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 .

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!

Zoom Updates Coming

On November 1 Zoom will begin requiring that the software your computer or device uses to access worship be updated more regularly than in the past. You will be notified when it is time to upgrade, but that may happen when you’re trying to log in to worship or a church gathering causing you to miss part. In order to avoid that, we recommend staying ahead of the updates and making them as soon as they become available. The video below gives instructions on how to do that. If these instructions prove unhelpful we may be able to help depending on the device and operating system you use. Give us a call in the office to inquire if you are unable to upgrade on your own.


Outdoor In-person Worship Update!

Posted April 27… Updated June 16… Outdoor worship began June 6…

Sign up here to receive notifications of inclement weather or other changes

Update #5

Due to staff time off, decisions on moving worship back inside will not be made until at least July.

Update #4

New guidelines for the state have been put into place on June 15, 2021. You can find all of the new guidelines summarized at which the FBCR Pandemic Task Force has gleaned from these guidelines. If you watched the video above, please note that health assessments are no longer required.

Update #3

Dress casual and comfortable for Outdoor Worship services.

Update #2…

The FBCR Pandemic Task Force (PTF) has been working to remain up to date with the guidelines from the CDC and State of New York and to determine the best plan for our upcoming outdoor worship. We look forward to the exciting opportunity to gather in-person outside starting June 6th. The guidelines to note:

  • Everyone will be asked to wear a mask to outdoor worship until seated. When seated, fully vaccinated worshipers may remove their masks. Those still awaiting their vaccination are asked to continue wearing a face covering.
  • Family Groups (FG – extended families who have already been in social settings without masks) may sit in clusters. We ask that each FG maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  • Worshippers can sit in folding chairs that will already be set up or bring their own lawn blanket or camp/lawn chair for use in the grass.
  • During Children’s Time, leaders and children will be masked. Other speakers in the service must maintain a six-foot distance from others (vocalist, twelve-foot) in order to be unmasked.
  • We will move back to our Zoom format on inclement weather days. Worship format decisions will be made each Saturday. All participants may sign up to receive automatic notifications to be sent to them by text, email, or phone (or any combination of the above). Any decisions NOT to proceed with on-campus worship will also be posted prominently on the Home and Online Worship pages of our website.

Our Welcome Home Sunday, utilizing the sanctuary, will be September 12. This very special celebratory day is our target date for resuming indoor worship. With the lessening guidelines, the PTF will also be considering the feasibility of sanctuary use for inclement weather days prior to that date and will keep you posted if we can logistically make it work.

Please keep checking back to the Diaspora Times for updates as they happen!

Update #1

Sign up today (here or above) to receive outdoor worship inclement weather notifications or other changes.

Original Article

We can all feel it. It’s time for the FBCR family to be together again in worship. Our Worship Committee, Pandemic Task Force, and various other volunteers are hard at work making that a reality. While the threat of increased transmission remains quite high in our area and around the world, the turning weather gives us an opportunity to take advantage of this virus’s primary weakness – the outdoors!

Experts are unified in the understanding that outdoor transmission rates of Covid-19 are quite low and with additional precautions and the rising rate of community vaccination, our Pandemic Task Force has a very high degree of confidence that worshipping outdoors is safe. So join us beginning June 6 and throughout the summer for worship on the beautiful FBCR campus!

Can’t make it to worship on campus or don’t yet feel safe? Join us on Zoom. We’ll still be in our digital worship space too. Just log in using the usual channels.

Our Worship Committee and other volunteers are at work tending to the details of this plan, so you’ll want to check back here regularly for details on the exact location, necessary precautions, and other details you’ll need.


If vaccination rates continue to rise and the current wave of transmission comes to an end as we anticipate they will, we will be able to celebrate a very special Welcome Home Sunday indeed. Assuming the aforementioned criteria, we will be back together again in the beautiful FBCR sanctuary on September 12. Watch for further information.

Pentecost Worship online

Updated May 25, 2021…

… The full service may be viewed online if you missed it.

Pentecost Worship with Sibling Churches, 11am May 23

FBCR will join with our sibling congregations in the Rochester Genesee Region ABC USA to celebrate Pentecost Sunday on May 23 at 11am.

Pentecost is a natural moment in the church year for the wider church to celebrate our unity and diversity as it marks the moments traditionally thought of as the beginning of the universal church. Among other images, the occasion remembers the miracle of many languages being understood as one. To that end, we the pastors of the participating congregations, would like to invite you to add your voice to the service for that day. Please see the specifics of a couple of different ways (one musical, one spoken) to do that below and feel free to participate in either or both of those opportunities by the deadlines listed.

The service will be held via Zoom. You can log in here or using the usual method on the home or worship-online pages.

2 Ways to Add Your Voice to the Service

Call to Worship

Record yourself on video telling us about your hopes.

First and for context, read Romans 8:22-27. It speaks of hope, or that which we hope for, being unseen. Nobody hopes for what is right in front of us. Now record yourself answering the question, “What is unseen in your world/community/neighborhood that you sincerely hope for?”

How to Record

  • Set your recording device for the highest possible resolution. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it. Just send us the best video you can and we’ll make it work.
  • If you’re using a mobile device consider finding an interesting/fitting background in front of which to record.
  • Minimize background noise as much as possible.
  • If you’re recording from a phone, please use landscape mode (sideways). 

How to Submit

Go to and click the upload link. A new screen will appear to allow you to select the file from your computer or device. Follow the prompts to select and upload.
DeadlineI won’t have time to include submission that come in after 8am on Monday, May 17.
Contact for problems

Digital Choir

What to Record

This year, for our joint Pentecost service, we are again venturing into a group virtual musical project: a virtual choir video recording of the hymn “On Pentecost They Gathered.” 
You can find the instructions both in the attached pdf, and as a document in the the project folder accessible via the following link, where your singers will also be able to access all subsequent materials:

I’m looking for a total of 16 singers, 4 of whom are already covered by members of UBC Columbus, Ohio. That leaves 
3 more sopranos 3 more altos 3 more tenors 3 more basses 

How to Record

  • Set your recording device for the highest possible resolution. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it. Just send us the best video you can and we’ll make it work.
  • If you’re using a mobile device consider finding an interesting/fitting background in front of which to record.
  • Minimize background noise as much as possible.
  • If you’re recording from a phone, please use landscape mode (sideways). 

How to Submit

Email files to David at address below.

DeadlineWednesday, May 19

Contact for problems

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.

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.

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.

Celebrating Advent and Christmas 2020

Christmas Eve Drive In Service:

Despite the pandemic, we will be together for a candle light Christmas service this year. On Christmas Eve we will gather, from the safety of our own vehicles, in the church parking lot to celebrate Christ’s arrival.

For the sake of planning this most unusual service it will be helpful to know how many vehicles may be present. Sign up is not necessary to attend, but if you know you’re coming please let us know with the fast, simple form here.

Service sound will be provided through the FM radio in your own vehicle. If you aren’t familiar already, you may want to learn to tune your radio before that evening. The station and all other instructions on how to view and hear the service will be given when you arrive that evening.

The service begins at 5:30pm and is available via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. Login is here or via the usual worship login link.

Longest Night: Has concluded

On the longest night of the year, Monday, December 21, we will via Zoom for a moment of prayer and reflection setting aside time to acknowledge the grief and pain that faces us during this otherwise joyful season. The service will begin at 6:00pm and you can log in here or by using the usual worship link.

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.

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.

Hybrid Worship

During the Pandemic, have you become quite familiar with Zoom? Are you capable of navigating your way around a computer – most of the time? Do you want to be part of on-campus worship experience? If you answer yes to any of these questions, we sure could use your help!

We have a small team of individuals who have been trained (some with little to no experience) on making sure our hybrid worship experience works as seamlessly as possible. There are 3 to 4 stations which assist in the hybrid worship process; each one with varying degrees of responsibility and experience needed. One station is in the midst of the congregation but the other three are located in the balcony (with one able to be done from home) which provides as much separation from others as one may desire.

Our goal would be to have enough individuals willing to assist in this task that each would be volunteering no more than 1 to 2 Sundays each month. We really need you. To learn more or to chat about what is involved, please contact Pastor Brent or Janet at the church office.