A Very Special Week Ahead

Dear Spry Church,

This weekly update covers Christmas-related events and recent news about multisite ministry (see below for that part). The next week will be very special for our church and I hope you'll be part of what God has in store for us! Sunday in worship we continue our series called "The Wonder of Christmas." We'll focus on the wonder of a promise, and this promise is for you, me, and all people. I'm excited to celebrate with you on Sunday!

As a reminder, this Saturday from 10:00-10:45 is our time of prayer for our church's worship of Jesus this Christmas. We will pray over every seat in our church and ask God to bless everyone who comes. As I pray, I'll think about who might sit in that seat. I'll wonder what questions, burdens, concerns, dreams, fears, and hopes that person might have this Christmas. And, I'll pray that Jesus will send us those who need to hear a word of hope - his message of good news of great joy - for their lives today. If you can't join us at church this Saturday morning, then please pray on your own. Pray that our worship will honor Jesus and that through our church the Holy Spirit will draw people to Jesus and his wonderful light.

In addition to your prayers, I encourage you to help us spread the word by inviting your family and friends to our church this Christmas. Each year we experience the joy of welcoming hundreds of people for Candlelight Christmas Eve worship services. For many, this might be their first time to visit our church - what a great opportunity for us to extend Spry hospitality! This year we have 5 services across 2 days: December 23 at 6:30pm, and December 24 at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 10:00pm. You can find more information at ChristmasForYork.com - and you can share that website with your friends on social media or through email as a simple way of inviting them to come worship Jesus with us this Christmas! You can also share this brief video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdWZotpH7-g&feature=youtu.be

I'd like to thank all who came out to vote at our Dec 17 Church Conference. I'm grateful to each of you for your thoughtful questions and prayerful participation in this process of discernment about the next steps God is calling us to take together. We have approved beginning multisite ministry in 2020, with over 91% support. The opportunity before us now would involve adopting Pine Grove as a second campus of Spry Church. The plan shared with each congregation on Dec 3 called for Pine Grove to vote on Dec 18. There was a congregational meeting held at Pine Grove on Dec 15, and some people had additional questions and asked for more time for conversation and prayer before a vote. After that meeting, our District Superintendent decided that the Dec 18 meeting would be an opportunity for one final q and a session and Pine Grove will vote on December 29 after worship. I met with members of Pine Grove last night and we had what I think was a good and, hopefully, informative conversation. I addressed their questions and also shared from my heart about who we are at Spry and how we seek to be alive in Jesus. We talked about the potential to reach new people and how this opportunity could help us do that. We'll keep our congregation informed of developments as more details become available. Please continue to pray for wisdom and guidance as we follow God's call to be alive in Jesus through worship, service, and building a vibrant Christian community together!

I want to end with an excerpt from an email someone from our church sent me after our vote on Tuesday night. It expresses well what I believe God's purpose for us is and will continue to be moving forward. This person wrote: "It is time for us the Members of Spry Church to go on the biggest Fishing Trip of our congregational life. We are going to become Fishers of Men and will be casting our nets out into the sea of York County filling our nets with our Brothers and Sisters that have been lost. We as Disciples of Christ can help acquaint them or reacquaint them with the Word of God as we bring them back into the Flock with the Ninety Nine at Spry Church."

To that I say, Praise God and Amen!

See you in worship this Sunday and at Candlelight Christmas Eve,