ROC Pride Parade

On Saturday, July 16, FBCR will join other sister churches walking in the ROC Pride Parade. The parade begins at 1PM and line generally begins around 11AM. If you would like to join us, please be in the Park Avenue area around 11AM. Sign up with your email and phone information to receive up-to-date information the day of the parade.

FBCR Summer Nights: Redwings Pride Night Out w/ Rochester Religious Communities

The Rochester Redwings celebrate pride each year with Pride Night Out. Several religious communities in Rochester are getting together to attend the game on July 13! To join the FBCR & RGR AWAB contingent, reserve your tickets ($11 each, parking fees will apply individually at the park) using the form below. Payment may be made to Brent, Benjamin, or the church office that evening or before by check or cash. In order to assure that we have seats in our block, reserve your seats now!

Pre Game Festivities: 6:00pm     |     Game: 7:05pm     |     Reserve tickets w/ form below     |     Frontier Field


If you have trouble with the form below, contact the church office @ (585)244.2468

Transportation to and from the game and parking will be on your own.



Rose Welch

June 6, 2022

A funeral service in celebration of Rose’s life will be held at FBCR on Saturday, June 18 at 10:30am. Visitation will be at Jennings, Nulton, & Mattle Funeral home on Friday, June 17 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

June 1, 2022

FBCR Family,

It is a sad day for our congregation. After a rapid struggle with ALS, our beloved Rose Welch has died.

Rose lived with vitality, creativity, and good humor. She was a fierce advocate for justice and an outspoken voice for inclusion. Her love for all of God’s creation and all of God’s people is indeed a light on a hill. Rose will be missed terribly even as we shall lift our gratitude for her remarkable life.

In these moments of grief, let us find our solace in God who knows our frustration, our grief, and our gratitude.

Details on memorial arrangements are pending.

Chuck and the rest of Rose’s family know of your love for them and your well wishes. For the moment, please allow your prayers for them to be your gesture of care and reserve calls and visits for another day.

June 1, 2022

Rose has now moved to palliative care and has been enrolled with hospice. She is no longer responsive, but is being kept comfortable. Pray for her continued comfort and for peace for those who love her dearly.

May 25, 2022

Rose’s struggle with ALS has taken another unwelcome step forward. The characteristic degeneration has reached her legs necessitating hospitalization. Upon discharge, Rose will need a higher level of care and will therefore be moved to Fairport Baptist Home or similar place of care. Your prayers for Chuck, Rose, and all who love them in the midst of these painful changes are much appreciated.

The previously utilized Care Calendar has been suspended for the moment. As further needs arise, it may be reinstated.

Diane Iacopelli

May 25, 2022

Diane Iacopelli’s calling hours will be on Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 7-9 PM at Falvo Funeral Home, 1395 N. Goodman, Rochester, NY. A service will be held Saturday, May 28 at 10 AM also at Falvo Funeral Home.

Diane Iacopelli (Rung) Obituary

Gates: May 14, 2022, at age 75. Predeceased by her late husband Dennis. She is survived by her sister Betty Rung of Kingsport, TN, her brother David (June) of Kutztown, PA, and sister MaryLou of Alaska. Survived by her niece, Cheryl and Skyler Hardenbrook of Kingsport, TN; her grand-nephew Bradley, great-niece Hayden Hardenbrook and grand-niece Heidi Hardenbrook of Fredonia, NY.

Diane was of the Baptist faith and attended First Baptist Church on Allens Creek Rd. in Rochester. Please consider a donation to the Church in Diane’s memory. The family will receive friends Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 7-9PM and a Service will be held Saturday, May 28, 2022 at 10AM, both at Falvo Funeral Home, 1395 N. Goodman St. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

May 17, 2022

Dear FBCR Family,

We have just learned some very sad news. Diane Iacopelli had an accidental and life-ending fall on Saturday, May 14, 2022. As many of you know, Diane has been an integral part of FBCR for many years. She was never shy and loved decorating coffee hours especially around the various holidays of the year. Before health issues relating to her dialysis caused her to reduce her involvement, she also loved reading scripture in worship and helping out with the various activities with her enthusiastic and sunny disposition. 

Your prayers for Diane’s family and friends as they deal with the pain of this sudden loss are sought. We give thanks for Diane and for the faith-filled life that she led. Service details are pending.


National Nurses Week.

May 6 through May 12 is a time set aside to acknowledge individuals who choose a nursing profession. The 2022 Theme is “nurses are the backbone of medical care.”  FBCR recognizes the hard work and dedication of nurses the nurses in our church and those everywhere  with a grateful – thank you!

Section Leader Season Farewell

A thank you to our section leaders:

As Eastman School of Music concludes the semester, it is time to say farewell to our section leaders for now. I am grateful for their talent, their professional and caring attitudes, their flexibility and their commitment to the music program of FBCR.

Individually their voices are rich and powerful, and as a quartet their blend and musical expression are beautiful to hear. Our section leaders have been a pleasure to work with; they care about the quality of their music and the integrity of worship. Their flexibility is evident considering the various constraints caused by the pandemic. However, they also had to adjust to working with three different conductors throughout the year: Doleen Hood, Sam Baker and myself; and they went through all of this with positive and supportive attitudes.

Thank you, Lauren Case, Andrew Miller and Jack O’Leary for your excellent service. I look forward to welcoming you back next season. And thank you, Ella Torres for your years of excellent service. I will miss having the pleasure of working with you. On behalf of the FBC congregation, congratulations, Ella on your graduation from Eastman and best wishes to you for grad school and beyond!

With great appreciation,

David Labman

Graduation Highlight: Ella Torres, soprano

Ella Torres will graduate from the Eastman School of Music on May 13th, which means she will be concluding her time with us at FBCR. Ella began in 2018 as a frequent substitute section leader, and she became our permanent soprano section leader three years ago. During her time with us she has navigated constant pandemic related change to her life, education, and our way of doing worship. Through it all she has been flexible and professional and helped lead our congregation with poise and good humor.


Faith & Fiction

New Wednesday night study will focus on one’s faith and various works of fiction. Beginning on April 20, we’ll be reading short stories and creative essays with religious themes and reflecting together from 6-7 PM. Each week will involve a little homework (don’t be scared!) and a willingness to talk about how each week’s text resonates with you! It’ll be accessible, relaxed, and hopefully a lot of fun. This unit will last until Wednesday, May 18. Join us!

Week 1 (April 20) | Jhumpa Lahiri, This Blessed House from her 1999 collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is celebrated for her depiction of immigrant and Indian-American life, yet her poignant stories also capture universal themes of longing, loneliness and barriers of communication. She was born in London in 1967 and raised in Rhode Island. Her Bengali parents, a teacher and a librarian, took their family on regular trips to Calcutta, India to visit extended family. Lahiri completed her B.A. at Barnard College, and from Boston University she earned M.A. degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Comparative Literature and the Arts, as well as a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies.

Lahiri’s debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was published in 1999 to critical acclaim. Several of these stories had previously appeared in the New Yorker, and she was the recipient of an O. Henry Award for the title story. Lahiri’s characters are often immigrants from India or children of immigrants who deal with issues of cultural displacement, marital troubles and issues of identity. While many of these stories are set in the United States, Lahiri’s time in Calcutta is evident in her occasional use of Indian locales.


Week 2 (April 27) | John Berryman, Eleven Addresses to the Lord

John Berryman was born John Smith in McAlester, Oklahoma, on October 25, 1914. He received an undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1936 and attended Cambridge University on a fellowship. He taught at Wayne State University in Detroit and went on to occupy posts at Harvard and Princeton. From 1955 until his death in 1972, he was a professor at the University of Minnesota. Berryman was brought up a strict Roman Catholic in the small Oklahoma town of Anadarko, moving at 10 with his family to Tampa, Fla. When the boy was 12, his father shot himself outside the boy’s window. This event haunted him throughout his life and recurred as a subject in his poetry. After his mother remarried, John took his stepfather’s name. After his death, Recovery, an account of his struggle against alcoholism, was published in 1973.

Week 3 (May 4) | Ocean Vuong, The Weight of our Living: On Hope, Fire Escapes, & Visible Desperation 

Ocean Vuong is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, Time is a Mother, out from Penguin Press (2022), and the The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019) which has been translated into 36 languages.  A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, aNew York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong’s writings have been featured in The AtlanticGrantaHarpersThe NationNew RepublicThe New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Paris Review, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, InterviewPoets & Writers, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory laborers, he was educated at nearby Manchester Community College before transferring to Pace University to study International Marketing. Without completing his first term, he dropped out of Business school and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he graduated with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature. He subsequently received his MFA in Poetry from NYU.

He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts where he serves as an Associate Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass-Amherst.

**Just a quick heads up that this essay deals with language around suicide.**

Week 4 (May 11) | Emory Gillespie, Read This, See If It Helps  

Emory Gillespie is the minister of First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She teaches Religion and Literature at Cornell College and has published articles in the Wapsipinicon Almanac, Lectionary Homiletics and Journal for Preachers. Emory enjoys her family; Bob who at this moment is fly fishing, Tom Henry who is practicing with his rock band in the basement and Raina, who has two mice. Emory aspires to publish her two novels.

Week 5 (May 18) | William Stafford, Ask Me

For our next and final session, we’ll read Ask Me by William Stafford, a 20th-century American poet from the Midwest. A pacifist and one of “the quiet of the land,” as he often describes himself, Stafford is known for his “unique method of composition, his soft-spoken voice, and his independence from social and literary expectations,” according to a writer for the Poetry Foundation.

Optional Additional Reading  | Lessons From My Mother, James Wood

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian, in London, from 1992 to 1995, and a senior editor at The New Republic from 1995 to 2007. His critical essays are collected in “The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief”; “The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and “The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays.” Wood is also the author of the novel “The Book Against God”; a study of technique in the novel, “How Fiction Works”; and a collection of essays, “Serious Noticing: Selected Essays, 1997-2019.” His latest novel, “Upstate,” was published in 2018. He is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University.

Holy Week Service 4/14/22

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is set aside in the Christian tradition to recall the events of Jesus’s betrayal and crucifixion. Transformation, we learn, is not for the faint of heart. We will mark these moments with a Tenebrae service recalling the abandonment of all 12 of Jesus’s disciples and his crucifixion.  Service will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 6:30 PM. We hope you will join us for this meaningful service in person and online.

This service will include communion. If you plan to worship from home, you may wish to have a morsel of bread and a cup of juice or similar available.



Order Easter Dedication Flowers

Easter Sunday Flowers of Dedication to add to the beauty and joy of the Easter Sunday worship experience may be ordered using the form below. Please complete, tear, then drop the form in the offering basket located in the narthex, use the online form located in the Diaspora Times, or contact the church office at (585) 244-2468. Payments may be made adding “flowers” to your memo line of your check or through


Easter Flower Selections

Easter Lilies




One Great Hour of Sharing

Through One Great Hour of Sharing, you may contribute toward those in need in Ukraine. ABC-USA has already sent some initial funds to assist. You may add yours to those already sent by sending your check through the church noting OGHS in the memo line or by visiting www. 100% of your gift will be passed through to ABC-USA to help further support Ukrainians.




Ella Torres, Senior Recital 4/15/22

After four years at Eastman, Ella is excited to be presenting her senior recital on Friday, April 15 at 9 PM ET in Hatch Recital Hatch. She will be joined by João Raone on lute and Mizi Li on piano. The repertoire includes John Dowland, Josephine Lang, Fanny Hensel, Emilie Zumsteeg, Claude Debussy, Poldowski, and Jaime León.


The livestream will be at There is also a landing page with Ella’s bio and where the livestream link, and program will be:

Eastman Student’s Organ Concert

Community Concert 4/3/22 @ 3:00 PM…


The First Baptist Church of Rochester is proud to announce that they will host the organ students of the Eastman School of Music on April 3rd at 3:00 PM.  From ESM about their community organ concerts, “Since every pipe organ is noticeably different from the next, each program will offer a variety of soundscapes and color that are sure to delight and satisfy the ear. Come and hear what the King of Instruments can do, played by the talented and hard-working students of Eastman!”  We hope you will attend.  Due to safety precautions of social distancing, seating is limited and masks are not required but highly encouraged.


A Special Congregational Meeting

A special congregational meeting of the First Baptist Church of Rochester will be held immediately after the service on Sunday, April 3, 2022 (at approximately 11am).  The purpose of this meeting is for the congregation to approve the Senior Pastor Search Committee consisting of the following six (6) members:

  • Jean Garling
  • Todd Haefele
  • David Hood
  • Carol Stahl
  • Richard Wien
  • Nan Wilson

Members can participate in person or by Zoom. 

Readers Needed

Palm/Passion Sunday & Holy Week Services…

We need several readers for both Palm/Passion Sunday Service on Sunday, April 10th at 10:00 AM and for Holy Week Service on Thursday, April 14th at 6:30 PM .  If you would be willing to read, please contact Pastor Brent either at or after worship on Sunday morning. If you plan to join us on Zoom, you may send a chat message and it will be forwarded to him. There are various readings available – small, medium, and large – from which to choose. Thank you for contributing to these special and meaningful services.