Christian Faith and the LGBT experience

For many years, Lake Ave.has helped support a lecture series called “Christian Faith and the LGBT experience.”  In the past, these presentations took place at Lake Ave. or another area church, but in recent years the presentations have moved to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.  This spring, the lecture is being presented “virtually” though CRCDS as a part of their spring lecture series.  

     Date:  April 6, 2021   1:30 – 3 pm

     Speaker:  Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II,  Senior Pastor at Asbury UMC in Rochester

     To register:  crcds.edu/2021springlectures

This presentation is open to the community and there is no registration fee.  It is an opportunity for learning, but also a time for renewal of one’s commitment for inclusion and justice in God’s diverse community.  Even as we are separated by social distancing and prevented from large   “in person” gatherings, we continue to need education and spiritual renewal.   

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.

2021 ABC USA Biennial Mission Summit – and Preview

ABCUSA has announced a preview of Biennial Mission Summit to occur on April 20, 2021. Reserve your spot for this sneak peek here.

What to Expect at the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit

Plan to experience the vitality of our American Baptist family together with other American Baptists from all corners of the United States and the world through the June 2021 online Biennial Mission Summit event! Join one of the most diverse Baptist denominations as we imagine new possibilities and celebrate together the love of Christ and the joy of being a part of American Baptist Churches USA.  The online Biennial Mission Summit will feature scheduled programming on each of the three event days, June 24-26, 2021. Participants will draw from a library of pre-recorded sessions, along with resources and offerings for prayer, worship, live workshops, inspiration, fellowship, and online fun, all while connecting with both regular attendees as well as American Baptists who have not attended an in-person event before!

Venue Information

For our 2021 Biennial Mission Summit event, we will be offering a one-of-a-kind online experience using the Cvent platform. Our partnership with Cvent will give attendees access to a Virtual Exhibit Hall, providing attendees opportunities for meeting with exhibitors during scheduled times one-on-one or in groups throughout the event. Live events will kick off on June 24 and run through June 26, and a wide-ranging library of prerecorded workshops and offerings will be available to registrants for a 90 day period. We are excited to imagine a new way of coming together to celebrate, learn, and grow collectively as a representative body of American Baptist Churches USA!

Keynote Speakers

Rev. Dr. Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison Jones
Friday Evening Keynote Speaker

Rev. Dr. Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison-Jones is a scholar, author, ecclesial leader, and distinguished Churchman out of the linage of Dr. William Augustus Jones, Dr. James Forbes, Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Rev. Marvin Chandler, and Dr. Howard Thurman.

A fifth-generation minister, Dr. Harrison-Jones is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker, and workshop facilitator.  Rev. Harrison-Jones is a 2006 graduate of Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School in Washington, D.C. and a 2010 graduate of the historic Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Religious and Philosophical Studies.  While at Fisk University, Reverend Harrison-Jones had the distinct opportunity of being mentored by Fisk University President and former United States Secretary of Energy, The Honorable Hazel R. O’Leary, and Dean of the historic Fisk Memorial Chapel, Rev. Dr. Jason Richard Curry, PhD. 

In addition to Fisk University and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rev. Harrison-Jones holds degrees and professional certifications from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin Germany, and the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Rev. Harrison-Jones simultaneously matriculated in two national doctoral programs, earning the Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and is currently pursuing the PhD in Urban Education from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).

As a scholar, Rev. Harrison-Jones investigates how theological and homiletic resources within Christian traditions are valuable for interpreting and responding to such pressing public issues as economic deprivation, religious bigotry, racism, class inequity, and structural inequality. Rev. Harrison-Jones is married to Mrs. Jillian Ardelia Harrison-Jones, who is a doctoral candidate in Choral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and serves as the Richard Wesp Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir and the Music Director of MUSE, the Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir.

Reverend Harrison-Jones is the esteemed Pastor of the historic Witherspoon Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, Ind.

Rev. Dr. Brianna Parker
Saturday Evening Keynote Speaker

Founding Curator of The Black Millennial Café which is a resource for persons and institutions interested in authentic millennials engagement. Rev. Dr. Brianna K. Parker created BMC to educate others on millennials & faith through her doctoral research.

She holds a Master of Divinity in pastoral care and counseling from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in church-state studies from Baylor University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Virginia Union University’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology. 

Before founding the Black Millennial Café, Reverend Bri served Friendship-West Baptist Church for nearly a decade with Reverend Frederick D. Haynes, III who ordained her. She served Paul Quinn College for seven years as an adjunct professor and Coordinator of College Assembly and three years as an Associate Professor of Religion at Jarvis Christian College.

She has been awarded the Norman Vincent Peale Preaching Scholarship and the Mary McLeod Bethune Religion Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and she is a Silver Lifetime Member of the NAACP.

For more information on other speakers, workshops, and events at the 2021 ABC USA Biennial Mission Summit or to register visit here.

NOTE: The Church office will not be notified of your registration, but we would like to know who will participate, so let us know if you’re planning to attend.

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 America for Christ Special Offering in the month of March which is sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) of ABC-USA. ABHMS connects 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.

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)

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       +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.

     

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 .

Inauguration Day Prayer Service

Houses of Faith from across religious perspectives will be together in prayer for our country on Inauguration morning. Join us to share in prayers led by faith leaders from around Rochester on Wednesday, January 20 at 9am via Zoom.

Join the gathering here.

RMMO Offering

Over the next several weeks FBCR is focusing on the American Baptist Church’s Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering. Sponsored in December 2020 but held at FBCR in until February 7, 2021. To learn more please go to our special offerings page.

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

FB: NUH FACEBOOK PAGE FOR LIVE STREAMING

Stewardship Thanks

The Trustees would like to thank all of you who submitted to the church your pledge for 2021. We have received 75% of our usual giving units to date. The FBCR community has worked together to make this challenging year of 2020 fulfilling – in worship – and with various opportunities for being together in community – even if that is on Zoom. Our journey is not yet over and we’re in this together for just a little while longer as the vaccines become available and dispensed.

In an effort to make our budgeting process as accurate as possible, we would appreciate everyone who has not submitted their pledge, to do so now for future planning. If you have never before pledged, please consider doing so in 2021. Any amount is appreciated. You can choose to give periodically or all at one time. Whatever is most comfortable for you. Many people start small and then as your circumstance change, you are able to later give more, it will be welcomed.

To make it easy, you may pledge online at We’re In This Together, send an email to , or mail a pledge card to the church office. Finally if you wish you may choose to set up a recurring giving online, through our contribute page. This is a simple and easy way to contribute on a regular basis (a log-in is required for recurring gifts).

We thank each and every one of you for helping support current and ongoing mission and ministry of FBCR!

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 reduced giving, especially from our facility users, we have also had some reduced expenses. We have 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.