24 November 2021 Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving!
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. -Psalm 7:17
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and times of the year. In reality, it is probably because it is the beginning of the Advent Season, or as I was most familiar with it most of my life, the start of the Christmas Season. I love the lights, the music, and the hustle bustle that always just seemed to be what Christmas was all about. The essence of cinnamon apple candles mixed with the smells that were emanating from the kitchen as a stack of vinyl records were producing the sounds of Nat King Cole and Perry Como singing various holiday favorites are sensory things that I can feel just as much today as I did when I was growing up.
When I reflect on why these memories have left such an indelible imprint in my mind, the emotions that are triggered are far more powerful than any smell or musical genre would be capable of. These were the things that were present during times of family fellowship and just generally great times. As a child, it was about seeing my grandparents, aunts and uncles and fun with cousins. There was always the trip to the King of Prussia Mall to do Christmas Shopping and hear whatever musical group was performing at the base of the spiral ramp that was the centerpiece of the mall. There was, of course, the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and share what my desired gift(s) may have been…(not an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” -Ralphie, A Christmas Story), HO, HO, HOHHHH….
Great memories and I’m thankful that I have them. Today, we are making memories that are similar, but different. It is still about family, though. Now it is having the kids home for a few days, our annual Black-Friday-First-Gift-of-Christmas outing, and a new tradition, decorating the tree (on Thanksgiving). This year we have taken a difficult step and migrated to an artificial Christmas Tree so that we can all decorate it together and it is not dead by Christmas. Last year, to accommodate our children’s schedules, we decorated the tree at Thanksgiving and by Christmas morning, ornaments were actually falling off of the tree- was somewhat entertaining, but the tree simply looked sad! So now, our tree will last all season long!
This year we are thankful for so much. We are thankful for Yorkshire Church and the many relationships that we are building. We are thankful that God is blessing this church and leading us into new areas of growth in ministry. We are thankful that even with many of our challenges, which are mostly building related, that He continues to provide for us so that we can do what needs to be done to make the necessary repairs and improvements. We are thankful for all those team members that are going above and beyond in evaluating the issues, spending countless hours on remediating them, and working with many contractors in getting the work completed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
In regards to the building, the new rain gutters have been installed on the roof of the sanctuary and parts of the education wing. This will go a long way in improving our rain water management around the foundation of the church. They also look very nice as they add a nice white accent to the roof line. The trees will be removed within the next week or so. We are continuing the work on the repairs and renovations to the fellowship hall as we rebuild and replace the areas that have been damaged over the years from what they officially term, “ground water intrusion.” We are waiting for design drawings and estimates before those repairs can continue.
Other events that are happening include our Church Charge Conference which will be at 4PM this Sunday, 21 November and will be facilitated by the Rev. Chuck Sprenkle who serves as one of the assistants to the District Superintendent. This will be a positive meeting where we will review required elements of our administrative processes and approve our leadership selections for next year. Immediately following this conference on Sunday evening is the “Hanging of the Greens.” So following the conference, we will decorate the church and enjoy a time of fellowship with the sounds of live Christmas music presented by Steve Fieldhouse. And in great United Methodist fashion, there will be pizza and snacks. I am inviting anyone that would like to bring their favorite batch of Christmas Cookies to please do so! Just think, someday, one of our children who are present for this function will write some version of What’s Brewing to their church and talk about the great memories of Thanksgiving, including the “Hanging of the Greens” and all of the varieties of Christmas cookies! Please help contribute to their memories!
In our preschool news, the children are beginning to prepare for their Christmas program that will be coming up in a few weeks on Thursday, December 16th. We will have more info forthcoming on this event and we will livestream it so that each of you can enjoy the blessings that these children bring. Another thing the children are doing during Advent is that they are drawing pictures of something that they think of that represents our worship theme. Last week, they drew something they were thankful for. This week, they were asked to draw something about “Hope.” The staff then chooses one of the images for the cover of our weekly bulletin. Now, this is a very difficult decision as we have some incredibly talented kiddos and artists! Make sure to take notice of the bulletin each week and enjoy the contributions of our Joyful Noise Christian Preschool!
Well, that’s about it for this Thanksgiving version of “What’s Brewing.” There is so much to share about all that is going on at Yorkshire that Holly and I are thankful for. But please know this. We are very thankful for our opportunity to be a part of this church family. We are very thankful for the support that you give to us and the blessings we receive as we worship God together. I am thankful for those that I work with- both staff, and leadership, and your patience in dealing with me during this time of year where the challenges of logistics and paperwork sometimes seem a bit overbearing. Most of all, I am thankful that we serve a loving God who sees us for who we are, and loves us just the same.
Happy Thanksgiving Yorkshire Church! Peace and Blessings!