BOB BECKSTEAD/JOHNSON NEWSPAPERSFirst United Methodist Church, Massena, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. They will hold special activities on June 8 and 9 as part of the celebration.

MASSENA — A Main Street church in Massena will celebrate a significant anniversary this year.

It’s been 150 years since the laying of the cornerstone for First United Methodist Church. In honor of that anniversary, they’ve planned activities for the entire community on June 8 and 9.

Rachael Jordan, who has been the church’s pastor for three years, said the cornerstone to the 189 Main St. church was laid on May 28, 1869.

“That’s just this building,” she said.

But Methodism in Massena goes back much farther, she said. The earliest records of the Methodist church in Massena date back to around 1805. The original Methodist church was built where St. John’s Episcopal Church is now located.

Some parts of the church are original, while other parts have been renovated over the many years since the church was built.

“The back part is the original building. The round staircase is part of the renovation,” Pastor Jordan said.

Even the beams are original and have held up for those many years, she said.

The June 8 and 9 anniversary celebration will be a combination of service and fun. Two hours on June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., will be spent packing 150 flood buckets and 150 health kits that will be sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for distribution as needed across the United States following a flood or hurricane.

“A lot of young people will be there. Anyone from the community can come,” Pastor Jordan said. “This time of year is going to be extremely important.”

The 5-gallon flood buckets will contain items like laundry detergent, scouring pads, sponges, household cleaner, disinfectant dish soap, clothes pins, clothes lines and more. Many of the products were purchased through donations, some of them monetary.

“We have just about everything to fill them,” Pastor Jordan said.

The health kits will contain personal care items.

The day will also include games, two bounce houses, cotton candy and popcorn from 2 to 4 p.m., subs and an ice cream social from 4 to 6 p.m. and live country music and dancing from 6 to 8 p.m. Subway is donating the subs and Stewart’s is donating the ice cream and toppings. Everything is free, and all are welcome.

June 8 activities will be more reverent. They start with a 10 a.m. meet and greet with coffee and doughnuts, followed by special organ music by Josh Barkley at 10:30 a.m. The Sunday worship service begins at 11 a.m. Visitors will find 150 red balloons hung on the bannisters, in the sanctuary and in front of the church to commemorate the anniversary.

A paper containing a timeline of the church will be placed downstairs.

“It will have all the significant dates of the church,” Pastor Jordan said.

Visitors are invited to add their own events, such as marriage or baptism, to the timeline.

“It’s going to be huge,” she said.

The timeline will be included in a time capsule, which will put in the church’s bell tower.

“We invite people to give us ideas about what they think should be in the time capsule,” Pastor Jordan said.

During the 11 a.m. service, Mayor Timmy J. Currier will talk about efforts to revitalize Massena and the role the church can play in that effort.

“We want to be part of what God’s doing in the community,” she said.

Former clergy and the district superintendent will also be present that day, and children will perform a play. The original communion set from 1871 will be used for the service.

“They were in the parsonage basement. Someone came across them. We’re going to use the whole set,” Pastor Jordan said.

Following the service, a buffet-style dinner catered by Karen Murray will be held in the church’s Fellowship Hall.

For more information, contact Pastor Jordan at 315-769-8036 or 22rjordan@gmail.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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