Days of Grace May 2016


May 2016

The Days of Grace


Grace United Church of Christ






Web site:


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




Ask and You Will Receive


It is amazing what we can learn by just asking the right question. I remember once trying to find an address in York, PA, before the days of GPS.  I called a friend who lived there and he knew the exact directions and seemed happy that I asked. I am often amazed at the information that one can find out about products that you want to buy by just asking Mr. Google. People are happy to share their experiences with you. Rita once did a relatively complicated plumbing job just by asking friends at church, who knew how to fix almost anything.


Of course, we can be delighted to discover the many ways that others might encourage us, share creative ideas, or give us directions. But first, one needs to ask. That can be the difficult part.


When it comes to our faith, we often forget to ask God. One would think that God, being the Lord of the universe, might have a fair chance of knowing how to help us.


What are sources of resistance to asking God for help? First, we want to do it ourselves. It is a matter of pride. But remember, while God will guide you, the Lord will still allow you to do all the work. If you do not speak up and share the amazing way that God has helped you, God will also let you take the credit. But tell people anyway and help them to find faith.


We might not think that God can do anything to help us because we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that darkness and light are the same to God. God can always find a way.


We might not think to ask God because we do not hear God responding to our prayers. If we did, we would think we were hearing voices. A member of our church was told that she could not have children. She prayed for six years until she had her first. Then, she had two more. Keep your eyes open for the way God’s answers to your prayers unfold in your life. God will not necessarily meet the expectations of your agenda. The more that you come to the know the God that we meet in Jesus, the more you will understand the way that God will answer your prayers.


We have a bright future ahead with God. God has so much planned, for you, me, and this church. Keep the prayers up. Pray for the church, the interim pastor, and all those working on the transition and finding a new pastor. Put your prayers into action and help them.


“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock (Matthew 7:7-8).




Soon we will be inviting you to complete the Church Assessment Tool (CAT), which will be provided to you to complete online or in paper form. The purpose of this instrument will help the leaders at Grace U.C.C. discover how to gauge the strength, vitality, and trends in our church and also help them as they make decisions about the future of our church. Your personal participation, as a member of Grace U.C.C., is very important in completing this assessment tool.


In late spring or early summer, you will receive an email with a unique link or web-page access to the CAT.  When the e-mail arrives, we will be asking you to go online by clicking on the link provided so you can tell us about your experiences in and priorities for our church. If you do not use the internet and need a paper copy of the CAT, you will be informed when and how your paper copy will be provided. Details for obtaining and completing paper assessments will be coming soon. During the process of preparing and filling out your form, please do not discuss the survey or your answers with others as this may influence their answers.


All answers are strictly anonymous. We have no way of matching any assessment to a particular person. There isn’t a location on the document to put your name so no one will know what you recorded. Please feel free to candidly share your perceptions, opinions and experiences on the CAT.  Our future together is dependent on your participation and honest answers.


If you have any questions please contact:

Dan Trimmer at or 870-4539.     


Many thanks,

    Dan Trimmer

    Holly Badman

    Carol Spangler-Solomon

    Terry Wilson

    Amy Fawks

    Beverly Speight-Mohamed


Search Notes


Great news!  As you may have already heard, Grace UCC has obtained the services of Rev. Robin Keating as an interim pastor.  Reverend Keating will start shortly after Rev. Bouchard’s retirement.  He comes to us with over 20 years of experience in the ministry, having served churches in Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.  He has training as an interim pastor and working with churches in transition.  He is married but his wife will be remaining at their home in North Carolina.  He will be living in the parsonage.  


Ministry is Rev. Keating's second career, having spent a number of years in the restaurant business and banking.  He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in 1995 and was ordained by the United Church of Christ that same year.  

The interim search committee—consisting of Les Loucks, Dick Benner, Merle Whisler, Doug Long, Jay Hossler, Patti Miller, and Betsy Beall—is to be commended for finding such a qualified individual who holds many of the same values as the congregation of Grace UCC.  The pool of applicants is not a large one and the committee worked quickly, but carefully, in reviewing and interviewing the candidates before choosing Rev. Keating.  He is excited to join us and we are truly blessed to have found him.


On Monday, April 11th, the consistory approved the hiring of Rev. Keating and set his salary at the equivalent to 48,000 dollars per year along with the normal fringe benefits and the use of the parsonage.  It should be noted that Bruce and Rita have agreed to leave much of the furniture they had intended to donate or discard so that Rev. Keating will have a mostly furnished living space.  We cannot thank them enough for doing this.


I am sure we are all looking forward to meeting and welcoming Rev. Keating to Grace.  The R2V committee will be planning opportunities to do just that upon his arrival.


While the hiring of Rev. Keating is a welcome development and reduces some of the anxiety associated with Bruce’s retirement, there are still things to be done and several committees are in place and at work.  One committee—made up of myself, Carol Spangler-Solomon, Holly Badman, Terry Wilson, Beverly Speight-Mohammed, and Amy Fawks—is preparing for the Congregational Assessment Tool.  The importance of this tool cannot be over-emphasized.  The results will give us valuable information enabling us to find a permanent pastor who is a best fit for Grace.  Over the next few months there will be opportunities to learn more about this survey and to prepare for the most successful and stress free administration.  Holly Badman has prepared a brief introduction which can also be found in this newsletter and more information will follow.


Another committee—headed by Mike Bankert and consisting of Faye Myers, Liz Hossler, Greg Sindlinger, and Len Bankert—will be developing plans to cover all of the odd jobs that Bruce has normally done.  We take for granted that Bruce does things like lock and unlock the church every day, set thermostats, service the computers and on and on.  This committee will determine how these things will get done once Bruce leaves.


Finally, a committee consisting of Linda Bixler, Rev. Dot Thormaehlen, Jen Weaver, Liz Hossler, and Linda DeMaio are working on plans to honor and thank Bruce for his years of service.  You should have received something in the mail recently regarding some of these plans.

Thank you to all the volunteers on these committees.  As you can see, there is a lot to be done.  Once Rev. Keating is established and the Congregational assessment is completed, we will begin to think about the search for a new permanent minister.  Remember, this will be a long process and patience is important.  But if what that has been accomplished to this point is any indication, we will be successful in finding the leader for the next phase in the life of our congregation.


Respectfully submitted,

Dan Trimmer




The R2V Team will continue to meet regularly once Pastor Bruce retires.  Pastor Dot and Carol Spangler-Solomon are now co-chairs of that team.  The team will have a new coach, Mike Gibbs, assisting them beginning in May.  The R2V team will have a specific role during this time of pastoral change:


The role of the R2V team during this interim period will continue to focus on evaluating programs at Grace.  The team will help provide a welcoming presence to the interim pastor and help coordinate and move the transition process forward in a timely manner.  The team will encourage leadership to keep the congregation informed of progress and issues and be a resource to members of the congregation seeking information regarding changes during this interim period.


We will function as a transition team for our interim minister and will plan activities and welcoming events.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this transition process, you can contact the following team members:  Pastor Dot, Carol Spangler-Solomon, Linda Bixler, Les Loucks, and Jenn Weaver.


We thank you in advance knowing that you will welcome our interim (and eventually our new pastor) with the wonderful hospitality that we bring others as part of our faith and love of Christ!


Church Directory


Please inform the church office if there are any changes to your address, phone number, or email address.


Consistory Digest


April 11, 2016

There were 17 members present, including Pastor Bouchard and Pastor Thormaehlen.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for March 2016:  $14,989.00   

                                            (4 Sundays)

    General pledge for March 2015:     

                       $21,811.50   (5 Sundays)

    YTD 2016 income:  $67,175.98

    YTD 2016 expenses:  $57,419.60

    YTD overage:  $9,756.38

Checking account balances

        Operating:  $26,786.89

        Deacon:  $19,307.85

        Education:  $11,152.31

        Memorial:  $39,650.36

        Resource:  $22,514.98


There were five profiles received from applicants for Grace’s interim pastor position.  One applicant withdrew.  The search committee interviewed two applicants by Skype.  The search committee agreed on one applicant and recommended Rev. Robin Keating to be Grace’s interim pastor.  Rev. Keating will move from North Carolina and is interested in living in the parsonage.  He is interested in both the traditional and modern services.  He is available now.

Rev. Keating has been a pastor for approximately 20 years.  He has been an interim pastor for other congregations.  He would like a salary of $48,000 per year.

A motion to hire Rev. Robin Keating at $48,000 per year was made by Les Loucks, with a 2nd to the motion by Jedd Beall.  The motion passed unanimously.



Mike Harter has been in contact with Donald B. Smith and has been told that work should soon be started.

Dan Trimmer heard from Randy Brady. The brick repointing  should begin in May.

The trustees should try to have plaster repairs and painting completed in the parsonage family room/library in May, before Rev. Keating moves in.



Rev. Rick Smith has resigned his membership because he is being transferred to Aldersgate Methodist in York. He has been at Grace Methodist in Hanover for 19 years and First Vice-President for many years.

Under Community Needs, land is needed for more gardens. Could Grace offer this?

Looking for someone experienced with Excel to join Finance Committee.

The Hispanic American Center is doing well and has 17 members taking Spanish to English Language class.

Looking for a group to do the first Saturday of each month for PAL.

There were 57,620 Pal Lunches served in 2015.

Ruth’s Harvest reported 130 Volunteers.

The CROP Walk raised $15,757 and Grace UCC raised $1,936 (2nd highest amount)



We believe the R2V members can be helpful by assuming the following role:  The role of the R2V team during this interim period will continue to focus on evaluating programs at Grace.  The team will help provide a welcoming presence to the interim pastor and help coordinate and move the transition process forward in a timely manner.  The team will encourage leadership to keep the congregation informed of progress and issues and be a resource to members of the congregation seeking information regarding changes during this interim period.


Sunday, April 17th was our Stewardship Emphasis Sunday when Pastor Bruce spoke about Tabitha in Acts 9, who had a good heart and eager spirit to assist.  On Sunday, May 1st we will have our annual Commitment Sunday.  You will be receiving a letter and a faith commitment card in the mail prior to the May 1st service. This faith commitment card can be placed in the offertory plate during this service on May 1st or any Sunday after or mailed to the church office. As you remember from other years, this commitment card is a simple way for all of us to be reminded that our giving is important to our church and our faith.


New people are attending the Modern Service who would like to get involved by singing and helping with refreshments.  More people are signing up for email and text blasts regarding the Modern Service.


Prepared by Craig Bixler

April 14, 2016




You may note that Pastor Dot has begun to disappear on Sundays.  This spring and summer time of year is when she gets more calls to provide pulpit supply for other pastors as they take leave for vacation or other purposes.  Sometimes she may cover at other churches for extended periods of time.  During these times she will continue to be active, involved, and available to Grace.  She can be contacted through the church office or on her cell, 443-904-3363, if you wish to reach her.




There are many wonderful people here at Grace and we already have a wonderful, caring, and dedicated group of people who visit those unable to attend services.  As Pastor Bruce retires, Pastor Dot and the Visitation Team want those we visit to be assured they will remain important to all of us in the life of our congregation by making sure that everyone on our visitation list continues to be visited on a regular basis.  It would be very helpful if you could share a visit, maybe even just once a month, with a particular person, or persons, or agree to make regular phone visits even. Please let Pastor Dot know if you would be willing to help out.  Your help is much needed and will be much appreciated!  You can contact Pastor Dot through the Church Office or on her cell at 443-904-3363.

Thank you for considering!  Your assistance would be a big blessing!


"This Week at Grace"


Just a reminder that Corby Myers will be taking over the “Today at Grace” email and the church website as of April 18, 2016. She has already made many helpful changes on the church website.  If you would like publicity on the “Today at Grace” page or other church publication, please fill out the Grace Publicity Request page at on the church website. You can also find a link in the “Today at Grace” email. You can either print the request form or or email it. While a form may sound a bit formal, it does help you to share the information that we need for your publicity.


Rev. Dot Thormaehlen has started to record the The Bible Study and Prayer Line on 717-632-1819 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.



Resource Committee


We were so busy working on our projects what we had no time to count the monies.  Here is the latest:


January Soup sale:  $ 396.03

February Pie sale:      401.02

Easter Candy sale:   1599.61


We still need to fill four seats on our bus to reach the quota to go to Mackinac Island in July.  Please consider joining us or tell your friends.  It will be a wonderful scenic and knowledgeable trip, as well as a fundraiser.  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


The Resource Committee will be holding a huge Parking Lot Yard Sale on May 14.  Except for a few pieces, items will be a “donation only” payment.  Sale items will be accepted anytime.  Time of event will be 8:00AM until 2:00PM.  Homemade pies will also be offered for sale.  Don't miss this one!  We will need early morning manpower to help set up.


Sewing Group – May 10


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 June 14

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.


Looking Ahead

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 II

Susan Maddox




Michael Bushman Tasto III

    parents: Michael and Laura Tasto    

grandparents:  Rob and Lisa Greenholt


Draven Alexander Roberts

    parents: Frances and Elmer Roberts


With Sympathy


Guy W. Caler

Kenneth P. Ruhlman

Wayne A. Zartman




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.




My Dear Grace Family:  Thank you for the cards, prayers, and visits after the passing of my Guy.  Special thanks to Pastor Bruce for his support and the Martha Ministries for the lovely luncheon prepared by the Ladies of Grace. Tracy and I are so grateful for our Church Buddies.

Love to all, Brian, Tracy, & Sue Caler







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.


May Needs


Coffee Creamer, Sugar, Canned Potatoes



Men’s Shoes (new or used size 11 and up),

Diapers (size 5 & 6), Diaper Wipes, Men’s Boxers and Boxer Briefs – All sizes including XL & XXL (NO Regular Briefs)



Men’s Deodorant, Full-size Conditioner,

Full-size Shampoo



All single serving please!   

Mini-meals, Tuna or Chicken Kits, Goldfish Crackers, Popcorn  


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 wih your donation.



Volunteers Needed

If you would like to volunteer to help at PAL lunch on the 3rd Sat of the month, please contact:

 Craig Bixler 632-5606




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:  Jedd Beall, Carroll Miller


May 1:  Leslie Grote, Paul Grote,Vance Hagerman, Wes Hagerman, Todd Holt, Craig Bixler

May 8:  Leslie Grote, Paul Grote,Vance Hagerman, Wes Hagerman, Todd Holt, Craig Bixler

May 15:    Consistory

May 22:  Holly Smith, Kris Smith, Ryan Smith, Karl Whisler, Merle Whisler, Maynard Warner

May 29:  Holly Smith, Kris Smith, Ryan Smith, Karl Whisler, Merle Whisler, Maynard Warner



May   1:   Ryan Smith

May   8:   Youth

May 15:   Dan Trimmer, Assisting Elder

May 22:   Linda Bixler, Brayden Myers

May 29:   Rev. Dorothy Thormaehlen



        Acolyte & Reader

May  1:   Sydney Bankert

May  8:   Vance Hagarman

May 15:  Kristina Newman

May 22:  Valerie Utz

May 29:  Cobie Coler   



May   1:  Joyce Wagner, Cindy Garrett, Sue Foerster

May   8:  Jennifer & Brian Baldwin, Jenn Weaver

May 15:  Michele Rudisill, Paige Harget, Ashley Rummel

May 22:  Kim Aumen, Faye Myers, Alda Heller

May 29:  Pam Kreitz, Sherry Lawrence, Joann Sites


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!!!




May   1:   Carol Spangler-Solomon

May   8:  Mike & Stephanie Stonesifer

May 15:  Consistory

May 22:  Mike, Kelly & Sydney Bankert

May 29:  Cathy Reck






May   1:   Youth Group

May   8:   Mother's Day – No coffee hour

May 15:   Consistory – Pentecost – Confirmation

May 22:   Board of Education – Honoring the grads

May 29:   Memorial Day Weekend – TBA





If you are interested in providing refreshments for the modern service,  please contact Pam Kreitz 717-476-9511.



If you are interested in helping, please contact Tina Hagarman 633-5309.

Christ calls us to reach out with Love and share God's Grace.