After strange metallic sounds landed their car in the shop for repairs, Liza DiSavino and A.J. Bodnar found themselves on an extended layover and decided to share their musical talents alongside area hand bell choirs for this afternoon’s Christmas in the Catskills Holiday Spectacular at First United Methodist Church. Above, Liza and A.J., as their stage act is known, sing a Christmas song from Kentucky, where they now live after moving from Westford. At right, Chris Brashear, Oneonta, performs with The Buckingham Ringers alongside his son, Elias, during one of the opening numbers of the concert. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Music Director G. Roberts Kolb encourages the audience to sing along to “Deck the Halls” at a performance of the “Songs of Christmas” by the Catskill Choral Society at the United Methodist Church in Oneonta Friday evening. Kolb, a professor at Hamilton College, has worked with the Catskill Choral Society since 1997 and this is the 12th performance he has directed. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the society, which brings in approximately 50-80 regional singers to perform a variety of choral pieces twice a year. At right, Mary Hall and her friend Jean Seroka applaud the singers. Hall, who’s been a member of the church for 15 years, attends every performance. “It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Choral Society Concert,” she said. “To me this starts the Christmas season.”
PRE-CHRISTMAS SALE – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Find gently used holiday decorations including lights, undecorated wreaths, ornaments, tableware, more. Also enjoy goodies at bake sale. Proceeds benefit mission programs of United Methodist Women. Cooperstown United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Cooperstown. 607-547-9515 or visit www.cooperstownumc.org
QUILT SHOW – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Celebrate 25th year of the annual quilt show at Silver Jubilee. Features 300+ quilts from artists across the country with featured quilter Jim Bryden in Tudor style historic inn. Lunch available. Proceeds benefit roof project. Admission, $5/person. The Major’s Inn, 12 Marion Ave., Gilbertsville. 607-783-2780 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
ASTRONOMY – 7:30 – 9 p.m. Learn to find the North Star, Cygnus, Draco, other constellations in the autumn sky with nothing but your eyes. Bring blankets or a chair, dress warmly. Free. Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. 607-282-4087 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/naked-eye-astronomy-the-autumn-sky/
OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate group art exhibit “The Land On Which We Gather,” honoring new SUNY president Barbara Jean Morris. Features 40+ works by 8 artists of native descent in various mediums from painting to beading, sculpture. Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3456 or visit suny.oneonta.edu/art-department/art-galleries
ONEONTA – Members of Oneonta’s First United Methodist congregation tonight approved a “We Refuse” resolution that rejects the United Methodist Church’s reaffirmation of prohibitions against gay marriage and gay pastors.
The “We Refuse” resolution says the “Traditional Plan,” approved, 53 percent to 47 percent, at the UMC’s General Conference last February in St. Louis, is “incompatible with God’s all-inclusive love of and for everyone.”
ONEONTA – A resolution, “We Refuse,” objecting to the international United Methodist Church’s reassertion of its prohibition on gay marriage and gay pastors, was inserted into today’s Sunday Service program at Oneonta’s First UM.
The local resolution calls the church’s “Traditional Plan,” which reaffirmed its ban and was approved by majority vote last February, “exclusive, punitive, and unwelcoming” and declares it “incompatible with God’s all-inclusive love of and for everyone…and with Jesus’ teachings,” which tell people to love everyone “unconditionally.”
The resolution goes further, labeling the Traditional Plan “un-Christian.” It calls for regional churches and the bishop to reject it and pursue a separate path.
The insert also announced a Special Charge Conference for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the church, where members of the congregation will debate and vote on “We Refuse.” Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, the pastor, will preside.
Delivering the sermon today was J.J. Warren, a gay seminary student from Penn Yan whom Bishop Mark Webb, of the Syracuse-based conference that includes Otsego County, has said he will not ordain.
The Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, pastor Oneonta’s First United Methodist Church, this morning told her congregation she will continue to perform gay marriages, despite a church conference’s decision in February adopting a “Traditional Plan” that affirmed a ban against gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy. Pastors, locally and throughout the Syracuse-based Upper New York Conference, were asked to brief their congregations this morning on the special conference decision. Swords-Horrell, who was assigned to Oneonta in July, called the decision “sad and disturbing,” since the local church has been a “reconciling congregation” for 30 years. “We feel it is restrictive, oppressive and makes our gay and LBGTQ members feel unwelcome,” she said. “We will continue with who we are, and accept all people.” Syracuse-based Bishop Mark Webb is planning a livestream Q&A session 4-6 p.m. next Sunday. “There’s still a chance it could be overturned,” Swords-Horrell said. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
THEATER CONCERT – 7 p.m. Sing A Song of Broadway presents “Wishes, Lies, & Dreams” featuring music from My Fair Lady, Seussical, Les Miserable, 1776, Into The Woods, many more. Don’t miss one night only show. Admission, $18/adult. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-4102 or visit firstumc-oneonta.org
Director of Music John Jurgensen, Oneonta, leads Alan Franks, Rachel Hansen and Dylan Sorensen and other members of the Buckingham Ringers and the Klipnocky Klangers in heir rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Frosty The Snowman” and other holiday favorites at the annual handbell concert earlier this afternoon at the First United Methodist Church. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
VETERANS TRIBUTE – 6 p.m. Tribute Concert featuring Thompson Square. Free to Veterans, Active Duty military personnel with IDs. Cost, $20/adult. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit foothillspac.org
POKER TOURNAMENT – 6 – 8 p.m. Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament featuring trophies, non-cash prizes. Benefit for Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Game entry, $40. Participants must be aged 18+. New York Pizzeria, 75 Chestnut St., Cooperstown. 607-547-8111 or visit www.facebook.com/Susquehanna-Animal-Shelter-121696841223218/