News Archives

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  • February - 2018
    • Souper Bowl Report

      A total of $594 plus 60 canned goods were collected on Sunday for the SouperBowl of Caring… thanks, Derry! Proceeds will benefit local food ministry out-reach programs supported by the church: the Hershey Food Bank, Downtown Daily Bread, and Racetrack Chaplaincy of America. Nationally, more than $2 million has been raised by more than 1,480 groups with more reporting daily.

    • It's Time to Order Easter Lilies

      Orders are now being accepted for Easter lilies that will decorate the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 1. 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: Monday, March 6.

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

      If you still have the palm branches from last year's Palm Sunday service, bring them to church by Tuesday, February 13. Look for a palm collection basket in the Narthex by the information 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 7 pm service on Ash Wednesday, February 14 in the Chapel.

    • Directories and Annual Reports Available

      Did you get your copy of the 2018 phone/address directory and the 2017 annual report that was presented last Sunday? Copies are available at the information center in the Narthex and in the church office. One per family, please.

    • “Baroque Palace” Concert

      4 pm Sunday, March 4 in the Sanctuary, featuring the Hershey Baroque Chamber Players under the direction of Sean McCarthy. Enjoy audience favorites such as Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to name just two of the “greatest hits” Sean McCarthy and his virtuoso ensemble have planned. Free will offering supports Arts Alive programming.

    • The Last Week: Walking with Jesus from Palm Sunday through Easter

      This Lent we will be walking with Jesus through Holy Week, according to the Gospel of Mark, starting with his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey surrounded by crowds waving palms. We’ll get to see day by day what Jesus said and did during his last week before his death and resurrection. Some of the common stories we hear about Jesus happened in this last week, but we don’t always get to hear and experience them in this context. Please join us each Sunday from February 18 through March 25 as we walk with Jesus through Jerusalem to the cross and to the empty tomb. 

    • Lunch ‘n Learn About Advance Planning: Feb 15

      12 pm Thursday, February 15 in the Fellowship Hall at Londonderry Village. Timothy McGowan, Director of Pre-Arrangements & Family Services at Finkenbinder Family Funeral Homes will present “10 Reasons” for starting the conversation about final wishes and making your wishes known. There will also be time for questions and answers. Order a lunch, bring your own, or just come to hear our speaker. RSVP to Lisa Thomas at 717-838-5406 ext. 3052.

    • Piano/Oboe/Violin/Viola Concert

      3-4:30 pm Sunday, February 25 at First United Methodist Church of Hershey. Mod3 is a versatile performing group consisting of oboes, violin/viola and piano. The term “mod” is reflective of the group’s ability to transform itself (or modularize) based on the literature chosen for the occasion. The New York City based Mod3 plays exciting standard literature written for variable instrumentation as well as new works and arrangements tailored for the group such as Brahm’s 3rd Symphony and movie music themes by John Williams. Mod3 aims to play music that is both musically fulfilling and engaging to any audience regardless of age or exposure to the traditional medium. Read more about the musicians: Will Curry, Carol Ann Aicher and Kevin Chavez.

    • Pondering Life & Faith with Philip Yancey: Mar 17

      7-9 pm Saturday, March 17 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester. Philip Yancey has explored the most basic questions and deepest mysteries of the Christian faith. He is a speaker who challenges minds and inspires listeners.  Whether you are a fan of his many books, or just someone on your own spiritual journey, you will appreciate his honest reflections on his life experiences and faith questions.  He will invite us to ponder with him God’s grace through Jesus Christ. A book signing follows. His books include Vanishing Grace, What Ever Happened to the Good News?, The Jesus I Never Knew and Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? $15/person. Register online.

  • January - 2018
    • Calling All Men Who are Physically and Spiritually Hungry

      The annual Lenten men’s breakfast gatherings will begin at 6:30 am on Wednesday, February 14 (no breakfast on February 7) and will continue each following Wednesday during the Lenten Season. Our theme will be the “heroes” in our life as Rev. Larry Van Hise leads the group in contemplating the death-defying ministry of Jesus.  Our chef Charlie Koch is rumored to have descended from a long line of breakfast wranglers starting with the chuck wagon cook on the first Oregon Trail wagon train. Great chow and fellowship: come join us!

    • HVAC Update #2

      To date the HVAC project has made good progress. The very large chiller, tower water pumps and quite a bit of pipe has been removed from the building. The electricians and system controls people are wiring the building to give us the control, monitoring and efficiency we asked for through all four seasons of the year.

      New piping is being installed and final layout for fresh air ducting is mostly complete. The first order of new heat pumps is arriving this week and will be installed soon.

      The old cooling tower will be craned off the roof and some other equipment will be lifted into place on the roof during the first week of February. A second crane lift will happen near the end of February to place final large equipment on roof.

      The overall project will go through spring, once the boiler can be shut down and replaced.

      The Building & Grounds Committee and the contractor have been doing a good job of controlling the disturbance to church activity while moving forward with this building-wide major improvement.

    • Welcome Rachael Schirato!

      Derry Church welcomes Rachael Schirato, our new Sunday morning and Tuesday evening nursery caregiver. Rachael will join Sue Fox to care for our youngest children. She is a Hershey native and 2017 graduate of Hershey High School. Rachael has assisted with children's programming in the elementary school and in a Philadelphia inner-city school. She is a Hershey School of Dance ballet dancer who enjoys cooking, reading and writing. She attends HACC now and will enter the University of Pittsburgh in the fall as a business/pre-law major with the goal of becoming an attorney focused on social change. 

    • February 2018 Mission Core Value: Homelessness

      By Lynn Porter, Mission & Peace Committee Member

      I don’t watch much TV, but recently a commercial got my attention. A familiar tune played “Don’t You (Forget About Me)"... some of you may recognize it from the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club, where the Scottish rock band Simple Minds performed the song. In the commercial I learned that Willis Earl Beal was covering it.  His somber version stresses the need to volunteer in one’s community, especially when it comes to the homeless. It is poignant!  Mr. Beal was once homeless himself.

      For many years Derry Church has been committed to aiding the homeless in various ways. From financial support to hands-on volunteering, our church has a long track record of assisting the homeless. In 2018 we continue to support Family Promise of the Harrisburg Capital Region, Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families, Bethesda Mission, Christian Churches United, and Delta House/Gaudenzia. You'll be hearing more about these organizations this month, and you'll meet a representative from Family Promise at the Soup, Salad & Sandwich lunch following the annual meeting on Sunday, February 4.

    • Fenicci's Fundraiser Benefits Derry Discovery Days: Feb 19

      11 am - midnight Monday, February 19 at Fenicci's Restaurant, 102 Chocolate Avenue, Hershey. When you have a meal at Fenicci's Restaurant on Monday, February 19, 10% of the cost of your food order (eat in or take out) will be donated to Derry Discovery Days Preschool. No forms needed. Extensive menu from pizza and salads to burgers and seafood. Come and support Discovery Days and enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family!

    • CWS Blanket Offering

      Envelopes are in pews now for those who would like to contribute to Church World Service's Blankets, an offering supported by our Presbyterian Women during the month of February. Last year thousands of blankets were distributed in 19 U S states. The Burchett family in Appalachia couldn’t keep warm in their home, so they hung the thick wool blankets from CWS in front of the broken windows. 

      We have been blessed with so much, and we have much to share. Each blanket costs $10, but these blankets can be a vital resource for someone needing support, warmth and encouragement. Mark your checks “Blanket Fund." Please be generous.

    • Souper Bowl of Caring

      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 $640. Can we beat that total this year? All proceeds will be donated to local food banks. Check out two videos on Facebook produced by our youth!

      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.


    • Fantastic Isaac's Fundraiser, with More to Come: Feb 22 & Mar 22!

      Thanks to all who came out for dinner at Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches last Thursday... you helped to raise $262 to support the Presbyterian Education Board’s school for boys in Sargodha, Pakistan. Enjoying good food with good friends warmed up a winter evening: Derry friends and families filled the majority of tables. You have two more opportunities to participate between 5-9 pm on Thursday, February 22 and Thursday, March 22. You can download forms for February 22  or pick up from the insert rack. Remember, 25% of your food & beverage purchase benefits the school when you turn in a form as you pay.

    • Community Worship Services during Lent

      Once again the Hershey Ministerium is hosting a series of noontime worship services beginning at 12:10 pm on Ash Wednesday, February 14 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). 

    • Cupcakes and Jello Salads Needed Feb 21

      For the Hershey Ministerium Lenten luncheon hosted by Derry’s Presbyterian Women on Wednesday, February 21 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 February 21. Volunteers are needed to help prepare the meal, serve and/or clean up: please contact Sharon Henderson, Joan Theal or Doris Feil.

    • Attention Parents of Second Graders

      Are you planning to have your child take part in the Children & Sacraments class on March 26 and participate in the Maundy Thursday communion service on March 29? Your child must be baptized in order to receive communion. Plan now to attend the two-week baptism class on Sunday mornings, February 25 and March 4 and have your child baptized during worship on Sunday, March 11. In the class you’ll find out what Presbyterians believe about baptism. RSVP to Debbie Hough (717-533-9667)

    • Presbyterian Women's Tea

      2 pm Sunday, February 25 in the Lounge for all women and girls. We'll share memories of games we played as children, or bring a favorite game. RSVP to Doris Feil by February 22.

    • Learn About Baptism

      9-10 am Sundays, February 25 and March 4. 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 11 or a later date. RSVP to Marie Buffaloe by Wednesday, February 21. Learn more in this article on baptism published in Presbyterians Today magazine.

    • Have Dinner at Isaacs TONIGHT!

      You're invited to support the building of a school for boys in Sargodha, Pakistan: have dinner at the Hummelstown Isaac's Restaurant between 5 pm and 9 pm Thursday, January 25 ... when it's time to pay your bill, hand in this flyer 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!

      Two more opportunities to participate in this fundraiser are on February 22 and March 22. Save the dates!

    • VBS Save the Dates!

      Mark your calendars now for August  6-10, when Derry Church's annual Vacation Bible School gets under way with the theme of everyday heroes. More information will be coming soon for volunteers and participants.

    • 14th Annual Reducing Cancer in Our Community: A Public Forum

      Saturday, March 10 at the University Conference Center at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.  Anyone with an interest in health-related issues is invited to attend, including patients and their families, patient advocate groups, teachers, and community leaders and organizations. The program opens at 8:30 am with check-in and continental breakfast. Main topics are Tumors of the Nervous System, Environment and Cancer, and Cancer Screening, Surveillance and Prevention in Pennsylvania. Program concludes 2:15 pm. There is no fee to attend, but registration is required.

    • Synod Treasurer Chantal Atnip to Stand for PCUSA Moderator

      It is with great honor that the Synod of the Trinity announces that our treasurer, Chantal Atnip, is standing for the position of moderator for this year's 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis. Chantal, who has worked for the Synod since 2005, is a ruling elder and clerk of session at Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg. Chantal's story of feeling God's call to this position is a great one, and her unique approach to the position sets her apart from the rest. "I think we are in, again, a period of time where we need to discover what it means to be Christian, what it means to be Presbyterian, what it means to live our faith in the world that we are in now."

      Learn more about Chantal and her desire to seek this national position. 

      Meet Chantal and hear her vision for her role as moderator of our denomination, 1:30 pm  Tuesday, January 30 and 7 pm  Tuesday, February 6 at the Presbytery of Carlisle office, 3040 Market St., Camp Hill.

    • Make Some Fleece Blankets on Sunday Evening!

      7 pm Sunday, January 28 in room 7. All ages are invited for a fun evening of making knotted fleece blankets to help homeless people in Harrisburg keep warm. Snacks provided! Hosted by the Christian Education committee.

    • January 2018 Session Highlights
      • Elected Kathy Yingst as Clerk of Session and Steven Guenther as Treasurer for 2018.
      • Received the Treasurer's Report, Board of Deacons' Report, and Staff Reports.
      • Established a Session Retreat on Sunday, February 25 from 12:00-2:30pm.
      • Elected all active Elders as  Presbytery Commissioners for 2018.
      • Approved use of the church van for the youth ski trip.
      • Approved the formation of an alternative worship subcommittee of Worship and Spiritual Life and approved dates for alternative worship services (called Engage) for 2018.
      • Approved a revised Investment Policy Statement from Stewardship and Finance that dealt with investment strategies for bonds.
      • Approved receiving the four PCUSA denominational mission offerings in 2018.
      • Approved Pastor Stephen's 2018 Terms of Call for vote at the annual meeting. The Terms of Call are the same as the 2017 Terms of Call except $1000 was moved from the mileage expense account to the profession expense account. This change does not affect the bottom line for the Terms of Call.
      • Approved Debbie Hough's sabbatical proposal for July and August of 2018. Her sabbatical will be focused on organizing and working with the S.H.E Project and organizing the church libraries. She will be focused on these projects and not engaged in her normal duties as CE Director during the sabbatical.
      • Approved new church credit cards for the Church Financial Secretary, Business Manager, and Youth Director
    • Friends of SHE Needs YOU!

      All throughout January, Derry Church has been focusing on different organizations that exist in order to empower women throughout the world. Derry has been supporting the SHE project in Pakistan for over five years. A group of committed women at Derry met and formed Friends of SHE to share the passion of their sisters in Pakistan who want to bring a better life to their families through the power of education and life skills training. We believe that we stand on the shoulders of Presbyterian women who have gone before us, who saw education as the answer for Pakistan, and who helped to establish schools there in the 1800s through the Presbyterian Education Board.

      There is so much more to this story and many opportunities for you to help: please contact Debbie Hough  or Nicola Burke. We will be setting up an informational meeting with those interested sometime within the next couple of weeks.  We look forward to hearing from you!

    • A Message from Rev Mark Englund-Krieger

      In the summer of 2005, Pastor Dick Houtz called me at home in Pittsburgh. In his role as the chairperson of Carlisle Presbytery’s Executive Presbyter search committee, Dick was calling to invite me to the position of Executive Presbyter. That telephone call started the beautiful opportunity I have had to serve this Presbytery, and started my relationship with Derry Church. Soon my family moved here and became active in the ministry and mission of Derry Church. Our boys were blessed by Derry’s youth ministry, Sunday school, Confirmation classes, and trips to Nicaragua. On free Sunday mornings I often worshiped with my family at Derry. Pastors Dick and Marie intuitively knew that when I was at Derry on a Sunday morning I was not “working” and I did not want to discuss Presbytery stuff. For these years now, Derry Church has been a generous, committed, leading congregation in our Presbytery, and a safe haven for me personally. Thank you!

      Now I am delighted to announce that I am stepping aside from my position as Executive Presbyter to serve as the transitional pastor at our Lower Marsh Creek congregation in Gettysburg. In a sentence, this move is simply my deep desire to be the pastor of a congregation again. The Lower Marsh Creek congregation is one of the great, small congregations of our Presbytery. They have a heritage, like Derry, going back to the first Scots Irish immigrants. The congregation has a wonderful, warm, open spirit and a commitment to hospitality. Such hospitality was powerfully expressed during the bloody days of Gettysburg when the church served as a hospital.        

      While I learn the lay of the land in Gettysburg my wife, Kris, will continue her position at Hershey Medical Center, and will continue as a member of Derry Church. Soon, in my new role as a fellow pastor and colleague, I look forward to joining Pastors Stephen and Marie and Derry Church in shared commitments to a larger mission and the larger church. We will always be together and connected in our beloved Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

    • February Coat Drive Warms Those in Need

      Derry Church's mission focus in February is helping the homeless. One way you can help is by bringing in a new coat for a child, youth, or adult. Coats for children and youth will be used by Derry Township schools for children in need. Coats for adults will be handed out the next time Derry works at Bethesda's Mobile Mission in Harrisburg. Others will be distributed to our mission partners including Interfaith Shelter and Family Promise.

      Drop off new coats in the closet near the entrance to the Sanctuary that’s closest to bathrooms. You’ll see a “Coat Drive” sign on the closet. Thank you for helping us to care for  our homeless neighbors!

    • A Warm Welcome to New Church Officers

      On Sunday, January 14, 13 new church officers were installed: Skip Becker, Kristine Elliott, Larry Espenshade, Bob Ganse, Dennis Hosler, Shel Parker, Jill Provins and Susan Stagg to the office of Elder, and Patty Gingrich, Mike Reed, Eleanor Schneider, Mark Verner and Pam van Wyk to the office of Deacon. See photos on Facebook.

      A big thank-you to departing church officers, Elders Jack Henderson, Lori Klucker, Greg Poland, Craig Smith, M.E. Steelman and Ron Vance, and Deacons Loretta Blaydon, Kelly Mehaffie, Judy McMillen, Lily Shade and Sally Stultz. Sincere thanks for your time, hard work, and commitment to the church.

      Wondering who are currently serving Derry Church as Elders and Deacons? This bulletin board outside the Sanctuary and near the nursery suite helps you to match faces to names.

    • Want to be in a Show?

      Auditions for Music & Arts at Derry’s spring musical production, Moses and the Freedom Fanatics, will be held 5:30 pm Tuesday, January 23 in the choir loft. All talented children in grades 3 – 6 are encouraged to try out. Since all Presbyterian children are talented, this includes everyone!  Pick up a script from the choir room, choose a role, and be prepared to read and/or sing.  Dance experience is a big plus!

      This fully staged, costumed production will be presented in worship at 10:30 am Sunday, June 3. Mandatory dress rehearsal will be held 9 am - 12 pm Saturday, June 2.

      This wonderful musical by Hal Hopson is a re-telling of the biblical story of the Exodus. In addition to the Celebration Choir, the show will also feature our Carol Choir in two different roles: plagues of frogs, and then insects! Members of our Chrysalis Youth Choir and Jubilation Ringers will perform in the percussion orchestra that accompanies the show. The congregation and all participants will not soon forget this dramatic story of God’s faithfulness in leading the children of Israel out of bondage.

      For additional information, please call Sean McCarthy at 533-9667, ext. 112.

    • January 2018 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 12/31/17

        Actual Budgeted
      Income YTD $1,309,362 $1,283,499
      Expenses YTD $1,190,854 $1,304,236
      Surplus (Deficit) YTD $   118,508 ( $20,737)


      I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and the committees for their stewardship of our resources over the past year. We ended the year with a surplus of $118,508 as contributions were about $26,000 over budget and expenses were $113,000 under budget. We started the year with a unrestricted, undesignated net assets defecit of $116,000, so with the surplus this year the defecit has been erased.

      Committees are committed to maintaining a balanced budget in 2018 and we are pretty confident that even with some increases next year, the budget will be close to balanced. One item to note: contributions for the year (both budgeted and actual) include $53,000 from the Anderson Trust, which has been designated first for payments on the HVAC mortgage in the coming years. Look for more detail of the church's financial position in the annual report. Please let me know if you have any questions about the church's finances. Steven Guenther, Treasurer

    • Thank you, Derry!
      • Derry’s Christmas card offering raised $646 for our mission outreach dinners in support of Downtown Daily Bread, the Racetrack ministry, and Delta Housing.
      • The Giving Tree provided dozens of gifts to the Derry Township Social Ministry, and 40 $25 gift cards to workers at Penn National Racetrack. In addition, $5,076 was received for the Christmas Joy Offering which benefits retired clergy and church workers, and PCUSA supported racial/ethnic colleges.
      • The special Christmas Eve Offering was $5126 which was divided equally between the Friends of PEB/Sargodha School in Pakistan and Allison Hill Community Ministry in Harrisburg.

      Thank you for your generous contributions this past Christmas season!

    • Young Adult Volunteers Needed for Autism Support Group

      The Division of Autism Services at Penn State College of Medicine seeks eight volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 to assist with an ongoing social group which aims to improve social skills in young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism. Volunteers will serve as a peer by socially interacting with these young adults in a variety of activities on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm now through April 30. Group sessions will take place at Penn State Hershey’s Psychiatry Clinic on Northeast Drive in Hershey. Contact Jesse Northridge (717-531-0003  x285974).

    • Can You Spare a Shoebox?

      Ten shoeboxes are needed for the Pilgrim Fellowship lock-in on February 9-10. Please drop off any size shoebox in Debbie Hough's office by February 6. Thanks, Derry!

    • Good Cooks and Drivers Needed

      The Family Promise shelter will be returning to Hershey's Seventh Day Adventist Church during the week of February 4. Volunteers are needed to transport the families, and to provide evening meals. Derry’s mission focus for February happens to be homelessness.  Here is a wonderful opportunity to provide some hands-on support to homeless families. 

    • Personal Care Items Needed

      Love INC’s Personal Care Closet Ministry is in urgent need of the following items:

      Liquid Laundry Detergent

      Regular Size Bar Soap

      Men’s & Women’s Deodorant

      Paper Towels

      Toilet Paper


      If you, your family, your Sunday School Class or Small Group would like to donate any of the above items, please collect them and place in your church’s Love INC Collection Box or bring them to the Love INC office across the street from Derry Church. Thank you!

    • 19th Annual Chili Cook-off

      6:30-9:30 pm Friday, February 23 in Fellowship Hall. There’s no charge to attend, just bring a dish to pass: your favorite salad, dessert or chili recipe. Informal judging will determine winners in the chili and dessert categories. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes...following the meal, join the fun by participating in a variety of line and square dances led by caller Dan Prosser. Invite your friends and neighbors! Hosted by the Membership & Involvement Committee.

    • Annual Meeting on February 4

      The annual meeting of the congregation will be held following 10:30 am worship on Sunday, February 4. You’ll have an opportunity to review the 2017 financial statement and 2018 budget. Stay afterwards for a soup, salad and sandwich lunch in Fellowship Hall ($7): first come, first served.The annual report will be ready for pickup the week before, on Sunday, January 28.

    • New! Video Profiles of Derry Members

      Throughout the coming year, we’ll be producing short videos that give you a chance to meet Derry members and learn more about their skills and talents. It’s one way for us to get to know each other. First up is Ben Folts, confirmed at Derry Church in 2011. He’s the son of Tom and Debbi Kees-Folts. Thanks to the Folts family and Grace Gavazzi for participating. If you know someone who would be a good candidate for a video profile, send their name and contact information to Sue George.

    • Terrific Tuesday Kitchen Subs Needed

      Do you have some free time from 4-7 pm on Tuesdays? Helpers are needed on occasion to support the Terrific Tuesday kitchen crew when someone on the regular team is not available. Tasks will be assigned on arrival, anything from assisting with food preparation and serving to setup and cleanup. No experience necessary. This program runs September through March. Contact Loretta Chubb to be added to the sub list. Thanks, Derry!

    • Safety Presentation by Derry Twp Police

      Following 10:30 am worship on Sunday, January 21, Police Sargeant Anthony Clements of the Derry Twp Police Department will give a presentation in the Sanctuary on how to prepare for, and respond to, an active shooter situation. Bring your questions. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

    • More Star Gifts Ready!

      Star gifts -- star-shaped pieces of brightly colored paper with a word printed on it -- were distributed in worship on Epiphany Sunday, January 7. If you did not receive a star gift, more are available in a basket at the Information Center in the Narthex. Let us know on social media what word you received by posting and tagging #derrystargifts. 

    • Fantasy Football Winners

      This year Derry hosted its first ever Fantasy Football league with 14 teams. This year’s winner was Pastor Stephen. Kate Valenziano finished second in her first ever fantasy football team. Jim Pease finished third this year. Thank you to everyone who played. We’ll have a league next season for anyone who would like to take part in the 2018 fantasy football season.

    • Saturday Night Bluegrass Worship

      Saturday night worship is back by popular demand. Join us for a casual, engaging worship experience at 5 pm Saturday, February 3 in the Sanctuary. We’ll worship with bluegrass music and old southern gospel classics like Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, I’ll Fly Away, and Standing on the Promises, and we’ll hear some bluegrass-style songs from Mumford and Sons and the Rend Collective. Liz Gawron will be doing a live painting during the service: she’ll start painting when we begin and finish at the end of worship with a painting inspired by the night’s worship. Arrive by 4:45 pm to enjoy some pre-service bluegrass music.

      There will be no 8 am service on Sunday, February 4. Church school and the 10:30 am service will be held as usual, with the annual meeting following worship. A Soup, Salad & Sandwiches lunch is available following the meeting.

    • Orange Day is Thursday, January 25

      Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported at last week’s trombone concert that 102 women were killed in Pennsylvania by a spouse or companion last year. PCADV works for prevention, intervention and change in the problem of domestic violence. Wear orange or an orange ribbon to show support for this organization and others working to end exploitation of women and children.

    • Smashing Success: Jan 5 Trombone Concert

      The Twelfth Night of Christmas Trombone Choir concert was a tremendous success! On Friday, January 5, nine trombone players gathered at Derry Church to perform a concert to raise money for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).  With a packed house, a free will offering during the concert raised $5,400 -- and when added to other monies collected in honor of the event, about $10,000 was raised for PCADV. Derry members Tracy and Nicola Burke were among the local musicians who performed. A huge thanks to Derry for hosting the concert!

    • Organ Concerts on Jan 14 & 21

      4 pm Sunday, January 14: Daniel Dorty, Director of Music at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church will showcase the recently installed organ at Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, Shippensburg. 

      2:30 pm Sunday, January 21, a "New Organ" celebration concert at Paxton Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, featuring organist Dan Miller, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Beaverton, Oregon. Mr. Miller has recorded 22 organ compact discs. He's in his 19th year at Rodgers Instruments, one of the world’s leading organ builders, in Hillsboro, Oregon, as Rodgers Artist and Tonal Professional. Additionally, Mr. Miller an Adjunct Professor of Organ at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

    • Worship on Ash Wednesday

      7 pm Wednesday, February 14 in the Chapel. 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.

      Deacon and Session meetings will be held on Wednesday, February 21.

    • February Film Series at the Hershey Public Library

      2 pm Saturdays, February 3-24 in meeting room 1 at the Hershey Public Library. Sponsored by Friends of the Hershey Public Library and hosted by Derry member Steve Ballard, the winter series is a tribute to Roger Moore. “Bullseye” will be screened on February 3, “The Spy Who Loved Me” on February 10, “The Cannonball Run” on February 17 and “Live and Let Die” on February 24. No charge to attend... free movie-themed snacks will be served.

    • Sign Up for the 2018 Women’s Retreat

      Registration forms are now available online and at the insert rack in the Narthex for the March 2-4 women’s retreat at Kenbrook Bible Camp in nearby Lebanon. 

      This year's theme, "Let's Go to Three Pines," invites us to enter the world created by Louise Penny in her mystery book series featuring Chief Inspector Gamache. While it's helpful if you've read at least one book in the 13-book series, no advance reading is required by participants. 

      Leading this year's retreat is our own Debbie Hough and her Christian Educator colleagues, Joyce MacKichan Walker and Carol Wehrheim of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ. Joyce is a Canadian native.

    • Cub Scout Spaghetti Dinner: Feb 11

      12 pm Sunday, February 11 in Fellowship Hall. Enjoy salad, bread, spaghetti, beverage and dessert for $7 per person. Take-out available. Proceeds support Pack 200 sponsored by Derry Church. RSVP for dine in and take-out by Wednesday, February 7 by signing up online or using forms available at the insert rack.

    • Confirmation Class Schedule Change

      Confirmation Class for 8th and 9th graders will not be held in January. Class resumes 9 am Sunday, February 4 in room 9. There will be a field trip on Sunday, February 11.

    • January 2018 Mission Core Value: Empowerment, Equality and Justice of Women

      This year the Mission and Peacemaking Committee is doing something different: to involve the entire congregation in mission and peacemaking, we have identified Derry’s Missional Core Values. In coming months we plan to highlight each core value and the non-profit organizations that Derry supports who are aligned with that value. Then most importantly, we are going to give you opportunities to get plugged into our support of these missions.

      In January our core value is the empowerment, equality and justice of women. Derry Church recognizes and embraces women as leaders both in our church and around the world. This is evidenced by our support of organizations like the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, the Presbyterian Education Board and Friends of SHE. These organizations provide hands-on advocacy and services at the grassroots level by providing shelter, education, vocational opportunities, protections from human trafficking, legal services and ultimately self-esteem both here in the greater Harrisburg area and across the globe in Pakistan.

      On January 14 you'll have the opportunity to hear from our own Debbie Hough at 9:15 am in room 7. She traveled to Pakistan in late 2017 and brings back stories and pictures to share with us of her time at PEB and SHE organizations. 

      We plan to have a representative from the Harrisburg YWCA in worship with us on January 28 so that you can hear more about their work. In Issues Class on January 21 and 28, we will be discussing diversity and ways to fight hate. The equality of some is the fight for the equality of all.

      Derry is full of women and men who embrace the empowerment of women. However, as we have seen in the news on an almost daily basis, the battle is not over for women’s equality at work, at home and in the receipt of services/education. Derry’s Mission and Peacemaking Committee invites you to join us this month in class, in worship, on social media and in service as we focus on the empowerment, equality and justice of women.

      “If you are not using your comfort, position, influence, and privilege to advocate for those who have less of those things – you’re wasting them.” – John Pavlovitz

    • Star Gifts Are Coming

      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, January 7 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 January 7 to receive your Star Gift for 2018!  

    • December 2017 Session Highlights
      • Met with Christopher Houtz to review his progress in seminary and voted unanimously to recommend to the Carlisle Presbytery that Christopher be enrolled as a Candidate in his preparation to be ordained as a teaching elder.
      • Examined Skip Becker as a newly elected Ruling Elder in preparation for his installation on Jan 14, 2018.
      • Received monthly financial statements from the Treasurer and reports from Derry’s staff, Board of Deacons and all committees. Approved minutes of the Nov 15, 2017 Session meeting, and Nov 15, 2017 Called Trustee meeting.
      • Removed 31 out-of-state members from the Active Membership roll due to relocation.
      • Discussed and approved a proposal for Derry to be a Field Education teaching site for a student-minister from Lancaster or Gettysburg seminaries, with funding for the program coming from the Futures Fund.
      • Accepted an additional contribution to the Oak Fund restricted account and approved changes to address the use and management of that fund.
      • Reviewed and approved the 2018 preliminary budget in preparation for the Congregational Annual Meeting.
      • Approved 2018 Communion dates.
      • Approved the addition of Brad Rhine as a member of the Building & Grounds Committee.
      • Approved a request from the Mission and Peace Committee to hold fundraisers at Isaacs on Jan 28, Feb 22, and Mar 22, proceeds of which will benefit the Sargodha School in Pakistan.
      • Approved the special 2018 Offerings/Fundraisers as submitted by Presbyterian Women.
      • Approved church use requests from Judy McMillan for continued use of Fellowship Hall on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 6:15 pm for Zumba Fitness classes and from Jim George for the use of Fellowship Hall on Friday mornings from 5:45 to 7:30 am for pickup volleyball.
      • Thanked those Ruling Elders finishing their terms for their dedication and leadership over the past three years.
    • Pilgrim Lock-In Feb 9-10

      6:30 pm February 9 (no dinner) to 8 am February 10 (breakfast included) at Derry Church. Children in grades 3-5 are invited to experience “A Night at the Church.” RSVP to by Wednesday, January 31.

    • Do you like to paint?

      Love INC of Greater Hershey is in need of two volunteers to freshen some walls in the Love INC office. No art skills required: it's just standard monochrome wall painting. Please call the Love INC office (717-835-0101) and let them know when you are available.

    • New Women’s Bible Study Begins January 15

      At 7 pm Monday, January 15 in the John Elder Classroom, the Monday night women’s Bible study will begin Adam Hamilton’s book, Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn't Say. Pastor Stephen led a study of this book in the fall, so if you missed it (or want to take another look), please join us.

      This book explores popular sayings that miss the point. They are simple phrases: “God helps those who help themselves,” “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” and others. They sound Christian - like something you might find in the Bible. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. Join the discussion as we search for the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés to the message and ministry of Jesus. The first week is an introduction, then the study will continue for five weeks (January 22 & 29, February 5, 19 & 26). Led by Debbie Hough.

    • January 2018 PW Update & Thanks

      Arise, shine, your light has come! The 2018 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women will be held August 2-5 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Hotel. Full registration is $425 and rooms at the hotel start at $144 per night (up to 4 people). A registration booklet is posted on the PW bulletin board and more are available in PW mailbox. The booklet provides more details as well as program and educational opportunities. Registration opens Jan. 15.

      The PW Coordinating Team Thanks...

      • All who contributed to the special offerings, especially the Thank Offering of $2,256.
      • Those who sewed hygiene bags for the Domestic Violence Center and those who contributed the items to fill them.
      • All who contributed to the Cookie Walk/Jumbles Shop which raised $4300. All this, less expenses, will go towards the 2018 mission goal of $4600. Many thanks to those who set up, worked in the kitchen, priced items, sold and bought items, and to Nancy Kitzmiller and Sally McKinney for chairing Jumbles Shop. Extra items were donated to Santa Shops and Jubilee Ministries.
      • All who worked as elves for the Paxton PW Santa Shops.
      • Contributors of Boxtops valued at $159.70 for the Samuel J Green Charter School in New Orleans.
      • Kathie Parsons for sending cards for PW.
    • Meal Train for the Backenstose Family

      Sign up online to provide dinner for Amy Backenstose, a member of our congregation who is a single mom with four young kids (an infant, a toddler and two kindergardeners). Amy fell and broke her leg and is off of her feet for six weeks. Thanks, Derry!

    • Discovery Days Preschool is Enrolling for 2018-19!

      Derry Church families new to Derry Discovery Days preschool are welcome to register Sunday, January 28 through Sunday, February 4 for the upcoming school year. Registration forms are available online and 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 open enrollment begins February 5. Questions? Please contact Kelly Mehaffie: 533-9667.

    • Un-Decorate the Church on January 9

      Christmas decor around the church will be taken down and packed away beginning at 6 pm Tuesday, January 9. Many hands needed to return the Sanctuary and hallways to their normal state.

    • Greeting Card Ministry: With Sympathy

      From 7-8:30 pm on Monday, January 8, join master card-maker Claudia Holtzman in the Hammond Library next to the Chapel to make these cards: some you can take home, and some you'll leave behind for use by the Deacons. For ages 10 and up. Questions? Contact Claudia Holtzman. Card making continues on the second Monday of each month.

    • Post-Christmas Update

      Derry Church welcomed 1,158 at three Christmas Eve services with the busiest service at 7:30 pm (446). If you include the 42 people watching our streaming services on Christmas Eve, we had 1,200 total participants... add in the 10 am service and the total jumps to 1,430, our highest Christmas Eve attendance ever. Close behind are 2010 (1,417) and 2006 (1,412). Did you know that 2006 was the last time Christmas Eve fell on Sunday? Thanks to all who led worship, shared gifts of music, and helped out that day ushering, greeting, working in the nursery and tidying up.

    • Soup, Salad & Sandwiches on Feb 4

      12 pm Sunday, February 4 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 homemade desserts. $7 per person or $20 family maximum. No RSVP needed: first come, first served. Hosted by the Communications & Technology Committee. 

  • December - 2018
    • December 2017 Giving Update

















      It's not too late to make a financial pledge for 2018. You can pick up a pledge card in the Narthex or church office, or submit your estimate of giving online. Thanks, Derry!

    • Successful Chipotle Fundraiser!

      Thanks to all who participated in the Friends of PEB fundraiser at Chipotle Mexican Grill on Sunday, December 17. A total of $127 was raised to support education in Pakistan!

    • Derry's eNews Takes a Holiday Break

      For the first time since the weekly eNews began in 2004, we're taking a week off: no eNewsletter will be sent on Thursday, December 28. We'll return to your inbox on Thursday, January 4. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all! 

    • December PW Updates
      • 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 December 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 $2,525 was received.
    • Parsonage Ministry Seeks Housekeeping Volunteers

      Three or four new Parsonage housekeeping volunteers are needed one morning a week, biweekly or monthly. If you would find joy in serving Christ and others in this role, please contact Love INC of Greater Hershey at 7171-835-0101.

    • Terrific Tuesday Dinners Resume Jan 9

      The Terrific Tuesday kitchen crew and Pastor Stephen's Bible study have the next two weeks off. They'll be back on January 9: 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!

    • Church Office Closed for Christmas & New Year's Day

      The church office will be closed on Monday & Tuesday, December 25 and 26, and Monday, January 1. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

    • Blood Drive Report

      The Jim Cooper Memorial Blood Drive on December 17 was very successful, with 36 pints of blood collected. Many thanks to all who gave the gift of life in the midst of a busy holiday season.

    • Looking For Offering Envelopes?

      For those continuing to use envelopes, boxes for 2018 will be ready for pickup in the Narthex starting this Sunday, December 24. Please note your envelope number may have changed. 

      Approximately 90 Derry Church families have switched to online giving. If you're making the switch, please notify Sandy Miceli by December 28 that you will no longer need a box of envelopes. 

    • Fleece Fabric Needed for Knotted Blankets

      At 7 pm Sunday, January 28, we’ll be assembling fleece blankets. You can support the effort by providing two-yard lengths of warm fleece fabric in your favorite solid colors and patterns. Pick up fabric at after-Christmas sales and drop off in Room 6.  Remember that two pieces of fleece are needed to make one blanket. Thanks, Derry!

    • New Member Classes Begin January 28

      The  five-week winter series of New Member Discovery Classes will begin Sunday, January 28 at 9:15 am in the Lounge. Classes will be repeated Wednesdays from 6-7 pm beginning January 31. 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, February 25. Register by Wednesday, January 24 (533-9667).

    • New Dates Added: 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

    • Congregational Christmas Card

      Thanks to everyone who signed this year's congregational Christmas card and made a donation that will help offset the cost of Derry's food ministries at Downtown Daily Bread, Penn National racetrack, and Delta Housing. 

    • Worship at Derry Church on Christmas Eve

      On Sunday, December 24, Derry Church offers one morning service at 10 am with communion and celebration of the fourth Sunday in Advent. There will be no church school classes.

      Christmas Eve candlelight services will be held at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm. All services will be live streamed. Please join us!

    • Greeters Needed on Christmas Eve

      Be part of Derry Church’s celebration of Jesus’s birth by serving as a greeter on Sunday, December 24. Greeters are needed for all four services: 10 am, 3 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm. Contact Nancy Kitzmiller 

    • Suggest a Christmas Carol for December 31

      It’s been the tradition at Derry Church to enjoy a Christmas carol sing on the Sunday following Christmas. This year while organist Sean McCarthy is away, our own very accomplished Kathy Yingst will be playing. Let’s give her the post-Christmas gift of some advance warning on the music she’ll be playing. Send the name of your favorite carol to Pastor Marie by email or by placing a note in her mailbox by December 20. Marie will select from the top vote-getters for Kathy to play that day. Thanks, Derry!

    • Third Grade Bible Class

      Along with their parents, these third graders just finished a three-week church school class led by Debbie Hough to learn how to use the new Bibles they received in worship last month.L-R: Gavin Hess, Anne Burke, Alex Patton and Mia Kaminski. Not pictured: Emilia Achorn, Zachary Imboden and Dylan Ray.

    • New Year's Eve in Hershey

      The 13th annual Hershey celebration will be happening all day and into the evening on December 31. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Kris Allen 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, all day 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 Rizzetta’s Tones  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.

    • Saturday Seminar is Jan 27

      9 am - 12 pm Saturday, January 27 at the Presbytery of Carlisle office. All clergy, church staff, and volunteers who work with children in our congregations will learn to recognize child abuse, and report it. Mandated Reporter Training Provided by the PA Family Alliance. RSVP by Jan 17 to the Presbytery office (717-737-6821 or email Suzi Souder).

    • December 2017 Financial Snapshot

      Cash Flow - Operating Fund as of 11/30/17

      Income YTD:  $1,127,889 $1,128,247
      Expenses YTD: $1,061,402 $1,195,550
      Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:  $66,487 ($67,303)




      Notes from Steven Guenther, treasurer: The year to date number for November are consistent with October results. Some expenses will be skewed toward the end of the year. Actual expenses are trailing budgeted expenses as personnel expenses are $89,000 under budget. This is caused in part because some fringe benefits are paid at the end of the year. We are estimating the fringes will total about $35,000. We have also noted that part of the variance from the budget is that Pastor Stephen was budgeted to start in April. Other variances are due to committees underspending the budget. Again, I would like to thank you for your contributions this year. Merry Christmas!

      Questions? Contact George Porter. Thank you for your continued support now and all year long.

    • Spread Christmas Cheer: Go Caroling on Saturday!

      Join Pastor Stephen and Derry friends at 2 pm Saturday, December 16 at The Gardens of Campbelltown, 2880 Horseshoe Pike, Palmyra. Help spread some joy to Ron Walker and many others. We’ll have song packets ready, so all you have to do is meet us there. All ages welcome. RSVP to Pastor Stephen


    • Derry Seniors Welcome the Hershey-Derry Twp. Historical Society: Jan 16

      Join the Derry Seniors at 10 am Tuesday, January 16 when Hershey native Susan Mittan née Gumpher, volunteer and board member for the Hershey-Derry Twp. Historical Society, will present a general history of the area. Plenty of time will be allowed for comments and questions. Free. Lunch follows in Fellowship Hall ($3/person).

    • 2018 Pledge Update

      Thank you to all who have made a financial pledge to Derry Church for 2018. We still need about $80,000 to reach what Stewardship and Finance believes we need to budget for pledged income in 2018. If you have not yet made a pledge for 2018, please consider making one before the year ends. Your pledged gift helps us make a responsible ministry budget. Thank you for your gifts.

    • Dori Hjalmarson Headed to Honduras in January as Our New Mission Co-worker

      Meet and learn about Dori Hjalmarson in this enews article about her aspirations as our new mission co-worker to Honduras. She begins her service in January 2018.

    • 2017 MHS Senior Division Holiday Concert at Derry Church: Dec 15

      7 pm Friday, December 15 in the Sanctuary, The Milton Hershey School is proud to present our Annual Holiday Concert featuring the Varsity Choir directed by Andrea Kurnat and Concert Band directed by Jeremy Ulrich. The concert is free and open to the public.

    • Attention Users of Online Giving

      If you are changing the amount you give to Derry Church in 2018, 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).

    • HVAC Update #1

      The planned replacement and updates to the churches heating and air conditioning system will begin on December 27, 2017. 

      Between Christmas and the new year,  all the drop ceilings in the lower level hallways will be removed and two temporary walls with doors will be built to separate the construction area from the most used classrooms.

      The project is designed in phases to maintain use of as much of the building as possible at all times. Some activities or classes will need to be moved to other rooms on occasion, and some hallways will be closed except for emergency exits.

      The first phase will close off the back eastern stairway (Mansion Road patio) and the hallway at rooms 9 and 10. A concrete pad will be installed outside near those doors.

      The project will continue throughout the lower level, affecting access some rooms at times during the week. Most if not all rooms will available on weekends.

      The HVAC Task Force has done their best over the last year to put together a plan that will make your church more efficient and comfortable for decades to come and will work to make the construction process as smooth as possible. Direct questions or concerns to Roger Zimmer.

    • Isaac’s Fundraisers Return Next Year

      5-9 pm Thursday, January 25 at Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches in Hummelstown. The women’s Monday night Bible study 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 22 and March 22. We hope to see you there!

    • Fill and Deliver Blessing Baskets This Sunday

      You’re invited to fill and deliver a Blessing Basket to one of Derry’s neighbors after worship on Sunday, December 10 in Fellowship Hall. Pick a basket and fill it with some of the donated items including candy, mini breads, notepads, flashlights, and more. We’ll include a special invitation to Christmas Eve worship at Derry. Once you fill a basket, you can sign up to take it to a specific neighbor around Derry or someone in your neighborhood. We hope to fill 35 baskets. This is a great opportunity for all ages to reach out in love from Derry to our community. Please join in helping to bless our neighbors this Christmas.

    • A Candlelight Christmas: Concerts Dec 15-17

      The Susquehanna Chorale will present three concerts this Christmas season featuring one of choral music’s most popular Christmas works, Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols: 8 pm Friday, December 15 at High Center, Messiah College, Grantham; 8 pm Saturday, December 16 at Church of the Brethren, Elizabethtown; and 4 pm Sunday, December 17 at Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg. Participating from Derry Church are choir members Greg Harris, Janice Click Holl and frequent visitor Linda Tedford, artistic director, founder and conductor of the Chorale. Tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door; $5 students) through the Messiah College Box Office: 717-691-6036.

    • Silent Auction Shout-Out

      Many thanks to all the Derry artists, craftsmen in Hershey and Nicaragua, and to the bidders who made this year's Silent Auction a success: a total of $950 was raised for Mission Week 2018.

    • Sign the Congregational Christmas Card!

      It’s the easy way to send Christmas greetings to your entire Derry Church family while you save on paper and postage and help those in need. The Christmas card will be available to sign in the Narthex on Sundays, December 10, 17 & 24. All donations received will help to offset the cost of Derry’s food ministries at Downtown Daily Bread, Penn National racetrack, and Delta Housing. The card will be included in an upcoming edition of this e-newsletter. Merry Christmas from the Mission & Peace Committee!

    • Cookie Walk Report

      These smiling ladies were on hand Saturday morning to welcome shoppers to the 2017 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 $2,231 ... the Jumbles Shop received $2,107 for a grand total of $4,338 that will go toward Presbyterian Women’s mission.

      Trays and containers can be picked up in the Narthex near the kitchen until December 17... after that date you can purchase them from the Jubilee shop in Palmyra.

    • Stocking Stuffers

      "These Days" devotional booklets for January through March are now available in baskets throughout the church. Pick up a few extra to give to loved ones this holiday season.

    • Thanks Christmas Decorators!

      This team of decorating elves went to work on Wednesday night to dress up the church for Christmas. Come see the decorations on Sunday! Thanks for your hard work and creativity.

    • Coin Return on Sunday

      Your Change 4 Children coins collected on December 10 at the end of each service go to the Alliance for Children Everywhere, which celebrated 20 years in Zambia. Their outreach has included 1000 children in crisis receiving nurturing care at House of Moses and Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery, 3000 families receiving nutrition, job training, and spiritual support through Family Preservation Program, 950 orphaned or abandoned children being reintegrated with their biological families or found forever homes and 13,000 students have received quality education through FaithWorks Christian Schools and Helen DeVos Christian School. Through 2016, Derry has contributed $12,600 towards their work. 

      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. 

      Please 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 2018, so keep on gathering those coins.

    • Pilgrim Fellowship Brings Christmas Joy: Dec 17

      12-3:30 pm Sunday, December 17 for grades 3-5. Bring your lunch to room 7 following worship. Practice Christmas carols on hand chimes, then travel to Londonderry Village to spread Christmas joy. Pickup 3:15 pm in Palmyra or 3:30 pm at the church. Dress in layers because the room will be warm. Parent chaperones needed! RSVP to by Wednesday, December 13.

  • November - 2018
    • 14 Giving Tree Tags Available

      As of this writing, 14 gift tags are still available for children whose families are clients of the Hershey Food Bank, and a handful of gift cards for racetrack workers. Help yourself to tags and return gifts to the church by December 10. Thanks, Derry!

    • Decorate for Christmas: Dec 6

      6 pm Wednesday, December 6, you’re invited to join members of the Worship & Spiritual Life committee to decorate Derry Church for Advent and the Christmas season.

    • Congratulations, Third Graders!

      On Sunday, November 26, these third graders received their new Spark Bibles in worship. In December classes they’ll learn more about their Bibles and how to use them. Congratulations to the Patton, Kaminski, Hess, Achorn and Burke children (pictured) and to the Imboden and Ray families (not pictured).

    • Silent Auction Closes 12 pm Sunday

      Have you had the opportunity to check out the assortment of handmade items from Nicaragua and Derry’s own artisans now on display in the Narthex? Proceeds support Mission Week 2018. Bidding closes following the second worship service on Sunday, December 3.

    • Saturday Morning Mission Breakfast Opportunity: Dec 30

      Join Karen Leader and a group of Derry Church volunteers as they serve the people of the Allison Hill community. Depart Derry Church at 8 am on Saturday, December 30, return by 11 am. Go to the Unitarian Church on Market Street, Harrisburg to participate in "Gather the Spirit," a monthly breakfast program. Meet Sarah Ballard, one of the organizers and a member of Derry, who will tell about the program. Bring a breakfast item to share (cereal bars, muffins, fruit). RSVP to Karen Leader.

    • “Allies” Needed for Homes of Hope and Faith & Finances

      Mentors or coaches from partnering churches are needed for Love INC of Greater Hershey’s new Homes of Hope Transitional Housing Program, Faith & Finances Program, and also for people who need extra help on their journey out of poverty. Allies walk with individuals and families to provide encouragement, guidance, accountability and advocacy. A nine-month to one-year minimum commitment is required and extensive training and support will be provided. Contact Doug Miller or Michelle Miduri.

    • Sign Up for the DDD Bake Sale on Dec 9

      Derry Discovery Days Preschool is holding a bake sale fundraiser following the 7 pm An American Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 9. Sign up to contribute to the bake sale. Drop off baked goods in the kitchen on Friday, December 8  from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday, December 9 from 9 - 10 am. Thanks, Derry!

    • November 2017 Giving Update
      It's not too late to make a financial pledge for 2018 before Session meets to set a budget based on 2018 financial commitments. You can pick up a pledge card in the Narthex or church office, or submit your estimate of giving online.
    • Serve Dinner at Delta House: Dec 11

      You're invited to help serve dinner to 35 residents of Gaudenzia Delta House in Harrisburg, one of the missions the church supports that helps temporarily displaced persons. Depart Derry Church at 4 pm Monday, December 11, return by 7 pm. Bring a dessert to share! Contact Karen Leader or Marilyn Koch

    • Quilt on Silent Auction Benefits PW

      This quilt, handmade by our own Derry Quilters, will be sold on silent auction Saturday, December 2 as part of Presbyterian Women's Cookie Walk and Jumbles Shop mission fundraiser. Opening bid for the 90" x 75" Dresden Plate quilt is $300. It's on display now in the Narthex.

    • Photo-A-Day Starts Dec 1!

    • Where 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 and Twitter pages. After hours you can check messages on the church answering machine (533-9667). If you would like to be notified by text message, send your cell phone number to Sue George (

      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.

    • GriefShare Begins January 2

      For those grieving the loss of loved ones, a new GriefShare support group will be held 2-4 pm Tuesdays beginning January 2 in room 9. The series will continue weekly through March 20. GriefShare is a Christian program that features 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. Please RSVP to Marie Buffaloe.

    • Trombone Choir Benefit Concert: Jan 5

      7 pm Friday, January 5 in the Sanctuary. “Twelfth Night of Christmas” features Derry’s own Tracy & Nicola Burke in this trombone choir. Enjoy holiday favorites including The Wexford Carol, Still Still Still, Angels from the Realms of Glory, Up on the Housetop, O Come All Ye Faithful, Angels We Have Heard on High and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Free-will offering benefits the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Reception follows in Fellowship Hall.

    • Church Office Closed for Thanksgiving: Nov 23-24

      The Derry Church office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 23-24. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jim Cooper Memorial Blood Drive

      8:30 am-12:30 pm Sunday, December 17 in Fellowship Hall. Sign up in the Narthex in coming weeks or walk in that day.

    • Host an “After 8” Post-Worship Fellowship

      Hosts and hostesses are needed to provide light refreshments following 8 am worship services in December & January. In addition to simple setup and cleanup, all that’s required is to provide a half-gallon of juice and two choices of baked goods (store-bought is fine). Paper products and fresh brewed coffee are provided by the church. Please contact Loretta Blaydon (717-599-5425) to host this important fellowship. Thanks Derry!

    • November 28 is Giving Tuesday!

      Giving Tuesday kicks off the season of giving, just like post-Thanksgiving Day sales kick off the holiday shopping season. One way you can begin the season of giving is by making a special #GivingTuesday gift to Derry Church. Go to our online giving website and choose the area of ministry you’d like your gift to support. Thank you for your generosity to Derry Church!

    • Discovery Days Has Teacher Aide Opening

      Searching for a new job with benefits of love and laughter? Derry Discovery Days Preschool seeks an experienced aide for our three-year old students. This position is part-time, approximately 14 hours per week, for morning classes that run 9:00 -11:30 am Monday - Thursday from September through May. Experience with young children required. EOE. Send resumes to

    • 10th Anniversary Celebration and Pie Auction A Big Success!

      Love INC’s 10th Anniversary Celebration and Pie Auction was a wonderful evening of fellowship, food, fun and fundraising. 120 pies were donated to the event that was attended by 150 people. This year an unexpected matching challenge of $2,500 for the final pie allowed the entire room to be involved in the bidding, providing a total of $5,000 for the pie! Total raised for the evening was $24,000. THANK YOU to all who sponsored, volunteered, baked pies, attended and bid to make this event so successful.

    • Your Homemade Cakes & Pies Will Benefit Our Preschool

      Derry Discovery Days is holding a bake sale in Fellowship Hall after Derry Church’s “An American Christmas” concert on Saturday, 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.

    • Christmas Caroling at The Gardens at Campbelltown

      2 pm Saturday, December 16 at The Gardens of Campbelltown, 2880 Horseshoe Pike, Palmyra. Help spread some joy and cheer this Christmas by caroling to residents. We’ll have song packets ready, so all you have to do is meet us there. All ages welcome. RSVP to Pastor Stephen.

    • November 2017 Session Highlights
      • Congregational meeting electing one new Ruling Elder (Class of 2020) and one new member to the 2018 Nominating Committee, and approving the details of the Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program commitment of $600,000 for the upgrading of Derry’s HVAC system.
      • Received 18 new members and their children.
      • Examined newly elected Ruling Elders and Deacons in preparation for ordination/installation on Jan 14, 2018.
      • Received monthly financial statements from the Treasurer and reports from Derry’s staff, Board of Deacons and all committees. Approved minutes of the Oct 18, 2017 Session meeting, the Nov 5, 2017 Called Congregational meeting, and the Nov 5, 2017 Called Session Meeting (with corrections).
      • Removed 16 out-of-state members from the Active Membership roll due to relocation.
      • Approved two Lease Agreements between Derry Church and Laird Morgan for the rental of the property at 233-235 East Derry Road - one for the residential portion of the building and a second for the Art on Derry commercial space.
      • Received a follow-up report on Consecration Sunday and reviewed the 2017 preliminary budget.
      • Approved the use of the church van for upcoming youth activities.
      • Approved the addition of Sara Woodbury as a member of the Worship & Spiritual Life Committee.
      • Approved a worship service on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 5:00 pm and to hold one worship service on Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 10:30 am for the Annual Meeting.
      • Approved a request from the Christian Education Committee to solicit donations from the congregation for the Family Faith Works event.
      • Approved a church use request from Boy Scout Pack 200 for November 19, 2017 to hold a baked potato bar fundraiser luncheon.
      • Held a Trustee Meeting to approve the details of the Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program commitment of $600,000 for the upgrading of Derry’s HVAC system.
    • Suicide Prevention Training for Youth Leaders: Dec 4

      6-8:30 pm Monday, December 4 at the Hershey Free Church, 330 Hilltop Road. Learn warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to Question, Persuade & Refer (QPR). The course focuses on training individuals to be "gatekeepers" (someone able to recognize a crisis and the warning signs of someone that may be contemplating suicide). Gatekeepers include parents, friends, neighbors, squad leaders, foremen, police officers, caseworkers & many others. This course is available at no charge as a part of Philhaven's commitment to improving the mental health and resilience of our community. QPR is a nationally certified, evidence-based programs taught by certified trainers. Register by email: Read more.

    • Orange Day is November 25

      The Safe Harbor bill which will provide a safe harbor for sexually exploited children and prevent delinquency charges from being filed, is still under consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature. Thirty other states already have passed a similar bill. Support this effort and wear orange or an orange ribbon on Saturday.

    • Listen for Derry Church on WITF-FM

      From November 28 through December 24, listen for Derry Church’s sponsorship ads in the morning on WITF-FM 89.5 on Weekend Edition, Top of the News and “On Being with Krista Tippet.”

    • Silent Auction Opens on Sunday

      Support Mission Week 2018 (and do some early Christmas shopping) during the week of November 26-December 3 when a large assortment of items from Nicaragua will be on display in the Narthex, and a selection of handcrafted items by Derry Church artisans and crafters. Bidding will close following the second worship service on  December 3.

    • Pilgrim Fellowship Serves Lunch: Dec 3

      Gather in room 7A following the 10:30 am service on Sunday, December 3 for 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, November 29.

    • Blessing Baskets are Coming!

      Derry Church’s Faith Family Works group invites you to help bless our neighbors with holiday Blessing Baskets. Blessing Baskets are filled with simple gifts, gift cards, and goodies to bring joy to someone’s life, and will include a special invitation to Derry’s Christmas Eve services. The plan is to deliver baskets to 25 Derry neighbors and we need your help to provide items, assemble and deliver the baskets. By December 10, bring in items anyone might like that would make good stocking stuffers (some suggestions are listed below), or donate money and mark your gift “Blessing Baskets” so items can be purchased. On December 10, join us to fill the baskets. Then sign up to take your basket to one of 25 listed Derry neighbors. This is a great opportunity for families, couples, or individuals to share some Christmas joy with others. The sign-up table is in the Narthex.

      $5 gift cards to places like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panera, fast food places, etc.

      Candy canes/ Christmas candy

      Small scented candle or LED Candle

      Pocket or keychain flashlight


      Packaged bags of cookies or baked goods

      Thermal coffee/beverage mug/cup

      Christmas potholder/mitt/kitchen towels

      Small first aid kit

      Small sewing kit