I was baptized and raised as a Catholic. I attended parochial school and served as an altar boy at St Joan of Arc. At that young age I never thought much about God’s work in my life.
I first attended a Christmas Eve service at Derry Church in 2000 while visiting with my wife’s family. Cynthia had joined Derry in 1961 and my mother-in-law, Jo Baum, was the first female Elder at Derry Church. We were living in Minnesota but attended services whenever we were in town visiting family. On our first wedding anniversary, we renewed our vows at Derry Church. When we retired in 2012 we moved to Hershey and I became a member.
Since then, I feel God has instilled in me a will to help others. Prior to being installed as an Elder I volunteered as an usher and greeter. I also volunteered on the G.O.D. Squad, as a Meals on Wheels driver, and serve as treasurer for Derry’s golf league.
In the fall of 2018, I was asked to be an Elder. I attended officer training and was installed as a ruling Elder in January 2019. Serving as an Elder gave me insight into the importance the Session plays in planning and managing the church’s direction. During my three years on Session I served as a financial custodian, usher captain recruiting ushers for church services and serving communion. I was also involved in many important church decisions. I feel the most important of these was approving the COVID team’s recommendations to keep our members safe during the ongoing pandemic.
Other actions the Session took during my term included approving our new Vision and Mission statements, hiring an interim music director, approving the purchase and installation of the Aeolian-Skinner organ, approving the addition of accessible seating in the Chapel, installing tempered glass at the Session House, purchasing a new oven for the church kitchen and approving the restoration of the cemetery for our 300-year anniversary.
During my term as Elder, I served on the Building and Grounds Committee. As a member of this committee I volunteered to be part of the Rental Property Subcommittee and the subcommittee to purchase a replacement church van. Even though my term as ruling elder has come to an end, I will continue to be part of the Building and Grounds Committee and the Rental Property and Van Purchase Subcommittees.
I enjoyed my time serving on Session. It was a great experience working with staff and other Elders on Session.