Yorkshire Church December 24, 2020
Thank you for providing Poinsettias our sanctuary.
In Loving Memory of…
My husband, Wilbur, by Carolyn Henry.
My loving wife, Susan, by Richard Shaffer and family.
Our parents, Paul and Helen Melhorn, by David and Nancy Lloyd.
Our parents, Charles and Ruth Leffler, by Ty and Roxann Leffler.
My loving husband, Ted, by Barbara Schroyer.
Ted and Sue Kominsky, by Dave and Holly Kominsky.
Frank and Stella Lucash, by Fran and Norey Lucash.
My husband, Gene Folkenroth, by Norma Folkenroth.
Ralph J. Henise, by Hester Henise.
Chuck and Connie Kominsky, by Dave and Holly Kominsky.
Our parents, Joseph and Kathryn Lloyd by David and Nancy Lloyd.
Ted and Barbara’s parents, by Barbara Schroyer.
Our parents, Lee and Joan Warren, by Ty and Roxann Leffler.
MacGregor and Mary Elizabeth Jones, by Fran and Norey Lucash.
In Honor of…
Grace and Brayton, by Dave and Holly Kominsky.
Karlee, Emerson, Blakelyn, and Elliotte Hauck, by Dave and Holly Kominsky.
Megan Krusemark Charles and Janice Hoffman
16 December 2020
Greetings to each of you during this fourth week of Advent!
This week we focus on the topic of Joy as part of our Advent celebration. An appropriate section of scripture to focus on as we consider “joy” as part of our Christian lives is found in Philippians 4:4-5,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident
to all. The Lord is near.”
The apostle Paul writes these words to the Philippian church who were dealing with difficult circumstances. There was disunity in the Philippian church, false teachings, his own imprisonment, and probably several other issues – but Paul emphasizes that even in these things, we are to “Rejoice!” Paul’s teachings often lead the church to recognize that their faith and their understanding of the Gospel should be evident, or a witness to all of those that they come in contact with, for “the Lord is near.”
As we consider the Christmas story, an angel of the Lord speaks to shepherds in fields giving the reason for Paul’s message (of course Paul’s words coming 62-65 years later):
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
When we read the Luke verse, of course it is easy to understand that the birth of our Savior would cause joy. But, what Paul emphasizes is that this joy needs to be evident in our lives at all times, both joyous and difficult. You may say, “How can I be happy with all of this stuff going on, or with all that is happening in my life right now?” Well, joy is not necessarily the same thing as happy. Happiness is an emotion that is the result of an event or occurrence- something can cause happiness. But happiness is an emotional response, typically short lived. Joy, on the other hand is a state of mind. It is the result of a condition, or a state of mind. Joy is not affected by the events that occur around us. Joy in the Christian sense is the result of knowing the Lord, the result of the Good News. Joy can get us through difficult times when happiness may not be possible. I kind of see it in a contemporary manner as, sure, life is tough right now, but I’ve got this, I’m not giving in and I’m not giving up. Joy may be seen in one’s demeanor in life. It’s a confidence that seems unshakeable. And if the Lord is near, why not, right?
Since it is the fourth week of Advent, that means that not only is the Lord near, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are as well. Even though we may not be happy about our circumstances this year, we can rejoice in fellowship with one another this year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Whether we fellowship on-line, or in-person, we can be together through the Holy Spirit as we rejoice in not only the birth of Jesus so long ago, but in our looking forward to His second coming.
We will be celebrating Christmas Eve with two services (based on our survey results), 5PM and 7PM. You can read more about each service in our announcements flyer. Both services will be candlelight services and this year, because so many will be worshipping on-line, we are making the candlelight service candles available to be used during your time of in-home worship. This Sunday, they will be available inside and outside of the church to be picked up in small baggies. Feel free to drive by and take what you will need for your particular home gathering or if you are here, take what you need home with you.
The candles will be available for pickup outside of the church Monday thru Wednesday (Dec 21-23) from 9AM till 3PM. IF you are unable to pick them up on your own, please let Alison know in the church office and we will arrange to drop them off at your home. Those who receive the regularly weekly mailings will receive them automatically in next week’s mailing.
I would suggest having a ceremonial candle available to light at your home representing the Christ candle that will be lit as part of our Advent Wreath lighting celebration. When we move to the lighting of the candles in the pews, you can then utilize your candles to receive the “Light” from your Christ candle and share in the candlelight essence that is so special on Christmas Eve.
We will continue to live stream our Sunday services at 9 and 11 and our church doors will remain unlocked for those who choose in-person worship. In addition to our sanctuary, we have a large screen television in the fellowship hall and in rooms 204 and 206 if you would like to gather as a small group in one of those locations. We require each person entering our church to abide by all of the safety protocols that are in place in all locations of our community and remind anyone with any symptoms of cold, cough, fever (even mild) to choose virtual worship from home until your symptoms no longer exist.
On Sunday, the 27th, we will hold one combined service at 10AM where we will enjoy the musical sounds of the season performed by the musicians of the 9AM and 11AM service. Our message will be the sixth and final episode of The Christmas Experience. Of course it will all be live streamed, so if you want to relax in the comfort of your home after all of the incredible celebrations of Christmas, you can do so. Maybe consider it a “pajama Sunday!” (Not suggesting wearing pajamas to the church… maybe your Christmas sweater, though!)
In the church our new network has been installed this week and we are hoping that weather permitting, our new signs outside the church will be installed next week before Christmas! These things and many others are only possible because of your generosity to Yorkshire Church- thank you! On a closing note, if you are enjoying The Christmas Experience Sunday School programming, we are planning on a new series beginning shortly after the New Year which will be announced in the near future. Thank you
Have a great and blessed day, rejoicing in the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
– pastor dave.
10 December 2020
Good Day to you!
In my studies this week, I have been coming across many discussions regarding the “why” God needed to come into the world to be Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:13-14, Matthew 1:22-23). Theologically, this can lead into very deep study, and certainly, as in all things that God does, He has a reason. This week’s Advent theme is “Love” and so my morning reflections had my mind travelling down the path of the “whys” in the context of how it represents “love.” This week’s morning beverage comes again from the richness of an Aldi Gingerbread brew and as I looked into the woods while I enjoyed it, the following thoughts came to mind.
Earlier this week, a lone doe had wandered into our back yard while our dog Annie was outside. As our brave protector felt the need to ward off the trespass of this beautiful creature, she actually startled the doe, causing it to try to retreat into the park behind our home. The challenge came for this magnificent beast when she became caught in some old fencing that separates our community from the desired path for her escape. This has happened before. After watching the deer struggle for a few seconds and realizing her plight, I grabbed a set of trusty wire cutting pliers from the garage, and headed out in my jammies, bathrobe and slippers. The closer I got to the deer, the more panicked she became, even though I was telling her in the softest of tones, that “it’s alright girl, I’m only going to help you.” I felt a tremendous pity for this animal and all I really wanted to do was to free it from its predicament. Thankfully for the both of us, something in the deer calmed as we gazed at each other, only a foot or two separating our breath. It only took a couple of cuts from my pliers to release the deer from its entrapment and once it realized it was free- its instinct took over and it frantically took off into the park to wherever its next destination was.
As I reflected on that, I felt a slight remorse that although I only wanted to help this wonderful animal, its response was only putting it into a more tangled and helpless plight. If it would only listen to me and understand me as I attempted to comfort it in my pleadings that I was only trying to rescue it, the process would have been far less stressful for her. But, I am human and this deer was not. I came to the conclusion that the only way that this deer, or even the next one who I may need to free from the fence, would understand my intentions, would be if I were to have the ability to communicate with it, as a deer myself. Although I was well aware of my intent, the beast would never be able to relate to my attempts to help.
A refill of my coffee as our home began to stir for the start of another day, had me thinking that maybe this is part of the reason that God needed to come into our world as a human being. Maybe this is why He needed to come into our world just like we do, facing the same situations, the same challenges, the same hopes, fears, and joys. By living our life, yet remaining perfect in His posture as God, he could relate to us in a manner that we would understand, speaking in our own language with gestures and emotion that we can relate to. Being Immanuel, God with us, he could relate to us in a way to give us hope, and peace- yet remaining in a position to cut the fence, not being restricted to its binding grasp. What I did for the deer, I did at the sacrifice of my neighbors having to see me out there in the woods wrangling with a deer in my bathrobe and slippers imagining the folly they were enjoying at my trying to communicate with a deer and wrestle with an old rusted fence. But when God sent His son into our world, He did it because of a deep seated love for us and was willing to sacrifice His life. And, as I drifted away from this morning’s time of reflection, I had a better sense of God’s love for us. Love!
Now, onto the events for this week! We are, as of the time of this writing, continuing with the opportunity for in-person worship for those that would choose to do so. We will have children’s Sunday School during the 9AM and 10AM worship hours. I remind you that if you would like to worship as a part of your small group, or Sunday School class, you may do so in rooms 204, 206, and/or the Fellowship Hall where our worship and Sunday School programming is live streamed on large screen televisions. And, as everyone is now well aware, we will be following the safety protocols that are in place for basically all events or locations that you may go. A reminder is that any symptoms of cold, cough, fever (even mild) need to be taken seriously and we trust you to choose virtual worship from home until your symptoms no longer exist.
We have some great things that will be happening next week at the church from an operational improvement standpoint. Beginning on Monday, Telecom Business Solutions, Inc. will begin installing a new Wi-Fi network which will improve our overall internet capabilities in the church. Our current system has served us well, but is beginning to fail as it can no longer keep up with our technology requirements. In addition, a few components of our sound system in the sanctuary are beginning to fail. Thankfully, the failures have been identified during the week and work-arounds have been put in place to keep us functional for our Sunday services and live streams. So, we will be replacing and upgrading part of our system that is known as the “Power Sequencing System.” Although these two improvements in our church technology platforms are not inexpensive, they are kind of like the tires on your car. There comes a time every few years where they simply do not do what they are supposed to do anymore, and they need to be replaced- or in other terms, we are simply doing much needed maintenance. We are only able to do these things because of your continued generosity of your gifts to Yorkshire Church, of which I am greatly appreciative of. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
Have a great and blessed day, enjoying the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
– pastor dave.
3 December 2020
I have been reflecting a great deal on our Advent and message subject of the week, Peace. This morning, when I awoke early to enjoy my first cup of coffee, an Aldi brand Gingerbread brew, I found peace as I looked past our newly decorated Christmas tree into the earliest light of dawn as it began to reveal the silhouettes of trees in our backyard. This is the time of day that I find it easiest to experience “peace.” My mind and thoughts have not yet engaged with the memories of yesterday nor have they started to look forward to what may transpire on this day. The house is dark, except for the lights of the Christmas tree. This morning I took particular notice to the “halo” of light that outlined the angel on the top of the tree as the light in which she is holding created a luminescent glow on her face. Peace.
After a period of time and a half cup of coffee, I decided to turn on the TV to check out the weather and any associated headlines that I need to be aware of that may be a factor in decisions that will be made later on this day. The typical talking heads appeared with the click of the remote and their incessant drone began to break the silence that I had been enjoying. It was only moments until I could feel the tension begin to build in my temples and I realized that I was beginning to grit my teeth a bit. As I looked away from the screen toward the Christmas tree, the peace that it represented only moments ago, seemed to be fading, the light on the angel’s face no longer seemed to reflect the light as it had when all was quiet in my space.
I decided to turn off the TV to see if I could once again enjoy the moments in which my day began. Although the quiet of the house returned, I could no longer clear my mind from what the screen had introduced to it- I had quiet, yet not peace. As I reflected on this turn of events, it became obvious to me that when it was just me and God, I experienced peace. And it wasn’t even a conscious thought-just a wonderful moment of enjoying this space I was in, enjoying the thoughts of my family who only hours ago had laughed and enjoyed the fellowship of decorating the tree, finding a reverent joy in the outline of the trees against the blues of the earliest morning light, and simply seeing a simple elegance in how the face of the tree angel had a distinct glow.
It was only when I introduced “the world” with the enticing draw of the television newsfeed, that this all disappeared. John 16:33 quotes Jesus’s statement, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” My takeaway from these musings of my mind is that I need to ensure that I take this time of peace with God as often as I can. I need to start each day with these types of moments with God, because as soon as the “world” is introduced to my thought process, it is almost impossible to clear out. If you don’t have such a time each day to experience the “peace” of Jesus Christ, I highly recommend it. May have to get up a bit earlier, but trust me, it will be worth it!
Now, a few notes for this week. First of all I just want to acknowledge what a great time we had last Sunday afternoon as we gathered in fellowship to “hang the greens” in the church. Food, family, and fellowship is always the source of great joy, and there was no shortage of that as the tree was constructed, the wreaths were hung by the windows with care, and the tall wooden trees were placed in the Narthex in remembrance of George Snyder, who made each and every one by hand. All of this done with the backdrop of live Christmas music presented in the jazz tradition.
Looking forward–Yorkshire Church will remain open for in-person fellowship for those that seek this form of worship, including children’s Sunday School for all age groups. We will continue to have three classrooms open (202, 204, 206) as well as the fellowship hall where services and adult Sunday School will be live streamed to allow our folks to spread out as much as possible so that the imposed guidelines may be satisfied to allow us to continue to meet in-person. Masks are now required at all times by order of the governor as well as our District Superintendent. Exceptions will be allowed for speakers, worship leaders, and at times when eating and/or drinking. Anyone with a health condition that does not allow for continued wear of a respiratory limiting face covering will also be exempt.
It is imperative that if you have a cold, cough, or any other type of “symptoms,” that you choose to enjoy worship from the live-stream posture. Even the possibility of exposure will require quarantine protocols to be followed which in themselves are quite restrictive- so I ask that this be taken very seriously. It seems like a simple thing, but it is this type of concern that robs me of my “peace!”
A word from Holly…
I asked Dave for a bit of space in his “what’s brewing” so that I could thank you all for your kind expressions of sympathy, flowers sent and meals provided after the passing of my father. The last several months and weeks have been overwhelming for me but knowing I was being lifted in prayer by so many brought me great comfort.
To say that this has been a difficult year for my family and for so many is such an understatement. Thanksgiving looked very different for our family and Christmas will as well. We have 2 empty chairs at our holiday dinner table, those belonging to my dad and brother. I ask that you continue to pray for those who have lost loved ones this year, and stay in touch regularly with the ones you love. Stay well. Many Thanks, Holly
Have a great and blessed day and do all you can to find peace!
– pastor dave.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!
It is a good and joyous thing to be thankful. Without looking up what being thankful means in some type of online definition, I have spent some time over the past few hours contemplating what thankful means to me. Is it an emotion? Is it a state of being? Is it a response to an action that is taken? Probably all of them, but as I said, I’m not looking up the real definition. But I have come to the ideal that thankful is a state of internal joy as a result of something received. Sometimes this may be a material object- certainly if someone gifted me a Porsche, I would feel thankful. Of course that would only be a temporary thankfulness until I needed to do some maintenance on it.
Recently, our family has experienced some difficult situations. But even in each of them, I found the ability to be thankful. Thankful for times shared, thankful for family bonding, thankful for recovery, and especially, thankful that we had a God to lean on for comfort and support. As I reflected more on this sense of “thankful” that I had, I came to the conclusion that this thankful sense that I was experiencing was much larger than the situations of our lives, and was also larger than the sum total of the things that I recognized as good that came as a result of them. A very familiar verse came to mind,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)
With all that is going on around us and often even in the midst of the outward frustration that I feel in much of it, thankfulness for so much still resonates in my being. There is no way to explain this rationally- as I sometimes would really like to vent irrationally. But thankful wins the day every time.
So, my conclusion to my mental ramblings is that this is the peace of God. That even in the midst of difficulty and challenge, this peace that God provides, is bigger than anything that we are dealing with. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with our human emotions as we navigate the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So, I am thankful, because I have a relationship with my Father in heaven made possible by his Son, Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the gift of peace that I received from Him when I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I am thankful for this protection on my heart and mind, because God knows, that such protection is greatly needed…Thanks!
I am looking forward to the events of this upcoming Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent. It is my hope that our worship traditions of lighting the first candle of Advent and the Hanging of the Greens will add to the inner peace of thanksgiving that you are experiencing. Maybe our combined Sunday School study, The Christmas Experience, may stimulate feelings of joy and thanksgiving as we experience the lives of those that God used in the revealing of his Son Jesus in the small town of Bethlehem. Whether you join us for in-person fellowship, worship with your small group in one of three classrooms, the fellowship hall where the services are being live streamed on large screen televisions, or simply join us on-line, the idea that we are in worship together will be something that we can all be thankful for. Even though the situations aren’t ideal, or what we would like, it will be through this thanksgiving that we can enjoy the peace of God.
This week will be a busy one. We will have our contemporary worship at 9AM, The Christmas Experience Sunday School Study (live streamed as well) at 10AM, traditional worship at 11AM and then a time of fellowship as we “Hang the Greens” with a Pizza lunch available. We will have featured sets of music led by Matt Monticchio, our Worship Leader for the 9AM service and a special guest throughout our time of decorating. If you can’t make it, but would like to enjoy the music from home, we will live stream three various sets of music between 12:30PM and 2PM!
At 2PM, we will hold our annual Church Charge Conference with our District Superintendent, Rev. Catherine Boileau (Cathy) which should last about a half an hour. All great stuff!
Yorkshire Church will remain open for in-person fellowship for those that seek this form of worship, including children’s Sunday School for all age groups. As stated last week and inferred above, we will also have three classrooms open (202, 204, 206) as well as the fellowship hall where services and adult Sunday School will be live streamed to allow our folks to spread out as much as possible so that the imposed guidelines may be satisfied to allow us to continue to meet in-person. Through the order of the governor as well as a mandate by the Susquehanna Conference leadership, the guidance is that masks must now be worn at all times when inside the church facility. Exceptions will be allowed for speakers, worship leaders, and at times when a mask cannot be worn such as eating. Anyone with a health condition that does not allow for continued wear of a respiratory limiting face covering will also be exempt.
Yes, I find it difficult to find joy in many of these mandated guidelines that are being imposed on us, but, I do have great thankfulness in my heart that we still have the opportunity to gather as God’s Church, called to fellowship with one another, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, I am very thankful for that and for everyone that makes Yorkshire Church the Church that it is for a time such as this!
Have a great and blessed day and weekend!
- pastor dave. firstname.lastname@example.org
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952 • www.yorkshirechurch.org