What's the easiest route to the church?

Some people have said that the hardest part about going to Derry Church is getting there the first time. If you’re new to Hershey, it may be easiest for you to travel along Chocolate Avenue (rt. 422) until you find the famous “Hershey Cocoa” bushes at Homestead Road. If the bushes are on your left, you’re right on track. Continue to head east until you reach Mansion Road (first left past the bushes). Turn left at our road sign on the corner of Chocolate & Mansion Roads, then turn left again when you reach the stop sign at Mansion & East Derry Roads. The church building will be on your left.

Now if the cocoa bushes are on your right as you drive down Chocolate Avenue, you’ll need to turn around first. Then, follow directions above. 

Where should I park?.

  • Park on either side of East Derry Road, or in the flower shop parking lot across from the church and adjacent to the train tracks
  • Turn into the parking lot from East Derry Road. You can park along the stone wall by the cemetery – some spaces here are reserved just for visitors. Or, continue straight. At the glass-enclosed log house building, turn right or left -- parking is available in either direction. If you need an elevator or handicapped parking, turn left. If you don’t mind a walk, turn right.
  • Once in a while it takes more than one pass to find a parking space. If you must exit out of the parking lot onto Mansion Road, you can turn right, then right again into the Hershey Trust parking lot where you can enjoy a scenic stroll through the golf course on your way to church. You’ll walk past the small school Milton Hershey once attended, and our fun “ Ark in the Grove” play area.

Which door do I use?

It doesn’t really matter. All the doors are unlocked on Sunday mornings. And none of the doors open directly into the main sanctuary, so you’ll never accidentally interrupt a service or a program.

Some doors are more convenient than others, depending on where you’re going.

Easiest way into the Chapel is to use the door that faces East Derry Road. If you can’t take stairs, follow directions for “easiest way into the sanctuary,” then turn right and go up the ramp.

Easiest way into the Sanctuary is by way of the main entrance through the front courtyard. These doors will take you into the lobby area (narthex). It’s also the best door to use if you’re going to Fellowship Hall.

Easiest way to the office area and elevator is to drive around the building and park close to the “ Ark in the Grove” play area. The offices and elevator are located to the right once you enter the building..

Easiest back door entrance to the Fellowship Hall/gym is the second door you see as you face the back of the building. Enter this glass door, go up a couple stairs, then turn left to get to the Chapel or right to get to Fellowship Hall or the rest of the building.

Where’s the coffee?

Available every Sunday morning, you’ll find both decaf and regular Fair Trade coffee (and hot tea) in our Fellowship Hall at no charge. Help yourself to a ceramic mug from our large assortment. Coffee is also available during the church school hour (9:00-10:00 am) in the atrium on the lower level.

What happens in worship?

A Sunday morning worship experience at Derry is uplifting and follows the reformed tradition. The worship leaders and choir members wear robes. At the 8 am service in the Chapel, two or three hymns are sung with organ accompaniment. There’s a time to ask for forgiveness of sins, and to hear an assurance of forgiveness. A passage or two is read from the Bible – usually there are readings from the Old and the New Testaments. One of the vocal or bell choirs will sing or play, and sometimes a guest soloist performs. The pastor reads scripture and preaches a sermon. An offering is collected, and prayers are said. The entire service takes about an hour.

At 10:30 am in the Sanctuary, the service is repeated, and often a few more things are added into the mix. You’ll hear a story just for children, who are invited to come forward and sit on the steps at the front of the Sanctuary. Sometimes there is a baptism or new members join. This service usually lasts one hour.

For both services, large print bulletins and hymnals are available. Listening devices are available for use in the Sanctuary. Ask any usher for assistance.

Am I allowed to take communion?

Any person who wants to receive the meal that Jesus Christ provides is welcome at Christ’s Table at Derry.  You don’t have to be Presbyterian or even a member of any church to participate in the Sacrament. There is no age requirement. At communion, we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, and how Jesus gave his life for each one of us -- so that we will have life even after death.

At Derry, we have communion about once a month. The “elements” (bread and grape juice) are brought to you as you sit in your pew. All bread is gluten, soy, dairy and nut-free. You can eat as soon as you are served. A little rack with round holes can be found on the pew ahead of you (near the hymn books). It’s for holding the small juice cups when they’re empty.

Are women allowed to serve in leadership positions?

Absolutely: women and men share equally in the work of Derry Church, and have been called as pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, lay readers, mission workers, and more -- serving wherever Christ calls them to use their talents and skills.

What if I can't attend on Sunday mornings?

"Evening Praise and Communion" is an informal 45-minute service held every Tuesday in the Chapel beginning at 6:45 pm. At this meditative service, you'll sing a variety of contemporary, traditional, and gospel songs. There will be time to reflect on scripture through an interpretive reading or perhaps a dramatization, and communion will be served.

How should I dress?

There is no “dress code” – wear what’s comfortable to you. You’ll see men in suits, open-collared shirts, khakis and sweaters, and ladies in pants or skirts or dresses.

Will I be welcome at Derry Church?

We welcome all people in the name of Jesus Christ. We do not judge, but show hospitality and love to all who need it.

What is the make-up of the congregation?

We are a diverse congregation with members of varying ages, backgrounds, ideologies, finances, and lifestyles. Derry is comprised of children, youth, young adults, one- and two-parent families, retired couples, and singles.  

My kids aren’t used to sitting in worship. Help!

While we understand that kids can be restless if they have to sit for a long time, we welcome and encourage them to take part in the worship experience. After all, worship is for the entire family of God – including grown-ups. Kids who like to read or color can pick up a listening bag at the entrance to the Sanctuary, and use the papers, book, and crayons inside to keep their hands busy as they listen to the words and music. We suggest opening the bag about half-way through the service, right before the sermon. The early part of the service has lots of movement, singing and activity that can be interesting and engaging to kids (of all ages). Ushers can provide simplified children's bulletins for those who would like one.

If you have kids who are age four or five or in kindergarten, they are invited to join KIWI (“Kids In Worship Instruction”). This program is available September through May, and kids who participate will leave the sanctuary with a leader after the children’s story. They learn about the order of worship, how to find hymns, how to pray, and even have communion together. Kids meet up with their parents after worship, in a lower level classroom.

If you have babies or children younger than four, a nursery is available across the hall from the Sanctuary (near the rest rooms). There is a room for children two and younger, and a room for kids ages two to four. When you sign in, you can pick up a pager that will silently alert you should you be needed by your child while you’re at worship.

Some people have found that the lounge at the west end of the sanctuary (through the glass doors) is a good place to hang out with energy-filled kids. You can see and hear the worship service even though you are slightly removed from it.

Do I have to be a member to participate in activities?

No – all programs and activities on Sunday morning and throughout the week are open to anyone who would like to attend. Most of the programs are listed on this website.

Who do I contact to ask a question?

The church office is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Call 717-533-9667 and the phone will most likely be answered by our friendly and helpful church secretary, Teresa. She can answer your question, or direct you to the right person to answer your question.

Or, send an email to info@derrypres.org.

On Sunday mornings, go to our Information Center (the large desk in the hallway right by the main entrance and outside the Sanctuary). Or, ask anyone wearing a name tag and they will be more than happy to help you.