn’t need to eat any dinner later that evening — boy, was I stuffed!!!  Here are some photos of the Consecration Sunday Pot Luck Lunch:

Beautiful cake baked by Laurie Cole

Taken as the food was being set out — I should have waited or taken another one after they were done!  This ended up being about 1/2 or less of what ended up on the table!

Folks enjoying their meal and more fixing their plates at the serving line.  A great time had by all.

The second event was Monday, the 19th.  Every year for the November monthly lunch meeting, The United Methodist Seniors (TUMS) group has a Thanksgiving meal at the church.  This year as it was being planned, it was not known whether or not the proposed construction plans would make it difficult to have the meal at the church, so the organizers looked for an alternate location and reached out to the West Barre United Methodist Church.  This turned out to be the perfect choice.  Approximately 32 members attended and had an amazing meal.  I have never been to the West Barre UMC and was delighted to see the quaint country church located on Eagle Harbor Road in Barre.  The room we were seated in was lovely and inviting with a beautiful stained glass window and dedicated pew doors along the walls.  I took the liberty to go into the sanctuary and found a beautiful old-fashioned room that made me want to sit and enjoy some quiet time – but, instead, I went back in to join the group.  The West Barre ladies had the room set up with beautiful table cloths, cloth napkins, lovely place settings, and a beverage table with punch, coffee and tea.  Once we were seated, they began a family style service of all the traditional Thanksgiving foods.  If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was a child, again, at my Grandma’s house for a family Thanksgiving gathering!!!  Then came the dessert — pie — all kinds of pie!  I had the Lemon Merengue and, man, was it good!!!!  We had several November birthdays to celebrate, including Lucy Stoddard who proudly said she turned 90 this month!  We were all very appreciative of the food, service and gracious hospitality of the ladies of the West Barre UMC – it was a perfect day and gave us a lot to be thankful for.  Here are some photos I took of the day:

West Barre United Methodist Church

The room we were served in

A better shot of the stunning stained glass window

Members of the Albion TUMS group enjoying a delicious meal in a lovely country church setting — I didn’t realize I didn’t get everyone in the shot from this angle

So, as you can see…..there are a lot of opportunities for good food and fellowship with the folks at Albion First United Methodist Church!

Busy, Busy, Busy

I’ve mentioned that we’re a very active church – just a peek at our church calendar will confirm that for any skeptics out there!  Since I’ve been involved, I’ve found lots to do and enjoy.  Aside from the routine stuff that goes on every month, we’ve had FOUR (4) major fundraisers – all very successful!  This post is an attempt to catch up with the events and fun that I’ve been a part of, so far.  From here on out, I will try to keep this blog up to date as things happen.

First, a sampling of the stuff that goes on every month – a wide variety of ways to gather for fellowship, share meals and good conversation, meet new people, and welcome new friends to our congregation:

  • Hospitality Table – the church is located at the same corner that the driver’s license test route starts – the tests are given weekly.  For many years (probably since the beginning of driver’s tests at the dawn of time) people would gather at this corner to take the test and parents, test takers, and examiners would stand at the entrance to the church awaiting their turn or for their teens to return from their test – in all weather conditions and sometimes for long periods with no access to shelter or facilities.  Some members of the church decided it would be a great opportunity to offer an easy, yet very important service to the community.  We open our doors and man a “hospitality table” so those waiting may use the bathroom, get a cup of hot coffee or glass of water, or just get in out of the cold or hot sun.  It has been a greatly appreciated service by many and those who work the table find it to be a very rewarding effort.  What a great idea and an easy way to serve to the community.  I haven’t had the pleasure of volunteering for this service, yet, but hope to soon.
  • Last Wednesday Supper – a pasta dinner served from 5:00-6:00 on the last Weds of every month for the community.  The dinner is free – donations are appreciated.  Another very important service to our community.  October’s supper served over 40 people.
  • Men’s Lunch – the men get together for lunch on the second Tuesday of every month
  • Ladies Lunch – the ladies get together for lunch on the second Tuesday of every month.  I have enjoyed joining in on these luncheons for several months, now.  We go somewhere different every month.  The first one I went to was at the Village Inn.  In August, we went to the Caryville Inn in Oakfield.  September was the highlight, for me – we went to the Glen Iris in Letchworth – after lunch, I took the rest of the day and explored Letchworth (click on this link for photos and a detailed accounting of my day).  October’s outing was at Darrell’s Place in Middleport and this month we’ll go to HoHo’s Chinese Buffet in Brockport.  Here is a sample of the photos from our lunch at the Glen Iris:

  • TUMS – The United Methodist Seniors group meets the third Monday of every month for lunch and an informative program.  October’s meeting was a pot luck lunch and Rev. Earl Bell and his wife gave a photo presentation of their recent trip to England.
  • Family Dinners – once a month we hold a pot luck dinner for church families – lots of wonderful food and fellowship
  • Prayer Warriors meet twice a month.
  • Bible Study – There are two Bible studies – one every Weds at 3:00 pm and one every Thurs at 5:00 pm.  I joined the Thursday group and we are currently reading and discussing the book “When Christians Get It Wrong” by Adam Hamilton – very interesting conversations in the room!
  • Prayer Shawl Group – This is a group of ladies who meet once a month to knit or crochet together.  We make beautiful lady’s shawls or men’s lap robes that are blessed and given to church members who are ill or in retirement homes who need our prayers and a little warmth from loving hands.  I joined this group and am about 1/2 way through with my first shawl – it really warms my heart to know it will brighten the day of someone who could use a smile.
  • Sunday School – there are classes for everyone.  The adult class I am part of is reading and discussing the book “90 Minutes In Heaven” by Don Piper, which is very enlightening.
  • Choirs – We have a Chancel Choir and a Bell Choir – both perform some beautiful music for our worship services.  I was asked to join the Chancel Choir.  I wasn’t sure I was cut out for singing outside the privacy of my own home, but I’m actually doing pretty good and having a lot of fun with it!
  • And, of course, our Sunday Worship Services held at 9:30 each Sunday morning.

I am sure I’m forgetting or am not yet aware of something, but this is a good sampling of all the great things to be involved with on a routine basis.  There are also opportunities to serve on committees and volunteer to help the operation of the church and church events.

Now, for the events/fundraisers held over the last couple of months:

  • Beef On Weck Dinner – delicious and very successful dinner held in August – an annual favorite prepared by our wonderful kitchen committee.
  • Chiavetta’s Chicken BBQ Dinner – held on November 3rd – the chicken for this annual fundraiser is catered by Chiavetta’s and the sides and desserts are prepared by our hard-working kitchen committee.  This year we sold about 220 plates – the best attended Chicken BBQ to date.
  • Fall Rummage Sale – the church holds a huge rummage sale twice a year – fall and spring – the fall sale was held October 5-6
  • Country Fair Church Bazaar – this bazaar is amazing – I have never seen such an extensive, well-organized, and beautifully displayed church bazaar!  We had a large table full of the most mouth-watering homemade fudge and candies, an equally long table of delicious baked goods, TONS of handmade crafts, a whole room full of “Granny’s Attic” type items, silent auction baskets, loads of books, plants and herbs grown by members with incredibly green thumbs, and a huge variety of fresh produce donated by some of the most generous local farmers in the area.  They even prepared and served a delicious hot lunch of chicken and biscuits, hot dogs, salt potatoes, and more.  Everyone involved did an incredible job – the bakers, candy makers, crafters, baskets compilers, cooks, green thumbs, workers, etc.  The generous local farmers who deserve our thanks and recognition are:  Rush’s, Panek Farms, FR Bently Farms, Triple G Farms, Mank Farms, Kirby Cider Mill, Bertsch’s Good Earth Farm, Bozard Farm, Jim Kirby, Rick and Gail Ebbs, Kenny Haylett Farm, Brown’s Farm Market, and Bennett’s Farm.

Some photos of our Country Fair Church Bazaar (sorry for the fuzzy ones – not sure what happened when I took them – probably all the excitement of the event got me shaky!):

The fudge and candy table……YUM!

Some of the fresh produce donated by local farmers – JoAnne Fisher is organizing the display

JoAnne Fisher setting out some more fresh produce – everything from Brussel Sprouts to Apple Cider and everything in between!

Leslee Lockwood ready to sell some fudge!

Rachel Marasco and Connie Pinson preparing the display of baked goods – how good does that all look??!!

Herbs and homemade jams for sale!

Ladies hard at work preparing the chicken and biscuits lunch while the donuts fill shopper’s sweet teeth in the morning hours!

Granny’s Attic room — lovely dishes and what-nots!

Ellie Lockwood wrapping up a purchase made by some lucky shoppers!

Don Seever offering up some gorgeous plants for sale!

Beautiful handmade offerings at the Craft tables!

A variety of gift baskets up for Silent Auction in the comfortable Charles Howard Lounge!

Lunch is served!

Event Chairperson, Gail Ebbs talking to Don Manley

Don and Judy Manley talking with a happy shopper!

Our Pastor Jack and his wife, Deborah

Larry Fisher working the Produce table!

There are so many fun and rewarding things to do and services to provide the congregation and the community at our very active church.  If you would like to join in on the fun, we’d love to have you!  Come visit us for a worship service any Sunday morning at 9:30 or contact the church at 585-589-6430, via email at, or visit our website at