Connect this Advent and Christmas
Dear Spry Family,
Any chance you're struggling to stay connected with God in this chaotic time? Our worship this weekend will focus on how Christ's light shines into our darkness to bring us hope. In my sermon, we'll learn from Clark Griswold, Indian Echo Caverns, Helen Keller, and the prophet Isaiah about how Jesus fulfills God's promises, and why we need the light, peace, and hope our Savior uniquely brings.
Update on Process and Plans
Church leaders continue to monitor the situation regarding the pandemic. I'm in touch with people every day. Our Administrative Council is in ongoing conversation, prayer, and discernment during this time. The details below about indoor worship are based on our current plans. Those plans could change at any point. As I've shared with you before, if our plans change we will communicate those changes as soon as possible. Thank you for your prayers and support as we seek to be wise, responsible, and faithful during circumstances that are complex and constantly changing. Our prayers continue for everyone affected by Covid, for our healthcare workers and leaders, and for grace for all of us to make wise decisions.
Christmas at Spry
We invite you, and your friends and family, to connect with us this Christmas. We'll have an online Christmas Special, called "Home for Christmas". It will feature beautiful music, the reading of the Christmas story, candle lighting, and words of hope. Our Christmas special has been filmed mainly at the church parsonage, where my family lives, and it's designed to help people, in a fun and festive way, to understand how the message of Christmas speaks to our circumstances as we are all spending more time at home for Christmas this year than usual. Look for it's release during the week of Christmas!
In addition, our worship times for in-person worship are December 23 at 6:30pm at the School St. Campus, and December 24 at 3pm at the Pine Grove Campus as well as 5pm at School St. and 7pm at School St. Seats are limited to allow for social distancing. We ask that people register at ChristmasForYork.com, or by signing up at the Connection Center in the School St. lobby. If you register for tickets and then can't come, please cancel your registration so we have an accurate expectation of numbers for each service. Please consider volunteering as a greeter or an usher. To volunteer, sign up at the Connection Center or contact the church office by December 20.
Christmas Missions Offering
All money given at our Christmas Eve services along with any designated gifts given by December 27 will benefit children and families in need, half locally through our school partners (specifically the backpack feeding programs for kids in our community) and half through our mission partners at New Life Children's Home in Guatemala.
Wondering what to give someone this Christmas? Here's a great gift idea: give a gift in someone's honor or memory. Write on the memo line of the check or on an envelope: "Christmas Missions Offering." Then pick up a card at the Connection Center for the person or family that tells them you gave a gift in their name to help children and families in poverty. Or, go to SpryChurch.com/gift and we'll send a card to you or directly to the person you wish to honor.
Two Upcoming Classes to Help You Grow
We're excited to offer two courses--each online starting in January--that will help you in several key areas of your life.
For those of you who are married, we encourage The Marriage Course as a way to strengthen the connection between you as a couple. The challenges we experienced in 2020 prove that it is critical to invest in marriages and strengthen relationships. This course was recently updated to address the important topics marriage relationships may experience today. Whether you have a strong marriage or are experiencing difficulties in your marriage, this course is designed to promote good relational skills between couples. And, there's no group sharing--the videos and conversations will help you and your spouse build a stronger marriage as you go through this experience together. The Marriage Course: Online meets Tuesdays from January 5-February 16, each week from 7-9pm (7 weeks). Go to SpryChurch.com/marriage for more information and to register for this free online course.
We're also offering Financial Peace University, which teaches people how to get rid of debt, manage their money, spend and save wisely, and more. Membership kits cost $69 for an individual or couple, and the membership includes access to printed and online materials. Financial assistance is available if needed. Financial Peace University: Online meets Mondays from January 4-March 1, each week from 6:30-8:30pm (9 weeks). Go to SpryChurch.com/fpu for more information. We all need a plan for our money. FPU can be that reliable and proven plan for you.
I'm excited about our worship of God this weekend. It's a chance for us to strengthen our connection with God. If you don't feel comfortable coming to indoor worship at this time, then I encourage you to stay home. You can worship with us online instead. Again, the details above about indoor worship are based on our current plans, and those plans could change at any point. We'll keep you updated as appropriate. Thank you for your understanding and faithfulness.
Regardless of what happens, Christmas is coming and will soon be here. How we all need its message of hope and redemption. Come, Lord Jesus.
God's peace to each of you,