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- 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4 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.
- 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 (derrypres.org). 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.
- 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!
- 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
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.