9 December 2021
Advent Greetings to Yorkshire Church!
I spent some time this morning reflecting on the various traditions of the Advent wreath and candles throughout history. We have become very familiar with the focus of Advent as a season of expectation as we celebrate the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, yet look forward to His second coming ushering in His new Kingdom.
I was planning on writing about each of the candles and how their focus meaning came to be. At Yorkshire, we are celebrating the four weeks of Advent with the lighting of the Advent Candles reflecting on Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. Each week we are discussing these terms and how they are important to today’s church. As I researched the history of the celebration of Advent, I found that for me to write about my findings, would require something more than a two-page letter. But this week’s worship focus will be on the topic of Joy.
One of my go-to verses for the joy that we feel as Christians is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This sums up so much of what we have discussed during our messages this year. Our God is a God of hope and Paul is stating that as we trust in Him, he will fill us with all joy and peace. As we give our lives to God through His Son Jesus Christ, He sends His Spirit to be in our hearts. This is a gift from God. We no longer have to seek Him; he is with us. When we begin to understand this, we begin to trust Him in new ways, learn to lean on Him, and to walk confidently knowing that we are not alone. The result of our trust in Him is an unexplainable, inexplicable joy. So, in this one verse, we see that the love of God, provides us with hope, joy, and peace- the same things we celebrate during the Season of Advent.
I am looking forward to our time of worship together this week. On Sunday, our Youth Group will the 9AM and 11:15AM services. This includes the word and the witness that will be shared. We are blessed with a great group of students here at Yorkshire! We are also blessed to have Pastor Megan, Claudia Mingora, Joe Blackwood, and Linda Feeser who work to support them in Youth Group activities, Sunday School, and one- on-one support. Holly and I are blessed that we get the opportunity to host this group at our home from time to time and simply enjoy our interactions with each of them! So, this is a Sunday you won’t want to miss- either in person or on the livestream.
As a church and as a community, we are experiencing an increase of Covid cases, including some within our fellowship. So far, each case has been quickly isolated and we are most thankful that in all cases, illness has been mild for those dealing with it and additional spread has been effectively avoided. We continue to allow those who choose to attend in-person worship, to act in their own discretion in regards to various safety protocols, and we honor one another’s choices. Pastor Megan and I do our best to refrain from any type of physical contact with the congregation including hugs and handshakes, but expect that a few slip in here and there as it is simply natural for all of us to share such affections and greetings with those that we are close to. We regularly use the hand sanitizers located throughout the facility and generally try to keep a distance as we discuss and interact with each of you. As I have stated before, we do this because we interact with about 120 of you each week! I just ask that everyone simply take an extra step of caution during this time of elevated sickness. With the weather recording 60-degree temps one day, and 30 degree temps the next, even the
common cold becomes a normal element to deal with. (This is why I pray for cold weather and snow – its healthy!)
I would like to share our Year-to-Date financial information with you.
Yorkshire financial picture including Joyful Noise Christian Preschool: January 2021 thru November 30, 2021:
Income: Expenses: Working Capital:
$ 20,398.00 (Positive Working Capital)
These numbers reflect that the total of all of our offerings and gifts supports the expenses of operating our church and preschool in a manner that leaves about 5% to cover things above and beyond what we might expect or foresee. So, the question is, what have or are we doing with the $20,398 extra dollars shown above? Well, let me share that with you. So far, we have spent $54,485 dollars on repairs and improvements to our facility. We received a payment from our insurance company for $25,000 toward that amount, so the net money we have spent so far on the needs of our building is $29,485.00. This is a little over $9,000 more than we have to spend from our Income minus Expenses this year.
Our Finance team has done an incredible job in 2020 and 2021 in stabilizing our church’s financial standing. By evaluating all of our expenses, re-managing our cost of operations, and renegotiating several service-type contracts, the church has funds available to cover the necessary things that we need to do. The funds that they manage are a reflection of your generosity with your gifts and offerings. The combination puts us in a financial situation that allows us to operate our church effectively.
Although we continue to operate effectively, the repairs, investments, and work that we have done in our facility this year have reduced our “General Operating Fund” by about $26,000 since June. So, in effect, we are using our “savings” to finance much of the work around the church as well as to buffer our cash flow during months that have increased expenses. But we have not begun to reconstruct any of the damaged portions of the fellowship hall or improved access plans for the building as of yet. By the end of this month, we will pay out an additional $10,000 for our Shares of Ministry to the United Methodist Church, as well as an additional 6- 8,000.00 for the tree removal along Edgewood Road.
So what does all of this mean? It means that your gifts and offerings have allowed us to not only manage our day-to-day functions, ministry, missions and preschool, but also to invest in the repair and functionality of where we do these things. We are anticipating significant increases next year in many different expense areas, though, and we know each of you are anticipating the same in your households. So, we need to continue to be diligent in the management of our expenses as well as praying for continued generosity among our fellowship in your giving of offerings and gifts. We are growing all facets of our ministry, preschool, missions and worship attendance and we have faith in God’s provision to allow us to continue to support the additional expenses that come along with growth.
It is a joyous time to be a part of God’s church. It is a joyous time to be a part of the fellowship of Yorkshire Church. It is a joyous time to be part of God’s family through our fellowship at Yorkshire Church!
With all Joy and Peace!
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952 • www.yorkshirechurch.org