News Archives

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  • July - 2020
    • By the Bookshelf, Week #13

      Pastor Stephen focuses creativity and change, and finding the next right answer, in this 26-minute episode.

    • Handcrafted Offering Boxes

      Check out this trio of handcrafted offering boxes made by Derry’s own John and Don Holtzman. They’ll be used at our outdoor worship services, then placed at the Sanctuary entrances when we are able to gather indoors. The oak came from a tree in Don and Claudia’s back yard.

    • Worship Under the Oaks on July 28

      Drop in on the July 28 outdoor worship experience when more than 50 people gathered under the oaks on a warm summer evening. Three more are planned: Aug 4, Aug 11 and Aug 18 at 7 pm in the courtyard. Please RSVP.

    • New Organ Update: July 2020

      Latest news from the team in Connecticut working on our organ restoration: “This is the restored Pedal Bourdon that we are re-using from your former organ. It has been finished in amber shellac so as to fit in with the other Skinner pipes. Many of the stoppers were cracked from improper tuning. They have all been repaired and the stoppers re-fitted. It is a nice large scale and sounds wonderful. It will be a terrific addition to the organ. We have also completely rebuilt the three chests.”

    • Welcome Grant!

      Grant Wareham, our new Director of Music and Organist, stepped into his new role on Youth Sunday, July 26, playing the final hymn. He was back at the piano bench on Monday to play for "Here in This Place." Watch for a new music video on Friday and for him to play on Sunday morning, Aug 2 for live streaming worship.

    • Wear Orange on July 25

      Orange Day on Saturday, July 25 is an opportunity to show support for those who are working to end the exploitation of women and children. Victims of labor and sex trafficking are often subject to debt bondage. Many are trapped in a cycle of debt because of having to pay for all living expenses in addition to initial transportation expenses. Fines for not meeting quotas and/or “bad” behavior can used to increase debt.

    • Here In This Place on July 27

      Participate in a prayer walk that will take you across the church grounds. Reflect, pray, and listen to some sacred music. Add your prayers to the prayer wall. Appropriate for all ages. Please do wear a mask.

      10 am - 7 pm Monday, July 27 on the church grounds 

      Derry Brass: 10-11 am
      Grant Wareham on piano: 11-11:30 am and 6-7 pm

    • Tuesday Worship from Derry Church

      Click below to join Rev Nancy Reinert for worship and communion focused on God's abundant gifts in our lives. The lesson comes from John 21. Musicians include pianist Dan Stokes and singers Sara Woodbury, Jim and Cindy Royer, and Maisie Seiverling. From July 28 to August 18, Tuesday services will be in-person. Pre-recorded services will return when we're not meeting in person mid-week.

    • July 2020 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 6/30/20

      Income YTD:      $678,606     $680,061
      Expenses YTD: $566,680 $663,104
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:     $111,926 $  16,957




      Notes from the treasurer:

      • Contributions are a little under 2019, but continue to remain stable. We are trailing forecasted contributions, but I think we are doing well considering the impact of COVID-19.
      • Committees in general are spending less than in 2019. We expect this to continue while church activities are occurring remotely and as we have asked committees to be mindful of spending. Personnel spending will start to increase with the associate pastor and music director positions filled.
      • Cash flow is good with an increase in Net Assets of almost $112k so far this year. This is similar to last year at this point. The expectation is that this will start to decrease as we are now fully staffed.
    • Coming Soon: Live Streaming Upgrade

      These boxes hold the future for live streaming at Derry Church. We're awaiting two more pieces of equipment to arrive from overseas, then installation will take place during the week of August 10. The first Sunday using the new cameras and equipment will be August 16.

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #12

      In this 38-minute episode, Pastor Stephen focuses on doing the next right thing in the midst of uncertainty.

    • New! Outdoor Worship at Derry Church

      Derry Church is offering four outdoor worship services at 7 pm on Tuesday evenings, July 28-August 18 in the courtyard. These simple 30-minute services will include liturgy, music, and a homily. Those interested in attending must wear a mask and bring their own blankets or chairs. Rain date each week is on Thursday at 7 pm.

      Outdoor services are limited to 80 people. In order to give everyone an opportunity to sign up, congregants can register for one of the four services. If space is still available on the day of the service, registration will open to all on a first-come, first served basis.

      An RSVP is required to attend: click here to sign up or call the church office for assistance (717-533-9667). Those planning to attend must review and agree to the church guidelines when they sign up. These guidelines will be strictly enforced.

      No one should feel an obligation to attend: this is completely optional and up to each person to decide what’s best for him or her. Those who are actively quarantining, who must avoid groups of any kind for their own health and safety, and who are not feeling well in days leading up to the service must not attend.

    • Sewing Hygiene Bags? Please Return Them Now

      It's time for Presbyterian Women to fill hygiene bags for the Domestic Violence Center in Harrisburg. Drop off completed bags in the red basket between the doors at the Mansion Road entrance.

    • Thank You Note for the Derry Church Family

      My heart is filled with gratitude to the Derry Church staff, members and friends for your concern and caring these past months as Ron was struggling with his health. Your cards, hospital visits, phone calls, flowers, food, words of kindness and prayers have been an inspiration and comfort that continues to feed my soul.

      Ron’s wishes were to be interred at Indiantown Gap Cemetery, and a very meaningful and beautiful service was held in June. A memorial service in his honor has been delayed until a time we are able to return to the Derry Church Sanctuary safely, and also when it's safe for our son, Marcus and his family to travel here from Anchorage.

      As God has now enfolded Ron in his everlasting arms and given him peace, I thank all of you for surrounding me with your love and care.  Ann Geist

    • Sneaker Drive Volunteers Needed

      Volunteers are needed to help prepare for and fit young feet with new sneakers to return to school in August. There are various ways to volunteer, from scheduling, inventorying each pair donated, registration and fitting. More than 400 pairs of sneakers will be distributes to Lower Dauphin and Derry Township students who need them, and any time you can give is appreciated. Sign up online for one or more shifts, or call 717-835-0101 and Love INC will be happy to accommodate your schedule.

      Sneaker donations are welcome and appreciated. Reebok offers 20% off any sneakers purchased for Love INC's Sneaker Drive. You can purchase and leave them at the store and Love INC will pick them up.

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #11

      In this 23-minute episode, Pastor Stephen brings you up to date on topics related to the COVID pandemic.

    • Get on the Meal Train for Harold & Nancy Nightwine

      As Nancy recovers from a fall, a meal train will help to ease her recovery at home and show her how much she is loved and supported by her church. Read more and sign up or contact Lauren Talhelm.

    • Thank You Notes for the Derry Church Family

      Derry Friends,

      Once again you have blessed our family with gifts of care and support. Thank you so very much for your many cards, kind words, and prayers during the recent illness and death of my mother, Pat McIntyre.

      It is never easy to lose a parent, especially one who was also a mother-in-law, a grandmother, and a great grandmother. But the memories you shared were helpful reminders of the blessings we enjoyed throughout her 95 years. We also give thanks that we are part of the Derry Church family.

      We will be traveling with our family to Oil City in the next weeks for a committal service, and we also hope to have a memorial service at Derry in the coming months. Bonnie and Dick Houtz

      Dear Derry Church Family,

      Thank you for all the prayers, card, notes, and phone calls while I was hospitalized and while recuperating at home.

      The kindness and thoughtful words were very appreciated. I look forward to the day we can all be together again in church. Until then stay safe. Blessings and love, Ann Kratz

    • This Summer Chautauqua Comes to You

      For the first time in its 146-year history, Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week summer season is available free to watch online. Maybe you’ve dreamed of visiting the lakeside community in western New York known for its worship services, lectures, classes, concerts, opera, plays, and charming Victorian cottages. On a typical day the Institution sees roughly 7,500 visitors. Due to COVID-19 their entire nine-week summer season has moved to a live stream experience and is free for 90 days. Renowned speakers offer lectures with opportunity for the online audience to submit questions through email or Twitter. Topics are educational, thought-provoking and cover current issues. Religious speakers come from diverse backgrounds.This week’s theme is Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives and features lectures focused on systemic racism, the media, and how COVID-19 is reshaping the world.  Learn more on the CHQ Assembly Video Platform

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #10

      In this 15-minute episode, Pastor Stephen talks about "Here in this Place," a new opportunity for Derry friends to drop by Derry Church on Mondays beginning July 13... and what's being planned for in-person worship in coming weeks.


    • Room 6 Makeover

      Do you recognize this room? It's Room 6, once Roger and Jeff's office and most recently storage space. In recent weeks it's undergone a transformation back into an all-purpose classroom and meeting space with built-in storage space along the far wall. 

    • Lost and Found in Pandemic Times

      The Lost and Found board (just outside the playground area along Mansion Road) is an art installation sponsored by Derry Church and created by our own Luke Gawron.

      Over the past few months, we have all been impacted by COVID-19. Whether it has been our health, our financial situation, our employment or our social lives, we all have had to make changes to our routines and our way of life. While these times are hard, there are silver linings to the hardships many are facing. As we reflect, we can all find positives that we’ve experienced. This LOST and FOUND board is a way for the church and the community to interact with each other while still practicing social distancing. Please take a flier, reflect on the past few months, fill it out and share it on this board.

      On the LOST side fill out:
      * What you have lost
      * Provide an image/picture in the blank square inspired by what you have lost
      * Write any explanation/commentary about what you have lost

      On the FOUND side fill out:
      * What you have found
      * Provide an image/picture in the blank square inspired by what you have found
      * Write any explanation/commentary about what you have found.

      Place the LOST sheet on the Lost side of the bulletin board.
      Place the FOUND sheet on the Found side of the bulletin board. 

      Enjoy reading and viewing what others have posted and invite others to participate!

    • Update on Logos Academy

      In January, the Logos Academy (where Liz Barna is co-founder and Principal) received $10,000 from Derry's Mission & Peace Committee to renovate a second grade classroom. Work is nearly complete: closets have been built to accommodate storage tubs and classroom items. On the right end of the shelving is a lockable cupboard that can be used for a ladder to access the top cupboards. Marilyn Koch is recruiting people to paint the classroom walls: let her know your availability.

    • Can You Spare A Pass?

      Our youth group is making plans to spend the day at Hersheypark at the end of the month. Contact Pastor Stephen if you have extra tickets you're not planning to use this season. 

    • Here In This Place

      Derry Church is so much more than a building or campus. Its roots run deep in all of us who call this place our spiritual home. So it's no surprise that many in our congregation have expressed a desire to return. We're making plans for outdoor worship later this summer, and in the meantime we invite you to stop by to participate in a new summer ministry opportunity, "Here in this Place."

      Join us on the Derry Church grounds on Mondays, July 13, 20 & 27 to reflect, pray, and even listen to some sacred music. Each week you'll find a special activity under the white canopy on the church grounds. Come over any time between 10am and 7pm for activities suitable for all ages, including opportunities to pray, explore the grounds, and collaborate on faith-filled projects. We’ll make it easy to stay socially distanced from one another and provide hand sanitizer. Please do wear a mask.

      One week you'll have the opportunity to paint a rock for a rock prayer garden on the church grounds and take a rock home. One week we’ll have a scavenger hunt/prayer walk around the church grounds. Our hope is to have special music at times each Monday that you can listen to as you participate, or just bring a chair and sit on the lawn, listen and enjoy.

      For more details, watch Pastor Stephen's By The Bookshelf on Monday, July 6 on YouTube and Facebook.

    • Blood Donors Needed at this Critical Time

      To schedule an appointment at any Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank donor center or blood drive, please call 800-771-0059. For a list of donor center and blood drive locations, visit In Hershey, the new Hershey Blood Donor Center is located at the Blue Barn, 475 West Governor Road, Suite 404. Hershey Donor Center hours: Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 6 pm and Sunday,  8 am - 12 noon

      • Appointments to donate blood are strongly recommended.
      • Walk-Ins are welcome, however, donors with appointments will be processed first and this may result in a significant wait time.
      • The State of Pennsylvania recommends all people going out in public wear a mask. The blood donation process requires donors and staff to be in close contact with each other during the process. Therefore, CPBB asks that you wear a mask when you come to donate. If you don’t have one, you'll be provided with one.
      • Blood drive stations will be spaced further apart than normal.
      • Your temperature will be taken at the beginning of the process.
      • No children will be allowed at the blood drive.
      • A form of ID is REQUIRED to donate.
      • The staff will spend more time than usual on extra sanitizing steps.
    • 7th Annual "Lace Up with Love INC" Sneaker Drive

      Now through Aug 4 • Sneakers Distributed Aug 6-8

      NEEDS: 500+ pairs of NEW athletic sneakers for boys and girls and and/or monetary donations.

      Brand-name high-top and low-top sneakers are PREFERRED for quality and durability. Please avoid discount (‘mart) brands.  Popular sizes are boys (youth) 10 – 6 1/2, Men’s 7-17, Girls (youth) 10 – 4 1/2, Women’s 5 – 11. Donations may be brought to the Love INC office M-TH 9 am – 2 pm. If you need to drop-off outside of office hours, please call the office (717-835-0101).

      THANK YOU to REEBOK in the Tanger Outlets at Hershey for partnering with Love INC. Get an additional 20% discount on sneaker drive donations at Reebok in the Tanger Outlets Hershey.

      Volunteers will be needed to help organize sneakers, schedule appointments, make reminder phone calls, and the list goes on in preparation for the distribution. VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #9

      Week #9! Gather 'round as Pastor Stephen tells more about Grant Wareham, Derry's new Director of Music and Organist, in this 45-minute episode.

    • General Assembly Recap

      “I believe we are not dying. We are reforming and becoming the church that God wants us to be. Every now and then, you think about that Kool-Aid that does not taste good until you stir it up a little bit. We’re being stirred up now by a spirit that calls us to be the church we have to be in the 21st century, and until the stirring is over, it will not have what is needed to taste as good as it should. But it will taste good. Just keep stirring, find the right answer, and keep walking by faith.”

      With these words, J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church, USA calls us from lament to hope. Elected to a second-term by the commissioners of the 224th General Assembly, meeting last week via Zoom, J. Herbert Nelson’s words challenged commissioners (along with all of us who identify as Presbyterian) to consider how we are stirred by the the Spirit, so more of the world can ‘taste and see that the Lord is good!’

      Read more about the recent work of the General Assembly in this recap provided by the Presbytery of Carlisle.

    • Celebrate Communion During Live Stream Worship on Sunday

      Gather your family, your bread or crackers, your juice or wine and you'll be ready for worship on Sunday, June 7. This week's service includes the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Live streaming begins at 10:30 am, and communion will take place after Pastor Stephen's sermon.

      Say these words as you pass the elements to family members, or as you partake:
      "The bread of heaven" and "The cup of salvation."

      The next opportunity for communion will be on Sunday, August 2.

  • June - 2020
    • Welcome Grant Wareham, Derry Church's new Director of Music and Organist!

      We bring good news! On Wednesday, June 17, the Session approved hiring Grant Wareham as Derry’s new Director of Music Ministries. Grant earned a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance at Rice University and graduated from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with a Master of Music in Organ Performance in May 2020. His most recent position was Organist and Choirmaster at Yale Episcopal Church,  New Haven, CT.  The two organ professors with whom he completed much of his coursework are recognized as two of the best in the world. Grant is a world class organist/pianist who has won several awards and was a finalist in the Longwood Gardens Organ competition in 2019. Watch as he plays Franz Liszt's"Un Sospiro" in the Sanctuary.

      Grant is excited and eager to come to Derry to lead our music program. As a recent graduate, he is looking forward to working with and honing his skills by working alongside Dan Stokes. Their combined talents, knowledge, passion, and leadership will be second to none. Our music program will rise to new heights with Grant and Dan working together. Grant will serve as the full-time Director of Music Ministries. He will oversee our volunteer directors, handle administrative tasks, direct the handbell choirs and some of our youth and children's choirs, and serve as our primary organist and pianist. He will be extremely busy this year helping us adapt to new ways of worship, working with small ensembles, organizing our music library, and much more.  

      Dan will continue to direct the Sanctuary Choir and serve as a mentor for Grant as Grant gains experience and skill. Both Grant and Dan are excited and thankful for this arrangement. Dan considers Grant “a musical genius,” and both Dan and the search team believe Grant will thrive at Derry and Derry’s music program will thrive with Grant.

      Grant's official start date is July 27. We are looking forward to his arrival and to the beautiful music he will provide and lead. Pastor Stephen will share more information about Grant on “By the Bookshelf” on June 29, and the July 5 worship service will feature a special piano duet with Grant and Dan.

      Grant has been watching our live-streamed worship services, as well as videos of previous services, including the Christmas concert. He has contacted the company that is preparing our new organ to get up to speed on that project. He is also taking the time to learn more about the governance and beliefs of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

      We are thankful for the congregation’s patience during this search process, and we are especially grateful for the leadership of Dan Stokes during this transition. We look forward to what the dynamic duo of Grant and Dan will bring to the next phase of music ministry at Derry.

      With hope and appreciation,

      The Director of Music Ministries Search Team                                  

      Ryan Bartz                Kathy McGrath, chair            Matt Haas                  Julie Miller     

      Greg Harris               Austin Pease                          Mary Lemons             Kathy Yingst                    

    • Welcome Pastor Pam!

      On June 21 Derry Church voted to call the Rev Pamela Meilands as its Associate Pastor for Youth & Families. Welcome, Pastor Pam! She will begin her ministry among us on August 10. Watch her candidating sermon.

    • Presbyterian Women's Birthday Offering

      The PW Birthday Offering helps to fund mission projects that improve the lives of women and children around the world. This year's Birthday Offering recipients include:

      • Center for Social Assistance to the Disabled, Family, and Children 
        Assisted Living Facility, Davydovo, Russia. 
      • GAP Ministries of Augusta, Georgia
        Expand Access and Service Space, Northeast Georgia Presbytery
      • Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center in Payson, Arizona
        Childcare and Prekindergarten Facility, Presbytery of the Grand Canyon
      • Liberty Community Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota
        Northside Healing Space Expansion, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area

      You'll hear more about this offering in worship on Sunday. To contribute, send checks notated “PW Birthday Offering” to Derry Church, 248 East Derry Road, Hershey PA 17033.

    • 21-Day Race Equity Challenge Ends and Begins

      11:45 am Sunday, June 28  • Zoom Meeting ID in the eNews 

      For the past three weeks, we've shared on social media and on Zoom gatherings what we've learned from those who face discrimination because of the color of their skin. We've been challenged and maybe a little ashamed at what we've discovered about what's happening in our nation and world, and how we may have contributed. The work isn't done, the problem isn't solved.

      You're invited to join us on Sunday for a concluding conversation on Zoom, and you're encouraged to keep learning and reading. The 21-Day Race Equity Challenge resource page will remain on the church website through the summer: keep an eye out for new articles and videos that we'll post when we find them. Thank you for taking this challenge with us and helping us learn and support each other in the process.

      Continue the conversation in our Facebook book discussion group, Summer Reading with Pastor Stephen: "Anxious to Talk About It". Next up: I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown 

    • Bob Hanna Presents Scuba Diving with Sharks on July 6

      7 pm Monday, July 6 on Zoom • Meeting ID in the eNews

      Dive into this online presentation as choir member Bob Hanna shows video clips and photos from his 40 years as an avid sport diver, and talks about dive safety.

    • New Co-Moderators Elected at the 224th General Assembly

      The first-ever digital General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA convened on June 19 with the Moderator Election. Needing only one ballot, the 2020 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) elected as its co-moderators an Indigenous woman and a Black man: Elona Street-Stewart and Gregory Bentley, a synod executive and a pastor, and the only team seeking election from which both candidates were persons of color.

      Street-Stewart will serve as the first Native American co-moderator ever of a PC(USA) General Assembly; she is from the Delaware Nanticoke tribe. Read more.

      In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to cancel the plans for an in-person, week-long General Assembly that was to take place in Baltimore. Instead, a stream-lined assembly is conducting the critical business of the denomination via Zoom. The plenary sessions of GA are live-streamed here and on the Spirit of GA Facebook page. 

    • New! Carlisle Presbytery is "Anxious to Talk About It" in July and August

      Join members of Carlisle Presbytery in July and August to read and discuss Carolyn B. Helsel's book, Anxious to Talk About it: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism.

      This new conversation will include two presentations by the Rev. Dr. Gene Gordon, pastor at Harrisburg's Capital Presbyterian Church. In one presentation, Gene will talk about the origins of the slave trade, drawing upon his recent travels to Ghana, with the 1619 project which re-examines the legacy of slavery. Gene’s second presentation will draw from his D.Min. work to help us consider how “Moral Injury” theory and black and womanist theologies provide tools for addressing the effects of racism. For those who struggle with the despair of hidden wounds, and who seek understanding and motivation for addressing wounds stemming from racism, Gene will engage us in considering the spiritual support we may offer, as people of faith.

      In order to make these conversations as widely accessible as possible, daytime and evening options are available on Zoom. Pick morning or evening, or mix and match according to your schedule. Participation is open to anyone across our congregations and communities. Here’s the schedule:

      Use this link to indicate your interest and your preference of Wednesday evening or Thursday morning conversations and appropriate Zoom invite information will be emailed to you. 

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #8

      Week #8! Last week Session approved a plan for reopening the church based on task force recommendations. Learn more from Pastor Stephen in this 18-minute episode.

    • Congratulations, 2020 Confirmands!

      Congratulations to Mina Achorn, Riley Mehaffie, Kate Patton, Katie Kyper and Mayangela Speicher, who were confirmed in live stream worship on Sunday, June 14! Our congregation is enriched by their presence and the many gifts they share on behalf of Derry's mission and ministry. Read their statements of faith.

    • COVID-19 Update on Zoom

      On June 15, Derry member Dr. John Messmer presented an update on the COVID-19 virus and answered questions from participants. Click to watch the 45-minute Zoom gathering.

    • June 2020 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 5/31/20

      Income YTD:      $593,326     $566,717
      Expenses YTD: $480,646 $552,586
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:     $112,680 $  14,131




      Notes from the treasurer:

      • Contributions are in line with 2019 and 2018 and continue to remain stable. We are trailing forecasted contributions, but I think we are doing well considering the impact of COVID-19. 
      • Committees in general are spending less than in 2019. We expect this to continue while church activities are occurring remotely and as we have asked committees to be mindful of spending.
      • Cash flow is good with an increase in Net Assets of almost $95k so far this year. March was around break-even, April had a positive change in net assets of about $10k, and May had a positive change in net assets of $40k.
      • Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.
    • Six-Week Zoom Class led by Rev. Dr. Bruce Humphrey Begins July 6

      Interfaith Dialogue as a Christian Spiritual Practice
      11 am - 12 pm Mondays beginning July 6 • Zoom Meeting ID in the eNews

      We are increasingly aware of diversity in our society. In the breakdown of polarized politics we can easily become uncomfortable, even defensive, interacting with neighbors who have different cultures, lifestyles, values, and beliefs. This class will reflect on the Christian spiritual practices of listening, dialogue, humility, and generosity. Deeply rooted in a missionary understanding of the Holy Spirit as active beyond the church, we will reflect on how we discern God’s truth in unexpected places. Dr, Humphrey served as the Interim Pastor at Presbyterian Congregation of Middletown and led a session retreat for Derry Church. This program is hosted by Second Presbyterian Church, Carlisle.

    • Pastor Stephen Reviews "Anxious to Talk About It"

      Click below to watch as Pastor Stephen McKinney-Whitaker summarizes and reflects on chapter 2 of Carolyn B. Helsel's book, Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully About Racism. His comments and reflections on chapter 1 are also available to watch. The conversation continues in our "Anxious to Talk About It" Facebook Group.

    • June 25 is Orange Day

      Wear orange or an orange ribbon to show awareness and support of efforts to end exploitation of women and children. The Church of Jesus Christ of Madagascar received a PW Thank Offering grant to address domestic violence and raise awareness of risks of being trafficked into forced labor and worse in Lebanon and Kuwait. Their awareness-building activities have reached ten targeted zones in the country as a result of the grant.  For more information, see the Mar/Apr issue of Horizon Magazine, pp. 36-37.

      Now that Dauphin County will be the in green zone, PW is preparing hygiene bags for the Domestic Violence Center in Harrisburg. If you have been sewing bags from the kits we provided, now is the time to return to them to church. You're also invited to drop off items needed to fill the bags: deodorants, washcloths, wide-tooth combs, toothbrushes, sample size toothpaste, tissue packets, and disposable razors. These can be left at the church in the PW basket in the mission closet.

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #7

      Ahead of our first-ever virtual congregational meeting on Sunday, June 21, Pastor Stephen explains what you need to know in this 13-minute episode.


    • Zoom Post-Worship Fellowship on July 5

      11:45 am Sunday, July 5 • Check the eNews for Zoom meeting ID or email the church office

      Do you miss post-worship fellowship as much as we do? Then drop in on the first Sunday of each month for an opportunity to see and visit with each other. July 5 is the next opportunity: join us following live streaming worship.

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #6

      Join Pastor Stephen McKinney-Whitaker for a 20-minute talk about live streaming at Derry Church.

    • Zoom Infectious Diseases: COVID-19 with Dr John Messmer

      7 pm Monday, June 15 • Meeting ID in the eNews or email Sue George

      Last December, Dr. Messmer led an Issues Class on Infectious Diseases. In light of the worldwide pandemic, Dr Messmer invites you to join him on Zoom for an update and a chance to ask questions and participate in a discussion on what we need to know about the novel coronavirus.

    • Zoom Trivia Night on June 28

      7 pm  Sunday, June 28 • Zoom Meeting ID in the eNews or email Pastor Stephen

      Gather everyone in your home to join your team as we gather on Zoom to play trivia (and eat or drink as you are inclined). Pastor Stephen will be our trivia host, so plan to join us and show offyour knowledge or lack thereof! Keep in mind NO internet searching will be allowed. The top three teams will win a prize. Get ready for Sunday fun and laughs! RSVP required.

    • Thank You, G.O.D. Squad!

      Big thanks and shout-out to all the Gardeners Of Derry who came out to get the mulch into all the flower beds. The beds, oak tree sprout removal, planting of flowers and all that raking really make the church grounds look cared for and welcoming. Heartfelt appreciation goes out to:

      • Marion an Bill Alexander: flowers in the Derry Road beds.
      • Betty and Becky Helmer: beds by theh office entrance beds, the Herb Garden, along Mansion Road and more
      • Max Braun: Fellowship Hall/South Entrance
      • Barbara and Ron Holmes: the patio area and the north side of sanctuary
      • Ann Grist - the Session House and the Mission House
      • Ken and Cynthia Pearl: the courtyard
      • Brad Rhine and Daniel Forslund: hauling mulch to the beds
      • Karyn and Dean Hooper
      • Amee and Ron Vance: flower pots
      • Tom and Nancy Kitzmiller: beds by the back door of the Sanctuary

      More gardeners are needed: contact Nancy Kitzmiller for more information.

      The GOD Squad reminds us that “Gardening is a way of showing we believe in tomorrow.” Watch the darting squirrels; smell the blossoms in the air; look at the blue skies; feel the sun; enjoy the shade trees; see how green everything is. Come and enjoy the peacefulness, the beauty and the sound of the font... count your blessings.

    • One More Opportunity to Meet & Greet our Associate Pastor Candidate

      10-11 am Tuesday, June 16 • Check the eNews for Zoom meeting ID or email the church office

      Drop in to meet and visit with Rev Pam Meilands, the candidate nominated by our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to be our Associate Pastor for Youth and Families. 

    • Change 4 Children Will Return: Keep Collecting Those Coins!

      Change 4 Children benefits the programs of Alliance for Children Everywhere in Zambia. Their vision is that every child will have a permanent, secure and loving family. According to the March report, it's been busy in 2020. There are clothes to wash, bottles to fill and babies to cuddle in the crib nurseries. Mothers are building on their tailoring skills to support their families, and the grade 12 students prepared for April graduation. The social welfare staff are beginning to lead welfare institutions through the transitions to family-based care. This a growing global movement, and ACE is proud to be leading the way. Check out individual stories on the website for Alliance for Children Everywhere. Change 4 Children will not be collected before September, so save your coins.

    • Read-A-Palooza Virtual Book Fair Supports our Preschool

      Derry Church families: you’re invited to support Derry Discovery Days Preschool by shopping the Read-a-Palooza Virtual Book Fair now through July 31, 2020!

      Books are available for babies through young adults. Stocking up for summer reading has never been easier and offers an easy way to help young readers discover favorite characters, series, and collections to enjoy all summer long. 

      • Find the same exclusive titles as our in-school Book Fair
      • Orders ship direct to home
      • FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25*
      • All purchases benefit Derry Discovery Days and earn 25% in rewards

      Visit our Book Fair Homepage and click “Shop Now” to get started. Happy reading!

      *Free standard shipping is available on book-only orders of $25 or more, after all discounts are applied. Free standard shipping (books) must be selected during checkout. Orders containing products other than books are not eligible for this shipping promotion.


    • Pentecost Offering

      The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost (June 9). It provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults. In addition, 40% of this offering can be kept by individual congregations for use in their own communities.Derry has designated Family Promise of Harrisburg Capital Region (FPHCR) as this year’s recipient. The remaining 60% will be used for leadership development opportunities for Presbyterian youth and young adults and support for children-at-risk programs at the national level. Since 1998, Presbyterians of all ages have raised more than $8 million for these ministries that benefit younger members of God’s family. You can contribute online or mail checks to Derry Church notated "Pentecost Offering."

    • Restock Love INC's Personal Care Closet with These Most-Needed Items
      • Liquid dish detergent
      • Multi-purpose cleaning agent
      • Hand soap
      • Gender-neutral body wash 

      Drop off at church or across the street at the Love INC office. Thanks, Derry!

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #5

      Join Pastor Stephen McKinney-Whitaker for the next 33 minutes as he talks about the new reality the church finds itself in, and the decisions that need to be made.

    • On June 21, Pastor Candidating and a Congregational Meeting Like No Other

      Rev Pam Meilands is the candidate nominated by our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to be our Associate Pastor for Youth and Families. On Sunday, June 21, Derry Church welcomes Rev Meilands to preach and help lead our live streaming worship service. Following live stream worship, Derry members will have the opportunity to participate in an online congregational meeting, ask questions by phone or email, and vote using an online form that will be sent by email on June 20. Carlisle Presbytery is aware of our plans and has approved of the process since we are not able to gather in person at this time.

    • 21-Day Race Equity Challenge

      Derry Church has begun its 21-day Race Equity Challenge. We invite you to join us as we read, watch, listen, and reflect on issues of race and racism in this country and how we can be a force for antiracism in our community and world.

      Each day our pastors are adding their reflections on what they've read and observed. Find those links in the sidebar on the 21-day Race Equity Challenge page. Please do sign up and let us know you're participating.

      You can also join a new Facebook group where we're reading and discussing Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism by Carolyn B. Helsel. 

    • Blondie Says Thank You

      For the cards, calls, prayers, meals and support these past weeks, Blondie Ferguson says thank you and appreciates the love and care she received from the Derry Church family.

  • May - 2020
    • Grand Finale

      On the Reuter organ's final day in our Sanctuary, Dan Stokes plays C.M. Widor's "Toccata for Organ Symphony #5" for the postlude. Work is under way this week to remove the pipes and console. The Reuter will be heading to a new church home in Tennessee as we eagerly await the installation of our new-to-us Aeolian-Skinner coming from a church in Connecticut.

      The next time you hear the "Toccata" played at Derry, it will be on the Aeolian-Skinner. Until then, enjoy this grand sendoff for an instrument that has been a part of Derry Church since the Sanctuary was built in the mid 1960s.


    • Pentecost Post-Worship Party on Zoom

      11:45 am Sunday, May 31 • Meeting ID in the eNews or contact Sue George

      You're invited to a virtual Post Worship Fellowship after live stream worship! Verity Whitaker encourages everyone to bring cake to their own party. It's a chance to connect, check in with each other, and celebrate the birthday of the church! 

      And don't forget to wear red! We'd love to see your Pentecost photos of live streaming worship and post-worship festivities. Send them to Sue George so we can share with everyone across our social media channels.

    • Monday Night Group Begins Three-Month Study

      7 pm Monday, June 1 • Meeting ID in the eNews or contact Sue George

      The women's Monday night study group will read and discuss the first three chapters of Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson when they gather on Zoom on June 1. They'll also meet Rev Pam Meilands. The study continues on June 29 (chapters 4-7) and August 3 (chapters 8-11). Newcomers welcome!

    • Congratulations to Derry's High School and College Graduates!


      Hershey High School Graduates


      Hunter Arnold will attend Fisher College and study biology and business

      Abby Han will attend Penn State University and study chemistry

      Ethan Infanti will be continuing his education at Derry Township School District

      Dominic Infanti will be continuing his education at Hilltop Academy

      Cole Infanti will attend Lebanon Valley College and study economics

      Justin Morgan will attend Penn State Harrisburg and study finance

      Rachel Potter will attend West Chester University and study English/writing

      Natalie Taylor will attend Messiah College and study early childhood education. Natalie is the first recipient of Derry Church's Youth Servant Leadership Scholarship, awarded to honor a youth leader in our congregation who has been committed to the Derry Church community throughout their membership. The scholarship is intended to help further the recipient's educational goals through higher education or training. 

      Lower Dauphin High School Graduates

      Amanda Ruch will attend Eastern University, majoring in global studies and service

      Palmyra High School Graduates

      Ben Clary will attend Bloomsburg University and study marketing

      Andrew Cleck will attend the University of Maryland and study bioengineering

      Nicholas Giampetro will attend Penn State University and study aerospace engineering

      Christopher Kyper will attend Thaddeus Stephens College of Technology and study mechanical engineering


      More High School Graduates

      Abigail Hess

      Nalima Munyofu

      Sarah O'Shea

      David DeWees


      College Graduates

      Loryn Schwartz graduated from Wake Forest University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. She plans to attend dental school.

      Gracie Gavazzi is graduating from Kenyon College with a major in Biology and a minor in Music.

      Erin Dear graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a concentration in ceramics.

      Connor Clary graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He’ll be working at Tech Cast in Myerstown.

      Shout-out to Nicola and Emma Burke for creating the graduate bulletin board that's on display in Fellowship Hall.

    • NEW! Fruit of the Spirit Summer Program for Families

      Families with young children are invited to join the Fruit of the Spirit summer program. Paricipants will have fun creating, playing, making, gathering (via Zoom) and learning as we read stories from the Bible and a variety of the beloved Berenstain Bears books! Each week will offer a different approach to the story through games, art, stories, food or real life application mission projects. We will gather by Zoom twice over the summer for a LIVE lesson and the rest will be "do when you can." Contact ME Steelman by June 1. Each participating family will get a bag of supplies delivered to your home by ME Steelman before we begin on June 7. 

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #4

      Pastor Stephen returns with a new 40-minute installment of "By the Bookshelf" that addresses the very human desire to return to a past moment instead of moving into a new future... and envisions what a new future might look like for churches across the world.

    • Some Derry Good News: Episode 8

      Final Episode! Join Pastor Stephen Mckinney-Whitaker and friends for this week's good news report from Hershey, PA. 


    • June 2020 Mission Focus: Refugees

      Although Covid 19 has caused us to shelter in place, Church World Service (CWS) is still at work assisting refugee families in their transition to life in the United States. Founded in 1946, this faith based organization now has all of its employees and volunteers working remotely. They're discovering creative new ways through video-enabled technology and other means to support the resident clients in Lancaster who are rebuilding their lives.   

      In a ‘normal year’ CWS settles about 300 refugees. This year they have welcomed refugees from Eritrea, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eastern Europe, all of whom have been connected with community members in Lancaster who walk alongside them as they get themselves settled and start their new lives. However, CWS was scheduled to welcome two larger Congolese families at the end of March and beginning of April, but their travel was cancelled due to the coronavirus, and further refugee travel has been postponed for an indeterminate time. Other services that CWS normally provides are employment and immigration legal services, in addition to their resettlement work. CWS is one of two reset­tlement agencies in Lancaster City.

      Last June we were able to spend an evening with several refugees who have been in the US for a number of years. They came and shared some of their experiences within the refugee system in Kenya  Over the last five years, Derry has also provided backpacks for the children of refugees at the start of the academic school year. We hope to be able to provide those backpacks this year, and better still, to see the children back in their classrooms in the fall.

    • May 2020 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 4/30/20

      Income YTD:      $464,067       $453,375
      Expenses YTD: $409,732 $442,064
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:     $  54,335  $   11,311




      Contributions are trailing 2018 and 2019 but continue to remain stable considering the impact of COVID-19. Committees in general are spending less than in 2019. We expect this to continue while church activities are occurring remotely and as we have asked committees to be mindful of spending. So far cash flow remains decent with an increase in net assets of almost $54K. March was break-even and April had a positive change in net assets of about $10K. Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #3

      Pastor Stephen returns with a new 40-minute installment of "By the Bookshelf" to address the myriad issues, challenges, and supporting science involved with reopening church in pandemic times.

    • Love INC of Greater Hershey: Latest Updates
      • Due to pandemic uncertainties, the 5K Love Run has been cancelled for 2020. The new date for the Love Run is July 3, 2021
      • Most-needed items in the Personal Care Closet are dish detergent, household cleaner, baby wipes, feminine products, toilet paper and paper towels
      • Love INC will host a Sneaker Drive this year. Students will still need sneakers whether our communities return to school or not. Creative ways will be implemented to collect sneakers this year. Watch for details!
      • The Faith and Finance Classes will begin Wednesday, June 3 on Zoom. 
    • Graduating from College? Derry Church Wants to Know

      In next week's enews we'll list all the Derry graduates of high school and college. We know who's graduating from high school, but it's harder to keep track of those graduating from college and advanced degree programs. Send details to Sue George by Wednesday, May 27. 

    • Faithful Readers' Summer Schedule

      Faithful Readers will continue to meet by Zoom in June and July. The group does not usually meet in summer, but in current circumstances, participants enjoy having the opportunity to see each other and discuss books. Readers especially enjoyed the May selection, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and have decided to read and discuss the next two books in the series in June and July. All of these books are readily available as free or very low-cost downloads from local libraries, Amazon, and other online sources.

      If you'd like to read with the group, join the Faithful Readers Facebook Group for details, updates, and assistance with book access. New readers are welcome to join in at any time and participate in one or all of the discussions. They are trying something new by reading a series. It's not necessary to attend every discussion in the series, but do read the books in order so that you can follow the series arc. 

      • 9:15-10 am Sunday, June 14 on Zoom: Anne of Avonlea  by L.M. Montgomery
      • 9:15-10 am Sunday, July 19 on Zoom: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
    • Some Derry Good News: Episode 7

      What could we all use right now? Some good news, and Derry Presbyterian Church has lots of it. Join Pastor Stephen Mckinney-Whitaker and friends for this week's good news report from Hershey, PA. 


    • Enhancing Virtual Meetings: Tips from the Christian Ed Committee for Individuals with Hearing Loss
      • Use earbuds/headphones with your computer. Many of these devices have noise canceling technology that makes it easier to hear dialogue in the meeting without increasing volume
      • Sync hearing aids. Ask your audiologist if there is a connectivity option that would allow your hearing aids to connect via bluetooth directly to virtual meetings
      • Speak up. Be sure to let the meeting leader know if you are having trouble hearing
    • Carlisle Presbytery Seeks Temporary Stated Clerk

      With the retirement of Jim Speedy, the Presbytery of Carlisle seeks applicants for the position of Temporary Stated Clerk. This 20 hour per week position may be filled by a Teaching Elder or Ruling Elder of the PCUSA.

      With excellent interpersonal skills, the Temporary Stated Clerk will work collegially with the (Interim) Executive Presbyter, staff, and officers of the presbytery, and the Clerks of Session of the member congregations.

      Drawing on a strong working knowledge of the Book of Order and Roberts Rules of Order, the Temporary Stated Clerk will advise the presbytery and its leaders in questions about and interpretation of the polity of the church.

      Working within the values and principles of our polity, the Temporary Stated Clerk will support and guide discernment about navigating the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, with flexibility and agility.

      The ideal candidate will exhibit strong written and verbal communication skills, organizational abilities, competence in the use of technology for communication, record-keeping and reporting, and passion for supporting Christ's mission, in and through our congregations and denomination.

      A Search Team has been designated by the Administration Committee. Those serving represent experience in roles that intersect with the office of the Stated Clerk:  Clerk of Session, Presbytery Moderator, Commission on Ministry, Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Council. The team includes John Carroll (Silver Spring). Beth Fine, (Camp Hill), and Lou Nyiri (Gettysburg). Interim Executive Presbyter Cheryl Galan will serve as staff resource to the team.

      Interested applicants may direct questions and/or send a letter of interest, summarizing their skills and qualifications to The committee will continue receiving applications until the position is filled. A position description is found under the Employment Tab at

    • By the Bookshelf, Week #2

      Pastor Stephen returns with a new installment of "By the Bookshelf," this time with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for Derry Church in the weeks and months ahead.

    • Cemetery Wall Repair Under Way

      This week work has been done to repair the cemetery wall that was damaged by a car a few months ago. Part of the challenge was providing support to the cement top in order to avoid further damage while the wall itself was opened up and repaired.

    • Meet Pastor Stephen on Zoom 10 am Thursdays

      Grab your favorite beverage and join Pastor Stephen and Derry friends for some good conversation, a chance to practice your Zoom skills, see familiar faces, ask questions, laugh, and talk together. Meets weekly on Zoom using Pastor Stephen's usual meeting ID. Contact him if you need the number.

    • Some Derry Good News: Episode 6

      What could we all use right now? Some good news, and Derry Presbyterian Church has lots of it. Join Pastor Stephen Mckinney-Whitaker and friends for this week's good news report from Hershey, PA. 

    • Church School for Children: Celebrating the "Moms" in Our Life

      This week we celebrate and thank the women in our lives who love us, support us, guide us and are there for us. We hope you will enjoy taking time to create, write, call or message these women to let them know how special they are to you.

      Join ME Steelman for a lesson that includes learning about special women in the Bible who model faith, trust, love, patience and sincerity.