9 April 2021 Good Day Yorkshire!
Well, it’s Friday, just over a week since our Easter festivities began with our Maundy Thursday Fellowship meal. What an incredible weekend we had. What incredible fellowship we shared as we praised our Father in Heaven, through His Son, Jesus Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit!
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share in the times of worship that we celebrated. I am also appreciative of all the effort that goes in behind the scenes. We have a great staff at Yorkshire.
Each Tuesday, we spend a few hours discussing the happenings at Yorkshire from Worship to Preschool, activities to future planning. It is a time of reflecting on what happened the previous Sunday, to visioning ideas for what is to come. We share ideas and brainstorm possibilities. We laugh. This team makes things happen. I look forward to this time each week with Alison Sutherland, Julie Mann, Megan Krusemark, and Matt Monticchio. Although she is not present at the meeting due to her work hours, input is received and discussed from Brittany Mowrer, as she works to keep our facilities in tip-top shape.
Another team that is so valuable to our worship is the Media Team. The tasks of this team begin late in the week once our Worship plans are in place. Paul Shoff spends hours of his time through the week ensuring that song lyrics are entered into the software that displays them in the sanctuary and for those of you on the livestream. This past weekend, instead of two services, there were four that required a great deal of effort. This takes time, especially with our very creative Worship leader Matt who brings new musical liturgies to us each week. Watch out when our collaborations give him the opportunity to select music for special worship services! (umm, are these words in Latin, Greek, Hebrew…?) I am also thankful for those who put Paul’s work into motion on Sunday morning. This past weekend, Al Mink, Frank Herron, Josh Webber, Brayton Kominsky, Paul Shoff, and even Pastor Megan (lighting) were working diligently to bring great sound, lighting, and graphics to the fellowship. On other Sundays, we appreciate the efforts of Ashley Berman and Debra Why who round out the team.
In close support to these folks, is Debra Why. Many of you watch our livestream recordings at times other than our standard worship times through our website. That is only possible as a result of Debra’s work following our services to archive and load each service’s videos which include the message notes, weekly announcements, and even the What’s Brewing correspondence. Her time in these tasks can be quite extensive. Her time is appreciated! If you enjoy access to this data and information online, make sure to say “thanks” to Debra Why when you see her!
This past weekend, we enjoyed a time of fellowship between our services. What an awesome array of food and snacks that were available. This was especially appreciated during our worship as it is my discernment that the influx of sugar consumed had something to do with the energy in the sanctuary! Maybe coffee and honey buns can be our new strategy for inspired and energized worship! This effort was led by Susan Workinger as a part of our new Missions/Outreach team, of which the Jerusalem effort of outreach is focused on our fellowship. Thanks to the family Ivie, Focht, and my wife Holly for their efforts in supporting this part of our ministry, as well. There may have been others involved here with
ongoing assistance, and if I missed you, I will acknowledge next week! For all of your efforts and the time of interacting and sharing in all that was provided, I say “thanks much!”
Our time of Sunrise fellowship had a special element to it in that we were outside. The sounds of the birds, St. Joe’s church bells (on cue) and Springettsbury Township emergency services offered their unique blend to our time of worship. I would like to thank David and Nancy Lloyd for their work on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in ensuring that we had seats to sit in for this special time. They were the first on the scene on Sunday morning- setting up the chairs in the dark of the early morning by light of a street lamp, well before 6AM. That is dedication! That is appreciated!
I also want to call out Jim Valentine and Alison Sutherland for their efforts as part of our newly resurrected greeting ministry. One of the first impressions that a church makes on those who attend our worship is the greeting they receive as they enter the church. This past weekend, we added this role back to our ministry which will be of great support to our usher team. It was great to watch how the enthusiasm of Jim and Alison quickly spread to others, and at times, it was hard to tell who the official “greeters” were as everyone seemed to be greeting everyone! This is an area of our ministry that we will continue to build. As many folks are returning to worship, there are also those that are seeking a place to worship. So, as new folks come into the church, we have to be sure that we recognize them and do all we can to assist them in navigating our facility as well as understanding how we go about worship.
Although the “greeters” have the primary responsibility, it is really a key element of the fellowship of Yorkshire Church for all of us to make every visitor feel as though they are a part of our family! Sometimes, we tend to get so engaged in “catching up” with one another, that we allow new visitors to slip right past us. If you would like to join us in our “official greeting ministry,” please let me, Jim Valentine, or Alison know. This will be helpful as we determine how we will coordinate this effort.
And then there are our musicians. We are so appreciative of Matt and Michaela Monticchio, Nasei Adjei-Kordei, Jackie Linsey, Beth Gross, Steve Glover, Thomas Wakeland, and those that rounded out our Choral ensemble on Thursday evening including Jim Valentine, Barbara Hudock, Norey Lucash, and Janice Hoffman. The music was unbelievably, incredibly, awesome!
Additionally, I thank the participants of Friday evening’s service. Jim Valentine, Ashley Berman, Steve Spangler, Austin Fry, Susan Herron, and Holly Kominsky. Your part in reading the scriptures, in the dark, with a spot light in your eyes added a special element to our time of reflection. I know simply reading scripture does not sound like any difficult task, but, when you do it in the location that we placed them, it was quite a challenging endeavor. For your efforts, I am thankful!
There are so many others that served this past weekend that I know I have missed. It is a great joy to be a part of this church we call Yorkshire and the people that make it what it is. I will close with two words, Thank you.
Be blessed and have a great day!
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952 • www.yorkshirechurch.org
1 April 2021 Greetings and Blessings to each of you!
As I begin this divulgence of what I am thinking about, I can’t help to consider what will I write to take advantage of April Fool’s Day? What fun can I have to offer some sort of shock value only to then reveal at the end of the document, “April Fool’s Day!” Well, I’ll lay it out up front… I’ve got nothing. I have been waiting for the “Happy Fool’s Day” for over a year now as I am sure many of you have been. But I haven’t yet heard it. Oh well, right?
In regards to having an April Fool’s joke pulled on me, I’m not sure that it is possible anymore as I tend to not take anything that I hear to heart until I take time to vet it out, research it, and determine if it is discernably true or false. Maybe this is a good thing, or maybe living in times that cause us to doubt just about everything is not so good. I had a discussion with a close connection this week about differences in what we believe about certain things. The basis was his angered response to another person that is close to me regarding differences between what they both consider truth. Hostility developed based on an argument that neither had any type of objective evidence to base their position. Each was based on what they heard, or saw on TV. Each was based on what they chose to believe. Being a neutral party, I made the point that I live my life understanding that there are a significant number of people that don’t believe in what I do. After all, faith is a difficult thing to objectively argue to a non-believer (which he is). But what was interesting is that his emotional anger towards the other person was due to the fact that what the other person did not believe in could negatively impact his life. The point that he wanted to make was that the other person had to do something or believe something so that he could live safely.
But, when it came to what I have attempted to discuss with him about what he needs to “live,” he has no time for it other than the courtesy of appreciating my thoughts (we have always gotten along well). I have realized that there is nothing that I can do to change what it is that he has chosen to believe, or not to believe, and I tried to let him know that this is true for him and the other person as well. We all have the choice to believe what it is that we want to, for the reasons that we want to. But, in the past, our differences of beliefs could be contained within our own hearts and minds, yet what our culture and our media is doing today (my opinion), even what we choose to believe or not believe can be weaponized against others. As Christians, though, we are called to be different. We are called to a fellowship that builds each other up, even in our differences. During this season we call Lent, we have enjoyed the singing of the hymn, “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love.” And this is love for one another, our Christian brothers and sisters.
This week we celebrate (or will have celebrated) a Maundy Thursday Fellowship Communion meal to reflect and remember the Last Supper, a time where Jesus brought His disciples together for a time of fellowship. During this time, He shared much about what was to come in the next few days. But He intimated fellowship, caring for one another and loving one another. During this meal, he stated,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-34, NIV).
The love for one another was stated to infer those who were in Christ. If you love each other as disciples, then those who are not yet disciples, or maybe even believers, will recognize you as different. I believe the premise here is that our love for one another is what will draw those that Christ seeks into our fold. It is the fellowship of believers that may be the strongest evangelism tool that we have.
When I consider this in light of the conversation that I was having with my close friend, I realize that I will never get him to believe what I do by telling him what I believe or what I don’t believe. But I also know that he is intrigued by the relationships that I have built and am constantly building through this “belief system” that I adhere to. I know that he recognizes those that I interact with as “good people,” and I hope that what he witnesses in “my love for one another” of you, is something that the Holy Spirit uses to open his heart.
I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with one of Yorkshire’s longest living members this week as she celebrated her 98th birthday. It was a wonderful time where we shared Communion with her daughters. As we shared and she reflected on some of her memories, they weren’t about the events or happenings of her church. It was about the relationships. She was able to articulate many of your names, and it was in the simple acknowledgement of your names and others that are now with the Savior that she found her peace. These were all relationships that developed through her relationship with Jesus; relationships that developed in the church. What a special blessing for me to witness the joy that radiated from her eyes as I could see how God’s love for her was manifested in her love for others. At 98 years old, this is what mattered to her most. I can honestly tell you, if I were not a part of the fellowship of Jesus and a part of the fellowship that obviously means so much to her, seeing the spark in her eyes would have definitely encouraged me to find such a relationship!
There is nothing I could ever do to tell someone what I witnessed during my visit this week. I could share it with them, tell them about, and probably be moved to joyful tears in remembering it. But, I’m not sure my experiences would do more than have them recognize how meaningful it was to me. But I know that anyone who witnesses this love in the heart of another person, or experience what Jesus was commanding in His words recorded by John (13:34-35), will seek the source of such love. See, I don’t think we can convince anyone of things they choose to believe or not believe only by our words. People choose to believe things today that I simply don’t understand. But, when we personally witness something special, something wonderful such as that which exists in the fellowship of believers, the Communion of Saints, the decision to believe (or not) is not based on hearsay, but personal experience.
I can honestly tell you that the fellowship of Yorkshire Church continues to bless the wonderful woman I spent time with this week, even though she can no longer be here in person. Your fellowship in Christ is the source of this blessing. I am certain that she is not the only one that your love for one another has touched. It may also be just the thing that God may be using to help others choose what to believe!
Be blessed and have a great day! In Christ’s love,
24 March 2021
Good day Yorkshire!
It’s the week before Holy Week and the church has been abuzz in preparation and planning. As I commented during worship last week, it’s hard to get anything done around here!
I was reflecting on these things a bit this morning. My initial thought was, I’m glad this isn’t every week that we have all of these services and events. I mean, after all, next week we will have Women’s Bible Study on Monday night, Men’s Bible Study Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening, Maundy Thursday Fellowship Celebration on Thursday night, Good Friday Tenebrae Service on Friday Night, and then 3 services on Sunday with the first one happening at 6:40AM. (who’s idea was that?!!).
I’ll bet if y’all are honest, you would be acknowledging that this is certainly a lot of services for the church. My human weakness feels the same way (yes, this is a confession). I, in my cynical way, reasoned that these thoughts come as a result of the fact that all of these services will preclude me from doing something else that I might want to do. Instead of walking the dog each evening, I will be here at the church. Instead of sitting around a fire with some of my friends, I will be at the church. Instead of sleeping in a bit on Wednesday and Sunday morning, I’ll be, you’ve got it, at the church. And my initial thought is, wow, it will be great when the week is over.
But, if we really think about it, what better place is there to be than in the company of our Christian brothers and sisters, offering our praise to God through our fellowship, sharing Communion, and studying God’s Word? Isn’t it interesting that a week of additional times together can even be considered competition to some of the menial things we would do otherwise? Where am I going with these thoughts? Nowhere. But I find it interesting that my mind has an initial, not so positive, response to spending time in fellowship worshipping God 3 to 5 times per week- yet I know I will love very minute of it!
Now, many of you will not be at all of the services that Megan and I will be this week, and that is certainly fine. But what I will challenge you to do is to spend some time in the Bible Study/Devotional that was sent to you for this specific week we call Holy Week. Each day will take a lot less time than packing up and coming to church, but I believe you will find your time in devotions very valuable. The Devotional begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. If you choose to do both the Bible Study and come to all of the services next week, that would be an extra bonus and you may even earn a Gold Star!
In other news from the ‘shire this week, we held our first Administrative Council 2021 meeting on Monday evening. Each department (team) was represented and our focus was on some new ways that we will be meeting and organizing ourselves to add efficiency to our efforts and improve our
productivity on behalf of you, the church. We emphasized that our role in leadership is to serve the church and that we represent all of the voices who are a part of our fellowship. We also focused on the importance of teamwork. So often, churches see the roles included on the Ad Council as year-to-year commitments with the responsibility to attend monthly meetings as needed. But I see a different role for those who have answered the call to church leadership. And that role is to lead. Each person on the Ad Council has a responsibility to the body of the church, from Trustees to Education, Finance to Staff Parish, and Missions to Worship. I have often felt that how the leadership team of an entity works together, is how that entity will work together. If a church wants to flourish in its fellowship and love of one another, then the leadership of that church must do the same thing. I have a strong conviction that the health of a church will be directly proportional to the health of the leadership of that church. And the church’s ability to serve those in its community will also be directly related to the leadership’s demonstration of service to the church. This is a summary of a good part of what our discussions represented on Monday night. As we met on Monday, I felt very confident that Yorkshire’s leadership team will meet these criteria. We have an incredible team of folks on our Council and I am so blessed to be a part of it! So, you can look for great things ahead- and remember, please communicate with us!
I often have discussions with folks where we talk about our desire for the church to grow. “We need to get young families in here,” “we need to have more youth…,” “we need to have more musicians,” “more teachers,” etc., etc., etc. I agree with all of these thoughts. I have had these same discussions in each church that I have served. There was a sister church of my first appointment that was bursting at the seams with young families and many, many children. The facility was tiny. There were no bands, no grandiose youth rooms- just an old white structure sitting in the small community of Springvale- and lots of families. In a discussion with the late Tom Osenbach (pastor), I asked him how he was able to have that church grow in the way that it was growing. I wanted the secret (I was even willing to pay for it!)
His answer was simple. They were floundering in attendance. One new family began to attend- just stopped in one Sunday. They had four children. They invited their friends to church. One of those friend’s families invited some of their friends, and within a few months, they went from one family/four children to over fourteen families and about forty children. There were no campaigns, no mailings, banners, yard signs or any change in their worship patterns, music or structure. But there was fellowship. The motivation for those that came was the fellowship of the body, the interaction with friends and family-joining together to bring collective and corporate praise to God. Even the size and age of the facility did not keep them from attending. I would not have believed this if it were not true.
So, if you know of someone who may be looking for a place to worship during Holy Week next week, let them know that our doors are open and that they are welcome at Yorkshire. Maybe share the Bible Study with them for a way to connect with God in a new way. But, without a doubt, the best way to share our Yorkshire fellowship and worship with others, is to invite them.
Be blessed and have a great day! -pastor dave.
18 March 2021
Peace and Blessings!
Good day to each of you. I am hopeful that everyone survived the “daylight savings” modification to our schedules. As difficult as it is, I love the fact that I can now enjoy longer evening walks with my wife and my dog. I even feel more motivated to tackle home projects after dinner- because it is still light out. This increases my opportunity for productivity significantly which helps me to knock things off of my home to-do lists. And this is a good thing!
Our to-do list at Yorkshire is growing as we close in on the Spring season. Our ministry team is working on the worship services for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Pastor Megan is finalizing the details on the Maundy Thursday service which will happen on none other than, “Maundy Thursday,” April 1st. This is going to be an absolutely beautiful time of fellowship where we will celebrate Communion in a very special way. Matt is working on some special music where many voices of Yorkshire will again bless our time of worship.
On April 2nd, we will commemorate Good Friday and the events of the cross in a Tenebrae worship format. A deep, meaningful look and reflection that will also feature some special music with our own Beth Gross and guest Cellist, Emma Klimowicz who blessed us with her gifts of music on Christmas Eve. Following this reflective time of worship, we will then usher in our Easter Sunday celebrations.
This Easter, we will hold a Sunrise Service at 6:40AM. Yes, not the traditional time to start a worship service, but it will allow for us to be in a posture of singing when the actual sunrise occurs at 6:46AM. This service will be held outside in the Northeast quadrant of our parking lot which is in the area of our utility sheds. The Trustees are all prepared to have seating arranged in this area and the service will be complete with music from our Praise and Worship team. We will be hoping for some warm weather, but, with the level of celebration and worship energy that will be occurring, will the temperatures really matter? And, if that is not enough, we will be providing a time of fellowship in the Lobby/Narthex of the church between the services that will include coffee, juice, and breakfast snacks. We will also use the 10:00 Sunday School hour as a time of fellowship, as well. There will be no Sunday School programming on Easter, but it will return on April 11th– title to be announced.
Other happenings this week at Yorkshire included a meeting with our Missions Chair, Susan Workinger. Jim Valentine, Susan a I met to discuss what the future of an intentional missions’ program will look like at our church. This church has a rich heritage of supporting those outside of our church walls. We want to continue this heritage as we believe it is an important part of our calling as a church. The way we are going to approach this will be in a three-prong missional approach using the scriptures of Acts 1:8 as our premise.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -Jesus.
We will have a Jerusalem focus which is our internal support to the body. This will include any outreach that we do to serve our fellowship, from the individual level to the corporate level. If one of our members is in need and the church is called to help them, this will be a function of the Jerusalem element of our outreach. On Easter Sunday, when we have a breakfast fellowship to serve the fellowship with the gift of community, that will be part of our Jerusalem prong of missions.
We will also have Judea element to our missions focus which is arm of missions that serves our community. This may include everything from our casserole ministry support to efforts in our community such as Servants, Inc. Home Helps Ministry, Lifepath Christian Ministry outreach, and any other effort that we as a church are called to serve. We may even look to group outreaches such as Scouting, Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other community-based group that may benefit from the use of our facilities.
And lastly, we will have a Samaria focus which will include “the ends of the earth,” where will begin to support ministries and programs outside of our community or state. This will include missionaries where we are planning on developing very intentional strategies to support those called to serve throughout the world through our prayers and financial support. We want to consider any past efforts that may still be in place or that you feel need to be considered as I recognize that there has been past support for Compassion children.
One big difference that I would like to strive for is that our entire missions’ program is something that is focused on church-wide and led from the Missions Team perspective. I know this has been done in the past largely by individual groups and Sunday School classes, which is great, but I am hoping that we can extend our reach by now focusing on it on a church-wide basis. I will be recommending to the Missions and Finance team that we emphasize a specific offering where gifts can be given specifically for the use of missions on a regular basis. I look forward to the day where our praise and worship is complimented by the voices of those around the world that we can extend our outreach to! I am thankful that Susan has a passion to lead this team and this effort on behalf of Yorkshire Church. This will not happen overnight, but with your prayers and support, Yorkshire Missions will grow to whatever God has in store for us!
As always, I invite your input and feedback. Our leadership and I serve you, the church; this is our calling. Your voice is important to me; your ideas, suggestions, and input is critical. It is with great thanks for you that I write this communication. It is an honor to be a part of this great fellowship!
Have a great and blessed day.
5 March 2021
Good day and Blessings to each of you!
Another great, crazy busy week at Yorkshire as we enter March and our third week of Lent. This Sunday, I am excited to share in Girl Scout Sunday with our Troop 20402 Daisies who meet at our Church on Wednesday evenings. This will take place during our 9AM worship hour. They are truly a wonderful group of young ladies and it has been blessing to be able to have them at Yorkshire!
Last week, Education Chair Rick Focht, Jim Valentine and I met to discuss the education programs at our church, and how we can begin to move forward to expand our offerings. This will include at least one additional adult class (in addition to the Sanctuary class), and a full complement of children and youth classes, Pre-K through High School. A goal is to have this in place in the June timeframe, but it will be largely dependent on the level of support that Rick is able to assemble in the form of teachers and helpers. I know that he is working very hard on this, so, if you are feeling the pull to this type of ministry, let us know! You can email me, Rick, or simply let Alison know in the church office. If you don’t have experience- that is just fine, our curriculum and planned classroom materials will provide you with all the information that you will need to be successful! The first step, though, is to let us know of your interest. It is my opinion that the value of Christian Education such as Sunday School and Small Group study is one of the most critical aspects of a healthy, growing church. And I am not speaking of growing in the aspect of numbers, or volume, but in our Christian walk of faith and our relationship with God. When the church grows in fellowship of the body through prayer, communion, and the teaching of the Word, then everything else will fall into place. I thank Rick for his time and efforts in moving this program forward!
I would also like to welcome to our Yorkshire staff our newest team member, Brittany Mowrer. Brittany will be at Yorkshire each day ensuring that our facilities are clean, bright, and beautiful! She has jumped right in and made herself a part of our staff family. The last few evenings that I have left the church, I did so with the essence of “clean” in the air. This week’s message, “Devotion,” speaks about how certain smells (such as the charcoal fire in John 21:9) can bring back memories. Well, the fragrance of “Clorox” representing cleanliness has reminded me of how our house would often smell when I was growing up as my mother would take care of our home. If you happen to be at the church and cross paths with Brittany, please help us in making her feel welcome- as only Yorkshirians can do! A special thanks to David Lloyd and Steve Spangler for their time and effort in the interview and selection process. It is truly appreciated!
In the next week or so, you will notice a continuation of the process of removing many of the shrubs around the church facility with the emphasis on the bushes around the Sanctuary entrance. This is for a couple of purposes. First and foremost is security. We want to provide the highest level of security and safety for those that are coming and going from the church. New general facility guidelines state that there should be little or no shrubbery or concealing ground cover within 16 feet of the building. We are working to meet these recommendations. The second reason is that many of these shrubs cannot be effectively pruned and groomed. Removing them not only addresses this issue, but also continues to help us make the management of our grounds and facility more efficient, while also presenting a clean and bright façade for our members and new guests. Team Trustees will be leading this effort, so, if you would like to help them out with a rake, or a broom, let Steve Spangler or David Lloyd know and they will let you know of the time schedule, which may be impacted by weather. (I have heard of big mid-March snowstorms here in the past…hmmm.)
I have been overwhelmed by the fellowship response to both our Women’s Bible Study on Monday nights, “Elijah,” and our “Rough Cut Men’s” fellowship, “Who’s Got Your Six,” on Wednesday mornings. The study materials have turned out to be very good, but the fellowship of those who gather has been incredible as well. We will continue to seek ways to provide such content to the church, as well as find ways to do so using technology for on-line interaction. All of our groups that meet in person maximize safe disciplines for the participants. If you have any ideas for either content or format, please let me know. Your input is of tremendous value to me!
In closing, I just want to say how much I appreciate all of the things that folks at Yorkshire are doing – most of which are “behind the scenes.” This week I gained appreciation of the efforts of Debra Why as I witnessed her dedication and devotion to supporting our children’s Sunday School programs. Our children do not only enjoy the incredible support from teachers Barb Snare and Rachel Fry, but they have fun and creative crafts and projects to compliment their lessons! All of the work of Debra, Barb, and Rachel occurs behind the scenes and many of us have no idea what is happening! But for our children and their parents, their endeavors are not unnoticed! “Devotion” is an element of our teachings this week, and each of your devotion to our children and the families of Yorkshire is great appreciated- and recognized! For you, we say “Thank you God!”
And thank you to all of you who make our great church fellowship what it is. From your prayers, your gifts, your work, and your input, all of these great things that are happening are doing so because of you.
And for that, I am thankful!
Have a great and blessed day.
– pastor dave.
26 February 2021
Blessings Yorkshire Church!
Good day to each of you. As we are continuing our march through these winter months, it is great to see new activity beginning to emerge at Yorkshire! As the robins that I am watching in our back yard bring hope for Spring, growing fellowship at the church brings hope for a new season of ministry and doing the types of things that we are called to do as Christ’s disciples which is share the Gospel, grow in our faith, and provide our witness to others who do not yet know Jesus as Lord and Savior!
The past year has been anything but exciting, but the new opportunities that lie before us can be. Each Sunday we are seeing new faces that are seeking a place to worship as well as the faces of those that are returning to in-person worship. As we begin to connect and reconnect with one another, an important aspect of our worship will be to seek out and recognize those that are entering Yorkshire Church for the first time, or maybe the first time in months or years. First time visitors won’t know how we do things, where things are, or other basic information that many of us take for granted. If you haven’t visited a new church for some time, understand that it can be a very awkward experience.
For those returning to in-person worship, things may not be the way that they were before and some of the new safety practices that we now do naturally, may not be familiar to them. What a great opportunity for Yorkshire hospitality to shine! Keep an eye open for folks who may seem new. Greet them and offer your assistance to make them feel welcome. Show them the sanctuary entrances and explain where the restrooms are. If they have children, welcome them and let them know we have great opportunities for younger children during worship as well as Sunday School classes for all ages (new programming is in development for Spring!) Of course, we do all this in a safe manner following all of the necessary protocols.
Statistics show that folks visiting a church make a decision whether or not they will return in the first three minutes that they enter the facility. Please don’t ask me for the citation on this, but it is a fact that I have heard in various trainings and readings over the years. And I can validate this personally from my own experiences. What makes this a challenge for us as “Yorkshirians” is that we are so happy to see one another and catch up with all that we have been missing, new folks are easily overlooked. And this is all natural, of course, but our challenge is that we let no visitor vacate our premises without feeling that they were the most important person in the church that day!
We live in a time where I refuse to accept that the “new normal” (strongly dislike that phrase) includes the anti-social implications that sometimes seem to come along with social distancing and the like. Masks present an obvious obstacle in open communication and dialog but we are all finding ways to work around that. For me, masks make it very difficult to communicate as I do not hear very well and need to see what a person is saying. I simply overcome that by saying “what?” half a dozen or more times during any personal interaction… I truly appreciate everyone’s patience with this challenge that I face. Remember when you speak to me, speak s.l.o.w.l.y and loudly! I am guessing that I am not the only one so challenged!
We are figuring this all out together, though. We have many new facets of ministry to learn such as live-stream, challenges of masks and distancing, and dealing with new fears and concerns. But there are also important staples that we are working on re-establishing. I have been very encouraged with my discussions with our leadership in setting plans for new education programs, getting a full complement of Sunday School classes for all ages back in session and seeing how existing programs are growing in their outreach. As the Women’s Monday night fellowship and the Men’s Wednesday morning fellowship are growing, I am anxious to see several other opportunities developing for those in our church. I am very open to hearing any new ideas that you may have or needs that you feel need to be addressed in our church community.
We also are continuing to work on our facility. Last year we were able to address many maintenance and improvement needs through the hard work of our Trustees and your financial generosity. The Trustees are still at it! One of the major initiatives that we are undertaking is to address several needs of our outside entrance doors. Many are in not-so-good condition including the main doors at the Sanctuary entrance. Dave Lloyd and Steve Spangler are working with outside contractors to put a plan in place which may include and require new doors in some of the locations, and simple maintenance/weather stripping upgrades in others. In the case of new doors, some of these recommendations will be to bring our facility into ADA compliance (Americans with Disabilities Act). But the need is real, and I am anxious to see the plan that our teams develop. (Other issues with the doors are that they no longer seal which affects our HVAC systems, and allows rodents access into our facility-and they may steal our food. As Methodists, we cannot have this!).
That is all for this discussion today. So many great things happening at Yorkshire that a simple letter cannot address them all. I am very thankful for each of you and this fellowship. It is exciting to see what God has in store for Yorkshire Church for a time such as this!
I hope that you have a great and blessed day!
Peace and Blessings!
– pastor dave.
11 February 2021
Greetings to each of you!
Well, we are truly in the midst of the winter season, gray skies, snow in the air, and a white blanket covers the ground. I truly love this time of year. I enjoy the hype of the next “upcoming” storm and the joy of being outside in the midst of its duration. I find humor in the predictions and concerns of the why’s and reasons that we are having such an active winter storm season and so many “storms.” But that is show business for you, isn’t it? I was recently going through some of my father’s slide collections from when I was a child. From the time that I was old enough to walk, he would take me to the “Winter Spectacular” at the East Broad Top Railroad in Orbisonia, PA. We lived in Philadelphia in those early years, yet we would make the trek in what always seemed to be treacherously cold and snowy weather- it never failed. And, I have pictures to prove that this wasn’t simply a “walking to school uphill through the snow” type memory!
We never thought much about the reasons or the why’s we had so much snow in February each year. We didn’t count on weather forecasts that seemed wrong far more than they were right. We weren’t glued to our smart devices looking to see what tomorrow would bring, and would things still be open. No, it was winter, it snowed, and life went on- in the snow. School buses had chains on the wheels and we would often be in school hoping for an early dismissal so we could load up in my dad’s Ford Econoline Cargo Van (with no seating in the rear), and drive an hour and a half to Blue Knob Ski Resort to take advantage of the fresh 6 or 7 inches of snow that had, or was still falling. And we did this at 16 years old. Life was different and we lived it in a different manner.
But as in all things, change happens. We live differently today, focused on what the weather forecasters tell us, mesmerized by the hype of their predictions- even knowing, with little doubt, that they are wrong more than they are right. Have we been programmed this way? Are we more fearful today? More comfortable? More hesitant? Less confident in our own abilities and discernment? Is the ease of relying on someone else’s “expertise” more compelling than using our own gifts of figuring things out, working through difficulties, and overcoming obstacles in our lives? When I consider the fact that we all count on a weather forecaster’s probability of accuracy when they may be right 50% of the time, I get concerned.
How about in our faith? I recently read a blog post from a person that I know quite well which was really a rant about the person of God, what God really thinks, and how God really sees people and sin. Her post went on about this and that, but painted a picture of a very different God than I see in the scriptures. Knowing this person grew up in the church, I watched the dialog of comments and found that these “truths” as she stated them were not based on any biblical principles, but were based on her personal opinion of what God should be, and how she believed that He would really deal with people and their sin. In the context of the “chat,” there were many who were praising her courage to post the truth and how they believed the same thing. Before the end of the dialog, the various churches that they grew up in and experienced were terrible places that were not teaching the truth- at least as they perceived it.
This concerns me in the world that we live in. Folks tend to believe whatever they see or hear, even when something inside tells them that it does not seem right- it doesn’t follow the natural or logical sequence of things that they have learned and known throughout their own life experiences. When it comes to our sense of Biblical truth, this has to be a concern for the church. The Word of God is the same throughout history, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NIV, also see John 1:1). The blog that I referenced was written by a very kind person, good intentions, and fun to be around. Her post was written probably as much for her own comfort as it was to influence those who read it. But many folks today are searching for what they want to hear or what makes them feel good. The search is never ending for many. Today it is a blog writer’s influence that represents the answer, tomorrow it is a “spiritual director,” and the next day it is a different voice on the television. In many cases this search leads to the type of issues that we have been studying about in Goliath Must Fall. It leads to anxiety, fear, rejection, comfort, anger, and then if the search itself does not become an addiction, some other solution will find its way into that category in the lives of the seeker.
The bottom line is that the Truth can only be found in one source, and that is the scriptures, the story of God through the Person of Jesus Christ. The Truth is not in the words themselves. There is no magic pill in the “words,” but it is in the story. Many read “scripture” to seek truth, which seldom provides a solution to an issue. Some recite certain wordings, phrases, and verses over and over seeking power in the words themselves. But the truth that is sought is not found in the “words,” but in the Person of Jesus Christ. I can read all that I want about my wife Holly, but is through our experiences together that we truly get to know one another. This is the same with Christ. Reading about Him is not knowing Him. Learning His story and spending time with Him in the Word (not the “words”) is how we build a relationship with Him.
It is easy for us to fall victim to the endless litany of words that spew from the mouths of the talking heads on television. Many (my personal opinion) of these views are presented to influence us to a particular perspective, not always the truth, as in my friend’s blog post. And many will believe, even though years of life experience will feed some level of concern about the integrity of the information. But, when it comes to our relationship with God, we cannot let ourselves fall prey to this same practice. We must seek the truth with all of our heart, mind and soul. We must seek the truth in our relationship with Jesus Christ. In closing, read 1 Timothy 4:1-5 and focus on what Paul’s concern is as he writes to Timothy. Think about whether Paul’s concern is relevant for today’s church, and in what ways. Consider where you are in your focus, where you seek Truth, and especially how you present it in your witness of who Jesus Christ is in your life!
Peace and Blessings!
– pastor dave.
4 February 2021
I pray that you are finding value in our “Goliath Must Fall” worship and Sunday School series. I have received several positive comments regarding the various “giants” that we have discussed. This week, we will address the giant of anger and next week, we will close out the series with a look at addiction. These are issues that we all deal with, either individually, or with someone that we may know. Louis Giglio has done a great job in defining how these giants affect each of us, although when we look at each of the giants independently, we may not see how they impact us. So, hope to see you on Sunday, either in the pews or through the lens of our live stream feed!
Jim Valentine and I have been meeting with the leaders of each of our Administrative Council Teams to plan for our 2021 meeting schedules and how those meetings will look over the next few months. This process is ongoing. Our last meeting was with the leadership of the Trustee team to discuss continuing needs of the church. We are blessed to have a team of Trustees that are “getting things done” around our church facility. Some notes to look forward to include addressing our external facility doors of which many are in disrepair and void of any type of weather stripping. This will be a major undertaking and the process of obtaining estimates is in process. Another area that we are looking to tackle is the purging of stuff that is currently stored on the Fellowship Hall stage and in the attic above the Sanctuary and Narthex. There are several other areas to be addressed, but these are the most visible to our fellowship. The regular maintenance required on a facility such as ours will always keep our Trustee folks busy- so, if you see a Trustee, please let them know how much you appreciate their efforts!
A new addition to our weekly facility usage includes elements of Girl Scout Troop 20402 that will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. They are very excited to have the opportunity to again meet together and they are thrilled to be able to utilize Yorkshire Church as a part of their fellowship. I have worked with this Troop before and look forward to working with them again as they meet in our church. As a result, we will be scheduling a special Girl Scout Sunday service in early Spring! More info to come!
I also want to challenge our men, including our teenage men, to prayerfully consider attending our Men’s Fellowship Challenge during Lent. Beginning on Wednesday, February 17th, at 6AM (yes, six o’clock in the morning!), we will meet in our Fellowship Hall to work through a new series to me from “Rough Cut Men,” which includes a 30 minute video segment, 15-20 minutes of discussion, and a time for coffee and donuts before beginning your day. Here is an excerpt from roughcutmen.org to speak about the video series titled, “Who Has Your Six:”
From Rough Cut Men:
In our powerful “Who Has Your Six” Video Series, men will forge the unbreakable bond of battle-ready brotherhood against an enemy that’s out to “steal, kill and destroy” their marriages, their children and their legacies.
We use action movie clips, Biblical truth, relevant real-world tactics and powerful “Fireteam” breakout sessions to accomplish one laser-focused mission: To connect men to other men, and to Jesus.
Rough Cut Men isn’t the same old men’s event. Who Has Your Six is a video series like none you’ve ever seen before.
It’s time to change things up. It’s time to engage. Welcome to the battlefield.
I look forward to what this series has in store for Yorkshire Church. If you have a friend that you would like to invite, please feel free. This series will continue for 8 weeks- certainly a commitment of your time, but what better “sacrifice” to make during lent, eh?
In closing, I want to speak from the heart for a moment. When Holly and I first started our journey here at Yorkshire, we set out to meet as many of you as possible through your small group and Sunday School fellowships. I had the opportunity to enjoy weekly fellowship with several of the men as part of the Sunday School golf league and other regular events. This provided us with great insight as to our church fellowship and those that make it what it is. Over the past few months, this sense of fellowship has been difficult to maintain. I know that this is unavoidable due to the pandemic situation, but I don’t want to lose what little connection that we were able to make. What we learned during our visitations and interactions is what we have used to guide the direction of the church as well as put plans in place to address those things that all of you shared as being important. I want to invite you to continue to provide me with your thoughts and concerns about our fellowship. What can we do to better meet your worship and fellowship needs? What can we do better in meeting your needs through programs and processes that are already in place? What elements of our worship services help you to feel connected?
One of the most important elements of the local church is the fellowship of believers. Maintaining that sense of fellowship is one of the greatest challenges that we have in ministry today. I pray that what we are doing is helping you to maintain a feeling of connectedness to the church and to one another, and I invite your input, communications, suggestions, and even your thoughts on what we could be doing better. You are Yorkshire. You are the church. You are a part of the body of Christ. And that makes you important. Be blessed, and have a great week.
– pastor dave. email@example.com
20 January 2021
Blessings and Greetings Fellow Yorkshirians!
As we are now a few weeks into the New Year, our worship, meeting and activity cycles are again finding their way to a more consistent rhythm. Although I never like to see the Advent Season come to an end, I also find peace in the process of getting things back to normal (whatever normal means anymore!).
Beginning in February, we will return to our monthly celebration of Communion during the first Sunday of each month. We will continue to use the practice that we put in place in September where you will pick up the “elements” as you enter the Sanctuary (oyster crackers and Dixie cup). For those that are participating on-line, I invite you to have the elements at hand for worship, either a cracker, or a piece of bread and a small cup of juice so that you may also participate in this Sacrament.
Looking a little further ahead, you can also plan for an Ash Wednesday service at 7PM on the 17th of February and a Good Friday service on April 2nd. More info to come on those services, but you can at least know that we are planning on them.
Regarding our church financial picture, our 2020 financial statements have been completed. As we enter 2021, we have a stable financial foundation to build on. As you can see, we ended last year in a positive fashion proven by our ability to pay all of our financial obligations and achieving what a finance person would consider “positive cash flow.” As you will see, we were $45,000 cash positive as of December 31st. What is important to realize moving forward, that this was made possible by the receipt of the PPP Loan (due to Covid), as well as the fact that we only paid a small portion of our shares of ministry. So, while the picture is very positive, many of those factors will not play out in 2021. Even with that being said, our finance team has done the diligent work of managing and reducing our operating expenses so that we can continue to meet our financial obligations as well as pay a negotiated level of shares of ministry which is acceptable to the United Methodist Church.
Additionally, Joyful Noise Preschool has done a fantastic job managing their expenses given that they were not able to hold preschool due to the early pandemic lock downs and then minimized enrollment to meet guidelines when they were permitted to again open their doors. Kudos to team Joyful Noise in providing a robust, energetic, and welcoming Christian learning environment to our students!
January through December 2020
Tithes, Gifts and Offerings: $376,822
PPP Loan (Covid) 44,028
Boiler Fund 33,130
Joyful Noise Tuition 17,305
Other Income 934
TOTAL INCOME $472,219
Operating Expenses $345,296
Shares of Ministry 15,043
Boiler & Building Improvements 44,156
Joyful Noise Preschool 21,902
TOTAL EXPENSES $426,397
Of course if you have any questions on this financial summary, please do not hesitate to contact me, Doug Berman (new Finance Chair), Justin Mann (Treasurer), or Dale Achenbach (past Finance Chair).
Also looking ahead…our Women’s Bible Study will be starting and a new Men’s Bible Fellowship Challenge will run for Lent. I will be providing more information next week, but, in order for our men folk to start planning, we will hold an 8-week men’s bible study beginning on Wednesday morning, February 17th and wrapping up the Wednesday after Easter. We will meet at 6AM in the Fellowship Hall to participate in a Series called “Rough Cut Men” which will include a half hour video and 15-20 minutes of discussion and fellowship. Coffee and Donuts will be available. This early meeting time will allow those that are working plenty of time to get to work, and the rest to possibly continue in fellowship for breakfast at a local restaurant of choice– of course all of this will follow our existing safety guidelines and protocols. This is my Lenten Challenge to our men- more info to come!
I hope and pray that all of you have a great and blessed week! Peace!
– pastor firstname.lastname@example.org
13 January 2021
Great day to you Yorkshire!
Just a few things to bring you up to date on this week as things continue to move along well for our fellowship. First, our new signage has been installed at the church. If you are in the area, drive by and check them out, I trust you will find them to add a bright, fresh look to our facility. I will include some pictures in next week’s “what’s brewing” letter.
We have begun the process of transitioning our leadership teams to our newly elected leaders and team members. Typically, we would have had team meetings which would have included all members. Due to current challenges in holding meetings, I have started meeting with the leaders of each team to discuss transition elements. Our first meeting was last night with the Finance team leaders. In addition to transitioning leadership, we are upgrading and improving our financial software platform which includes the outsourcing of the payroll function. Next week I will be meeting with the SPRC leadership. For teams that had no leadership change, we will simply be scheduling team meetings over the next two to three months (first quarter) with the hope that some of the restrictions that we are residing under may begin to ease a bit. These meetings will include newly structured teams such as a Worship Team, Education Team, and Missions Team.
Over the past 11 months, York District Churches have been operating under the premise that we need to move forward in a specific way until pandemic restrictions are no longer necessary. Since we don’t know when that will be, we need to continue to adapt our ministries to not only serving in this current environment, but also in understanding new requirements that it is creating. The virus itself is of great concern, but how can we be a light in the midst of growing mental health issues, anxiety, depression, and suicide? Is this an area that the church should arise in, or should we remain cautious and reserved? What does this look like? How do we adapt our small group ministries, youth ministries, and Sunday morning worship ministries to not only be visible in dark times, but to be an ever present beacon of hope to those seeking respite, relief, and searching for hope?
These questions and more will challenge our leadership and our team members. I believe that those that have been called to serve as part of our leadership team have a great opportunity to seek God’s will and direction for Yorkshire Church for a time such as this. It is a time for the voice of the entire fellowship to be heard in identifying new ways to be the church that we are called to be. The mission of every element of our church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ through the specific gifts they have been given. From the Finance team to the Worship Team, the Trustees to the Education folks, Missions, SPRC, and our Nominations and Leadership folks- our task is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Our fellowship, the body of the church has the same responsibility. Make disciples.
Sounds pretty simple! But to do this, we must remain a unified body in our efforts. Jesus stated;
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
-John 13:34-35 (NIV)
So, we have a great challenge ahead of us in 2021 as Yorkshire Church! How do we shine the light of Christ into this world in a way that others will know of our discipleship? Last week, at the end of each worship service, I challenged the church that as we pray for the concerns of the day, we also pray specifically for the wisdom and discernment for ourselves as Christians. I cited the examples of Solomon and the Bereans. I believe the context of the biblical lessons of each of these examples is different than the world in which we live. But the prayer of seeking wisdom from God in a similar manner as Solomon and gaining the gift of discernment like the Bereans will help us grow in our faith and in our understanding while we navigate an unprecedented time of informational chaos. The scripture references for these examples are: 1 Kings 3:1-15 and Acts 17:10-15. As you read and study these, I challenge you to read all of the footnote reference scriptures, as well- a little extra guided reading devotional time for you!
Our new Sunday School study is off to a great start, Goliath Must Fall. This week, we will be looking at the giant of fear in our lives and our study will be supporting by the message in our worship, as well. This week’s message is titled, “Fear Not.” Of course all of this will be live streamed. If you have had difficulty finding the Sunday School video on our church website (yorkshirechurch.org), it is linked into the 9AM worship video. Because of the short time between services, we do not have enough time to allow the first worship service stream to completely process into a storable format, so the two services link together. We will add this to the title on the website for the 9AM worship time. But, you can find the Goliath Must Fall weekly Sunday School video at the end of the 9AM service online.
On a closing note, I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued generosity to Yorkshire Church. During our Finance Team leadership transition meeting last evening, we reviewed our 2020 financial statements. Yorkshire Church ended the year in the black, meaning that we received more money than we paid out in bills. Over the last 3-4 months, we have gone from operating at a deficit to operating in a means that allows us to be solvent, meaning we can pay our bills and continue to invest in our church ministries, facilities, and missional outreaches to our community. Praise God. I will provide the church’s financial overview to you next week.
As I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, it is an honor to serve this fellowship and be a part of the leadership of a church that is seeking God’s direction in all that we do. Thank you again for the role that each of you play in our vital mission as God’s church.
Peace and Blessings!
– pastor dave.