M.E. Steelman • Director of Church Life and Connection

The start of a new program year is exciting in so many ways, especially here at the church.  The month of September will have our building buzzing with excitement as we welcome everyone back to our classrooms, small group gatherings, and fellowship opportunities. I have no doubt that God’s presence will be felt by all as we continue to prepare for and enjoy the start of another program year at Derry Church.

Not only will the life of the church feel more vibrant with the program year getting under way, you’ll likely feel the rest of your life coming alive as everyone moves away from the slower pace that summer typically brings. So how do you choose what to join, how to fit in, and where to find information on church life and programming? Read on for answers to some of those questions.

What types of programs can I expect?

Derry’s planning teams are working hard to provide a variety of learning and gathering opportunities for Sunday mornings and throughout the week for all ages to enjoy. Sunday mornings this fall will include Sunday School for all ages, choir rehearsal, and 11-Minute Lessons.  

Throughout the week we offer a variety of small groups studies so that you can find a group that fits your schedule. You can find fellowship on Monday afternoons, Tuesday evenings and Sundays after worship as we offer opportunities for church and community members. Tuesday evenings  include delicious hot dinners in Fellowship Hall for all to enjoy, music and creative arts for our children & youth (preschool-12th grade), and worship in the Chapel. 

How can I learn more about all of the different programs Derry Church offers?

The best resource is our church eNewsletter. We try to include all that is happening in this weekly publication. We have also been adding the schedule to the Sunday bulletin and have printed copies of the eNews available on the information desk in the Narthex. 

If you are looking for information specific to youth, contact Pastor Stephen.  For children, email me and ask to be added to the regular newsletters we share with all that is happening for these specific age groups.

Why is it important for me to be involved in more than Sunday worship?

Growing your faith is a lifelong journey. Our faith experiences become greater and more meaningful when we gather with others to learn, share, wrestle and prepare for the ups and downs of life. Gathering for worship can help us feel ready to face the start of a week with new thoughts and good intentions. But often life can quickly overtake those thoughts and intentions, and before we know it we are sitting in worship again and realizing we haven’t invited God to join us throughout the week.  There are also times when life’s ups and downs will leave us needing or craving help and care from our church friend. Derry’s various programs are not only created for learning and sharing, they are designed to help us strengthen our relationships with one another.

How do I get involved?

Simple: come! Whether you are a parent who wants to help your children or youth grow their faith, or you are an adult looking to challenge and explore your faith, or you are looking for connections with others, all of our programs are designed to welcome you when you are able to join us. I encourage you to step out from the craziness or loneliness of life and carve out time to explore your faith and grow your relationship with God and with your church family.

What if I’m just too busy right now?

We all go through seasons of life when time works against us and keeps us from being able to be more involved. That does not mean our faith journey needs to be put on pause or moved to the back burner. We can still explore our faith. Over the last few weeks, we have begun to include faith questions in the bulletin and eNews and at the start of staff and committee meetings. These questions are designed to help us pause and reflect as we spend a few minutes with ourselves to discover how God is finding us in our daily lives.  Questions can be answered while sitting alone, sitting in worship, or talked about at church and family gatherings. We hope they spark something within you that allows you to open your heart and mind even more.

What if I have questions about Derry’s various programs or want more information about how to get involved?

Please call (717-533-9667), send an email, stop by the church office, or talk with our staff members on Sundays to learn more about any of our church programs and how you can get involoved.

I look forward to seeing you soon!