Lenten Literary Pilgrimage

Even in the midst of a pandemic FBCR will mark our journey to the cross through the season of Lent with a kind of pilgrimage. On Wednesday, February 24, 2021 we will embark on our Trek through Robert Moor’s book, On Trails. You may be surprised by just how much the paths we travel shape the lives we live, the decisions we make, and the way we think and feel about life. Like any physical path we might venture as a pilgrimage in another time, this book itself is not innately spiritual or religious, but our approach to it will lend this season its opportunities for introspection, contemplation, and perhaps even penitence.

Participants will need to secure a copy of the book in their preferred format (available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, and Audible) in time to read ahead for the first session. See the reading schedule below. Feel free to source your book from whichever dealer or library you prefer, but consider ordering from this black owned, New York bookstore, The Lit Bar.

Discussion sessions will be each Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm via Zoom. Log in here or from the usual Worship login on the FBCR home page. Consider joining early at 5:30pm for our weekly Congregational Check In for a time of catching up and checking in with one another.

Reading/Listening Schedule

Read Before:Print/Kindle ChapterAudible ChapterDiscussion Guide
Wednesday, February 24, 2021Prologue & Chapter 1Chapters 2 & 3Brent Bowden
Wednesday, March 3, 2021Chapter 2Chapter 4Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 10, 2021Chapter 3Chapters 5 & 6Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 17, 2021Chapter 4Chapter 7Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 24, 2021Chapter 5Chapter 8Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 31, 2021Chapter 6 & EpilogueChapters 9 & 10Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week

Cameron Update

Dear First Baptist,

            Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March of 2020, Cameron has remained open throughout these difficult times, serving over 18,000 meals to those in need.  When the Rochester School District decided to go 100% remote, Cameron decided to host small cohorts full-time each day in our Learning and Enrichment Center. Onsite, 25 students utilize adequate WI-FI and technology to sign on to virtual classrooms.  They are guided by our youth staff and volunteers, including a Certified Elementary Education teacher, Community Youth Development staff, and retired educators.  Students are also provided with two meals and a snack, as 97% of RSCD children rely on in-school meals.

            Thank you for all the support and your continued giving to our organization.

Jennifer Muniga
Executive Director

America For Christ Offering

FBCR will participate in the American for Christ Special Offering in the month of March which is sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) of ABC-USA. ABHMS connect various American Baptist partners into networks that address a wide range of missional needs and opportunities because, we believe that we can accomplish more—and build stronger, more viable ministries—together, across the United States and Puerto Rico.

To learn more about some of the specific people and programs that have benefitted from this offering’s grants, follow the link below to view any of the various videos on our special offering page. To contribute, send a check to the church office or contribute online at www.rochesterfbc.org/contribute.

Need help from or willing to help your FBCR family with a vaccine appointment?

Have you received your vaccine yet or scheduled your appointment to do so? Navigating the system requires sometimes complicated web sites or difficult phone trees. We don’t want anyone to go without their vaccine, so please let us know if you need any kind of help.

Are you willing and able to help those who might need assistance? There is need for logistical, light technical, and sometimes transportation help. If you are willing to partner with another member of FBCR to help encourage them and see them through the process, please let us know.

If you need help or are willing to offer it please contact Gene Tiesler.

Church Zoom Account Available for Meetings and Gatherings

As we lean into the activity of a new year and a new Church Council cycle we want you to know that the church Zoom account is available for meetings and other church activities. With increased traffic however, we’ll need you to schedule your time through the church office.

If you simply need space to chat and see one another, the account is as easy to use as logging in on Sunday morning. You don’t need a host or further privileges. If you need more advanced hosting features such as screen sharing, breakout rooms, privacy settings (waiting room or password protection) we’ll need to either provide a host or give you hosting privileges.

Please email Janet to schedule a time for your group to use the account and let us know if you need advanced hosting capabilities.

February Call to Worship by Maya Angelou

On Sundays during February and in recognition of Black History Month, FBCR has used poems from Maya Angelou as our call to worship. Recognizing Dr. Angelou works, was along with a focus during Children’s Time on influencial African Americans (known and not so known), helped us focus on the many contributions of Black Americans.

Below, we have provided links to the poems read during worship, written by Maya Angelou, who was known as an American poet, memoirist,  civil rights activist, dancer, singer, actress, producer, professor, mentor, and more.

Due to copyright regulations, we do not have permission from the author (or family/estate) to print her poem here but we can provide you with a link to where you may find it printed on the internet. On the site called Allpoetry.com where they state that the poems were supplied to them by the owner/author.

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story

Reinhold Niebuhr was a highly influential thinker, public theologian, and professor who has been said to have occupied the position of the American moral conscience. His writings and thought have influenced a number of leaders through many seasons of American life including the Civil Rights Movement.

On Wednesdays, February 3 & 10 Ivan Marable will lead us in viewing and conversing about the film, American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story. Sessions will be from 6:00 to 7:00 pm on Zoom. Log in here or through the Worship login links on the home page.

Consider joining early at 5:30pm for our weekly Congregational Check In for a time of catching up and checking in with one another.

To watch on your own look for American Conscience: The Reinhard Niebuhr Story by looking for it on Apple TV for a small rental fee or by logging in to Kanopy.com with your local library card.

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of 5 Disfellowshipped Congregations

January 27, 2021, 5:30 PM – PT/6:30PM – MT/7:30 PM – CT/8:30 PM – ET over Zoom!

Dear AWAB Friends:

On Wednesday evening, January 27, 2021, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists has rescheduled a worship service via Zoom in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the disfellowshipping of five faithful American Baptist congregations by their regions for their membership in AWAB.   The service of song, prayer, and testimony will lift up the pain of these actions, their ongoing significance, and the hope their memory calls forth.   The service will begin at 5:30 PM Pacific/6:30 PM Mountain/7:30 PM Central/8:30 PM Eastern.  

Topic: Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists – “Ours The Journey”

Service of Worship Time: Jan 27, 2021 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Zoom details for this gathering are below:  

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8599095914?pwd=ZTJMcFBqZVA5WFZYZlhKVEcxektjUT09

Meeting ID: 859 909 5914 Passcode: 192833

One tap mobile

+16699009128,,8599095914#,,,,,,0#,,192833# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,8599095914#,,,,,,0#,,192833# US (Tacoma)  

Dial by your location

       +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

       +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

       +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

       +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

       +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

       +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 859 909 5914 Passcode: 192833

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kduAlG7nQl

We hope you can join us as we gather virtually as an AWAB family to honor our past struggle so that we can look ahead always with strength and hope.


A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance

First Baptist – Rochester, NY will join other churches across our nation as we ring our bells in memory of the 394,495 individuals1 who lost their life to COVID. The ringing will begin at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The bell will toll 39 times, a mere .01% of the lives lost, and will conclude with the hymn “On Eagles Wings” played on our Carillon. You may show your remembrance at home by turning on your porch light or by displaying a light in a front facing window from 5:30 to 6:00 PM.

1 www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid-19.htm (reported by the CDC as of noon on January 17, 2021)

Could you help answer phones?

Did you know that our Administrative Assistant, Katelyn, would soon be going on maternity leave? She is. We are wondering if you could help us out by answering the phone. You can do this from home, on a landline or a cell phone. You can do this one day a week, one day a month, or even just one day. We are especially seeking help on Fridays when other staff members have days off but would accept help on other days as well. All calls will be forwarded to your telephone between 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM on the day you volunteer. You do need to know “all the answers.” We would just like to have a kind, warm, and smiling person greeting the caller. Once the call is answered, listen to the request, answer the question if you are able or take a messages and either email or text each message to the appropriate individual depending on the urgency of the call. It is an easy way to help out from the comfort of your own home. Contact Janet if you are able to help at .

FBCR Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the First Baptist Church of Rochester and Society will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2021 a few minutes after worship concludes (roughly 11am).

The agenda will include the voting on the slate of nominees for the Board of Trustees: Sharon Hamann and Mark Harnischfeger, the voting on the slate of Officers to the Council, the voting on the slate of Chairpersons, and the approving of the various Delegates. The Pastor will give his report and the Board of Trustees were share the 2020 ending finances and present for approval the 2021 budget.

To attend the meeting you can login here or through the usual Worship login links.

Winter Offensive of the National Homeless Union

As part of the ongoing NUH 2020 Winter Offensive, the NUH and the Nonviolent Medicaid Army (of which NUH is a member), will co-host a Virtual Gathering in celebration of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday.  This event will be held on Friday January 15th, 2021  from 7 – 9pm EST and will highlight the original PPC as well as the organizing efforts today to build the NUH and the entire movement to end poverty led by the poor and dispossessed, work that builds on the historical work of MLK during the last three years of his life (1965-1968) that ultimately led to his assassination. The event will feature speakers from the NUH, NVMA, and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival reading and reflecting on some of MLK’s more famous quotes during the building of the Poor People’s Campaign: a new and unsettling force!
We will also highlight the 5 year Anniversary of both the Salinas CA HU and Rochester NY HU, our earliest unions founded during the organizing efforts to re-establish the NUH!Please REGISTER HEREThis event will be streamed on the NUH Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. We look forward to being with you at this powerful event in honor of MLK and the PPC. Please share this information far and wide.

NUH YouTube Channel:  NUH YouTube Channel – Live Stream