In the Sanctuary and Online

Please See Below for Sunday School Class Information

January 3, 2021
Matthew 2:1-12
Ephesians 1:3-14

"Knowledge and Insight Made Known"
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 meets on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm 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. This week the class will continue a series on Advent Season, "Christmas Gifts That Won't Break" by James Moore and Jacob Armstrong. This will be led by Patricia Carey.

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 be studying the "Guide for Biblical Studies" curriculum, "Call in the New Testament." This week the lesson explores Luke 4, the call of Jesus proclaim good news in his hometown. Come and join us! Time for catching up and fellowship is always part of this class, in addition to the lesson.

Children's Sunday School Class
Children's Sunday School meets at 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. The Advent series is complete, so the zoom link is the one used pre-Advent. For the zoom link and to be included, please contact Pastor Joel at Thanks, and we look forward to this special time together!
Prayer Requests

Pastor Curtis Dubble passed away on Monday December 28 at the age of 98. Please hold his family in prayer. This congregation was tremendously blessed by his ministry many years ago. Remember Pastor Ralph Moyer as well, who was one of Curtis' closest friends.

Ruthanna Bowser is very ill with COVID-19. She is under nursing care at Pleasant Acres and her health is declining rapidly. Please pray for Ruthanna and her son Gary during this extremely difficult time.

The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) has suffered from a wave of terrorist attacks this past week, in particular at the village of Garkida. Please hold them in prayer as they absorb the tragedies of murder, kidnapping, and church building destruction by boko haram militias.
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!!!!!
David Diehl Memorial Fund

Our beloved choir director David Diehl passed away November 12th and his family has decided to wait until a later time to hold a memorial service, due to the pandemic. For now, the church is planning gifts in honor and memory of David's 20-plus years of Music Leadership.

Gifts suggested include the following:

  • Junior and Youth Symphony Scholarships

  • First Church Music Instrumentalists Fund
(David maintained this fund over the years as his contribution to First Church)

  • A tree in David's honor as part of the landscaping plans being developed

If you want to show your appreciation for David's service to First Church, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the church. Designate the David Diehl Fund and indicate where you want to direct your contribution. You may mail it to the church office or drop in the church offering plate.

The church has also set up a link to the church’s on-line giving website where contributions can be sent to the church in honor and memory of David. The church will acknowledge the gifts and forward them as a group to the Junior and/or Youth Symphony in David’s memory.
From there you will see the option to donate to David’s fund.  
Church’s Renovation Project Update and Contribution Reminder

What a year this has been! Now, at this time of year when we are celebrating Gods ultimate gift of everlasting life through his son Jesus we celebrate together and in confidence the blessing that York First Church of the Brethren is to so many.
This fall we began our planned renovation of the Sanctuary, Narthex, CDC classroom floors and Fellowship Hall. We are well on our way to completing these projects and appreciate all who have helped make this renovation a reality. In my devotion yesterday there was reference to Haggai 1:8, "Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord". I trust that we are glorifying our Lord and being good stewards of all the blessings we’ve been given to share with our community.
Our total project was estimated to cost $1,187,830 and monies that were pledged totaled $1,230,000. The project estimated costs have fluctuated both up and down. While we don’t have an exact total to share at this time the expenses are being kept below the monies pledged.
We are grateful for the congregation’s generosity in funding God’s work and these projects. Whether you gave a onetime gift or have pledged over a period of time your gifts are appreciated. We now encourage those that have made pledges to send them before the end of the year. To those that may have wanted to contribute but couldn’t and now may be able to we are grateful for every dollar of support! Without your support we could not carry on the work of York 1st or have accomplished these projects.
Thank you for your support and prayers for this project as together we set in motion a path that allows us to be good stewards, bridge builders and a blessing for the next generation of believers. We will be able to offer a continuity of ministry here. A commitment we made to the importance of ministry in our lives and to those whom it blesses. We commit to building, but not upon a foundation of sand. We build upon the rock that is Jesus Christ, and we confess that we belong to him. We are God’s servants, working together, in a holy temple where God’s Spirit dwells.
Until we can be together safely again the Master Planning Team wishes you a peaceful, hopeful and joyous Christmas! We look forward to that time of celebrating God’s blessings and good works done through our combined gifts of time, talent and treasure!
Stay well,

Deb Klinedinst
Master Planning Team Chairperson
Carpet installed in the Sanctuary entrance and Nursery area
Carpet installed in the new Balcony
Freshly painted stairway to the basement and balcony with new lighting
Church of the Brethren Denominational News

Denominational news and information is always available by visiting

We need your help to update our 2021 church directory!
If you have any changes, please email them to the church secretary
at or by phone (717) 755-0307
Upcoming Events
SOUP KITCHEN - Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 Sign up by calling Sandi Bowser at 717-825-7203 to make a casserole for the Soup Kitchen on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 (10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) PLEASE contact Sandi to add your name and number of casseroles, so we can let the Soup Kitchen know how many casseroles to expect. Due to renovations, the pans are now located in the church lounge. Thank you!  
The church is helping the Winter family get into an apartment.

They've been living in a hotel room for a year. This is a family of 4 generations the youngest being 4 years old. It looks like they will be in their new apartment the beginning of the new year.

Items still needed are:
6 bed pillows
dinner plates
plastic cups
Bowls (Like for cereal)
2 sets of towels
Cleaning supplies
If you have items used or new to donate please let Diane Gibble know and place the items in the lounge.

They are so thankful for all we are doing to help them get back on their feet again. The main bread winner in the family injured his hand in 2019 and had to have an operation he was not able to work for a few months which caused them to loose their housing. The church is financially helping with a security deposit and first months rent, furnishings that have been donated to fill the whole house and help from our food bank for a few months until they can be self sufficient. When I contacted the family and told them what the church had to offer they said "you'd do this for us"? In these difficult times this is a great way we can share God's love.
Nigerian Sewing Machine Project

This information is from Cathy Carson. Cathy's Nigerian friends brought to her attention the use of old sewing machines. The following are the make/model/year of sewing machines which can most easily be altered for use in Nigeria.

Singer model machines, 1945 to 1970 and belt driven, can be converted to use a treadle type machine although it involves replacing the hand wheel with one to accommodate a belt on a treadle. *Some of the 1945 to 1970 were also converted to hand cranked for folks who have no use of their legs. These are also belt driven machines originally. Motors are removed and a crank wheel replaces the hand wheel. These replacement wheels can be purchased new. Any machines that are gear driven can not be converted.

"Newer" Singer electric machines, 1945-65, can be converted to no electricity needed function by removing the motor and small belt, wheel replaced for treadle operation and then the new belt is added hooked up to the treadle. Other option for no electricity is an older 1950's portable Singer which is also belt driven. The motor can be removed and the wheel replaced w/hand crank. Hand cranks are still available new; this version also good for the no usable legs crew.

If you have any additional questions or would like to
donate a sewing machine, please contact Cathy Carson at 717-755-0968.

06 Tom Klinedinst
07 Greg Minnich
09 Jeffrey Yingling  
11 Nathan Beuschlein
14 Beth Drawbaugh
14 Clarence Sauder
15 Ron Horner
15 Steven Fitzkee
If your birthday is in JANUARY and is not on the list below or is listed incorrectly, please call the church office. 

16 Cathy McCracken
16 Tanner Ferro
18 Melanie Schaefer
19 Greg Bachman
19 Luke Miller  
20 Spencer Ginder
20 Dana Stump
23 Danielle Gibbel
25 Valerie Sauder
Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and church operations:

Since video live-streaming is fully functional and despite COVID-19 cases rising in our area, we believe that we can responsibly continue 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 not resume in person 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. 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.
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.

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 76, by Mike Frock

The Prelude this week is an arrangement of the hymn "Angels from the Realms of Glory" by Henry T. Smart and arranged by Rolf Unkel. The tune name for this hymn is REGENT SQUARE. The Brethren Hymnal does not include "Angels from the Realms of Glory" but does include the REGENT SQUARE tune in the hymn "For the Healing of the Nations" (Brethren Hymnal #367). Like my postlude last week on the tune "DIX," you can choose to hear this hymn as the Christmas hymn "Angels from the Realms of Glory". Or you can choose to hear this as the non-Christmas hymn "For the Healing of the Nations" with lyrics that are appropriate to both the new calendar year as well as the current pandemic situation (i.e. "All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned"). 
The Offertory, sung by Pam Baldwin, is “When Love Was Born” a traditional English folk melody, adapted by Hal Hopson, and arranged by John M. Rasley. Hopson adapted this melody to be a hymn in 1971/1972 with the title “The Gift of Love.” It was therefore given the tune name GIFT OF LOVE.  This hymn is not in the Brethren Hymnal, nor the Celebration Hymnal, but is in other hymnals, e.g. The United Methodist Hymnal. Another set of lyrics that was paired with this tune has the title “My Shepherd Fills My Every Need.” John Rasley wrote a third set of Christmas lyrics with the title "When Love Was Born." This version is a good fit for this second week of the Christmas season and the new calendar year, as the song talks about applying Christmas to the present day and "Peace on Earth for all mankind." If this hymn sounds familiar it might be because it starts the same as “My Life Flows On”/“How Can I Keep from Singing.” 
The Postlude is "Postlude on 'ANTIOCH'" (i.e. “Joy to the World”) by George Frideric Handel and arranged by Gerald Peterson. This is another hymn which can be heard as a Christmas hymn or a non-Christmas hymn. While almost everyone, including myself, associates this hymn with Christmas, the lyrics are not necessarily Christmas-specific. In fact, the Brethren Hymnal does not put this hymn in the "Proclaiming: Jesus' Birth" section with the rest of the Christmas hymns, but in the "Proclaiming: Kingdom" section, 100 pages away from all the other Christmas hymns. 

December 24, 2020

Luke 2:1-20

“A Heavenly Decree”

December 27, 2020
Luke 2:21-40

"Guided by the Spirit"

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”