Month: January 2021

January 2021 Session Highlights

  • Re-elected Kathy Yingst as Clerk of Session and Steven Guenther as Treasurer for 2021.
  • Approved a transfer of membership for Louella Grgic due to relocation.
  • The Treasurer shared the 2020 year-end financial reports. As expected, the church income for 2020 was approximately $30,000 below 2019 and $75,000 under budget. Expenses for 2020 were also below budget as we did not have an Associate Pastor or full-time Music Director for the entire year. Committees were conservative with spending. As a result, there is an approximate budget surplus of $80,000. At the request of the Stewardship & Finance committee, the Session approved distribution of the surplus funds as follows: $15,000 to Mission and Peace; $5,000 to Camp Krislund; $40,000 to Derry’s Capital Improvement Fund; and the remainder to be used as a cushion for the 2021 potential budget deficit.
  • The Stewardship & Finance Committee has spent several months reviewing Derry’s Gift Acceptance and Investment policies. The revised policies were presented to the Session and approved.
  • The Elders reviewed our current building opening policy, and based on recommendations from the Covid Task Force, voted to keep the current policy in place. There are several variables with the new strands of Covid that are appearing and numbers for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been steady since December. Many would like to establish a reopening date; however, at this time the Session has not set a specific re-opening date pending improvement in the vaccine rollout and number of cases.
  • There was unanimous agreement that we communicate with our members to let everyone know that we are continually reviewing the plans for reopening, planning new things for keeping us connected, and praying for all. A mailing will be sent to all members and a video created to communicate our discussions.
  • Derry’s annual meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, February 14, 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the meeting will be held via Zoom.
  • In preparing for the annual meeting, the session reviewed Dr. McKinney-Whitaker and Rev. Pamela Meiland’s Terms of Call for 2021. There are no changes to Pastor Stephen’s terms from 2020 and Pastor Pam’s terms are the same as when she was called to Derry. The session voted to approve the terms as presented and recommend them to the congregation for review and approval.
  • Elected all active Elders as Presbytery Commissioners for 2020.
  • The AA group has been meeting at Derry for many years. The group uses room 10 and enters the church through the door off Mansion Road at the rear of the sanctuary. While the group has not been meeting over the past year, they have continued to pay $250 quarterly for the space. Session voted to discontinue these payments while the group is not meeting and to reimburse them for the money paid over the past year.

Meet Hossana, One of Derry Church’s PEB Scholarship Recipients 

Dear friends, I am Hossana. I am studying in one class. I would like to thank you for your support. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I am studying very hard. Thank you.

For ten years, Derry Church has maintained a partnership with the Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan. PEB operates 25 schools, primary through high school, including some boarding schools, that serve more than 5,900 students. Derry, through the Friends of Sargodha group, has a particular relationship with the schools in Sargodha. 

Our goal is to provide ten scholarships every year. You can help.

A full scholarship for a day student is $370 a year, about a dollar a day. We are dividing that amount into ten shares, $37 each, to offer you the opportunity to support a portion of a scholarship. 

You can purchase one or more shares by writing a check to Derry Church notated “Pakistan Scholarship” or giving online through the church website and selecting “Pakistan Scholarship.” 

Read Rev. Nancy Reinert’s message inviting you to participate. This fundraiser continues through February 2021.

Brong Scholarships Available

The Russell W. and Joann Brong Scholarship was established through generous gifts by the Brongs, and created by Session action in June 1983 to provide financial aid to students working toward full-time service in Christian ministry; members of the Derry Presbyterian church staff for continuing education; and for students preparing to serve in social and humanitarian service vocations such as social work, medicine, education and literacy, and other vocations that work for the common good.

Scholarships are awarded for one academic year and may be renewed, providing the recipient continues to meet the conditions of eligibility, maintains a good academic standing, and funds are available. Amounts are determined each year based on the number of applicants and the amount of the fund available. Scholarships up to $3,000 per semester may be given for tuition and other fees. Applications must be received by the Christian Education Committee no later than April 15 for consideration.

More information and an application are available on the Derry Church website. Questions? Contact Pastor Stephen or Claudia Holtzman, Chair, Christian Education Committee.

Help Outfit Love INC’s Newest Transitional Home

Love INC of Greater Hershey will soon be opening the doors on a second home in the Homes of Hope Transitional Housing Program. This program not only provides shelter, but also case management that demonstrates the love of Christ while offering the opportunity for life transformation to a family facing homelessness. Church volunteers are now preparing the home, and applications for its first residents will be accepted beginning Feb 1. You can help by providing some basic items the new family will need on arrival. 

Please pray for the Homes of Hope program as it grows, the family who will make it their home for the next 18 months, and the volunteers who support the program and will partner with the family in need.

Love INC Seeks Part-Time Executive Director

Love INC of Greater Hershey is a local Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing churches to help people in need. The Executive Director provides day-to-day leadership to achieve the mission, vision, strategic goals, and objectives of Love INC. A Bachelor’s degree or greater, or equivalent life experience in management, social work, organizational leadership, pastoral ministry, community development, or related field is required. The successful candidate will have a minimum of five years of leadership experience and a commitment to the Christian Church and its mandate to serve people in need to effect life transformation in the name of Christ. For more information and to apply, visit LoveINCGreaterHershey.org or contact HR@LoveINCGreaterHershey.org.

January 2021 Financial Snapshot

Cash Flow – Operating Fund as of 12/31/20

     ACTUAL       BUDGETED
Income YTD:     $1,284,489       1,360,122
Expenses YTD:  $1,196,674       1,360,122
Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:         $87,815                 —

Notes from the treasurer:

  • Contributions ended the year about $30k less than 2019 and $75k underi budget.
  • Committees tended to underspend budgets in 2020. 
  • The 2020 year ended with a positive change in net assets of about $87k before the reduction of net assets as part of spending the 2019 surplus. If Derry had been fully staffed for the entire year, we would have been at about break-even instead.

Meet Areeba, one of Derry Church’s PEB Scholarship Recipients

I am studying in prep class. I am writing “Thank You” for your generosity. It has allowed me to go one step closer to my goals. Without your support I would not be able to fulfill my goals. I am working very hard to get high grades. I want to become teacher in future. Thank you so much for your kindness. With love, Areeba

For ten years, Derry Church has maintained a partnership with the Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan. PEB operates 25 schools, primary through high school, including some boarding schools, that serve more than 5,900 students. Derry, through the Friends of Sargodha group, has a particular relationship with the schools in Sargodha. 

Our goal is to provide ten scholarships every year. You can help.

A full scholarship for a day student is $370 a year, about a dollar a day. We are dividing that amount into ten shares, $37 each, to offer you the opportunity to support a portion of a scholarship. 

You can purchase one or more shares by writing a check to Derry Church notated “Pakistan Scholarship” or giving online through the church website and selecting “Pakistan Scholarship.” 

Read Rev. Nancy Reinert’s message inviting you to participate. This fundraiser continues through February 2021.

January Updates from Presbyterian Women

  • Since PW was not able to have the Cookie Walk/Jumble Shop in December, the Coordinating Team invites you to participate in a bake-less cookie walk where  an offering is donated in place of cookies. Funds raised support the national PW organization and mission co-workers around the world. Suggested donation is $10 or what it would cost you to purchase the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies. Give online (select Presbyterian Women of Derry) or write checks to Derry Church notated “PW offering.” Thank you!
  • Orange Day is Monday, Jan 25. In the US there are 13 states with no legal minimum marriage age. In some states married minors cannot go to shelters to escape abuse, leave their spouses or legally divorce them. One piece of good news we can share: Sudan authorities will end child marriages and enforce the country’s ban on female genital mutation this year. Wear orange or an orange ribbon on Jan 25 to show support for people working to end child marriages as well as exploitation of females.
  • PW will order Horizons Magazine this month. Subscriptions include a Bible study and five issues of the magazine. To subscribe, contact Doris Feil by Jan 28.  Cost is $18.95, a $6 savings if ordered individually. Magazines are sent to the church.
  • Thanks to all who contributed homemade cards for the Caitlin Smiles project. We received 180 cards!

Puzzle Exchange

Derry friends who enjoy working on jigsaw puzzles: we have good news for you! Starting Sunday afternoon, Jan 17, you’re invited to stop by the bench outside the office entrance to drop off or pick up a new puzzle or two to work on. If you have puzzles that you just want to donate to help us get started with a puzzle supply, we would appreciate those, too. Just make sure all pieces are included. We hope to include puzzles for all ages and ability levels.

Contact the church office to request puzzle drop-off & pick-up.

Did You Know Derry Church Provides Scholarships for 10 Students Attending School in Pakistan? You Can Help!

Read Rev. Nancy Reinert’s message inviting you to participate. This fundraiser continues through February 2021.

For ten years, Derry Church has maintained a partnership with the Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan. PEB operates 25 schools, primary through high school, including some boarding schools, that serve more than 5,900 students. Derry, through the Friends of Sargodha group, has a particular relationship with the schools in Sargodha. 

Our goal is to provide ten scholarships every year. You can help.

A full scholarship for a day student is $370 a year, about a dollar a day. We are dividing that amount into ten shares, $37 each, to offer you the opportunity to support a portion of a scholarship. 

You can purchase one or more shares by writing a check to Derry Church notated “Pakistan Scholarship” or giving online through the church website and selecting “Pakistan Scholarship.” 

Tuesday Worship on Jan 12, 2021

“Watchman, Tell Us of the Night” is the theme for Tuesday worship led by Pastor Stephen McKinney-Whitaker.
Scripture: Isaiah 21:6-11, and have your Bible or Bible app ready to read Romans 12:9-18.

Zoom Webinar: Scientific and Spiritual Lessons in the Time of COVID

SATURDAY, JAN 30 • CLICK TO REGISTER FOR THE ZOOM WEBINAR

Dr. Frances Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health and the 2020 Templeton Prize Laureate, will share his unique insights on “Scientific and Spiritual Lessons in the Time of COVID.” This virtual event will include a scientific talk followed by lively discussion facilitated by local and student chapters and concluding with time for fellowship/social interaction. The three-hour symposium will be broken down as follows:

  • 12 pm  Lecture with Francis Collins
  • 1 pm  Local Chapter/Student Discussions
  • 2 pm  Fellowship/Social Hour

Join for one or all three segments.

Throughout his career, Francis has been a strong voice for the integration of faith and reason. He is best known for leading the Human Genome Project in 2003 to its successful completion. By his scientific leadership, public speaking, and popular writing, including his best-selling 2006 book The Language of GodFrancis has demonstrated how religious faith can motivate and inspire rigorous scientific research. He encourages religious communities to embrace the latest discoveries of genetics and the biomedical sciences as insights to enrich and enlarge their faith. He works closely with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key White House advisor on the national health crisis.

Dec 2020 Session Highlights

  • Steven Guenther presented the Treasurer’s report which showed 85.7% of budgeted income received as of the end of Nov 2020. Church investments are doing well given the current market conditions.
  • Based on rising COVID-19 case numbers and Governor Wolf’s shut-down orders, the Session unanimously agreed to limit Christmas Eve services to digital options and eliminate any in-person gatherings. Furthermore, the Session approved the closing of the church building to the public until Friday, Jan 8, 2021 at which time the Session will review and make a decision on whether the closure should be extended. Church staff will be encouraged to work from home but also permitted to be in the building for essential activities.
  • Dennis Hosler, Chairman of the Stewardship & Finance Committee, presented Derry’s 2021 proposed budget. After review, Session approved the proposed 2021 Operating Budget in the amount of $1,250,000 projected revenue and $1,319,368 projected expenses.  
  • The Session also reviewed and approved the Rental Committee’s budget for income and expenses relative to the 275 Mansion Road and 233-235 East Derry Road properties.
  • Approved the special 2021 Offerings/Fundraisers as submitted by Presbyterian Women.
  • The Session reviewed and approved several 2021 fundraisers proposed by the Mission & Peace Committee including the selling of “shares” by the Friends of PEB to defray tuition costs for students in Sargodha Pakistan. 
  • A big “thank you” was extended to those Ruling Elders finishing their terms for their dedication and leadership over the past three years, particularly during the last year with the complications brought about by COVID-19. The Session also acknowledged with gratitude members of the COVID Task Force for their leadership in gathering and presenting information on the virus and guiding our response.
  • Finally, the Session would like to thank Derry’s staff for their hard work and creativity over the past year to minister to all of us and present innovative and quality programming. Their leadership has held us together during this very trying time and enabled Derry to proclaim God’s word, share God’s love, and practice God’s justice even in the midst of a pandemic.

Your Contributions Requested for “The People We’ve Met on Our Journeys”

In preparation for our Lenten theme, “The People We Meet on the Journey to Jerusalem,” members and friends of Derry are invited to share a story of someone they’ve met on one of the journeys in their lives.

Submit your story of up to 750 words about a journey you’ve taken (far or near) and someone you met on the way who inspired you, taught you, gave you a new perspective, or was otherwise meaningful to you. You can interpret “journey” however you like, whether it was a literal trip across the globe or a metaphorical journey, such as the journey to receive a new organ or treatment.

These stories will be gathered in a special booklet for Lent. Email your story to Pastor Stephen by Feb 1 to be included in our Lenten booklet: The People We’ve Met On Our Journeys.

Love INC Announces Personnel Change

Love INC of Greater Hershey has announced the resignation of Patty TenHuisen, Executive Director. In her words, “Sometimes God calls us in a different direction when we least expect it.” Her last day was Dec 31, 2020. Love INC is grateful to Patty for her faithfulness, creativity, and passion. Thanks to Patty’s leadership, the organization is stronger financially than ever before, despite the challenges of 2020.

Join us in wishing Patty much success in her future endeavors. Love INC”s Board has approved hiring an Executive Director, and during the transition, will be led by Michelle Miduri, Director of Operations, Irvine Smalls, Director of Parsonages, and their dedicated volunteer office staff.

In other Love INC news… a client seeks half-day chlid care for her third grade student so she can resume working. Contact Michelle Miduri if you can help.

Note of Thanks

Derry Friends, Thank you so much for all the cards, calls, and treats you sent after my dear friend, Joan, passed away. Your support and prayers are very much appreciated. Sincerely, Sally Stultz

Come and Get Your Star Gift!

A star gift is a star-shaped piece of brightly colored paper with a word printed on it. Stop by the church office entrance to choose your star gift and reflect on that word for the coming year. Take it home and hang it up where you 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 God—one star gift at a time.

Pastor Marie chooses her star gift for 2021. Stop by the church or contact a staff member to request yours!