The Mother’s Day presentation of Mama Emile celebrated a lady who was never a "mother in the true sense," but became "Mama Emile" to the many she taught and worked with in the Congo as a missionary from West Henrietta Baptist Church.
Eighteen readers told the story of Emily's life as she wrote it in poems and letters across six decades. The Readers’ Theater presented the story of Emily Keyes’ life in the years before and during her service as a missionary in Africa. Two soloists and organist, Edo Frenkel participated, and the Program Narrator was Dan Scurlock. Guest readers Martha Keyes and Susan Deer are the nieces of the late Emily Keyes and Rev. and Mrs. Donald Deer, who served together in Vanga, Congo, in 1960. A book compiled by our Historian was condensed to construct the program. Emily, the poet was presented in her 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's. Round-robin letters to and from her dear friends, Nan & Nellie were read from each of the decades.
When Emily returned to Henrietta upon retirement, she devoted many, many hours to serving others in our community through the FISH/RHAFT organization as a driver and dispatcher.
Order Emily: A missionary's life or view the Mama Emile video
Join us on Sunday, May 10 to experience this missionary's life through her own words. Emily was a humble, quiet, dedicated, intelligent lady who heard the call to the mission field in her teens. This service will acquaint the congregation with an Emily few of us really knew--a real inspiration! She was evacuated in 1960 from the Congo for her safety. Come hear more......
A musical remembrance will mark the first anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. C. David Hess. The event will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the church. David, the church’s longest serving pastor, died at 64 after a brief battle with advanced lung cancer. A talented musician himself, David directed the church choir and was an active member of the Rochester Eastman Chorus. The church’s new choir director, Edo Frenkel, new church organist Oliver Hagen, and cellist Alexa Ciciretti will perform. All three are graduate students at Eastman School of Music
Anyone wishing will have an opportunity to share a memory of David. A sign-up sheet to do so is in the Fellowship Hall to reserve speaking time and to help streamline the service, but no one should feel silenced by a failure to sign up. Beloved by his congregation, David gave them one last gift in his dying days as he emailed messages of courage, faith, and humor from his Wilmot Cancer Center bed. Those emails and a transcription of David’s final sermon, “Dealing with Uncertainty,” will be available in a magazine format for a $5 contribution at the remembrance. CDs of his sermons will also be available for a free will offering.
The following day, Ginny Chase will make pulled pork sandwiches with David’s famous barbecue sauce for Sunday coffee hour following church. Please use this first weekend in March to remember and honor David and to move into the future still loved by and loving him.
Members enjoyed a potluck dinner before the annual meeting held Sunday, Jan. 18. The congregation elected new officers and board members and approved a 2015 budget that allocated 16 percent for outreach and 17 percent for worship and education.
We held an old-fashioned roll call meeting Saturday, Jan. 17, as part of our ongoing bicentennial celebration. In the past, the church annual meeting was an all-day affair that started with attendance. As the roll was called, each person stood to testify, pray, read a scripture, or request a hymn. Absent members sent letters. Once the roll call was completed, the congregation shared dinner and then met for the afternoon business meeting.
We acknowledged our ancestors’ superior stamina and held our reenactment the day before the 2015 annual meeting. We started with lunch – and ended with the roll call that took an hour and a half to complete. Other concessions to the 21st century: Snowbirds sent email messages, not letters, and we read from the church directory, not its aging, heavy roll book.