Easter Egging

Easter Sunday Fun!

In case you missed it we have posted here the egging Pastor Brent endured following the children finding all the hidden Easter eggs in the Easter Sunday service. Thank you Pastor Brent for making it such fun!

What If ?… Update

In the spring we get to see what has been unseen but percolating under the snow all winter.  The same is true of our missional life.  Two First Baptist “What If” projects are still at work in Rochester but were not visible due to Covid restrictions.

The Diaper Ministry at Cameron Community Ministries continues to serve families in downtown Rochester through the generosity of the Missions budget and individual donations, despite the fact that the “What If…” group could not meet to pack individual bags.  Instead, the diapers are being shipped directly to Cameron until such time as we can meet face-to-face.

The Center for Youth continues to serve the homeless teen population of Rochester and we are linked in two ways.  Currently, 3 members of First Baptist cook and deliver homemade dinners once a month to about a dozen young men at the CFY Transitional Living apartment off Chili Avenue.  Due to Covid restrictions, we cannot interact with these young men yet.  Food is delivered to the front door into the arms of masked staff who tell us how much this kindness is appreciated.  The cost of these meals involves about $60 dollars (personal expense), shopping, cooking, and delivering.

The Center for Youth would love to expand these meals to another one of their shelters that houses only 4-6 young men on Field Street.  Any takers?  If you would like to be a part of this ministry, call Rose Welch at 402-0048.

First Baptist also stocks a free food pantry at the Center’s Monroe Avenue address for homeless teens.  Once a month a volunteer calls the Director at the Center to see which non-perishable items need to be replaced.  They shop and deliver the items and are reimbursed through the Missions budget.  This is an easy job to complete.  Volunteers?  Call 402-0048.

Rose Welch

Climate Benefit Concert

ABC Earth Care Benefit Concert
April 8th, Thursday, 7:00-8:00pm online*A free concert of secular and sacred music celebrating hope for the future of our natural world.*With classical, folk, and popular music, everyone has a voice.*A freewill donation to benefit local and global organizations successfully working to reverse climate change. Featuring Musicians from

Across the Region:

Brighton: Joanna Frank, classical cellist

Fairmont, WV: Kevin Aldana, sacred vocalist

Geneseo: the late Miche Fambro, singer, song-writer and guitar

Greece: Steve Gretz and Leslie Lee, singers, song-writers and guitar

Louisville, KY: Elizabeth Weaver, Allison Hammons, Louie Bailey, sacred music trio

Oberlin, OH: Peace Community Choir, sacred choral music

Ogden: Fred Dean, folk music pianist

Rochester: David Labman and Eastman student vocalists, classical choral music

Two Beneficiaries:

Local:RENEW Climate Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation RENEW Climate Fund | Rochester Area Community Foundation provides energy efficiency and weatherization for low-income home owners in the Greater Rochester area.

International:Savory Institute Support Holistic Management & Regenerative Agriculture | Savory Institute facilitates regenerative agriculture hubs for farmers across the world.

Three Ways to Register: Go to: http://greecebaptistchurch.org/creation-collaborative.html or send an email to , or call 225-6160 X1. Registered participants will receive the zoom link.

Three Ways to Make a Donation:Donate directly to one or both of the organizations listed above, before, during, or after the concert. Or make a donation through the yellow DONATE button at Greecebaptistchurch.org, and send an email to  indicating your name, the date, the amount, and purpose of your donation.Or mail your check to Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14626, indicating the purpose of your donation.

Endless Benefits:A memorable evening of music during CovidA win-win-win for people, their pocketbooks, and the planetThe benefits of energy efficient homes continues year after year.Educating farmers to care for the earth is passed on from farm to farm, from generation to generation.
Contact: Cheryl Frank 585-730-1719 cell, 

You may share the zoom link with your congregations and friends, but please do not post it on public social media sites:Meeting ID: 997 086 475Passcode: 173071

Stations of the Cross

View the digital Stations of the Cross, a series of images depicting the last day of Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion. Through these images and accompanying devotions with prayers the stations help Christians make a pilgrimage, spiritual in nature, through the contemplation of the passion of Christ. Most often viewed on Good Friday, the pictures and words depict the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion.

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.   

Did you know?

There are fees when you give online.

For the convenience to the giver, First Baptist-Rochester offers online giving. With this convenience comes a fee to process an electronic funds transfer (electronic check) or credit card. Theses fees are minor at between 1.5% to 2.7% depending on the company and type. As the giver, you can agree to pay this fee so that the church receives the full amount of your gift by leaving the check in the convenience fee in place. When this is unchecked the process fee is charged to the church instead. So with the convenience of a electronic charge, please consider the small offset to cover these charges.

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Before you retire on Saturday, March 13, set your clocks forward one hour. Daylight Savings time begins at 2:00 AM, March 14. Also check your batteries in your smoke detectors to ensure your safety. See you in worship!

Holy Week Tenebrae Service

One of the hardest principles in Christianity to embrace is the reality that redemption comes through suffering. That is to say we cannot have Easter without Good Friday. We will gather on Good Friday, April 2, to faithfully reflect upon the abandonment of Jesus by his 12 disciples and his crucifixion as well as the continued suffering and loss throughout out world and in our lives.

This service will lead us into the darkness of Holy Saturday and end without a benediction in order to frame our time of vigil leading up to the joys of Easter Sunday. We will share in communion, so if you wish have elements (bread and juice or whatever substitute you have on hand) ready to share with those in your household.

The service begins Friday, April 2 at 7:05pm on Zoom. Log in here or through the usual link.

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.

Lenten Literary Pilgrimage

Even in the midst of a pandemic FBCR will mark our journey to the cross through the season of Lent with a kind of pilgrimage. On Wednesday, February 24, 2021 we will embark on our Trek through Robert Moor’s book, On Trails. You may be surprised by just how much the paths we travel shape the lives we live, the decisions we make, and the way we think and feel about life. Like any physical path we might venture as a pilgrimage in another time, this book itself is not innately spiritual or religious, but our approach to it will lend this season its opportunities for introspection, contemplation, and perhaps even penitence.

Participants will need to secure a copy of the book in their preferred format (available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, and Audible) in time to read ahead for the first session. See the reading schedule below. Feel free to source your book from whichever dealer or library you prefer, but consider ordering from this black owned, New York bookstore, The Lit Bar.

Discussion sessions will be each Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm via Zoom. Log in here or from the usual Worship login on the FBCR home page. Consider joining early at 5:30pm for our weekly Congregational Check In for a time of catching up and checking in with one another.

Reading/Listening Schedule

Read Before:Print/Kindle ChapterAudible ChapterDiscussion Guide
Wednesday, February 24, 2021Prologue & Chapter 1Chapters 2 & 3Brent Bowden
Wednesday, March 3, 2021Chapter 2Chapter 4Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 10, 2021Chapter 3Chapters 5 & 6Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 17, 2021Chapter 4Chapter 7Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 24, 2021Chapter 5Chapter 8Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week
Wednesday, March 31, 2021Chapter 6 & EpilogueChapters 9 & 10Volunteer to Guide Conversation This Week

February Call to Worship by Maya Angelou

On Sundays during February and in recognition of Black History Month, FBCR has used poems from Maya Angelou as our call to worship. Recognizing Dr. Angelou works, was along with a focus during Children’s Time on influencial African Americans (known and not so known), helped us focus on the many contributions of Black Americans.

Below, we have provided links to the poems read during worship, written by Maya Angelou, who was known as an American poet, memoirist,  civil rights activist, dancer, singer, actress, producer, professor, mentor, and more.

Due to copyright regulations, we do not have permission from the author (or family/estate) to print her poem here but we can provide you with a link to where you may find it printed on the internet. On the site called Allpoetry.com where they state that the poems were supplied to them by the owner/author.

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story

Reinhold Niebuhr was a highly influential thinker, public theologian, and professor who has been said to have occupied the position of the American moral conscience. His writings and thought have influenced a number of leaders through many seasons of American life including the Civil Rights Movement.

On Wednesdays, February 3 & 10 Ivan Marable will lead us in viewing and conversing about the film, American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story. Sessions will be from 6:00 to 7:00 pm on Zoom. Log in here or through the Worship login links on the home page.

Consider joining early at 5:30pm for our weekly Congregational Check In for a time of catching up and checking in with one another.

To watch on your own look for American Conscience: The Reinhard Niebuhr Story by looking for it on Apple TV for a small rental fee or by logging in to Kanopy.com with your local library card.

Ash Wednesday Observance

We will enter the season of Lent together on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6:00 pm. Our time will be marked with contemplation and prayer via Zoom. Login here or via the main web site link.

Consider joining us early at 5:30pm for our Wednesday evening congregational check in.