God, Where are You?

In all their distress he too was distressed.  Isaiah 63:9

When bad things happen, we may never understand the why. God tells us, “For my
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Dr. James Dobson said: “Trying to analyze His [God’s] omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of man.” It is simply not possible. But there is one thing we can be sure of. “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful,” (Psalm 25:10) whether we understand them or not.

When we encounter difficulties, it is easy to jump to conclusions. We may think God is mad at us or He is punishing us. We wonder if God is not blessing us because we have disappointed Him in some way. But throughout the Bible, we see that some of God’s closest friends experienced the darkest nights. Joseph suffered. David suffered. The disciples suffered. Elizabeth suffered. Mary suffered. Martha suffered. Mary (Jesus’ mother) suffered. Paul suffered. Jesus suffered. Each one of these men and women were in the middle of God’s will. The abundant life that Jesus came to give does not come without struggle any more than a butterfly can soar without a struggle from its cocoon. We would never slice open a cocoon and expect to find a butterfly ready to fly. Without the struggle, the butterfly could not grow strong enough to take flight.

Jesus warned us that we would have struggles in this life, and yet struggles always
seem to catch us by surprise. “Consider it all joy,” James said, “when you encounter various trials …” (James 1:2). Notice James said when and not if.

In one beautiful sentence, we catch a glimpse into the heart of God as we go through tough times: “In all their distress he too was distressed,” (Isaiah 63:9). We may not see God’s face during the difficult days of pain, but you can be sure He is there, and many times His face is streaked with tears.

There are times when we may have cried out with King David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” only to discover that He was right there with us all the time. None of us knows what the future holds. Sometimes, we just need to put our hand in God’s and walk around the next corner with Him, even when we don’t understand. In that journey of the unknown, we’re apt to experience moments of sudden glory.

Grace & Peace, Pastor Bob

AS MANY OF YOU ALREADY KNOW, worship and church sponsored small groups have been canceled effective immediately until further notice.
   Even though we cannot gather for worship at this time, the church bills have not stopped. The church is getting by “paycheck to paycheck”, like many of you. We are taking measures to try to weather storm, so we return to worship and continue to serve the community when the situation improves. There is not much in the budget that can be trimmed, as so we need our members to continue to contribute what you can as to tithings and offerings.
Finance information-
   * Monday’s of every week we will collect, record and deposit any pledges, Donations and Loose Funds.                 Please mail to the church at: 1st UMC of Chenango Bridge, PO Box 501, Chenango Bridge, 13745.
    * Bank Accounts and Expenses will be reviewed weekly to ensure Bills are paid in a timely manner.
    * Any financial questions should be directed to David Lewis at 607.727.0250.
    * Search for any potential financial opportunities that will provide additional income to meet the continue          operation expenses through this unknown period.

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Small Groups

No small groups will be meeting at the church due to the corona virus until the ban is lifted. Some groups are meeting online . Please contact your group leader for more information.

Sunday School. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM. Any one willing to volunteer as a sub please email Robin Stolarcyk. Open to all youth pre-k through high school. Please contact Robin Stolarcyk for more information. (Contact the church office for Robin’s email address)
Christian Fellowship Class. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM.  Please join us. Please contact Shirley Prentice for more information.
Pastor’s Study & Prayer Group: Sunday mornings 11:30 AM, Room B6. Everyone is welcome to join. Questions contact Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 or 648-4326. (Meeting online right now contact Pastor Bob for details.)
Youth Group meetings, 1st & 3rd Sunday evening of each month at 6:00- 8:00 PM in the Loft. All youth 5th – 12th Grade are invited to attend. Please contact: President: Mason Stolarcyk, or Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 for more information.
Unity Circle: Ladies Group, 2nd Monday of every month 11:00 AM. All ladies are invited to join. Contact Bev Hamm for more information. (Some dates the ladies have luncheon’s instead so check with Bev if you are interested in joining.) No meetings in January, February, July & August.
Ladies Monday Night Book Study: Monday evenings 6:30-7:30, Room B4 (Disciple Room). All ladies are welcome! Contact Karen MacKenzie if interested. These ladies do not meet for the summer. They will resume in the fall. Please contact Karen for more information.
Rachel Circle: Ladies Group: 3rd Tuesday of every month 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM in the Frazer Room (B18). All ladies are invited to join. No Meetings in July & August. Contact Marita Root  for more information.
Knitting for the Lord: Tuesday, evenings, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, Room B2. Prayer shawls are available for those in need. Please contact Sue or Lynne if you know of someone in need. Contact Sue Alcott or Lynne Masland for more information & for summer meeting places & times. 
Choir: Thursdays 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to join. Contact Carla Fako for more information. No meetings after memorial day for the summer.
Note: If you need contact information for any of the leaders above, please contact the church office at or 607-648-4339

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Missions Updates:

Neighbor Helping Neighbor:  Good Deeds and the Good News!   Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  – 2 Corinthians 9:7

With many in-person outreaches cancelled, we have some different opportunities:

  • The 4th Wednesday of the month some parishioners would go to the Whitney Avenue Rescue Mission to prepare a meal and fellowship with the clients.  That in-person event has been suspended, so we have taken a new approach.  We have a to go meal for the 5 PM dinner.  The men received a letter that we will be continuing the pizzas, and that at 5 PM on the 4th Wednesday, we will be remote praying specifically for them and the staff as they sit down to enjoy the  meal. We wanted to know if there are any parishioners that would like to take a month to sponsor the ONE dinner for the 4th Wednesday.  We are only one of three volunteer groups that are supporting the Rescue Mission with a meal. The cost is approximately $100.  If you are interested in supplying a dinner, please call Donna James at 607-648-7934 and she will give you the details.
  • For the past several years, we have collected food at our Sunday Service to be donated to a local food pantry.  The 4th Sunday of July, we did a Virtual Food Collection. 110 pounds of food  and a $10 donation was collected from 11 families!  Thank you all!     
  • American Red Cross Blood Drive was held at the Church Fellowship Hall on July 30. Those donated blood with an appointment will receive FREE antibody testing for COVID- 19.    
  • Staying connected to the Lord and each other:Receive a phone call from a church volunteer.  We also have volunteers willing to take people to the doctor’s appointments or pick up groceries.  Want to stay connected?  There are updated directories available in hard copy or by eMail.  Does anyone need a Daily Devotion book or a Bible?  Please let the church office know 648-4339. 

Blessings- Wes and Karen MacKenzie, Mission Leaders (845-729-0110)

August Mission: CHOW.  The Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse  through its network of nearly 100 partner agencies (pantries, community meals and non-profit organizations), distributes over 175,000 pounds of food each month. We traditionally have donated food to CHOW or a partner agency on the 4th Sunday of each month.  Please write CHOW on the memo line of your check.

The Upper Room Devotional is also available on the internet. Here is a link to the Upper Room devotional: or you may call :

  • If you do not pay for long distance (most cell phone plans include long distance) you can call 1.615.212.2013
  • If you do pay for long distance calls, please call 1.877.600.7218

Other online devotionals that you may be interested in are Our Daily Bread which you may get to from this link: Just click on the today’s devotional & it will take you to it. It will also read it to you if you would prefer that. Also Girl Friends in God which you may access at this link: You may also sign up & have both of these emailed to you.

Maines Give Back Program Fundraiser: For every twenty (20) dollars spent, our church receives $1.00. Obtain your Maines membership card application from the church secretary Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 1 PM or email: or from this website under the forms section. You may also apply directly at Maines store. If you do this please give us your name so that we may add you to our list. Thank you!

Knitting for the Lord has prayer shawls & prayer blankets available for those in need please contact Sue Alcott or Lynne Masland if you know of someone in need. 

Knitting for the Lord is once again accepting machine washable yarn. Thank you for all of your help & support in our missions.

Fund Raiser for First United Methodist Church of Chenango Bridge.  Present this advertisement (below) and 10% of all work done will be donated to the church. For all questions and appointments please contact Quality Steam Cleaning. (You may also find this coupon in the back of the church or contact the church office.

For all questions or appointments contact Quality Steam Cleaning.

If you drop off items to the CRC room please leave your name & contact information for the ladies. Thank you for your help & assistance

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