News

  • Joint Service of Lament

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    Published: May 18, 2022

    Sunday, May 22, 3 pm, Baber AME Church
    (550 Meigs Street, Rochester, NY 14607)

    “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
    How long will you hide your face from me? 

    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

    and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

    How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”
    — Psalm 13:1-2


    The shooting deaths over the weekend of ten Black people in Buffalo by a young white supremacist should shock us. We should be shocked that it happened at all, that it happened so close to home, that it was so easy to carry out.

    It should shock us, but it doesn’t. 

    We have grown so accustomed to the news of mass shootings that all we need is the location, the body count, and the targeted group and we can fill in the rest—ready to begin again that inevitable cycle of outrage and apathy. After four hundred years of rape, torture, and oppression of Black people by white people, we are not even surprised that it was motivated by sinful and erroneous notions of Black inferiority and white “replacement”—a theory espoused and dignified by online trolls and depraved media personalities. 

    We mourn the loss of life, the scourge of white supremacy, and the feeling of apathy and helplessness that too quickly sets in following these atrocities. While it might be tempting jump to conversations about healing, to do so risks ignoring the very real pain and anger that is still growing in so many, particularly in our siblings of color.

    Fortunately, within our faith tradition we have a shield against apathy—an act of grief and anger that is designed to help us feel the moment faithfully. We call it lament. 

    Make no mistake, this is a moment for lament.

    To that end, we are joining with our Pan-Methodist siblings for a special Joint Service of Lament on Sunday, May 22 at 3 pm to be hosted by Baber AME. We invite you to join us. 

    If you can’t be there, we ask that you pray for peace, for justifiable outrage, and for earnest and honest lament in the wake of undeniable evil. May it someday be unimaginable. May we, by God’s grace, find our way to a world in which this kind of act would be shocking again.

    In Christ,
    Stephen

  • Roger Wilhelm Memorial Service Archive Video

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    Published: May 16, 2022

    The life of Asbury First's former Director of Music Roger Wilhelm, who passed away in 2021, was celebrated at a memorial service on Saturday, May 14. The service included a massed choir of current and former singers from Asbury First, the Rochester Oratorio Society, and Madrigalia. To view the full service, please click the link below.

    Roger Wilhelm Memorial Service

  • Welcome Paula Dugan to Hospitality at Asbury First!

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    Published: May 13, 2022

    In addition to her role as the Director of Children’s Ministries, we are pleased to announce that Paula Dugan will now oversee hospitality ministries at Asbury First. Paula’s gifts and graces naturally lend themselves to this new aspect of her ministry among us. For more than a year, of her own volition, Paula has been coming to nearly every memorial service and special event to make sure that people feel welcome at Asbury First. As the Director of Children’s Ministry and Hospitality, Paula will not only continue to work with our children, but will work with our greeters, ushers, and other areas of hospitality to make sure that everyone feels welcome at Asbury First. Join us in celebrating this new aspect of her ministry.

  • Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker to be our Guest Preacher on Confirmation Sunday

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    Published: May 13, 2022

    Sunday, May 22

    We are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker as our guest preacher for Confirmation Sunday on May 22. Dr. Stoker is currently the Senior Minister of the First United Methodist Church of Dallas and soon-to-be Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer for the Thanks-Giving Foundation (thanksgiving.org). His formidable leadership skills and passion for equality combined with his research in practical theology and systems theory give Dr. Stoker a unique and clarion voice in the areas of social justice, advocacy, community outreach, and racial reconciliation. In addition to preaching on Sunday, he will be leading a family systems workshop for our staff on Monday, May 23.

  • Church-wide Carnival and Talent Show

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    Published: May 13, 2022

    Sunday, June 12

    Join us for our churchwide carnival and talent show immediately following the 11 am service on Youth Sunday, June 12! It's the perfect way to start the Summer with hot dogs, inflatable bounce house, talent show and more. The carnival is free to all. Contact Paula Dugan at pdugan@asburyfirst.org to participate in the talent show. 

  • Columbarium Information Session

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    Published: May 13, 2022

    Wednesday, June 8, 5-6 pm, Gathering Center
    Sunday, June 12, 12:15 pm, Fellowship Hall

    Asbury First is a place of worship, community and celebration of life from baptism to confirmation, marriage and memorial services. Members of the congregation have expressed an interest in having a columbarium at Asbury First for many years. If you are interested in knowing more about how Asbury First can be your final resting place, please join us for one (or both) of the information sessions listed above.

    If you have questions or would like more information, please call the Church Office at 585-271-1050 or email columbarium@asburyfirst.org.  

  • Senior Minister to take Renewal Leave this Summer

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    Published: May 12, 2022

    On behalf of the Governance Board, we are pleased to share that the Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady has been afforded the opportunity to take a renewal leave from May 28th to September 6th, 2022. This leave can be understood as a brief sabbatical from ministry at Asbury First. Click here to see the full announcement that went out to the congregation on May 11. With a rested and renewed Senior Minister, we look forward to the Fall and believe the best is yet to come for Asbury First.

  • Did You Miss Children's Sunday?

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    Published: May 6, 2022

    Visit asburyfirst.org/archive or click here to watch the play. 

    Did you miss out on Children's Sunday? We are proud of the hard work the children put into the service with the presentation of a dramatic interpretation of Charlie Mackesy's book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Due to permissions from the author, you can only access Children's Sunday from our worship archive.

  • Summer Worship 2022

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    Published: May 6, 2022

    Warmer days are here again! Join us for worship this summer starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend! We will return to outdoor worship at 9 am (excluding Sunday, August 7), and will continue the 11 am service in-person and livestreamed.

    Summer Worship Services May 29–September 4:

    • 9 am — In-Person Outdoor
      • (excluding August 7)
    • 11 am — In-Person and Livestream
  • Youth Bowling at L&M Lanes

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    Published: May 3, 2022

    Saturday, May 7, 5–7 pm, L&M Lanes

    We have reserved all of the bowling lanes at L&M Lanes on Saturday, May 7 from 5-7 pm. The six lanes upstairs have been reserved for our youth, and the six lanes downstairs have been reserved for parents (and siblings). Our hope is to provide a time of fellowship for both our youth and parents. The pandemic has kept many of us apart for too long, and we hope this will be an opportunity to simply gather together to re-engage and have some fun—and maybe even set a new high score for our youth group "Golden Pin" award.
    The bowling is free for everyone, but you may want to bring money for snacks and drinks (my family loves their wings and mozzerella sticks!). 
    This event is open to all youth and families, so it is a great opportunity to introduce a friend or new family to our community.