Palm Sunday Cantata 2021 –
A Premiere Performance, Virtually!
“Healing Power: A Musical Celebration” will feature Pioneer Area musicians coming together to lift up the healing power of Jesus in our midst. In these extraordinary times, we hope to inspire healing through love, music, and community. In lieu of our annual Palm Sunday Cantata, we will present this Premiere Performance at 3:00 p.m. on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Available on both Facebook and YouTube, this promises to be a wonderful start to Holy Week. Stay tuned for details!
Easter Basket Food Collection
In an effort to continue to support local food pantries, Arcade UCC will be collecting food for the Arcade Area (PAC) food pantry and the Great Valley food pantry for the upcoming Easter season. The Outreach Committee suggested that we fill “Easter baskets” with our non-perishable food donations. You can fill your own basket or pick up a basket from the church to fill. On March 23 and March 25 from 10am-12pm both days, you can stop by the church to see Sheila or Jamey to pick up a basket to fill and/or to drop off your filled basket donation. Both food pantries are in need of cereal and canned goods. Please have all donations in before Easter Sunday, April 4. We thank you in advance for your help with this important mission!
Zoom Book Study with Pastor Josh
Pastor Josh will be starting up another Zoom Book Study on Wednesdays beginning April 7 which will be held at 6pm. The book will be Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, by Rachel Held Evans. More information to follow!
**canceled until further notice.
From 9-11am each Tuesday, Arcade UCC is hosting a “Coffee Break” for the community. It will be held outside the office entrance while the weather cooperates and will be moved inside to the library when needed. Coffee will be served free of charge and the community is welcome to stop by to enjoy good conversation and a hot beverage. Good for the body and soul! Welcome all!
Open for Prayer
**Canceled until further notice
Arcade UCC is having its sanctuary open for prayer from 9-11am each Tuesday morning. All are welcome.
Souper Bowl of Caring 2021
Handing out soup for our drive-up soup pick-up!
Souper Bowl of Caring 2021 was a HUGE success!!! Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we collected 828 food items and $809.50 in monetary donations! These donations will be split between the Arcade area (PAC) food pantry and the Great Valley food pantry! So many individuals and families will be helped by your generosity!!! Thank you to the Arcade UCC youth and everyone who helped with the collection, counting, organization and deliveries!!
A Wonderful Service and Picnic in the Park
Sunday, August 30 marked a special occasion as Arcade UCC gathered (with spatial distancing) for our first in-person service since COVID-19 forced our closure within the church building. Our worship service in the Arcade Park was filled with beautiful and moving music by Far Cry and several guest performers (Kim Common, Rich and Helena Vogt and Jamey and Cherry’s sister, Katie!) Thank you to all who brought the blessing of song to our ears! Pastor Josh was finally able to provide us with an in-person sermon and meet many of our congregation for the first time face-to-face! We were also very excited to welcome Bill and Jamey Craft and Cherry Carl as they officially became members of Arcade UCC! The three of them have already done so much for our church and community, and we are so delighted to have them officially join our church family! For those who were unable to attend, the service was on Facebook Live so worship at home was possible as well. The service was followed by a “bring your own picnic” lunch. It was the perfect weather for an outdoor service and picnic! Thank you to all who organized and participated in the service. A wonderful day was had by all!
UCC Arcade Fights Cancer is the name of this amazing group who did the Ride for Roswell this morning at the Arcade Park! Jamey Craft headed up this group, including Bill Craft, Cherry Carl, Sheila and Jim Vrenna, Payton and Jake Romance, Ginger Comstock, Jeff Mason, Jay and Kathy May, Pastor Josh Bower, Shannon, Brody and Bryson King. Thank you also to Dona Roll who supported the group, counted laps and documented the occasion with these pics! What a beautiful morning to ride and for a fantastic cause! Thank you so much to everyone who donated!!!
On April 15, 2020, Council Co-Chair, Rich Vogt met with Josh Bower in masks and gloves, for a historical signing, as he welcomed Josh as Arcade UCC’s new called pastor. They made it official with signatures and a handshake. We are so very excited to welcome Pastor Josh Bower to our church family and look forward to the days ahead with him!
Resurrection Cookies Virtual Style!!
A special thank you to Miss Dona Rae Roll for leading the kids through the process again this year! They are becoming experts! We were missing several of our youth this year, but they are all in our hearts!! Thank you to our special guest, Ginger Comstock, for popping up in our zoom meeting and joining us!￼￼￼￼ When we checked back on Easter morning, the tomb was empty! He has risen!!
A couple weeks prior to this clean-up, the youth from Arcade UCC practiced social distancing as they helped the community during quarantine. They met at the Arcade Park to do a park-wide clean up! ￼￼A big thank you to Kylie, Emmy, Nick, Adam, Payton, Vanessa Adams and Deb Wood!
Arcade United Church of Christ, Congregational Celebrates Their 12th Annual Souper Bowl of Caring
The Arcade United Church of Christ, Congregational, at 297 Main St., Arcade, recognized its 12th annual Souper Bowl of Caring on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Each year, members donate food items and monetary donations for the Arcade Area Food Pantry, located at the United Methodist Church of Arcade, 212 E. Main Street. The youth from Arcade UCC were in charge of the church service on February 2nd, teaching about how widespread hunger is in the United States. Their service brought in 257 food items and $311 in donations from the congregation that day. Following the service, the youth served soup to the congregation, asking them to remember those who cannot even afford a bowl of soup on Super Bowl Sunday. Then, on February 9th, the youth packed up the food items in homemade bags they had made from old t-shirts, to take to the Arcade Area Food Pantry. These bags were also given to the food pantry for reuse when plastic bags will no longer be available. Deb Howard, of the Arcade United Methodist Church, received the check on behalf of the food pantry and gave the youth a tour of the pantry. The food pantry is run by Roger Roper and a group of steadfast volunteers. It is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 12:30-2pm and services the Pioneer School District community.
Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday 2020! Our 12th annual! Thank you to all who came and donated food items and/or money to help our local food pantry! Thank you to our youth for leading our service this morning! We had fun and had some laughs but also learned a lot and helped to end hunger in our community.
Our church has been heavily involved with the NY/HELP program since 1989 as it seeks to improve the health and educational and economic opportunities for people living in several remote villages in Honduras. The most recent meeting of the steering committee was held at our church on January 5, hosted by Ginger Comstock. Nine people gathered to review the long-term goals of the program and to make plans for the next group visiting Honduras later this winter. They also saw a photo of the sign that will soon be placed in the medical clinic in La Laguna in honor of the late Dr. Gordon Comstock. Monetary donations to help this program are always welcome and may be sent to NY/HELP, c/o Arcade UCC, PO Box 95, Arcade, NY 14009.
Our Children’s Christmas program today was a beautiful service of praise to God for the birth of his son, Jesus- the one who would change everything, and also a lovely tribute to a very special member of our church, Margaret Homan. She has been with Arcade UCC for so many years and is such a vital part of our church family. The youth shared highlights of her life and memories and traditions of her Christmases through the years! Jim and Sheila Vrenna provided a special southern style coffee hour, filled with delicious foods from Margaret’s own Louisiana recipes!!
What a fun and amazing day caroling at Jenny B nursing home, The Pines nursing home and to some of our local friends! We delivered music, cookies, Christmas cards, poinsettias and holiday cheer to so many! Thank you to all of you who came out today!!
A beautiful Christmas Cantata was held on Sunday, Dec. 15, featuring several members of Arcade UCC, along with members from PAC and the Arcade Area Community! Dona Roll (conductor) and Laurie Sledge (accompanist) were recognized for all of their work and time to create such a wonderful performance!
Third Sunday of Advent.
Second Sunday of Advent service
On December 5 and 6, 2020, the students of Arcade Elementary School had their Walk Around Town, visiting the Gibby House, the Library and ending at Arcade UCC for a cookie. (1380 cookies were baked and decorated by our Women’s Fellowship and friends!) Our Outreach Committee and others were present to give a tour of the Godly Play room and Nursery and then to share the story of St. Nicholas with the students. It was a wonderful and busy couple of days! Thank you so much to everyone who helped before, during and after!
November 22, 2019 was named Dr. Gordon Comstock Day in the Village of Arcade by Mayor Jay May and the Village Board of Trustees. The proclamation, along with a beautiful display to honor Dr. Comstock’s memory can be seen in the office window facing Main Street. Please stop by to see this wonderful memorial.
Ginger Comstock stands with the memorial window for Dr. Gordon Comstock.
Thank you to all who participated in our Hanging of the Greens service last Sunday, November 24. Our sanctuary looks beautiful and we are now ready for the mystery of Christmas!
We would like to wish Helen and Gary best wishes on their upcoming move and new adventure! We will miss you both!
Our Advent Windows are stunning! Be sure to stop by and see them (after dark if you can – they are just breath-taking!) A very big thank you to Wyn Roll and Deb Wood for their hours of work and creativity to make them such a beautiful display for all the community to see!
“That Changes Everything!”
Kim Common presented a powerful message during service on Sunday, November 17 with the help of Ryan Bechdel, Debi Lutz, Jamey Craft, Jim Vrenna, Rich Vogt, Dona Roll and others. It was a unique way of presenting a heart-touching message that everyone took something from. Thank you to all who participated!
In loving memory…
We are with heavy hearts as we remember a legendary man of God, whose life was dedicated to helping others and serving our Lord. Dr. Gordon Comstock will be sadly missed but will forever be remembered.
Gordon Frederick Comstock, MD passed away on October 25, 2019 at the age of 76 from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Born on January 27, 1943 in Miami, Florida, Gordon was the first child of epidemiologist George Wills Comstock and community activist Margaret (Karr) Comstock. Gordon met his wife and life partner, Ginger (Virginia) Kelly, at Antioch College in Ohio, where he majored in Chemistry and the Maples Volunteer Fire Department. Gordon joined the Peace Corps, teaching math in Ghana for two years before marrying Ginger on July 27, 1968. Gordon studied medicine at Case Western Reserve University and completed his residency at University of Rochester/Highland Hospital Family Medicine Program. From 1980 to 2018, Dr. Comstock practiced family medicine in Arcade, serving the area’s youngest to oldest residents with patience and respect.
Always an Eagle Scout, Gordon believed in leaving his campsite – and the world – better than he found it. He dedicated his life to service and teaching. Gordon was originally contracted for two years in a “doctor shortage” area, and because of the people and the community spirit, he and his family chose to stay in Arcade. Gordon mentored numerous medical students in family medicine at his office and then took them home for dinner. From 1989 to 2017, Gordon made 29 trips to La Laguna, Honduras as a part of NY/HELP mission. He inspired Ginger, both daughters, and at least eight community members to travel with him, and they were supported by countless others. Both Gordon and Ginger have been continuously active with NY/HELP, and Gordon became the medical director. He learned Spanish to communicate with the clinic nurse and patients, graciously accepting language corrections and retranslations. Learning from and serving the people of the La Laguna region were sources of joy for him.
In addition to his medical and mission work, Gordon could often be found with his nose in a book, mowing the lawn at his church, ensuring the high school football players made it safely off the field, or admiring the Arcade & Attica trains.
Gordon and Ginger raised two daughters, Barbara Comstock-King (Daniel King) of Lebanon, CT and Kimberly (Geoffrey [Morton]) Mortstock of Seattle, WA, and adored their three grandkids, Margaret “Maggie” and Elizabeth “Ella” King and Calvin Mortstock. Gordon is also survived by his brother Lloyd Comstock (Judy Kramer), sister Martha (Daniel) Williams, three nieces, and his stepmother, Emma Lou Comstock.
Calling hours will be at WS Davis Funeral Home, 358 W. Main St., Arcade on Friday November 8, 2019 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. A memorial service will be held at Arcade UCC, 297 Main St, on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11 am. Donations may be sent to Arcade UCC (PO Box 95 Arcade, NY 14009) or NY/HELP Honduras (PO Box 551 Dewitt, NY 13214).
The link for the funeral home obituary is below:
What an amazing and uplifting service on Sunday! Several members of our church displayed their many talents during Sunday’s service. There was poetry, music, paintings and more. We would like to thank everyone who shared their gifts with us!
The youth at Arcade UCC worked last Sunday to pack Church World Service school kits for children who have been impacted by natural disaster, war and poverty. These kits give them the basic tools for learning, filled with paper, pencils, crayons, rulers￼, scissors, erasers and pencil sharpeners donated by our church family. Thank you so much to everyone who participated!
We would like to say a HUGE “Thank you” to everyone who came out today to our Fall Harvest Festival!! Your support allowed us to have a very successful fundraiser! A portion of the proceeds will be given to Roswell Cancer Center. A sincere thank you to our church family for all of their time and effort today to make this such an amazing festival!! Everyone came together and pitched in to help the day go so smoothly- from cooking chowder ALL night to sell today, making homemade chocolates and baked goods to sell, making our beautiful quilt for the raffle, selling tickets, working our coffee houses, playing music for those in the coffee house, gathering baskets for the raffle, calling numbers, contacting winners, tearing down and cleaning up….the list goes on and on!!! All of the donations from local businesses and our church family are what make this festival happen!! THANK YOU!!!! Vanessa Adams, Rich Vogt, Elwyn Roll and Deb Roll, Jeff Mason and Women’s Fellowship- thank you for all your behind the scenes work prior to and during the Festival! There are just too many people who helped today to name you all, but you know who you are!
And most of all… a gigantic thank you to Deb Wood for heading up this huge endeavor!! Your organization, time, and hard work are what makes this festival known far and wide for being such an amazing event!! We couldn’t do it without you!!!!
This year’s service in the park joined Arcade UCC and Chaffee Community Baptist Church for a beautiful morning of worship. Far Cry provided us with uplifting praise songs and Rev. Raquel Alston gave the message. Thank you so much to Rev. Alston for the moving message and to all who came to worship together. Following service, everyone enjoyed great fellowship and delicious food as we picnicked together in the park!
The 2019 Summer Youth Mission Trip to Philadelphia was a huge success! Vanessa, Nick, Nate and Payton traveled with several other youth from Western NY to participate in this year’s mission trip. They helped create scenery for Shrek 2, organized and catalogued books for public school libraries through the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, joined with a multiple-church VBS program for ages 2-90, and removed tree trunks for the future site of a community garden in memory of Mr. Gene’s mom. We are happy to have them all back safely and are so proud of the work they accomplished and how they spread the love of Jesus Christ to so many!
Dona Roll and Vanessa Adams have returned from General Synod in Milwaukee and were ready to Shine before us and share their joyous experience! There were 800 delegates at General Synod 32, 24 from NY and 4 of those from Western NY. Dona shared five focal areas with us on Sunday: People, Work of the Church, Recognitions, Worship, and Theological Reflections. NY received the Avery D. Post Award for ecumenical recognition. Throughout the five worship services each day, there were three theological reflections: an artist, who listened and painted for a day and a half; a poet who wrote and recited a poem based on the General Synod experience; and a singer/songwriter who wrote two songs that reflected the work and spirit of the Synod. There was also a big youth component within the General Synod and a lighthouse where everyone could bring something from their church to show how we are letting our light shine to others in the world. Dona and Vanessa brought a picture of our own, Dr. Gordon Comstock in Honduras. Thank you to Dona and Vanessa for sharing some of their amazing experience with us! We look forward to Vanessa’s slideshow at the end of July to see more of their time at General Synod 32!
The 24th annual Ride for Roswell took place this year on Saturday, June 22. 8000 riders and over 2000 volunteers participated and $5.5 million was raised! Jay May, Kathy May, their daughter Ashley and her fiancé, Zack, Tracy Bliss, Andy Staub, and Jay’s cousin Debbie all participated in the 10-mile ride. Wil Hodges, who was unable to ride this year, was a strong supporter. For the second year in a row, Jay made the 1000 Mile Club for raising $1000 or more as an individual. We are so very proud of this team for their dedication to this vital fundraiser. Thank you all for your time and support of this important cause!
George and Suzanne Norton’s daughter and grandson, Jennifer and Sam Diedrich, came from Massachusetts to Arcade recently for a visit. Sam, a recent graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, was bringing his keyboard and ukulele, so Suzanne arranged for him to perform in our Great Room on June 26. He accompanied himself on both instruments, and everyone in the audience was impressed with his vocal and instrumental talents. Sam performed a wide variety of music, including an original composition, and everyone is hoping he’ll come back for another visit soon!
Picture 1: Sam Diedrich accompanying himself on the keyboard.
Picture 2: George and Suzanne proudly posed for a photo with their grandson, Sam Diedrich, and their daughter, Jennifer Diedrich.
So much to celebrate and give God thanks for! Last Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day and honored our dads, stepdads, and grandfathers. We also recognized our graduate, Nathan Tillinghast and wished him well as he heads to St. Bonaventure in the Fall! And, sadly, we said goodbye to Pastor Sue Hodges at her last service with us. We wish her and Wil well on this next chapter of their lives as they head to a warmer climate!
Pentecost Sunday at Arcade UCC!
It was a beautiful, heartfelt service on Sunday, as we welcomed two new members to our church, Rebecca and Rich Snyder. We are so blessed to have them as part of our church family! And it filled our hearts with joy to see them proclaim their love of Jesus Christ through baptism. Welcome to both of you!
A big thank you to all who particpated in our Talent Silent Auction! From Debi Lutz and Vanessa Adams for organizing and setting up the auction, to those who donated items and services, to everyone who placed bids! The auction was very successful and it was a wonderful fundraiser to support our youth! Thank you!
Congratulations to Ryan and Kristen Bechdel on the upcoming birth of their baby! Thank you to all who celebrated with them Sunday after service with a special coffee hour/shower!
Arcade UCC was awarded the David G. Southard, Sr. Award for Excellence in Global Mission Work on May 18, 2019 from the Commission on the Global Church of the New York Conference, United Church of Christ. Dona Roll was present and received the award in our honor.
Thank you to everyone who helped make our rummage sale such a huge success! So many people donated their time to bring items in from home, to moving items to the basement, to cleaning, organizing and pricing everything, to making baskets for the raffle, to working the days of the sale, and to the clean up!!! Thank you all for your time and hard work! A HUGE thank you and much appreciation to Jim and Sheila Vrenna for heading up this massive project and for putting in hours and hours of their time to make this important fundraiser happen!! Women’s Fellowship and Jean Gagnon also donated so much to the sale! It wouldn’t have been such a success without all of you coming together to help!!
Easter Sunday Service
Happy Easter to all! He is risen! Pastor Sue Hodges and many members of the Arcade UCC congregation provided a beautiful and touching Easter service.
with Ms. Dona and the Youth!
Dona Roll and the Arcade UCC youth met on Saturday, April 20 to make Resurrection Cookies which were sealed in the “tomb” to be opened on Easter Sunday!
CRASE Training Course
(Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events)
Last night, Arcade UCC hosted a CRASE Course (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) given by Officer Mike Poleon of the West Seneca Police Department. This training was designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) strategy. It walked us through the normal human response to such events and gave strategies and a proven plan for surviving one. What we do matters and will effect the outcome for ourselves and others. If you would like further information on what was provided through this training, please visit the websites in the picture below. Or take a moment and watch the video below to learn more about the 3 strategies-Avoid, Deny, Defend.
Due to vacations and sickness, we could only round up two of our youth to deliver the donations from Souper Bowl Sunday to the Arcade Area PAC Food Pantry. All 190 food items and over $360 were delivered Thursday, thanks to all of your generous donations!
On February 3, Arcade UCC had our Souper Bowl of Caring led by our youth. It was an eye-opening service recognizing the severity of hunger in the United States and right in our own area. The youth provided us with staggering statistics through a fun game show format and shared the scripture with us as well. Our youth even assisted Pastor Sue with Holy Communion. It was a wonderful service! Following that, we all headed downstairs for eight different soups provided by members of our congregation, which was served by our youth. What a delicious fellowship was had by all!
Last Sunday, we had a beautiful baptismal ceremony for Avery Catherine! It was so wonderful to see so many of her family here for the service! Congratulations to all!
On Sunday, December 9, a group from Arcade UCC gave the gift of “presence” and went Christmas caroling to the homes of local shut-ins and area nursing homes. They delivered cookies made by Women’s Fellowship and Christmas cards made by the youth. It brought so many smiles to the faces of so many! What a wonderful day was had by all!
Our Women’s Fellowship and Outreach Committees are working hard to prepare for the Arcade Elementary’s Christmas Tree Walk this Thursday and Friday! Women’s Fellowship has been giving of their time and working yesterday and today baking and frosting/decorating over 1400 cookies!! Yes, 1400!!!!
800 of those cookies will be given to the students at the end of their walk and the rest will be given as gifts for area shut-ins. God bless all of you for your amazing work for our community!
Arcade UCC and Hope Lutheran Church concluded their first joint mission project tonight as they brought the donations of coloring books, crayons and gift cards to Oishei Children’s Hospital. We would like to thank our community for contributing to this mission project and congratulate the youth on a job well done! They received a tour of the hospital’s facilities and were able to take your donations to their Family Resource Center, which is 100% dependent on charitable contributions. Check out the slideshow of pictures below from their special night!