30 December 2020
Greetings to you and Happy New Year!
I hope that each of you had a Merry Christmas and had some time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the arrival of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. For the family Kominsky, it was a bit quieter than previous Christmases, but still a great time to share valuable family time with one another.
Many of you have responded very positively to The Christmas Experience Sunday School series, so much so that we are now working to determine what our next Sunday School series will be. It is my hope that this will be finalized within the next week so that we can begin early in the New Year. I have also received many positive comments regarding our first live streamed Christmas Eve services. Being able to offer this technology to our fellowship and friends has proven to be a very important part of our ministry. But is it very different and requires new levels of support and expertise. From the media to music, every element of our service needs to be modified in new ways. We are blessed to have a team of committed folks that make this happen! I want to take a moment to acknowledge the folks who worked very hard to provide our Christmas Eve services to both our in-house congregation as well as our on-line congregation.
First, Alison Sutherland handled the logistics of getting everyone the information, bulletins, announcements and candles- for both virtual and in-house worship. She also decorated the altar which provided the visual element to our worship needed to accommodate presenting the atmosphere of a Christmas-decorated sanctuary to those who could not be present in it physically. I believe you will agree that all was absolutely beautiful! Next, we have the media team of Ashley Berman, Al Mink, Josh Webber, and Paul Shoff. They focused on sound, media, camera and lighting while also delivering the same quality of these elements to those located in the church. This is equivalent to running two completely different services as different skillsets are needed for both streams of worship technology. I can’t thank these folks enough for their efforts. I am also thankful for Caleb West from York Alliance Church, for his direction and support in preparing our systems and processes to be able to do what we do. Debra Why provided web site support to ensure all was properly archived.
My thanks go to our Yorkshire musical team of Matt and Michaela Monticchio, Nasei Adjei-Kordei, Thomas Wakeland, Beth Gross, Steve Glover, special guest Emma Klimowicz (cello and vocals) and soloist Pastor Megan Krusemark. What a wonderful presentation of the Gospel through the gifts of these folks! Rounding out the worship team for Christmas Eve was Kris, Tiffany, Melina Ivie and Bud and Benny Bish who served as liturgists and candle lighters for the Advent Wreath presentation. Jacob Wingard was present to open and prepare the church facility for our worship presentation and then ensure that all was secure when our services were complete. Greeting and ushering was handled by Focht family at 5PM, while Charlie and Janice Hoffman handled the 7PM service. If you were to do a count, this represents at least 27 members of our fellowship who served all who we reached on Christmas Eve. Thank you so much for your efforts! You are a blessing to all of us and your service is appreciated!
Last evening, Holly and I were watching a tribute documentary about Fred Rogers. It was very well done and represented the life of this great man in a compelling and honorary fashion. Most of it was about his time as Mr. Rogers and the inspiration that drove him to create and produce his popular children’s television show. The end of the documentary spoke about a presentation he did following 9/11. Although he was relating to a different difficult period of time in our nation’s history, words that he spoke provided me inspiration as to our calling as the church. It is easy to see our church as becoming divided in that there is now the element of the church that worships in-person and an element that worships through the on-line presence. However, this type of separated worship should be seen as no different than those that previously chose to worship at 9AM and those that worshipped at 10:45(now 11AM) – we are no more separated by our proximity to one another now than how we worshipped then. Each of us chooses a mode that best meets our situation. During our current pandemic crisis, each of our situations is different- so therefore, how we choose to worship may be different- and it doesn’t mean that our choice of worship represents our preferred method. But it is what is right for each of us for a time such as this. BUT, we are still the church.
Fred Rogers made this statement, “Thank you for whatever you do, wherever you are, to bring joy and light and hope and faith and pardon and love to your neighbor and to yourself.” Each of you are doing what you can to do these things. For those that are worshipping on-line, it allows others to be in the church as we have been able to exceed social distancing requirements. For those that give, it has allowed us to continue to invest in the necessary technology and resources to make this much needed form of worship a reality- with the goal of providing as close to the sense of “being here” that we can. For those that continue to serve those in the public that are less fortunate, you are the hands and feet of the church in meeting our goal to love others as we love ourselves. For those of you that pray, your prayers are the fuel that keeps us strong, unified, and growing in our faith. And for those of you that serve the church through our various ministries, your efforts are essential to us as we continue to be the church.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV)
So, Yorkshire Church, I am thankful and appreciative for each one of you and pray for blessings on Yorkshire Church as we navigate the waters that 2021 has in store for us! Peace and Blessings!
– pastor dave.