The geese are flying back, shoots are pushing through the mud/snow and high school musicals are sprouting up all over. By the time you read this, "Tarzan" participants will be having a deserved rest — that is, those who are not involved in spring sports, Master Minds, junior prom, senior ball or the myriad activities our schools make available for our young people. Congratulations to all area school students and the adults who support them.
Amazing Grace Parish (Butler, Countryside and Victory united Methodist churches) has a new start time for worship services. The month of March, services are being held at Countryside on Duck Lake Road in Springlake and will be starting at 10 a.m. We hope this time will be more convenient for most folks. Services will be in Victory for April and in Butler for May. All Sunday morning services will begin at 10 a.m. Our themes have followed the holy week gospel stories. This Sunday our acolyte, Alex, chose seven folks to help Pastor Marty relate the interactions that Jesus had with the money changers. Each "actor" had an emoji to share with the congregation!
As has been our custom, we will be holding an Easter sunrise service at the home of Marcia and Phil Waterman. The April 12 service will begin at 6:30 a.m. and will be followed by breakfast. All are invited to join us! The 10 a.m. Easter service will be held at Victory United Methodist.
This week I was reminded of a kindness that made a huge impression on me and the students involved. Many of the longtime readers of The Citizen will remember the brutal assault on John Turner, an actor with our Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre. John was left with severe injuries, including brain trauma. One of Port Byron’s sixth grade teachers reached out to him and invited him to speak with our students regarding his injuries, therapy and healing. John was a glorious example of perseverance and the hard work it takes to recover. Middle school teacher Diane Valerio created a caring support system and highlighted John’s healing as an example of overcoming a disability. Students were excited to be part of John’s progress in speaking and locomotion, and celebrated with him each step. I recently connected with him through the magic of Facebook, and celebrated his writing successes, marriage and, recently, the birth of a child. Our schools have become more and more receptive to helping our community as our community has become more and more aware of the needs of our staff and students. An amazing partnership!
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The Port Byron Ecumenical Ministries group again provided ice cream sundaes to concert performers, their families and friends during the Music in Our Schools concert. Connecting with old and new friends and sharing ice cream is one of the happiest things we do!
We are blessed to be in a history-loving area! Cayuga Community College's local history symposium again piqued our curiosity and added even more to our history portfolio. Pauline Copes Johnson continues to relate the stories of her beloved Aunt Harriet and inspires us. The "Suffragists From the Stage" performance was just the right beginning to Women’s History Month! The intimacy of the black box theater was the perfect venue to bring the indignities and passion of the movement to the audience. The Equal Rights Heritage Center book club had a free-wheeling discussion Monday night about Martha Coffin Wright. Her energy, outreach and passion are an inspiration to all of us modern women. We are in awe of this “Very Dangerous Woman"! Thank you to all, especially David Conley, for his historical perspective on this remarkable family. We will be discussing “There, There” on Monday, April 6.
The imagination and coordination of the magic that was Harriet Tubman Weekend still resonates late Sunday evening. My only complaint is that it was impossible to take in everything!!
The Gwendolyn Briley-Strand presentation of “Harriet Tubman: The Chosen One” at the Cayuga Museum's Carriage House Theater was the best one-person performance I have ever seen. This remarkable actor believably portrayed 5-year-old Harriet, Harriet’s father, slave owners, a teenage Harriet and the Underground Railroad conductor. Her marvelous voice drew us all into the story as we echoed, “let my people go.” Both my heart and my eyes were crying at the end of her performance.
Thank you, thank you.
Joni Lincoln is the historian of the town of Conquest.
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