Category Archives: Church

Light In The Darkness: August 1, 2012

by Pastor David Gray

“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” — John 20:31

The most elemental definition of Biblical faith is “Believing what God says.” We find this in Genesis when God says that Abraham “believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

However, Scripture makes it clear that there is much more to the word believe than the mere acknowledgment that something is true.

In 1 John, we read that there are certain characteristics that mark those who truly believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ. Together, they help us understand what the Bible means when it uses the word. They are helpful in examining ourselves to see whether we are truly in the faith. They also serve as a warning to those who say that they believe but continue to live in their old pattern.

The first is that those who are born of God keep his commandments. “We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”

Second, those who are born of God walk as Christ walked. “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way he walked.”

Third, those who are born of God love others. “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”

Fourth, those who are born of God don’t love the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Light In The Darkness: July 25, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” –  John Wesley

While this admonition is not a direct quote from Scripture, it certainly captures its very heart and soul. God, who is the only one who is good (Mark 10:18), gives us life that we may express that same goodness to our fellow man.

That is precisely what more than a dozen teens from the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, along with nearly 500 others from ten different states, did two weeks ago when they gathered in Broadalbin, N.Y. for REACH Work Camp.

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Southwest Oswego UMC to host summer events

Southwest Oswego United Methodist Church is hosting several free community events this summer.

The Summer Outdoor Concert Series will once again be held Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.

Refreshments are served at all concerts. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs.

Scheduled to perform are:

• July 24 — Lost and Found;

• July 31 — Hannibal Community; Brass Ensemble; and

• Aug. 7 — Bonnie B. Good.

Additional concerts may be added.

The church Vacation Bible School will be held from July 23-26 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The “Veggie Tales” series will be featured along with crafts, snacks and a mission project for the support of flood relief efforts in New York State.

A free Community Lunch will be held Saturday, Aug. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sizzle steak, salt potatoes, corn on the cob, watermelon and beverage will be available.

A Clothing Give-Away will be held Friday, Aug. 17. This will be a one day only event this year with two sessions: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

A Coupon Swap & Drop is held every Thursday at 1 p.m. Drop off and exchange coupons. Unused/expired coupons are sent to the military to use at their facilities.

The church is located at 7721 N.Y.S. Rte. 104. More information is also available at www.swoswegoumc.org.

Summer Arts Explosion! to begin Tuesday

Summer Arts Explosion! at the Open Doors Neighborhood Center at First United Church of Fulton will be held Tuesday, July 24 through Thursday, July 26.

The event will provide opportunities for kids to learn new skills and make new friends.

“Our three day workshops are designed to give kids a chance to learn some new things and make friends,” Pastor David Nethercott. “We expect it to be a wonderful experience.”

Arts Explosion will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. each evening at the church, which is located at 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

There is a small fee for the week but scholarships are available.

Children may register at the door. It is open to children ages 5-12.

The three days of workshops will feature hands-on training in drama, art, music, and creative writing. There are special activities for children ages five and six.

Summer Arts Explosion! is sponsored by the Children & Families team at the Open Doors Neighborhood Center and is aimed at children and families living in the city’s Fifth and Sixth wards, but is open to all children.

“When we began the Open Doors Neighborhood Center a year ago, our hope was programs to people who might not otherwise have access to them,” said Pastor Nethercott. “We believe the Arts Explosion does just that.”

ODNC will present an outdoor movie “Dolphin Tale” Friday, Aug. 17 at 8:30 p.m. on the church lawn.  It is a free event.

Light In The Darkness: July 18, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” – Hebrews 11:24

Was Moses simply a terrible ingrate? After all, it was none other than Pharaoh’s daughter who found and saved him.

It was she who protected him from her own father after he had ordered that all Hebrew baby boys be put to death. It was she who found a wet nurse to care for him and raised him as her very own, giving him all the best education and training the great Egyptian culture had to offer.

Furthermore, she did so openly and without reservation so that everyone in Egypt, including Pharaoh himself, knew that Moses was her son.

As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter in their matriarchal society, he was heir to the kingdom. She took Moses in and raised him and yet he refused to be known as her son. Why? It was not because Moses was ungrateful. It was because of the family identification. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter precisely because she was Pharaoh’s daughter.

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

First United Church of Fulton to hold art workshops for children

The Open Doors Neighborhood Center at First United Church of Fulton will present “Summer Arts Explosion!” — a three-day workshop for children ages 5-12 Tuesday, July 24 through Thursday, July 26.

The church is located at 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

The three days of workshops will run from 6 until 8 p.m. each evening and will feature hands-on training in drama, art, music, and creative writing.

There are special activities for children ages five and six.

On-site registration is welcome. Those seeking more information may call 592-2707.

Summer Arts Explosion! is sponsored by the Children & Families team at the Open Doors Neighborhood Center and is aimed at children and families living in the city’s Fifth and Sixth wards, but is open to all children.

“The three day workshops will have a day camp atmosphere for the children,” said Rev. David Nethercott, pastor of First United Church of Fulton. “The children will have several hands on opportunities to explore drama, music, and the arts in general in ways they may have never experienced it before.” There is a fee per child for the three-day event, but  scholarships are available.

The Open Doors Neighborhood Center, which has teams that focus on families as well as older adults, opened in October of 2011 in hopes of offering the community a safe place to gather

to make friends and learn new things.

Carol Dexter, president of the ODNC board, explained that the center continues to work with neighbors and school groups to find out the best ways to meet the needs of the neighborhood and community.

The center will present the outdoor movie, “Dolphin Tale,” Friday, Aug. 17 at 8:30 p.m. on the church lawn. Admission to the movie is free.

Rev. J. Jeffrey Spurling has accepted the position to serve as senior pastor at the Fulton Alliance Church. Spurling is pictured with his wife, Karen, and their two children, Jeffrey, 8, and Jasmine, 5.

New pastor named at Fulton Alliance

Rev. J. Jeffrey Spurling has accepted the position to serve as senior pastor at the Fulton Alliance Church. Spurling is pictured with his wife, Karen, and their two children, Jeffrey, 8, and Jasmine, 5.

Rev. J. Jeffrey Spurling has accepted the position to serve as senior pastor at the Fulton Alliance Church.

Spurling and his wife, Karen, and their two children, Jeffrey, 8, and Jasmine, 5, plan are settling into the South Pollard parsonage in time to emcee the church’s summer Day Camp. His preaching schedule begins July 29.

Having graduated from Nyack College and obtaining his master’s degree at Columbia Bible College, he pastored the Neighborhood Church in Gainesville, Fla., served as C&MA International Worker,  and served four years as administrative pastor with the International Church in Asuncion, Paraguay.

The past two years he has been on staff with Nyack and Houghton Colleges.

In addition to delivering Biblical life application preaching, he has a “passion for leadership development, small group ministries, mentoring, and community outreach,” church officials said.

Spurling is the eighth pastor of Fulton Alliance  Church following Rev. Dr. Marc Haynes (1997-2011), Rev. John Soper (1992 – 1996), Rev. Glenn Thomas (1983 -1992),  Rev. John Fogal (1971-1982), Rev. George Hall (1966-1970), Rev. James Walls (1960-1966), and Rev. George Richter (1955-1959).

The Fulton Alliance Church is located at 1044 N.Y.S. Rte. 48, Fulton, just south of the city line.

Light In The Darkness: July 11, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” — Joshua 24:15

One of the most important things you will do in life is to learn which things you can control and which things you cannot and then to consistently choose to address those that you can from the perspective of the Lord’s precepts.  Life is made up of choices, in fact, that’s what life is — a constant series of choices we make that lead us in one direction or another and those choices in turn, mold us. Choosing the right things will always mean saying “no” to  something else.

This is true in the physical world around us and it is true in the spiritual realm. Every day we choose for ourselves whom we will serve…light or darkness, sin or righteousness, life or death, heaven or hell. We are constantly choosing between the two.

Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries, says, “The life of faith is a journey with God that begins the moment we trust Christ. It is  about learning to give up control of those things we never really controlled in the first place.”

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397