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Asbury First United Methodist Church Newsletter December 2012 • Vol. XLVI No. 10 •

In This Issue The Visitor Online, 3 Advent Activities, 5 Financial Report, 7 Upcoming Concerts, 12 Craft Sale, 13 Copper Beeches, 15

The Visitor

Mission Statement

Vol. XLVI No. 10

Through worship, education, outreach, and care, we develop dis-

(USPS 558-470) is published 10 times a year, monthly with combined issues for December/January and July/August, by Asbury First United Methodist Church.

ciples of Jesus Christ who live and proclaim the Gospel and thereby work to transform our culture.

Quieting Our souls

Periodical postage paid at Rochester, N.Y.

A Pastoral Reflection

POSTMASTER: Send addresses changes to Asbury First UMC Visitor 1050 East Ave. Rochester, N.Y. 14607-2239 (585) 271-1050


Rev. Susan S. Shafer Rev. Stephen Cady

Rev. Phillip W. Phaneuf Rev. Lawrence Hargrave

Kathy Thiel David T. Strong Dr. William J. Weinert Paula Dugan Melissa Bohrer Richard Moncrief Melody Guadagnino Michele Cooley Jason Franklin Mary Van Keuren Duane A. Prill David T. Strong Bozena Granat Elizabeth Church Brian Bohrer Larry Dugan

Senior Minister Minister for Faith Formation – Hospitality & Membership Care Minister for Youth & Education Minister for Outreach and Community Connection Ministries Ministry Intern Administrative Director of Music and the Arts Artistic Director of Music and the Arts Co-director of Children’s Ministry Co-director of Children’s Ministry Financial Administrator Administrative Assistant Dining & Caring Center Director Property Care Manager Communications Director & Editor Organist Assistant Organist Director, Children’s Music Director, Bell Choir Director, Youth Music Director, Youth Theater

Cover: the simplicity of the nativity, a photo by Megan Phaneuf. Please send all submissions, questions, comments, or concerns to Mary Van Keuren at or (585) 271-1050 x109. Deadline for next issue: Friday, January 4

Yes, indeed! Advent is upon us: a liturgical season of expectation … waiting … anticipation. Someone called it a season of “heart whispers;” another called it a season of “seeing with the heart.” For me, it is a season for “quieting the soul.” With this reference of “quieting the soul,” I recall one of my favorite icons of Mary and the annunciation. She is seated with her hands open, her eyes turned upward. A dove perches overhead. Her repose is one of openness to receiving. One almost feels her anticipation and her trust … it is as if you can see her heart opening, and fulfillment of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What if we could use this season … this year … this Advent … to quiet our souls enough? To be like Mary and listen for our heart whispers … see with our hearts … “quiet our souls” enough to feel the Spirit of God – LOVE – indwelling in our very being; alive to encounters with an everdeepening trust and pervading confidence. Singing, with Mary, her song, “My soul magnifies the Lord …” “With God, nothing is impossible.” Perhaps you would join me in a covenant this Advent to participate in “quieting the soul” with moments of daily personal prayer and devotions. Covenant to walk the labyrinth each Wednesday evening in the candlelight accompanied by the harp with the Cup of love and grace offered in nourishment at the center of the labyrinth. A half hour of the Taize service either before the walk or after. Covenant to find ways through the quieting of your soul to “magnify the Lord” in acts of compassion and love. The beautiful song of Mary tells us of the transformation of the world by God through the gift of the Christ Child. Perhaps, in taking on Mary’s repose, singing Mary’s song in our hearts and opening ourselves to the indwelling Spirit of God, we could be so quieted that we become a “transforming gentle power of love” in our world. I believe it is God’s calling to each of us this Advent. The angel said: “Fear Not.” Come and covenant with a growing group of us and put our fears away. Quiet our souls enough in this Season of Advent … and sing, pray, love, and live Mary’s song … deepen our aliveness with and in the Spirit! I wonder as I wander through this Season what might happen to our lives and the lives of those we touch and love. Join in the journey. Let’s “quiet our souls” …. for “with God, nothing is impossible!” Let us become participants with our Creator in a world full of grace and possibility. God awaits our response! Rev. Susan Shafer 2

AFUMC news Can You Help the Transportation Ministry?

Brinn, Robert & Mary Beth Craig, William Freiert, Rachel Gates, Danielle Hermon, Brad Hornbake, Laura Hornbake, Donald Johnstone, Cory Lenherr, Greg & Kelley McFarland, Christopher Mergler, Linda Shepard, and Virginia Wright. If you have current address information for the above, please call Melody Guadagnino at271-1050 ext. 103 or send an email to

The Transportation ministry is in need of volunteers who can give rides to AFUMC members who can no longer drive themselves. I try to match people with those who live closest to them. There is no time commitment (except what you make with your rider). I need people who can do this weekly or bi-weekly or even monthly. We can also use substitutes. Please consider this ministry that is often needed by our seniors who have served AFUMC for years. Call or email me if you want to discuss this further. If you are a member who needs a ride give me a call and I will do my best. – Virginia Duffy 300-5947 of

A Donation and Decoration all in one! Asbury Day Care Center is pleased to offer fresh holiday wreaths from Clover Nursery and Garden Center again this year. The Annual Wreath Sale will be held before and after each service on Sunday, December 2, 2012. A pre-order, pre-pay option is available.

Lost Members We have lost touch with some of our members. The church does not have an address for the following people: Lee Baldauf, Amy

continued on page 11

Enjoy The Visitor Online


ow you can enjoy an augmented version of The Visitor newsletter on any computer with Internet access. It’s free and easy to use, and there is no need to sign in or join a group to do so. To read the latest issue or view our archive of past issues, just go to www. Scroll down until you see the picture of this issue, and follow the directions to open the online version of this issue. • Click on that image (you’ll see text that says “click to read” overlaying the image) and you’ll open up a larger version of the issue. It’s simple to flip through the pages using the small arrows on each side of the page. • When you’re finished, just close the window as you normally would or click on

Here’s what you’ll see when you go into the online archives of past issues. the small “x” on the top bar. There are several enhancements that we are able to include with this new format. • The issues are in color,

somethat that is costprohibitive for the paper version. • It’s possible to magnify the pages by using the small 3

bar at the top of the page to scroll in and out. • email addresses listed in the issue are live links: you can click on them and send an email easily; web URLs are also live, and clicking on them will take you to the website listed. • By clicking on any of the items in the table of contents on the cover, you can go directly to that page. We’d love to have your feedback on this new feature. Send an email with your thoughts or questions to Mary Van Keuren at mvankeuren@ If you would prefer to read your issues of The Visitor online and not receive a paper copy in the mail, please let Mary know. We hope you enjoy this new feature!

AFUMC news

WORSHIP worship schedule

Rev. Susan Shafer, preacher 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship 10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

Sunday November 25 John 18:33-37

Sunday December 9 Second Sunday in Advent

Rev. Stephen Cady, preacher

Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, preacher

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

Sunday December 30 First Sunday After Christmas

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

Sunday December 2 First Sunday in Advent

Sunday December 16 Third Sunday in Advent

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Rev. Stephen Cady, preacher

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

Rev. Phillip Phaneuf, preacher

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship 10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

Rev. Stephen Cady, preacher

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

Sunday january 6 Epiphany ~ Covenant Renewal

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

Sunday December 23 Fourth Sunday in Advent

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion

Rev. Stephen Cady, preacher

Our Living Deaths Merciful God, we entrust to your never-failing care and love We offer our prayers and sympathy to Jim and Lisa Peacock on the death of Jim’s father Erle Peacock, Jr. on October 25, 2012 in Chapel Hill, NC.

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship Sunday january 13 Baptism of the Lord

Rev. Susan Shafer, preacher 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship 10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

Sunday january 20 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, preacher

8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship 10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

in Community Brooke Sophia Baker daughter of Stephanie and Jim Baker, baptized on Oct. 28, 2012.

We offer our prayers and sympathy to Jim and Karen Freebern on the death of Jim’s father Richard Freebern on November 2 in Syracuse, New York. Births & Baptisms God has sealed you unto love and grace divine 4

Pittinaro, born on November 1, 2012. Wayne Turnblom and Katie Shirer are the proud grandparents.

Dylan Freed Haefner son of Wendy and Andrew Haefner, baptized on November 11, 2012. Bill and Linda Freed are the proud grandparents.

Marriages May the blessings of God’s love go with you in your new covenant.

Zachary Miles Pittinaro son of Ryan and Kristine

on their marriage Nov. 3, 2012.

Susan Beatty and William Clark

• A look ahead • to our holiday season activities

Advent Activities ❆

Labyrinth Wed., Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19 5:00-7:00 p.m. Walking the labyrinth is a time for reflection, hope, and peace; a time for you to free yourself from busy thoughts and slow down to receive the message God has for you. Taizé Wed., Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19 6:30 p.m. This contemplative service is a 30-minute pause in your day that offers an opportunity for reflection, rest, and the beauty of silence and peaceful music. Sing We Joy: Concentus in Concert Sunday, December 2 3:00 p.m. Free will offering at the door Join us as we a light a spark of Advent anticipation with the warm, ethereal sonority of Concentus. Under the

direction of Gwendolyn Gassler, the singers and guest instrumentalists create a rich palette of sound.

Service for Families and Children 4:00 p.m. Choral and handbell music and a pageant.

Service of Word with Candlelight, Lessons and Carols 7:00 p.m. Choral, handbell, and instrumental music.

Service of Word, Candlelight, and Holy Communion 9:00 p.m. Instrumental and vocal music with Communion.

Service of Word with Candlelight, Lessons, and Carols 11:00 p.m. Choral, handbell, and instrumental music.

Advent’s Winter Wonder Night (for children and families) Sunday, December 9 5:00-7:00 p.m. Come join us for dinner, fellowship, and storytelling as we take in the warmth of our beautiful chancel.

A Service of Remembrance Sunday, December 9 3:00 p.m. A candlelight meditative service of word, music, and communion, with the lighting of the remembrance candles.

Christmas Eve Monday, December 24

Service of Carols and Holy Communion 12:00 noon Organ, harp, and voice.

Christmas Day Tuesday, December 25

Followed by a light lunch.

Traditional Service 10:00 a.m. Word and special music (this will be the only service on Christmas day).

New Year’s Eve Monday, December 31


Communion and Meditation 4:30-6:30 p.m. Come and go as you wish. Labyrinth available 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Financial Stewardship at Asbury First Breathe Life Into Our Ministries: Pledge Now

caring spirit, and the generosity of the people of Asbury First, and how blessed I am to be a part of it. I started out talking about three things I love. I mentioned two. I guess you know what the third thing is. Thank you, people of Asbury First, and merry Christmas –all 365 days of it!

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). When you fill out a pledge card, you bring life to Asbury First’s ministries by allowing us to plan our budget for the coming year. Take a moment to clip out the card below and drop it in the offering basket next Sunday. Or if you prefer, you can pledge online at www. Thank you for all you do to support your church!

Asbury First

Totals as of Wednesday, November 14

United Methodist Church

Number of pledges received...................................................... 368 Our pledge goal.......................................................................... 600

To continue Christ’s work, I/we offer this gift of financial support

number of new pledgers ............................................................. 19 (those who have not previously submitted a pledge form)

to the annual operating budget for 2013:

Amount pledged.............................................................. $806,443

My/our estimate of giving for 2013 is

Our financial goal..........................................................$1,010,000


Why Pledge?

per month for 12 months = $

or $


= $

Stewardship Committee member Len Davidow shared his thoughts with us on why he pledges: “Among the things I love, there are three I would like to mention. Two of them are jazz music and Christmas. I combine these two with a collection of Christmas CDs done by jazz artists.

or increase last year’s gift by ____________percent

Last Christmas Eve I stayed up and listened to some of my favorite CDs. The last one I played was Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas. Among the songs I discovered a little gem called “The Secret of Christmas.” That night, it seemed to haunt me. I played it several times before going to sleep. The last part of the song says: So may I suggest the secret of Christmas / Is not the things you do at Christmas time / But the Christmas things you do / All year through.

In addition, I/we offer a designated gift of

$ to be used for ________________

If you would like envelopes, please indicate your preference. ❑ monthly ❑ weekly Are you interested in electronic funds transfer? ❑ yes (If yes, we will contact you)

I went to bed thinking about those words. How simple, but how true, and powerful. That led me to think about Asbury First. I thought of all the Christmas things done by Asbury First the whole year through: at the Storehouse, the Dining and Caring Center, Grocery Bag Ministry, RAIHN, and School 41 among others. We feed and clothe the poor, provide shelter for the homeless, and help those who are in need, celebrating not just the birth of Christ, but also his life and teachings. Not just on one day, but all year through. Asbury First is not just a place; it’s a people. It’s the people of Asbury First that do all these things. I am amazed at the warmth, the

Total estimated gift for 2013 $ Name(s): Address:



A s b ury F i r s t U M C 2 012 F in a n c i a l Summa ry Connecting Stewardship and Ministry / January-October 2012

A Letter from Reverend Susan S. Shafer Dear Friends, Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

even as we hope in you. – Psalm 33:22

As I recently watched three men, strangers til now, chatting amiably in the chancel after meeting through the Asbury First Orchestra –new friendships born through an Asbury First connection.

When I saw our wonderful youth, decked out in bright orange and yellow costumes (made from Goodwill Store tableclothes!) learning a lesson about kindness in the play Honk!

At the sickbed of a longtime member, who tearfully and joyfully comforted his wife and children, sharing his love and faith with them as he headed into surgery.

In the kind and generous response to our call for health kits and donations to assist those whose lives have been shattered by Hurricane Sandy. (We have raised $6,200 and collected 58 health kits in just one week, as I write!)

All that we do at Asbury First, all our ministries, each worship service, our every meeting –there is an underlying thread of hope that pulses through it all. Our hope for a better tomorrow. Our hope in the strength of our own faith journeys. Our hope that we are doing God’s will in all that we undertake. Hope is also the foundation for our stewardship efforts.

Of course, we hope we have your faith in our stewardship of your gifts. We work hard to ensure that all the resources entrusted to us are used with compassionate care for others and respect for those who have given so generously. And we hope that you know how grateful we are for your gifts and your presence as part of our church family. We, the church, are a people – not a building. We are a people of God who look with hope and faith to the future. As I read this financial report, I am struck with how our hope and faith in the future becomes manifest throughout the year in a myriad ways. Because you supported us last year, we were able to sustain our annual operating budget beautifully throughout this year. With your continued assistance this year, the same will be true for 2013, and all that lives in our hearts now in hope will become tangible and real. Thank you for giving us so many reasons to hope. As we head into the holiday season – a time brimming over with hope – we promise to be faithful to that hope in the coming year, and to do our best to shine God’s light on all those around us and to fulfill the promise that hope holds. Your support means everything to us, and we bless you and thank you every day. Sincerely,

Rev. Susan S. Shafer Senior Pastor

A supplement to the Asbury First newsletter, The Visitor


Janu ar y -March 2012 Fin anc i al R e p or t / 1

Hope abounds in our midst. It sustains us and guides us, surrounds us as we go through life. I see it reflected in a thousand small moments here at our church:

As we ask for your support each year, it is with the sure hope that your continued generosity will enable us to share the good news of Christ with others in the coming year through worship, education, membership care, and outreach. And we know that you have hopes too, including a hope for the success of our ministry programs, and hope for a good year for all of us who are connected with Asbury First.

Asbury First UMC Income 2011 Actual


Pledge donations

$  815,326

$ 777,875

$ 770,404

Unpledged donations

$ 76,561

$ 66,100

$ 48,299

Designated Gifts

$ 118,546

$ 77,455

$ 98,167

Subtotal contributions

$  1,010,433

$ 921,430

$ 916,870

Designated Fundraising

$ 127,619

$ 88,060

$ 117,223

Property Usage

$ 64,690

$ 63,200

$ 61,564

Endowment income

$ 157,967

$ 157,095

$ 157,876

Endowment for Vision 2020

$ 50,000

$ 50,000

$ 50,000


$ 4,615

$ 1,667


$  1,415,324

$  1,281,452 $  1,308,837




$ 5,304 300

Carryover from previous year Unrestricted

$ 81,268

$ 81,268

$ 57,730


$ 61,680

$ 47,753

$ 102,985

2011 Actual / $1,308,837

2012 Plan

2012 Pl an / $1,281,452

2012 Actual

2012 Actual / $1,415,324

Janu ar y -Oc tob er 2012 Fin anc i al R e p or t / 2



In total, the income available to run the programs of the Church is better than plan by $53,000 (five percent) as both gifts from members who pledged and who didn’t pledge are higher than forecasted and higher than last year. The amount we have received, in total, is $106,487 more than 2011’s first ten months of 2011. Of that amount, $30,000 came from higher designated gifts and designated fundraising than last year and $76,000 of higher contributions from members and non-members. Highlights of the first ten months are:


Pledged donations: We have received $661,820 from those members of the congregation who made pledges (including new member pledges) so far. This is ahead of what we had planned as we have seen a number of members pay ahead with stock transfers. This number is ahead of last year’s first ten months by six percent. Thanks to everyone.


Unpledged donations: These are gifts that are received that were not from members who pledged or from visitors to the church. We have received $63,577 which is 80 percent higher than last year, some of which was anticipated, since many members did not pledge this year who did the previous year.


Designated Gifts: The total is much larger than forecasted and than last year. There are several areas that stand-out: money raised from


youth retreats, the golf tournament and the Spiritual Life lecture.


Designated Fundraising: Fundraising (including gifts from outside foundations) for the Dining & Caring Center, Storehouse and youth mission trip is higher than anticipated as the funds needed for the mission trip exceeded expectations but are roughly at the same level as last year.


Carryover from last year: To remind everyone, the funds listed here are only those that are designated. We will make an adjustment in next quarter’s report to show those funds that we carried-over from last year that are un-designated also.

Financial Summary / January 1-October 31, 2012

Expenses 2011 Actual


$ 674,086

$ 686,307

$ 660,861

Utilities and maintenance

$  177,714

$ 196,932

$ 179,996


$ 48,240

$ 52,623

$ 52,440

Conference Apportionment

$ 143,051

$ 144,237

$ 131,587

Worship & Devotional

$ 33,095

$ 36,510

$ 43,422


$ 87,640

$ 58,761

$ 61,572


$ 20,795

$ 18,917

$ 24,434

Membership Care

$ 13,647

$ 10,360

$ 10,403


$ 189,708

$ 174,372

$ 203,595


$  1,387,976

$  1,379,019 $  1,368,310





Through the first eight months of the year, we have spent $1,387,976. We have spent $28,000 less that we had budgeted to fund the operations or the church. At the same time, we have spent $40,000 more that we budgeted on designated programs as gifts are higher and we have doled out funds that we left over from last year. Explanations of spending are below.

1 2 3

Staffing: So far this year, we have spent almost exactly what we had budgeted. It is less than last year as we did not have three full-time pastors during the first half of this year. Utilities and maintenance: A huge benefit from our unusual winter was that we have saved $18,000 on gas and electric bills.


Outreach Spending: In total, we have dispensed $189,708 in the first ten months for specific outreach efforts. Inside of this is the spending for the Dining & Caring Center, Storehouse, and generous gifts to Egel Funds, UMCOR, African Mission, and the Grocery Bag Ministry.

Program Spending: Virtually all of the program spending of the church is right where we thought it would be through the first 10 months.


Janu ar y -Oc tob er 2012 Fin anc i al R e p or t / 3


2011 Actual / $1,368,310

2012 Plan

2012 Pl an / $1,379,019

2012 Actual

2012 Actual / $1,387,976



Where the Money Comes From Endowment for Vision 2020

Where the Money Goes


Endowment Income Membership Care Communications


Property Usage Education

Worship & Devotional

Janu ar y -Oc tob er 2012 Fin anc i al R e p or t / 4

Designated Fundraising

Pledge Donations

Staffing Conference Apportionment

Designated Gifts Administrative

Unpledged Donations

Utilities & Maintenance

In summary


he summary of our current financial state of the church is very positive. To run the church, we have received $50,000 more in gifts from the congregation while holding expenses $38,000 below plan. These combine to put us $88,000 ahead of budget year-to-date. We prepared a budget that needed $80,000 of remaining funds from 2011 to fund our expenses. Through the end of October, our income to the church is balanced with the spending and we will likely not have to use the $80,000 that was leftover from last year’s budget. This is wonderful news as we will need those funds to balance next year’s AOP. All of this is going on while we are all continue to donate (through designated gifts) at a high level to all our outreach missions. I know: too many numbers; in simple words we are all blessed to be part of the many ministries of this Church and demonstrate that through our continued financial support.

Doug Major Chair, Finance Committee

A supplement to the Asbury First newsletter, The Visitor


portunities for people to experience the creative process in a non-judgmental, safe environment. Enjoyment of the arts, either in the actual creation or viewing, can be a powerful spiritual experience. For many of us there comes a time on the spiritual journey when our souls demand expression. We feel compelled to give form and voice to our spirituality. For many others of us, the viewing of a work of art, a movie, a dance, a poem opens our eyes to a new way of seeing: sometimes even opening our hearts. Our program seeks to open eyes, hearts, and minds to our awesome God, who is constantly sparking within each of us the potential to be creative human beings. ArtSparks celebrates the creative in each of us where we are at each step of our life journey.” Rev. Clemow is a certified art teacher, having taught in public and private schools on New York and Pennsylvania. For seven years she was the Arts-in-Ministry Coordinator at First United Methodist Church in Oneonta, N.Y., where she developed and implemented the ArtSparks program. She is a graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and is a commissioned deacon in the UMC with an emphasis on arts ministry. “My art classes are open to anyone at any level of talent,” says Rev. Clemow. “My focus is on the process, not the product – although I believe that talent can be taught. Sometimes creativity just needs a little push.” The classes will begin the first two weeks in December and then resume in January. Here is what is being offered. All Classes are held on the second floor of 1010 East Ave.

AFUMC News, continued from page 3

Call 461-2920 (Day Care office) to reserve a wreath. All proceeds will benefit the classrooms at Asbury. The teachers, parents, and children of Asbury Day Care Center greatly appreciate your joining us in this effort. Thanks! Church Women United CWU will hold their Advent Celebration and Annual Meeting on Friday, December 7 from 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. John’s Meadows, Chestnut Court, Second Building, 1 Johnsarbor Drive West, 14620. The event will include a Bible Study led by Dr. Paul L. Hammer, the installation of officers, and an Advent carol service. A bake sale will also be held. There is a $3 registration fee at the door. Well-Deserved Applause Our own minister for outreach, Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, and his wife, Brenda Lee, were both featured in the media recently. Rev. Hargrave gave the invocation at the graduation ceremony for the African American Leadership Development Program, a United Way initiative that identifies, trains, and promotes the placement of African Americans in leadership positions. Rev. Hargrave also gave the inaugural prayer at the installation of Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle as president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in October. Dr. Lee, assistant dean for medicine education and student affairs at University of Rochester, was featured in the Democrat and Chronicle as winner of the Howard Coles Society Community Leadership Award, citing her service as a mentor, volunteer board member, and philanthropist. Congratulations to both! ...And Some Additional Applause to an AFUMC Member AFUMC member Carol A. Brink was recently presented with the Distinguished Alumna Award by her alma mater, the University of Rochester. Carol is an associate professor emeritus of clinical nursing at the U of R School of Nursing who has devoted her career to advancing the practice of gerontological nursing. She has previously been named Gerontological Nurse of the Year by the American Nurse Association and the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award from the Gerontological Society of America. We congratulate her on this auspicious honor.

ArtSparks Basics Mondays Dec. 3 and 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Fun with basic art techniques using the elements and principles of art. Any level is welcome from beginner to those wishing to refresh and renew their art skills. A fun experience with great projects. Fee: $20 for two weeks.

Christmas for Storehouse Kids

ArtSparks Art Play Tuesdays Dec. 4 and 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon Those who want a less formal experience in art. Come and bring your ideas and interests. Share with others, teach others or learn something new. Interests may include woodworking, fabric art, printmaking – you name it we’ll learn it or watch it! Fee: to be decided by class.

YOU can help make Christmas a little brighter for a needy boy or girl this year. The Storehouse will be collecting toys and games on four Sundays: November 25, and December 2, 9 and 16. Bring your unwrapped gifts to the Gathering Center on those dates, and help bring a smile to the face of a child during this blessed season. Our preferred donations are new toys, toys, and more toys!

Art Appreciation Thursdays Dec. 6 and 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon For those who love to look at art or want to know how to look at art! We will start with “Images of Commitment: Women Artists of the Twentieth Century.” No previous knowledge about art is required.

ArtSparks Coming to Asbury First

ArtSparks at Night Thursday Dec. 6, 7:00-9:00 p.m. This class is for those who cannot make it during the day but are interested. We will decide the focus at the first meeting.

The Rev. Linda Clemow will be offering art classes for all levels of talent and interest. She describes the program,” ArtSparks offers op11

music & the arts join us for our winter concerts!

Make We Joy: Concentus in Concert

Luther College Nordic Choir

Sunday, December 2 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 20

free will offering at the door

4:00 p.m.

Concentus has been delighting

Tickets: $10/$5 students and seniors

audiences in Rochester and beyond

Founded in 1946, this magnificent a

for more than ten years. Join us as we

cappella choir has performed across the

a light a spark of Advent anticipation

globe and at some of America’s most

with the warm, ethereal sonority of

prestigious concert halls, from Kennedy

Concentus. Under the direction of

Center to Lincoln Center. Featuring a

Gwendolyn Gassler, the singers and

large and select collegiate music program,

guest instrumentalists perform seasonal

the choir is able to tap into a deep and

texts and melodies set in a variety of

resonant pool of talent for their singers.

styles, creating a rich palette of sound

Under the baton of Dr. Allen Hightower,

sure to inspire.

the group released their second CD, Here I Am, Lord, this year.


Holiday Craft Show Sunday, December 2 Fellowship Hall 8:30-2:00 p.m. ’ baked goods  jewelry  photography      

Handmade cards Knit hats and scarves doll clothes copper crafting wood carving and much more!

A portion of all proceeds benefits the Storehouse.

November 25  Psalm 145 26  Psalm 146 27  Psalm 147 28  Psalm 148 29  Psalm 149 30  Psalm 150 December 1  Psalm 92 2  Luke 21:5-38 3  Psalm 95 4  Psalm 96 5  Psalm 97 6  Psalm 98 7  Psalm 99 8  Psalm 100 9  Isaiah 8:16-9:7 10  Isaiah 11:1-16 11  Isaiah 25:1-9 12  Isaiah 26:1-19 13  Isaiah 35:1-10

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

            

27  Hebrews 1:1-14 28  Hebrews 2:1-18 29  Hebrews 3:1-19 30  Hebrews 4:14-5:14 31  Hebrews 6:1-20 January 1  Genesis 18:16-33 2  Numbers 14:1-25 3  Numbers 24:1-19 4  Isaiah 60:1-22 5  Micah 4.6-5.5 6  Matthew 2:1-12 7  Exodus 1:8-2:10

Isaiah 40:1-31 Isaiah 42:1-17 Malachi 3:1-18 Isaiah 49:1-23 Jeremiah 31:1-22 Jeremiah 31:23-40 Jeremiah 33:1-26 Luke 1:1-25 Luke 1: 26-56 Luke 1:57-80 Luke 2:1-20 John 1:1-18 Luke 2:21-52 13

8  Judges 13:2-25 9  Judges 16:4-22 10  Hosea 11:1-11 11  Matthew 2:13-23 12  Luke 3:1-14 13  Luke 3: 15-38 14  Amos 5:1-15 15  Amos 5:16-27 16  1 Corinthians 10:1-17 17  1 Corinthians 10:18-11:1 18  Luke 9:18-27 19  John 2:1-12 20  1 Corinthians 12:1-11 21  1 Corinthians 12:12-31a 22  Nehemiah 8:1-12 23  1 Samuel 2:1-11 24  2 Samuel 7:1-17 25  Acts 9:1-19a 26  2 Samuel 7:18-29 27  Luke 4:16-30 28  1 Kings 3:1-15

Library news


he December library selections focus on the Christmas season. The following Christmas books are for the young and old and all those in between. They are just a few of the many possibilities available for loan in the Church Resource Library. The library is located just off the gathering space near the elevators. When the church is open, the library is open, and everyone is welcome! The Most Important Christmas, by James H. Nelesen, illustrated by Carolyn Ewing Bowser. After not being chosen for the important role of Mary in the school Christmas program, Emily learns about the true spirit of the holiday.

Christmas ideas, decorations and recipes focus on the kitchen and families — essential for making holiday memories. Our Family Christmas Book, compiled by Mary Batchelor. A treasury of stories, features, and activities for all the family to enjoy during the holidays are featured and illustrated.

My Very First Christmas Story, words by Lois Rock, pictures by Alex Ayliffe.

The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in our Holiday Traditions, by Lisa Whelchel.

This book tells the traditional nativity story of Jesus’ birth in the stable and the shepherds’ visit in simple rhyming words. The text is accompanied by bold and colorful pictures.

This fun book describes favorite Christmas traditions and provides a guide for each of the 24 days preceding Christmas. The activities include instructions for gifts, decorations, and stories with the focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

We Hear the Christmas Angels, edited by Evelyn Bence. This Christmas book provides sixty true accounts of people who have been brought tidings of comfort, protection, and joy by God’s messengers.

The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Birth, by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan

The Christmas Blessing, by Donna VanLiere.

The authors, who are noted Jesus scholars, help us to see the Christmas story in the context of both the first and twenty-first centuries. They explore the beginning of the life of Christ, to reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say.

The Christmas Blessing was written by the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Christmas Hope series. These books have been adapted into movies and television programs because of their universal appeal.

Family Christmas DVDs:

The Joy of Christmas: A Season of Wonder.

The Very First Noel, narrated by Andy Griffith.

Christmas as a season of wonder, warmth, faith joy, goodwill and splendor is featured in this charming book of pictures, stories and poems.

The Story of the Three Wise Men. an animated Christmas classic featuring the voices of Tim Conway and Don Knotts.

The Christmas Kitchen, by Tammy Maltby with Anne Christian Buchanan.

Children’s Ministry invites you to

Advent’s Winter Wonder Night December 9 5:00 p.m.

Come for a “breakfast” supper and stay for a family worship service. Don’t forget to wear your pajamas! Please RSVP to Melissa Bohrer at by December 5. 14

the last word 1 by Michele Cooley 2

Copper Beech Dreaming n my brief


don’t know how to live

walk from

a responsible life. I have

the Asbury Din-

some pretty serious

ing and Caring

health issues as a result

Center to the

of not following sugges-

church office at


1050 East Ave.

I lack the faith in God

one morning I

that one needs to follow

spot a figure under

the voice of God. There

one of the large

is a reality that embrac-

copper beech trees

es me at Asbury First:

on campus. He is

Those who are lost and

in a sleeping bag

blind, God will find.

and I know it is Todd who just left after a big breakfast. I check to see if he is OK, and we chat briefly. “A chipmunk just went by me and I was watching a bird right above my head hoping that his droppings wouldn’t land on me,” he told me. “I heard the voices of children. I looked up and they were blindfolded, following a voice. Each one had their hand on the shoulders of the person in front of them as they walked in a line. It was beautiful to

What I need to do see. It is so peaceful under

ing Asbury First that he

this tree. It just envelopes

wanted to share.

myself and others. I’m seeing

you. It makes you feel safe.”

Todd: I wonder what Asbury

that truth is truly the greatest

Todd has difficulty walking.

First stands for? I know where

He was in a horribly bad ac-

it’s located. I can tell you what

get me truly restored.

cident that required one year

it means to me. My mornings

Todd is working hard to

of intense hospitilization.

are rough, but the first thing on

straighten his life around. He

His arms and legs are badly

my mind is what time is it and

is struggling and we are here

scarred. He is in constant

can I make it to 1010 East Av-

to help. He is finding spiri-

pain and I wince watching

enue in time for a warm meal

tual nourishment and has

him as he walks away. Todd is with a special body of believers

hope that with love he will

is stop telling lies to

reward the only path that will

a sweet person, always polite,

who have absolute faith that the have the strength to follow in

with many unique gifts he

love of God can and will inter-

the right path. Asbury First

is beginning to recognize

vene through love of people.

has made a difference and is

in himself. He has bright

It’s hard for me to write this

making a difference. We do

brown eyes and a lovely smile. article in some sense. I still He has a perspective regardstruggle with an addiction. I 15

not judge but we do care. A man in a sleeping bag with real hopes, real dreams.

PERIODICAL 1050 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607-2293 Address Service Requested

Christmas Altar Poinsettia Donation Form

Given by_______________________________________________________________________ (please print clearly) phone: day______________________________evening__________________________________ Please check one of the following and print the names clearly: ____in loving memory of: _______________________________________________ ____in honor of: _____________________________________________________ ____in celebration of:__________________________________________________ ____a donation. Please return this form to the church office, attention Beverly Schuman, no later than Thursday, December 6. Please include your donation. Checks should be made payable to Asbury First UMC Altar Guild. Thank you, and have a very merry Christmas!

The Visitor: the Newsletter for Members and Friends of Asbury First  

A monthly newsletter with information about the events and people who are the members and friends of Asbury First UMC in Rochester, New York...