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- Join More than 90 Friends in Our Advent Group on Facebook
The first week of Advent is drawing to a close, and on Facebook we've shared our thoughts on HOPE. It's not too late to join the new conversations around PEACE, JOY and LOVE, and add your reflections on HOPE. Check in each day through Christmas morning for the prompt, then share your comments and read and reflect on what others have to say. We welcome you to join us as we await the One who brings hope, peace, joy and love on Christmas morning.
- November 2019 Session Highlights
- Received six new members on November 17.
- Examined newly elected Ruling Elders and Deacons in preparation for ordination/installation on Jan 12, 2020.
- Received an update from Sara Woodbury and Nicola Burke on the recent activities of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee. After revising the position description earlier this year, the selection process is moving forward. While the APNC has not yet located a specific candidate, they believe that they are on track to find a qualified candidate.
- Approved the use of Fellowship Hall for a Love INC event on January 8, 2020.
- Steven Guenther shared the Treasurer’s report and reviewed the 2020 budget. Information is still being gathered in order to complete next year’s budget. The proposed 2020 budget will be presented and voted upon at the December stated session meeting.
- Pastor Stephen reviewed the Three Goals for Three Years noting that Care “N” Share communion services are scheduled for Londonderry and Masonic Villages. Both youth and adults are participating in the Worship Ensemble, and the 11 pm Christmas Eve service will feature youth and young adults. The Long Range Planning Committee will be initiating the first year of the Youth Servant Scholarship program in January.
- Contracts to purchase and ready the Aeolian Skinner organ for installation at Derry have been signed with Redeemer Church and Thompson-Allen. Dan Stokes is fielding inquiries from churches who are interested in our Reuter organ. To date $385,000 has been pledged to the organ fund.
- Approved a project to refresh, redesign and upgrade the current church website to a WordPress platform. The approximate cost of the project is $15,000 with funds to be taken from the Capital Facilities Fund.
- The Session approved the annual Giving Tree, gift cards for the Penn National race track workers, and the donation of the Christmas Eve offering to Downtown Daily Bread.
- The Mission and Peace Committee presented a proposal for the use of funds from Derry’s Futures Fund. Historically, when Derry has made a significant investment in the church (such as the purchase and installation of a new organ), the church has also tried to make an investment in mission outside of the church. The Mission and Peace Committee is proposing two projects that they believe represent mission initiatives in the wider community that cannot be met through the normal operating budget of the church. The first project would contribute $20,000 to the Dental Clinic at Christ Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, which is the only option for those who have no dental insurance and can’t afford regular dental work. The second is a donation of $10,000 to the Logos Academy in Harrisburg, which is an independent Christ-centered school offering a rich education of mind and soul to the children of Harrisburg. The proposal will be reviewed and voted upon at the December Session meeting.
- Coin Return on Sunday, Dec 8
Your Change 4 Children coins -- collected on Dec 8 at the end of each service -- will support the Alliance for Children Everywhere in Zambia, which offers the Family Preservation Program. Parents bring their children who are hungry, in order to save their children's lives. Malnourished children are gaining weight and the parents have started their own small businesses. Participating families then teach their neighbors the same skills to earn money. Return coins in zip-closed bags.
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. 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 2020.
- Watch and Discuss the Film, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" on Jan 6
5:30 pm Monday, Jan 6 in the John Elder Classroom • Bring your dinner or a snack
You're invited to join the Monday night study group to watch and discuss a documentary that paints a portrait of the philosophy and work of cardigan-wearing children's entertainer Fred Rogers, star of the popular show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." A Presbyterian minister, Mister Rogers creatively communicated themes of empathy and acceptance using a colorful cast of puppets and friends. Along with archival footage, Rogers' contemporaries and cast-mates reflect on his legacy.
- Extra Hands Needed on Dec 21
We are all looking forward to the Christmas concert at 4 pm Dec 21. We're expecting a full house, and volunteers are needed for ushering, greeting and directing cars as guests arrive. Contact Nancy Kitzmiller (717-566-4138) to sign up. Thanks, Derry!
- "Big Questions" Bible Study Begins Jan 5
9:15 am Sunday, Jan 5 in the John Elder Classroom
Have you struggled with big questions in your faith? Do the teachings you grew up with just not jive with you anymore? Do you just enjoy theological discussion? Then consider attending "Big Questions," a new discussion-based adult bible study led by Andrew Barna. The class will be a safe place for a small group to share our personal journeys through the big questions of faith.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols: Dec 15
4 pm Sunday, Dec 15 at Pine Street Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg
Scripture and music are intricately woven together in the majestic setting of Pine Street’s sanctuary. The service will begin with a 30-minute organ recital featuring guest organist Matthew McMahan from Decatur, Georgia, playing the 83 rank Ernest M. Skinner and M.P. Möller pipe organ.
The service will begin with the traditional opening carol “Once In Royal David’s City.” A brass quintet, members of The Central Pennsylvania Oratorio Singers, and Pine Street’s Chancel Choir under the direction of the church’s new Minister of Music and Worship Joseph W. Garrison will lead the service. Donations appreciated. Free parking in the South Street garage.
- Stewardship Update #9
- Silent Auction Closes 11:30 am Sunday
It's not too late to place your bid on any of the silent auction items on display in the Narthex: bidding closes following the second service on Sunday, Dec 8. All proceeds will support mission trips next year.
- Young People Needed to Lead Worship 11 pm Dec 24
The old folks and the young kids will already be tucked in bed, but not you. You live in a world where the Christmas party is just getting started at 11 pm. That's why we need youth, college students and young adults to help lead worship at 11 pm Tuesday, Dec 24. Contact Pastor Stephen to volunteer.
- December Featured Items for Love INC's Personal Care Closet
For our final video promoting Love INC's Personal Care Closet items, talented actor Ben Folts returns to breathe life into ordinary containers of baby powder and diaper cream. Thanks to all the creative and talented puppeteers who helped to make this project possible over the past 12 months. Watch your favorites on this playlist
- Light and Life to All: Christmas Concert
4 - 5:30 pm Saturday, Dec 21 in the Sanctuary • Free will offering • An Arts Alive event
“Light and Life to All” is a 70-minute celebration of the light of Christ among us. Conducted by Dan Stokes, the concert will include the Sanctuary Choir with youth and children’s voices, Derry Ringers handbell choir, guest soloist Amy Yovanovich, and orchestra. The program features heartfelt spirituals, a tender Scandinavian carol, a Zulu song of celebration and hauntingly beautiful Appalachian melodies woven together with the singing of familiar carols. The concert closes with a beloved Derry favorite, “The Dream Isaiah Saw,” with stirring brass and percussion accompaniment.
- Silent Auction Opens on Sunday
Support mission trips in 2020 (and do some early Christmas shopping) during the week of Dec 1-8 when a assortment of items will be on display in the Narthex, including handcrafted items by Derry Church artisans and crafters. Bidding will close following the second worship service on Dec 8.
- Expecting Wonder and Joy: A Candlelight Christmas Concert
8 pm Friday, Dec 13 at Messiah College • 8 pm Saturday, Dec 14 at Elizabethtown College • 4 pm Sunday, Dec 15 at Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg
The Susquehanna Chorale's annual Christmas concert features Elaine Hagenberg's "O Come Emmanuel," John Rutter's "Carol of the Magi," Ola Gjeilo's "Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium)," spirituals and more. Derry Church's own Greg Harris sings with the choir. Read more & order tickets.
- Stewardship Update #8
Did You Know?
Food Bank Sunday on the second Sunday of every month is the designated day to drop off non-perishable foods for the Hershey Food Bank... but donations are accepted any time: find collection baskets/containers at our main entrances. Here's a list of the Hershey Food Bank's most-needed items.