29 December 2021
It is my hope that each of you had a Merry Christmas and an opportunity to share the peace, joy and love of what this season is truly about. We had a very nice Christmas and it is always a special blessing to have all of the kids and grandchildren together.
I enjoyed our Christmas Eve services. What a blessing it was to have the musical talents of Steve Fieldhouse Jazz Ensemble during our 5PM service and the Choir, Brenna Richard and both of our organists Jackie and Beth for the 7PM service! I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the message with Pastor Megan as we had a great time working through both the preparation and the presentation of the Christmas story.
This week, we have enjoyed some time with reduced hours at the church as we take a quick breather from the hustle bustle of the Advent Season and get ready for the kick-off of a new year. There is a great deal to look forward to in 2022 while we reflect on all of the accomplishments of 2021. Some of the more noteworthy ones are our new entrance doors to the sanctuary, kitchen and office/preschool entrances. We have made significant improvements to our exterior lighting including improved LED lighting in our north parking lot area. Of course we have begun a major transformation of the fellowship hall following flooding issues that have been many years in the making. This has included significant effort and work to repair damaged drainage pipes, pumps, and rain gutters on the exterior of the building.
The Joyful Noise Christian Preschool has experienced significant growth resulting in the transformation of old office space into new Preschool teachers ’offices and expanded JNCP support rooms (old Preschool office). This, of course was to support more than double registrations and growth from one teacher to four.
Our finance team has successfully implemented a new financial system with new levels of detailed reporting, a culmination of two years of hard work by this team. This is so important as we now look for ways to finance necessary facility repairs, upgrades, and improvements in ways that don’t put financial stress on our church.
We have added three missionaries to our list of dedicated support- two overseas and one in local campus ministry. Our mission’s team is looking forward to growing this ministry not only in the number of missionaries that we support, but also in the amount that we can pledge to support them. This is great as Jesus told us to “make disciples of all nations,” and this is one small way that we can make an impact!
The education team has developed and implemented a curriculum-based Sunday School program that has expanded to four adult classes, a youth class, and two elementary and preschool level classes. This is supported by a dynamic children’s church program for young children during our times of worship. This is an exciting part of our ministry and continues to grow on a monthly basis. I have always believed that a growing Sunday School program is a sign of a healthy church. I am certain that this is at least one of the validating points that Yorkshire is vital church!
Our adult Bible Studies have also seen significant growth this year with both our women’s and men’s fellowships. I have personally been overwhelmed by the support and commitment from the Men’s Fellowship
on the Sixes that began last year during Lent. I truly believed that we would do an eight-week study and then plan to do another one this year. Well, that eight-week study is still going on- over forty-five weeks later! It has been exciting to see the women’s Bible study group grow and include other fellowship activities as well.
New outdoor activities this year have let our neighborhood and community know that we are here for them. From our Spoken rock concert in July, to our Rally Day activity day in September and then the Trunk or Treat in October, we introduced ourselves to hundreds of our neighbors and offered a time of fun and fellowship for all to enjoy. This was a benefit to not only our community, though, as it also offered our church family great times of interaction and fellowship.
As we look back, the key to our vitality is not the events or the accomplishments of facility improvement. The key is in our spiritual growth as the body of Christ. It has always been my belief that when a body of believers prays together, communes together, breaks bread together, and worships together that their love for one another grows together. It is when we love one another as Christ loves us, that He will add to our numbers. And this is not indicated by attendance, but in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:42-47, John 13:34- 35). Of course to support our fellowship, all of the accomplishments and activities are a necessary part – but they are not the key. Looking forward, we need to ensure that our priorities remain our focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).
In 2022, I would like to see continued growth in our existing Sunday School and Small Group activities. To me, this is where we can really dig into God’s Word and not only listen to it as in the weekly sermons, but we can discuss it, question it, and share in our learning with our brothers and sisters. I would also like to see continued growth in our missions’ programs, as mentioned, and our efforts within our local community as we have enjoyed this past year.
I would also like to focus on visitation and support to those that do not worship within our facility for various reasons. We have been dedicated to rebuilding much of our logistics infrastructure and ministries which has been of tremendous importance. But now we need to wean off of that focus as new leadership and teams are now self-sufficient and can manage these areas effectively. It has been wonderful to take part in a few visitations and Communion visits over the past few weeks, but we need to establish this as a regular part of our ministry activities. I have found my recent visitations to be most rewarding. It is my goal to set aside time each week to continue to do this- either in person, or at least through phone calls. I have not done a very good job of this since beginning my service to this church – but I will do better.
I look forward to what God has in store for us over the next twelve months and beyond. It has been a great year for Yorkshire which was made possible by our dedicated staff, leadership and all of you as we navigated many difficult challenges. I am sure 2022 will continue to give us things we are not expecting, but I know that God is Good, All the Time! Holly and I are very thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of Yorkshire Church. You have been a blessing us!
Here’s to 2022…
Happy New Year!
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402