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2 December 2021 Good day Yorkshire!
I write this week’s rendition of What’s Brewing with a particular joy as we have completed our last few meetings of 2021. Of course this includes our church Charge Conference which occurred on Sunday evening, but the highlight of that evening was the Hanging of the Greens which followed the conference! As you read this, you may think to yourself that my “particular joy” is the result of not having any more meetings. And although there is an element of truth to that, the joy that I feel is actually a result of the meetings that we had.
In the past two to three weeks, we have had Finance, Staff Parish, Missions, General Staff, and several other meetings that were in preparation for the church conference. If these were simply meetings, then anyone would feel joy to be finished with them. But, for our various teams, these meetings have become times of great fellowship. Sure, we are working through the business stuff of the church, but in each case, it is a gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ, in fellowship, to work together seeking God’s will for how our church is being called to serve Him for a time such as this. In these times of fellowship, we have not only worked through the tasks at hand, but we have laughed together, sometimes to tears, and we have shared a joy in our relationships with one another.
I have learned a few things during this period of time, as well. I have learned that the church has “squishy- things” from which we serve coffee. You pour coffee into these “things” and then “squish” the top which then pumps the coffee from inside the container, out of the spout, and into your cup. We also have variations of these things known as “flippy things…” from which the coffee is dispensed by the pulling of a lever (In other churches that I have served, these were known to me as carafes.) I have learned that when purchasing socks for our mission’s outreaches, we should never buy “jicky-jack” socks, but only cotton or wool as they wick moisture away from the skin. Although I don’t personally purchase socks often (because I get
them as Christmas gifts on Christmas morning), I don’t recall ever making a decision between “jicky-jack” types and any other type of sock. I’ll look closer next time I am at Kohl’s.
In addition to critical-minded thinking through the elements of “squishy, flippy, and jicky jack” discussions, a great deal of business has been discussed and decisions made that bring value to our fellowship. We will be publishing our 2022 Financial Budget shortly so that you can see how we are planning to use your gifts and offerings in support of our church operations, worship, facility, and missions’ outreach over the next year. There is still a great deal of work to do on our facility to not only repair the issues of our flooding this past year, but also to update the space with improved ADA access, restroom equipment, many other general maintenance concerns. The finance team has considered rising costs in energy and other areas that will impact our financial resources and will continue to not only look at how we are spending our finances, but also in seeking places where we can operate more efficiently- even while we are experience growth in our attendance, and our preschool enrollment.
Two goals of the Finance team are to improve our participation in our Online giving platform in 2022 and to simplify the giving categories in both the online program and our envelope giving. You will hear more about this in the near future, but the concept is to have four major areas of giving; 1) General Fund, 2) Missions Fund, 3) Joyful Noise Christian Preschool Fund, 4) Building Fund. Through these various “funds,” the church
leadership will be able to manage the needs of each area more effectively. Online giving through the website or what many know as Stripes, benefits us as it significantly simplifies our counting processes on Sundays and the beginning of the week. This change in fund focus will NOT eliminate any preferred giving methods.
From a Staff Parish perspective, we will continue to support our staff and personnel resources while continuing our search for a Worship Leader. Discussions were held with each of our staff members on their goals and objectives for next year- with every member of our team focusing diligent efforts on seeking God’s will in their areas of responsibility in serving Yorkshire Church.
Our Missions team is continuing to look at ways to serve our fellowship. We discussed the overwhelming success of this past year’s community outreaches starting with the Spoken Concert in July, the Rally Day program in September, and our most recent event, the Trunk or Treat in October. The team wants to grow our support of our missionaries in 2022. The Finance Team has supported this goal by at least doubling the amount that we contributed in 2021 to Henry Hauser in Africa, Rebecca Jacobs in the Dominican Republic, and Micah Ruch, in our college campus ministry support at West Chester University (Cru). The Casserole ministry remains strong and there are so many that support this great community outreach. If you would like to learn more about how you can participate in this ministry, please reach out to Mary Beaverson who can get you connected to this program. You may even learn a new recipe – Zippy Beef. (I am beginning to see a very unique Yorkshire trend here… “squishy, flippy, jicky, and yes, Zippy- you can’t make this stuff up!).
In other news, it looks like our new member induction service will be held during the services of 19 December. We will be welcoming 12 new members into the Yorkshire family membership. Membership is a personal choice for each person and does not change any status in worship participation. Some will choose to “join” a church, and others will simply choose to worship at a church and participate in its services and ministries. All are equally valuable and important. All folks that enter our portals, regardless of their “membership” choices, are part of our Yorkshire family. The important thing to celebrate is that we have many people choosing to be a part of our family. Jesus tells us that this will happen when we are a family that loves one another and our neighbors, just as He does. (John 13:34-35, Acts 2:42-47). Jesus also tells us in John 15:11-12,
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. Love each other as I have loved you.” -Jesus.
So, how can we find joy, even in our meetings? Well, I believe it is the result of our love for one another. And it is this joy that the world will see and experience as we witness to those around us and share with those that God leads through our doors. The joy is you, Yorkshire Church, through God’s presence within you.
Peace and Blessings!
My command is this:
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952
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!