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Asbury First United Methodist Church Newsletter April 2012 • Vol. XLVI No. 3 •

In This Issue Walter Brueggemann, 5 Sound Survey, 6 Hospitality, 7 Bell Concert, 8 Talent Show, 10 VBS, 12

The Visitor

Mission Statement

Vol. XLVI No. 3

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

(USPS 558-470) is published 10 times a year, monthly with combined issues for January/February 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.

Periodical postage paid at Rochester, N.Y.

A Sonnet for Syria

POSTMASTER: Send addresses changes to

A Pastoral Reflection

Asbury First UMC Visitor 1050 East Ave. Rochester, N.Y. 14607-2239 (585) 271-1050

When the world sings a song that tells the glory


Then we behold the old and new story

Rev. Susan S. Shafer Rev. Phillip W. Phaneuf Rev. Lawrence Hargrave David T. Strong Dr. William J. Weinert Paula Dugan Melissa Bohrer Richard Moncrief Melody Guadagnino Michele Cooley

Jason Franklin Mary Van Keuren Ashley Eckman Duane A. Prill David T. Strong Bozena Granat Elizabeth Church Brian Bohrer Larry Dugan Megan Phaneuf

And prays a prayer to end the wrongs of night

Senior Pastor Pastor Pastor 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 Together in Ministry (Volunteer) Coordinator Organist Assistant Organist Director, Children’s Music Director, Bell Choir Director, Youth Music Director, Youth Theater Photographer

a Kingdom psalm, all sung o’er in light; With gateflung hearts we pray on a Lenten Road Which has thus far from Advent light, travail and winter shuts its doors toward a crocus sowed Borne on the mild and sun for Spring debut Then of thy wonder do we question thus, That thou, amongst the wastes of Syria, must know, Since we have minds and hearts discipled for thee Must peace for children’s lives unheeded go In heaven’s realms; will peace ne’er be seen? And nought wilt Thou do without grace agents Save them, our hands and hearts in your defence. –Phil Phaneuf

Cover: The crown of thorns and cross that are displayed by the altar during Holy Week. 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: Monday, April 9


AFUMC news UMW Recognition On April 29 at the 11:00 a.m. service, the Roudebush Circle of the UMW (United Methodist Women) will present Special Mission Recognition Pins to two members of our church who have given greatly of their time in service to our faith community and beyond. We invite you to celebrate with us the generosity of spirit and heart that has led these two individuals to provide exemplary service to their neighbors. The two recipients won’t know ahead of time that they are receiving their pins, so we can’t share their names here, but we hope you will join us at the service to celebrate their commitment to others.

kets+, a program of Church World Service that supplies warm blankets, tents, food, tools, seeds, and other materials to those across the world in need of them. You’ll find an envelope for this purpose in your May 13 bulletin. Our church efforts are coordinated by Roudebush Circle of the U.M.W. (United Methodist Women), who will have a video available for viewing in the Welcoming Hall. We ask you to please give generously, to help our brothers and sisters across the globe.

Church Women United News C.W.U. will hold a May Friendship Day on Friday, May 4. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., supper at 6:00 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m. The program features a variety of speakers from Rochester faith communities, including facilitator Alberta Latimer-Hunt from AME Zion Memorial Church, as well as Asbury First’s own Evelyn Penn, pastor of St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church, and member Karen Johnson. Other speakers include Byoung Beak of Korean United Methodist Church, Vanessa Hansen, Church of Latter Day Saints, and Lois Wong, Rochester Chinese Christian Church. The event will be held at Irondequoit United Church of Christ, 644 Titus Ave. Chicken dinner from Abundant Eatery Cuisine is available for $8.00, and reservations and payments are requested by April 18. Offerings will be taken for Fellowship of the Least Coin, and nonperishable food items for the Community Food Cuboard of Rochester and Pittsford Food Cupboard. For more information call (585) 342-2790.

Appetizer Group Trip The Appetizer Group will be sponsoring a trip to Chautauqua from May 18-20 that is open to all members and friends of Asbury First. If you are interested in attending, please contact Julie Dougherty at 413-0215 so that they can get a head count. Julie will be able to give you further details. Roudebush Circle News The next meeting of the Roudebush Circle of the United Methodist Women will be Tuesday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m. at 1010 East Ave. It will feature a catered dinner (cost is $8.00; please bring your own table service), and a program with Dining and Caring Center Director Michele Cooley giving us an update on the DCC. Donation of items for the Dining and Caring Center will be collected. Everyone is welcome! Please make reservations for dinner with Joan Closson by Friday, April 20 at 671-5534. For more information regarding the Circle, call Ginn Fitch at 381-6464.

School #41 plans spring field trips Plans are underway to make spring/end-of-the-year field trips possible for each child at School #41. There are 590 students at #41 and Asbury First would like to underwrite the trip with a donation of $10 for each child to offset the cost of the transportation by bus. Quite an undertaking; but not impossible! The School #41 Asbury First outreach budget can nearly cover half of the $5900 needed and with your help we can make our goal. Donations can be directed to Asbury First with a notation indicating School #41 spring field trips. Field trips are a wonderful opportunity to expand a child’s mind and world. A report on where the children traveled will reach you near the end of this school year. Thank you in advance for helping out. – Nancy Davidow, School #41 Reading Coordinator

Stewardship Spring is here and the sap is running in the trees. The Stewardship Committee would like to “tap” into some ideas you may have to enhance our efforts in securing our financial goal this year. On Tuesday evening at 5:30 on April 17, we will hold an open meeting in the Dining Room of 1010 East Ave. to brainstorm how to approach this year’s campaign. If you have an interest and have ideas or opinions to share, your presence would be deeply appreciated. This year’s task will be challenging and creative ideas would be highly welcome. We are even passing around “loaves and fishes” to nourish your thoughts. If you care to join us please let Melody Guadagnino know at 271-1050 x103. Thank you.

Blanket Appeal Once again this year Asbury First will raise funds in support of Blan3

worship schedule WORSHIP

Sunday april 1 Palm Sunday John 12:1-16 Rev. Phillip Phaneuf, preacher 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship Sunday april 8 Easter Sunday

Sunday april 22 Psalm 4 Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann, preacher 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

See outside back cover for a listing of Holy Week services.

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

Sunday april15 Luke 24:13-49 Rev. Susan Shafer, preacher

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

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

Sunday april 29 John 10:11-18 Rev. Phillip Phaneuf, preacher

11:00 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 Sunday may 6 John 15:1-8 Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, preacher 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship 10:00 a.m. Informal Worship with Holy Communion 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship

© The 2012 General Conference Theme % Ed. note: This year in Tampa the United Methodist Church will hold its General Conference, a denomination-wide event that happens once every four years. Below is an explanation of the logo and theme for the conference, in a statement released recently by the church’s governing body. “What will be the task of Methodists in America?” When the Christmas Conference of 1784 answered that question, they reclaimed John Wesley’s words from the first London Conference in 1744 to declare their mission with bold, concise clarity: “To reform the nation and spread scriptural holiness across the land.”

and leads us in a common direction. Our hope is that it will enable us to set clear priorities for the use of our resources. 1. It is biblically grounded in the command of the Risen Christ in Matthew 28:1-20. 2. It is Christ-centered. The graphic image of the cross represents the presence of Jesus Christ at the center of our mission.

In recent years, General Conferences have focused our attention on the command of the Risen Christ to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19-20) by declaring that the mission of The United Methodist Church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The General Conference has also said that “local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.” (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church—2008, p. 87) The Council of Bishops and Connectional Table have been leading us in aligning our resources and energies around this mission.

3. The circles that extend from the cross express energy and movement into ministry in the world. 4. The imperative verbs – “make…transform” – underscore the urgency of our mission and call for active response. 5. It aligns the General Conference with our mission so that the Conference is not a one-time event, but a part of the ongoing ministry of the church. 6. It affirms the “both/and” character of our Methodist identity with its emphasis on personal discipleship by which we participate in God’s transformation of the world.

The theme for the 2012 General Conference will continue to focus our attention on the mission of the church as we gather around the theme: “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ to Transform the World.”

7. The bright sun and blue water [on the color version of the logo] represents Tampa, Florida, as the site of the 2012 General Conference.

Our theme is a bold declaration of our mission that can help unite The United Methodist Church in a common calling. It grows out of our shared conviction that people across the connection are crying out for clarity about our mission that speaks to who we are, binds us together,

Our prayer is that the Spirit of God might unite and reenergize the United Methodist Church for its mission and ministry for Jesus Christ. 4

• old testament scholar • Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann Brings His Insights to Asbury First


f you go to and type in “Walter Brueggemann,” you’ll end up with a list containing 1,094 items. Even accounting for the fact that there are numerous second and third editions and international translations among the results, it is still safe to assume that the Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann – scholar, theologian, professor, and ordained UCC pastor – is a prolific author.

Old Testament studies and a dean at Eden Theological Seminary. In 1986, he was named the William Marcellus McPheeters professor of Old Testament (now emeritus) at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Distinguished though his academic career has been, Dr. Brueggemann is perhaps most well known for his writings and scholarly work.

And indeed he is. Dr. Brueggemann’s literary output includes some 60+ books, including Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, the beautiful book of prayer-poems that was the subject of an Asbury First allcampus read this Lent, and his most recent 2012 release, with Tim Scorer, Embracing the Prophets in Contemporary Culture: Walter Brueggemann on confronting Today’s “Pharaohs.” Arguably the most important Old Testament scholar working today, Dr. Brueggemann, who will be speaking at Asbury First on April 22 and 23, has something of the look of an Old Testament prophet himself. Tall and intense, he is a dynamic speaker whether at the podium or in the pulpit (see for yourself by typing his name in at www. You’ll find almost as many entries as there are at Amazon.) A native of Tilden, Nebraska, Walter Brueggemann is the son of a minister of the German Evangelical Synod of North America. He did his undergraduate work at Elmhurst College, an Illinois institution affiliated with the United Church of Christ, and Eden Theological Seminary in Missouri. He has several advanced degrees: a doctorate of theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York and a Ph.D. in education from St. Louis University. Dr. Brueggemann has spent his professional life in academia, serving as a professor of

“No contemporary interpreter of scripture fuels the imagination like Brueggemann,” wrote Bishop William H. Willimon, former dean of the Chapel of Duke University. Speaking about Brueggemann’s book Cadences of Home, Willimon said,“...Walter Brueggemann excites with his insights, his listening to texts, his ability to name our present context and to give us the courage to speak boldly to the church in exile.” Brueggemann is a contributing editor to both Sojourners and Christian Century magazines and is an associate editor of Journal for Preachers. He has received numerous awards and commendations during his long career, including the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Award from the Committee for the Scientific continued on page 14

Asbury First United Methodist Church Presents

Dr. Walter Brueggemann “The Food Fight IN FAITH” 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 22 Asbury First Sanctuary Tickets: $10/$5 students and seniors; $15 at the door Advance tickets available online at or by calling (585) 271-1050. Asbury First is also hosting a workshop called “The Artistry of Prayer” with Dr. Brueggemann on Monday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. The workshop is free but registration is required and space is limited. Please call (585) 271-1050 to reserve your space.


The Sound committee needs your help Please take a few minutes to fill out a survey!


aboring behind the scenes, the members of the Sound Committee – David Berg (chair), Dan Hines, Dick Eastman, Sean Bowerman, Maddy Ireland, Rick Church, and Phil Phaneuf (staff liaison) – work hard to bring a high quality audio experience to our members each week, as well as for special events such as memorial ser-

vices and concerts. Recently, the committee decided to ask the members of AFUMC to help them make some decisions about upcoming projects. The committee had identified several areas where the existing systems need to be repaired or replaced. “There are a number of possible continued on page 9

This survey can be returned to the church office, to any of the members of the sound committee, or placed in the offering basket. An electronic version can be accessed from our website at


How often do you listen to the Asbury service broadcast/webcast? a. ____ Weekly b. ____ When I can’t attend church c. ____ Occasionally d. ____ Never

e. ____ I don’t know/don’t listen to AM Comments:________________ _________________________ _________________________ ________________________


What medium do you usually use? (check all that apply) a. ____ AM (1040 kHz) b. ____ FM (92.1 MHz) c. ____ Internet Webcast

5. Please rate the FM 92.1 signal quality a. ____ Loud & clear (like I’m sitting in the pews, except I can hear everything!) b. ____ Loud, no interference, and as good as any other FM station on the dial c. ____ I have some difficulty _ receiving the signal (weak, noisy, or with interference) d. ____ Can’t receive/unusable e. ____ I don’t know/don’t listen to FM Comments:__________________ _________________________ _________________________ ________________________

3. Where are you located? a. ____ In town/within range of the FM signal b. ____ In the Western NY region/ within range of the AM signal c. ____ Out of town (internet use only) 4. Please rate the AM 1040 signal quality a. ____ Loud & clear (like I’m sitting in the pews, except I can hear everything!) b. ____ Loud, no interference, and as good as any other AM station on the dial c. ____ I have some difficulty receiving the Asbury signal (weak, noisy, or with interference) d. ____ Can’t receive/unusable after dark/at night

d. ____ Better audio fidelity/ musicality e. ____ Less interference f. ____ More convenient Comments:__________________ _________________________ _________________________ ________________________ 7. If you attend services in person, do you use any of the following: a. ____ Infrared Hearing Assistance system (hearing aides) b. ____ Induction Loop hearing assistance system (Using hearing aide “T Switch” c. ____ No, I don’t need hearing assistance yet. d. ____ What did you say? 8. Please indicate your level of interest in the following areas under consideration, scoring between 1 (Lowest) and 10 (Highest) a. ____ Sanctuary Sound upgrade (replacement of existing speaker system & ancillary components) b. ____ Modernization of Infrared hearing assistance system c. ____ Improvement in the broadcast signal strength d. ____ Improvement in the

6. If you can receive more than one broadcast signal, which one do you Prefer to listen to, and why? (check all that apply) a. ____ 1040 AM b. ____ 92.1 FM c. ____ Webcast why? 6

broadcast signal audio quality e. ____ Improvement of the Webcast audio quality f. ____ Streaming video of the service over the web Comments:__________________ _________________________ _________________________ ________________________ 9. Please indicate your internet connection service a. ____ Time Warner Cable – Roadrunner b. ____ Frontier – High-speed DSL c. ____ Frontier – Standard DSL d. ____ Dial-up – 56k e. ____ I don’t know/don’t have an internet connection Any additional comments: ________________________ _________________________ _________________________ ________________________ Optional – Your name : ________________________ Contact info: ________________________ email: _________________________

Together in Ministry

Volunteering at asbury first by Ashley Eckman especially in a large church. ‘Hanging out together’ in the Gathering Center with a cup of coffee and a cookie is an excellent way to do this. This is the reason the Gathering Center was built!” Isaac: “The time after the service is so important because it lets people get to know each other.”



awn Riedy and her son, Isaac Berg, are beginning their tenth year of volunteering side-by-side at Asbury First! Today, they speak about the role they have shared at Heavenly Grounds in the Gathering Center since its inception. Why do you volunteer with Heavenly Grounds? Dawn: “My husband, David, and I have always looked for ways to volunteer with our children. Isaac and I have been on a Dining Center team together since he was six years old. Heavenly Grounds was another such opportunity. So, I asked Isaac to co-lead a team with me. It’s our team. Isaac is the expert at running the dishwasher, and he is quite proficient at nicely ‘plating’ cookies!” Isaac, now a freshman at Brighton High School, says,“It is a good way to spend a Sunday morning.” How do you feel it makes a difference at Asbury First? Dawn: “Time for fellowship is important,

How have you found this experience to be meaningful to you? Dawn: “I’ve gotten to know the members of our team (wonderful people!), and I’ve met more members of the congregation this way. I try to learn a few new names each time our team is ‘on’, and I look for new members or visitors to greet.” Isaac: “I have met many members of our church that I would not have even seen otherwise.”

Why would you encourage others to join this ministry? Dawn: “It’s an easy, low-stress commitment, and it really makes a difference in the life of Asbury First. Our team is on every tenth Sunday (or thereabouts), and if members of our team are out of town or otherwise not available for a given Sunday, we work it out among our team or we find substitutes.“ Isaac: “It is a volunteer activity that is much more laid back than any others that I’ve seen and it is very good for families with children.” Barb Edwards, Heavenly Grounds coordinator, is thankful for Dawn and Isaac’s years of faithful service. She says,“Dawn and Isaac, along with seventy-five other loyal team members, are the backbone of the Heavenly Grounds coffee hour on Sunday mornings. They host, they serve, they welcome, they bring treats and they are committed to the Asbury First tradition of welcoming hospitality.”

Are you interested in serving with Dawn & Isaac at Heavenly Grounds? All are encouraged to participate in this gratifying ministry. Teams volunteer approximately five times per year. If you do not feel you can serve on a team, volunteers are also needed to bring treats to share during the coffee fellowship. Baked goods do not need to be homemade. Other suggestions include cheese and crackers or fresh fruit. To sign-up to bring food, there is a pink sheet available on the Gathering Center table. If you would like to give Heavenly Grounds a try before you make a commitment to join a team, Dawn and Isaac welcome you to visit their team for a Sunday. E-mail Dawn at: For additional coffee fellowship information or to offer your support, contact Barb Edwards, Heavenly Grounds Coordinator, 223-6971 or e-mail: For other volunteer opportunities, contact Ashley Eckman, Together in Ministry Coordinator, at or 271-1050 x112. 7

 Spring

Bell Concert  Featuring:

Asbury First United Methodist Church, Asbury Ringers Third Presbyterian Church, Third Church Ringers

Friday, May 4, 2012 7:00 p.m. Free; no tickets required Asbury First United Methodist Church Sanctuary 

THe Storehouse Receives thanks

By Nancy Davidow


n the mail the first week of March was a thank you note from one of our customers. Those of us who volunteer at the Storehouse are often graced by customers with kisses, hugs, and words of thanks on a regular basis. It is not often, however, that we receive thank you notes through the mail. Here, in its entirety, is the note of thanks we received.

to the Salvation Army, • Infant and toddler clothing, still wearable, but again not up to our standards go to Baden Street Community Center, • Men’s warm sweaters and coats, past their prime but still warm, are shared with Salem United Church of Christ who serve those living on the streets of Rochester,

“Dear whom concerns,

• Women’s dress blazers and dress pants/skirts that have been on our clothing racks for several weeks are shared with “Angels of Mercy,” a clothing center that helps dress women seeking employment.

I want to thank you for nice things you gave me. When you haven’t much it is more than appreciated. Also, the friendliness was so nice. What we do can be rewarded back. Sometimes life is hard, but one must smile anyways. Keep smiling and doing as you have.

Caring is all about sharing; sharing is caring. Perhaps you would like to share some of your time and talent at the Storehouse. Your time could be as little as once a month, or as much as once each week. If you enjoy sharing with others and being a part of a team whose fellowship is boundless, please contact Judy Cohen ( or Betsy Christiansen (betsychristiansen@, chair and co-chair of the Storehouse. They would like to hear from you!

Sincerely,” -a client of DePaul Clinic Not only do we “give nice things” to those we serve, but are you aware that we also share with other agencies things we are unable to use ourselves? Here’s a list of agencies that benefit from the Storehouse: •

Soiled linens go to Lollipop Farm,

Usable clothing which does not meet our standards goes Sound Committee, continued from page 6

sistance system and eventually phasing-out the infrared hearing aide system,wiring the sanctuary sound feed to classrooms or areas of the campus, upgrading the wireless microphone system, installing chancel monitors for the choir, or making improvements to the quality of the radio broadcast. “We have an idea of costs for many of these projects, but wanted to gauge the level of interest in the changes they would bring about,” said Rick. The survey focuses especially on the church’s abil-

Our Living

ity to broadcast services to those who are off-campus, a service that allows our parishioners to stay connected with the church when they can’t be present. As Rick points out, there is also an evangelical side to the broadcasts, as they may potentially attract people to the church who have not been here before. The end goal, of course, is to allow all our friends, both near and far, to be able to experience Asbury First’s worship services clearly and distrinctly, no matter where they are.


Births & Baptisms

Merciful God, we entrust to your never-failing care and love

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

We offer our prayers and sympathy to Kathy and Norm Welch and family on the death of Kathy's mother Dorothy Ogden on March 9, 2012.

Travis Christopher Leyden son of Tiffani and Christopher Leyden, baptized on March 11, 2012.

We offer our prayers and sympathy to the family and friends of Marion Malone who died on March 17, 2012.


in Community

Are you ready to SHINE?

Save the date for Asbury First’s Second Annual

Talent Show! Saturday, April 28 Potluck supper: 6:00 p.m.

Entertainment begins: 6:30 p.m.

This intergenerational talent show is produced by our youth and directed by Brian Bohrer. If you would like to perform, fill out the registration form below. Return the completed form to the church office or to the Welcoming Hall registration table by Sunday, April 15. Upon return of the form, you will be able to select a rehearsal time between 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Once the registration process closes, you will be contacted to confirm your rehearsal time. You must attend the rehearsal on April 22 with your act fully prepared or you will not be included on the program. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Brian Bohrer at Hope to see you there!

Registration Form – Churchwide Talent Show Name______________________________________ Phone_____________________________________________ Email ______________________________________ Briefly describe your act: _________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ (If performing a piece of music, please list title and composer) Materials/props you will bring: ____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________ Tech resources required: CD Player ____ Piano ____ Electric Cord ___ Amp ____ Microphone(s) ____ (# of mics) _Other __________________________________________ Do you need piano accompaniment? Yes ___ No ___ If yes, please attach a photocopy of the music to this form, and you will be contacted about your performance. 10

youth ministry news Take a Run in Andy’s Memory


The family of Andy Parmeter, who died last year in a tragic car accident, is memorializing his life with a 5K run to benefit the Hickok Center for Brain Injury and our own youth mission trip. Phil Phaneuf is training to do the run, and he’d like YOU to consider joining him. Here’s how you can participate:

Up!Word 2012, the annual worship and fun gathering sponsored by the Conference Council on

• • •

Youth Ministries, will be held this year from Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. Our theme this

Run in the5K yourself Walk the 1.5 mile option help with registration or water tables and lead the cheering section!

“Andy’s life was transformed by his participation in the mission trip and youth group,” says Phil. “Now we have an awesome opportunity to continue the tradition. Here’s the details:

year: God is HERE. For more information on where

• • • •

and how to register, watch your email for updates!

When? Saturday, May 26 at 9:00 a.m. Where? Genesee Valley Park Cost? $25 to register How: Contact Phil Phaneuf at for more info.

Oxford University's McGrath has distinguished himself not just as a historical theologian, but as a generous and witty writer who brings life to topics that would turn dust in others' hands... –Publishers Weekly Beginning Thursday, April 12 6:00-7:30 p.m. Lower level, Sanctuary Cost: $15 for the book; copies will be available Join Rev. Phil Phaneuf and the rest of the Theology Thursday crew for an exploration of this visually stunning book that engages both the mind and the imagination through images of great art and McGrath’s reflections on that great affirmation: “Christ is Risen.” 11

children’s ministry news

God’s Love Is Out of This World!

Announcing VBS 2012 ... _Join us for an “Out of this World” Vacation Bible School from August 6-9 as we explore God’s amazing creation and love. VBS will run Monday through Thursday this summer from 9:00 a.m. to12:30 p.m., which is different from years past. We will end the week with a special event on Thursday night, so save the date. It is a celebration that is truly “out of this world.” Registration forms will be available in May. We are looking forward to a week of fun, fellowship, and exploration!

Family Prayer Night Please join us on Good Friday, April 6 for our Annual Family Prayer Night. Visit prayer stations, walk the Labyrinth and take communion as a family in the Gathering Center from 6:00-7:30 pm. Come and go as you wish throughout the evening.

Pretzel Sunday

On Sunday March 4, the children of Asbury First participated in a much-anticipated annual tradition, Pretzel Sunday. This year's theme, A Morning of Miracles, was realized in activities including pretzel-making (of course!), and learning how the pretzel shape reminds us to pray; acting out the Lazarus story; playing games exploring the act of healing; learning a song about the story of the loaves and fishes, and exploring Jesus walking on water through multi-media and crafts. Participants also laughed, prayed, and enjoyed the fellowship of their peers. It was a wonderful morning for all! 12



1 Mark 11:1-11

1 Revelation 21:1-27

2 Mark 11:12-33

2 Revelation 22:1-21

3 Mark 12:1-27

3 Joel 1:1-20

4 Mark 14:1-31

4 Joel 2:1-32

5 Mark 14:32-72

5 Joel 3:1-21

6 Mark 15:1-41

6 Ezekiel 1:1-28

7 Mark 15:42-47

15 1 Peter 2:1-25

23 Revelation 2:1-29

7 Ezekiel 2:1-10

8 Mark 16:1-20

16 1 Peter 3:1-22

24 Revelation 3:1-22

8 Ezekiel 3:1-27

9 Romans 5:1-21

17 1 Peter 4:1-19

25 Revelation 4:1-11

9 Ezekiel 34:1-31

10 Romans 6:1-23

18 1 Peter 5:1-14

26 Revelation 5:1-14

10 Ezekiel 36:1-15

11 Romans 15:1-21

19 2 Peter 1:1-21

27 Revelation 6:1-17

11 Ezekiel 36:16-38

12 1 Corinthians 15:1-34

20 2 Peter 2:1-22

28 Revelation 7:1-17

12 Ezekiel 37:1-28

13 1 Corinthians 15:35-58

21 2 Peter 3:1-18

29 Revelation 19:1-21

13 Ezekiel 39:1-29

14 1 Peter 1:1-25

22 Revelation 1:1-20

30 Revelation 20:1-15

14 Ezekiel 43:1-27


music & the arts join us for the remaining concerts in our 2011-2012 series! Envisioning the Passion – A multimedia concert featuring classical and sacred music performed by Voices Chamber Choir underscored by fine art images. Friday, April 6 (Good Friday), noon and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are not needed; a free will offering will be taken. (childcare available at the 7:30 concert) Cordancia Chamber Ensemble –a vibrant, versatile ensemble playing a non-traditional classical repertoire. Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10/$5 students and seniors. Tickets are available in the church office during business hours or on Sunday after services in the Welcoming Hall. 13


Library news

oin us in exploring church library resources for all ages. Following are the March selections recommended for your reading. Stop by and take a look at the following books available in the library’s collection. The library is located off the gathering space near the elevators. Everyone is welcome!

Children This Baby, by Kate Banks, illustrations by Gabe Swiatkowska This is a must-have book for all children who are about to be new siblings. While Mama’s busy knitting a wardrobe for her unborn baby, big sister is preparing in her own way: imagining, asking, wondering what this baby will like. As the seasons pass, this baby grows, too—and soon big sister will have the answers to all of her questions. This 40-page illustrated book is especially appropriate for ages 3-6.

mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is based on the author’s own experiences and has drawings that reflect the character’s art. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak Set during World War II in Germany, Zusak’s novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. Cited as an“unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul“, it is targeted to ages 11-17 and enjoyed by adults of all ages.

Naamah and the Ark at Night, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, illustrated by Holly Meade Naamah, Noah’s wife, sings a calming lullaby to her fellow passengers, both human and animal:“Over the ark, song flows at night. Two by two, eyes close at night. Two by two, wings furl at night. Two by two, tails curl at night.” Watercolor collages fill the pages with animals in various states of rest. It’s a gentle bedtime book of quiet confidence and comfort for ages 4-8.

Adults Walking Gently on The Earth: Making Faithful Choices About Food, Energy, Shelter and More, by Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff The authors write about the state of the earth and inspiration to get back to a peace that allows all things to thrive. Topics covered include farming practices, slave labor, consumer power, climate change, alternative energy sources, and family size. Author Neff begins each chapter with highlights of her experience living in Africa, reminding us of the interconnectedness of everything on the earth. This book demonstrates the effects of our choices and offers lists of resources and organizations at the end of each chapter.

Youth Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, by Kadir Nelson This beautifully illustrated 108-page book tells the story of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast a vote for the first African American president, It touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of the history of African Americans in America and is especially appropriate for ages 8-11.

Life in Year One: What the World Was Like In First Century Palestine, by Scott Korb In this historical study, Scott Korb explores what everyday life entailed two thousand years ago in first-century Palestine, that tumultuous era when the Roman Empire was at its zenith and a new religion of quiet confidence and comfort-- Christianity--was born. Obtaining information from primary sources, scholarly research, and his own travels and observations, Korb explores real life back then on how people fed, and housed themselves.

Young Adult The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie This National Book Award winner is the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the“rez” to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school Brueggemann, continued from page 5

magazines and is an associate editor of Journal for Preachers. He has received numerous awards and commendations during his long career, including the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Award from the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, and the award from the Association of Theological Booksellers for “Best Academic Book of 2004” for An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. For his visit to Asbury First, Walter Brueggemann has chosen some


of the art. He is calling it “The Artistry of Prayer.” “This study,” he told The Visitor,“will reflect on the aesthetic side of contemporary prayer-writing as a way to make a connection between the language of the old tradition and the contemporaneity of our voice before God.”

interesting themes. He has titled his lecture on Sunday, April 22 “The Food Fight in Faith.” In it, he said, he “... will consider two views of food in the Bible, a way of greed and a way of gratitude. The Bible is a contest of these two practices and invites us to participate in the struggle for faithfulness.” The next morning, April 23, Dr. Brueggemann will lead a workshop on prayer-writing – a rare opportunity for participants to learn how to articulate their thoughts about God and faith from a true master

Dr. Brueggemann’s lecture, sponsored by Asbury First’s Center for Spiritual Life, will be held in the Sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10; $5 for students and seniors, and $15 at the door. You may purchase tickets on Sunday morn14

ings in the Welcoming Hall, during regular business hours in the church office at 1050 East Ave., or via the internet by going to our website at There you’ll find a link to an online registration and secure payment form. The Monday morning workshop is free, but you must register by calling the office at (585) 271-1050. We invite our members and friends to join in welcoming Dr. Brueggemann to Asbury First for what will undoubtedly be a dynamic series of events.

the last word 1 by Tony Burgio 2

Rolling Along It really looks like spring

volunteer help, or monetary

has sprung. We hope every-

donations. There is a real need

one had a great holiday sea-

in Rochester for bikes. We

son. Running the Asbury

kept hundreds of people riding

Bicycle Ministry has been

through the winter and gave

rewarding as usual. For the

away hundreds of bikes through

past nine years it has been

the spring/ summer and fall.

an honor and privilege to

We can use tubes, tires, cables,

serve as manager. If you

pedals, brakes, chains, and

don’t know me, my name is

many more items. You may have

Tony Burgio. I come from

some of these items in your

Rochester and was a former

garage that you don’t need; if

guest at the Dining and

so contact the Bicycle Ministry.

Caring Center. I met Rand

Any and all help is greatly ap-

Warner, and I believe he

preciated. From you thoughtful

saw a person (not a home-

contributions we have been able

less person) with potential.

to plant the seeds of the Word.

Nine years ago when I got

Many people who have come

clean from all drugs and

through the Dining Center

chemicals, he had the great faith to give me a chance to prove

have come back to serve and have found faith. Some work for

myself. (I will be celebrating my ninth year anniversary of

the church and some have just moved on to fruitful lives. Stop by

sobriety on March 26.) Along with a solid and talented crew,

the Dining Center and say “hi” to super-director Michele Cooley.

we have built the most popular Bike Ministry in Rochester.

She can give you more info and receive any and all donations. We

Throughout the past winter months, we have operated

at the Bike Ministry enjoy working with Michele and Rand and

every Wednesday morning repairing bikes for transportation,

we couldn’t do without them. We thank God for everything we

work, mental health or substance abuse programs, or just

have done and are destined to do in the future. We have a strong

getting around. We never ask why, we only ask how we can

faith that HE is with us and will never let us down. May you all

help. There always comes a time when we have to ask for help

have blessed days as we ride along through 2012 in FAITH AND

for ourselves. We can always use bicycles in any condition,

LOVE. 15

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

Holy Week Services at Asbury First Maundy Thursday April 5 Tenebrae Service, 7:30 p.m. This prayerful service begins with a re-enactment of the Last Supper in Fellowship Hall (or for those who prefer, silent Communion in the Sanctuary), followed by a candlelight presentation in the Sanctuary depicting the betrayal and flight of Jesus’ disciples. The upstairs portion of the service begins in dim light, progressively grows darker, and concludes with a re-enactment of Roman soldiers leading the Christ-figure on a procession of the cross from the high altar to its implantation in front of the church along East Avenue. Good Friday April 6 Informal Holy Communion, 6:00 a.m. In company with the Men’s Prayer Group, all are invited to receive Holy Communion in the Sanctuary. Envisioning the Passion, 12 noon and 7:30 p.m. This service will captivate you with its use of religious art and

meaningful Lenten Scripture readings to heighten your experience of Christ’s ultimate gift to humanity. Accompanied by music for chamber choir, organ, and instrumental soloists. Family Prayer Night, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Come and go as you wish to this family-friendly event: visit prayer stations and take Communion in the Gathering Center throughout the evening. Easter Sunday April 8 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service Held at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 South Goodman St., Rochester, N.Y. 14620. Our own Rev. Phillip Phaneuf has been chosen to preach at this service. 8:30, 10:00*, and 11:00 a.m. Worship Services Our traditional Easter Sunday services will be celebrated with festive vocal and instrumental music on a grand scale, and preaching of the Good News of Christ’s resurrection and redemption of the world. * Brief informal Holy Communion service.

The Visitor: The Newsletter of Asbury First United Methodist Church  

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

The Visitor: The Newsletter of Asbury First United Methodist Church  

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