Rev. Marie Buffaloe • Parish Associate for Congregational Life and Care

The Shepherd Group leader for Shepherd Group #14 (Stafford Heights ) is Gena Perry, pictured on the left with her husband Ray as they stop by with information for neighbors Elly & Dan Morrison. Cynthia Pearl is their deacon.

In the midst of challenging times, I am grateful for the ministry of our Board of Deacons, whose main responsibilities are providing compassion, witness and service to those in need.  They are supported and assisted by Shepherd Group leaders who especially in these anxious pandemic months have helped reach out in kindness and care to our church family. That’s not easy when our congregational members live in a variety of communities from Lebanon to Carlisle and lots of places in between. 

More than 25 years ago, visionary leaders at Derry organized a caring ministry of neighborhood regions called Shepherd Groups. A Derry member from each geographic group has committed to being the Shepherd Group leader and to work with a Deacon to keep in touch and provide care to members and welcome newcomers. Your Shepherd Group number can be found on your church name tag. You can also find Shepherd Group numbers listed in the Joys & Concerns section of the eNews and on the weekly prayer list.

When it was not so easy to visit in person, our Shepherd Group leaders and Deacons have been busy sending cards, making phone calls, providing meals and organizing meal trains. They have made visits on your door steps, delivered devotions and smiles (behind masks), and kept you in their prayers. When you have a need, please do contact your Shepherd Group leader or Deacon, as well as the church office. We are a stronger church family because of their gifts of time and commitment to reaching out in Christ’s name to offer God’s love and compassion.

Click here for a list of the  2021-22 Shepherd Group leaders and Deacons (PDF). If you don’t know your Shepherd Group, contact the church office or Pastor Marie. To volunteer as a Shepherd Group leader for one year, contact your deacon.

The Apostle Paul reminds us to clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience and above all clothe yourself with love which binds everything together. (Colossians 3:12) That’s a good recipe for any church family.