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November 12, 2015 - 12:57pm

Press release:

Come to the 13th annual Worldwide Christmas Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 14th, at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 300 E. Main St., Batavia. Admission is free.

Join the hundreds of people in the community who have attended our fairs over the past 12 years and see why supporting fair trade businesses and local and regional not-for-profit organizations has such a positive influence in our community and the world!

Our fair is unique in that all of our vendors have one thing in common -- they help other people in need here in Batavia, in Western NY and around the world through their sales.

We have three types of vendors at our fair:

  1. Local and regional not-for-profit organizations raising money for their programs or projects.
  • The Artisans at North Street ( ), located at the YWCA in Batavia, will have hand crafted items from more than 30 local artisans. Your purchases support both the artisans and the work of the YWCA.
  • Deborah Wilson Pottery will be available and supports Project Life in Waterport ( ). Project Life brings orphans, ages 9-12, from war-torn countries and areas such Chechnya, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Southeast Asia to Western New York for three months during the summer to provide peace, support, rest and recuperation for the children, to improve their physical and mental health, and to give them the opportunity to just be kids.
  • Healthy Sisters Soup and Bean Works ( ) from Catholic Family Services in Rochester. This organization provides women in Rochester the opportunity to learn about running a business and enables them to obtain the experience needed to be successful in the work force. Their product is everything you need to make a pot of bean soup – the beans and spices, all neatly packaged with the recipe attached. They also have dip mixes for sale.
  • Guatemala Missions – Members of the First Presbyterian Church will have handmade items for sale that support The Garden’s Edge (, an organization that works to revitalize local culture and economy in Guatemala through projects in sustainable agriculture and environmental education.
  • NEW!  Coffee Connection ( is a Rochester-based company that provides employment training and job creation for women in recovery from addiction and sells fair trade, organic coffee to retail and wholesale customers. In partnership with Project Empower, they provide comprehensive, continuous support for women on their journey toward sustainable recovery. 

      2. Home businesses. We have representatives from Kitcheneez and Avon. These women donate all proceeds from sales made at the fair to a local charity of their choice.

      3. Vendors who promote and follow fair trade practices.

What are Fair Trade Practices?

Let’s look at one of our vendors to illustrate the concepts of fair trade: One World Projects ( ) is a fair trade company located on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. One World Projects was started in 1992 by Phil Smith. The mission of the company is to provide people in developing countries with the opportunity for economic sustainability and self-determination.

  • They do this by building open and respectful relationships with the people they work with around the world;
  • One World Projects purchases high-quality products that have positive social impacts and environmental benefits;
  • They pay artisans fair wages for their work allowing them to provide for their basic needs such as: food, shelter, clothing, education, and health-care for their families;
  • They provide financial and technical support to artisans by working with the artisans, suggesting product designs, improving artistic and technical skills, educating group leaders about the demands of the market;
  • The support a safe and healthy work environment;
  • They ensure the rights of children by not supporting exploitive child labor;
  • They cultivate environmentally sustainable practices;
  • And they reinvest in artisan groups and communities through economic programs and/or donations.

This is what it means to practice fair trade. One World Projects works with more than 80 artisan groups in more than 20 countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. They sell hundreds of products and each item tells the story of the people who make them.

Other vendors who practice fair trade:

One World Goods ( from Rochester will have items from all over the world – jewelry, scarfs, handbags, mittens, toys, Christmas ornaments, decorative items, candles, and much more.

  • Equal Exchange Coffee ( is a co-op from Massachusetts that sells coffee, tea and chocolate from around the globe.  
  • Dounya Kele, which means One World in the language of Burkina Faso in Africa – will have jewelry made of recycled glass by women in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
  • In the Basket will have hand woven grass baskets in beautiful vibrant colors available. The baskets are woven by women in Swaziland and other countries in Africa. They are imported by a former Peace Corps Volunteer who continues to work to help alleviate poverty in Africa and improve the quality of life in the community she served.

Our fair provides the opportunity to purchase quality gifts and support all of these worthwhile causes.

This is not a fund-raising event for the church. We do not charge admission and we do not charge our vendors to participate.

Enjoy a delicious lunch of soups and sandwiches provided by our Presbyterian Women’s group and purchase wonderful baked goods provided by our youth and congregation. Again, all proceeds from food purchases are donated to charity.

Get your Christmas shopping started early and purchase gifts that make a difference!

April 28, 2015 - 9:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, religion, first presbyterian church.

“The Rebirthing of God”
A Celtic Evening with REV. DR. JOHN PHILIP NEWELL
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7 p.m.
at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia

Come and listen to internationally acclaimed scholar, teacher, retreat leader, author and poet John Philip Newell challenge us to explore a new beginning for Christianity. In the midst of dramatic changes in Western Christianity he offers the hope of a fresh stirring of the Spirit among us.

Tickets are free, required for admission and available

Speaking directly to the heart of Christians – those within the well-defined bounds of Christian practice and those on the disenchanted edges – as well as to the faithful and seekers of other traditions, he invites us to be part of a new holy birth of sacred living.

For many years now Rev. Dr. Newell has been writing about the sacredness of being, the “of-Godness” that is at the heart of our lives and all life. He is the former Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland and internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, having authored more than 15 books, including his best-known titles, "Listening for the Heartbeat of God," "Praying with the Earth," and "A New Harmony: The Spirit, the Earth & the Human Soul."

Rev. Dr. Newell’s talk will be based on his most recent publication, "The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings." Books will be available for sale and following his talk, John Philip will be signing books. A freewill offering will be taken.

Rev. Dr. Newell is an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland with a passion for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. More information about John Philip and his work can be found at

Simply click on this event as it scrolls across the home page. You will be asked to register for the event and instructed to print a ticket. Questions? Call the church office at 585-343-0505.

April 18, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by James Burns in LeRoy, genesee, first presbyterian church.

Le Roy First Presbyterian Church, at Main and Clay streets in Le Roy, is having a spaghetti dinner this afternoon from 4 to 6:30. Also going on now and continuing throughout the day is a sale with craft vendors, including the entire yard of the church decorated with metal art from Adam’s Welding and Fabrication. 

March 21, 2015 - 2:58pm

The First Presbyterian Church in Batavia held their annual pancake breakfast this morning. As usual the Easter Bunny hopped on by to greet the children and pose for pictures.


Brian took pictures and made prints for the parrents.

Randy was the chef for the pancake feast.

Ben, Tommy, Melissa and Chelsea enjoy the breakfast.

Peyton gets her face painted.

Addison and Lilly color eggs. 

Stella picks a duck to win a prize.

March 29, 2014 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Easter, first presbyterian church.

Eva, 3, gets an ink stamp applied to her arm this morning during the Easter Bunny Breakfast at the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia.

Children were served a pancake breakfast and could also get their face painted, color Easter eggs and visit with the Easter Bunny.

With Eva is her mother, LuAnn Henry. With Eva and the Easter Bunny in the photo below is her sister Lillian, 9.

December 11, 2013 - 10:34am
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, concerts, Christmas, first presbyterian church.

Batavia's First Presbyterian Church will be alive with rousing holiday spirit when "Christmas with Vox, a Festival of Carols" comes around on Friday, Dec. 20.

"Vox Lumine," a professional chorus group made up of 25 members from all over Western and Central New York, is performing for the public free of charge at the church, at 300 E. Main St. in Batavia.

Ann Emmans, minister of music at First Presbyterian, says this is going to be "the church's gift to the community."

"We had ('Vox Lumine') at the church for a concert in May," Emmans said, "and it was delightful.  We thought, 'What would be more wonderful than to have them back for Christmas?' "

Costs are being covered by the church's memorial donation funds from the last few years.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and will probably run about an hour and a half, according to "Vox Lumine" first tenor Mark Ross.

A reception with Christmas cookies and punch will follow in the church's fellowship area.

The performance will feature 17 Christmas songs, including classics such as "Carol of the Bells" and "Joy to the World" and lesser know works, as well as pieces with different ethnic backgrounds (including Polish and Italian).

Emmans stressed that the music is "non-commercial" and has a "sacred character."

"It's more about the joy of the season," she said.

"(The Christmas season) is a time when people appreciate music even more than they normally do," Ross said, "because it's associated with the events of the holiday."

"Vox Lumine" was formed in March 2010 by founder and director Brandon Johnson, D.M.A, director of choral activities at Houghton College.

Ross, of Batavia, said they have done concerts as far east as Ithaca and as far west as Orchard Park.

Because members live in scattered locations (the member living at the farthest distance from Batavia is from Syracuse), Johnson sends the music to each of them individually. They will come together in two rehearsals between now and Dec. 20 to "meld" (in Emmans' words) what they have learned together. So each will quite literally bring his/her own voice to the performance.

A Houghton graduate, a member of First Presbyterian Church for 41 years and currently commissioned lay pastor at Stone Church Presbyterian in Bergen, Ross is very happy to be a part of the upcoming performance. It coincides with his retirement from New York Central Mutual Insurance, where he worked for 27 years as an insurance adjustor.

"It's a wonderful combination," he said with a smile on his face.

For more information, call the church at 343-0505 or e-mail Emmans at [email protected].

Pictured Emmans and Ross at the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary.

Top photo submitted by Mark Ross.

August 22, 2013 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, first presbyterian church.

The First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, is hosting a community clothing and household item giveaway Sunday and Monday.

Donations are still be accepted today. Organizers are looking for clean, gently used clothing and household items such as towels, bedding, curtains, tablecloths and throw rugs.

There's always a need for donations of clothing for infants, boys and girls, and for men and women, shoes, sneakers, purses and hats, plus winter clothing for children and adults.

Donations can be brought to the church today from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.

Items that cannot be left include large items, furniture, appliances and similar items.

For those who need to receive such donations, the giveaway is from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday.

February 19, 2013 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, first presbyterian church, Child Advocacy Center.

The Child Advocacy Center should have a new home by this summer.

The First Presbyterian Church has offered the center a rent-free space for the next three to five years at a house it owns on East Main Street, according to Undersheriff William Sheron.

The CAC provides children who have been sexually abused a safe place for assistance, counseling and interaction with law enforcement officials.

It operates under the auspice of Genesee Justice and the Sheriff's Office the county has been paying $1,200 a month in rent for its location on Bank Street.

The discussion about the move come up today during the county legislature's Public Service Committee meeting.

When Genesee Justice was threatened with funding cuts two years ago, it became apparent that the CAC needed to find a way to cut the rent expense.

In response, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia took up the cause of raising $150,000 to help the center get a location that it owned. So far more than $70,000 has been raised. The move to the house owned by the Presbyterian church would give supporters of the CAC more time to close the funding gap.

The Justice for Children Child Advocacy Center operates as a nonprofit organization and is supported by the county, donations and grants.

An in-kind contribution from the local Presbyterian Church would help the center fulfill matching grant requirements.

The house is located on East Main Street, between the Presbyterian church and the First Baptist Church.

The new location would give the CAC more space and be able to offer clients with different needs -- those there for counseling, say, and those for forensic interviews -- separate waiting spaces.

There is remodeling and repair work that needs to take place in the new facility and Sheron told the committee that there will likely be volunteers who do the work.

The only vote the committee took today was to approve a six-month lease on the Bank Street location, giving the CAC until June to prepare the new space.

December 17, 2012 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, religion, Churches, first presbyterian church.

First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, is holding a special remembrance service at 6:30 p.m., Friday, to honor those who have passed in 2012 and also to pray for those touched by the recent tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Pastor Roula Alkhouri holds a service annually for those who have lost loved ones during the year, but this year, there's greater sorrow for the nation following the massacre in Newtown, Conn.

"We are reminded once more that Christmas can be a painful time for some," Alkhouri said. "In the face of loss, we struggle to find joy in this season. For some this may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died."

Alkhouri said she is reaching out to pastors and congregations throughout the county to join in this year's service.

"This will be a quiet service of remembrance and hope," she said. "We will light candles for the loss of loved ones. We will also light special candles for the victims of violence of last Friday’s tragedy. We will hear through Scripture and music that God’s presence is (there) for those who struggle and mourn and how God’s Word offers us strength as a light shining into our brokenness."

October 19, 2011 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, first presbyterian church.

Workers have been busy the past few days chiseling out the mortar between the bricks of the First Presbyterian Church on East Main Street, Batavia, in preparation for replacing the mortar.

The project is one of many being undertaken by the church as part of a $650,000 capital improvement project, according to Pastor Roula Alkhouri.

The money was raised during a fundraising drive this spring.

Projects include renovating the fellowship hall, asbestos removal from the basement, work on the foundation and repaving the parking lot, among several other projects to help preserve the building.

September 19, 2011 - 8:07am

Kiwanis Club of Batavia's 53rd Annual Pancake Day Saturday October 29- 7am-2pm First Presbyterian Church Service Building Corner of Main and Liberty Streets Adult $5, Seniors over 62 - $3, Children under 10 - $3 Each child in costume (one child per accompanied adult) $Free$ Takeouts available-Full table service All you can eat pancakes,sausage, juice, coffee, milk Entertainment, giveaways... for more information call Anita @ 813-5371 or GET YOUR TICKETS AT THE DOOR!!!

August 23, 2011 - 4:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, first presbyterian church.

The First Presbyterian Church, located at 300 E. Main St. in Batavia, will have a Community Clothing Giveaway from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29.

Donations of clothing for infants, boys, girls, men and women are wanted, including shoes, sneakers, purses and hats. Winter clothing and children's clothing are especially welcome!

Please drop off your clean, gently used clothing at the church between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and again in the evening from 6 to 8, tommorrow and Thursday.

If you'd like to help or have questions: please call Nancy at 585-343-9134 or email at [email protected]

October 30, 2010 - 2:44pm
Event Date and Time: 
November 6, 2010 -
5:00pm to 7:00pm

The Genesee Chorale is hosting a spaghetti w/ meatballs dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Batavia.

Members of the chorale say it should be fun night as they serve up songs with the spaghetti. Members of the chorale will be entertaining patrons throughout the evening.

Dinner will include spaghetti w/ meatballs, salad, bread, beverage and dessert.

Tickets are available from Genesee Chorale members or at the door: $8 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and under age 5 free.

August 25, 2010 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, charity, first presbyterian church.

The First Presbyterian Church of Batavia is holding a Community Clothing Giveaway on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 29 and 30.

Sunday's will be held from noon to 4:30  p.m. On Monday, it will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The church asks the public to drop of clean, gently used clothing at the church, located at 300 E. Main St., from noon to 3 p.m. today and Thursday (Aug. 26). (There were previous drop-offs, too.)

Donations of clothing for infants, boys, girls, men, women are welcome, including shoes, sneakers, purses and hats. Winter clothing and work/business clothes are especially welcome.

For questions or more information, contact the church at 343-0505.

July 28, 2010 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, sports, golf, first presbyterian church.

Deacons of First Presbyterian Church Batavia are hosting a golf tournament on Aug. 7 at Batavia Country Club.

It is located at 7909 Batavia Byron Road. Registration for the scramble format begins at Noon. Tee time is 2 p.m. Cost is $65 per person and includes greens fee, cart, lunch and steak dinner.

Shot gun starts at 2 p.m. Indiviuals will be matched with incomplete teams. Hot dogs and drink will be served at the turn. There will be door prizes and a silent auction. Awards will be handed out at dinner.

Proceeds benefit Deacons' local outreach programs. For more information and to receive a registration form, contact the church office at 343-0505.

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