3 March 2022 Greetings Yorkshire Churchians!
Lent. Can’t believe we are entering the season of Lent already. But, since we gathered together last evening in fellowship to worship God as part of an Ash Wednesday acknowledgement, I suppose that we have to accept that this year is moving very quickly, and yes, it is actually March.
I have enjoyed our study of Isaiah over the past several weeks. It has served as a great reminder to me that our world has been in seeming chaos forever. As we study of the history of the Israelites, we can see that not only were they constantly turning their backs on God and finding other things to focus their lives on, we also see that world powers were also constantly vying for power. In the history of the Bible, we see constant upheaval in the world, even outside of the Biblical framework of focus. All around the Promised Land vicinity, we see the Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, and Romans consistently at odds with one another – all of which affected God’s people in various ways. But regardless of the happenings around them, it was typically when they took their focus off of God, that they were able to be separated, exiled, and persecuted. This doesn’t mean that their lives weren’t affected by the disruptions around them, but, their most significant difficulties emerged when they took their focus off of God and their love for one another waned.
We live in a world that has many disruptions occurring in it. From pandemics to wars, you can’t deny that we live in a world of chaos. We try to make sense of it, but it is often difficult to discern the difference of what is really happening and what is being portrayed as happening from various news sources. On top of the chaos, we are faced with many factions that want to provide information to us to gain a specific response from us, which simply adds to the confusion in the world. I don’t look to the prophetic passages in scripture to predict what will happen tomorrow or next year, but I have learned from historical repetition of how humanity responds to worldly distractions. As the church, we can benefit from the lessons that God has provided us in the Scriptures. And we can simplify it for discussions like “What’s Brewing.” It is my discernment that during these times, it is important for us to focus on God. It is during these times that our prayers should be for wisdom and discernment. It is during these times that we pray for the marginalized, and those that have no voice, no say in the predicament that they face. Although we may not agree with what we perceive to be happening, we also need to look to God’s sovereignty in recognizing that regardless of what is
happening in the world, He is still in charge.
During the Easter season, we will study and hear scriptures that tell us of
what our Lord Jesus went through during His time here on earth. It wasn’t
pretty. In the end, after He is arrested, a dialog occurs between Pilate and
Jesus which is good to reflect on during times where we question why
leaders are allowed to be where they are today. God’s purposes are not
always clear to us in the present and I am sure Jesus’s followers questioned His comments at the time that He spoke them. (Emphasis in following text mine).
10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:10-11, NIV).
As I reflect back on Isaiah’s writings to the Israelites in Jerusalem and Judah during a time of great Assyrian oppression – I see that his focus for the people was to repent and turn back to God. Last evening, our service focused on repentance as a means for us to rid ourselves of the things that bog us down and put themselves in the place of God in our hearts. This may be represented in various sins, little or big, or maybe it is simply allowing the noise in the world, the ilk of the media, and the chaos of the world to distract us from our relationship with God. Whatever our primary focus is on, is what we will also reflect to those around us. Our question is, how do we ensure that our reflection is always one that glorifies God?
Now, on to some church happenings! Since my last What’s Brewing, we have hired a Music Director and a Praise and Worship Leader! Steve Fieldhouse has joined our team as the Music Director which includes Choir Director. Steve serves as part of our Praise and Worship team at 9AM worship playing the bass guitar and the saxophone and at 11:15 leading our incredible choir. Through the week you may see Steve in the Joyful Noise Christian Preschool teaching our children different musical lessons, or on Thursday nights directing the choir. Jazzé Palmer has joined our team as our Praise and Worship leader for the 9AM Worship Service and provides his gifts from the piano keyboard and vocals. Jazzé works with our Praise Team on Thursday nights. Thursday nights in the Yorkshire Sanctuary may not be worship in the perspective of a church service, but from the time the choir starts at 6:30 till the praise team concludes at 8:30, there is Joy in that space! Welcome Steve and Jazzé!
Another area of focus for us is in filling the position of Director/Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries. This position is focused on our Youth Ministries as Pastor Megan transitions into her new ministry calling with her husband David in Lititz. The Staff Parish Team has rewritten the job description to include a focus on family and children’s ministry here in the church. This will include working with all of our current youth and children’s ministry volunteers.
We continue to receive quotes on rebuilding our fellowship hall including accessibility improvements. We are finding that pricing for this type of work is experiencing significant increases- even since we began this process last fall. After our first round of proposals, the Trustee leadership decided to seek additional proposals which will give us a solid base of options to ensure that the best decisions are made for our fellowship; weighing the benefits of the investments that will be required. Although we want to do everything that we feel would be best long-term, we want to ensure that we do it in such a way as to not cause financial stress on our fellowship. Step out in faith, yes, but also ensure that we are being wise stewards of all of God’s blessings. But there is work that needs to be done- so our Trustee team will be facing some forthcoming effort to make some key decisions to propose to our church and leadership. Stay tuned!
I am looking forward to celebrating Girl Scout Sunday this week which will be during our 9AM Worship! This is a great group of scouts and leaders and I know that their presence with us in worship will be a blessing!
Blessings to you this day! -pastor dave. firstname.lastname@example.org
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952 • www.yorkshirechurch.org