Effective July 12:
In the Sanctuary and Online

Please See Below for Sunday School Class Information

July 12, 2020
Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

"Seeds for Understanding"  

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 , 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 Wednesday Evenings at 7 :00 pm until noon by zoom (video) conference. If you wish to be included and haven't received an email already, please contact Pastor Joel at , and he will forward you the link. (We will not share the login info publicly in an effort to prevent hacking). The class will be led by Patricia Carey, beginning a video series by Bob Goff.

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 , and he will forward you the link. The class will begin studying the "Guide for Biblical Studies" curriculum, "Many Faces of Wisdom" - this week's lesson based on Ecclesiastes 3 and Luke 2.

Children's Sunday School Class
Children's Sunday School is now planned for 12:00 noon each Sunday via zoom, with a lesson lasting approximately 20 minutes. 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 . Thanks, and we look forward to this special time together!

Click on the video below for a special story in advance of this week's lesson:
Media Release Form - York First Church of the Brethren


As we move to live streaming our worship services, we find it appropriate to inform you that your child/children could be recorded during worship. While we will not post or tag the names of children in our videos, faces may be seen on screen and first names may be used. If you would rather your child not be seen on screen, please keep children with you during the children’s story.

Please complete the form below as you feel comfortable. If your desires would change at any time, feel free to contact an Education Team member. Copy of the form will also be on the table in the narthex. 
Youth Group News
Youth Daycamp Service Opportunity - Week of July 20th

Several youth from our church plan to take part in a special three-day service project this summer in collaboration with Cornerstone Youth Home. The agency has a management agreement with the Children’s Aid Society and is working to address the issues of homelessness for children and youth in York City. You can read more about Cornerstone at this web site:

Please keep our youth in your prayers as they will be working to clean out and prepare a facility in which homeless youth can reside while receiving stable care and education. We are eagerly preparing to engage in this project as a 3-day "daycamp workcamp" this summer, and we hope to serve well the people of our community who are in need.
In addition, 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 .

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

Denominational news and information is always available by visiting
June Church of the Brethren
Newsline Digest
Church of the Brethren
Annual Conference Worship (July 1)
Click to view the full service here
Click for Friends to Remember in Prayer
and Event Announcements
Although in-person worship gatherings and events are 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: and click on the Online Giving Link or go directly to the Online Giving website at: .
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!!!!!
Upcoming Events
Great News!
VBS is Happening!
August 2-7, 2020

Join us ONLINE for 3 days of VBS Fun! Invite your Friends, Family & Neighbors to join you at your house for this awesome time of worship, play, and fun! You pick the days. You pick the time. We give you the materials you need to make this a meaningful and fun experience. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. 
Mel Markey Memorial Golf Benefit
benefiting Children's Aid Society 'The Lehman Center'
Held at Hanover Country Club, August 13, 2020
Registration Deadline: August 2, 2020

Mel Markey was a long time volunteer at CAS 'The Lehman Center' and we have
re-named the tournament in his honor. For more information, visit our website!  or click for our tournament brochure!  Brochures are also posted on the bulletin board.
Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and church operations:

Our date for a "soft" re-opening for services is July 12th. Since video live-streaming is fully functional and COVID-19 cases remain relatively low in our area, we believe that we can responsibly resume worship gatherings, so long as they are small and well-distanced.

That said, staying home remains the safest option, and we commend doing so to prevent spread of contagious disease. Worship will be recorded and live streamed each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM whether anyone is in attendance or not. We remain a committed body of Christ's faithful disciples whether we gather in person or not. We are simply allowing in-person attendance for those who desire to do so. Thank you all in advance for choosing wisely how and where you will worship.

No Sunday School classes will resume until a later date, and several elements of worship will be adjusted such as seating arrangements, no passing of offering plates, and restricted singing. Handshake greetings should be avoided and masks must be worn within the building. Sanctuary windows and doors will be open, so expect warm and humid conditions. Please know that all of these measures are for our collective wellness.

We have every intention of continuing to provide worship, teaching, and encouragement while maintaining “physical distance” for the safety and well-being of the vulnerable among us. 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 continues to be restricted, and pastoral visits will be minimal.

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 Mailing your gifts and offerings to the church office is also welcome. Thank you to all who have given generously! We have been able to maintain our many outreach commitments thus far this year, and for that we give thanks!

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: 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. Talk to each other often, by phone especially. Please stay home and do your part to prevent the spread of contagious disease. That is how we can best love one another for the time being. God's comfort and peace be with you.
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Postponed and Canceled Events
Postponed Until 2021
Cross Keys Village, The Brethren Home Community
60th Annual Chicken BBQ, Car Show, & Auction
scheduled for Sat., August 8th
Brethren Disaster Relief Auction Event in Lebanon scheduled for
late September is canceled over pandemic concerns!

This year's Lebanon Expo Brethren Disaster Relief Auction that has been a tradition since 1977 has been canceled because of the coronavirus crisis. The BDRA association determined the health concerns due to COVID-19 complicated the ongoing planning and volunteer coordination for the two-day event set to begin Sept. 25. 
Event if current restrictions were lifted for opening of the Auction, it would be extremely difficult to have complete assurance that all volunteers, vendors and supporters would attend.
While the entire Board of Directors was heartbroken to make the decision, they feel it is a safer and more conscientious decision to take this year to continue fund raiding efforts with the Church of the Brethren (COB) organizations in central Pennsylvania. While this is sad news for the COB denomination and the Brethren Disaster Relief Ministry (the recipient of the Auction proceeds to rebuild disaster damaged areas), the Board of Directors look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.  ~ BDRA Board of Directors 

Not one of you can imagine the joy I experienced in receiving your beautiful cards. You are a great "bunch" of people.
I sincerely thank you. ~ Jean Carson

Thanks so much to my church family for so many acts of kindness, thoughts, and prayers during my surgery. It gives me much comfort to know you care. ~ Pat Trimmer
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.

Beginning July 12, I plan to attend our in-person worship services and will have the gift cards available for your purchase before or after the service.  However, if you will not be attending our in-person worship services, I will continue to send cards in the mail if you want to support this outreach ministry. 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
"Notes from the Console," Article 51, By Mike Frock
The Prelude this week is “Toccata in C Major No. 4,” catalogue number P. 457, by Johann Pachelbel.   The Postlude is “Festal March” by Chester Nordman. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing some of you sitting in the pews on Sunday. And from an organist perspective, I am looking forward to having those of you at church be able to hear and feel the organ in person. For the first ten or twelve weeks virtually nothing that was played on the organ pedals came through on the recordings. In the last couple of weeks, Tim and Shawn have fixed that problem, but I still feel as though the full power of the organ does not come across on the recordings. During this Sunday’s Prelude “Toccata,” those of you at church will be able to hear and feel the growl of the 16’ reed pipes in the pedal part. However, for those of you who will be watching the livestream, you can watch my hands switching back and forth between the Great and Swell manuals. In this 2’15” piece, there are five times when I move one hand or the other and one time where I switch both hands at the same time (a technique which can sometimes feel like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time).
These last few months that we have been recording services, I have been playing mostly Baroque music (Pachelbel). This was purposeful. Because of the challenges and problems with recording the organ, I wanted to pick music that I could play at a relatively loud volume and not have to worry about the recording not picking up softer dynamic contrasts. Baroque organ music is perfectly geared toward that end because there is no dynamic contrast. Expression pedals (i.e. the large volume pedals) were not added to organs until the 1800s, so any music written before that was written to be played at one volume (on). Moving forward I hope to be able to play a wider variety of music including pieces from the Romantic and 20 th Century eras. While Baroque organ music was dominated by German composers (e.g. J.S. Bach, Pachelbel, and Buxtehude), Romantic and 20 th Century organ music was dominated by French composers. In the coming months I am looking at exploring more of the music by these French composers such as Vierne, Guilmant, Widor, Gigout, Franck, and Dupré. 

Scripture Lesson:
2 Kings 2:1-13a
Romans 12:1-2

"Change is Hard"

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@yorkf .  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”