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  • New Year's Eve in Hershey

    The 14th annual Hershey celebration will be happening all day and into the evening on Dec 31:

    • Steve Augeri, former front man for the band Journey, will take the main stage for Hershey New Year’s Eve beginning at 10:30 pm.
    • The celebration will feature activities for the entire family, 11 am - 9:30 pm at the Hershey Story.
    • From 7-10 pm, The First United Methodist Church of Hershey will host food and fun for the whole family, including games courtesy of Funland in Rehoboth Beach. The church will host a free concert by singer/songwriter Steve Courtney in the sanctuary at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm. Hot beverages and homemade cookies will be available from 7 - 10 pm in the social hall.
    • The evening will culminate with the raising of the giant Hershey’s Kiss replica followed by a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.

    The event is held at the square in Hershey and is free to the public. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available from vendors and nearby restaurants throughout the evening.

  • Christmas Eve Greeters Needed for All Services

    Be part of Derry Church’s celebration of Jesus’s birth by serving as a greeter on Monday, December 24. Greeters are needed for all four services: 2:30 pm, 5 pm, 7:30 pm and 11 pm. Contact Nancy Kitzmiller 

  • Sign Up for Supper Clubs on Feb 3!

    Meet new Derry friends and enjoy fellowship around the table this winter: supper clubs are happening next on Sunday evening, Feb 3, 2019. Contact Amy Backenstose (call or text 717-319-3193) or sign up after 10:30 am worship on Sundays in the Narthex through Jan 27.

  • Big Thanks to Our Amazing Team of Rakers!

    This awesome team of rakers worked hard on Dec 8 to clean up the church grounds for winter. Thanks to them and to many hands who helped throughout the fall to keep our church grounds looking well-maintained. Your efforts are appreciated!

  • What's Next for Derry Church's Music Program?

    As Derry’s music program enters a time of transition, dedicated volunteers and leaders are working to ensure the program continues to run smoothly and bless the congregation. Directors have been found to lead our Tuesday night rehearsing choirs so that rehearsals will continue on Tuesday evenings with the same schedule, with the exception of the Hosanna chimes. Choirs will transition to new leaders throughout January.

    • Hosanna Chimes members will be invited to join Tintinnabulation under the direction of Debbi Kees-Folts. Many of the members of Hosanna chimes are already in Tintinnabulation and they need more ringers.
    • The Joyful Noise choir will be led by Kelly Barth.
    • Julie Miller and Lee Ann Taylor will lead the Celebration and Chrysalis Youth Choirs.
    • Matt Haas will continue to direct the Jubilation Ringers and he will partner with Debbi Kees-Folts to direct the Derry Ringers.

    We are so thankful we have talented musicians and directors willing to lead these choirs so they can continue throughout the year uninterrupted.
    The Personnel Committee has formed a search team that is tasked with finding an interim Director who will direct the Sanctuary Choir, play the organ on Sundays for both services, and provide leadership and direction for all our choirs and directors. The same team will then work on finding a permanent full-time Director of Music Ministries.

    The search team is comprised of talented and knowledgeable musicians, choir members, and personnel committee members, several of whom served on the committee that hired Dr. Sean McCarthy. The committee will be chaired by Elder Kathy McGrath and includes Ryan Bartz, Matt Haas, Greg Harris, Mary Lemons, Julie Miller, Austin Pease, Lee Ann Taylor, and Kathy Yingst.
    Please be in prayer for the committee as they begin their search. We are thankful for all the dedicated musicians and singers that inspire us with music and help us worship God. Music is an important part of Derry and will continue to be so. We appreciate everyone who contributes to the music program at Derry especially those continuing or taking on new leadership roles.
    In common calling,
    Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

  • Letters of Thanks Received

    From Christ Lutheran Church, Harrisburg:

    Thank you for the tremendous gift of $3,000... This year we were able to provide a record 21,000 patient encounters across our four free clinics including the daily, nurse-run walk-in clinic, prenatal clinic, urgent care clinic, and dental clinic.... Your support allows us, most importantly, to keep our doors open... you helped us purchase medical supplies... free flu vaccines, cold medicines, prenatal vitamins and eyeglasses... When our friend Susan showed up with flu symptoms, one of our nurses helped her determine she was suffering from a severe kidney infection. Her doctor said the guidance she received from the Health Ministries saved her life.

    From Friends of PEB:

    Thank you for your dedicated partnership with Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan to provide quality education and to be agents of peace and reconciliation. Your 2018 donations bought furniture for two classrooms and a science lab, and contributed to the renovation of two old dormitory rooms into a much needed classroom. In addition, the Derry Friends of Sargodha group provided scholarships for 10 needy students, and many more Derry friends joined together for this year’s PEB’s 20th Anniversary celebration, contributing their time and money for additional scholarships and PEB SHE product sales.

  • Isaac's Fundraisers Return on Jan 17

    10 am - 9 pm Thursday, Jan 17 at Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches in Hummelstown (please note extended hours)
    Derry Church's Friends of Sargodha group invites you to support the building of a school for boys in Sargodha, Pakistan: have dinner at Isaac’s and when it’s time to pay your bill, hand in a flyer (available at the insert rack in the Narthex) and Isaac’s will donate 25% of your food and beverage purchase to the Sargodha School fundraising effort. Bring your friends and family, have a delicious dinner,and help to improve education across the globe. This fundraiser will be repeated on February 21 and March 21.We hope to see you there!

  • Looking for Offering Envelopes?

    For those who prefer to use envelopes, boxes for 2019 will be ready for pickup in the Narthex starting this Sunday, December 16. Please note your envelope number may have changed. More than 100 Derry Church families have switched to online giving. If you’re making the switch, please notify Sandy Miceli by Dec 28 that you will no longer need a box of envelopes.

  • Attention Users of Online Giving

    If you are changing the amount you give to Derry Church in 2019, you will need to go online and update your account to reflect the change. The good folks in the church office are not able to make those changes for you. Questions? Contact Sandy Miceli (533-9667).

  • Post-Worship Fellowship Update

    Would you or your Shepherd Group/committee/group like to host post-worship fellowship in the new year? Sign up on the volunteer portal or, following 10:30 am worship, contact Amy Backenstose (717-319-3193). 

  • Derry Seniors Learn About Citizenship on Jan 15

    10 am Tuesday, Jan 15 in Room 7

    Next month the Derry Seniors welcome Jwana Smith, Community Relations Officer in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Philadelphia District Office. She will discuss the process immigrants undergo to become an American citizen, and answer audience questions. Jwana began her 17-year career with Legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has held positions as an adjudicator, trainer, and supervisor with experience in LIFE Act applications, conducting background checks, congressional relations, and community relations. In 2017 she transferred to the Philadelphia District Office and began her current position. Free. Lunch follows in Fellowship Hall ($3/person).

  • Paint Night Supports Youth Group Trips

    6-8 pm Saturday, Jan 5 in lower level classrooms

    Have you ever wished to paint but just didn't know how to begin? Join us as two talented Derry Church artists, Elizabeth and Luke Gawron, guide participants step-by-step to create their own unique winter paintings. No painting experience needed! Bring a friend -- or two!

    This event is hosted by our Youth Group, who will provide an array of homemade baked goods and a hot cocoa bar for participants to enjoy during the evening. Funds raised will support upcoming Derry Pres Youth trips.

    • $30 for ages 13-adult: participants will create a 16" x 20" winter scene using acrylic paints
    • $20 for ages 4-12 ($10 each additional sibling): participants will create an 8" x 10" snowman using kid-friendly paints.
    • 3 & under - nursery available on request
    Limited space available. RSVP is a must! Sign up with our youth at the table in the narthex or call the church office: 717-533-9667.
  • Director of Music Announces Resignation

    Last week Dr. Sean McCarthy informed the Session that he has accepted a music director position at First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The new position will allow him and his wife Eve to return to the home they have been unable to sell. His last Sunday at Derry Church is January 27, 2019. 

  • Behind the Music: Christmas Carol Edition

    6-6:30 pm Tuesday, Dec 11 & 18 in the John Elder Classroom
    In this two-week holiday series, join Pastor Stephen as he shares the stories and theology behind many of our best-loved Christmas carols! Make an evening of it: enjoy Terrific Tuesday dinner ($3) from 5-6:15 pm in Fellowship Hall before joining the class, then stay for evening worship at 6:45 pm in the Chapel.

  • November 2018 Session Report
    • Received five new members on November 18.
    • Examined newly elected Ruling Elders and Deacons in preparation for ordination/installation on Jan 13, 2019.
    • Sara Woodbury, Chair of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, presented the APNC’s prepared Ministry Information Forms for the Associate Pastor/Certified Christian Educator position. After discussion, the Session approved the forms. The next step in the process is to present the MIFs to the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry. Once approved, the MIFs will be posted to PCUSA’s Church Leadership Connection website for potential candidates to view and respond.
    • The Session viewed a video entitled “Justice” which is part of “The Bible Project” series. See:  The video explores the biblical theme of Justice and discusses how it’s rooted in the story-line of the Bible that leads to Jesus.  The video was helpful in leading a discussion regarding the proposed revision of Derry’s Mission and Vision Statements.
    • Steven Guenther shared the Treasurer’s report which noted that income to the church general fund continues to be approximately $37,000 ahead of budget.
    • The memberships of Rick and Ellen Arnold were transferred to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Lebanon.
    • Pastor Stephen reviewed the Three for Three noting that a communion service was held at Masonic Village on November 27 and another at County Meadows is planned for December.  Christmas caroling at the Hershey Plaza is scheduled for December 16. 
    • The Session reviewed the changes to Derry’s By-laws and passed a motion recommending that the revised By-laws be presented to the congregation at Derry’s annual meeting on February 3. Prior to that time, the revised By-laws will be distributed via e-mail with printed copies available at the Information Desk in the Narthex.
    • The Personnel Committee presented a recommendation to create a part-time Sexton position to work Sunday from 8:00 am-1:00 pm. Duties would include coordinating other volunteers (such as parking lot attendants, nursery attendants, etc.), security monitoring, cleaning up following post worship fellowship, and locking up the church building. The approximate yearly cost is $3,500. The request was approved.
    • An updated Job Description for the Derry Discovery Days Director was approved.
    • In keeping with Derry’s past practice of having guest theologians with different perspectives visit, the Session approved a proposal to invite Dr. Eric Barreto, a New Testament Professor from the Princeton Theological Seminary, to preach at Derry in February. 
    • The Session approved serving Communion at the 2:30 pm and 11:00 pm Christmas Eve services and deleted Communion scheduled for January 6, 2019.
    • A request from Stewardship & Finance to provide a credit card to Loretta Chubb for church-related expenses was approved.
    • Stewardship & Finance proposed moving the money in the stained glass window fund into a separate dedicated account. The purpose of the account will continue to be to receive and distribute funds for installation and maintenance of stained glass windows within Derry Church. The Session approved the request and the updated Investment Policy Statement which now includes this new dedicated account.
    • Derry Discovery Days’ request to purchase and add new furniture in nursery rooms 11 and 8 was approved. The cost of the furniture will be covered by DDD.
    • Approved a request from Derry Discovery Days to hold a bake sale fundraiser at the Christmas Concert on December 9.
    • Approved a request from the Long Range Planning Committee to sell Derry t-shirts to those interested. The shirts will also be given to volunteers who are representing Derry at community events.
    • Long Range Planning requested permission to form a group of all past elders and deacons who would be invited to a Saturday retreat in early 2019. The purpose of this group would be to tap into the large reserves of wisdom, talents and skills that these individuals possess to assist with future church planning. The request was approved.
    • Steven Guenther requested that the Boy Scout bank account be included under Derry’s accounts. This will help to avoid problems with the account when the organization’s treasurer changes. Since Derry is the Charter Organization for the Scout troop, the request was approved.
    • The Session accepted with regret Dr. Sean McCarthy’s resignation as Director of Music and Organist. Sean and his wife Eve are wished God’s blessing as they prepare to return to Connecticut and begin a new career.