Month: June 2021

June 2021 Session Highlights

  • Reviewed the Treasurer’s report for the year to date. Contributions are in line with 2020 and budgeted projections for this point in the year. Committee spending is generally in line with budget.
  • The Session was happy to learn that attendance has been steadily increasing at both Sunday services each week. The nursery is open, and children are participating in worship and the Conversation with Children. Discussion centered on Derry’s music program and the wearing of masks by musicians/choir members and the continuing requirement for masks at the 10:30 service. Both singers and musicians have offered to show proof of vaccination if they would be permitted to participate without masks. After discussion, the Session agreed to remove the requirement that singers and musicians must wear masks when leading worship as long those participating submit proof of vaccination. Grant Wareham will be monitoring the program and keeping copies of the submitted vaccination cards. Masks will continue to be required for the congregation at the 10:30 service through July and August. The hope is that with the start of fall programming in September, the mask requirement can be lifted. 
  • The Christian Education Committee’s Library Team submitted a proposal for reorganizing the library to enhance the children’s section and create new gathering areas. Upgrades will include additional lighting, painting, adding new seating, re-working the shelves, and relocating the church mailboxes currently located in the area. The Session approved the proposed changes which will cost approximately $4,000.
  • As a part of the cemetery upgrade project, the Session reviewed and approved a Capital Procurement Requisition to restore the cemetery wall which will include power washing the entire wall, repointing approximately 60 feet of the wall, and rebuilding approximately 170 feet of the wall at a cost of $135,000.
  • The Session approved the purchase of a 12-passenger van to replace the current church van at a cost of approximately $54,000. The cost of the van will be taken from the Transportation Fund, which is funded through a generous donation. The current van will be traded or sold.
  • Natalie Taylor has applied for and been granted a scholarship from the Brong Scholarship fund.
  • The Personnel Committee recommended increasing the current wage rate of $14/hour for the Sexton position to a range of $15 to $17/hour. Advertisements for the open position of Sexton have not resulted in any viable applicants. Based on rates for similar jobs and the current labor shortage, the Session approved the recommendation. The Session also approved increasing Jeff Miller’s current hourly wage from $13.94 to $17/hour for his remaining employment. Jeff has served Derry faithfully and will be retiring at the end of July.
  • The Session approved, in principle, Derry Discovery Day’s request to hold a virtual fundraiser later this year. When details of the fundraiser are made, they will be brought before the Session for approval.

Hey, Kids: Go Trekking Through the Bible with us!

Ages 4 – Entering Grade 2: 9:30-11:30 am July 14-16
Entering Grades 3-7: 6:00-8:00 pm July 12-14

“Trekking through the Bible” is a special week-long adventure created just for the children of Derry Church. We will spend our time together “TREKKING” along with Jesus, Joshua, and Mary & Joseph. We will learn valuable lessons from each of these people, lessons we can carry with us always as we “trek” through our own lives. 

Each day will include time for stories, sharing, creating, singing and snacking. The church grounds will be transformed into our very own church camp and the children will love learning to navigate their way through our time together. 

Click Here to RSVP        Questions? Contact ME Steelman

Note of Thanks

Thank you to all the Derry Church members who sent me cards and prayers. I am blessed to be connected to such a wonderful church family and to feel your love as I continue to recover from the car accident. Blessings, Kelly Mehaffie

Derry’s Newest Eagle Scouts

Logan Holley

Logan Holley: Thanks to a partnership between Manada Conservancy and Scouts BSA Troop 200, the Cladel Preserve now has a kiosk to bring more notice to this idyllic space. Logan Holley of Derry Church’s Troop 200 completed his Eagle Project last fall, notwithstanding delays and new planning elements brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Logan led the planning and execution of the project which involved Scout and Manada Conservancy volunteers for a total of 189 hours of work over five months. He appreciated having an outdoor project to work on and hopes that the kiosk will let more people know they can visit the preserve and enjoy nature. As part of his project requirements, Logan solicited contributions for the kiosk materials and installation equipment. The kiosk was completed under budget, and Logan donated the remainder of his Eagle project funds to the conservancy. 

James Guntrum

James Guntrum: For his Eagle Scout project, James replaced the horseshoe pits at H.M. Levitz Memorial Park, Grantville. The existing horseshoe pits were constructed from wood that over time had wore down and were deteriorating. The old pits were raised, making it more difficult for the groundskeeper to mow in the area. The new horseshoe pits are constructed with PVC lumber to be more durable. The pits are lower to allow for mowing around them with a riding mower. Ammo boxes are chained to the backboards to store the horseshoes so people don’t have to bring their own. The total project cost was $770.

Summer Book Discussion


The Monday night study group selected Fredrik Backman’s book, “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry,” for its summer read. Sandy Ballard will lead the discussion.

So Long, Softball Season

Derry’s softball team lost its championship game 10-12 on June 22 and another team has claimed the trophy we’ve had on display for the past two years. Thanks, team, for a great effort and a fantastic season! Your church family is proud of your enthusiasm, sportsmanship and unparalleled team spirit. Go Derry!

Derry’s Connection to the 2021 Olympics

Valarie Allman

Derry Church has a connection to an athlete who will be competing in the 2021 summer Olympics in Tokyo: Valarie Allman is one of the favorites for the gold medal in the women’s discus. Read about her stunning qualifying performance over the weekend.

If you were around in the early 2000s, you might remember Valarie, parents David and Lisa, and brother Kevin. This family photo is from the 2004 church directory. The Allmans moved to Colorado after they left Hershey.

Friday, June 25 is Orange Day

On Orange Day, Presbyterian Women encourages people to wear orange or an orange ribbon to show awareness and support for those working to end exploitation of females. 

Child marriages exist in the US: nearly 300,000 children (age 17 and younger) were married in the US between 2000-2018.  Although overwhelming majority were 16 or 17 years old, more than 1,000 were 14 or younger with five being only 10 years old. Nine states have no minimum age for marriage. Pennsylvania is one of five states barring marriages for people under 18. Unchained at Last, founded by a victim of a forced marriage, is working to end child marriages. A few of these marriages are for the purpose of dodging rape charges. Wear orange on the 25th to support the work of ending child marriages here in US and around the world.

June 2021 Financial Snapshot

Cash Flow – Operating Fund as of 5/31/21

Income YTD:       $597,436       $520,833
Expenses YTD:    499,682         549,736
Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:          97,754         (28,903)

Notes from the treasurer:

  • Contributions are in line with 2020.
  • Committee spending generally in line with budget. Personnel is under budget as many misc expenses are under budget. Salaries are generally in line with budget.
  • Admin is under budget as insurance for 2021 was paid at end of 2020 instead of start of 2021.
  • Cash flow is about $20K behind last year.

Grab an Open Slot for Derry Discovery Days Preschool While You Still Can!

Derry Discovery Days Preschool (DDD) has openings for the 2021-22 school year! Spots remain in the Busy Bee 3’s morning class and the Butterfly 4s afternoon class. There is a waiting list for the Turtle 2s class. For more details on the individual classes, please click here.

DDD plans to open its Ladybug 1 Year Old classroom in mid-fall. Children must be one year old by September 1st and walking. For more details, email Laura Cox or call 717-533-9667 ext. 201.

Derry Member in the News

Derry Church celebrates with Derry member Lori Speck on her 40 year service anniversary at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center! Lori works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Thanks for all the families and babies she has helped over the last 40 years. Congratulations!

Family Movie Night


To tie in with our “Animals of the Bible” summer church school, we’ll be screening Zootopia. We’ll provide the popcorn and mini water bottles. Bring a blanket for your family to sit on.

Presbyterian Women: June Updates

  • Thanks to all who contributed to the PW Birthday Offering which totaled $1,429.
  • Do you have items for hygiene bags for the Domestic Violence Center in Harrisburg? Drop off deodorants, washcloths, toothbrushes, sample size toothpastes, wide-tooth combs, tissue packets in the box at the office entrance by June 20.

May 2021 Session Highlights

  • Reviewed the Treasurer’s report for the year to date. Contributions are in line with the budget and 2020 giving. Expenses are also in line with the budget.
  • The Session reviewed recommendations from the COVID Task Force and approved the following: 
    • Up to 50 worshipers in the Chapel at 8 am with face masks optional for those who are fully vaccinated
    • Up to 150 worshipers in the Sanctuary at 10:30 am, face masks required
    • No registration required for in-person worship
    • Singers & wind instrumentalists continue to be masked at 10:30 am worship
    • Nursery care for children 1-3 begins June 13
    • Masks optional at outdoor worship & fellowship
    • Groups/committees decide among themselves whether or not to wear masks
    • Beginning in June funeral meals may be served with a maximum of 75 people
    • Live streaming continues
  • Approved a Capital Procurement Requisition to perform lighting upgrades throughout the church building. The upgrades will include replacement of emergency lighting and exit signs, upgrading the light quality in Fellowship Hall with more efficient LED fixtures and bulbs, and conversion from fluorescent to LED lighting in the church office, basement corridors and narthex. Funding for the project provided by the Capital Facilities Restricted Fund.
  • Accepted with appreciation a $200,000 donation from an anonymous donor. The funds will be used for four different purposes:
    • $100,000 to be deposited into a newly created “Transportation Fund” for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining a new van or other church-owned vehicle
    • $50,000 to be used to build a new wing on the Sargodha School in Pakistan
    • $30,000 towards cemetery restoration
    • $20,000 placed in a new “Youth Transformation Assistance” Fund which will support community youth with life transforming experiences
  • Received a report from the Buildings and Grounds Committee on recommendations for restoring the cemetery to address broken & dislocated grave markers, deteriorating portions of the cemetery wall, remove trees whose roots are disturbing the grave markers and wall, and regrade/reseed the turf. The project will span the next three years with the goal of completion prior to Derry’s 300th anniversary celebration at which time the cemetery will be rededicated. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $202,000, with funds coming from donations, cemetery plot sales, and Derry’s Legacy Fund. The Session approved the project.
  • Approved a revised position description for Derry’s Sexton position.

Nursery Care Returns Sunday, June 13


  • For ages one to three
  • Plan on extra time to check in as sign-in procedures have changed for the safety of all children in our care
  • Drop off and pick up outside the door to the nursery suite 
  • Please label all items belonging to your child 

Derry Church Hosts Needed for 10:30 am Worship

As in person worship gains momentum, it’s time to recruit some extra hands to help out at 10:30 am worship. Here’s what you need to know about the new role of Derry Church host:

  • Two hosts needed every Sunday: one by the courtyard entrance, one by the choir room/elevator
  • Arrive by 10 am
  • Welcome people arriving for worship
  • Offer assistance as needed
  • Count how many people are in the Sanctuary during worship
  • During the service, sit near your assigned Sanctuary door to greet latecomers and help anyone who needs assistance
  • Sign up online or call the church office (717-533-9667)

Griefshare Support Group Begins June 21


GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who walk alongside people through one of life’s most difficult experiences, offering support to those who are dealing with the loss of a loved ones from death.

Participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the safety of all who attend. Register by contacting Marie Buffaloe or call the church office (717-533-9667). No cost to attend. Child care is not available.