BALDWINSVILLE — When it comes to celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church is a little late thanks to the pandemic.
FUMC will hold two events this weekend to herald its 150+ year history in the heart of the village. The family-friendly Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and there will be a special service on Sunday, September 25 at 9:00 a.m. (See sidebar for details.)
The Autumn Festival’s leader is Church member Sharon Cook, who first heard the term ‘fete’ in a travel program about the UK.
“It’s an older word. It’s like a festival or a celebration,” she said. “In the UK, they use it mainly as a fundraiser for charities.”
FUMC’s Apple Fall Festival features games and activities for the whole family, historical presentations, a non-profit community market, a picnic and lots of live music.
Adults may know Bill Ali from his performance as the lead singer of local rock band Scars N’ Stripes, but he will present an acoustic set for children at 10:30am on Saturday. Singer Lisa Kisselstein – daughter of historian Bonnie Kisselstein – will also perform a concert for children.
FUMC Music Director Nancy James and Organist Marianne Miles will perform on piano and organ, respectively.
“Our worship leader will be making music outside in the parking lot, weather permitting,” Cook added.
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to meet Pastors Bill Mudge and Jeff Hodge, as well as other members of the FUMC team.
As the home of the Baldwinsville Nursery School, FUMC is planning lots of fun for kids. BNC will be hosting apple-themed activity stations and a make-and-take painting craft. Children can also explore the playground and storage room, build forts and make cardboard crafts. Two younger FUMC members, Taylor Hoffman and Keenan Smith, will host the Royal Reading Room dressed as Princess and Prince.
“We’re hoping for great weather and a wonderful day for everyone,” Cook said.
The church will also host a presentation from area nonprofit organizations such as PAC-B, Canton Woods Senior Center, Baldwinsville Meals on Wheels, the Female Charitable Society and the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center.
“We decided that we didn’t just want to do this because of our anniversary,” Cook said. “We want to make it a day of celebration and offer a platform to other non-profit organizations. There are charities in the community that people don’t even know about.”
Bonnie Kisselstein is a lifelong FUMC parishioner, local historian and commissioner of the Female Charitable Society. She said the church’s birthday celebration was originally planned before the COVID-19 outbreak and she was “very excited to be able to celebrate.”
“I’ve been a member of the Church since I was baptized there as an infant,” said Kisselstein, who turns 80 later this year.
Kisselstein will be on hand at the Fall Fete to answer questions about the history of Baldwinsville, FUMC and Methodism celebrating its 200th anniversary in B’ville in 2021.
When FUMC sent its stained glass rose window to Massachusetts for restoration in 2016, Kisselstein shared her thoughts on the window and the church.
“I especially love our rosette because of its center. It’s the Good Shepherd [Jesus holding a lamb]’ Kisselstein said. “Whenever I worry or worry about something, I picture him holding us in his arms. With the world in such a state, I envision the globe there.”
While many passing through Baldwinsville have admired the outside of the Rose Window, the FUMC community hopes their neighbors will take the opportunity to see it from a different angle, either by attending the Fall Festival on Saturday or the special Jubilee Service on Sunday, September 14th 25th
“Many people have never been to our church and we want them to see what is behind this beautiful stained glass window,” Cook said. “It’s also the people in it that make it beautiful.”
All events will be held at the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church, located at 17 W. Genesee St. For more information, call the church office at 315-635-6442, visit bvillefirstumc.org, or follow @bvillefirstumc on Facebook.
10am to 2pm Saturday 24 September
The Baldwinsville congregation is invited to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the First United Methodist Church of Baldwinsville by participating in the Fall Festival: an open house featuring live music performances, including performances by local musician Bill Ali (10:30 a.m p.m., for children) and the Baldwinsville Community Chapel (1 p.m.); a community showcase of local nonprofits, churches, and service organizations; Display of community history pictures, art and play activities, fun and refreshments.
Special Worship Service
9 a.m. Sunday, September 25
The Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church is celebrating 150+ years in this building and 200+ years as a denomination with a special service. Everyone is invited.