**In-person gatherings remain suspended until further notice due to public health concerns**

Please see below for online class
and worship offerings

May 3, 2020
1 Peter 1:3-25

"Prepare Your Minds"

Sunday School News

Homebuilders Sunday School Class
The Homebuilders Class is continuing to meet on Sunday mornings from 9:00 am to 10:00 am by conference call. All are welcome to join. To be included, contact Mike Martin either by calling 717-840-4184 or by emailing Caretaker@TwinBrookFarm.com , leaving the phone number at which you would like to be called. You will receive a phone call in the vicinity of 9:00 am. The class continues to examine lessons from the "Guide for Biblical Studies" curriculum.

Lamplighters Sunday School Class
The Lamplighters Class is planning to meet on Sunday mornings from 11:00 am until noon by zoom (video) conference. If you wish to be included and haven't received an email already, please contact Pastor Joel at pastor@yorkfirst.org , and he will forward you the link. (We will not share the login info publicly in an effort to prevent hacking). Brad Nicholas will lead discussion this week.

Vine & Branches Sunday School Class
The Vine & Branches Class is continuing to meet on Sunday mornings from 9:00 am to 10:00 am by zoom (video) conference. If you wish to be included, please contact Pastor Joel at pastor@yorkfirst.org , and he will forward you the link. Meetings are often more social than study-driven, and youth and children are welcome to be present.

Children's Sunday School Class
This week we plan to incorporate a children's Sunday School lesson in the above (Vine & Branches Class) video conference, planning for 9:45 am as a start time. Parents may of course participate alongside, but the time will be tailored to children. For the zoom link and to be included, please contact Pastor Joel at pastor@yorkfirst.org . Thanks, and we look forward to this special time together!
Youth Group News

Due to health concerns and restrictions on gatherings, the Church of the Brethren Summer Youth Workcamps have been canceled. Our Youth had planned to attend one during the month of July, so this is sad news for many. Please click on the button to view the cancellation announcement:
On a brighter note, please check out this new Church of the Brethren resource that provides daily devotions for the youth. "Good News! Youth Devotional" has a new and unique offering each day with scripture, commentary, prayers, and questions to consider.
For those of you working with our children at church:
Please take this Child Abuse prevention Training at www.Ilookoutforchildabuse.com .

After you complete the training please print your certificate and give it to Pastor Joel to keep on file. Thank you so much for helping care for our little ones at church. Thank you!
Church of the Brethren Denominational News
April Church of the Brethren
Newsline Digest
Click for Friends to Remember in Prayer
and Event Announcements
Although in-person worship gatherings and events are largely suspended for a time, the church's ministry continues in many important ways. Please continue to give as you are so led, whether by mail or through online giving. Thank you.

Online Giving is safe, easy, and convenient. Sign up by going to our church website at: www.yorkfirst.org and click on the Online Giving Link or go directly to the Online Giving website at:  www.acionlinegiving.com/4706 .
For assistance setting up your account, call Donor Support at:  
         800-348-2886 – Option 2 – Online Giving
Questions? Contact Sheryl Leaman - Thank you for your support!!!!!
Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and church operations:

Until further notice, we will not gather here at our building on Sundays for worship together, and any other large group events are canceled or postponed until further notice. Leadership Team will be meeting during the month of May to plan our re-opening strategy. When we do resume gatherings, please be prepared for a "soft" openings, as not all things will return to "normal" as we have known them. Nevertheless, our church - we the people of faith - remains strong and committed, and our worship and service to God will always go on.

Master Planning building project progress is being delayed at the moment as we evaluate our priorities, the needs of those we serve, current economic realities, and government closures which affect necessary permits. Small portions of project work may continue, but the overall bid package for building construction is on hold for now.

We have every intention of continuing to provide worship, teaching, and encouragement while maintaining “physical distance” for the safety and well-being of all. The pastor and secretary continue to be available and in the office most of the week, so please feel free to call or email as you wish. We discourage in-person visits, however. Visitation to nursing homes and hospitals has been severely restricted, and until we know just how widely this virus has spread pastoral visits will be minimal.

We have several church members who have volunteered to assist any church members and friends who are in need at this time. If you are deliberately minimizing public contact and are in need of something, let us know and we can perhaps see that groceries or other essentials are delivered to your home.

Please recognize that your church will require funds to continue basic operation of property and facility, fulfill pledged outreach giving, and maintain staff who will continue to minister whether in-person gatherings happen or not. Online giving is a simple and easy way to support your church and those it serves during this time, and it is accessible through our church website www.yorkfirst.org. Mailing your gifts and offerings to the church office is also welcome.

Look for other announcements on our website and facebook page , and as always you may read current and/or recent newsletters through our website for other updates (and past sermons if you have spare time). **Note that you do not even need a facebook account of you own to view the church's page there. If you do have a facebook account, please "like" our church's page to view updates there. The more you "like" and "comment" and "share" our content, the better it "travels" and will be seen by others. Do your part to freely spread our messages of ministry during this time. Thank you!!**

Concerning the spread of COVID-19, here is a good resource with helpful links to other sites as well: https://covid19.brethren.org/ Be careful to pay attention to public health experts, rather than every news headline or comment from your neighbors. We must act responsibly for the well-being of all, not merely ourselves. This disease is real and a genuine threat to the lives of many.

Thank you all for understanding and for your faithful participation in our life together. Stay apart from each other in body but close together in spirit. Take time to study, pray, and appreciate this time of rest that is before us. Talk to each other often, by phone especially. Please stay home and do your part to "flatten the curve." That is how we can best love one another for the time being. God's comfort and peace be with you.
Upcoming Events

*** All Events are subject to change given the current situation.
Forthcoming newsletters will offer more information as it becomes available. ***
Soup Kitchen - Friday, May 8, 2020 - Sign up by calling Audrey Ginder, 717-755-6785 to make a casserole for the Soup Kitchen on Friday, May 8, 2020 (10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) PLEASE contact Audrey to add your name and number of casseroles, so we can let the Soup Kitchen know how many casseroles to expect. Thank you!
We would like to share the news of a special union that will occur on Sat., May 9th, the wedding of Vincent Sepe and Tanya Whitman in our sanctuary! Pastor Joel will be officiating. Due to public health concerns and social distancing, they will be having a very small wedding service with limited guests. The reception is being postponed for several months.

Vincent & Tanya are some of the newest members of our church, both having been baptized in January of this year, and we would love for our congregation to share in their celebration by blessing them with a card shower. If you are inspired to do so, their address is: 975 Lancaster Ave., York, PA 17403.

May God bless Vincent and Tanya's union and may they have a lifetime of joy together. Please pray for them as they begin this new phase of life together and for their family and friends who celebrate with them - in body and/or in spirit.
A family of Ukrainian immigrants - the Burlaka family - has recently been resettled in our neighborhood through Church World Service - refugees fleeing persecution and close relatives to others whom our church has served in the past and who worship with us on occasion. They are in need of beds, clothes, towels, a small desk, and perhaps a used vehicle. Prospects for employment and housing are also need that they will have going forward, as well as transportation to ESL classes in the near future.
If you have interest in helping or can donate items, please talk to John Anderson, Witness Team chairperson, or Pastor Joel. We have committed to helping this family and they deeply appreciate any support we can offer. Thank you.
Postponed and Canceled Events
The York First CoB Capital Campaign would like to invite you to the Celebration Lunch on Sunday, May 17 th immediately following the morning service. More information to follow. 
This luncheon has been postponed. More details will follow.

YARD SALE CHANGES: Unfortunately due to COVID 19 - we must cancel our beloved Yard Sale. So all incoming household items, clothing and other items you wished to drop off at the church - can no longer be accepted this year.  Here is hoping this nasty bug flies away and we can return to our regularly scheduled Yard Sale NEXT YEAR! In the meantime, if you have been able to clean out this year, set aside your items for next Spring. Otherwise, if you are unable, we understand.

We will, however, be having some fund raisers throughout the year to benefit the youth. Monies raised will help to offset not having our yard sale this year.
Watch for future announcements.
If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Kovacs at 717-309-0678.
Women's Camp Retreat Canceled

72 Annual Women's Camp Retreat scheduled for June 1 & 2, has been
canceled by SO PA District Nuture Commission due to the COVID19 uncertainties.
Since 2011 our Witness Team has sponsored the Cash for Causes program by selling Giant & Weis gift cards. The church receives 5% of sales to support various ministries. For 2020 the gift card sales will support The Lehman Center (Children’s Aid Society), New Community Project, Carlisle Truck Stop Ministry, and LifePath Christian Ministries (formerly York Rescue Mission). You may purchase the cards in amounts of $100, $50, $25, or $10. The cards make great gifts, especially at holidays. Consider donating cards to the Food Pantry or using them yourself any time you shop at Giant or Weis.
If you would like to support this outreach program while we are not meeting as a congregation during the Covid-19 pandemic, you can send your check to Becky Wenger, 3011 Bedford Pl, York, PA 17408. The Giant or Weis cards will be mailed to you. 
Make your check out to York First Church.
Thank you for supporting this program.
           Becky Wenger, Cash for Causes representative
It is time for Upper Room renewals. Please respond by May 7th

If you WANT to receive the Upper Room OR if you are on the list and would like your name REMOVED please contact Carole Bradfield at carole513@verizon.net  or 
call the church office by May 7th.

Also, if you did not receive your May/June issue, please let me know.
Again, there has been an issue with delivery and some have not received their booklet yet. They will send out replacements.

If your birthday is in  MAY it is not on the below list or
is listed incorrectly, please call the church office. 

02  Emily Vuono
03  John Minnich
08  Eric Jones
13  Dale Paules
13  Carole Bradfield
13 Ruthanna Bowser
14  Jean Carson
15  Barbara Jo Brown
16  Paige Striebig
18  Jean Lauver
18 Amie Dietrich
21  Stephen Carey
26  Doris Markel
26  Rick Boogher
27  Brenda Harlacher
28  Shea Martin

Save the Date

The Lehman Center Benefit Auction benefiting Children's Aid
Society has been changed to Tuesday, June 30, 2020. 

The location is the same- York County 4-H Center, 771 Stoverstown Road, York PA.

Diane Gibble is collecting items for the auction.
Please let her know if you have anything to donate. Thank you!
Volunteers Needed
Vacation Bible School
June 14-18, 2020
Sunday – Thursday Evenings 6:00 to 8:00

We need help with registration, decorating, nursery care, and group leaders.
Please contact Diane Gibble if you are able to help!

“Catch the Spirit, Build for the Future” has been chosen as the theme for our Capital Fund Campaign. Campaign visits are ongoing, and we hope you will prayerfully consider making a pledge to support our church's future.

As the campaign advances, we want to share with you two tax saving options that may be available to you as you consider your pledge to the campaign. These options are qualified charitable distributions and donation of appreciated securities.

Qualified Charitable Distribution
If you are age 70½ or older, IRS rules require you to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year from your tax-deferred IRA’s. This additional taxable income may push you into a higher tax bracket and may also reduce your eligibility for certain tax credits and deductions. For example, your taxable income helps determine the amount of your Social Security benefits that are subject to taxes. Keeping your taxable income level lower may also help reduce your potential exposure to higher Medicare premiums. To eliminate or reduce the impact of RMD income, you may want to consider making a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from an IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity. Amounts distributed as a QCD can be counted toward satisfying your RMD for the year and can also be excluded from your taxable income. This is not the case with a regular withdrawal from an IRA, even if you use the money to make a charitable contribution later on. In this scenario, the withdrawal would be counted as taxable income. You must be at least 70½ years old at the time you request a QCD. If you process a distribution prior to reaching age 70½, the distribution will be treated as taxable income.
Funds must be transferred directly from your IRA custodian to the qualified charity. This is accomplished by requesting your IRA custodian issue a check from your IRA payable to the charity. You can then request that the check be mailed to the charity, or forward the check to the charity yourself.

Donation of Appreciated Securities
With the stock market setting all-time record highs, many investors are holding securities in their taxable accounts that have appreciated in value. Appreciated securities are investments that have increased in value from the time they were purchased, and can take the form of publicly traded stock, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), closely held stock, or mutual funds. For example, if a stock was purchased for $30 per share and sold for $50 per share, the stock has appreciated by $20 per share. When appreciated stock is sold, the owner generally realizes capital gains equal to the appreciation and may be liable for either short-term or long-term capital gains taxes. With a charitable gift of appreciated securities, the donation you make and the deduction you get are greater than they would be if you were to sell the shares and donate the cash proceeds instead. That is because when you donate shares, you avoid paying the capital gains tax. The church will receive the full market value of the securities donated.
We encourage you to take advantage of these tax saving measures as you consider giving.
"Notes from the Console," Article 41, By Mike Frock

DUKE STREET and the Duke of Sussex
The Prelude this week is “Voluntary 1” by William Boyce.  This piece has two movements: I. Larghetto, and II. Vivace.  The Offertory is an arrangement of the tune DUKE STREET by John Hatton and arranged by Richard Wienhorst.  This tune is in the Brethren Hymnal twice (#49 “From all that dwell below the skies” and #319 “Jesus shall reign”), but there is another third set of lyrics with the title “I know that My Redeemer Lives” which is in some other hymnals, including the Lutheran Book of Worship. I chose to play this piece this week as that set of lyrics reflects the Easter season.  You can read all eight verses at  https://hymnary.org/text/i_know_that_my_redeemer_lives_what_joy .  I will play the standard hymn in three-part harmony, then the arrangement which is a fughetta (i.e. a short fugue) which uses the first seven notes of the hymn melody as the fugue subject (theme), and then play another verse of the hymn (with a flubbed note, sorry!).  The Postlude is “A Joyous Acclamation” by Lani Smith.  Like the postlude from last week, the book from which this comes recommends this as a piece for Easter or a general Sunday, so this, being another week in the Easter season, seemed like an appropriate time for this piece.
William Boyce (1711-1779) was an English composer and organist.  He was born in London and studied under Maurice Greene.  (I played a piece by Maurice Greene back in the middle of February.  If things go as planned, I plan on playing another piece by William Boyce next week, and another piece by Maurice Greene the following week.)  Boyce became the organist at Oxford Chapel in 1734, was appointed the “Master of the King’s Music” in 1755, and he became the organist at the Chapel Royal in 1758.  However, he had to give up his playing and teaching positions because of the onset of deafness.  He then turned to editing the works of his teacher Maurice Greene, as well as those of William Byrd and Henry Purcell.  Boyce composed mostly vocal works (300+), but he did write some instrumental works (30+).  His music has become largely forgotten except for his church music.  One notable exception is that one movement of one of his symphonies was played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018.  He died of gout and is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Scripture Lesson:  Luke 24:13-35
Message: "The Road and the Table"

Pastor Joel Gibbel can be reached most mornings in the church office Monday - Thursday from 9:00 AM to noon. Afternoons and evenings are often set aside for visiting those in need, for meetings, and for other pastoral duties. Pastor Joel is also available for Pastoral Counseling by appointment.
If you need to reach the pastor outside of office hours, his home phone number is
(717)318-5442, and his cell number is (717)271-4888 . You can also email him at pastor@yorkfirst.org. Note that laws prevent hospitals from contacting a pastor without your permission when you are admitted, so you will need to let hospital staff know that you would like the hospital to contact your pastor.
Our Mission Statement:
“People dedicated to Spiritual Growth, Loving Relationship, and Sacrificial Service”
Our Vision Statement:
“To become a community of committed Christians who Love God, Share Christ, and Serve the World”