Category Archives: Church

Hope Fest comes to Fulton War Memorial June 7-9

A special event is coming to the Fulton War Memorial June 7, 8 and 9.

Hope Fest is an outreach presented by Christian churches throughout Oswego County that have come together in unity to provide opportunities for people to hear and see the gospel through music, messages, prayer and personal stories.

“The vision for Hope Fest is to bring the message of hope, joy, love and peace to so many in our area who are suffering with burdens of addiction, sickness, unemployment, abuse, and despair,” said John Palm, one of the founders of Hope Fest. “With Jesus Christ alive and active in peoples’ hearts and lives, we’ll see lives changed in powerful ways that will bless our entire community.”

Doors open nightly at 5 p.m. and the event gets under way at 7 pm.

Palm and his wife of 50 years, Mary Lou, were drawn to Oswego County in early 2012 after serving as missionaries to Australia.

“I was given a vision for ‘Oswego’ and we didn’t even know what or where ‘Oswego’ was,” Palm said. “We looked it up on a map, and we started writing letters to the churches in the Oswego area.”

The pastors from River of Life Assembly of God in Fulton and Martville Assembly of God in Martville both wrote back to the Palms.

Before long, the couple journeyed around the world to upstate New York because the vision that God shared with them was one for revival – something that these two churches as well as many others, have been praying for.

“We believe that revival is very close, and that it will be like nothing that has ever happened before in this area,” Palm said. “We’re very excited and we want to share what God has done already in so many lives.”

Palm will be the evangelist for two nights during Hope Fest, and his son, Joe Palm, who is a church pastor in Orlando, Fla., will fill that role on the remaining evening.

The other guest speaker is Julio Roque, former drug addict and gang member who now pastors Lighthouse Christian Center in Baltimore, Md, which is the Palms’ home church.

“There will be live music each night featuring worship bands from around Central New York,” according to Laurie Ludlow, event director for Hope Fest.

Also, shuttle bus service will be provided within the City of Fulton during each night of Hope Fest.

Those interested may check the event’s web site at for the schedule of stops and times, as well as more information about the event in general.

People who are seeking prayer for special needs, such as physical healing, restoration of broken relationships, freedom from addictions, will have the opportunity to receive prayer each night of Hope Fest, Palm stated.

“Mary Lou and I have seen many miraculous healings in our 40 years of ministry,” he noted. “We fully believe and expect to see more of them during Hope Fest.”

Local residents will be sharing personal testimonies during this event including Andy Henderson, who has been managing editor of The Valley News in Fulton for the past 13 years; and Norman “Jay” Foster, Fifth Ward councilor for the City of Fulton.

“We are very blessed to be able to present this event in Fulton,” Ludlow stated. “We are grateful to the many churches, businesses and individuals who are providing prayer, donations, and volunteer support. We look forward to seeing the Fulton War Memorial filled to overflowing each night of Hope Fest 2013.”

Hope Fest 2013 is a free community event being presented by the Fulton Evangelism Committee under the financial oversight of River of Life Assembly of God, 815 Oneida Street, Fulton, NY 13069.

Light In The Darkness: April 3, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” – John 14:1-3

We have mourned through what we now call, Good Friday, though it was anything but that for those who watched Jesus suffer and die on the cross. And we have celebrated His resurrection, though undoubtedly without the same level of incredulous emotion experienced by those who witnessed that day.

Nevertheless, we are among those of whom Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).

He told his disciples that “many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:17). There are many who would like to have been there during those dark and then wonderful days but there is much to be said for coming after, as well.

We have the testimony of those who witnessed those momentous events first hand and benefit from all their experiences. Furthermore, Jesus calls those of us who would come after and believe their testimony, “blessed.”

In scripture the word, blessed, means to be “happy, fortunate, and to be envied” (Amplified Bible). That is you, dear believer. Oh, the pagans do not consider you to be happy or fortunate and they certainly do not envy you, but who are they to know?

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Light in the Darkness: March 27, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14

God instructed Moses to cast a bronze serpent and raise it high above the camp so that anyone bitten by a poisonous snake could stare at it and be healed.

He gave Noah a specific blueprint and told him to build an ark. He laid out a strange battle plan for Joshua to take Jericho and He told Gideon to pare his army down to a mere 300 men before going into battle.

Can you imagine any of those men responding, “Thank you, Lord. I believe you. I have faith in you” and not doing just as God had instructed? Of course not.

True faith has always been accompanied by obedience. This is precisely what James means in the above verse. Faith that is not accompanied by obedience is not faith at all. James says that there is no life, it is dead.

The problem many have with this statement in James stems from misunderstanding the word, works. Martin Luther, coming from a ‘works for salvation’ background was so thrown by the word that he concluded the book of James did not even belong in the Canon of scripture. Many have been confused about this ever since.

After all, are we not told in Ephesians that we are saved by grace and “not by works”?  So, are works important or aren’t they?

The answer is simple when we understand that the writer of the Ephesians and James are talking about two different kinds of works, or more accurately, works which stem from two different motivations within us.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397


Fulton Cross Walk to be held

The Fulton Good Friday Cross Walk will be held Friday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton. Rev. Mark Kimpland will lead in the opening of the walk. Walkers will take turns carrying a large wooden cross in the downtown section of the City of Fulton.

The Fulton Good Friday Cross Walk will be held Friday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton.

Rev. Mark Kimpland will lead in the opening of the walk. Walkers will take turns carrying a large wooden cross in the downtown section of the City of Fulton.

A total of ten stations of the cross will be observed.  Each station will include scripture, prayer and the singing of a hymn.

The cross walk will conclude about noon at its final destination, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St.

Everyone who has taken part in the walk and has provided assistance to walkers will be welcomed to a soup and bread lunch provided by the board of deacons of First United Church. There is no cost for the luncheon.

The Cross Walk is sponsored annually by the Greater Fulton Area Council of Christian Churches. It is comprised of those member congregations who support ecumenical programs that include the annual Michaud Memorial Service, the Community Thanksgiving Worship service, and the annual CROP WALK, which raises funds for world hunger, and for local food pantries.

Those seeking further information may call Rev. David Nethercott at 592-2707.

Churches plan Easter services

by Andrew Henderson

Local churches are planning their Passion Week and Easter services.

State Street United Methodist Church will be holding several services.

A Palm Sunday service will be held tomorrow, March 24 at 11 a.m.

From March 25 through March 27, there will be prayer and praise services at 7 p.m.

Maundy Thursday, March 28, there will be a traditional Tenebrae service with communion and an optional foot washing at 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Methodist church.

March 30 at 7 p.m., there will be a prayer and praise service.

March 31, the Easter service will be at 11 a.m.

The congregation at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church will be holding a Good Friday service at 6 p.m. March 29.

“We will gather to remember the terrible sacrifice that was required in order to secure our redemption,” said Pastor David Grey. “For those who lived through that day it was a day of fear, of great disappointment and of unspeakable horror. We today call that Friday, “good” only in hindsight, because we know what was accomplished on that day.”

The church will also hold an Easter Sunrise Service March 31 at 7 a.m.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397 

Tri-County Singers to perform at local churches

Pictured is a recent rehearsal at the West Baptist Church in Oswego, with Michelle Pawlenko directing.
Pictured is a recent rehearsal at the West Baptist Church in Oswego, with Michelle Pawlenko directing.

The Tri-County Singers will be presenting “Upon This Rock” by Pepper Choplin at various local churches during this Easter season.

This cantata is a touching presentation of the Easter experience through the eyes of Peter. The combination of narration and music tell a story of doubt, passion, failure, forgiveness and faith through the use of both new and traditional Easter melodies.

The Cantata is presented free of charge, although an offering will be taken to defray costs of music and supplies.

The group is led by director Michelle Pawlenko, with her mother Terry Pawlenko assisting and accompanying on the piano.

Soloists this season include Dave Eamer, Michelle Canfield, Mike Pawlenko and Lonny Drake.

Performances are scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hannibal Methodist Church; Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. at West Baptist Church in Oswego; Saturday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Sterling Valley Community Church; and Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. at Red Creek Westbury UMC.

The entire performance is just under an hour in length. The Tri-County Singers is a variable collection of over two dozen Christian musicians from Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties.

Light In The Darkness: March 6, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.” — Hebrews 11:7

Noah believed God when he was told of things that had never happened before and then did everything exactly as God instructed him. He chose to trust God rather than his experience.

He believed God even though it could not be confirmed by anything that he could see around him. He did not permit his own reason or intellect to trump what God had said. He simply believed and obeyed.

As a result, he, “received the righteousness that comes by faith.” Noah is an example of how any of us are declared righteous by God today. It is never by the works that we do. Though it may seem a fine line, Noah was not  declared righteous because he built the ark.

He was declared righteous because he believed God had said to him and building the ark was simply the natural expression of that belief.

Noah is an example of what James tells us in the New Testament when he says that faith and works cannot be separated.

Had Noah claimed to believe God but gone about his normal life without ever building an ark, he would have shown that he did not truly believe.

It is the same for us today.  True faith is demonstrated by the way we live. The one who has faith will “walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6).

Our obedience to what we hear from heaven proves that we truly believe and is the faith that leads to God’s declaring us righteousness.

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  (I John 2:2-4).

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Anti-bullying event at First United Church

Saturday, March 2, starting at 5 p.m. with a light supper, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St.,, Fulton, will host a recently released movie on the issue of bullying.

Following the movie, a discussion will be held, concluding by 8 p.m. Featured guests will include Bill Lynch, superintendant of Fulton schools, and other administrators who will be able to speak about “Dignity for All Students,” an active effort to keep schools safe for all children and youth.

Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward is also expected to attend along with other community representatives.

Copyright restrictions do not allow First United to publicize the title of the movie or the leading characters. Here, however, is a brief description from columnist Bob Mondello: “(This movie) is a wrenching, potentially transformative look at an epidemic of adolescent cruelty and adult paralysis in the nation’s public schools. (It) weaves together five different stories from different parts of America’s heartland. Two are about the grieving families of boys who’ve committed suicide – a 17 year-old in Georgia, and an 11 year-old in Oklahoma City. The rest are profiles of kids still toughing it out – a Mississippi teenager who has been jailed after pulling a gun on the kids who made her life a living hell, a lesbian high-schooler who is tormented not just by other students but by a teacher as well.”

There is no charge for the evening; donations for the meal will be accepted. Those attending are asked to RSVP by e-mailing or calling 592-2707 by Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Child care will be provided upon request. Parents are advised that this unrated film may not be suitable for children.