Baptism Sunday 6/5/22

On Sunday, June 5, 2022, we will have candidates who are currently participating in a baptism class make a commitment to be baptized.  It will be a moving and glorious Sunday.  Prepare to attend! 

Diane Iacopelli

May 25, 2022

Diane Iacopelli’s calling hours will be on Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 7-9 PM at Falvo Funeral Home, 1395 N. Goodman, Rochester, NY. A service will be held Saturday, May 28 at 10 AM also at Falvo Funeral Home.

Diane Iacopelli (Rung) Obituary

Gates: May 14, 2022, at age 75. Predeceased by her late husband Dennis. She is survived by her sister Betty Rung of Kingsport, TN, her brother David (June) of Kutztown, PA, and sister MaryLou of Alaska. Survived by her niece, Cheryl and Skyler Hardenbrook of Kingsport, TN; her grand-nephew Bradley, great-niece Hayden Hardenbrook and grand-niece Heidi Hardenbrook of Fredonia, NY.

Diane was of the Baptist faith and attended First Baptist Church on Allens Creek Rd. in Rochester. Please consider a donation to the Church in Diane’s memory. The family will receive friends Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 7-9PM and a Service will be held Saturday, May 28, 2022 at 10AM, both at Falvo Funeral Home, 1395 N. Goodman St. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

May 17, 2022

Dear FBCR Family,

We have just learned some very sad news. Diane Iacopelli had an accidental and life-ending fall on Saturday, May 14, 2022. As many of you know, Diane has been an integral part of FBCR for many years. She was never shy and loved decorating coffee hours especially around the various holidays of the year. Before health issues relating to her dialysis caused her to reduce her involvement, she also loved reading scripture in worship and helping out with the various activities with her enthusiastic and sunny disposition. 

Your prayers for Diane’s family and friends as they deal with the pain of this sudden loss are sought. We give thanks for Diane and for the faith-filled life that she led. Service details are pending.


Jazz finest with David Labman – Playing greats “Weather Report” Live 5/28/22

David Labman will be playing the music of well-known jazz greats, “Weather Report” along with some of Rochester’s finest jazz musicians live this Saturday night at the 75 Stutson Street theater. Tickets are $30 and available by phone, email, or website at (585) 615-4551, , or .  Two showings at 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM.




FBCR’s Summer Check In

Come One, Come All.  Come Many, Come Few.  No matter the turnout, our Wednesday evening check in — same place, same time will be available to everyone who wishes to check in say hello.  Through the summer (from May 25 through August), staff may check in — or may not, but all are welcome to come say hello at this Wednesday evening gather.  Wednesday 5:30 to 6;00 PM.

FBCRs Pastors Fund

The Pastor’s Fund could use a boost. This fund provides our pastors with the ability to offer assistance to people in need who seek help.  In the past, the fund was replenished with loose offering collected on Communion Sundays. For the first 24 months of the pandemic there was no loose offering collected which means that this fund had money going out but little to replenishing it.  If you would like to supplement this benevolence fund, please place Pastor’s Fund or in the memo or notes line of your donation.


Pittsford Food Cupboard

Pittsford Food Cupboard is looking for a Back Room Coordinator. Tuesday and Friday from 8:00-11:00am. Flexible schedule. Responsible for sorting donations, storing inventory and scheduling food pick-ups. Located at 3800 Monroe Ave. Door #26. For more information contact Daniel Traina at 585-208-6839 or

New Office Hours

This spring, our Council made the decision to adjust our office hours to better meet the needs of the congregation, our lay-leadership, and staff.  Beginning immediately, our Administrative Office Hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Other staff members are often on campus outside of those hours and may be able to assist, by scheduled appointment.  


University of Rochester – Ways to Help/Buffalo

Below is information that the University of Rochester compiled and verified as ways for folks that want to find ways to help with what happened in Buffalo. 

To help directly:

Victims Fund for Tops Buffalo NY Shooting: Funds will go to helping with victims’ funeral expenses and helping those who need trauma consoling.

To help provide food:

  • Resource Council of WNY
    • The Tops Market is temporarily closed while the investigation into the mass shooting continues. A food giveaway program will continue each day from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM, located at the Resource Council of WNY, 347 East Ferry Street, just two blocks away from the Tops Market.
    • During the daily food giveaway, mental health counseling will also be available to assist community members and their families who have been affected.
    • Donate to the Resource Council.
  • Verified GoFundMe Donation Sites:

ABC-USA Response

VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/18/22)—General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods released a statement on May 18, 2022, following recent shootings in California, New York and Wisconsin. Read the statement below.

The recent shootings in Orange County, California at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, in Buffalo, New York, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin remind us of the deep and destructive hate that exists in so many people today. Racially motivated violence is deplorable, devastating, and evil. We pray for the families and friends of the victims and for all those affected by these shootings. Senseless acts like these give evidence to the pervasiveness of racial injustice and the need for our continuing Anti-Racism work.

“As Christians we are conscious of the violence around us, but we have often been numbed by its frequency and enculturation in our lives. Too often we exhibit our conformity to the world by the vicious disputes in our churches. Rather than being witnesses to Christ’s transformative power, we have made choices that reflect our own rootedness in a violence-ridden society. This sad reality requires continuing reflection, confession and committed action as disciples of Christ.” -American Baptist Policy Statement on Violence, 1998

This week many of our American Baptist leaders are meeting at our National Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin for the first time in person in nearly three years. We are discussing ways to support our congregations and leaders and we are devoting significant time to conversation and team building. It is one thing to disagree with someone whom you trust. It is quite another to disagree with someone whom you do not trust and it is more difficult to trust someone whom you do not know.

When we as American Baptists exemplify trust, dignity, and respect toward one another, it provides hope to a world desperately in need of hope. May we continually seek to understand, to treat one another with respect, to act when there are injustices, and to lead in the ways demonstrated by our Savior and Lord.

2 If, then, there is any comfort in Christ, any consolation from love, any partnership in the Spirit, any tender affection and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others.   Philippians 2:1-4

[Click here to read more]

Sunshine and help

Do  you love the sunshine at this time of year?  Do you like working with your hands? What about combining the two and help make our campus summer ready! There are many flower and shrub beds around the church which could use a spring clean-up.  Whether you have one hour or one morning to assist with beautifying our church campus, we need you.  Come at any time or any day.  The Trustees and the staff will be very grateful for the help!

Zoom Update

There is a new zoom update. You may wish to update it early – so that you will have seamless access when you want.

Welch/Sparnecht Family Care Calendar-On Hold

May 21, 2022

The Care Calendar for Rose and Chuck is currently ON HOLD. Updates will be provided as we learn of them.

May 9, 2022

Rose Welch was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease which is characterized by a degeneration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This disrupts the neurological impulses to the muscles thereby causing muscle weakness and atrophy. Rose and Chuck could use some assistance.

A care calendar has be established to share some of their current needs and will be updated with new items as the needs are identified. To assist them, we ask that you consider viewing and signing up to help in any way you can.

Welch/Sparnecht Care Calendar Security code is 2307.

National Nurses Week.

May 6 through May 12 is a time set aside to acknowledge individuals who choose a nursing profession. The 2022 Theme is “nurses are the backbone of medical care.”  FBCR recognizes the hard work and dedication of nurses the nurses in our church and those everywhere  with a grateful – thank you!

Section Leader Season Farewell

A thank you to our section leaders:

As Eastman School of Music concludes the semester, it is time to say farewell to our section leaders for now. I am grateful for their talent, their professional and caring attitudes, their flexibility and their commitment to the music program of FBCR.

Individually their voices are rich and powerful, and as a quartet their blend and musical expression are beautiful to hear. Our section leaders have been a pleasure to work with; they care about the quality of their music and the integrity of worship. Their flexibility is evident considering the various constraints caused by the pandemic. However, they also had to adjust to working with three different conductors throughout the year: Doleen Hood, Sam Baker and myself; and they went through all of this with positive and supportive attitudes.

Thank you, Lauren Case, Andrew Miller and Jack O’Leary for your excellent service. I look forward to welcoming you back next season. And thank you, Ella Torres for your years of excellent service. I will miss having the pleasure of working with you. On behalf of the FBC congregation, congratulations, Ella on your graduation from Eastman and best wishes to you for grad school and beyond!

With great appreciation,

David Labman

Graduation Highlight: Ella Torres, soprano

Ella Torres will graduate from the Eastman School of Music on May 13th, which means she will be concluding her time with us at FBCR. Ella began in 2018 as a frequent substitute section leader, and she became our permanent soprano section leader three years ago. During her time with us she has navigated constant pandemic related change to her life, education, and our way of doing worship. Through it all she has been flexible and professional and helped lead our congregation with poise and good humor.


Faith & Fiction

New Wednesday night study will focus on one’s faith and various works of fiction. Beginning on April 20, we’ll be reading short stories and creative essays with religious themes and reflecting together from 6-7 PM. Each week will involve a little homework (don’t be scared!) and a willingness to talk about how each week’s text resonates with you! It’ll be accessible, relaxed, and hopefully a lot of fun. This unit will last until Wednesday, May 18. Join us!

Week 1 (April 20) | Jhumpa Lahiri, This Blessed House from her 1999 collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is celebrated for her depiction of immigrant and Indian-American life, yet her poignant stories also capture universal themes of longing, loneliness and barriers of communication. She was born in London in 1967 and raised in Rhode Island. Her Bengali parents, a teacher and a librarian, took their family on regular trips to Calcutta, India to visit extended family. Lahiri completed her B.A. at Barnard College, and from Boston University she earned M.A. degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Comparative Literature and the Arts, as well as a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies.

Lahiri’s debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was published in 1999 to critical acclaim. Several of these stories had previously appeared in the New Yorker, and she was the recipient of an O. Henry Award for the title story. Lahiri’s characters are often immigrants from India or children of immigrants who deal with issues of cultural displacement, marital troubles and issues of identity. While many of these stories are set in the United States, Lahiri’s time in Calcutta is evident in her occasional use of Indian locales.


Week 2 (April 27) | John Berryman, Eleven Addresses to the Lord

John Berryman was born John Smith in McAlester, Oklahoma, on October 25, 1914. He received an undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1936 and attended Cambridge University on a fellowship. He taught at Wayne State University in Detroit and went on to occupy posts at Harvard and Princeton. From 1955 until his death in 1972, he was a professor at the University of Minnesota. Berryman was brought up a strict Roman Catholic in the small Oklahoma town of Anadarko, moving at 10 with his family to Tampa, Fla. When the boy was 12, his father shot himself outside the boy’s window. This event haunted him throughout his life and recurred as a subject in his poetry. After his mother remarried, John took his stepfather’s name. After his death, Recovery, an account of his struggle against alcoholism, was published in 1973.

Week 3 (May 4) | Ocean Vuong, The Weight of our Living: On Hope, Fire Escapes, & Visible Desperation 

Ocean Vuong is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, Time is a Mother, out from Penguin Press (2022), and the The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019) which has been translated into 36 languages.  A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, aNew York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong’s writings have been featured in The AtlanticGrantaHarpersThe NationNew RepublicThe New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Paris Review, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, InterviewPoets & Writers, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory laborers, he was educated at nearby Manchester Community College before transferring to Pace University to study International Marketing. Without completing his first term, he dropped out of Business school and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he graduated with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature. He subsequently received his MFA in Poetry from NYU.

He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts where he serves as an Associate Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass-Amherst.

**Just a quick heads up that this essay deals with language around suicide.**

Week 4 (May 11) | Emory Gillespie, Read This, See If It Helps  

Emory Gillespie is the minister of First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She teaches Religion and Literature at Cornell College and has published articles in the Wapsipinicon Almanac, Lectionary Homiletics and Journal for Preachers. Emory enjoys her family; Bob who at this moment is fly fishing, Tom Henry who is practicing with his rock band in the basement and Raina, who has two mice. Emory aspires to publish her two novels.

Week 5 (May 18) | William Stafford, Ask Me

For our next and final session, we’ll read Ask Me by William Stafford, a 20th-century American poet from the Midwest. A pacifist and one of “the quiet of the land,” as he often describes himself, Stafford is known for his “unique method of composition, his soft-spoken voice, and his independence from social and literary expectations,” according to a writer for the Poetry Foundation.

Optional Additional Reading  | Lessons From My Mother, James Wood

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian, in London, from 1992 to 1995, and a senior editor at The New Republic from 1995 to 2007. His critical essays are collected in “The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief”; “The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and “The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays.” Wood is also the author of the novel “The Book Against God”; a study of technique in the novel, “How Fiction Works”; and a collection of essays, “Serious Noticing: Selected Essays, 1997-2019.” His latest novel, “Upstate,” was published in 2018. He is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University.