News Archives

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  • January - 2019
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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. 

    • 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!  

    • 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!

  • December - 2019
    • Merry Christmas from the Derry Church Staff!

    • Star words are coming back on Jan 6!

      That is, if we can enlist a few able cutters to spring the stars from these colorful pages. Grab a handful from the receptionist desk in the office - return them to Pastor Stephen's mailbox before worship that day. Thanks, Derry!

    • Study the Book of Acts

      10:30 am Thursdays beginning Jan 8 in room 7AB 
      Join the Thursday morning JIF (Journey in Faith) Bible study as they look at the Book of Acts and the life of the early church. Study books are $5. Contact John McGahan for more information. 

    • Mission & Peace December Spending

      At its December meeting, the Mission and Peace Committee approved spending from its Designated Mission account, as follows:

      • $1,000 to Downtown Daily Bread in support of their homeless shelter mission
      • $533 in support of the Christmas Joy Offering
      • $500 in gift cards for supplies, gas, and food to be used for emergency needs, at the discretion of the pastors.

      Thank you for your support of Derry Church's missions.

    • December PW Report
      • Orange Day lands on Christmas day this month. Wear an orange ribbon to show support of people and organizations working to end exploitation of women and children as well as remembering them in prayer.
      • Would you like to be added to the Horizons magazine group order? Contact Doris Feil by Dec 28. Copies come to the church, but will save you $6: the group rate is $18.95. The Bible study alone costs $9-10. Digital copies can be ordered online.
      • Thanks to all who contributed to the PW Thank Offering. A total of $2,442 was received.
    • Vision Screening Available for Young Children

      Wednesday & Thursday mornings, Jan 9 & 10 at Derry Church
      Children between the ages of two and six years old are invited to come for a free vision screening with Vision Resources of Central PA (VROCP). This is a fantastic opportunity as behavioral problems in elementary school often begin because children can’t see well and become bored. It will be great to know if vision issues exist so that they can be addressed right away and children are able enjoy school to their fullest ability. VROCP suggests letting your children know that "a friendly visitor will be taking pictures of their eyes with a fun camera that lights up", rather than mention that they are getting an eye test. Please contact Kelly Mehaffie for more information and to schedule a visit. 

    • Help to Feed the Faith & Finance Class

      Faith & Finances, Love INC of Greater Hershey's semi-annual, 12-week financial literacy class, will begin on Jan 9. Dinner is an important part of this program as it helps to develop and foster relationships which have a significant impact on the success of the program. In past sessions, members of partner churches have provided the 12 meals that are needed. This has been very helpful, and we are offering this service opportunity again. Dinner for approximately 10-15 participants should arrive at the Love INC office by 5:45 pm each Wednesday for the 6 pm meal. The number of participants will be confirmed in early January. A typical dinner consists of a prepared main meal (potluck-style), beverage, and dessert. Love INC provides paper products/tableware. Click to sign up.

    • Want Credit for 2018?

      If you're making a financial gift to Derry Church that you would like to count in the 2018 tax season, your gift needs to be in the church office by Dec 26. Thanks very much!

    • Tuesday Evening Worship Returns Jan 8

      Since the church is closed on Christmas and New Year's Day, Evening Praise & Communion will not be held. We'll see you in the Chapel at 6:45 pm on Jan 8.

    • Derry's eNews Takes a Holiday Break

      The next edition of the church eNews arrives in your inbox on Thursday, Jan 3. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all!

    • Terrific Tuesday Dinners Resume Jan 8

      The Terrific Tuesday kitchen crew and Pastor Stephen’s Bible study have the next two weeks off. They’ll be back on January 8: dinner will be served in Fellowship Hall 5 to 6:15 pm, and Pastor Stephen’s study will resume 6-6:30 pm in the John Elder Classroom. Everyone welcome!

    • Blood Drive Report

      The Jim Cooper Memorial Blood Drive on Dec16 was very successful, with 38 pints of blood collected. Many thanks to all who gave the gift of life in the midst of a busy holiday season.

    • New Member Classes Begin Jan 27

      9:15 am Sundays, Jan 27-Feb 24, 2019 in the Lounge
      Repeated 6 pm Wednesdays, Jan 30-Feb 27, 2019 in the Lounge

      Meet the church staff and leaders, find out more about the mission and ministry of Derry Church, and discover how you can get involved. Those who decide to join will be received as members at the 10:30 am service on Sunday, Feb 24. Register by Wednesday, Jan 23 (717-533-9667).

    • December 2017 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 11/30/18

      Income YTD:  $1,153,752 $1,139,797
      Expenses YTD: $1,124,932 $1,159,666
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:  $28,820 ($19,869)




      Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.

    • Sign Up for Supper Clubs on Feb 3!

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

    • Christmas Eve Greeters Needed for All Services

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

    • New Year's Eve in Hershey

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

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

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

    • Big Thanks to Our Amazing Team of Rakers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Letters of Thanks Received

      From Christ Lutheran Church, Harrisburg:

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

      From Friends of PEB:

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

    • Isaac's Fundraisers Return on Jan 17

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

    • Looking for Offering Envelopes?

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

    • Attention Users of Online Giving

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

    • Post-Worship Fellowship Update

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

    • Derry Seniors Learn About Citizenship on Jan 15

      10 am Tuesday, Jan 15 in Room 7

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

    • Paint Night Supports Youth Group Trips

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

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

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

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

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

    • Behind the Music: Christmas Carol Edition

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

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

      7 pm Monday, Jan 7 in the John Elder Classroom
      Sarah Clarkson's  “Book Girl” explores the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you'll discover how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith; why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin); how stories form your sense of identity; how Sarah's parents raised her to be a reader - and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you; and more than 20 annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries. Read more on the Hearts & Minds bookstore blog

    • Congratulations 50+ Members!

      Everyone in this photo has been a member of Derry Church for more than 50 years. They were recognized in worship on Sunday, Dec 3. We are grateful for the many ways you've supported the church through the years.Congratulations to all!

    • Cookie Walk Report

      These smiling ladies were on hand Saturday morning to welcome shoppers to the 2018 Cookie Walk. Thanks to all the bakers, jumbles donors, callers, organizers, buyers, salespeople, and other helpers for making the Cookie Walk and Jumbles Shop a success.

      Last Saturday’s Cookie Walk raised $2,259 ... the Jumbles Shop received 1,490 for a grand total of $3,749 that will go toward Presbyterian Women’s mission.

      Trays and containers can be picked up in the Narthex near the kitchen until December 16... after that date you can purchase them from the Jubilee shop in Palmyra.

    • A Candlelight Christmas: Concerts Dec 14-16

      The  Susquehanna Chorale will present three concerts this Christmas season featuring one of choralmusic’s most popular Christmas works, Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols: 8 pm Friday, Dec 14 at High Center, Messiah College, Grantham; 8 pm Saturday, Dec 15 at Church of the Brethren, Elizabethtown; and 4 pm Sunday, Dec 16 at Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg. Participating from Derry Church is  Greg Harris. Tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door; $5 students) through the Messiah College Box Office: 717-691-6036.

    • Silent Auction Shout-Out

      Thank you, Derry artists and craftsmen, for your awesome contributions to this year's Silent Auction! Thank you also to those who participated in the spirited bidding. Your efforts resulted in a net of $1,162 for Mission Week 2019!

    • Coin Return on Sunday

      Your Change 4 Children coins -- collected on Dec 9 at the end of each service -- will support Faith Works Free Schools, a place for children who otherwise would not receive an education. Current enrollment is 1,200 children in grades 1-7. The Faith Works program is targeted to students who live in the slums of Lasaka, the capital of Zambia. Each child receives a nutritious lunch during school days. The schools are housed and operated by local indigenous churches, with funding and supplies provided by Alliance for Children Everywhere. Helen DeVos Christian School provides an educational opportunity for grades 5-9.  

      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. When you return coins, 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 March 2010, so keep on gathering those coins.

    • Invite Our Neighbors: Dec 17

      The Membership & Involvement Committee is walking door-to-door along East Derry Road and Trinidad Avenue to place doorhangers inviting our nearest neighbors to Christmas Eve services. You're welcome to join: meet 1:30 pm Monday, Dec 17 in room 2 for instructions before leaving the church. It will take about an hour. RSVP to Marie Buffaloe.

  • November - 2019
    • Get 'em Before They're Gone: Giving Tree Tags

      As of this writing, a handful of gift tags are still available for children whose families are clients of the Hershey Food Bank, and there are a few gift cards for racetrack workers. Help yourself to tags and return gifts to the church by Dec 9. Thanks, Derry!

    • GriefShare Begins Jan 8

      2-4 pm Tuesdays, Jan 8-Apr 9 • Room TBA
      For those grieving the loss of loved ones, a new GriefShare support group offers biblical teaching, small group discussion, video seminars led by renowned experts on grief and recovery topics, and a workbook to help participants explore topics in depth. Participants can start the program at any time and pick up missed sessions when the next series is offered. No charge to attend. RSVP to the church office.

    • How Do I Find Out About Snow Closings?

      The fastest way to find out about cancellations of church services and activities is on the home page of the church website ( Look for the red box on the left side under the scrolling photos. On a mobile device, swipe down until you find the red box below the news box. Announcements will also be posted on the church's Facebook page. After hours you can check messages on the church answering machine (717-533-9667). 

      While local media will be contacted, church information does not have priority status for posting on TV. Most stations only post church updates on their websites.

    • Give the Gift of Time

      This holiday season and in the new year, volunteer at one of the many Derry partnering organizations:

      • Serve lunch at Downtown Daily Bread, 11:30 am Sunday, Dec 2 
      • Ride along on Bethesda's mobile mission, 8 pm Friday, Jan 4
      • Serve breakfast at Gather the Spirit, 8:30 am Saturday, Dec 29 at the Common Ground Cafe at the Unitarian Church, 16th & Market, Harrisburg
      • Serve dinner at the Penn National racetrack on New Year’s Eve with Charlie and Marilyn Koch 
      • For more details, contact Craig Smith or Julie Yutesler
    • Updated Pictorial Directory Now Available

      The November 2018 print version of the church directory is available for pickup at the Information Center, or download a copy. You can also view the church directory online: contact Sue George if you need the password. 

    • New for Advent: Photo-A-Day Facebook Group

      Continuing in the tradition of The Gratitude Group, Derry's new Advent Photo-A-Day Group gives you the opportunity to share your creativity as a photographer or artist. Each day through the season of Advent - Dec 2 through Christmas day - check the page for an Advent word of the day. Then post a photo or image that captures the meaning of that word for you. Feel free to add explanatory or descriptive text if you wish. We look forward to going on this Advent journey with you!

      Advent Photo-A-Day Group
      Public group · 3 members
      Join Group
      Welcome to Derry Church's Advent Photo-A-Day Group! Each day through the season of Advent - Dec 2 through Christmas day - check this page for an Adven...
    • Help Us Celebrate Jesus' Birthday on Dec 23!

      11:30 am Sunday, Dec 23 in Fellowship Hall 
      For this special post-worship fellowship, we're planning to have 12 different tables -- one for each month of the year. People can sit or gather around their birthday month table and learn about those who share their month as we enjoy cake together. We’ll also have a special cake for Jesus. We’ll sing happy birthday and invite the children to help blow out the candles.

      How can you help? Sign up to decorate a table. We'll provide plates and cups.You may want to pick up some themed napkins for your table. If your preferred month is taken, contact that person and offer to lend a helping hand. Then get ready for a birthday blowout like you've never seen in church!

    • Mission & Peace Committee Spending Report

      At its November meeting the Mission and Peace Committee approved the following distribution of funds from its 2018 budget:

      • $5000 to the Community Checkup Center
      • $3000 to Hope Within
      • $3000 to Christ Lutheran Church
      • $446 to CWS/CROP to make Derry's contribution an even $6000.

      For over 20 years Derry has supported the Community Checkup Center's work with low-income women and children in the Hall Manor area of Harrisburg. Since 2006 Derry has supported faith-based Hope Within which provides Christ-centered primary health care and mental health care services for uninsured, low-income residents in the Elizabethtown area. Expanding Derry's mission focus, we have begun a partnership this year with Christ Lutheran Church which serves residents in the 13th and Derry Streets area of Harrisburg. Thank you for your support of these organizations.

    • Nov 2018 Giving Update

      It’s not too late to make a financial pledge for 2019 before Session meets to set a budget based on 2019 financial commitments. You can pick up a pledge card in the Narthex or church office or make your pledge online. Thanks, Derry!

    • No More Christmas Cards, Please!

      Many have been very generous in donating leftover Christmas cards that we've shared with a prison ministry. We can't accept more cards at this time. Until further notice, please share your cards with others.

    • Silent Auction Closes 11:30 am Sunday

      Have you had the opportunity to check out the assortment of handmade items from Dominican Republic and Derry’s own artisans now on display in the Narthex? Proceeds support Mission Week 2019. Bidding closes following the second worship service on Sunday, Dec 2.

    • Church Office Closed for Thanksgiving: Nov 22-23

      The Derry Church office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 22-23. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jim Cooper Memorial Blood Drive

      8:30 am-12 pm Sunday, December 16 in Fellowship Hall. Sign up in the Narthex in coming weeks or walk in that day.

    • What You Need to Know about the Giving Tree

      One of the wonderful traditions of Derry’s Christmas season is the “Giving Tree” which provides gifts for the children of families using the Hershey Food Bank. The tree will be in place and decorated with gift tag ornaments made by our Pilgrim Fellowship by Sunday, Nov 25. Each tag lists a child’s age (18 and under), gender and family identification number. You’re invited to choose a tag from the tree. Record your name next to the corresponding number on the master sheet posted nearby. The Mission & Peace committee suggests gifts in the $25 range. Since every child receives a clothing-only voucher, toys and games are recommended for children while gift cards are great choices for teenagers.

      All gifts and gift cards should be returned unwrapped in a Christmas gift bag by Sunday, Dec 9 with your ornament gift tag attached to the handle. Questions? Contact Craig Smith.

    • Welcome Derry's New Members!

      On Sunday Derry Church welcomed five new members. L-R, Lori Winger, Max and Angi Braun, and Eliana and Tyler Hempel. Read more about them in a flyer available the Information Center. Next new member class begins on Sunday, January 27, 2019. 

    • November 2018 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 10/31/18

      Income YTD:  $1,058,468 $1,036,180
      Expenses YTD: $1,027,749 $1,054,242
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:  $30,719 ($18,062)




      Questions? Contact Steven Guenther, treasurer.

    • Another Giving Tree Option: Gift Cards for Racetrack Workers

      You can also select one of 40 tags for back-of-the-track workers at Penn National race course on or after Nov 25. These tags invite you to purchase a $25 Walmart gift card to make Christmas brighter for the hard-working men and women at the track. Record your name on the signup sheet and return the tag and gift card by Sunday, December 16, placing them either in the nearby red stocking or the white mailbox located outside of the church office. Merry Christmas!

    • Your Homemade Cakes & Pies Will Benefit Our Preschool

      Derry Discovery Days is holding a bake sale in Fellowship Hall after Derry Church’s “An Irish Christmas” concert on Sunday, December 9. Homemade cookies, whole pies and cakes will be sold to raise funds for the preschool.  If you’re willing to bake for the preschool, contact Kelly Mehaffie. Coming to the concert? Stop in to pick up a sweet treat and coffee “to go.” Cash and checks accepted.

    • Orange Day is Nov 25

      Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise, second only to the drug trade. Between 100,000 and 300,000 children are commercially exploited in this country annually.  Over 273 human trafficking cases have been reported in Pennsylvania since 2016. 

      Sunday is Orange Day. Wear orange or an orange ribbon to show awareness of this problem and support for those working to combat it.

    • Silent Auction Opens on Sunday

      Support Mission Week 2019 (and do some early Christmas shopping) during the week of Nov 25-Dec 2 when a large assortment of items will be on display in the Narthex, including a selection of handcrafted items by Derry Church artisans and crafters. Bidding will close following the second worship service on Dec 2.

    • Pilgrim Fellowship Serves Lunch: Dec 2

      Gather in room 7A following the 10:30 am service on Sunday, Dec 2
      Have pizza provided by the Deacons, then serve the Derry Seniors’ holiday lunch and come back for ice cream sundaes. Pickup 2 pm. Parent helpers needed! Please RSVP by Wednesday, Nov 28.

    • Worship & Spiritual Life Committee Seeks Sanctuary Guild Members

      Sanctuary Guild members tidy up the pews in the Chapel and Sanctuary each week. Time commitment is one  to one and one-half hours. Want to know more about what's involved? Please contact Jill Campbell. She and Mary Jane Mease will happily provide hands-on training.

    • Christmas Eve is Dec 24!

    • Fleece Blanket-Making Returns Dec 16 & Jan 13

      6-8 pm Sundays, Dec 16 & Jan 13

      Join the fun and make some knotted fleece blankets! All ages welcome to drop in for an hour or stay for the evening and help members of the Christian Ed Committee make blankets that will be used to warm up Harrisburg's homeless population. Another way you can support the effort is by providing two-yard lengths of warm fleece fabric in your favorite solid colors and patterns -- this fabric is often on sale during the winter months. Remember that two pieces of fleece are needed to make one blanket. Deliver fabric to the church office. Thanks, Derry!
    • Come to the Derry Church Rake Fest

      8:30 am Saturday, Dec 8 on the church grounds
      The Building & Grounds Committee invite you to join them with rakes, bags and barrels to tackle the church grounds until no leaf is left standing. If the weather's nasty, the rake fest will be held on Dec 15 instead. We need your help so badly that we are bribing you with donuts and coffee! Questions? Contact Tom Kitzmiller.

    • Advent Study Begins Nov 29

      Join the Thursday morning study group at 10:30 am Thursdays, Nov 29,  Dec 6, 13 & 20 in room 7AB to study and discuss scriptures for the upcoming Sundays in Advent. Handouts available at the Information Center in the Narthex. Questions? Ask John McGahan or Pastor Marie.

    • Star Ornaments Sold Out!

      Thanks to everyone who purchased one of Mark Smith's handmade star ornaments. All 100 have been sold, and proceeds will help to fund 2019 scholarships for deserving students in Pakistan. 

    • Enews Thanksgiving Edition

      Next week’s church e-newsletter will arrive in your inbox a day early, on Wednesday, November 21. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Poinsettia Orders Due by Dec 10

      It’s time to order poinsettia plants that will brighten the church during the Advent season. After Christmas, you’re invited to take your poinsettias home to enjoy for weeks to come. A single plant is $13; baskets are $25. Forms available at the insert rack in the Narthex or in Sunday bulletins.

    • PW Christmas Dinner: Dec 10

      6 pm Monday, Dec 10 in the Lounge
      Presbyterian Women’s annual holiday covered dish dinner will be followed by an opportunity for women to make a simple holiday craft. Bring a dish to serve 6-8 and a place setting for each person. All women welcome - bring a friend!

    • Christmas Eve at Derry Church

      Monday, Dec 24 in the Sanctuary • All services include singing "Silent Night" by candlelight

      2:30 pm*  Lessons and Carols featuring the Derry Brass and communion.

      5 pm*  Family friendly service of Lessons and Carols with Joyful Noise and Celebration Choirs and Tintinnabulation handbells.

      7:30 pm*  Traditional service of Lessons and Carols, with the Sanctuary and Chrysalis Choirs and Derry Ringers.

      11 pm  Lessons and carols with soloists and special music, youth and young adult worship leaders and communion.

      * Child care available.

    • Longest Night Worship

      7 pm Tuesday, December 18  in the Chapel with communion

      For anyone who this year finds it hard to face the joyous Christmas season: this worship service -- on one of the longest, darkest nights of the year -- intentionally acknowledges the pain and offers solace. Light refreshments following in the John Elder Classroom.

    • Dedication Sunday Report

      As of Sunday, Nov 11, Derry Church has received 176 financial commitments totaling $767,493. Thank you! If you haven’t turned in your estimate of giving card for 2019, it’s not too late. You can fill out your estimate online or pick up a card at the Information Center in the Narthex. Return cards to the offering plate or mail to the church office to the attention of Sandy Miceli.

    • Mission House Makeover

      This new sign and recently completed landscaping in front of Derry's Mission House was made possible by everyone who participated in the Mission Madness basketball fundraiser last March and the leadership of members Sally McKinney and Marion Alexander. Thank you!

    • Looking Good!

      Our A/V team has new shirts! If you have a question about sound or video, or if you'd like to be on the team, ask someone wearing one of these cool shirts on Sunday morning. Thanks to Jim Pease (back) and Joey Owsley (front) for modeling the shirts.

    • Friday Evening Women's Group: Nov 16

      7 pm Friday, Nov 16 • Room 7
      ME Steelman and Liz Gawron welcome all women to take a "night off" and join with friends from Derry and the community as we enjoy an evening of spiritual reflection and creativity. We will begin using Gracelaced as our guide to conversation and use the message as a resource for our suggested creative piece. No preparation required. Come as you are and enjoy time for yourself as you reflect, converse, listen and create at this new "Art in the Grove" supported ministry. We hope you will join us. Can’t make it this month? The group meets next on Dec 14.

    • Join the Parking Lot Greeter Squad!

      Tom and Nancy Kitzmiller tell about their recent experience working as Sunday morning parking lot greeters... they'd love to have you join the parking lot squad! Contact them at

    • Pastor Stephen Reports on the Mission & Vision Survey

      Thanks to everyone who participated in the recent Mission & Vision survey. You provided great insight and ideas as Session moves forward with developing new mission and vision statements for Derry Church. Read more in Pastor Stephen's blog post.

    • CROP Report #2

      We’re still doing the math on totals raised at the October 28 CROP Walk. Latest figures show $12,740 was raised at the 33rd annual Hershey/Hummelstown hunger walk, with $5,540 coming from Derry Church members and friends. It’s not too late to write a check to CROP/CWS and drop it in the offering plate.

      Shout out to our own Pastor Marie Buffaloe, who was recognized for coordinating the Hershey/Hummelstown CROP hunger walk for the past 10 years and raising over $125K to end hunger globally and locally.

    • Lunch ‘N Learn on Nov 15

      12 pm Thursday, April 20 in the Londonderry Village Fellowship Hall, Palmyra. Jo Ellen Litz, will talk about The Swatara Water Trail and its many points of interest including the Bordner Cabin, waterfalls, wildlife and more. This program is open to the public. Bring your lunch or order a boxed lunch ($), or just come to hear the speaker. RSVP by Nov 8 for seating and lunches: 717-687-2521.

    • Youth Choral Festival: Nov 18 at Messiah College

      4 pm Sunday, November 19 at High Center, Messiah College

      Every fall the Susquehanna Youth, Young Women’s and Children’s Chorales join members of the Susquehanna Chorale for a dynamic intergenerational concert. Choirs perform separately and then share the stage for a moving 200-voice finale. Tickets $15 adults in advance, $20 at the door, $5 students. Order online or call 717-691-6036.

    • Serve in the Santa Shop: Dec 3-18

      Santa Shop is a traveling party for inner-city impoverished youth held on-site at churches, head starts, and agencies. The Santa Shop will visit the Vista School in Hershey on Friday, Dec 7. With the addition of music, goofy volunteers, wrapping paper and warm spirits, the day becomes very special as kids "shop" for their family from an array of small donated items. 

      Volunteers are needed to for two- to three-hour shifts during the day, after school, and in the evening. Women, men, couples and teens are welcome. Sign up on the bulletin board as you enter the church by Fellowship Hall or contact Training workshops are offered on Nov 11 and 13 at Paxton Presbyterian Church. The program is sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of Harrisburg’s Paxton Presbyterian Church.
    • Super Successful Family Fall Festival

      The results are in, and the Derry Discovery Days Preschool Fall Family Festival raised over $6,500!!! Big thanks to everyone who planned, helped, donated, and came out to the event. See photos on Facebook.

  • October - 2019
    • Fill Out Your Estimate of Giving Card Online

      You can participate in Derry’s 2018 “This Is Why” stewardship campaign by returning the Estimate of Giving card you received in the mail, or you can complete the card online. Go to the secure page at and your information will be emailed directly to Sandy Miceli, our financial/office manager.

      If you use online giving and the information you enter represents a change from 2018, please be sure to make adjustments on the online giving site.

      Standard paper Estimate of Giving cards are available at the Information Center and in the church office.

    • "Christmas in Ireland" Concert
      4 pm Sunday, Dec 9 • Sanctuary
      This holiday season, we invite you to experience Christmas in Ireland. Come enjoy beautiful folk carols from the Emerald Isle, and join the combined choirs and orchestra in a sing-a-long of favorite carols. The second half of the program features highlights from Handel’s Messiah, which premiered in Dublin. Sharing the stage will be Derry’s 45-voice Sanctuary Choir, the Derry Ringers handbell choir and Derry’s youth and children’s choirs. An outstanding orchestra provides accompaniment.

      Free will offering supports the Arts Alive cultural series.

    • CROP Walk Report #1

      It may have been a grey day, but all the 2018 CROP Walkers had high spirits! Thanks to everyone who walked and donated: our Derry team collected $4,301 toward our $5,000 goal. One-fourth of that amount will be shared with the Hershey and Hummelstown food banks to help our neighbors in need. It’s not too late to contribute: place checks to “CROP/CWS” in the offering plate. Thanks to all who contributed and walked.

    • Support Presbyterian Women's Thank Offering in November
      The PW Thank Offering, collected in the fall of each year, gives women a tangible way to express their gratitude for the special blessings in their lives. Derry Church’s Presbyterian Women invite your support. The Thank Offering provides grants to projects that promote education, provide safe housing, clean water, health care, help for prisoners, justice for women and more. Health ministries account for 40% of the grants.
      One example is Dining With Dignity that will purchase a refrigerated food truck to transport food from local grocery stores and restaurants safely and efficiently to impact hunger in the community around Lexington, Kentucky. The 2018 offering will be received on Sunday, Nov 25, and envelopes are in the pew racks. Make checks payable to Derry Church notated “Thank Offering.
    • Sweet and Salty Treats Needed Nov 11
      Following the 4 pm "Basically Broadway" talent show and stewardship celebration on Sunday, Nov 11, we’ll gather in Fellowship Hall for some sweet and salty snacks. Make, bring or bake your favorite sweet or salty treat and get ready to sample others from Derry Church kitchens.
    • Preschool Silent Auction Ends Nov 4

      The Derry Discovery Days Preschool Silent Auction now under way in the Narthex will conclude at 11:30 am Saturday November 3 during the Discovery Days' Family Fall Festival.  Winners not present will be notified. Cash or check only. Donations of baked goods are appreciated: drop off items marked “DDD” in Fellowship Hall by Friday, November 2. Thanks for your support!

    • Baptized on Oct 28

      Julia Ann, daughter of Derry members Michael and Laura Grudzinski, was baptized in worship on Sunday, Oct 28. Congratulations to the Grudzinski family that includes big sisters Harper and Amelia!

    • NEW FOR NOVEMBER: The Gratitude Group
      Today through Thanksgiving (Nov 22), you're invited to participate in a new Derry Church Gratitude Group on Facebook. Check in each day for the prompt, then let us know what you are thankful for and read what others are thankful for. Let's spread some goodness in this season of thankfulness!
      The Gratitude Group
      Facebook Group · 8 members
      Join Group
      Welcome to The Gratitude Group! Each day until Thanksgiving, check here for a daily prompt that encourages you to think about something you're thankfu...
    • Kristallnacht 80th Anniversary Commemoration: Nov 4
      1 pm Sunday, Nov 4 at the Harrisburg Jewish Community Center, 3301 N. Front Street
      Join Pastor Stephen and friends to commemorate the Night of Broken Glass, which marked the beginning of the Holocaust. Program includes an introduction by March of the Living participants, a short film on current trends in Holocaust education, a panel discussion with children of Holocaust survivors. At 2:15 pm, there will be an interfaith gathering of love and solidarity in coordination with the Community Responders Network. Events are free and open to the entire community.
    • You're Invited: Carlisle Presbytery Ordination on Nov 11
      6 pm Sunday, Nov 11 • McConnellburg Presbyterian Church
      The Presbytery of Carlisle invites you to the Ordination and Installation of Emily McCachren as a Minister of Word and Sacrament and Pastor of the McConnellsburg Presbyterian Church. The church has been searching for a pastor for more than four years, and Carlisle Presbytery is excited to share this special day in the life of our wider church family.
    • Stewardship Update #1

    • Baked Potato Bar Supports Boy Scout Troop 200: Nov 18

      11:30 am Sunday, November 18 in Fellowship Hall, have lunch at Boy Scout Troop 200's baked potato bar. The lunch, also available for take-out, includes a baked potato, deluxe toppings bar, salad, assorted desserts and beverage for $7/person. Funds raised will purchase new camping equipment, defray the cost of camping trips, and provide funding for activities for scouts in financial need. Troop 200 is sponsored by Derry Presbyterian Church.

    • October 2018 Session Highlights
      • Jan Nixon, Chair of the Heritage Committee, presented an update on the committee’s ongoing projects, including efforts to enhance the nearby spring, which first brought worshippers to this site. Jan reminded us that our 300th anniversary is only five years away. To begin the planning process, Session authorized the Heritage Committee to create a committee which will begin to plan events for this historic occasion in the life of Derry Church.
      • Steven Guenther shared the Treasurer’s report which noted that income to the church general fund is $37,000 ahead of budget. 
      • The memberships of the Ario family, Joel, Dee, Sam and Scott, were transferred to United Church of Dorset, Vermont.
      • Baptism for Julia Ann Grudzinski was approved and scheduled for October 28.  
      • Pastor Stephen reviewed the Three for Three noting that God’s Hidden Hands will be presenting puppet skits at ChotoberFest on October 20. A communion service at Masonic Village will be scheduled prior to year end.
      • The Session is reviewing suggested updates to Derry’s By-laws as well as the Mission and Vision statements. These items will be discussed and approved at future meetings.
      • Volunteers are needed to assist with maintaining our cemetery. The Building & Grounds committee will look at establishing a standing sub-committee to coordinate the care of this important area of our church. Interested volunteers should contact the church office.
      • Two youth fundraisers were approved: a flower sale for delivery on Mother’s Day (May 12, 2019) and an Envelope fundraiser in August 2020.
      • A request to serve Communion at the Camp Krislund weekend was approved.
      • To prepare for future facility maintenance projects and replenish the fund after significant capital expenditures, the Session approved transferring $250,000 from the Futures Fund to the Capital Facilities Fund.
      • A Building Use Request to use the Hammond Library on the third Monday of each month beginning in January 2019 (no meeting in June, July and August) for meeting of the Board of Directors of the Cocoa Townes Homeowners Association was approved.
    • Church Directory Now Available Online
      In our ongoing quest to provide you with the latest and greatest Derry Church member directory, we're publishing it online. As new photos and information is added, the online directory is instantly updated, so it's the most current version we can offer you. Click individual photos for contact information. 
      Find the link in the "Quick Links" section of or just click here -- but first you'll need the password. It will be printed in the Sunday bulletin, or request the password from Sue George.
    • Help Christ Lutheran's Health Ministry Fight Colds & Flu
      Throughout November we're collecting facial tissues and over-the-counter cough, cold and flu medications that can be used by our mission partners at Christ Lutheran Church's health ministry in Harrisburg. Drop items in the designated basket in the mission closet by the mailboxes on the lower level. Thanks, Derry!
    • Outdoor Work Day: Nov 10
      8 am - 12 pm Saturday, Nov 10
      Bring your gloves, rakes, clippers and wheelbarrows as we prepare the Derry Church grounds for winter. Some pickup trucks are needed to take cuttings, acorns and leaves to the recycling center before 3 pm. Come join the fun and help keep our church property looking neat and cared for... stay 'til the end to enjoy lunch and fellowship!
    • CROP Walkers, Read This

      Walkers, sign the registration form at the Information Center in the Narthex. Walkers under 18 need a parent’s signature. Please return donations (checks payable to CROP/CWS) to the Information Center by 9:15 am on October 28. Carol Schneidereit will collect all forms and register our church for the CROP Walk.  A group photo will be taken at 1 pm near the start of the walk.

      In the photo below, these Derry friends are modeling the 2018 CROP Walk T-shirt! Get yours on Sunday. Shirts are $5 unless you're age 18 or younger: Pastor Marie will buy one for any young person walking this year. We invite anyone with a CROP T-shirt (any color) to wear it on Sunday and build some excitement for this year's walk!

    • DivorceCare "Surviving the Holidays" Workshop: Nov 25

      6-8 pm Sunday, Nov 25 • Room 2

      Featuring video instruction and group discussion, this seminar offers support, encouragement and advice to deal with the intense pain of separation and divorce during the holiday season. Coffee and dessert will be served. Child care provided on request up to age 10. A workbook is included. 
    • JOY Luncheon: Dec 2

      12 pm Sunday, Dec 2 • Fellowship Hall
      All 60+ are invited for a delicious meal hosted by our Deacons and served by the Pilgrim Fellowship. After lunch, enjoy, musical entertainment in the Sanctuary by our Derry Brass. Free. RSVP to the church office by Nov 25: 717-533-9667.

    • Cookie Walk and Jumbles Shop: Dec 1
      9 am - 12 pm Saturday, Dec 1 • Fellowship Hall
      It’s time to start thinking about that special cookie recipe for the Cookie Walk! Shepherd leaders will contact members of their group next month with details. The Jumbles Shop will be held on a limited basis due to space restrictions. Acceptable items include nice Christmas decorations, jewelry, unused small items suitable for gifts, and collectibles. Items will be collected only the week before the Cookie Walk. Proceeds go towards PW goal for church-wide mission funding. Contact Doris Feil to help with sales or cleanup.