Stewardship 2021

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All Saints Sunday

On Sunday, October 31 we will give thanks to God for those who have gone before us and had an impact on our life of faith – our saints. Part of our expressions of gratitude that morning will be memorialize our saints with images or mementos. If you plan to worship with us on campus that morning, bring along a photo of your saints or a small object that brings their memory to mind. If you will be worshiping online that morning send us a photo for digital display and prepare to have a candle ready to light in your digital worship space. Send photos to .

Interfaith Power & Light ED to Give Advocacy Training @ FBCR

On Thursday, October 28, from 7-8:30pm, Rabbi Glenn Jacob will help us to explore how our faith perspectives are valuable assets when speaking to our legislators on climate and other issues. We will do some role-playing, and there will be plenty of time for questions.

Rabbi Glenn Jacob is the executive director of the New York chapter of Interfaith Power & Light. Before coming to NYIPL he served synagogues from the Deep South to Long Island for over 25 years. In the Deep South, Rabbi Jacob was a civil rights advocate on issues of church and state, reproductive rights, hate group monitoring with the Southern Poverty Law Center, and funding for public education. In Philadelphia, Rabbi Jacob was the founding chair of the Interfaith Gathering of Lower Bucks (County). He is also an accomplished storyteller, lobbyist, and preacher .

Rabbi Jacob is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in philosophy. He received a Master’s Degree in Hebrew and ordination from Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Cincinnati. He also received his Doctor of Divinity from HUC.

This event is jointly sponsored by RAICA (Rochester Interfaith Climate Action) and the Creation Collaborative of the ABC-RGR (American Baptist Churches of the Rochester Genesee Region).

Please register for this event here.

To attend virtually, login here or by clicking “Join Worship-Live Check In” under the “Worship Online” menu item at

To attend in person: First Baptist Church of Rochester 175 Allens Creek Rd, Rochester, NY 14618

NOTE: in the event of further Covid precautions becoming necessary registered participants will be notified by email


Do Not Respond to Requests for Gift Cards

If you have received emails from an account that appears to be from Pastor Brent requesting gift cards, DO NOT respond. This is a scam and all value on those cards will be stolen.

If you have already purchased gift cards:

  • Call the issuer of the gift card NOW. Do Not wait. See if the funds can be frozen or refunded. Let them know the purchase was fraudulent.
  • If the funds are already lost or unable to be frozen, try calling your credit card company or bank to see if the charges can be reversed.

How to avoid scams of this type in the future:

  • As a volunteer organization, FBCR will occasionally ask for assistance, including financial assistance. If you received this kind of communication verify its authenticity before taking action. Speak to the sender via a form of communication other than the request (2 factor authentication). Give us a call in the office to verify.
  • When you receive emails, don’t rely on the name on the email. That information is publicly available. Look at the email address to see if it is known to you. If it isn’t, do not respond. If it is, still verify the authenticity of the message through another form of communication before responding.

Fall 2021 @ FBCR

Faith Formation


Sundays ~10:25-11:00am

Children will attend worship with the full congregation until just after the Children’s Time then will meet their Sunday School teachers to head out for a fun and engaging time of learning and growing specifically for early faith development.

Kindred Hearts

Sundays 11:15-11:50 am

Whether you’re a parent or not, partnered, single, a student, a professional, some combination thereof, or even just trying to figure out just who you are; the world is a hectic and challenging place these days. On Sundays our Kindred Hearts group will pause to reflect on topics relevant to living faithful, fulfilled lives amid the chaos of today’s world. We begin the Fall Semester discussing the surprising relevance Ignatian spirituality has for our lives today. In other words, we’ll be making contemplative prayer fun!

Wednesday Faith Formation

Wednesdays 6:00-7:00 pm, Now Online Only & In Hubbell Hall

A central tenet of Baptist belief holds that every individual is responsible for their own approach to faith. Even so, we believe that responsibility cannot be fulfilled in a vacuum. On Wednesdays we gather for the purpose of growing in community. Through topical conversations, Bible studies, collective spiritual practices, experiential learning, and other modes we strive to provide for one another the materials from which faith is built.

We begin this Fall with series on:


Wednesdays, September 15, 22, 29

Life of Faith

Wednesdays, October 6, 13

Lake Avenue Baptist Church Celebrates 150 Years

Date TBD

Sunday Forum

In order to minimize the amount of time we are together in an enclosed space, Sunday Forum remains largely on hiatus. One exception is planned and a few others may follow. On Sunday, October 17, Missionaries, Lori and Matt Mann, will be on campus to report on their work in Laos and Thailand. 11:15 to 11:45 AM.

Who are "Kindred Hearts?"

At FBCR the Kindred Hearts are largely known as the parents of our church’s little ones. While this is mostly the case, the Kindred Hearts is also open to all our church’s young adults, both single and partnered, who are interested in fellowshipping with people in their age group!


Coffee Hour

When the family is all together, FBCR loves to have time to catch up and enjoy the company of the full community. One of our favorite times to do just that has been “Coffee Hour” (which is only 15 minutes) immediately following worship on Sundays. The pandemic has made serving food and beverage more challenging, so we’ll forego the coffee for a while longer, but we’ll still be together for conversation and company. There’s no coffee and it isn’t an hour, but join us all the same at Coffee Hour!

Kindred Hearts

Dinner @ Basha – Sep 24*  (*separate activities for children)

Parents Night Out/Kids Night In – Oct 8*

Trunk Or Treat – Oct 31

Intergenerational Harvest Dinner – Nov 7

Seneca Park Zoo – Nov 21

Caroling & Cocoa – Dec 5

On Hiatus

We continue to look forward to the following elements of the life of FBCR returning the realities presented by the pandemic allow for them to become safe and practical.
Choral & Congregational Singing
Singing together in an enclosed environment remains one of the greatest risks of mass transmission of the virus. We will look forward to joining together in hymns again as soon as the pandemic is under control. Keep a look out though, for potential ensemble music opportunities soon.
Sunday Forum
In order to minimize the amount of time we are together in an enclosed space, Sunday Forum remains largely on hiatus. One exception is planned and a few others may follow. On Sunday, October 17, Missionaries, Lori and Matt Mann, will be on campus to report on their work in Laos and Thailand. 11:15 to 11:45 AM.
Remains on hiatus as post-pandemic plans and leadership are considered.
Book Club
Conversations have begun in consideration of resuming book club soon. Watch the Diaspora Times for more.
Remington Hubbel Circle
Conversations about next steps when the pandemic resides have begun. Stay tuned.
Coffee at Coffee Hour
It still won’t be an hour, but when the risk of virus transmission resides we’ll have coffee again.

Worship & Music

The Future of Online Worship @ FBCR

While worship during a global pandemic has been taxing in many ways, we’ve also grown through the experience. While we do anxiously await the day that the remaining safety protocols made necessary by the virus can be set aside, we also have good reason to continue making worship available via Zoom. During the pandemic we, as a community have reunited with FBCR folks who cannot attend physically due to a move or health concerns, we’ve invited extended family and friends from afar to join us, we’ve had worship participants and even preachers from other parts of the country. For these reasons and so many more, the FBCR Worship Committee is not making plans to end our Zoom worship. Quite to the contrary, they are considering ways to enhance the experience for worshipers both on campus and online as well as to integrate the necessary technology more permanently into our primary worship space.

As of the time of this posting we are worshiping in a hybrid format. Worshipers are welcome on campus and requested to wear a face mask and remain socially distant from other worshipers. Worship is also available via Zoom by logging in through the church home page or simply clicking here.

Children's Music

Sundays 11:15 to 11:45 am

Immediately following Coffee Hour each Sunday the children of FBCR will gather to learn and enjoy kid-friendly sacred music. Whether playing instruments or singing together, the kids will have a great time, learn to appreciate a time-honored form of worship, and even have opportunities to perform and lead in worship.

Section Leaders Return

The pandemic has put a pause on FBCR’s choral program, but we were blessed last year to have our choral section leaders who transitioned quickly to becoming our primary vocalists in worship. Now, at the beginning of the 2021/22 program year, still warding off the effects of a pandemic, we are again blessed to have four tremendous talents joining us as vocalists once more. Ella Torres and Jack O’Leary are back with us and Lauren Case and Andrew Miller join the ensemble for the first time this Fall! Welcome!

NOW ALL ONLINE – Wednesday Evening Faith Formation Returns with Series on Sabbath

Begins September 15… Updated September16


That’s how virtually every person on the planet feels in these dragging days of the global pandemic. Whether it is the virus itself, the precautions it has made necessary, or just the usual weight of life made heavier by those things we’re all tired. We’re out of energy, grasping for creativity, desperate for newness and vitality.

Hebrew and Christian scripture and tradition have given us the concept of sabbath – the making of all things new. On Wednesdays, September 15, 22, and 29 we will explore these traditions and consider how they might influence the way we go about caring for ourselves, one another, and our communities in a time of depletion.

Join us each Wednesday from 6-7:00 pm in Hubbell Hall (while possible, masked, distanced) or on Zoom.

Log in using the usual method or by clicking here.

World Mission Offering

Given the recent events in Haiti, this World Mission offering comes at a good time. During the World Mission Offering this September, you have the opportunity to join the transformational work God is doing around the world through International Ministries’ 120+ global servants and 250+ global partners. God can use your participation not only to change lives internationally, but also to deepen your own discipleship in Christ. You can take part in what the Holy Spirit is doing to bring God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”



Calling all chauffeurs! 

Ken Dodgson is looking for members of the FBCR family to drive him to church on Sunday mornings. If you are interested in helping get Ken to church, please call, text, or email Benjamin. Ken lives about 10 minutes from the church, so please plan to get to his house at 9:30 so that you can get to the church by 9:45. Address and contact info available. 

You can also follow this public Google doc link to sign up for a time. 




Now’s your chance!

Ever wanted to become a Sunday school teacher? Now’s your chance! 

Benjamin is looking for enthusiastic adults to help lead Sunday school on a 9-week rotation starting September 12. We are looking for four adults to lead two at a time from 11:15-12:00. Benjamin will provide you with the plan and materials for each week. If you are interested, please contact Benjamin at or you can contact him through the church office at (585) 244-2468. 



Pittsford Food Cupboard Volunteers

Pittsford Food Cupboard is looking for new volunteers to help our clients shop for food in the store. We have shifts every Tuesday and Friday from 9:15-11:30am and 11:30am-1:45pm. We also are open the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month and the shift is 9:15am – noon. For more information, visit our website at and fill out the contact form or call 585-264-9860.

Devonshire Street Practical Necessities

FBCR has been helping provide meals for 16 young men at the Center for Youth on Devonshire Street on the west side of Rochester.  We are proud to have been able to support them in some small way.  Now seven have graduated high school and some are going on to college. We have asked if there are things that the young men need as they work hard at their studies.  The list is amazingly short and practical; they need underwear, socks, and school supplies.  If you see any sales of mens’ underwear and socks in sizes medium and large and are able to purchase some OR if there are sales on pens, pencils, spiral-bound notepads and you feel moved to add some to your cart you may take your purchases to the church and we will deliver them.  We thank you for help in providing some of the practical necessities to these young people as they grow and learn and mature. You may place items in the bin located in the Garden Room.

Bob Morris and Pat Hanley





It is time for some paint.

The volunteer work of replacing the water damaged wood paneling in the chapel is nearing its completion. The final major step is the painting. There are two newly prepared walls around the windows and the one wall opposite the baptistry which requires paint. Is painting a task you enjoy or maybe a talent you posses? Would you be willing to share some of your time with the church? If you answer is yes, please contact the church office. Phone: 585.244.2468 or email: .





End of July Update

The Trustees would like to thank the FBCR congregation for their conscientious and caring giving to FBCR so far in 2021. The congregation’s giving is currently running as expected for this time of year at just $1,000 ahead of the projected amount. The expenses are running approximately $16,000 under their expected amount, which has our actual amounts exceeding the projected deficit by $17K. Several monthly, quarterly, and annual givers have given their full amounts for the year so that figure is expected to diminish as our expenses begin to rise with the addition of more services and programs on campus.

Several facility users have contacted the church about their potential return in September. With the recent upturn of the area’s Delta Variant COVID cases, it is expected that it may deter or delay some. Any additional funding the church receives due to facility user’s returning will have a positive impact on our year-end totals. So for this and many other reason, let us pray that this increase is short-lived.

In summary, the virus’ impact in the area is still having an impact on our budget but your continued support, the return of some facility users, and continued creative-thinking of our leadership and any volunteer-based support of the facilities can assist us in closing the expected income verses expense year-end gap. Thank you for helping us envision that possibility and then making it a reality. Please look for another update from the Trustees following the close of the 3rd quarter.

Children Helping Children

Posted 6/2/21… Updated 6/24/21…

Thank you to everyone who supported the Children Helping Children program and making it possible to put together 150 care bags of treats and activities.

Sunday, June 20th, is the final week for collections…

The Kids of FBC Rochester thank everyone who has already given – and hope you will consider giving more. For the next few weeks (June 6th, June 13th and June 20th) they will still collect, in connection with the Missions Committee, items for their “Healthy Snacks and Activities Drive.” (Healthy Snacks-pre-packaged/shelf stable items) (Activities include:  Handheld activities, small individual games, small sketch pads with pencils, crayons, or washable markers, stickers, etc.)

Be creative with your ideas.

Monetary donations will also be accepted. The FBCR kids will be available to gather donations brought in. The target age is 4-10 years of age involved with the Monroe County Foster Care system or teenagers involved in the Cameron Teen Center. The Kids of FBCR will be organizing their donations on Sunday, June 20th for delivering to the two programs.  If there are any questions, reach out to Tasha Wilson or Sarah Oaks. 

Alliance of Baptists Thanks FBCR

Posted 6/9/21…
Dear First Baptist Church of Rochester,  

Because of you, the Alliance of Baptists continues to be a theological home for progressive Baptists pursuing God’s loving justice in partnership, and nurturing God’s beloved community here and around the world! We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for your gift the Alliance of Baptists Ministry Budget.

Here are some ways you can keep up with the Alliance of Baptists and become more involved:

Find and support an Alliance partner
Attend an event near you
Download a resource for you or your faith community
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Explore our website regularly for news and information
Email me and ask how to become more involved with the Alliance!  

Your support is crucial in growing our movement. As we follow the Spirit’s call, we hope you will continue to join us on our journey, as together we build beloved communities where all are embraced, welcomed and affirmed.  

In gratitude,  

Jason Smith
congregational engagement specialist
Alliance of Baptists