Religion Briefs

Backpack blessing

St. John the Baptist (Episcopal) church on the corner of West Fourth and Lark streets in Dunkirk will celebrate the beginning of school with the “Blessing of the backpacks” on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 12:15 p.m. All kids are invited to bring their backpacks to the church for an individual blessing.

On this same day, during the 8 and 11 a.m. services, students, teachers, and school staff will be remembered in prayer. Each backpack owner will receive a gift. In addition, each backpack owner will receive a gift to be given to their teacher on the first day of school.

All kids are invited to be at the church on the corner of West Fourth and Lark Streets, on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 12:15 p.m. Any students, family members, and teachers are invited to attend one of the services at 8 and 11 a.m.

All students, teachers and other school personnel are invited to receive a special blessing on Sunday, Aug. 31 at St. Peter’s Church, Westfield when the congregation will pray for the safety, scholastic achievement and personal growth of all students throughout the coming school year. The Rev. Virginia Carr will bestow a special blessing on every student, teacher and other school employees present. This event will take place during the regularly scheduled Service beginning at 10 a.m. Students should bring their backpacks.

The Backpack Blessing is an opportunity for families and others to connect with a community of folks who care. St. Peter’s is a place where the entire family can belong.

Plan to stay for light refreshments and friendly conversation afterwards. The St. Peter’s faith community looks forward to welcoming those in attendance and helping to make this school year the best it can be.

To learn more about St. Peter’s visit or call 326-2064

Church gatherings

Members of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 18 E. Second St., Dunkirk, and Pastor, the Rev. Earlie G. Waller, welcomed Rev. Cleveland Ulmer and the Mount Ebal Missionary Baptist Church of Erie, Pa. Sunday, Aug. 17 to opening services in observance of the Church’s 54th anniversary. Services will conclude Sunday, at 4 p.m. when the Church will welcome the Rev. Leroy Walker and the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church of Jamestown.

Dinner will be served and the public is welcome to attend?

Immanuel Lutheran Church, 40 S. Chapel, Gowanda and Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Porter Avenue, Silver Creek will hold their second annual joint end-of-summer picnic at the Wendt Shelter at Camp Pioneer on Sunday, Sept. 7. This fellowship day will begin with an 11 a.m. worship service at the shelter with the Rev. Travis Grubbs officiating. Congregation members are asked to bring a dish to pass. Meat, drinks and tableware will be provided. Guests are always welcome. Camp Pioneer is located at 9324 Lake Shore Road, Angola where the Son always shines!

Vacation Bible Schools

Stockton Community Church, 4554 West Railroad Ave., Stockton, will host Vacation Bible School, Aug. 25 to 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for children second through twelfth grades. This year’s VBS will be a Day Bible Camp for Kids. A great week is planned featuring Bible classes, puppets, recorders, nature science, stop motion video, sign language, sewing, crafts, drawing, and creation research. Participants will get to know God better, learn about salvation through Jesus Christ and just have fun with friends. Kids who have not pre-registered may register at the door on Monday between 8:30 and 9 a.m. accompanied by a parent.

The First United Methodist Church at 101 E. Main St., Westfield invites children ages 3 through 6th grade to come to four fun-filled days of vacation Bible school. The days are Monday Aug. 25 through Thursday Aug. 28. Dinner will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by Bible School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Register in advance by calling the church office at 326-3243, emailing the church office at, or signing up on the registration sheet on the office door. Registration is also accepted each night.

The program will collect school supplies such as paper, crayons, pens, pencils and notebooks and personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and combs to be delivered to children in Haiti.


The Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St. is holding a bake sale today from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the Fredonia Farm Festival. The bake sale tent will be located in front of the church across from the gazebo. Patrons are encouraged to enjoy a delicious treat at one of the outdoor tables, weather permitting, or take a sweet treat home. Water, lemonade, iced tea and coffee will also be available for purchase.

A Peach Social will be held at the Portland Congregational Church, 8649 Church St. on Wednesday, Aug. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m., or until sold out. The menu is beef on weck, hot dogs, salads, beans, peach shortcake, peaches and ice cream and drink. The church is handicapped accessible.


The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree, Cardinal Mindszenty Assembly 727, and Councils 929 Dunkirk, 7921 Fredonia, 15113 Gowanda, 5356 Silver Creek and 3100 Westfield are again hosting the annual priests’ appreciation dinner. Nuns and deacons will also be included. The event will be held at Monsignor Bernardo Hall, Holy Trinity Church, Central Avenue Dunkirk, on Sunday, Sept. 7. This event is open to the public and tickets may be purchased from any member of the Knights of Columbus. For further information and reservations, contact Paul Butryn at 863-7201. Tickets are $15 per person which includes an open bar and hors d’oeuvre at 5:30 p.m. and a sit-down family style dinner and dessert at 6:30 p.m.

Reservations with payment must be in by Monday, Sept. 1. There will be only 225 tickets sold for this event. No reservations will be accepted after that date.

Checks may be made payable to “Cardinal Mindszenty Assembly 727” and mailed to Paul Butryn, 49 N. Roberts Road, Dunkirk. Upon receipt of payment, tickets will be mailed.

Upcoming concert

On Saturday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. the First United Methodist Church of Fredonia will present a concert featuring musicians Kate Parker Furman, Sarah Marchitelli, David Chatterton, and Jacob Swanson. The concert will feature established music by Beethoven, Piazzolla, Singelee, and Handel as well as newer works by Andrew Cote and Dan Knorr, a graduate student studying composition at SUNY Fredonia.

Jacob Swanson and Sarah Marchitelli (known as the saxophone duo, “Jake & Sarah”) have performed together throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Their collaboration with composers has lead to several new works for saxophone duo. Swanson is the high school instrumental music teacher for Gowanda Central School District. Marchitelli is an instructor at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts and adjunct professor at the SUNY Fredonia. Kate Parker Furman, pianist and composer, is a 2014 graduate of SUNY Fredonia. Her music has been performed in major cities across the United States and she currently holds a position at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown. David Chatterton is an alumnus of SUNY Fredonia where he is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in music. He also teaches for Infinity Visual and Performing Arts.

The four will present an array of works for saxophone, cello, and piano at this concert. Free will offerings will be gratefully accepted.