News Archives

When the full story is not visible, click on a headline to read more.

  • March - 2019
    • Maundy Thursday Worship

      7 pm Thursday, Apr 18 in the Sanctuary 

      Hear the Passion story in a worship service led by children who are participating in this year’s Children & Sacraments class. Celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s supper and reflect on Jesus’ last supper. The communion bread that will be served will be made by the children. Worship will also include scripture, hymns and a sermon ... then watch as the chancel is stripped of all the familiar Christian symbols before you leave the Sanctuary in silence. This service will be live streamed on YouTube and the church website.

      You're invited to walk the labyrinth in Fellowship Hall before or after this service, or on Friday, April 19 during the day or before or after the 7 pm Good Friday service. 

    • Coin Return on Sunday

      Remember to bring your Change 4 Children coins with you to church on March 17 to be collected at the end of morning worship. Change 4 Children goes to Alliance for Children Everywhere which believes education is an integral part of the commitment to support healthy and sustainable families and communities.

      Do you have foreign coins that you no longer need? Bag those separately and they’ll be donated to UNICEF's Change For Good by Derry member and American Airlines pilot Brian Montgomery.
      Return your coins in Ziploc bags to the designated baskets. Please make sure that your bag is free of paper clips, guitar picks, stray bits of metal, buttons, and anything that isn’t legal tender: these items clog the coin sorting machine. The next collection will be in June, so keep on gathering those coins.
    • Worship on Good Friday

      7 pm Friday, April 19 in the Sanctuary 

      Join us as we gather at the foot of the cross to worship our crucified savior. We will look back at the book of Jonah we’ve explored throughout Lent and how it intersects with the Passion of Christ. This service will offer opportunities to reflect on the message of Jonah and the cross and participate in putting things in our own lives to death, so that they may be resurrected to new life. This service will be live streamed on YouTube and the church website.

    • Easter Sunday, April 21 at Derry Church

      8 am worship includes music by Frances Mohler, soprano.

      Children will help to lead the 9:30 am service.

      Music at 9:30 and 11 am will feature soloists Frances Mohler, Sara Woodbury, and Julie Miller along with brass musicians, Bob Nowak on percussion, and the Derry Ringers. 

      Pianist Mary Lemons and cellist Mike Klucker will take part in all three services. 

      All services are held in the Sanctuary. No church school classes today. The 11 am service can be viewed online.

      Easter Breakfast 8:30-11 am in Fellowship Hall
      On the menu: pancakes and sausage, egg casserole, fruit, juice and coffee. Donation benefits missions.

      Early risers, check out the annual sunrise service, 6:30-8 am  at the Hershey Gardens. This service is sponsored by the Hershey Ministerium.

    • Check it Out: "Questions for Lent" on Facebook

      It's not too late to drop in and participate in Derry’s new Facebook group Questions for Lent. A new question is posted by 6:30 am each day now through Easter. Add your comments to the conversation and read what others have to say. Each week’s questions revolve around a key theme. This week's theme is Go... starting Sunday the theme will be Confess. To participate, click on Questions for Lent and ask to join. If you've participated in our previous Advent or Gratitude groups, you're automatically approved. We hope you'll join us on this community-building Lenten journey.

    • Why Do We Have Post-Worship Fellowship Every Week?

      In less than a minute, Pastor Stephen answers a new question raised by a recent church officer survey: Why do we have post-worship fellowship every week?​

    • February 2019 Session Highlights
      • Ratified a motion made via e-mail on January 20 to hire Dan Stokes in the position of Interim Music Director.
      • Accepted with regret the resignation of Ruling Elder Michael Anderson. 
      • Approved baptismal Instruction and infant baptism for Greta Lynn Honstad, daughter of Katelyn and Chris Honstad. Two adult baptisms were also approved: Corinna Webber (baptized February 24, 2019) and Jessica Petrozziello (baptism to occur outside in the spring).
      • Reviewed the annual Statistical Report.
      • Approved several building use requests from: the Susquehanna Chorale (April/May 2020), AA for a regional meeting (May 4, 2019), and The Foundation for Enhancing Communities on March 21 for a kindergarten transition conference.
      • Approved the wedding application of Tara Logan and Mark Williams for September 26, 2019.
      • At the request of the Communications & Technology committee, the session received for a first reading a Capital Procurement Requisition to contract with L&H Signs for up to three conceptual signage designs to replace/update Derry’s outdoor signage. Elders were asked to review the request with their various committees. Approval of the initiative will be brought for a vote at the March stated meeting.
      • At the request of the Mission & Peace Committee, approval was given to screen the film entitled “Warehoused” on June 6, 2019. The documentary addresses problems faced by long-term refugees.
      • A request from the Christian Education Committee to solicit and collect donations from the congregation for fleece blankets was approved.
      • Derry Discovery Days’ request to hold a fundraiser rummage sale was approved. The date for this event will be coordinated with the church office.
      • The Personnel Committee presented for approval a Position Description for the full-time position of Director of Music. After discussing a few revisions, the Position Description was approved.
      • Held the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees for The Derry Presbyterian Church, Inc. during which time the following officers were elected: Dennis Hosler, President; Bob Good, Vice President.  Kathy Yingst, Clerk of Session and Stephen Guenther, Church Treasurer were affirmed ex officio as Secretary and Treasurer of the Corporation, respectively.
      • Received and welcomed the following new members at a Called meeting on February 24:  Corinna Webber, Jessica Petrozziello (pending her baptism), Carmine Petrozziello, Gloriana Barkanic, Tara Logan, Paige Madden, Linda Schaeffer, Clinton & Christina Simmons (pending their reaffirmation of faith on March 24), Jeff & Katrina Vatter, Kay Hock, and Richard Lee Webber.
    • One-Minute Answers to Your Important Questions: First in a Series

      A ten-question survey was sent out to all church officers in preparation for Derry Church's recent College of Elders and Deacons. After reviewing the results of the survey, Pastor Stephen is providing video answers to a number of questions that other church members may also be wondering about. Watch his answer to the first question: Why does Derry Church own rental properties?

    • NEW! Young Adult Game Night

      5 pm Sunday, Mar 24 in Room 7 • RSVP to Pastor Stephen
      Young adults age 18 and up (you get to decide how old young adults can be) are invited to a tabletop game night. Bring something for dinner and your favorite tabletop games to play with friends. If you can’t attend on Mar 24 but are interested in future events, please contact Pastor Stephen.

    • Lasses & Lassies Banquet: "All Creatures Great and Small"

      6-8 pm Saturday, Apr 27 in Fellowship Hall
      All women and girls invited! Dinner buffet features vegetable and cheese tray, bacon chicken ranch pasta or regular or vegetarian lasagna (gluten-free entrée available on request), tossed salad, bread with or without garlic, and cannoli. Free for lassies age 4 and under, $6 for ages 5-12, $13 for ages 13 and above. Purchase tickets Apr 7, 14 and 21 from Doris Feil. We will be joined by the women & girls of St. John's United Methodist Church, Grantville.

    • Holy Week at Derry Church

    • VBS Save the Dates: Jul 29-Aug 2

      Families, youth, volunteers: mark your calendars for Jul 29-Aug 2 and plan to join us in the morning for a wonderful week of growing, singing, playing, learning about Parables and making new friends!

    • Derry Church Golf League Returns to the Links Apr 9

      10 am Tuesdays beginning Apr 9 at Royal Oaks Golf Course (weather permitting). Contact Ken Pearl (952-270-7694) or Jim Warnock (717-645-5720). All skill levels welcome!

    • PW Synod of the Trinity News
      • PW Regional Synod of the Trinity Gathering on May 17-18 will be held at Krislund Camp & Conference Center and focus on "Be Still and Know that I am God." Open to all women in Carlisle Presbytery. $140 single occupancy cabin, $100 double occupancy cabin. RSVP by Apr 30: forms available in April on the PW bulletin board between Fellowship Hall and the Hammond Library. Interested in attending? Contact Doris Feil.
      • PW Synod of the Trinity 2018-19 Mission Project: Dominican-American Community Outreach, a partnership of Shenango Presbytery churches and Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana to people of Sabaneta de Yasica, of both Dominican and Haitian descent. The mission goal of $20,000 will be used for prosthetics and other ambulatory devices, for specialist travel, and to purchase a bus that will enable children, elderly, and disabled to attend church, school, and some medical clinics. More information is posted on the PW bulletin board.
    • Easter Treats Needed by Apr 7

      To fill dozens of plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt on April 13. Small NON-PEANUT, individually wrapped candy is needed by Sunday, Apr 7. Please bring candy to the designated basket in the lower level mission closet.

    • Easter Egg Hunt & Crafts on Apr 13

      11 am - 12 pm Saturday, April 13 beginning in Fellowship Hall
      For children ages 0 - grade 5. Bring your own baskets. Free! Held rain or shine. RSVP to Jackie Lerch by Friday, Apr 5 by providing name(s)and age(s) of your child(ren).

    • G.O.D. Squad Spring Cleanup on Apr 6

      8 am  - 12 pm Saturday, Apr 6
      Help to clean out window wells, add compost to flower beds, plant new shrubs, fertilize, mulch and more. Bring garden gloves, forks, rakes, and wheelbarrows. Many hands needed! 

    • Supper Clubs Return May 5

      Join church friends new and old over supper in one another’s homes with a group of seven or eight. Families with young children are encouraged to sign up. We are looking for host homes (provide the table setting and entree) and participants who will bring side dishes and dessert. Sign up in the Narthex or contact Amy Backenstose (717-319-3193) and get ready for a fun evening of delicious food and fellowship!

    • Vienna Choir Boys at Market Square on Mar 31

      4 pm Sunday, Mar 31 at Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg
      Almost half a million people around the world have heard one of the touring choirs, which regularly tour Europe, Asia and Australia, and the Americas. Vienna Choir boys have visited the United States more than 50 times since 1932 and have traveled to all six inhabited continents.

      On Sundays, the boys perform with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Chorus in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498. The choir’s repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary music. Motets and lieder form the core of the touring repertoire, as do the choir’s own arrangements of Viennese music. The choir also performs children’s operas and world music.

      Tickets: $40 premium seating (regardless of age), $25 general seating, $10 children and students (in general seating). Purchase online or contact Tyler Canonico (717-257-1270).

    • Spring Forward on March 10

      Remember to turn your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night: daylight savings time will begin at 2 am Sunday, Mar10 and end on Sunday, Nov 3.

  • February - 2019
    • Welcome New Members!

      A warm Derry welcome to these members who joined on Sunday, Feb 24! Seated, Katrina Vatter, Tara Logan, Gloriana Barkanic, and Linda Schaeffer. Standing: Jeff Vatter, Paige Madden, Kay Hock, Carmine and Jessica Petrozziello and their children Roman and Giada, and Corinna and Lee Webber. Read more about them in handouts available at the Welcome Center.

    • March Featured Items for Love INC's Personal Care Closet

      Megan Mehaffie, one of our God's Hidden Hands puppeteers, presents the March featured items for Love INC of Greater Hershey's Personal Care Closet. Drop off toilet paper and facial tissue in collection baskets at Derry Church or any of Love INC's partner churches or local businesses. Learn more.

    • New Adult Ed Class: "Derry Talks"

      9:15 am Sundays beginning Mar 3 in the John Elder Classroom 
      Throughout the month of March, this new class for adults will focus on faith sharing. Led by Jenn Owsley, this discussion-based class will give participants the chance to explore what makes their faith vibrant and life-changing, and will build opportunities to connect with each other in meaningful ways.

    • Join our New Facebook Group for Lent and Respond to a Daily Faith Question

      Join Derry’s new Facebook group, Questions for Lent, and stop by each day from Ash Wednesday through Easter for a new faith question. Add your comments to the conversation and read what others have to say. Each week’s questions revolve around a key theme that’s based on the assurance of forgiveness: Belong, Go, Confess, Speak, Love, Receive, and Change. To participate, click on Questions for Lent and ask to join. If you've participated in our previous Advent or Gratitude groups, you're automatically approved. We look forward to going on this Lenten journey with you.

    • Got Palms? It's Almost Time to Make Ashes

      If you have palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday service, bring them to church by Tuesday, Mar 5. Look for the collection basket in the Narthex near the Welcome Center. Palms will be burned into ashes at approximately 6 pm, following Terrific Tuesday’s traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in Fellowship Hall ($3 per person). Ashes will be used at the Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm on March 6 in the Chapel.

    • Derry Hosts Presbytery Meeting with Live Painting

      Along with pastors and elders across The Presbytery of Carlisle, Derry Church welcomed Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity who created this painting in worship and throughout the day on Feb 26 when Presbytery met at Derry Church. Thanks to all who helped to usher, welcome, prepare and serve food, set up and clean up. Click to watch the painting take shape in worship and hear our own Greg Harris deliver a sermon (and sing, too!) An offering of $832 was received for our mission partner Joshua Group.

    • One Great Hour of Sharing

      Throughout the season of Lent we collect for One Great Hour of Sharing. This year, 50% of your gifts will be contributed to help denominational missions by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed. The other 50% of your gifts will support our international mission partner Bridges to Community and our efforts to build homes in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Our goal is to raise $16,000 for OGHS this year.

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Peter Gawron
      In 2012 while serving as an Elder our Communication & Technology team developed a Mission & Vision statement for Derry. Our team consisted of bright young members with communication, public relations & marketing experience. Organizations including churches were developing tag lines, core values, mission and vision statements. As I look back, some of our efforts focused on looking outward to appeal to potential new members.

      Today, we are asking different questions. What is God teaching us by both word and example? How do we live into a Christ centered life? Our proposed Mission & Vision statements help to answer those questions and what God is asking of us. To proclaim God’s word, share God’s love and practice God’s justice. If we live into this calling, people will find us. No marketing needed.
      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community
    • Last Chance: Isaac's Fundraiser on Mar 21

      10 am - 9 pm Thursday, Mar 21 at Isaac's Restaurant, Hummelstown
      Thanks to everyone who came out in support of the Feb 21 fundraiser at Isaac’s restaurant: you raised $243 for Presbyterian Education Board scholarships in Pakistan! One last opportunity is happening on March 21. Download a flyer or grab one from the insert rack. See you there!

    • It's Time to Order Easter Lilies

      Orders are now being accepted for Easter lilies that will decorate the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 21. Lilies are $9 each. Pick up order forms at the insert rack in the Narthex and return completed forms to the offering plate or collection box next to the insert rack. Please print legibly. Order deadline: Sunday, Mar 31.

    • PW March Happenings
      • Pre-cut hygiene bags kits are available for pickup in the PW basket in the mission closet. Sew the kits at home using the instructions provided. Please do let us know how many kits you take. 
      • The Spring Gathering of PW in the Presbytery of Carlisle will be held Saturday, Mar 23, at Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. "Disaster Preparedness," a program to evaluate your risk and what to do prepare for an emergency based on PDA training, is the morning program. After a light lunch, the afternoon program "Sweet Rewards"  will begin. Registration opens at 9:15 am.
      • The March morning circle will meet 10:30 am Monday, Mar 25 in Room 1 for "God Is With Us as Emmanuel." This lesson is based on Isaiah 17:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25.
    • Overheard in the Pastor's Office

      Listen in on a conversation between Pastor Stephen and Al Porter as they discuss a problem that's on Al's mind.

    • February 2019 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 1/31/19

        Actual     Budgeted
      Income YTD $155,849      $107,053
      Expenses YTD $129,997     $104,037
      Surplus (Deficit) YTD   $25,852         $3,016

      Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.

    • Have a Meal at Isaac's Any Time Today or Tonight!

      10 am - 9 pm Thursday, Feb 21 at the Isaac’s Restaurant in Hummelstown
      When you turn in this flyer as you pay for your meal, Isaac’s will donate 25% of your food and beverage purchase to fund scholarships for Presbyterian Education Board students in Pakistan. Stop by today or tonight and say hi to other Derry friends you'll see there. Can't make it this month? One more opportunity to participate in this fundraiser will be on March 21. 

    • Arts Alive Presents "Musical Rarities" on Mar 17

      4 pm Sunday, Mar 17 in the Sanctuary • Offering
      This enchanting concert of musical rarities includes the engaging Flute Quintet in D Major by Italian composer Luigi Boccherini, the rarely heard String Trio by English composer E. J. Moeran, String Quartet by a 16-year-old W.A. Mozart, a soulful Interludium by Russian composer A. Glazunov, and the lively Irish Reel composed by Swiss violinist Alfred Pochon. 

      Arts Alive is delighted to welcome back musicians Lyla Bowser, flute; Marcus Smolensky and Mabel Tang, violins; Christopher Para, viola; and Rachel Stambach, cello.

    • Two Registration Deadlines are Feb 24
      • Derry's mission trip to the Dominican Republic June 8-16. A sign-up sheet is posted on the Mission & Peace bulletin board in the Narthex. Work with folks in the local community to build/repair houses and lead Bible school activities. Cost is $1650. Questions? Contact Pete Feil. 
      • Women's Retreat Mar 29-31 at Chubb Hotel & Conference Center, Lafayette, PA. We've been invited to join the women of Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester (where former member Lynn George is on staff). Double occupancy rate is $245. This event has been endorsed by our Christian Education Committee and four Derry members are already registered. Read more and sign up online or download a brochure. Questions? Contact Sue George. 
    • Mission & Peace February Funding Report

      At its February meeting the Mission & Peace Committee approved funding for three local organizations with whom we partner:

      • $2,000 for Bethesda Mission
      • $4,000 for Family Promise
      • $3,000 for the Interfaith Shelter/Catholic Charities.

      Throughout the year there are opportunities for hands-on work with these organizations which are involved in providing food, clothing and shelter for the homeless, finding housing for the displaced, job training, and various counseling services. Funding of $3,500 for Christian Churches United's Susquehanna Harbor Safe Haven shelter was also approved. This is another local organization involved in caring for the homeless and needy, and for whom we provide program support. Thank you for your continued support of Derry's mission efforts.

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Marilyn Koch

      When we first came to Derry it was Derry’s focus on peacemaking and mission that drew us in and kept us active. As we look to the future of Derry, we need to raise up the goals stated in the proposed mission statement. By thoughtfully integrating the focus of our mission into the worship service and classroom education, we hope to promote justice and peacemaking in all aspects of our Derry community. And joining in service outside of Derry’s walls -- both locally and internationally -- we hope to encourage our members and their children to carry the message of God’s love and God’s call to be peacemakers and to promote God’s justice every day in all aspects of their lives.

      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community

    • Feb 25 is Orange Day

      The 2018 recipients of Nobel Peace Prizes were Dr. Denis McKwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nadia Murad of the Yasidi minority of Iraq for their work to end sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Dr. McKwege has devoted his life to treating and defending victims, based on his principle "justice is everyone's business." Nadia Murad is a witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others by the IS army in Iraq. Wear orange or an orange ribbon to show support for these two and others who work to end the exploitation of women and girls worldwide.

    • “Mission Madness III” Fundraiser

      Do you love mission work, college basketball, and friendly congregational competition? Then you’re invited to the third annual “Mission Madness” fundraiser benefitting Derry Church’s Mission House. Last year we raised more than $1,800: can we top that in 2019?

      Participants fill out their own digital bracket for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner gets an engraved trophy, their name on the Winner's Plaque, and a year’s worth of Derry bragging rights! Suggested donation $10/bracket with all funds going to the Mission House.

      How to play?

      1. If you played last year, you will automatically be sent an email with an invitation to register.
      2. If you've never played before, email Pete Steelman before Mar 17 or sign up in the Narthex.
      3. Find Pete in the Narthex on any Sunday in March to make your donation!

      Questions? Pete has the answers.

    • Thanks, Lori!

      You're receiving this week’s eNewsletter thanks to the efforts of Lori Klucker, who serves on the Communications & Technology Committee. Thanks, Lori!

    • LVC Student Musicians to Perform for Derry Seniors on Mar 19

      10 am Tuesday, Mar 19 in the Sanctuary
      Next month the Derry Seniors  welcome back student musicians from Lebanon Valley College. The program is under the direction of Derry member Shelly Moorman-Stahlman, Professor of Music and College Organist at Lebanon Valley College. Free. Lunch following in Fellowship Hall ($3).

    • Greeting Card Assembly Moves to Third Monday

      7-8:30 pm Monday, Feb 18 in the Hammond Library
      Join Claudia Holtzman and friends on the third Monday of each month to make these greeting cards for yourself and for our Deacons. Ages 10 and older welcome. See you next month on Mar 18!

    • Items Needed for CCU Welcome Kits

      Look for the Designated Basket in the Mission Closet

      Our mission partner Christian Churches United works with individuals and families moving to an  apartment after being homeless. These families typically start from scratch. You can help them have a fresh start with a new apartment Welcome Home Kit. All items listed below are needed to supply one kit. Please return items by March 1. Welcome Home Kit Downloadable Flyer (PDF)

      • Kitchen trash can (approx. 11-13 gallon)
      • One plastic dish pan
      • One box of kitchen trash bags (13 gallon bags, 20 bags or more)
      • One bottle of dishwashing liquid
      • Kitchen paper towels (2 rolls or more)
      • Two kitchen handtowels/two kitchen dishcloths
      • Approx. Cost: $40
      • Cleaning bucket
      • One spray bottle all purpose cleaner
      • One spray bottle bathroom cleaner
      • Two cleaning cloths/rags
      • Toilet Bowl Brush
      • Two bottles liquid hand soap
      • Broom, dustpan and brush
      • Approx. Cost: $35
      • Toilet Tissue (6 regular rolls or 4 double rolls or more)
      • One box of bandaids (100 or more count, variety pack) OR first aid kit with bandaids
      • One tube of first aid antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin or generic)
      • One tube of toothpaste
      • Four toothbrushes
      • One bottle of general purpose shampoo
      • Bath soap (two bars or more)
      • One box or bottle of Laundry Detergent
      • Approx. Cost : $35
    • Pilgrim Fellowship Will Attempt a Big Escape on Feb 24

      12-3 pm Sunday, Feb 24 • Gather in Room 7AB with your lunch
      After lunch, grades 3-5 will head to Adventure Sports' Escape Room for an afternoon of adventure. RSVP to by Feb 17. 

    • Lenten Community Worship Begins Mar 6

      Once again the Hershey Ministerium is hosting a series of noontime worship services beginning at 12:10 pm on Ash Wednesday, Mar 6 at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church. Consider attending as a Lenten discipline this year. You’ll have the opportunity to worship at many local churches, hear a variety of pastors and religious leaders in our community, and enjoy a simple and delicious lunch provided by the host congregation following the service ($3).

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Bob Ganse
      Elder Bob Ganse writes: I believe it is critical for one to look beyond today and always strive for better tomorrows. We should always be inquisitive to gain knowledge and understanding.  Being warmly invited is what drew me into Derry Church and should be part of our “Derry DNA”.  Inclusive is a heavily charged word these days, taking on different meanings for many people. A christ-centered community to me is a culture where we actively include anyone regardless of dress, socioeconomic class, body adornments, age, race, color or other orientations.

      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community
    • Save the Date: Arts Alive Concert Mar 17

      4 pm Sunday, Mar 17 in the Sanctuary • Offering
      With the departure of music director Sean McCarthy, the "Baroque Fireworks" concert set for Mar 17 is being reimagined. The other musicians who took part in last year's March concert will be returning, but the concert will no longer feature music from the Baroque period. As soon as we have details on the program, we'll share them with you. For now, save the date and get ready for an afternoon of beautiful classical music presented by a group of dedicated, talented musicians.

    • Souper Bowl Report

      A total of $484 plus 51 canned goods were collected after worship on Saturday and Sunday for the SouperBowl of Caring... thanks, Derry! Proceeds will benefit local food ministry outreach programs supported by the church: the Hershey Food Bank, Downtown Daily Bread, and Racetrack Chaplaincy of America. Nationally, more than $7 million has been raised by more than 2,700 groups with more reporting daily.

    • Learn About Baptism

       9-10 am Sundays, Mar 3 & 10
      Wondering why Christians believe in baptism... whether you can be baptized more than once... or whether or not baptism can occur outside of Sunday worship? Get answers to these questions and more. If you wish, prepare to have yourself or a family member baptized during worship on Sunday, March 31 or a later date. RSVP to Marie Buffaloe by Wednesday, Feb 27.

    • Attention Parents of Second Graders

      Are you planning to have your child take part in the Children & Sacraments class on April 15 and participate in the Maundy Thursday communion service on April 18?  Plan now to attend the two-week baptism class on Sunday mornings, Mar 3 & 10 and have your child baptized during worship on Sunday, March 10. In the class you’ll find out what Presbyterians believe about baptism. RSVP to ME Steelman  (717-533-9667).

    • Cupcakes and Jello Salads Needed Mar 13

      For the Hershey Ministerium Lenten luncheon hosted by Derry’s Presbyterian Women on Wednesday, Mar 13 following a 12:10 pm community worship service in the Sanctuary. Donations of 9”x13” gelatin salads and cupcakes (two dozen) are needed and may be left in the kitchen the previous day or by 9 am on Mar 13. Volunteers needed: please contact Sharon Henderson or Joan Theal.

    • Engage: Youth Worship Leaders

      This talented Derry youth group led Engage worship with communion on Saturday, Feb 2. The service included liturgical dance, a worship band, a homily by Austin Pease, and hand signing by God's Hidden Hands puppet troupe. Thanks to the youth and leaders who made this special service possible!

    • The Serving Tree

      The Narthex has sprung to life since Sunday's Annual Meeting: members wrote ways they experienced Derry as a serving community on each leaf you see on this bountiful tree. Discover all the ways Derry serves next time you stop by!

    • Welcome Guest Organist Patrick McMullen

      Feb 24 is the first Sunday at the organ for our interim organist and music director, Dan Stokes. For the next two Sundays, we're privileged to have Patrick play for us. He's a junior at Lebanon Valley College who takes organ lessons from Derry's own Shelly Moorman-Stahlman. He's majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry, and serves as president of the LVC organ guild. He is also assistant organist and choir accompanist for a Catholic church in Pottsville. Welcome, Patrick!

    • Welcome Dr. Eric Barreto

      On Sunday, Feb 10, Derry welcomes Eric D. Barreto to the pulpit and as our Issues Class speaker. He is Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary and an ordained Baptist minister. The author of Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), the co-author of Exploring the Bible (Fortress, 2016) and In Tongues of Mortals and Angels (Lexington, 2018), and editor of Reading Theologically (Fortress, 2014), he is also a regular contributor to, the Huffington Post,, and For more, go to and follow him on Twitter @ericbarreto.

    • Cookies Requested for Lee Ann Taylor's Memorial Service

      Bake or bring a batch of your favorite cookies and drop them off on the designated table in the Narthex between 9 am and 9 pm on Friday, Feb 22. All cookies must be delivered no later than 9 pm Friday. Thanks, Derry!

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Craig Kegerise
      Elder Craig Kegerise writes: I, like many other people, have certain statements that guide me through life. I look to our proposed Mission and Vision statements as additions to those guidelines. I especially reflect on the statement "promote God's justice." I see this as our response to God to do what is right in His eyes. That means feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, forgiving others, and following the Golden Rule. As I look upon the Derry congregation, there are many examples of how we do what is right in the eyes of God.

      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community
    • Worship with Carlisle Presbytery via Live Stream on Feb 26

      9:30 am Tuesday, Feb 26 
      When Carlisle Presbytery gathers at Derry Church for its February 2019 meeting, the opening worship will be live streamed from our Sanctuary. Watch on or on YouTube if you can't attend in person. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and receive an email alert when Derry Church goes live or posts videos.

    • The Heavens Declare: A Lecture by Dr. Joan Centrella, Astrophysicist on Mar 5

      7 pm Tuesday, Mar 5 • Parmer Hall, Messiah College • Free!
      Parmer Hall is inside the High Center, building #5 near the railroad tracks on the edge of campus. Guests may park in the lot just outside the main entrance, or along the tracks.
      Exploring the cosmos with modern telescopes reveals a dynamic universe, filled with many billions of galaxies, stars, and planets. While these marvelous discoveries can deepen our faith and awe at God's creativity, power, and faithfulness, some Christians find that science poses challenges to their faith. We'll talk about the intersection of science and faith through the eyes of astronomy. Joan Centrella is a scientist, scientific leader, and administrator whose career spans academia and a large government lab. Her scientific research uses new methods and approaches to explore the development of structure in the universe and gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes. 

    • Winter Bazaar for Women and Girls: Feb 23

      11 am - 2:30 pm Sat Feb 23 • Hadee Mosque 245 Division Street, Harrisburg (Next to Zembo Shrine)
      Ladies Only Event (women/girls and young children) welcome for a fun and relaxed event. Complimentary lunch of lentils and rice. 

      Vendors and booths:

      • Pakistani/Indian clothing stall
      • Pakistani Food stall
      • Cooking Demo booth
      • Snacks, Candy, Toys stall
      • Free craft station for kids
      • Henna and Henna Art stall
      • Ice cream Sunday stall
      • Martial Arts Demo 11:30-12pm
      • UPMC Nutrition stall 12pm
      • Health workshop 1:30pm
  • January - 2019
    • February Featured Items for Love INC's Personal Care Closet

      Derry members Mary Lemons and Scott Ramirez transform into secret agents to promote the February featured items for Love INC of Greater Hershey's Personal Care Closet. Drop off household cleaner and paper towels in collection baskets in the mission closet at church or at any of Love INC's partner churches or local businesses. Thanks, Derry!

    • Welcome Interim Organist/Music Director Dan Stokes

      The Director of Music Search Committee is delighted to announce that Dan Stokes will be joining Derry in February as our Interim Director of Music. 

      Dan is a graduate of Messiah College and Scaritt Graduate School with a Master’s in Church music and has an impressive career with many accomplishments. Dan returned to Hummelstown after serving for 26 years as Organist/ Director of Music Ministries at Christ Church United Methodist, Louisville, Kentucky. 

      Dan’s not afraid of hard work and rolling up his sleeves. His first job was as a loading dock worker at EB Smith Hardware in Hummelstown. Interesting trivia fact: as a teenager he studied organ under Dr. Fowler, Derry’s former Director of Music. 

      The Committee was particularly impressed with Dan’s outreach to the community. He created a partnership with Christ Church Chancel Choir and The Healing Place, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and West Louisville Boys School, established for boys whose parents were incarcerated. The choir ultimately grew to 147 active members largely due to the influx of young adults from the youth choir program.  

      The Search Committee felt that Dan was a good fit for Derry as:

      • He has a proven track record of building choirs and music programs
      • Likes diversity and promotes music within the community
      • Strong supporter of youth
      • You can see and feel his passion for music when he plays the organ or piano

      Search committee member Matt Haas writes, "The search committee is confident with Dan's ability to step in and lead the choirs on day one. We were pleased with his experience and impressed with his passion for music ministry. He will be an enthusiastic partner in bridging the gap between Dr. McCarthy and our next permanent Director of Music."

    • Oh, Jonah! Auditions Set for Feb 12 & 19

      On Sunday, June 2 in 10:30 am worship, our children and youth will present Oh, Jonah! which is a musical by Allen Pote. This frolicking, fun-filled presentation retells the Old Testament story of Jonah. In this tale we learn about obedience and responsibility, God's grace, and second chances.

      Children in grades 3 - 12 are invited to audition for the lead roles (Jonah, The Captain, the King of Nineveh, and the Angels) in the Sanctuary on:

      • Feb 12 during Chrysalis Choir (5:30 - 6pm) and Celebration Choir (6-6:40pm)
      • Feb 19 during Celebration Choir (6 - 6:40pm)

      Pick up an audition script from Mrs. Miller on the day of audition or in advance, and come prepared to read and sing. 

      All others interested in being in the chorus (some with short speaking parts) will not need to audition, but will need to attend the weekly Tuesday evening rehearsals. Dance experience is a big plus! Mandatory dress rehearsal will be held 9 am - 12 pm Saturday, June 1. In addition to the Celebration and Chrysalis choirs, the show will also feature our Joyful Noise Choir. 

    • A Gift from Derry Church

      Derry Church celebrated the music ministry of Sean McCarthy and said good-bye in worship and in fellowship after the 10:30 am service on Jan 27. A gift from the church was this original painting of Sean playing the organ in the Chapel, created by Derry's own Jill Peckelun. We wish Sean and Eve well as they return to Connecticut and take up new opportunities to share their musical talents.

    • Derry Church T-Shirts on Sale

      Help spread the word about Derry Church: join Jim Pease and wear one of these eye-catching new shirts around town to help make Derry's presence known in the community. They'll be available Sundays in February for $15: stop by the table in the Narthex and pick up one for yourself and for every member of your family! Many sizes available.

    • Opportunities to Connect and Serve

      How will you take part in the mission and ministry of Derry Church this year? Let us know by indicating your areas of interest and signing up for a variety of one-time tasks on the volunteer portal. Our Welcome Center hosts will be on hand this Sunday before 10:30 am worship and during the soup, salad & sandwich lunch in Fellowship Hall to help you and answer questions.

    • Hear the Author of "No Justice" Feb 12

      7-9 pm Tuesday, Feb 12 at Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Harrisburg

      The Monday night women's group will discuss No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart by Robbie Tolan at 7 pm Mar 4 in the John Elder Classroom. But first, meet the author and have your book signed at An Evening with Robbie Tolan. Mr Tolan has spent the past decade fighting for the rights of black victims seeking justice when dealing with police officers and the judicial system. His law-making case, Tolan v. Cotton, has set the precedent in the way judges are allowed to grant police officers qualified immunity. Since its ruling in 2014, Tolan's case has been cited in and helped thousands of cases involving police brutality. Tolan's foundation, Project 1231, is dedicated to making sure that victims of police brutality get the support they need. He lives in Houston. Want to carpool? Contact Teresa Hutcheson.

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Gregg Robertson
      Elder Gregg Robertson writes: The phrase "practicing God's justice" seemed to have caused the most discussion when we first floated the new mission statement among committees. It's true that the term justice can take on many meanings, some more positive than others. When I think of God's justice, to me, it means making things right that are wrong in this world. Practicing that is the challenge that Christ has given us. When we see hunger, we should feed. When we see nakedness, we should clothe. When we see hurt, we should heal. When we see alienation, we should embrace. When we see anger, we should seek peace

      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community
    • Presbytery Artist-in-Residence at Derry Church Feb 26

      9:30 am: Live painting in worship that opens the Carlisle Presbytery meeting (Sanctuary)
      11 am - 12:15 pm: Exploring Creative Opportunities for Lent

      Lisle Gynn Garrity is a PC (USA) pastor who leads retreats and serves as artist-in-residence with churches across the nation. She is the founder and creative director of a collaborative arts ministry providing multi-media resources for worshiping communities. She approaches her work as an artist primarily through the lenses of pastor and theologian. Residing in Black Mountain, NC, with her husband and two pups, she has a deep love for exploring mountains, creative opportunities of all kinds, and new ways to be church. Her work and writings have been featured in Reformed Worship, Call to Worship, NEXT Church, and Presbyterians Today.

    • Get on the Meal Train for Jane Corl

      As Jane Corl recovers from knee surgery, 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 at

    • Dorcas Group Now Meets Monthly

      2:15-3:30 pm on the first Wednesday of each month in Room 2

      Drop in on Feb 6 to cut fabric for hygiene bags our Presbyterian Women will give to women's shelters... or stop by Room 2 any time to pick up bags of pre-cut fabric that you can sew at home. Find to-go bags in the laundry basket.

    • Support Church World Service Blankets + Fund

      In February, Presbyterian Women is collecting for the Church World Service Blankets + Fund. Last year thousands of blankets were distributed in 19 U.S. states. In Upper East Tennessee, an agency supplies nine local centers. They distribute hygiene kits and blankets. These mean so much to recipients who say things like, “Now I can take a shower,” or “I’ve been praying for a blanket.” We have been blessed with so much, and we have much to share. One blanket costs $10, a small price for blankets that can be a vital resource for someone needing support, warmth and encouragement. How many blankets will you provide? Write checks to Derry Presbyterian Church, notated “Blanket Fund.”

    • Boxtops4Education Due Feb 17

      Drop off Boxtops4Education for an inner-city school in New Orleans in the PW basket in the mission closet or in the PW mailbox. Check that all expiration dates are 3/1/19 or later. Thanks to all who contributed in 2018 for a total of $127.

    • Memorial Service for Lee Ann Taylor

      2 pm Saturday, Feb 23 in the Sanctuary
      No visitation before the service. Reception following in Fellowship Hall. Child care provided in the nursery during the worship service. All who are able to park at the Hershey Trust are encouraged to do so.

      The meal train for the family remains in effect through April. All dates are filled at this time.

      Read some words of hope in Pastor Stephen's latest blog post.

    • Support the Souper Bowl of Caring on Feb 2 & 3

      On Saturday evening and Sunday morning, look for Derry youth holding soup pots as you exit the Sanctuary. Place canned goods or cash in the pot... a suggested donation is the amount of money you would spend on a meal for your family. Last year Derry raised $600. Can we beat that total this year? All proceeds will be donated to local food banks.

      In 1990 the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group in South Carolina: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat.” Since that day, more than $100 million has been raised for local charities across the country through Souper Bowl of Caring. It has become a powerful movement that is transforming the time around Super Bowl weekend into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving. Through this mission, young people learn what it’s like to make a positive difference in the world –as they collect food, raise money and volunteer to work in charities that provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and compassion to those in need.


    • Worship on Ash Wednesday, Mar 6

      This contemplative hour-long service will include a sermon and celebration of the Lord’s supper along with imposition of ashes made from last year’s palm branches.

      Attention church committee members: check the calendar to confirm when your committee meets in March. The day or time may have changed to accommodate this worship service. 

    • Presbyterian Women's Winter Tea: Feb 24

      2-4 pm Sunday, Feb 24 in the Lounge
      All women and girls are invited for a ladies' afternoon tea... tell us about a favorite childhood book -- bring a copy if you have one. RSVP to Doris Feil by Wednesday, Feb 20.

    • Fantastic Isaac's Fundraiser, with More to Come!

      Thanks to all who came out for dinner at Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches last Thursday (including the Patton family)... you helped to raise $275 toward scholarships for Presbyterian Education Board students in Pakistan! You have two more opportunities to participate: Thursday, Feb 21 and Thursday, March 21. Download a form for Feb 21 or pick up from the insert rack. Thanks, Derry!

    • Get on the Meal Train for the Taylor Family

      As Lee Ann Taylor and her family deal with challenging medical treatment, a meal train will help to lessen the daily load while showing the family how much they are loved and supported by their church. Read more and sign up at

    • 'Zootopia' Pilgrim Lock-In Feb 1-2

      6 pm Friday, Feb 1- 8 am Saturday, Feb 2 at Derry Church
      Overnight fun for children grades 3-5!  We'll take a closer look at how our world is much like the world of Zootopia and the kingdom that Isaiah describes in chapter 11. Have dinner before arrival: registration opens 6 pm sharp. Bring PJs and sleeping gear. RSVP to by Sunday, Jan 27. Up next: interview senior Derry friends on Feb 24.

    • Celebrating 20+ Years of God's Hidden Hands!

      On Sunday God's Hidden Hands puppet troupe presented Claudia Holtzman with their interpretation of Amazing Grace to say thanks for more than 20 years of leadership and puppet creativity. 

    • January 2019 Session Highlights
      • Over the next several months, the Session will be reviewing Derry’s emergency procedures and making suggestions for revisions. Each month a particular emergency scenario will be discussed to acquaint the elders with what to do if the situation occurs and to refine our response procedures. In January, the situation discussed was medical emergencies occurring during a worship service or other event at the church.
      • Elected all active Elders as Presbytery Commissioners for 2019.
      • There will be no 8 am worship service on Sunday, February 3 due to an Engage service to be held Saturday, February 2 at 5 pm and Derry’s Annual Meeting which will occur immediately after the 10:30 am worship service on Feb 3. Derry’s Youth have planned and will be conducting the entire Engage service. The Session approved a motion that authorizes training the youth to serve communion and permits them to do so during the Engage service.  Rev. McKinney-Whitaker will be present to bless the elements.
      • The first Presbytery meeting of 2019 will be held at Derry on Tuesday, February 26 beginning at 9:30 am. A motion was voted upon and passed to donate the offering collected to the Joshua Group in Harrisburg, whose mission is to provide hope and support for at-risk Harrisburg youth, particularly through educational and vocational opportunities.
      • Discussions have occurred regarding the future of the Mansion Road property. While we currently have a tenant residing in the home, there will be some upcoming maintenance issues. Prior to making any decision regarding the possible sale of the property, the Session directed a task force consisting of members from Building & Grounds, Stewardship & Finance, Long Range Planning and Roger Zimmer to obtain an appraisal of the property and report their findings to Session. 
      • At the request of the Building & Grounds committee, the session reviewed Derry’s Burial Guidelines and approved increasing the cost of a plot to $800 and the cost of the granite grave marker with inscription to $1,400. The Guidelines were also amended to authorize the use of interest from the cemetery dedicated account to maintain the entire cemetery, not just the area in which cremated remains are buried.
      • The session reviewed Dr. McKinney-Whitaker’s Terms of Call for 2019 and approved recommending them to the congregation for review and approval at the Annual Meeting on February 3.
      • The Session approved dates for collection of the 2019 Change 4 Children offering as follows:  Mar 17, Jun 16, Sep 15 and Dec 8.
      • The Treasurer shared the 2018 year end financial reports. Contributions for 2018 ended the year $50,000 over 2017 and $50,000 over the 2018 budget. Expenses were $31,000 under budget for 2018.
      •  Re-elected Kathy Yingst as Clerk of Session and Steven Guenther as Treasurer for 2019.
    • Say Good-Bye to Sean and Eve McCarthy

      Sunday, Jan 27 is our Music Director's last day in worship
      Join us in worship this Sunday as we honor Dr. McCarthy and thank him for his leadership and service with us over the past three years. A post-worship fellowship will be held in his honor following 10:30 am worship. 

    • Issues Class Schedule Change on Jan 27

      Extended Hour: 9-10:15 am Sunday, Jan 27 in Room 7C
      Due to last week's weather-related cancellation, the two-week "Get to Know Us" series has been condensed into a single, longer class. Rev Nancy Reinert will moderate a discussion with some members of Market Square Presbyterian Church and pastors who identify as LGBTQ. The class is not meant to tackle Biblical and theological issues around LGBTQ issues, but to help us understand the personal experiences of our neighbors and churches and how they have navigated their own identities, faith, and sense of call to ministry.  

    • Join the Mission Committee on Feb 13 to Take Tacos to Interfaith Shelter

      5 pm Wednesday, Feb 13: meet at church to carpool
      The Mission & Peace Committee invites you to the Interfaith Shelter to serve a taco supper and play games with the resident families. RSVP to Marion Alexander (717-566-3029).

    • Carlisle Presbytery Meets Here Feb 26: Can You Help?

      Extra hands are needed to bake cupcakes and guide and assist pastors, elders and guests when Carlisle Presbytery holds its February 2019 stated meeting here on Tuesday, Feb 26. Go to the volunteer portal and click on the "Presbytery Mtg" tab at the bottom to find out where your help is needed, or stop by the welcome center in the Narthex on Sunday mornings for assistance. The meeting begins at 9:30 am in the Sanctuary, and you're welcome to attend opening worship and as much of the meeting as your schedule allows. Thanks, Derry!

    • Friday Evening Women's Group: Jan 18

      7-10 pm Fri Jan 18 in room 7. The New Year is an opportunity for reflection and renewal. Using the book Gracelaced as our guide, join a discussion on resting in God's power. Then we'll find time for rest through the art of Zentangle, a relaxing and fun way to create art with repeated patterns. This art method will allow us the opportunity to rest our minds and find renewal in God's Word. All women welcome as we gather to read, reflect, relax and connect. 

    • No Joke: You Can Watch it Here

      On the past two Sundays, there were technical issues viewing the "No Joke Project" DVD in Issues Class. Those interested in viewing the video for the class led by Pastor Stephen can check out these links:

      1. Watch the complete film by going to You'll need the password: NOJOKE1
      2. Watch a 28-minute short version of the film, "The Project of Us," at
    • Mission Statement Reflections: Al Porter
      Elder Al Porter writes: The Worship and Spiritual Life Committee reviewed the Proposed Mission and Vision Statements at its December and January meetings. The committee members are in agreement with both statements. In particular, I am in agreement with, and think that most members of our congregation would be in agreement with, the statement, to paraphrase Tim Keller’s article on justice, that, as a church, it is our mission to defend and aid the most vulnerable members of society, those people with the least economic, social, and political power, and to treat all people with fairness, generosity, equity, and honesty in our relationships.

      Proposed Mission Statement:
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community.
    • You're Invited: Women's Retreat 2019

      Mar 29-31 at Chubb Hotel & Conference Center, Lafayette, PA
      This year we've been invited to join the women of Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester for their 2019 women’s retreat (where former member Lynn George is on staff). The weekend opens with dinner on Friday night and concludes with worship led by their pastors on Sunday morning. We’re done by noon Sunday, brunch optional. Double occupancy rate is $245. All food is included: no need to bring snacks this year! This event has been endorsed by our Christian Education Committee. Read more and sign up online or download a brochure. Questions? Contact Sue George. 

    • Discovery Days Seeks New Board Members

      Derry Discovery Days Preschool (DDD) is seeking Derry Church members for its Board. The ideal candidate will have a finance background, but this is not required. The Board meets at the church on the second Monday of each month from 9-11am. Church Board members serve a three-year term. For more information, contact Kelly Mehaffie

    • New at Derry Church: Scouting for Girls Troop 2200

      Open House 7 pm Thursday, Jan 24 at the Derry Church Scout House 
      Learn more about Scouts BSA at this recruiting and information session for girls ages 11-17. Contact: Brian & Kristy Holley.

    • Nine-Year-Old Alaskan Girl Featured on the Presbyterian Mission Website Has a Derry Connection

      Recently the Presbyterian Mission website posted this heartwarming story about the granddaughter of Derry members Ron and Ann Geist​ who found a way to support Presbyterian mission co-workers in Germany. Many of you will know and remember the Geist's son Marcus, who's the proud dad in the story.

    • Coats for Kids

      Coats for Cocoa is an annual event which distributes winter coats to economically disadvantaged children within the Derry Township School District. Each October there has been an increase in the number of coats that have been provided to students. Last year they ran short of adult sized coats needed for older boys and girls. With winter coats on clearance, now is a great time to donate warm coats of any size. Hang the coats you wish to donate in the designated Narthex closet closest to the elevator between now and Feb 28. Thanks, Derry!

    • Mission & Peace January Funding Report

      At its January meeting, the Mission and Peace Committee approved funding for the following four organizations:

      • Christ Lutheran Church: $4771 from the Christmas Joy Offering and $5205 from our 2019 budget to completely fund installation of a chairlift for handicapped access to their medical clinic
      • YWCA: $2000 for programs promoting justice and empowering women; Stop the Violence, $2500 for programs supporting their community food and clothing banks and after-school programs for youth in Harrisburg
      • L.I.F.E.: $1000 to support the work of their local prison ministry of Leading Inmates in Faith and Education.
      • The Christmas Joy Offering raised $9542! Half was used for the chair lift at Christ Lutheran and  the other half was sent to PCUSA in support of emergency funding programs for retired church staff and support of our racial/ethnic colleges.

      Thank you, Derry, for your generous support of these mission needs.

    • Orange Day is Friday, Jan 25

      Orange Day is focused on calling attention to the exploitation of women and girls and supporting those who are working to end the injustices. One red flag for children in caught in human trafficking is a sudden friendship with an older female or a boyfriend. The YWCA recommends parents stay social media savvy to help prevent grooming and recruitment. Traffickers can be boyfriends, parents, husbands or drug traffickers. The Harrisburg area is known for trafficking along the I-81 and I-83 corridors. The human trafficking hotline is 1-800-654-1211. Wear orange or an orange ribbon on Jan 25 to show your support of the YWCA's work to inform the public of the problem and preventive measures.

    • 20th Annual Chili Cook-off & Square Dance

      6:30-9:30 pm Friday, Feb 22 in Fellowship Hall. There's no better way to warm up a winter's night! Bring a dish to pass: your favorite salad, dessert or chili recipe. Informal judging determines winners in the chili and dessert categories. Cornbread provided. Be sure to dress up in your favorite Western wear and bring  your dancing shoes: following the meal, join the fun by participating in a variety of line and square dances. Free! Invite your friends and neighbors. Hosted by the Membership & Involvement Committee. 

    • January 2019 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 12/31/18

        Actual Budgeted
      Income YTD $1,308,351  $1,243,415
      Expenses YTD $1,233,953 $1,265,087
      Surplus (Deficit) YTD $74,398 ($21,672)


      Contributions ended the year $50k over prior year and $50k over budget. Committee expenses were $43k over prior year but $31k under budget. The 2018 surplus was $74,398, resulting in a positive undesignated net asset balance of $76,850. Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.

    • Cub Scout Spaghetti Dinner: Feb 10

      11:30 am Sunday, February 10 in Fellowship Hall

      Enjoy salad, bread, spaghetti, beverage and dessert for $7 per person. Take-out available. Gluten-free pasta available: please let us know in advance. Proceeds support Pack 200 sponsored by Derry Church. RSVP by Wednesday, Feb 6.

    • Welcome Steve Miller to the Church Staff!

      January 6 was Steve's first day as our new Sunday morning Sexton. He will monitor the security cameras in the office and handle any maintenance issues that arise. Steve says, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the church. I grew up in Hershey and have two children. My interests include sports, magic, and making people laugh! I look forward to helping the church out in any way I can. God never said the journey would be easy, but God did say the arrival would be worthwhile!"

    • Paint Night Youth Fundraiser A Big Success!

      Thanks to Luke and Liz Gawron for instructing the group, for fantastic youth hosts and for everyone who participated. $590 was raised in support of youth trips this year.

    • Info Session Will Cover Proposed Bylaw Changes

      11:30 am Sunday, Jan 20 in the Chapel
      At the annual meeting on Sunday, Feb 3, the congregation will vote on Session’s proposed changes to Derry Church's bylaws. These changes will amend the bylaws to better reflect current church practice, coincide with current Book of Order Language, and reduce the number of Elders on Session.

      This information session is a great opportunity to learn about all the proposed changes to the church by-laws and ask questions. Read more about the changes and review the proposed bylaws... paper copies also available at the information center. Questions? Contact Pastor Stephen or Kathy Yingst, Clerk of Session.

    • Update from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee

      We have working for the last four months to learn about and begin the process of finding and welcoming the right candidate to lead our Children, Youth, and Family Ministries.
      Our committee of nine dedicated Derry members has been engaged, enthusiastic, and effective in the work of developing a document that introduces potential candidates to Derry Church and illuminating how the position will help us to live out our mission to proclaim God’s word, share God’s love, and practice God’s justice. We have created a compelling narrative to attract candidates who will be able to understand how the position will help us move toward our vision of being an inquiring and inclusive Christ-centered community. 
      After gaining the necessary approvals from Session and the Commission on Ministry of the Presbytery of Carlisle, our Ministry Information Form was posted this week on the Presbyterian system that matches potential candidates with open positions. Soon we will begin the process of screening and evaluating potential candidates.
      We look forward to this journey knowing the congregation and staff are holding us in prayer.

    • Schedule Change on Feb 3

      There will be no 8 am service on Sunday, Feb 3

      Church school and the 10:30 am service will be held as usual, with the annual meeting following worship. Soup, Salad & Sandwiches lunch is available in Fellowship Hall following the meeting ($7/person or $20/family). 

      Another worship option that weekend is Engage: Youth at 5 pm Saturday, Feb 2.

    • Communion Coordinator Needed

      The Worship & Spiritual Life Committee seeks a communion coordinator beginning Jan 2020. This person oversees the teams who prepare the elements on designated Sundays, ensures there are enough deacons and elders to serve communion, and maintains the supply of communion bread, juice, and cups. Contact Al Porter.

    • Family Promise Meals and Drivers Needed Feb 3-10

      Family Promise of Harrisburg Capital Region returns to the Hershey SDA Church next month. Prayerfully consider supporting homeless families by volunteering your time. Choose from three ways to volunteer:

      1. Take an evening meal to the church. Sign up at (Last name: Promise; Password: Derry)
      2. Drive the families to and/or from the Day Center in Camp Hill. Sign up at 
      3. Assist as an overnight chaperone. Sign up at

      Questions?  Contact Jane Robertson

    • Mission Statement Reflections: Karen Haas
      Elder Karen Haas writes: As I read the proposed mission statement, I can think of many ways I have seen these actions in person since joining Derry in 1978. “Proclaiming God’s Word” is ever evident not only weekly on Sunday mornings, but through Derry’s many music, education, fellowship, mission, and community focused programs & events. As a member of the CE Committee & DDD Board I have witnessed the “Sharing of God’s Love” as the children & youth of Derry come together for VBS and preschool classes, festivals and fellowship activities. The intergenerational and community aspect of these events are true testaments of God’s love. Finally, albeit a hard to understand concept, “Practicing God’s Justice” is one that I believe Derry has strived to uphold in today’s every changing world. The Derry that I came to in 1978 and the Derry of today are much different. We are working very hard to be more inclusive, more intergenerational, more contemporary, and more children-friendly. All of these are very important if we are to grow our congregation, keep our young members excited and involved in Derry, and keep our older more mature members feeling they are still vital contributors to the church.

      Proposed Mission Statement:
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community.
    • Pilgrim Fellowship: What's Next?

      12- 3 pm Sunday, Jan 20 at Escape Room Hershey
      Cost is $10 and pickup is tentatively 3 pm. RSVP required by Sunday, Jan 13. 

      Check out complete spring schedule for grades 3-5.

    • Monday Night Women's Group: Spring Schedule

      5:30 pm Feb 4:  BlacKKKlansman Film + Discussion Bring your dinner! 
      7 pm Mar 4: No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart by Robbie Tolan Book Discussion
      7 pm Apr 1: Tech Night Bring your questions & confounding devices for a hands-on tech night with Sue George! 

      Programs held in the John Elder Classroom. Newcomers welcome! Questions? Contact Sue George.

    • Two Sues Say Thanks

      Legendary nursery caregiver Sue Fox and communications director Sue George were recognized on Jan 6 for service anniversaries. Sue F has cared for children for more than 25 years, and Sue G has been on the job for 15 years. Both Sues express their sincere thanks for cards and gifts from the church, and the wonderful post-worship reception hosted by our Christian Ed and Communications & Technology committees.

    • More Star Gifts Available!

      Star gifts -- star-shaped pieces of brightly colored paper with a word printed on it -- were distributed in worship on Epiphany Sunday, Jan 6. If you did not receive a star gift, more are available in a basket at the Welcome Center in the Narthex. 

    • Fantasy Football Winners

      Derry's second annual Fantasy Football season has come to an end. Congratulations to the team managed by Kate Valenziano and Bill Parrish: they stepped up their game to finish first after a second-place finish last year. New to the top three this year was Tommy Steelman in second place. Pastor Stephen finished third after winning the league last year. Thanks to everyone who participated.

    • Get Your Star Gift on Sunday, Jan 6!

      A star gift is a star-shaped piece of brightly colored paper with a word printed on it. Every person who comes to church on Epiphany Sunday, Jan 6 receives a star gift and is asked to reflect on that word for the coming year. Everyone who receives a star gift is encouraged to take it home and hang it up where they are sure to see it every day. You are invited to ponder what significance this word might have in your lives, and how God might be speaking to you through that simple message.

      Epiphany is the celebration of God’s presence breaking through to shine as a light in the darkness. With this tradition, each year our congregation can rejoice in the reminder of our generous, giving God—one star gift at a time. Please join us on Jan 6 to receive your Star Gift for 2019!  

    • Dec 2018 Session Highlights
      • Rev. McKinney-Whitaker led a discussion on the proposed Mission and Vision Statements. Many committees talked about the statements at their monthly meetings and provided comments to aid in the discussion. Rather than officially accept the statements, the Session approved publishing them for congregational review and discernment. The purpose is to encourage everyone at Derry to think about the statements so that the final Mission and Vision Statements reflect Derry and where we believe God is calling us. 
      • A number of recommendations from Stewardship & Finance to improve monetary management led to the following approvals:
        • To provide “read only” access to Derry’s bank accounts, accounts with PNC will be closed and new accounts with Northwest Savings will be opened.
        • Any monetary surplus from 2018 will be moved into the Unrestricted Net Assets account.
        • Any unrestricted bequests received will be split 50/50 between the Legacy and Capital Facilities funds.
        • Use of up to $20,000 from the Futures Fund by the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to cover expenses.
      • The Treasurer, in conjunction with the Stewardship & Finance Committee, presented a balanced 2019 budget for approval. The budget as presented was approved with the understanding that pledges are still being received.
      • Examined Peter Gawron as a newly elected Ruling Elder in preparation for his installation on Jan 13, 2019. 
      • The Parking Lot Task Force continues its work to address the parking shortage at Derry. The Session approved a request from the task force to obtain three proposals from a landscape architect to develop a parking master plan.
      • The Music Search Team, led by Kathy McGrath, will begin meeting twice monthly in January to consider applicants for the open Music Director position, both interim and permanent. To provide guidance to the team, the Session approved a job description for the Interim position as submitted by the Personnel Committee with one minor change. In the meantime, our Tuesday evening volunteers will be covering all choir programs through the end of the program year and Julie Miler/ Lee Ann Taylor are leading the music for the children’s musical with Francis Mohler providing stage direction. 
      • In March 2017 the Session approved a proposal to repair/upgrade the church playground area using funds contributed by Derry Discovery Days and from Derry’s Futures Fund. At the request of DDD, the Session approved the use of existing allocated funds to expand the scope of the playground project to include the installation of a digging pit.
      • Approved the special 2019 Offerings/Fundraisers as submitted by Presbyterian Women.
      • Approved church use requests from Judy McMillen for continued use of Fellowship Hall on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 6:15 pm for Zumba fitness classes, and from Valerie Minnich for a birthday party.
      • Thanked those Ruling Elders finishing their terms for their dedication and leadership over the past three years. 
      • A meeting of the College of Elders and Deacons has been scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 9 am to noon. Present and past elders and deacons will be invited to attend.
    • Call-Out for Cemetery Caretakers

      Are you interested in helping to maintain the heritage of Derry? Do you have a family member interred in the cemetery? Do you own a plot in our cemetery? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be interested in helping with a new Building & Grounds subcommittee that will oversee the operations and maintenance of our historic cemetery. Call the church office (717-533-9667) to sign up.

    • A New Year, A New Way to Volunteer

      Derry Church's 2019 Volunteer Portal is the place to sign up for many of the tasks that need doing on Sunday morning, from parking lot attendant to serving communion to hosting post-worship fellowship. Tabs along the bottom show various categories. Click on the tab, then enter your name and email in the slot where you’d like to serve. If you need to make a change, go back to the portal and move your name to a different slot. 

      You can also stop by the information desk in the Narthex on Sunday mornings to try out the new portal or request assistance.

    • Mission Statement Reflections

      Incoming elder Linda Chidester writes: Pastor Stephen has invited the Session to share our thoughts on the vision and mission statements proposed for Derry Church. It has provoked questions that honestly have not yet been answered, particularly, how we can “practice God’s justice.” Are we willing, in today’s world, to fulfill God’s command and challenge? We already “proclaim God’s Word, and share God’s love.” Are we ready to “practice God’s justice?" We can all explore that together in the weeks ahead.

      Proposed Mission Statement: 
      We proclaim God's word, share God's love, and practice God's justice.

      Proposed Vision Statement: 
      To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community.
    • Engage: Youth on Feb 2

      5 pm Saturday, Feb 2 in the Sanctuary

      Informal Engage worship services return in the new year, with the first service led by our remarkable youth. Save the date and stay tuned for more details. 

    • Discovery Days Preschool is Enrolling for 2019-20!

      Derry Church families new to Derry Discovery Days preschool are welcome to register Feb 3-10 for the upcoming school year. Registration forms for current and new families -- plus details on how the registration process works -- are posted or pick up forms in the nursery suite. Return forms to Kelly Mehaffie’s mailbox or the church office. Spaces are limited and are first come, first served. Community enrollment begins Feb 11. Questions? Please contact Kelly Mehaffie: 717-533-9667.

    • Soup, Salad & Sandwiches on Feb 3

      12 pm Sunday, February 3 in Fellowship Hall, following the annual meeting. Enjoy your choice of soups including Wally Patton’s famous chicken sausage chili, in addition to assorted deli sandwiches, salad & chips, hot & cold beverages and a sweet dessert buffet. $7 per person or $20 family maximum. No RSVP needed: first come, first served. Hosted by the Communications & Technology Committee. 

    • Post-Christmas Update

      Derry Church welcomed 1,287 at three Christmas Eve services with the busiest service at 7:30 pm (454)... that includes 73 watching via live streaming, almost double last year's viewership (42). Thanks to all who led worship, shared gifts of music, and helped out that day.

    • January Featured Items for Love INC's Personal Care Closet

      Derry member and actor/puppeteer Ben Folts brings to life the featured January items for Love INC of Greater Hershey's Personal Care Closet. Drop off hand soap and hand sanitizer in collection baskets in the mission closet at church or at any of Love INC's partner churches or local businesses. Thanks, Derry!