9:00 AM - Sunday School Classes for all ages - click here for more information

10:30 AM - Worship, Sanctuary

January 26, 2020
Matthew 4:1-11

“Temptation in the Wilderness:
Déjà vu All Over Again”

The following resources are available on the table in the Gathering Area:

  • This week's e-news and the January calendar, which can also be viewed here
YEAR END STATEMENTS are also available for pick up on a table in the gathering area.
 There is a copy of the member’s pages of this year’s directory on the table in the Gathering Area.  PLEASE review and make any necessary changes on this copy. We hope to have the most accurate information to print the 2020 directory.
FLOWERS FOR WORSHIP - As always, church members are invited to contribute flowers that will be placed at the front of the sanctuary during worship. Sign up for any available date on the poster in Gathering Area to do so, perhaps in memory of a loved one or in honor of a special person or occasion. Note that the requested fee will be $35 effective February 2020 in order to cover costs and provide a worthy arrangement. Thank you to all who contribute and bless us the beauty of these flowers. - Worship Team
Click for Calendar of Events, Friends to Remember in Prayer, & Sunday School
Upcoming Events
Walt Crider - Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 Walt Crider will serve as guest musician on Sunday February 2nd during worship. Walt will provide Special Music (guitar and vocals) as well as accompany all congregational singing. Walt's musical style is folk and bluegrass, and he brings a simple yet bold flavor to hymns and spirituals. Come and listen, as we will begin a message series on Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" the same week.
OWLS NEWS - Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 - Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - We didn’t get to make any decisions last month, so the decisions are still before us – as we consider our continued existence, programs to be presented in 2020, and who will provide leadership and programming support.
Please join us in the Homebuilder’s classroom 154 at noon on Thursday FEBRUARY 13
to help plan for 2020 & beyond. Some changes to our usual routine are also needed this year as well. Bring your bag lunch and ideas for programs to be considered. 
Drinks will be provided. Your input is needed! Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex by February 9 so we know how many to prepare for.  
Soup Kitchen - Friday Feb. 14, 2020 - Sign up in the narthex to make a casserole or to work at the Soup Kitchen on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 (10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) PLEASE add your name and number of casseroles, to the SIGN-UP sheet, so we can let the Soup Kitchen know how many casseroles to expect. 
Men’s Spiritual Leadership Summit & Breakfast
The Matthew 18 Mandate
Guest Speaker: Paul Mundey, 2020 CoB AC Moderator
Saturday - February 22, 2020

Location: Mechanicsburg Church of the Brethren, 301 Gale St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
$ 16.00 Registration Fee
Send check payable to SOPA District COB & mail to 6035 York Rd. New Oxford, PA 17350
7:30 am - 8:00 am - Registration
8:10 am - 8:55 am - Welcome & Session I
9:00 am - 9:50 am - Breakfast
10:00 am - 12:00 noon - Session 2
Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 6, 2020 (Posted on Bulletin Board)
Sponsored By: Southern PA District Church of the Brethren
Mark your calendars now and plan to attend an evening of song. First Church will be hosting the Bridgewater College Choir on Saturday evening March 14, at 7:00 PM as part their tour in the area. ***Volunteers will be needed *** to host students overnight on the 14th following their performance, returning them to the church on Sunday morning March 15th. If you live nearby and have a spare bed to offer, please be prepared to serve in this way. Opportunities to sign up will be forthcoming.
Children's Ministry Schedule
Thank you to all who assist with Children's Ministry. Your time, energy, and dedication are appreciated. If you need to make a schedule change or would like to serve as a teacher or in the nursery, please contact Michele Gibbel (717)318-5442 or     
Nursery Caregivers Needed!
In the recent weeks we have experienced a boom of young ones in the nursery during both Sunday School and Worship. This is so exciting! But to care for these little ones, we need more help. There are between 16-20 volunteer slots to fill each month. How can you help out?  
        * A love for children 
        * A desire to support and encourage parents of young children 
        * An interest in seeing our congregation grow 
         * Background checks are required.  
Please contact Michele Gibbel ( ) to be added to the rotation or with any questions. Thank you. 
J.A.M. Choir News
Children ages 4 to 6th grade J.A.M. (Jesus And Me) Choir is practicing Sundays from 9:50 am to 10:10 am in the basement choir room. For those children in Sunday school you will be escorted to the choir room and return to the Sunday school room to meet your parents after practice each week. J.A.M. Choir is scheduled to sing in worship every 2nd Sunday of the month. We will be singing, moving, using puppets, and playing musical instruments. Join us every Sunday as we make music for our Lord!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY - We have received a request from Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren for a volunteer who may be able to drive a church van to transport school-aged children in York City to and from a Bible study program on Tuesday afternoons that they are hosting. If anyone has interest, please contact pastor Joel and we can further explore potential for serving. Thank you.
ONLINE GIVING ~ If you wish to begin contributing to the church using online giving, please visit our website at: and click on the Online Giving link or go directly to the Online Giving website t: .
For assistance setting up your account, call Donor Support at:  800-348-2886 – Option 2 – Online Giving Questions? Contact Sheryl Leaman if necessary, and thank you for your support!

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

As we prepare to launch the campaign, 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 finalize your year-end giving.
"Notes from the Console," Article 27, By Mike Frock

"What are all those little numbers?" Part 12-The Future?

The Metrical Index is not an exact science and has always been changing. It is ironic that it took many decades or ever centuries to get to a point where, for the most part, most denominations use pretty much the same version. Now, however, church music is in large-part changing from rigid-form hymns to more contemporary free-form songs. How will the Metrical Index change to adapt to the new music? A hymnal worth mentioning at this point is “The Faith We Sing.” In 2000, the United Methodist denomination produced “The Faith We Sing” as a sequel/supplement to its 1989 hymnal. Most of the music in this hymnal was written between 1989 and 2000. (There is now a third hymnal called “Worship and Song” which includes music written between 2000 and 2011.) It is interesting to look at the Metrical Index in the 2000 book because of the 284 songs, 158 (more than half) are listed as Irregular. Of the 126 that have specified metrical meters, 62 (about half) are the only song with a given meter. I mention this hymnal because it might offer a clue as to the trajectory that church music, hymnals, and Metrical Indices might take.

As hymnals include more modern songs, it may be that Metrical Indices become a thing of the past because a Metrical Index which lists every song in the book as “Irregular” would not be functional. I would not be surprised that if in 50 to 100 years, hymnals become more like songbooks than hymnals. I do not foresee that hymns will be completely forgotten, especially Christmas hymns and other well-known hymns like “Amazing Grace,” these hymns having permeated society other than within church. However, the other several hundred hymns may eventually be replaced by other songs. It might be hard to think that a hymnal could be so drastically changed. However, I would point to the past as an example. Psalters were used as the primary music book in almost every Christian denomination for 1,500+ years. When hymnals came along, within a relatively short amount of time, they replaced psalters in most denominations. For those of you that love the hymnal in its present form and do not want it to change, I do not think that change will happen within most of our lifetimes, and this is just my opinion—I’ve been known to be wrong before! 

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 4:12-23
Message:    “Heaven is at Hand”
Worship Attendance: 70
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 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”