Days of Grace September 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.


Interim Pastor: Rev. Robin S. Keating

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 Keating’s Cell Phone: 336-250-9554


Rev. Keating’s e-mail address:   


Pastor Dorothy Thormaehlen Cell Phone:



Info/Prayer/Bible Study Line

717-632-1819, access # 86212


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 Word From Pastor Robin Keating…


This story has been on my heart of late. It is adapted from a poem that some say was written by Sonny Salsbury (but I have not been able to confirm that): 

A minister, passing through his church at noon, decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray. Just then the back door opened and a man came down the aisle. The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in some time. His shirt was shabby and his coat was worn and frayed. The man knelt, quietly bowing his head. Then he simply got up and left. In the days that followed this shadow of a man came by the church every noon. Each time he knelt for just a moment with a lunch pail by his side. The minister's suspicions grew, wondering what from the altar could fit in that old lunch pail or under the frayed coat? He decided to stop the man and ask him, "What are you doing here?"

The old man said, “I work down the road. Lunch is half an hour. And lunchtime is my prayer time for finding strength and encouragement. I stay only moments, because the factory is down the road a piece. I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is what I say:

“I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I have been, since we found each others' friendship and you took away my sin. Don't know much of how to pray, but I think about you all the time. So, Jesus, this is Jim checking in today.”

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim that was good. He added that the man was welcome to pray just about anytime. “Time to go,” Jim smiled saying, “Thanks.” He hurried to the door. After Jim was gone the minister knelt at the altar. He hadn’t done that in a very long time. His heart warmed with love, met Jesus again in that moment. And he repeated old Jim's prayer:

“I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I have been, since we found each others' friendship and you took away my sin. I don't know much of how to pray, but I think about you all the time. So, Jesus, this is me checking in today.”

One day the minister noticed that old Jim failed to come by. More days passed without Jim and he began to worry. At the factory he asked about him, learning he was in the hospital. The hospital staff was concerned. Jim was seriously sick. But while Jim was in their care, they found his smiles a joy. People changed. They became kinder and more understanding of one another. Yet, the head nurse couldn't understand how Jim could be so cheerful, when no flowers, calls or cards came, not even a visitor. The minister arrived at his bedside and voiced the nurse's concern, “No friends come to show they care. You have nowhere to turn.” Looking surprised old Jim with a winsome smile spoke up, "The nurse is wrong. She doesn't know that everyday my dear friend is here. He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

"I just came again to tell you, Jim, how happy I have been, since we found this friendship, and I took away your sin. Always love to hear you pray, I think about you all the time, and so Jim, this is Jesus checking in today."

Just another way of saying, “Have I told you today that I love you?”

            Pastor Robin


         New Security System

                            Dan Trimmer


The new church security system is installed and in working order.  Under the new system the church will remain locked at all times except during regular office hours (8:00 A.M. -4:00 P.M) Monday through Friday and during Sunday morning services.  Access during any other time is with a swipe card at either the elevator entrance or the alley entrance.  If you have not already gotten a card you can do so in the church office.  A few notes regarding the new system:

  • When entering with a swipe card, the alarm will automatically turn off.  You may hear a series of beeps when you open the door but there is nothing that needs to be done.  The alarm will not go off.

  • The alarm will arm automatically every evening at 10:00 P.M.  No one should be in the church past 10:00 P.M. or the alarm will sound.  On those few occasions when activities are scheduled for later (Christmas Eve), the alarm will be deactivated by the company.

  • When leaving the church after hours, the doors will lock behind you.  Please take a second to double check the doors as you leave to make sure they have locked.  Several of the doors have a tendency to not close completely and not lock.   A simple push or pull on the door will verify that it is securely locked.


So remember, if you normally enter the church during the evening hours or on Saturdays for any reason, see Linda in the church office.



Consistory Digest


There were 15 members present including Pastor Keating and Pastor Dot.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for July 2016:  $12,938.30  

                      (5 Sundays)

General pledge for July 2015:  $15,724.50   

                      (4 Sundays)

YTD 2016 income:  $138,553.77

YTD 2016 expenses:  $170,704.50

YTD shortage:  $32,150.73

Checking account balances

    Operating:  $16,359.71

    Deacon:  $17,770.56

    Education:  $11,155.53

    Memorial:  $19,233.06

    Resource:  $9,277.27


The trustees reported that when the masons were working on the brickwork they pointed out work needed on the flat roof over the Sunday School Wing.   Donald B. Smith looked at it and indicated it needs to be replaced. The estimate is $27,900.  The carpeting in the sanctuary is loose, worn and torn.  The trustees will get an estimate for carpet replacement.  We will need the congregation’s approval for the roof expenditure.  We could ask for approval to replace the carpeting at the same time.


Les Loucks reported the Grace WISE Mental Wholeness Team will host a Veterans Celebration September 11, at 4:00 PM, in the sanctuary. Bugles will be part of the service. We will have uniformed veterans bring flags forward. Taps & flag folding will be at the end of the service.  The WISE Team will show the movie Call Me Crazy, October 5, at 5:30 PM.


Pastor Keating reported the R2V Team has been discussing how we can practice extravagant hospitality, how to better welcome visitors, and share God’s grace.

He also reported progress continues with the formation of the Transition Team. A total of 66 people have been nominated to serve by 55 ballots. The Executive Board and Elders met with him and selected 14 to attend the orientation (with an additional 4 as alternates). 13 of the 14 have agreed to meet for the orientation.


The Consistory needs to follow up on the examination of a Grace UCC Wedding Policy. The Pastor is of a very strong opinion that this needs to be done in light of Grace’s Vision Statement: “Christ calls us to reach out with love and share God’s Grace.” Please do not misunderstand that the Vision Statement is to be applied to the Wedding Policy exclusively. All of Grace UCC’s decisions and actions need to be guided by this Vision.


Prepared by Craig Bixler

August 11, 2106


Search Notes

The next step the process of searching for a permanent minister will be to complete the Congregation Self-Assessment.  Every active member age 16 and older will be invited to participate in this assessment.   In the next few weeks, you will be receiving a letter inviting your participation and giving more details about the process.  It is extremely important that as many members as possible complete the assessment.  The responses will help us build a profile to ensure that we find a new minister that is a good match for Grace UCC.  A few key points regarding the assessment are:

  • The assessment consists of approximately 100 questions and will take about 45 minutes to complete.

  • The assessment must be completed in its entirety.  Assessment with blank spaces will not be included in the final results.

  • The assessment is completely anonymous. It can be completed online or in paper form.

  • It is very important that questions are answered honestly.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Your honest opinions regarding all aspects of our church are what are important and needed to build an accurate profile.  

  • Anyone over the age of 16 may participate.  Members who have moved out of the area or those unable to attend for other reasons are welcome to complete an assessment.  

As noted above, you will receive a letter giving more details.  We hope to complete the assessment in late October or early November.  -Dan Trimmer




January 2016           Soup        $ 396.03

February                  Cherry Pies      401.02

March                      Easter Candy    1599.61

April                        Tea          877.90

May                         Yard Sale    2044.00

July                          Bus Trip      944.87


The above is an overview of projects and profits of our committee.  We had a smashing success on our recent bus trip and a lot of new travelers now know of the great programs we offer here.  We have lots of prospects for new trips.


We have put together a trip to the Thousand Islands for October 10-12.  You could call it “Lighthouse, Castles, and Winery.”  This will be perfect timing for great scenery.  Take a break and join us.  Early reservations are a must here.


Also:  We have a one day Washington, DC, trip on Tuesday, December 13, to see all of the Christmas-related venues:  The Botanical Gardens (trains, replicas of monuments, and beauty), our great national tree surrounded by 50 state trees decorated in Christmas splendor, the Mormon Temple—600,000 lights and a live nativity, plus monuments by moonlight.  If you are interested in this “Festival of Lights Tour,” I will need reservations by October 1.  The trip also includes dinner in Georgetown.


Now in Spring 2017 we will be doing a trip to a beautiful inn in Vermont.  Each day (after a hearty breakfast) we will go out from there to see many places of interest—in many areas of Vermont.  More to come on this one.


Dates for candy and pie workers:

September 19, 20, 26, 30

October 3-7

November 1-4, 8-11, 14-16, 28

December 6, 9,16


Tea & Cards:  October 19 (set up Oct 18)


Pumpkin Pies:  November 22-23



To sponsor flowers or bulletins for worship services, please contact the church office

632-1146 for open dates.



The congregation is encouraged to wear name tags to help Pastor Keating learn our names.  This opportunity will also help the congregation become better acquainted with one another.  

After each service the name tags can be placed on the shelves provided at the elevator, office entrance, or front of the church. When you arrive each Sunday, your name tag will be easy to find.

If you do not have a name tag, please see the  head ushers or contact Linda Bixler.




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.  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 has taken 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 records the The Bible Study and Prayer Line every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 717-632-1819 access # 86212


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 under-insured.

     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.

    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.


REMINDER:  GRACE UCC BOARD OF EDUCATION meets Sunday, September 11, at 8:00 AM in the Parlor.


Sewing Group – September 13

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.


Attention members and friends of Grace as you

are doing your cleaning of drawers and closets,

the bed pad ministry could use clean, threadbare  sheets and pillow cases to continue their work in service of the need for the community.


Grace Campfire

A campfire for the congregation has been planned for 6:00 PM on  Saturday, September 17, 2016, at the Myers Family Farm.  The rain date will be September 24.  Hot dogs, S’Mores, chips, soda, and water will be provided.

Bring lawn chairs, flashlights or lanterns and roasting utensils for campfire.  Bring Forks, Knives, & Spoons if desired.

We will have skits, songs, and stories. (If you have any favorites, bring them to share.)  

Location information and the sign-up sheet are at the back of the newsletter.



Grace Seniors will meet on Wednesday, September 14, in Fellowship Hall, at 12:00 noon.  Cubby Conrad, a columnist for the Hanover Evening Sun, will present a program for us. The meal will consist of beef stew, jello salad, rolls, and a dessert.



If you plan to attend, please fill out the form at the end of the newsletter and return it to Pauline Benner, Dona Warner, or Glenn Ruhlman by Sunday, September 11th.  The cost remains the same, $6.00, and should be turned in with your reservation.




Spiritual Groups at Grace


Sisters Through Christ meet on Wednesdays, at 11:30 PM.  They are reading a new book.


Simply Spiritual will meet  September 12, at 10:00 AM, in the Parlor to discuss Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley plus The Gospels, visiting art galleries throughout the world.


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.




Thanks to everyone for helping to "Light the Way For Emma".  The VBS children donated $163 and contributions from the congregation were $555.25 for a total of $718.25. 


Treatments for Emma's diagnosis of PANDAS are not covered by insurance and our donations will help pay for those treatments. Your loving care and concern are appreciated.






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.


September Needs



Coffee, Tuna Helper, Vinegar, Sugar  



Towels, Hand Towels, Wash Cloths, Full Size Shampoo & Full Size Body Wash   



Disinfectant wipes, Disinfectant spray, Air freshener, Coffee  



All single serving please!   

Tuna Kits, Drinks, Cereal, Peanut-free snacks, Popcorn, Mini-meals  


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.



Volunteers Needed

We are scheduled for PAL lunch the third Saturday each month. Help is always needed and accepted.

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:  Craig Bixler, Maynard Warner


September 4, 11:  Kim Aumen, Fay Emlet,

        Steve Hershey, Dan Kessler,

        Doug Long, Dan Trimmer


September 18, 25:  Kelly Bankert, Len Bankert,

        Nancy Bankert, Sydney Bankert,

        Cathy Reck,     Ken Wenger



September   4  Len Bankert

September 11  Joan Rebert

September 18  Linda Bixler

September 25  Faye Myers



        Acolyte & Reader

September   4  Sydney Bankert

September 11  Vance Hagarman

September 18  Kristina Newman

September 25  Valerie Utz



September   4  Mike Mummert

September 11  Jean Weaver

September 18  Rick & Becky Boyer

September 25  Betsy Eyler





September   4  Allison Myers, Betsy Eyler, Holly Smith

September 11  Alecia & David Highlands, Christine Morey

September 18  Tereas McCleary, Troy Bossom, Cindy Garrett

September 25  Jennifer & Brian Baldwin, Ashley Rummel


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!!!





September   4  None

September 11  Board of Education

September 18  Jedd & Betsey Beall

September 25  Sue Caler





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.