East Rochester United Methodist Church

East Rochester United Methodist Church

Strive for the Tithe!

Todd GoddardComment

Dearly beloved,

Are you experiencing the joy of living a tithing lifestyle? I am, and I invite you to join me. Tithing is an opportunity to increase faith and strengthen the church of Jesus Christ. 

Our Leadership team asked our Lay Leader, Jim Coleman, and our Financial Secretary, Ellie Kopp, and myself to develop a stewardship effort by the end of the 2018 year. We developed a campaign, identified stewardship values, brought focus to the joy of tithing, and established a timeline. Here are the highlights:


On November 25th and December 2nd, Jim and I spoke about the joy of tithing and this efforts during the announcements prior to worship. As per our timeline, over the next two Sundays - December 9th and December 16th, pledge cards will be distributed. Please make every effort to fill out your card and return it to Ellie by Sunday, December 16, 2018. We plan to make effort for 100% participation. We can do it!

Thank you for your thoughtful, prayerful participation and incredible generosity. 

God loves you, and so do I,

Pastor Todd

Eulogy for Lee “Buck” Franklin Gilhart

Todd GoddardComment

September 3, 1933 – April 11, 2018

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor

East Rochester United Methodist Church

April 16, 2018




Buck, you fought the good fight

And now the victory is yours.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Rest peacefully, dear friend.


Today, we gather

To remember Buck,

To ease our grief,

To survey our path forward,

To say “thank you” to God for sharing Buck with us.


Buck was born precipitously,

So quickly, he was instantly coined “Little Buckshot.”

Boom! The rest is history.


Buck was a child of East Rochester,

Meeting Margot in the third grade,

Graduating from High School in 1952.

He attended our parish as a child and youth.

He answered our nation’s call to duty,

Honorably serving in the Air Force.

Thank you for your service.


Marriage and family blessed Buck’s life.

A 35-year career with R.G.&E. enabled a good life;

A cottage on the lake,

A motorcycle and sidecar,

Water skiing, campfires, and special projects in the shop or kitchen.


Buck lived by his core values:

Honesty, dependability, strict adherence to the rules.

Being a stickler to rules probably saved his life more than once,

And the lives of his co-workers,

Both in the Air Force and

High up in the bucket fixing high power lines.


“Buck was rough and tough and hard to bluff,”

Margot recently told me,

“But, underneath it all, he was soft.”

Indeed, making Margot breakfast,

Doing the dishes,

Melting in the midst of an expanded family, or

Simply watering the gardens outside the church front door on hot summer days,

All gave evidence to Buck’s softness,

His love,

His heart.


“How are you doing?” I’d often ask when I’d stop in to visit.

“Oh, I’m getting by,” he’d reply. “Day to day.”

I knew the pain he was in and the suffocating nature of his heart disease,

Which just about killed me.


A few days ago I asked Buck to look me straight in the eyes.

I suggested to him that instead of living one day at a time,

That perhaps this was the time to start thinking about living by faith;

Drawing deeply from the stockpile of faith

Upon which he had built his life.

“Hum,” he responded. “I’ll have to think about that.”


Indeed, Buck made the spiritual development of living day by day

To living by faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ;

His promise of forgiveness,

His promise of resurrection and eternal life.

Today, the Lord has taken Buck by the hand and welcomed him home.

This is a gift,

We call it grace, and

Grace is the perfected destination of our spiritual journey to God.


It’s a gift that Buck’s sins have been forgiven.

“We’re all good,” our heavenly Father grants at the pardon.

Jesus paid his penalty;

Paying it forward,

For Buck, and every disciple of Christ.

It’s a gift that Buck’s burdens, pain, sickness, and temptation are now ended.

It’s a gift that Buck has been resurrected into eternal glory,

Forever abiding with God.


Today, we thank God for these enormous, generous gifts,

That has now brought Buck home.

Gratitude facilitates our healing,

Eases our mourning, and

Deepens our faith.


Say “thank you” to God

For the gift of his son, Jesus Christ, and

For the gift of Buck, his life, his love, his family, his friends, his church.

Say “thank you” to God

That Buck was able to spiritually grow throughout his life;

From living day by day,

To living by faith, and now

Being redeemed and resurrected into eternal life by God’s grace.


Thank you, God.

Thank you.


New Banners Dedicated!

Todd GoddardComment

New liturgical banners were dedicated on Sunday, April 8, 2018! Jody Watters and her family donated six banners - two Lent (Purple), two Christmas (White), and two Easter (White, see above) - in thankful gratitude for the kindness of Neil and Sally Glassbrook. 

Thank you for your generous gifts that will inspire our worship for years to come!

Thank You to the Family of Betty Kreyer

Todd GoddardComment

On Sunday, November 5, 2017 memorial banners were dedicated in memory of our own, Betty Kreyer. Banners and stands were made possible by generous donations in Betty's name and kindly directed by Betty's family. 

Thank you, Kreyer family!

Special thanks is also extended to Ellie Kopp, Margot Gilhart, and Pastor Carol Sierk for their work to make the special memorial dedication possible! 

Our saint, Betty Kreyer, and her family at the dedication of her memorial banners. 11/05/2017

Our saint, Betty Kreyer, and her family at the dedication of her memorial banners. 11/05/2017

Contact Ellie, Margot, Pastor Carol, or Pastor Todd if you would like to make contributions for additional banners. 

A few thoughts about your pastor!

Todd GoddardComment
Pastor: Todd R. Goddard,    585 678.1893.   E-mail  .

Pastor: Todd R. Goddard, 
585 678.1893. E-mail.

Rev. Todd R. Goddard, July 2013

  1. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ; he claimed me at my baptism and I claimed him at my confirmation as a youth.

  2. I’ve been called and ordained to be a pastor, whose role is to

    1. Word: proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ

    2. Sacrament: celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion

    3. Service: to serve the needs of the Body of Christ

    4. Order: ensure the administrative order of the parish is Biblical and Disciplinary

  3. I’ve been appointed by the Bishop to serve as your pastoral leader.

  4. In my opinion, the role of the congregation is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."

  5. It is my role to keep people redirected back to the core values and vision of our congregation.

  6. I believe Christ calls us to empower people.

  7. I believe the Holy Spirit speaks through all people.

  8. I believe in permission giving, way more than permission withholding.

  9. I favor grace more than law.  

  10. I believe the community of faith’s role is discernment of God’s will – individually and collectively

  11. I believe every person has been endowed with God given potential that requires nurture and encouragement to blossom and grow.

  12. Worship is our core activity. It must be done to the best of our ability.

  13. Worship that is combined with mission serves as the best way to grow our church family.

  14. Mission gives meaning to the spiritual journey.

  15. All are welcome at the table. Since all are guilty under the law, I prefer to leave judgment up to God.

  16. Programs ebb and flow; it is just as okay to let go as it is to create. This comes from a confidence in God’s timing.

  17. The only metric I’m concerned with is

    1. Is your heart warmed by Christ?

    2. What are you doing about it?

  18. I believe God has given us all the money we need.

  19. I believe God gives us all the people we need. If we need more, God will provide. If we are not good stewards of the people we’ve been given, our numbers will decline.

  20. I believe strongly in Safe Sanctuaries and the protection it affords children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Also, I don’t like to have access to church money. I do not want to know what any one person gives to the church. Giving is fun; and opportunities to spread the joy should abound!

If I offend you, please seek me out and tell me! If you see me headed in an uninformed and reckless direction, please inform me! Lastly, I dismiss all anonymous complaints.

Depression-fighting tips by Amanda Gardner (from HEALTH Magazine online)

Todd GoddardComment

(The National Institute of Mental Health reports 26.2% of Americans will suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year. This is a lot of people in our pews. These are a lot of people we love and care for beyond our pews. This article comes from our local Mental Health Association, a wonderful organization, for whom I used to teach public workshops. The author provides some wonderful tips for living well. Enjoy! - pastor Todd)


Medication can help depression. But a type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-which focuses on changing behavior, rather than talking about your childhood, for instance-can be an effective adjuvant to or even substitute for drugs. "It's much more focused on what you seem to be doing and thinking that is keeping you depressed," Simon Rego, PsyD, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Some of its methods can be practiced at home, on yourself, with no special training. So here are some tips for breaking the cycle of negativity.

Don't catastrophize.

One way to sabotage yourself is to take a single event and treat it as an ongoing source of negativity. "People who are unemployed do this a lot," says Rego. "They've lost their job because of the economy and they personalize it."

It's also unhealthy to catastrophize-focus on the worst imagined outcome, even if it's irrational. For example, don't let concerns about money escalate into the conviction you'll soon be homeless.

Instead of thinking, "I'll never get another job," try to say to yourself: "I will get another job. It just may take some time."

Stop ruminating.

Ever clash with a colleague or fight with a friend and then keep obsessively thinking about it, amplifying the anger, stress, and anxiety associated with the memory? Known as rumination, this type of thinking is linked to a greater risk of becoming or staying depressed.

While reflection is a good thing, and may help you solve problems, rumination does the opposite.

If you catch yourself ruminating, studies suggest it may help if you try to distract yourself, meditate, or redirect your thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy often targets rumination because it can be so damaging to mental health

Retire your crystal ball.

Very few (if any) of us are blessed with the ability to predict the future. But depressed people will often convince themselves they know what will happen a day, a month, or a year down the line. And it's usually bad, if not downright catastrophic.

Fortunately, our dire predictions rarely come true.

Try to stay in the present. It's much more manageable and you're less likely to blow things out of proportion.

Don't dwell on the past.

It's pretty pointless to tell yourself you should have done this or shouldn't have done that. You can't change the past, but you can live in the present.

Just accept that you made the best decisions you could have made with the information or resources you had at the time. Hindsight is always 20/20, so best to try to just let it go and don't beat yourself up for perceived missteps.

And do a rumination check; ruminating about the past can generate anxiety, just as worry about the future.  

Reach out to others.

A hallmark of depression is isolation. It can happen easily if you're not working, or you're avoiding people because you're depressed. But reinvigorating or expanding a social network provides an opportunity to get support, perhaps even from people in the same or a similar situation, says Rego.

"Once you start reconnecting with people, you get a sense they understand," he says. "You get positive advice and encouragement and it's often done in activities that end up being fun."

Staying home alone will perpetuate the depression. Getting out with other people-even a little bit-will lift your spirits.

Stick to a structured routine.

Even if you don't feel like it, make sure you get up at a set time, eat meals at the same hour every day (even if you're not hungry), and avoid lounging on the couch during the day lest it prevent you from sleeping well at night.

"People who are depressed tend to eat or sleep inconsistently," says Rego. "Even if you're unemployed  or feeling down, it's really important to set and establish a daily routine as best you can. This gives you a sense of regularity that can help with a depressed mood."

If you can incorporate socializing into your routine, all the better. 

Avoid black and white thinking.

Black and white is great for zebras, but not thoughts. Depressed people tend to think in extremes: I'm a loser. No one loves me. I'll never get a job.

But your thought patterns could put you in a rut or keep you there. "Being depressed or sad is going to color the way you think about yourself in a negative direction," says Rego. 

These thoughts can paralyze you and stop you from doing the very things that will get you out of a lousy situation. Try to think in shades of gray, says David R. Blackburn, PhD,a psychologist with Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Instead of "no one loves me," try "lots of people (if not everybody) love me."


Reality check your thoughts.

If you're depressed, negative thoughts go with the territory. However, they are rarely grounded in reality.

Once you've identified a negative thought, ask yourself, "Where is the evidence that I'm the most despicable human being on the entire earth?" There probably isn't any.

"You can't just be rattling these thoughts back and forth and saying they're true," says Blackburn. "You have to come up with some solid evidence."

And if you're worried about what people are thinking about you, go ahead and ask them. 

Choose smart goals.

Select a few simple, straightforward goals you can easily set and follow, suggests Rego. Those goals should be SMART, which stands for "specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and time-limited."

So for example, deciding you will have a job by the end of the week is unrealistic.

But deciding to post two resumes online by the end of the week, on the other hand, is SMART. "It's specific. It's attainable. It's not that much effort to do and it could be rewarding," says Rego. 

Fake it a bit.

Write down all the things you used to like doing that you've stopped doing because you're sad and depressed, suggests Rego, who is also assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

That could be going to the movies, socializing with friends, or simply going to the corner coffee shop with a newspaper.

Then, one by one, start reincorporating these activities into your life even if you're feeling unenthusiastic about it. Also, focus on tasks that can give you a sense of mastery or accomplishment, whether it's tidying up the apartment or paying the bills. That can help ease the depression as well.

Don't deny depression.

If your present situation, well, sucks, denying it will only make things worse. "Some people don't accept they're depressed and instead beat themselves up or think they're crazy or weak," says Rego.

This may only drive you deeper down, while acceptance can relieve the suffering, he says.

In general, knowing and accepting that you're depressed can allow you to take steps to make it better or get treatment, rather than pretend that everything's just fine. 

Treat yourself well.

Take a look at the language you use when you think about or talk to yourself and compare it to the way you talk to everyone else. If there's a disconnect, try to treat yourself in a kinder, gentler way.

"We're often kind to everybody else but we beat  ourselves up. That's a double standard," says Blackburn. "It would be preferable to use a single standard: Don't beat everyone else up, but get off your own back, too." 

(For more information about the Mental Health Association, call 585.325.3145)

Another Story About Partnering

Todd GoddardComment

People with special needs are neighbors, family members, and friends. They are members of the community just like everyone else; just like you and me! 

What really excites me is when a church opens their arms and makes an intentional effort to welcome EVERY member of the community into worship and missional life. This demonstrates a hospitable, inclusive, and welcoming attitude that builds congregational strength and spiritual depth.  

A colleague recently sent this testimony to me about a local church nearby: 

I want to share a wonderful experience that a few of the individuals here at Perinton participated in this morning.  The pastor here at Perinton Presbyterian did a small little service just  for some of the individuals of Perinton Day Hab that wanted to get this holy season of Lent underway.  The pastor shared some words to get us in the correct mind set for this season and made us think of ways to honor our Lord and thank him for his ultimate sacrifice.  The individuals that went got a lot out of what the pastor had to say and they were very appreciative to receive the ashes for Ash Wednesday.  We had a wonderful little conversation after to discuss some of the ways we could honor our Lord during this season as well as after Lent is finished.  The conversation that took place was fantastic as it was between peers and not just staff driven. The pastor here at Perinton didn’t have to do any of this and it was truly a blessing for the individuals to partake in it. 

Truly, dearly beloved sisters and brothers walking in the footsteps of Jesus, isn't this what we are called to do?

TALK IT UP! Why Churches Should Consider Partnering with Neighbors

Todd GoddardComment

I received the following note written by a director of a day program in our area that is housed in a local church:

"I had the opportunity to spend the day at the St. Stephens day hab yesterday and was so very impressed with how the team has built such a strong relationship with members at the Church. Ron, who is a member of St. Stephens stopped in to say hello to everyone and thanked (staff and attendees) for supporting a recent breakfast that the Church hosted. He shared with the group that all of the proceeds were being donated to the WNY food bank. 

(One of the lead staff) shared with me that the day hab will be joining St. Stephens Church members for the Lenten Seasons upcoming Friday fish fry! There is often a benefit from sharing space, community relationships are being built and we are able to share a similar mission."