Month: August 2021

Bring Your Backpack for a Blessing


All students, teachers, coaches, Sunday School teachers & helpers, fellowship leaders and school leaders are invited to bring their backpacks or bags to be blessed for the upcoming school year. A special tag has been created for you to carry with you always. These tags will remind you that you are loved and prayed for and never alone.

Share Your Faith with the Children of Derry Church

You’re invited to join the 2021-22 Sunday School Team! Children’s classes will be held 9 -10:15 am Sundays beginning Sept 19.

Each Sunday School classroom has a teacher and an adult helper. A semester schedule is shared with the team and you pick which date(s) and classroom are the best fit for your schedule. All adults must have their clearances up to date and on file with the church and must also complete our Safe Children Training Course. 

Teaching or helping in a Sunday School classroom is an awesome way to help the children of the church learn that you value your faith and relationship with God. 

For those who enjoy working with Derry’s youngest children (ages two and three), volunteer opportunities are available on Sunday mornings in the church nursery starting at 9 am.

Contact ME Steelman to join the Sunday School Team or to help out in the nursery.

Serve Dinner at the Racetrack


Volunteers are needed to serve a buffet-style dinner for about 40 back-of-the-track workers. Dessert donations would be appreciated and can be brought to the church kitchen on Sunday, Aug 29.

Meet 5 pm at the track for setup, with food service beginning at 5:30 pm. Softball and volleyball will be set up for use.

Contact Marilyn Koch to donate dessert or if you’d like a ride: meet 4:30 pm at Derry Church. 

On Sept 11 Find Out About Confirmation


Youth in grades 8 and 9 are invited to learn more about what it means to be a Presbyterian and, specifically, what it is to be a member of Derry Presbyterian Church. Older youth who have not yet been confirmed are welcome to participate. Contact Pastor Pam for more information. 

Call For 2022 General Assembly Commissioners

The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will convene over a three-week period, from Friday, June 17-Saturday, July 9, 2022. 

Is God calling you to apply to be a commissioner to the General Assembly from Carlisle Presbytery?

This is a unique opportunity to participate in discerning the will of Christ for our denomination at this time of immense change and uncertainty. Those who serve as commissioners will engage with Presbyterians from across our nation (and around the world) to contemplate, converse, and comment on topics central to the life and witness of the PCUSA! 

Building on the all on-line General Assembly of 2020, the format of the assembly in 2022 will be hybrid. Commissioners will attend in-person committee meetings, held at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, on a rotating schedule. The worship and plenary sessions of the General Assembly will take place entirely online (July 5-9) with commissioners and advisory delegates attending from home. 

Those elected by their presbyteries to serve as commissioners are asked to place a tentative hold on their calendars from June 17-July 9, 2022, until committee assignments are made (by late February 2022). Once assignments are made, participants may clear any days their assigned committee will not be meeting. All commissioners and advisory delegates are expected to attend the worship and plenary sessions scheduled during the week of July 5-9. See the full docket here.

This is a very different General Assembly experience. It reflects the calling of our denomination to live into the fullness of being the church in the 21st century. As the assembly convenes around the theme From Lament to Hope, commissioners will be guided by values integral to our identity and embrace creativity and openness, so that the PCUSA may be more fully inclusive, flexible and faithful. 

The Nominating Committee of the Presbytery of Carlisle is seeking to identify two Ministers of Word and Sacrament, two Ruling Elders, and one Young Adult Advisory Delegate (between the ages of 18 and 25) to serve with energy, intelligence, imagination and love! These nominees will be brought to the presbytery for election at the Dec 7 Stated meeting of the presbytery. We ask that pastors prayerfully consider this opportunity and that Sessions spread the word among those who are ordained ruling elders in your congregation (they do not have to be actively serving on the Session).

Nominees are identified through an application process. Click here for an application form and more information about GA expectations. Those who wish to be considered must submit their application to the Nominating Committee by October 15, 2021. Applications may be emailed to or mailed to 2601 N. Front St., Suite 107, Harrisburg PA 17110. Please note that the application must be endorsed by your Session or (in the case of ministers at-large or serving in a validated ministry) by a committee of the Presbytery. 

In addition to the time parameters described above, commissioners and advisory delegates are expected to engage in preparation, including learning how the GA process works, attending orientation sessions, becoming familiar with the technology to be used, and reading advance materials, in order to be able to actively participate in all assembly responsibilities. After the assembly, commissioners are asked to communicate and interpret the actions of the General Assembly back to the presbytery. 

To learn more about the application process or if you have questions about the plans for the forthcoming General Assembly, please contact Cheryl Galan, Interim Executive Presbyter or Donna Wenger, chair of the Nominating Committee

Thank You from Krislund Camp!

You may be someone who has fond memories of “Vanna White,” Derry’s church van for many years. It was used to transport children, youth and adults to mission trips, Montreat, skiing adventures and much more. Now the van has a new home and new life at Krislund Camp!  The camp will be using it for transportation across the grounds. They send their sincere thanks for the donation.

Notes of Thanks

Thanks for all the birthday cards, treats, meals, gift and calls and visits. I appreciate all your love and support. A special thank you to the choir group that came over to my house to sing on my birthday — it was great. All enjoyed the music and fellowship! Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support! God bless, Teresa & Bill Hutcheson

Thank you on behalf of the entire Bridges to Community team for your continued and most generous support. Your recent gift in the amount of $7,844.50 will be directed toward housing and other needs in the Dominican Republic. Your generosity is essential to achieving our mission both there and in Nicaragua.

Despite the pandemic and the resulting cancellation of our volunteer trips through 2021, Bridges to Community continues to employ local masons and laborers to build houses, schools, and other much needed infrastructure in the communities we serve.

In 2021 with your gift and others, we are continuing to:

  • Complete the school in La Guama, DR
  • Build houses and latrines in both Nicaragua and DR
  • Assist our communities in Nicaragua in cleaning up from last fall’s two Category 4 hurricanes
  • Support our 44 remaining scholarship students in Nicaragua
  • Introduce a new virtual building experience with our communities in the DR

We are hoping to restart our volunteer trips in 2022. Thank you for helping Bridges make it through this very difficult year.

Love INC Seeks Volunteers

  1. The mini blinds on the enclosed porch at one of the Homes of Hope transitional houses need to be replaced. The blinds were measured and ordered by a professional, and one volunteer is able to help. One or two more volunteers are needed to help hang the blinds, preferably during the day. There are about 10 blinds to be hung.
  2. A client is looking for someone to come into her apartment to do a hair cut. It needs to be someone experienced with African American hair. She is willing to pay for this service.

If you can help, contact Michelle Miduri, Director of Operations for Love INC of Greater Hershey (717-835-0101).

Session Updates COVID Policy

The Derry Township community is now in an area of high COVID spread and transmission. In response, our COVID Task Force met on Zoom recently to consider changes to our current policy and submit its report to Session. At its Aug 18 meeting, Session approved the following task force recommendations:

  • In keeping with CDC guidelines, require masks for ALL indoor gatherings, including worship services
  • Continue choral and congregational singing with masks and social distancing
  • Continue mask requirements for all children’s events (under age 12) 
  • Recommend mask use for outdoor gatherings

When our region returns to moderate or low community spread, the task force and Session will make changes in keeping with lower transmission rates.

Welcome New Members!

Welcome Derry’s newest members, who were received by the Session on Sunday, Aug 8! You’ll see their video introductions in 10:30 am worship on Sunday, as well as in next week’s eNews. L-R, top row: Reath Edwards, Bill & Lisa McGregor and Bob & Carolyn Foster and their son Kevin. Bottom row: Pat & Ivo Meilands, Emily & Joe Spingler and their daughter Frankie, and Barb & Joe Sciacca.

August 2021 Financial Snapshot

Cash Flow – Operating Fund as of 7/31/21

Income YTD:$741,642   $729,167
Expenses YTD:  669,191      769,636
Surplus/(Deficit) YTD:  72,451   (40,469)

Notes from the treasurer:

  • Contributions are behind 2020 and budget at this point, but the last week of July hasn’t been booked yet.
  • Committee spending generally in line with budget. 
  • Cash flow at 7/31 is in line with last year.

Choir Opportunities for Adult Singers

Rehearses 7-8:30 pm Thursdays in Room 7 beginning Aug 26
Sings for 10:30 am worship services

Rehearses and sings occasionally

Rehearses and sings occasionally

Rehearses and sings challenging repertoire on occasion

Contact Grant Wareham for more information and to sing with any of these groups.

Singing opportunities for children and youth coming soon.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: Report from Haiti

The scale of the disaster facing Haiti after the Aug 14 earthquake is becoming clearer. The quake and its aftershocks have left almost 1,300 people dead, thousands more injured and an unknown number of people are still missing. At least 13,000 homes were destroyed and roads, bridges and communication systems have been severely damaged. This catastrophe comes on top of Haiti’s ongoing struggles with endemic hunger and poverty, COVID-19 and continuing civil unrest, and as Tropical Storm Grace bears down on the region.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is providing emergency relief and short-term recovery in the impacted areas through our established local partners and in collaboration with ACT Alliance and its members. The PC(USA), through PDA and together with regional World Mission colleagues, will remain active throughout the entire recovery process, accompanying our partners in the area as they determine long-term program needs and providing financial support for rebuilding and resilience.

As this earthquake (followed by a tropical storm) continues to cause destruction and loss of life, please pray with us that the communities affected by this event and those offering assistance will be strengthened, have their needs met and be reminded of the hope found in God. 

To support the work of PDA in Haiti and around the world, give online by clicking here and selecting the PDA box, or write checks to Derry Church notated PDA.

Subscribe to Presbyterians Today Magazine: It’s FREE!

Presbyterians Today is the award-winning, general-interest magazine of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Inside every issue you’ll find:

  • Uplifting stories and photos about individual Presbyterians, congregations and church leaders
  • Bible studies and reflections
  • Christian perspectives on contemporary issues and events
  • Mission news from home and abroad
  • Denominational news and updates

Want to read it first? Feature articles available at this link.

In past years, there was a nominal charge to subscribe to the magazine, and now it’s FREE! Whether you’re a current subscriber who wishes to continue — or a new one — simply email Jackie Carter from the PC(USA) staff and let her know that you wish to receive Presbyterians Today. Include your name and address in the email. To unsubscribe at any time, email Jackie. 

Derry will no longer have a group subscription, or be involved in the subscription process. If you prefer, you can also choose to receive it digitally. 

How is the denomination able to offer the magazine free of charge? The annual Planning Calendar, used by many church staff across the denomination, includes paid ads that generate enough revenue to cover the magazine’s cost.

Notes of Thanks

Dear friends, thank you for your prayers, visits, flowers and phone calls through all these years! Prayers were answered throughout this time. Praise the Lord! Sharon Jenne

I would like to thank my church family at Derry for their prayers, phone calls, the prayer shawl, and flowers during my recent tests and surgery. Bob White

Derry Day Trippers Organizational Meeting & Picnic


The Derry Day Trippers is a new group for active adults interested in taking local (and perhaps not so local) day trips. 

Join Sue Whitaker and Pat Meilands on Sept 22 to talk about the possibilities: Wolf sanctuary (and time in Lititz), Longwood Gardens, Sight and Sound Theater, SpringGate Vineyard, and more. Bring a side dish or desert to share, and we’ll provide chicken as the main dish. Bring your ideas for trips!

RSVP to Pat Meilands. Please include your name, how many attending, and your phone number. 

Sign Up for Family Promise Meals

Volunteers are needed to take meals to Family Promise during the week of Aug 22.  Currently, there are 4 adults and 7 children staying at the shelter. Please sign in at with last name: Promise and password: Derry. Questions? Contact Jane Robertson.

Can’t take a meal? Giant gift cards are always appreciated. Also, Family Promise is holding “A Back- to -School Supplies Drive” through Sept 3. Backpacks, notebooks, folders, #2 pencils, glue sticks, etc. are needed. School supplies and gift cards can be dropped off at the church.

Summer PW Gathering


“What My Grandmothers Taught Me,” an overview of the new Bible study by Erin Adams, and “The Faces of Foster Care,” insights of a foster care parent by Chloe Morris-Hodges, are the morning and afternoon programs for the Summer Gathering of Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Carlisle.

A light lunch will be be available for a small fee. For the afternoon session, participants will fill 24 backpacks for children who arrive in foster care unexpectedly and with nothing. Donations are needed to fill the backpacks: toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodorant, shampoo, and soap or body wash. Attendees are asked to bring item(s) for the session. To carpool, contact Doris Feil.

Sign Up for the Lasses & Lassies Banquet


On the menu: appetizers (cheese and vegetables), stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, baked corn, green bean/carrot medley, bun and light dessert. Cost: $15 for ages 12 and up, $5 for ages 5-11, free for age 4 and under. Contact Doris Feil to order a gluten-free or vegetarian meal. Masks will be required at all times except when seated at the table to eat the meal.  

“Who Is She? Women of the Bible Fashion Show” will follow the meal. Purchase tickets on Sunday, Aug 22 & 29 and Sept 5 after the service, or from the church office during the week. RSVP required by Sept 5

Racetrack Chaplaincy Seeks Social Services Facilitator/Advocate

The Chaplaincy at Penn National Race Course in Grantville is looking for a Social Services Coordinator. This ministry is affiliated with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America which was founded in 1972 as an evangelical organization geared to bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the men and women working in the horse racing industry.

The Chaplaincy seeks a person with a deep love for Jesus Christ and a compassionate heart for those who work in this unique setting. The position is for 15-20 hours a week. The hours are somewhat flexible, but would need to include some morning and early afternoon time to be available to the horsemen. The job involves serving on a team with the full-time chaplain, a part-time administrative assistant and a board of directors. Click to view and download the job description.

Love INC Offers Faith & Finances Class


Participants in the Faith & Finances discussion group will eat, laugh, and struggle together as they learn to overcome obstacles, set savings goals, make spending plans, manage debt and loans, and more. Join the group to consider how God’s plans for your money might be larger than yours!

Cost: $20 for the entire course, 100% reimbursed for perfect attendance, 50% reimbursed if no more than two classes missed

For more information or to secure a spot, contact Love INC of Greater Hershey at 717-835-0101 or click for details. The group is limited to about five families who may include Love INC clients or anyone from the community who is interested in learning to overcome financial obstacles, set savings goals, and make spending plans.

August Update: Organ Installation

The organ installers placed the great and positive divisions last week. About 70% of the electrical work is done, and more pipes will be added during the week of August 9. Do you notice that some pipes look spotted? That’s because of the combination of tin and lead metals that comprise the pipes: the tin floats to the surface, creating the spotted look. We won’t hear the organ being played in worship until September, but it’s worth the wait: the installers tell us we have a “dazzling” instrument. Mark your calendar for the Sept 25 organ dedication.

NEW! Quick Sunday Class with Pastor Stephen


11 Minute Lessons are perfect for those seeking meaningful education and discussion and a brief time commitment. After the 10:30 am service and post-worship fellowship, join Pastor Stephen in the Chapel to consider the problem of evil often summarized as, “either God is able to prevent evil and will not, or God is willing to prevent it and cannot.”

Short in length but long on content, this class will look at all aspects of the problem and try to frame the question in new ways. We’ll start with considering how God is present and active in the world and our lives, eleven minutes at a time. 

Join the AV Crew that Makes Live Streaming Worship Happen

Derry’s Sunday morning live stream doesn’t happen all by itself: it takes three AV technicians every week who control the cameras, audio and video content. Would you like to be one of them? Contact Sue George for more information. This eNews feature article also provides more information.

If working on websites is more your style, Sue may have a role for you. Contact her and let her know you’re interested. 

Thanks from Love INC

  • Thank you to everyone who came out to support Love INC at the Hershey Vineyard on June 5. It was a great time for fellowship and meeting new people. 85 people attended this event and enjoyed entertainment from the Redacted Duo and the Bad Toupees. Artwork created by high school students and local artisans across various mediums such as pottery, painting, and photography was on display and appreciated by all.
  • Thank you to everyone involved with the Run Your Race 5K on July 3. This inaugural race was a tremendous success: there were 104 registered participants between the 5K and the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk and Love INC raised $11,000 which will be used to support the Connection Center, Personal Care Closet, Parsonages, and Hopes of Hope ministries.