Month: October 2020

New Office for Carlisle Presbytery

The Presbytery of Carlisle
2601 N. Front St., Suite 107, Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-737-6821 •

The Presbytery will occupy two offices in the building. One office will be dedicated primarily to the work of the Treasurer, which includes processing mail and handling the financial transactions of the presbytery. A second office will be used by the Interim Executive Presbyter and Temporary Stated Clerk. The building also offers common space for small group meetings, kitchen space, and restrooms. There is free parking in a lot behind the building, plus plenty of free street parking adjacent to the building. On the riverfront, between the Harvey Taylor and I-81 bridges, its location offers easy access to both the East and West shores of our presbytery. Moving date is Monday, Nov 9. Read more.

Oct 2020 Financial Snapshot

Cash Flow – Operating Fund as of 9/30/20

Income YTD:     $941,491      $1,020,092
Expenses YTD:$866,626$1,020,096
Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:    $  74,865$          (4)

Notes from the treasurer:

  • Contributions are trailing 2019 and budget. This was expected with COVID.
  • Committees in general are spending less than in 2019. We expect this to continue while church activities are occurring remotely and as we have asked committees to be mindful of spending.
  • Personnel spending will start to increase with the associate pastor and music director positions filled.
  • Cash flow remains good and net assets increased about $25k in September.

New Opportunities for Derry’s Giving Tree

Derry Township Social Ministries (DTSM) has made the difficult decision not provide gifts to families from the Giving Tree this year. Children of families in need will receive gift certificates donated by Old Navy at the Hershey Outlets to purchase clothing. 

Recognizing Derry Church’s past generosity in supporting the DTSM Giving Tree, our Mission & Peace Committee offers an alternative: donations of gift cards for families in need in our community. To simplify distribution and protect the health and safety of volunteers, DTSM requests donations of WalMart gift cards in $25 denominations. If you wish to make a cash donation, committee members will purchase gift cards on your behalf. Gift cards and cash or checks may be dropped off at the lower level/office entrance.

The Giving Tree will be in place on Thanksgiving weekend. You’re invited to decorate the tree with winter hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves that will be distributed to families in need in local school districts. Deliver all gift cards and winter apparel to the church by Sunday, Dec 6.

The Mission & Peace Committee has set a goal of 150 gift cards that will be distributed to DTSM families, the Race Track Ministry at Penn National Race Course, and to support emergent needs seen by church staff through the holidays. The committee thanks you for your continuing, generous support of families in need in our community.    

Thank You, Derry Church

Friends, I am humbled and sincerely grateful to the members of our congregation who have expressed their sympathy and support for me on the occasion of Elaines passing. Your welcomed condolences prove Derry Presbyterian Church is not a building. It is you! Elaine and I were happy about a future together. It was to last. When it didn’t, you stepped forward with assurances, prayers, sympathy and love. Please accept my thankfulness. 

You are Gods love.  Skip Becker

Presbyterian Women: Oct Updates

  • Boxtops 4 Education: Sunday, Oct 25 is the deadline for the October mailing. Boxtop expiration dates must be 11/20 or later. Please leave in PW mailbox or basket on the mission shelves. Due to changes in the program, this probably will be the last mailing, so look for any expiring in 2021 and 2022 on products.
  • Orange Day is Sunday, Oct 25: Wear orange or an orange ribbon to show awareness of and support for those working to end exploitation of women and girls. Native American women and girls are being killed and trafficked at rates far higher than the rest of US population. On some reservations, women are ten times as likely to be murdered, and 84% have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence in their lifetimes. The Safe Women, Strong Nations project partners with Native women’s organizations and Indian and Alaskan Native nations to end this violence. 
  • Circle Meeting: 10:30 am Monday, Oct 19 at the home of Joan Theal. The group will discuss Lamenting Together, based on Psalm 137. Each lesson is designed to stand alone, so if someone has missed one, she will not feel behind. RSVP to Joan.

Synod of the Trinity Conversations on Zoom

The Synod of the Trinity is offering opportunities to consider and engage some of the issues and concerns of our times in light of Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community:

  • 7 PM SUNDAY OCT 18:  Laurie Kraus will speak on “The Pandemic.” Laurie serves as the associate director of the Ministries of Compassion, Peace and Justice in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and is the director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. More details and mandatory registration link here.

The series continues on Oct 25 with Hyperpartisanship led by John Welch and Nov 8 with Technology led by Bruce Reyes-Chow. Reservations required.

Issues Class Goes Virtual

On Sunday, Dr. John Messmer kicked off the 2020-21 Issues Class lectures series with an in-person and virtual class on Going Viral: COVID, Flu and More. Click the white arrow in the center to watch his presentation.

At 9 am Sunday, Oct 11, join Pastor Stephen in room 7 (RSVP required) or watch online to find out What Happens When We Take Communion? If you ever wondered why or even if communion is special, this is the class for you. Pastor Stephen will talk about:

  • How God is present in this meal
  • What makes it different from other meals
  • What different faith traditions believe about communion
  • What Presbyterians believe about communion

Your Choice: Attend Issues Class in Person or Online

On Sunday afternoon, Pastor Stephen helped out the AV crew by leading a short class with the goal of finding out whether or not it would be possible to live stream a Sunday morning Issues Class from Room 7. The answer is YES! 

From 9:00-9:45 am on Sunday mornings, you can attend in-person or virtually from your home.

  • To attend in person, sign up in advance and join the class in room 7 with a maximum of 25 people. 
  • The live stream will begin at 8:55 am, and you can watch on or on our Facebook page or YouTube channel.
  • Live stream participants can email questions and comments to and questions will be addressed as time allows.
  • If you can’t attend on Sunday morning, the live streamed class will be available for viewing later on Facebook and YouTube.

Upcoming Sunday Morning Classes You can Attend in Person or Live Stream:

Oct 11:  What happens when we take communion? Have you ever wondered why or even if communion is special? How is God present in this meal and why is it different from other meals? Pastor Stephen will explore what different faith traditions believe about communion and what Presbyterians believe.

Oct 18: Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller, The Gifts of Imperfection, has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in print.Forbes magazine named Gifts one of the “Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life.”Join Derry member Jess Delo for a motivational and inspiring class on wholehearted living. Explore  the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” will be reviewed, and helpful guides/worksheets will be supplied to the class. For more information, contact Jess.

Oct 25: Adam Nagle, executive director of The Factory Ministries, shares his journey and the call God places on our lives in this class on “Helping the Vulnerable.” You’ll interact with mental health, trauma, helping without enabling, collaboration vs. cooperation, collective impact (unity)… all while considering how the church can step into complex issues and bring hope and healing.

Mission Focus for October: Feed the Hungry

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month we highlight the mission focus for the month. In October we’re lifting up the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. You can always find the current month’s mission focus in the Joys & Concerns section of the weekly eNews.

At the onset of the pandemic Derry’s Mission & Peace Committee sent $10,000 to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) because we were concerned that they were going to need to feed many more people than they were prior to COVID-19. Unfortunately, we were correct. September CPFB data shows that “Unemployment and poverty in our 27 counties are at record highs; every community faces economic uncertainty. To get a sense of the situation: all 27 counties have food insecurity rates of 13% or above. Pre COVID-19, there were three.”

CPFB tells us that since March they have distributed over 200,000 crisis response food boxes, packing them at the Farm Show so that they can be filled in a socially distanced setting. They have also distributed bags of produce, dairy and meat to partner agencies, at no cost. They have distributed 35 million pounds of food, equivalent to 875 tractor trailer loads.

CPFB works with their 1,000 partners to distribute food safely and they have made new partners for areas that are in need. Currently they are serving 200,000 people a month, which is 65,000 more people than usual. Those being server are people who were on the edge before COVID, people who had contracted COVID-19, people who lost their jobs or were furloughed, seniors who were homebound and children who no longer had meals provided during the school day.

Thank you to the people of Derry Church who support our mission committee so that we in turn can quickly respond to an unexpected situation like COVID-19.

Notes of Thanks

We had a turbulent summer with the eventual passing of Greg’s father in late August. We want to thank everyone at Derry Church for their support, prayers and condolences. There is a basket of many cards which we received from our Derry Church family and friends, and none of them were repeated. Thank you. Greg and Lois Harris

Thank you so very much for the donation of water bottles for our students. They were absolutely thrilled to receive them! COVID-19 has made operating a school so much more challenging as we seek to keep our students and staff safe and healthy. Our goal is to keep our doors open, believing that students do best in an in-person environment. Your kind and generous donation of water bottles is one thing–seemingly small perhaps–that helps and blesses our students. COVID-19 guidelines recommend that water fountains not be used, so water bottles are essential. Again, thank you for your attentiveness to the needs of our students. We are delighted to partner with the Derry Presbyterian Church and the Mission and Peace Committee in providing, according to Martin Luther King, a true education–one of intelligence plus character. With deep gratitude, Andy Phillips Executive Director/Head of School

Young Friends Go on a Bear Hunt

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” These words from Isaiah 41 encouraged young friends on Sunday afternoon, proving they were not afraid of “Going on a Bear Hunt.” Mr Grant, Pastor Pam, Mrs Steelman and these awesome friends had fun “Powering Up” their faith after a long six months apart. Up next: outdoor movie night 7-9 pm Friday, Oct 2 for Pilgrim Fellowship (grades 3-5). RSVP required. Questions? Contact Mrs Steelman.