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PCUMC Art Class Is Bringing May Flowers 

May 22, 2019 - Lori Jagow

Watercolors are one of many fellowship groups at PCUMC. All of our fellowship groups fulfill our mission of staying connected and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, thereby growing through relationships with others.

Art Instructor Virginia Kelly says, “We all feel grateful for PCUMC for providing a secure and comfortable place to gather. This church is truly a sanctuary and welcomes us with open arms each time we come.”

I posed this question: how have you been spiritually uplifted by the watercolor classes? Their answers were not just inspiring, but also affirm the need for art to make our lives complete. Some comments received were:

“When we create art, in this case,…

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An Unexpected Blessing

May 1, 2019 - Chet Dombrowski

Recently, on a Monday afternoon in December, I helped prepare meals in our Pendleton Church kitchen. The task completed, we packed our cars and left for downtown Buffalo to put the meals into the hands of the homeless. I had previously participated in another homeless ministry and was anxious to do so again. So this should be easy, or so I thought.

Upon reaching our destination, the scene was familiar, so setting up and beginning the distribution went very routinely. What followed was not. The emotions I began to feel hit hard and fast. I was once again caught up in the emotions and hurt I saw in the faces of those I was…

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A Change of Plans

March 27, 2019 - Cindy Smist

Did you ever notice how God has a way of changing our plans? In July of 2017, we were on our second day of mucking out flooded basements in Central New York State, when our afternoon job was abruptly canceled. I was working as part of a United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Early Response Team (ERT), a group of trained volunteers who seek to help victims recover after a disaster. I could not have imagined how God was going to turn the tables on me during this mission through one of the victims we served.

A flash flood had occurred several days before our arrival, destroying seventeen homes and leaving 247 with major damage. Surprisingly, our top priority in disaster recovery…

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One Wednesday a year, sometime in February or March, you notice someone at work, school, or elsewhere with a smudge on her forehead. It looks as if she missed a spot when washing. Then you see another who looks as though he needs to glance in the mirror. By the time you see the third, you realize it is Ash Wednesday and these passersby must have received the imposition of ashes.

This practice we use to mark the first day of Lent may seem odd. People go to church mid-week to have a cleric place dirt on their foreheads.

In the early days of the church, it was even more dramatic. Pastors did not dip their thumbs into the ashes to draw…

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What Is Lent?

March 3, 2019 - Pendleton Center Church

Lent begins March 6

Lent is a season of the church when Christians are encouraged to focus more seriously on our faith. Fasting, reading scripture, prayer and examining our ethical life are regular practices we focus on more during Lent. It is based in the number forty. Which includes the forty days it rained for Noah, the forty years the Israelites spent in the desert, and the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and goes through the Saturday before Easter. A clever person will discover that is a period of 46 days. However, since Sundays are days of celebration of the Lord’s resurrection, they do…

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God Still Works in Mysterious Ways

February 27, 2019 - Laurie McGinn

I couldn’t believe my ears. “You want me to what?” I responded when Lori, our Christian Education Director, asked me if I’d be interested in writing curriculum for and teaching an outer space-themed Sunday School class for February. She thought I’d be the perfect person for it because of my love for the Bible and interests in writing and science fiction. Her request intrigued me, but while I had taught a few adult Bible studies, I never taught children before. She advised me that I’d only have to teach the same thing each week since I’d have a different age group each week over four weeks. Okay, I thought, I could probably manage that.

“So, what’s the topic?” I asked.

“Abraham and…

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Some things change, some remain the same

February 1, 2019 - Pastor Tom Kraft

After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD’s anger. -Judges 2:10-12

“Some things change, some remain the same. Which are which, and why?”

That’s a quote from one of my seminary professors that sums up in one question the changes we face in life. We just started studying the book of Judges on Wednesday night. The…

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Divine Intervention

January 10, 2019 - Cindy Smist, Lori Jagow

There is a time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
- Ecclesiastes 3:7

As I sat at the kitchen table, my eyes zoned out on the quilted pattern of a Celtic cross hanging on my refrigerator. It seemed like only yesterday my son drew it. Now it is one of only a few tangible items I have left to cherish.  Our 24-year-old son, Jeremy, died in a car accident in 2005. Consumed with unanswered questions of untimely death and shattered dreams of what will never be, I had managed to push myself to make a pattern of his cross and quilt it.

After my son’s death, I…

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Divorce, Grief, And Loss During The Holidays

November 27, 2018 - Lori Jagow

For those newly divorced, the holidays can be the most difficult time of the year. The pain and loss can be almost unbearable. The family that you married into is no longer a part of your holidays. The children may be staying with your ex-spouse and finances can be greatly reduced. Suddenly you find that life as you once knew it is now shattered, like a fragile glass ornament, and the thought of trying to piece it back together seems terribly overwhelming.

Divorce is a very real and serious loss. It changes your entire life, like the death of a loved one. When there is the death of a spouse,…

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A Reason To Give Thanks

November 20, 2018 - Lori Jagow

“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” -Billy Graham 

It was early spring and with an already busy schedule, I promised a friend I would help teach a domestic skills class for a women's program in Niagara County. It would begin in the fall. But there were preparations to make for the Disciple 1 Bible study, the prison ministry, and a homeless ministry, just to name a few. I began to have second thoughts of overbooking myself. I agreed to help only until a replacement could be found.

Although I loved working with the women, I was consumed with so many other things that needed my attention. Occasionally checking in with my friend…

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