Our beautiful area is now well on those lazy, foggy summer days. Around the Finger Lakes, it’s the perfect time to be outdoors. It’s a time to slow down, recharge, and connect with family and friends.
For this reason, many churches also reduce the level of activity during the summer months. Services are often combined, with other churches, to allow clergy to take vacations. Some services are held outdoors and at earlier times, so as not to conflict with people’s summer plans. Many churches hold summer picnics. As of this writing, FPC is hoping this recent much-needed rain ends so we can enjoy our annual July picnic, held at Keuka State Park. After a two-year hiatus, FPC is looking forward to this year’s gathering.
In PFC’s summer newsletter, Pastor Paul spoke about the fun of summer reading outdoors, a favorite pastime for many. One of Pastor Paul’s inspiring choices this summer was Luke’s writings in the Bible. Luke wrote towards the end of the first century. He wrote both his Gospel and the Book of Acts. Luke was also friends with the apostle Paul. Later Paul wrote and spoke of the Gospels and the book of Acts in Ephesians 3:4, “When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ.” Whatever genre you prefer, whether it’s fact, fiction or fantasy, biography, romance, mystery, history or the Bible itself, reading broadens our horizons, our knowledge and can take us to distant lands. As Dr. Seuss wrote, “You can find magic everywhere you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
There are so many outdoor options locally, at little or no cost. Support a BBQ fundraiser, stroll the Windmill, hike the scenic Keuka Outlet Trail for a different perspective, bike a section of the lake, camp at Keuka Lake State Park , visit one of the local park beaches for a swim, explore the Finger Lakes Museum Wetlands, or attend a kayak paddling event on Sugar Creek. So whether you prefer picnicking, barbecuing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating, or just relaxing in a hammock or beach chair with a good book, do this. that you like !
St. Mark’s Episcopal
From Rev. R. Columba Salamony, (new!) Rector of Saint Mark;
Pastor Kristen Roth Allen (PYUMC) and I recently met for lunch. We talked about the Isle of Iona, a deeply spiritual place that we both visited and have fond memories of. The Isle of Iona is a tiny strip of land measuring about a mile wide and three miles long. It’s off the west coast of Scotland, part of a group of islands called the Inner Hebrides. (The adjacent Outer Hebrides is where my maternal ancestors resided prior to emigration.) In some streams of Christianity we find the idea of a “thin space” – a place where the boundary between human and divine is very thin – and Iona is probably one of many. It is a very sacred little island, completely saturated in the stories of Celtic and Scottish Christianity.
To get to Iona from Glasgow (the nearest big city), you have to embark on a pilgrimage! From Glasgow Queen Street Station, you take a three-hour train to Oban, a western port town. In Oban, it’s a short walk to the ferry terminal, where you catch a 45-minute ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. A 90 minute bus takes you through Mull on the single track roads between Craignure and Fionnphort. Fionnphort’s only features are a small car park (no tour cars are allowed on Iona), a cafe and the ferry terminal. From Fionnphort Harbor you will have the best view of Iona before boarding the ferry. Fortunately, this journey only takes ten minutes! As I said, it’s quite a pilgrimage!
In the June 24 issue, I wrote a brief history of Columba d’Iona, my namesake. Saint Columba transformed this small green and gray island into a place of deep spirituality, deep learning and a center of service, evangelism and mission. But very often, I have a slightly puzzled look when I introduce myself as Columba. “Can you spell it?” some ask. Or they’ll be like, “Oh, Columbo, like the TV detective.” Well… not quite.
What I omitted from the previous edition is why my name is Columba. Several years ago, before seminary, I explored a vocation to religious life in a semi-closed monastic community of the Episcopal Church. During this time I was known as Brother Columba of Unspeakable Joy. (The dedication “Joy Unspeakable” refers to 1 Peter 1:8.) For various reasons, I finally discerned that monastic life was not part of my calling to serve God’s church at this time. But I still felt a deep connection to the name Columba. Because after all, I see myself as a pilgrim on a long winding spiritual journey (much like the long pilgrimage to Iona), but I have also discovered in myself a bit of missionary zeal – a desire to go out in our community and share God’s love with those who need it most.
I hope you and I will have time to chat at some point. If you see me in town, stop by and say hello. And if not, you can always find us at worship on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Penn Yan First Baptist
On Sunday, July 31, we will welcome B. Dale Wakley as our guest speaker. We continue to meet outside on the Yates County Courthouse lawn for our 10 a.m. worship service.
During the summer months, we continue our collections for Backpack program foods for school children, canceled stamps to benefit US veterans in rehab, and loose change for Milly’s Pantry Backpack program. During the month of August, our pulpit supply will be as follows: 7th – Rev. John Tharp, 14th – Rev. Don Lawrence, 21st – Rev. Mark Slomski, 28th – Rev. Mark Slomsky.