Pittsford Food Cupboard Thanks

Covid-19 has required the clients at Pittsford Food Cupboard (PFC) to wait outside instead of entering the facility while food is gathered for them. In order to make things easier the PFC Board erected a roof over the outdoors deck where clients wait. To assist PFC, First Baptist – Rochester donated some of the leftover marine-grade vinyl which was purchased in a bulk roll at a significant savings over the per yard rate. This vinyl was used to build the section leader and piano COVID barriers as protection for our musicians in the sanctuary through a generous donation from the Susan Boulay Memorial Music Fund.

PFC used the leftover vinyl to enclose the roofed waiting space. PFC Board Member, Richard Wien was told that PFC is very grateful as the material held up well in the high winds of the last weekend and provides a much needed wind and rain/snow barrier. PFC thanks FBCR for our help as it will make the winter situation easier for clients who they do not anticipate having inside until at least next spring or summer.

Back to the Diaspora Times

Where things stand

A Trustee Update:

The Board of Trustees feel that it would be good to let the congregation know where we stand financially through the Pandemic. Even though we are having significantly reduce giving, especially from our facility users, we have also had some reduced expenses. We having been running better than anticipated through much of the year but in October that gap reduced significantly. In October, giving was down and our expenses exceed income by almost $17,000. Although we approved a 2020 budget with a deficit of $22,000, we currently expect to have a larger deficit by year end.

There are several factors contributing to this expected deficit including user income is currently $17,000 under budget and we expect remain well below budgeted as only two self-help groups with very light numbers have returned to campus. Also, our pledge income is running on budget currently but is expected to fall short by year end which can be traced predominantly to no cash (plate passing) donations which range between $10,000 abd $20,000 each year with a significant amount of that received from October through December. Good news is expenses are running $16,500 under budget as well which has kept us from a much larger deficit. In October alone, pledge/loose offering ran $6,000 under our budgeted amount.

We are grateful to the many members of the congregation who have been able to keep up with their pledges during these unusual times and we thank you for your continued support now and into the coming year. Pledges for 2021 are now being accepted by mail, by phone, or online at www.rochesterfbc.org/together.

An Invitation from the Stuffies to Everyone @ FBCR

To recap:

The stuffies have invited everyone at First Baptist to join together in celebrating advent, which begins on Sunday, November 29, by putting together an Advent wreath or set of candles to light at the same time during Zoom worship. Here are some photos of samples and links to creative ways to put a wreath/candles together:

A wreath made by Anna Bowden for FBCR’s 2016 Christmas Art Gallery

A video demonstrating how to make a beautiful wreath without the use of tools.

A demonstration video for a slightly more involved wreath.

An image of a very simple wreath made from a block of wood with four holes bored in.

Rochester Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

For nearly 150 years, Rochesterians of different religious traditions have joined together for an Interfaith Thanksgiving Day Service. This year, we’ll continue this tradition of coming together and promoting the wellbeing of our broader community by holding our service online on Zoom and Facebook Live.


Rev. Myra Brown of Spiritus Christi will preach.Worship begins at 11:00 am with time for fellowship before and after the service.This year’s online format aims to be our biggest and most inclusive yet. Feel free to invite friends and family of all faiths or no religious affiliation at all to this important community event.

Our own Music Director, David Labman, and Pastor, Brent Bowden will be participating in the service.

Login here or on the home page.

IMPORTANT: Worship Format Change

In order to support the health and safety of the congregation and our wider community we are announcing some changes to our worship format effective Sunday, November 8.

While services will continue to be broadcast from the church sanctuary we are now encouraging all worshipers to attend worship via Zoom from home.

This change will allow us to manage the heightened risk of virus transmission we’re experiencing throughout our community. It will also allow us to keep the volume of in-person participants low enough to allow a small number of persons who are unable to attend digitally to continue joining in person.

If you do not have the option of attending online and would like to attend in person, please let the church office know by 5pm the Thursday prior to the Sunday of your attendance so that we can be prepared for your attendance.

We’re in this together

Stewardship 2020:

…Each time I logged on to be with my faith family at FBCR I sensed your presence with me. Whether it was a book study on “How to Be an Anti-Racist”, a phone call, a casual congregational check-in on a Wednesday evening, or digital worship on Sunday morning: finding a way to remain in community made a believer out of me. At FBCR we really are all in this together. An overly rosey picture here will only serve to diminish this point. We’re not a perfect church and we never will be, but we’re striving to learn and to grow and we’re finding that as long as we’re working side by side, caring for one another, and worshiping together, then we’re cultivating what we need to live into God’s calling for us as a community of faith…

Click to learn more & watch the video.

Habitat Pie Sales – Concluded

Annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale for Habitat in Three Easy Steps:

           1.) Contact Gene Tiesler at home or by November 15.  2.) Mail a check to church with “Pies” in the memo line. 3.) Pick up your pies at church on Tuesday, November 24 from 1:00 – 3:0

Choices and prices are the same as last year:

           Apple Crumb            @ $17;

           Apple Raspberry       @ $17;

           Pumpkin                    @ $17;

           Apple Crisp               @ $13;

           Donation to Habitat  @ ???

All Saints Sunday, Nov. 1

On Sunday, November 1 we will give thanks to God for those who have gone before us and had an impact on our life of faith – our saints. Due to safety protocols we will not be able to memorialize these special persons in the same way we have in the past few years. Rather, we will be piecing together a digital remembrance and we would love for you to participate by sending in a photo of someone you would like to remember. These photos will be digitally incorporated into worship that Sunday morning.

Photos may be sent to and will be needed by the end of the day Thursday, October 29.

A Prophetic Call to Reformation – Rev. James Forbes in Worship 10/18

In leveraging the opportunity of virtual gatherings, we are thrilled to join with Christian communities across the country in welcoming the Rev. Dr. James Forbes to our church on October 18. In partnership with the Alliance of Baptists, Dr. Forbes has prepared a timely message at such a crucial moment in our nation’s history.

Preaching from John 3:1-8, Dr. Forbes will proclaim the call for ongoing reform and renewal within the church. He writes, “We are reminded that an authentic ‘born again’ experience must include a continuous process of being renewed in the spiritual connection to the family of God.  To have a vibrant relationship with God demands that we treat our fellow human beings with justice and compassion. Racial bigotry and brutality are incompatible with the genuine claim of being ‘born again.’”

Ongoing calls for reform and renewal within the church are a central part of our history. Today’s cry for renewal and reform in the church is a call to repentance and continuing engagement with the long, demanding, necessary and life-giving process of turning away from racism and turning toward the beloved community. 

We hope you’ll plan on joining us in welcoming Dr. Forbes on October 18!

The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. is National Minister of the Drum Major Institute, Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church, the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary, and President of the Healing of the Nations Ministries (all of these institutions of New York City). Additionally, Dr. Forbes is a highly acclaimed author, scholar and nationally sought-after speaker, affectionately referred to in national and international religious circles as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style. Newsweek magazine once recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. As a passionate educator, administrator, community and human rights activist and interfaith leader, Dr. Forbes was twice designated as one of America’s greatest Black preachers by Ebony magazine. Dr. Forbes is a featured TEDex speaker and also a frequent guest & contributor to top national media outlets including Huffington Post, MSNBC and others. 

Worship Tech Team Help

The team ensuring a joint online worship experience each Sunday could use a bit of help. Having a few more dedicated persons would create a volunteer rotation so that not everyone is needed every Sunday. While a general understanding of computers would be helpful, no particular experience is needed. All necessary training will be provided. To volunteer, contact pastor Brent.

Remington Hubbell Circle News

It has been our tradition to sell bags of Pecans in the Fall of each year.  It has been a good fundraiser and we have been very well supported by our church congregation.  However, we will not be taking orders this year. Hopefully we will be able to continue our sale in 2021.  Many thanks to all who have supported us in the past.