Days of Grace October 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…


Exciting things are happening at Grace UCC! The Transition Team is formed; we’ve had our two day training retreat; our first meeting; and are planning our first event for Saturday, October 22.  Mark your calendars now and plan to participate, as we look to our past to prepare for the future.

But first let me give you the particulars of the Transition Team. If you recall a letter went out to the congregation at the beginning of July asking for  nominations to the Transition Team and prayer for these nominees.  (Ineligible were any Grace UCC staff person or their spouse.) The perceived qualities of each nominee were as follows: Trusted, respected, prayerful, spiritually wise, a regular attendee, able to speak for groups within the faith community (not representatives, but representative), and willing to listen to all perspectives. 

The Executive Board and the Elders met with me to finalize the prospective candidates to the team. I invited the 14 individuals recommended and 13 of them attended an orientation, explaining expectations and the process. Again, each one was encouraged to prayerfully consider that they had been called by God and the congregation to take on this task of leadership. Of those 13 attendees nine accepted the role. These nine are as follows:


Elizabeth (Liz) Hossler, current co-chair; Greg Sindlinger, secretary; Jennifer (Jenn) Weaver; Merle Whisler; Beverly Speight-Mohamed; Anthony (Tony) Heindl; Linda Bixler; Betsy Beall; Leonard (Len) Bankert 

(Just a reminder: the Transition Team will not have any authority other than what is required to carry out their tasks, and will disband when they have finished their work of recommending that a Pastoral Search Committee be formed.)

The Transition Team is one of the key components to the Intentional Interim Ministry process. In fact it may well be the single most important element. The Team is:


1)  A trusted group of individuals to guide the transition process

2)  A group of spiritually wise leaders

3)  Representative of the entire congregation (a microcosm)

4)  A critical strategy in the process because it communicates that this is the congregation’s work

5)  A model to the congregation in looking for God’s movement among the people as they seek to discover God’s will and purpose for the future of the congregation

6)  In addition to the Consistory, it is the Intentional Interim Minister’s accountability group

7)  A new group with a new life

The Transition Team has several objectives that help the Team accomplish their work. They are:

1)  Are a safe, trusting and open group where members can share their disappointments and concerns

2)  Customize the Intentional Interim Ministry process, tasks, and activities to fit the congregation’s needs

3)  Lead the interim process, while other leaders continue the ongoing leadership functions of “running” the faith community

4)  Become a safeguard in 2 respects:

    a. The Team facilitates the congregation’s   

     engagement of the transition work rather

     than the interim minister doing the work for   

     the congregation


   b. The Team prevents the interim minister    

     from being perceived as extending the  

     transition time for his own personal benefit


The Transition Team will involve the congregation in five tasks by examining:

1)  Our heritage, what has shaped and formed  

     the congregation to what we are now

2)  Our core values, combined with why we  

     exist, what we will look like in the near   

     future and how we will accomplish this

3)  Our leadership and how the leaders are  

     incorporated into our church culture, as well    

     as reviewing our membership, our needs and   

     our way of organizing ourselves

4)  Our relationships beyond our own church

     walls – within the Hanover community and    

     our denominational connections through the   

     association, conference and national offices

5)  Our vision of a shared future, hopes and  

     dreams which with effort can become a   



None of this work is done in a vacuum. As I stated earlier, the Transition Team engages the congregation to participate in all the activities so that we can understand our wants and needs and the direction that we are being called by God in ministry. The information from the Congregational Assessment will assist the Team in developing intentional programs to engage the congregation in better understanding of ourselves. And the Assessment combined with the work of the Team will facilitate an accurate and realistic Church Profile, which is necessary to begin the Pastoral Search process.

The Transition Team has written their covenant together and each member has signed in agreement of its stipulations:

Through Prayer, Grace UCC has sought God’s guidance in forming a Transition Team. These team members prayerfully accepted the responsibility to …

  • Openly listen to the congregation

  • Gather the congregation’s perspective

  • Communicate to the congregation

  • Be available for the congregation

  • Respect the congregation

With understanding and love this team serves the Grace UCC mission of reaching out and sharing God’s grace.


On October 22 (Saturday) from 4:00PM to 6:00PM the Transition Team will host its first event, “Heritage of Grace: A Look at the Past to Lead Us into the Future”. In the weeks leading up to the event a timeline will be placed in the church. Everyone will have an opportunity to place post-it notes on the timeline of significant events in their lives: births, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, deaths, etc. in relation to the life of the church. The October 22 gathering will culminate this focus with fellowship, discussion, a presentation, an opportunity to “Q & A” the team, and a light meal of soup and sandwiches.

As we prepare ourselves for the calling of our new pastor may we continue to prayerfully seek God’s guidance in all that we do. And remember “Have I told you today that I love you.”


New Security 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:

  • 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 14 members present including Pastor Keating and Pastor Thormaehlen.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for August 2016:  $15,303.22   (4 Sundays)

General pledge for August 2015:  $21,855.01   (5 Sundays)

    YTD 2016 income:     $157,819.97

    YTD 2016 expenses:  $200,277.02

    YTD shortage:            $  42,457.05

Checking account balances

    Operating:        $ 15,454.19

    Deacon:            $ 19,398.09

    Education:        $ 11,156.33

    Memorial:         $ 10,275.59

    Resource:          $ 20,100.63


Pastor Keating will be attending a retreat for ministers new to the Penn Central Conference on Oct. 26 and 27 at Hartman Center.


The Personnel Committee is recommending the creation of a Fundraising Committee.


Trustees Report:  We received a second quote for replacing the roof on the education wing from D and D for $37,000.  This is significantly more than the Donald B Smith quote. Two quotes to replace carpeting in the sanctuary were received from Henry’s Floor Covering, Inc. The quotes are $12,753 and $17,336.  Both quotes include underlayment.  The Consistory voted to present the repair costs to the congregation.


An inspection of the kitchen found moldy food in the refrigerator.  A sign will be placed on the refrigerator reminding people to date all open food.  Undated open food will be thrown away weekly.


Thanks to Les Loucks for organizing the bush trimming and weed pulling and to all who helped.


We are beginning our third year of the modern service!  Attendance continues to average around 50 each Sunday.  There have been many new (to Grace) people attending the modern service regularly.


Pastor Keating reported fourteen individuals were recommended by the Elders and Executive Committee from the nominations received from the congregation to serve on the Transition Team.  Nine people agreed to serve.  They attended a two day retreat for training.  The next meeting will be September 13.


The Church Assessment committee met recently to set dates for the assessment.  The assessment will take place October 17 through 29.  There will be two  information sessions held about the assessment, September 25 and October 9.  October 23, a proctoring session will be held to assist people who may need help with the assessment.


Craig and Linda Bixler will serve as conference delegates to the end of the year.


Prepared by Craig Bixler

September 14, 2016


Search Notes:

As announced in the recent letter to the congregation, the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) will be given soon.  To be precise, the CAT will be completed between Oct. 17th and 29th. The information from this tool will give us valuable insight to begin our search for a permanent minister.   It is imperative that as many members as possible complete the CAT.  To prepare for the CAT, information and question and answer sessions will be held after both services on September 25 and on October 9.  During these sessions we will give a basic overview of what to expect when you complete the CAT and will answer any questions you may have.  Please try to stay for one of these sessions.


For those who have a computer, the easiest way to complete the CAT will be to do so online.  You will be sent a link to the instrument and will be able to access it that way. This will be the easiest and most inexpensive way for you.  We understand that not everyone has a computer or is comfortable with using one.  For you, a paper copy of the CAT will be made available.  If you are going to need a paper copy, please contact the church office and let Linda know so we can prepare the number of copies necessary. We will gladly provide these copies to those who need them, but again ask that if you have a computer, please use it.  This will save the church significant money and time in distribution and scoring of the CAT.


We also know that some of you may have questions as you complete the CAT.  On Oct. 23, after the traditional service, there will be a session to answer those questions and to help anyone who might need assistance in completing the CAT.


We thank you in advance in completing this important step as we continue our search for our new minister.  


Dates to remember:

Sept. 25 _  Information sessions after both services

Oct 9  –  Information sessions after both services

Oct 17 CAT available to be completed

Oct 23 Help session after the traditional service

Oct 29 Last day to complete CAT


Repairs needed

Upon inspection, it has been discovered that the rubber roof over the Sunday school wing is beginning to pull away from the walls.  That portion of the roof is the oldest on the church and is, in fact, so old that there are no records of when it was put on.  The trustees obtained two quotes to have the roof replaced with Donald B. Smith having the lowest at $27,900 plus any additional expense if there is damage to the wood underlayment.  The work will be done in the spring, with Donald B. Smith repairing any issues that arise over the winter free of charge. This work must be done to avoid damage to the church.


A second repair that is needed is the carpeting in the sanctuary.  The carpeting is wrinkled and seams are beginning to separate.  The concern is that this will cause a tripping hazard for members of the congregation.  The trustees checked with local companies and were told that they do not do commercial work.  The closest company was out of Greencastle.  The quote from Henry’s Floor Coverings to replace the carpet is $12,750 for one grade of carpet and $17,336 for a higher grade. The carpeting is not as critical as the roof but should be done for safety and to improve the appearance of the sanctuary.


A congregational meeting will be held after the traditional service on Oct. 9th to discuss and vote on these expenditures.




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.


"This Week at Grace"

Corby Myers updates the “Today at Grace” email and 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.


Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the health programs 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, October  9, at 8:00 AM in the Parlor.


Spiritual Groups at Grace


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


Sewing Group – October 11


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.


Heritage of Grace:

A Look At The Past To Lead Us Into The Future

Saturday, October 22 at 4 PM – 6 PM

Join the Transition Team for a time of fellowship, discussion, a presentation , and an opportunity to ask questions. A light meal will follow the program.

The congregation will have an opportunity to add post-it notes to the timeline of  the significant events in their lives in relation to the life of the church in the weeks prior to the event.

Mark the date on your calendar. 

To help us plan for the meal, please return the form below to Liz Hossler, Linda Bixler, or the church office by Sunday, October 16.






I will attend the event on Saturday, October 22.


Name ___________________________


Number attending__________


Neighbors In Need


The Neighbors In Need special offering will be received during the month of October. An envelope is available beside the newsletter for your donation.

The Neighbors In Need offering supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.  Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects.  Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice.


Neighbors In Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the UCC.

One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries.

Neighbors In Need needs your support. Prayerfully consider a contribution to this special offering.


Spiritual Groups at Grace


Sisters Through Christ meet on Wednesdays, at 11:30 PM.  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.




Our family would like to thank everyone at Grace UCC for their outpouring of love and support. There really are not enough words to express our gratitude for the prayers and donations. Please continue to pray for Emma and our family as she continues to fight through this disorder.

The Haines Family


I would like to extend my gratitude to all who attended my recital and for the extraordinary generosity of both those who made donations towards my education and everyone who helped to arrange, organize and promote my recital. Thanks to you all, any qualms I may have had about being able to afford textbooks and school supplies (along-with any other expenses which pertain to my education beyond rent, food, and utilities) have now been put to rest. It was a pleasure to play for all of you and I greatly appreciate your help in lightening my financial burdens.


Corbin Moon


My Dear Church Family:

Thank you so very much for your love and support as I moved into my new home here at Spiritrust in York.  Your cards and well wishes have made my transition go very well.  Stop in and say, "Hi!" when you are in the area.  Also, my phone number is the same, so give me call!


Take care & God Bless,

Henrietta Stahl


In Loving Memory


Fred Shoemaker

Nadine Berwager

Eileen L. Harvey




It is with regret that Homewood at Plum Creek has decided to end their canceled stamp program.  Changes by the company who purchased the stamps have made the program more complicated and the compensation they would receive was no longer worth their time and effort.  A big THANK YOU  is extended to all who have helped and contributed to the program over the years.  Since this program’s inception, over $4,500 has been contributed to the Homewood Benevolent Endowment Fund.







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.


October Needs


Hamburger Helper, Mac & cheese, Hot chocolate, Canned sweet potato & sauerkraut  



Towels, Family-Size toiletries, Sheet sets (Full & Queen)    



Men’s deodorant, Shaving cream, Hand soap, Sandwich Bags, Blankets (sleeping – no crochet)   



All single serving please!   

Snacks, Vegetables, Mini meals/complete 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


The Clothing Bank needs your help!


We are looking for individuals who are available to come and sort clothing and items. Sorters are needed 8:30-11AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Cashiers are needed 9AM-12 noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on the first Saturday of the month when the Clothing Bank is open from 9 AM to 12. If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity please contact the Council office at 717-633-6353.




Weekly Prayer Requests

We ask you to take a moment and say a prayer for one of our ministries. As we all know, the power of prayer works!

Week of Oct. 2:    Crop Walk Committee & Walkers


Week of Oct. 9:    HACC Sunday Worship Leaders


Week of Oct. 16:  HACC Volunteers


Week of Oct. 23:  Board of Directors


Week of Oct. 30:  HACC Ministerium





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:  Stephanie McIlwee, Joann Sites

October 2:    Communion – Consistory

October 9, 16:   Matt Boyer, Levi Highlands,

        Becky Boyer, Luke Highlands,

        Rick Boyer,     Debbie Wierman

October 23, 30:  Barry Bankert,  Donna Bankert,

        Mary Jane Fuhrman, Linda Sager,

        Earl Fuhrman, Randy Stonesifer



October 2:    Amy Fawks/Assisting Elder

October 9:    Craig Bixler

October 16:  Debbie Wierman

October 23:  TBA

October 30:  Ethan Shank & Linda Bixler


Calling All Readers:  Please Help!

We are looking for some people to help with lectoring.  If you can help please leave a message in the office or on my answering machine!  Thanks for your help.  

Faye Myers (632-6361)



        Acolyte & Reader

October 2:    Cobie Coler

October 9:    Sydney Bankert

October 16:  Vance Hagarman

October 23:  Kristina Newman

October 30:  Valerie Utz



October 2:    Consistory

October 9:    Mike Mummert

October 16:  Becky & Rick Boyer

October 23:  Stephanie McIlwee

October 30:  Jenn Weaver




October 2:    Michele Rudisill, Paige Harget, Joleen Fennell

October 9:    Donna Bankert, Linda Sager, Nancy Bankert

October 16:  Darlene Potts, Jenn Weaver, Joann Sites

October 23:  Pam Kreitz, Sherry Lawrence, Faye Myers

October 30:  Christine Morey, Betsy, Eyler,  Holly Smith


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!!!





October 2:    Kerry & Sallie Durika

October 9:    Youth Group

October 16:  Linda & Craig Bixler

October 23:  Rick & Becky Boyer

October 30:  Nancy & Len Bankert





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.