The Days of Grace
Grace United Church of Christ
GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
100 FOURTH STREET
HANOVER, PA 17331
Web site: http://graceucchanover.com
Church Office Hours
Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 A.M – 4:00 P.M.
Friday 8:00 A.M.– 1:00 P.M.
Pastor: Rev. Dr. Bruce P. Bouchard
Visitation : Rev. Dot Thormaehlen
Organist/Choir Director: Harold E. Heller
Modern Service Worship Director: Amy Fawks
Modern Service Music Coordinator: Kathy Trimmer
Secretary/Bookkeeper: Linda DeMaio
Sextons: Sandy Puterbaugh and Faye Myers
Modern Service 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Church School 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM
Traditional Worship Service 10:45 AM
Pastor Bouchard’s Cell Phone:
Pastor’s Home Phone: 630-2570
Rev. Bruce Bouchard’s e-mail address:
Pastor Dorothy Thormaehlen Cell Phone:
Info/Prayer/Bible Study Line
Grace Church Office e-mail address:
Newsletter e-mail: (deadline is 15th of the month)
9:00–9:45 AM Modern Worship Service
9:45-10:30 AM Church School for All Ages
10:45-11:45 AM Traditional Worship Service
A Changing World
When I was a boy and my father died, I asked my mother, “What will become of us?” She sounded confident even through her tears. “Don’t worry. I will get a job and we will be fine.” I believed her. She spoke with a confidence that gave me courage. Although our world was falling apart, she would lead us into a new one.
It was only years later that I figured out that she was as terrified as I was, but she was acting courageous which parents have to do even when they do not feel that sense of certainty. She obviously had a faith beyond her fears in a future that she could not yet visualize. At the time, she did not necessarily feel that she had the wisdom or the strength, but trusted that it would be given to her when she needed it. She believed that she would find her way.
In reverse order, the Apostle Peter seemed to begin being completely confident that he would be able to stand with Jesus, whether Jesus faced imprisonment or even death (Luke 22:31-34). He could feel so brave because his world was still intact. Jesus was there. The Lord had won every contest with the authorities, who were seeking to kill him. Peter assumed that Jesus would soon take over the land of Israel. In such a world, Peter had complete confidence in himself. At that point, Peter did not think that he needed to seek faith beyond himself, but that he could manage on his own.
When Jesus was arrested and all the other disciples ran away, Peter was not so brave. His world had just fallen apart. With the Romans appearing to have the last say and Jesus about to die, Peter’s courage fell apart. He knew that he could not prevail on his own against the powers that be. He was so afraid of what might happen to him that he denied even knowing Jesus three time (Luke 22:54-62). He forgot to turn to God. He never thought to ask God to help him find a future with Jesus, a future that he could not see.
Of course, Peter’s world changed once again. God raised Jesus from the dead. Peter and the others were astonished. They never in their wildest dreams imagined that God would make this happen although Jesus had told them as much. After that, Peter did not doubt God again. He went out, told the Good News, and was fearless in dealing with anyone who tried to make him afraid. He told of a loving God who continues to make our world anew.
Have you ever asked when life has given you unwanted changes, “What will become of me?”, “How will I cope?”, “How will I manage?” God has a future for you that you cannot possibly imagine. As you decide to act and trust in that unknown future, you inspire others. Soon, there is a whole church full of friends, looking, and seeking to put together the future that God has in store.
Every month for the foreseeable future, the Consistory will provide updates on the activities and progress related to the search for a new pastor for Grace UCC. What follows is a synopsis of what has been done to date.
1. On Sunday March 13, 2016, Rev. Thomas Webster from Penn Central Conference presented an overview of the process. Approximately 90 members of the congregation attended the presentation that was informative and answered many questions. Rev. Webster made several very good points:
There is no replacement for Rev. Bouchard. After 31 years of service, he has grown to be a part of our congregation that simply cannot be replicated by another. That is not to say that there is not someone out there who can build on our strengths, and lead us to even greater levels. Also Rev. Webster stated, “God already has the person in mind.”
Finding that person will take time, discernment, and prayer. The worst thing we can do is to rush the process just to fill the position. We must carefully and prayerfully go about the search giving it as much time as necessary.
The Conference has provided us with 5 names so far of individuals who are possible interim pastors to provide leadership during the search process. We will begin interviewing these individuals very soon. Interim pastors have received special training in working with churches during the transition between permanent pastors. It is likely that we may have such a person with us for up to 2 years.
Successful search committees are comprised of individuals that possess certain characteristics. Rev. Webster suggested that we study these characteristics and then solicit the input from the congregation on potential search committee members. He also suggested that this not be done until after an interim is in place. Following this advice, we will not name a search committee until this summer at the earliest. More information on this will follow as we get closer to that time.
2. On Monday, March 14, 2016, the Consistory met with representatives from Samaritan Counseling. This organization will help us conduct a Congregational Assessment. This tool will provide data regarding our strengths and needs from the perspective of the congregation. Each member of the congregation will be given the opportunity to complete a survey either on line or in paper from. The data generated from this survey will then be compiled and interpreted by Samaritan. The reports will be extremely helpful in writing our profile to be sent to prospective ministers. This survey will begin soon. It is extremely important to get input from every member and everyone is encouraged to complete the anonymous survey. More information and directions will be provided.
3. Fourteen members of the congregation volunteered to be part of the search process. As noted above, we are not prepared to name an official search committee at this time, but there is still much to be done. The Consistory will be approaching some or all of those volunteers to serve on committees that need to be established now. Members will be needed for the self- study committee to oversee the use of the above mentioned surveys. We will also need a committee to interview prospective interim ministers. In addition, there are a number of administrative tasks that Bruce handles that will need to be covered during the transition. One such thing is simply who is going to lock and unlock the church on a daily basis? A committee will be established to determine how we will cover such things.
4. Finally, we want this process to be as transparent and open as possible and we will strive to keep everyone informed. At some point, there will undoubtedly be rumors. If you hear anything that concerns you, please ask a consistory member and we will do our very best to give you the facts. Please continue to pray for our church and for the individuals who are working on the various aspects of the process.
We have been working very hard to encourage all the volunteers who work with children to get their volunteer clearances from the state well in advance of the deadline. All of our employees have these clearances. The following volunteers also have them.
Holly Badman Donna Bankert Danielle Benner Kristine Benner Craig Bixler Linda Bixler Janet Black Elizabeth Eyler Joleen Fennell Susan Foerster Betty Freed Tina Hagarman Linda Heller Alecia Highlands David Highlands Linda Huber Pam Kreitz Nancy Kuhn Michael Mummert Debra Rickrode Gary Rickrode Glendon Ruhlman Ashley Rummel Linda Sager Joann Sites Johanna Sites Holly Smith
Carol Spangler-Solomon Joyce Wagner Jenn Weaver Aaron Welper Deborah Wierman
Please thank them for their good effort when you see them. A few more volunteers have also gone through the application process and are waiting to receive more documents in the mail.
Please inform the church office if there are any changes to your address, phone number, or email address.
March 14, 2016
There were 17 members present including Pastor Bouchard and Pastor Thormaehlen.
General pledge for February 2016: $18,202.40 (4 Sundays)
General pledge for February 2015: $14,837.80 (4 Sundays)
YTD 2016 income: $40,592.57
YTD 2016 expenses: $36,882.00
YTD overage: $3,710.57
Checking account balances
Len Bankert reports that we will not be doing the floors this spring.
Still waiting on the parsonage roof and the brick pointing.
Trustees should schedule a time with Bruce and Rita to tour the parsonage to determine what repairs need to be made prior to a new tenant. Once we have an idea of the scope of work, we can get some quotes and determine when the work can be done in conjunction with any other projects. Carpeting the sanctuary was high on our list but may be needed to be put on hold.
Dan Trimmer called a meeting of the personnel committee to meet after the Consistory meeting to organize teams for data collection for congregational assessment, interim search, unlocking and locking doors, and learning current computer programs.
We have received 5 profiles to this point for the interim pastor.
Carol Hinkle, Hanover Area Council of Churches, commended Grace’s efforts for donating approximately $10,000 to HACC last year. The funds were raised from Sharing God’s Grace and Hanover Has Talent.
We've had outside visitors who have provided great, positive feedback of the modern service. We have had 50+ attendances at each service for last 4 weeks.
Sharing God’s Grace Project for this year is the Community Health Ministry of the Hanover Council of Churches. The community ministry provides a number of meaningful community health programs including a free medical clinic, flu shot clinics, a fund for prescription drugs, diabetes education and support groups, and other initiatives to improve the health and welfare of those in the greater Hanover area with emphasis on those who are not insured or who are underinsured. Our goal is $5,000. A special offering will be taken during the last hymn of the month April – December.
Prepared by Craig Bixler
March 15, 2016
We are planning a bus trip for July to Mackinac Island. Details will be available soon. There is a lot of interest on this one, so call if you need information. Call Mary Jane Fuhrman 637-1513
Sewing Group – April 12
Calling all pinners and sewers to help with the bed pad project. Starting time is 9:00 AM and we finish at 11:00 AM. We take a short break with snacks.
If any questions you can contact Linda Sager or Leone Musselman
The next meeting will be on May 10.
Attention members and friends of Grace as you
are doing your cleaning of drawers and closets,
the bed pad ministry could use clean sheets and pillow cases to continue their work in service
of the need for the community.
Linda Sager and Leone Musselman
Community Health Ministry is the 2016 Sharing God’s Grace Project
The Hanover Area Council of Churches has established a number of meaningful community health programs including a free medical clinic, flu shot clinics, a fund for prescription drugs, diabetes education and support groups, and other initiatives to improve the health and welfare of those in the greater Hanover area with emphasis on those who are not insured or who are underinsured.
In December 2012 the program began by providing free Flu Shots at the council building. Currently about 150 shots are given each year. The Free Clinic opened for Blood Pressure and Glucose Monitoring in 2013 on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month from 10:30am – 12 noon. In May 2014 the clinic was able to add a prescription plan in cooperation with Laslow’s Pharmacy. In April 2015 the free clinic added a 2 hour clinic on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month. Since opening the Clinic over 200 patients have been served in addition to Flu Shots. In addition Diabetes Education Classes are held the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 12-1pm. Free flu shots are also available each year.
Two kinds of people who were treated: Judy a single mother whose eight year old daughter had an ear infection. Sam a 35 year old single man who developed flu like symptoms.
Clinic doctors are able to order labs and imagining through our partnership with Hanover Hospital as part of their Charitable Care. The clinics have been able to help eliminate some ER usage by clients as a primary care facility. While we do not dispense any drugs at the Clinics our doctors do prescribe medication which is available through Laslow’s Pharmacy with a voucher from the Council. We generally will fill a prescription and one refill.
In addition to the community health programs we work with Family First to move people into a more permanent solution to health care needs as well as assisting patients navigate the insurance system.
A key grant that helped fund these programs has expired and cannot be renewed. The cost last year was $9,987.94. Our goal is to raise $5,000 through Sharing God’s Grace. Offerings for the program are received during the last hymn of the last Sunday of each month April-December. Of course contributions may be made anytime, just mark Sharing God’s Grace on your check or use the envelope in the pew hymn rack and put in the offering plate.
Community Aid Collection Box
The Community Aid box is the ongoing effort of collecting gently used clothing and other small items. The Community Aid collection box is located at the far end of our church parking lot. Donations of clean, good clothes are appreciated. The sale of these items allows Community Aid to donate proceeds to various charities in our area.
We recently received a check in the amount of $130.00, representing the 4th quarter/2015, for our donations to the Community Aid collection box located at the end of our Church Parking Lot. This brings us to a total of $451.00 for the calendar year 2015. Please remember this as a good way to share our gently used clothing for the benefit of others
To sponsor flowers or bulletins for worship services, please contact the church office
632-1146 for open dates.
Friday, April 8, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Theme: Noah's Ark – A New Start
Messy Church is an opportunity for families to learn about God through fun, food, , fellowship, and creativity. Bible stories are shared through storytelling, crafts, and music. A light meal is served. Activities are structured for young children up through elementary age.
Vacation Bible School
Sunday, July 10 – Thursday, July 14, 6:15 PM – 8:00 PM
Theme: Cave Quest – Following the Light of the World
If you would like to volunteer to help with VBS, please contact Linda Bixler 632-5606, VBS coordinator
Calling All Graduates
We will be recognizing our high school and college graduates at the Traditional Worship Service on Sunday, May 22. Please submit info on student name, school, area of study, degree earned, and future plans to the Church Office so that we can have a certificate printed for the graduate. We all celebrate their success!
Welcome New Members
Michael Bushman Tasto III,
parents: Michael and Laura Tasto, grandparents: Rob and Lisa Greenholt
Taylor Vivian Potts
parents:Keith and Darlene Potts
Aubrey Ann Nicole Smith
parents: David Smith and Amanda Boyer
Hanover Has Talent Results
WOW! What a wonderful 6th Annual Hanover Has Talent show. Thank you to the over 400 people that attended the talent show and helped raise over $1700.00 for the Changing Lives Shelter.
Thank you also goes to church members and local businesses that donated funds towards prize money that allowed us to donate more to the shelter. Special thanks to the 20 acts that performed and entertained us. The judges, which is a difficult job. The volunteers that worked backstage, handled the lights, sold tickets, and anyone I forgot.
Oh, yeah! Thanks to Country Manor Florist for the beautiful flowers and Garrick Jewelers for the great trophies.
Blessings to all and we will see you next year. Linda Smith and Jessica Staub
Spiritual Groups at Grace
Rev. Bruce Bouchard is leading a Bible study on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 PM.
Sisters Through Christ meet on Wednesdays, at 11:30 PM. They are reading a new book.
Bread and Grace led by Rita Bouchard(630-2570) meets at the Parsonage next door to the church on Sunday mornings at 9:45 AM. They are reading a new book.
Weis & Giant Grocery Cards
Do you shop at Weis or Giant? Weis & Giant grocery cards are an easy way to support our Deacon Fund as we earn 5% when we use these grocery cards. They are available in the church office.
What is the Deacon's Fund?
The Grace Church Deacon's Fund is used to assist those members of our congregation who may experience emergency financial need. The need may arise from poverty, illness, accident, jog loss, fire, or other difficult situations.
From Mike, Laura, and Michael, III, Tasto: Dear members of the Baby Blanket Ministry, Thank you so much for the beautiful handmade baby blanket. Also thank you for including the “Newborn's Conversation with God” story. Very cute.
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Grace United Church of Christ is scheduled to help out at the clothing bank on the first Monday of the month from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
We are also scheduled for PAL lunch the third Saturday each month. Help is always needed and accepted.
Tuna Helper, Dish Soap (Grease-cutting), Bleach
Diapers (size 5 & 6), Diaper Wipes, Men’s Boxers & Boxer Briefs (All sizes including XL & XXL—NO Regular Briefs)
CHANGING LIVES SHELTER
Hand Towels, Coffee, Dish Soap
All single serving please!
Mini-meals, Cereal, Fruit, Cup-A-Noodles
We always have a need for old towels that can be cut up and used as cleaning rags! Please mark your bag
“RAGS” to avoid any confusion with your donation.
If you would like to volunteer to help at PAL lunch on the 3rd Sat of the month, please contact:
Craig Bixler 632-5606 or
Rita Bouchard 630-2570
SERVING IN APRIL
If you are unable to serve a position that you are scheduled for please find a substitute and/or inform the church secretary.
Head Ushers: Mike Bankert, Sue Lang
April 3: Barry Bankert, Donna Bankert,
Michelle Harter, Mike Harter,
Linda Sager, Dan Trimmer
April 10: Barry Bankert, Donna Bankert,
Michelle Harter, Mike Harter,
Linda Sager, Dan Trimmer
April 17: Matt Boyer, Debbie Wierman,
Richard Boyer, Levi Highlands,
Luke Highlands, Stephanie McIlwee
April 24: Matt Boyer, Debbie Wierman,
Richard Boyer, Levi Highlands,
Luke Highlands, Stephanie McIlwee
April 3: TBA
April 10: Linda Bixler & Ethan Shank
April 17: Martha Channell
April 24: Donna Bankert
Acolyte & Reader
April 3: Vance Hagarman
April 10: Kristina Newman
April 17: Valerie Utz
April 24: Cobie Coler
April 3: Betsy Eyler, Holly Smith, Jenn Weaver
April 10: Jaleen Fennell, Linda Sager, Donna Bankert
April 17: Pam Kreitz, Sherry Lawrence, Joann Sites
April 24: Alecia & David Highlands, Allison Myers
Nursery Help Needed
Our Nursery staff is in search of helpers so that we may be able to continue to provide this service during our Sunday morning Worship Services. Please contact Nancy Kuhn or the Church Office, to join in on the fun that is our Nursery Ministry!!!
April 3 – Fay Emlet
April 10 – Mike & Stephanie Stonesifer
April 17 – Faye Myers
April 24 – Faye Myers
COFFEE HOUR HOSTS
April 3: Carol Spangler-Solomon
April 10: The Heindl Family
April 17: Mike & Kelly Bankert
April 24: Holly Badman
If you are interested in providing refreshments for the modern service, please contact Pam Kreitz 717-476-9511.
YOUTH CHURCH ASSISTANTS
If you are interested in helping, please contact Tina Hagarman 633-5309.