COVID Response

December 17, 2020 Update:

On Dec 16, 2020, the Session unanimously voting to keep the church building closed through Jan 8, 2021 and limit worship to digital options. This includes Christmas Eve worship. Read about the various digital worship options Derry will offer on Christmas Eve. Read more details about the Session’s decision.

November 19, 2020 Update:

Many people are longing for familiar routines and experiencing COVID-19 and Zoom fatigue. With deep care and intention, our COVID-19 Task Force and Session presents this plan to allow Derry friends to gather with a more familiar schedule at the highest level of safety possible in these times:

Sunday School from 9:00-9:45 am: The adult Issues Class meets in room 7 with a maximum of 25 people and is live streamed. Grades 6-12 meets in the Youth Room with a maximum of 12 youth. Children (age 4- grade 5) meets in Fellowship Hall with a maximum of 20. Registration is required, and each class will use dedicated bathrooms to limit exposure.

Worship from 8:00-8:30 am in the Sanctuary: The service for a maximum of 60 people will feature music, a sermon, and congregational participation through responsive readings and corporate prayers, but no singing. Registration is required.

Tuesday Evening Worship in the Sanctuary, where the format will be similar to the 8 am Sunday morning service. Registration is required.

As of 11/20/20, PA residents visiting other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to PA, or to quarantine for 14 days upon return. You must follow these regulations prior to visiting Derry Church. All who attend must wear masks and follow Derry Church’s COVID-19 guidelines. If you are traveling out of state, having out of state visitors, or if anyone in your family is returning home from a COVID hotspot like a college campus, you must not attend in-person gatherings here.

To register for in-person gatherings, call the church office at 717-533-9667 or use links available on This Sunday. The Sunday livestream worship at 10:30 am will continue as usual.

Small groups may continue to meet at church following guidelines limiting attendance and following COVID precautions.

Derry Church’s Session is permitting non-essential gatherings of 25 or fewer people in the church building and grounds when CDC and other government guidelines are being followed.


  • Outdoor gatherings are preferred.
  • Gatherings are limited to 25 or fewer people unless otherwise approved by Session.
  • Gatherings must take place outside or in indoor spaces that can be ventilated and where it’s possible for groups to practice social distancing (Fellowship Hall, Lounge, Room 7, and in some instances, the Chapel). 
  • All gatherings must be scheduled in advance through the church office. Call 717-533-9667 or email Teresa Hutcheson (
  • Attendance must be taken and reported to Teresa within 24 hours of the event. Organizers must collect names, phone numbers and email addresses of all participants: tracking forms available in the sidebar. If someone who attended a church gathering is later confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, participants will be notified.
  • Masks must be worn at all events, inside and outside.
  • Participants must practice social distancing: keeping at least six feet apart.
  • Hand sanitizer must be used on arrival and departure.
  • If you are feeling sick or have a fever or cough, stay home. 


  • Disinfecting wipes will be provided. Before leaving, participants must wipe down any tables, counters, and chairs used during the gathering.
  • Limit elevator use to one person or family at a time
  • Rest rooms can be used during indoor gatherings: thorough hand washing after use is required.


  • Participants must bring their own chairs or blankets, or use the all-weather benches and seating already in place outdoors
  • Outdoor worship may be cancelled up to and including the day of the service. Cancellations will be posted on and Facebook
  • Attendance will be limited
  • Participants must bring their own chairs or blankets and remain six feet apart from other family groups and individuals
  • Masks must be worn. If any one refuses, the event will be discontinued for all
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided and must be used on arrival
  • The building will not be open
  • No pets allowed
  • Bring your own water bottle
  • Rest rooms will not be available
  • Refrain from gathering in groups and hugging or touching each other
  • Leave when directed to do so 

Weather permitting, groups are encouraged to meet outside. Contact the church office to make a reservation for your small group or to schedule a time for meditation and prayer in the Chapel (717-533-9667).

Read Derry Discovery Days’ Preschool COVID-19 Plan and Procedures

Is your small group meeting at Derry Church? Download and complete this Excel tracking sheet or this print version PDF and return it to Teresa Hutcheson within 24 hours of your gathering.

Read the June 17, 2020 Letter to the Congregation from Session on Reopening Derry Church

Read the August 21, 2020 Letter to the Congregation from Session 

Read the Sept 18, 2020 Letter to the Congregation from Session on Fall Plans

Read the Nov 19, 2020 Letter to the Congregation from Session on Updated Safety Measures