Days of Grace December 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…


At the conclusion of the Transition Team’s first event we shifted from Grace’s timeline to a vision for the future. An opportunity was given to those in attendance to express their interest for new (and not so new) activities to occur at Grace. These interests expressed were limited to a phrase or two. We, as a church body, need time to discuss the ideas thoroughly and in depth to unpack with understanding the desires of the church membership. But the following is the offering made on that evening:

There were multiple desires expressed to use more technology (i.e. live streaming, podcasts, youtube, videos) and create a more modern environment. Much, but not all, of these expressions were geared towards the earlier worship. The overall thought is to make all of our worship experiences more available to those that cannot attend.

There was a desire to resume the Bell Choir and periodical Healing Services and start a Bible study (I presume in addition to what is offered on Sunday morning). Those seem to be relatively easy to implement. Only a few “nuts and bolts” are needed to figure out the who and when of it all.

Further thought and exploration needs to occur around the involvement of Youth Ministry. Interest was expressed in a youth minister, mission trips, and more activities.

Outreach into the greater community was a point of emphasis, expressing a need for more congregational involvement.

Another desire was for our church to be involved in workshops and seminars. It was unclear as to whether the vision was focused on our providing the workshops and seminars or our attending them to expand our expertise in ministry. Or it could have meant both. There has been some conversation already about the need to place emphasis on training events for our members as an investment in our future.

And finally a thought was to designate an area for visiting with one another before the later worship.

As we examine these different areas, we do need to be mindful of our Vision Statement:  “Christ calls us to reach out with love and share God’s Grace.” As we discuss the use of technology, additional outreach, involvement with youth, the resumption of activities, additional opportunities for learning, and fellowship we need to make sure that the focus ultimately be reaching out with love to share God’s Grace.

Meanwhile in this Holy season of Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas let us, also, be ever mindful of saying to one another “Have I told you today that I love you.”




It has been six months since Pastor Bouchard retired and I am sure some of you are asking, “Why don’t we have a new minister by now?”  If you remember, we were counseled that churches that have had a long term minister retire are well advised to take their time in calling a new one.  Churches that are successful in this transition often take one to two years.  That does not mean we are doing nothing.  We have called an interim pastor and under his guidance, a transition team has been formed to begin leading the congregation through the process.  Using a variety of activities over the next few months, this team will help the congregation identify important qualities of our church and those talents and abilities needed in our new minister.  An important aspect of the work of this team is to give members of the congregation an opportunity to participate and have a voice in determining what is important.  The first activity took place a few weeks ago and there will be more scheduled after the holidays.  Please make it a point to take part in these events and take the opportunity to share your thoughts and input.


We have also just completed the Congregational survey.  Thank you to the over 100 members who took the time to complete this instrument.  The Consistory will be receiving the results on Nov.28th and then share them with the congregation.  A time has not yet been scheduled for this, but again, I encourage you to attend this session when scheduled so you stay informed on the key points revealed by the survey.  As we shared earlier, the results of this survey will give us valuable information on the skills and talents needed in our new minister.


I have heard the occasional comment that some folks don’t know what is going on with the search.  I have tried to keep you updated through the newsletter, mailings, and occasional announcements on Sundays. Also, as you can see in the above paragraphs, there have been and will be opportunities to take part in the process and to find out first-hand what is being done.  If you cannot attend the transition team activities or the survey information session, and have questions, I am more than happy to speak with you.  You can contact me by email at or call me at (717) 870-4539.

 Grace UCC is in a time of transition.  It is not an easy transition or one without challenges.  But with everyone’s participation, effort, and support, our church can emerge from this period even stronger than ever.

Dan Trimmer


Consistory Digest


There were 11 members present, including Pastor Keating and Pastor Thormaehlen.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for October 2016:  $13,178.81   (5 Sundays)

General pledge for October 2015:  $13,748.91   (4 Sundays)

    YTD 2016 income:     $207,072.43

    YTD 2016 expenses:  $248,183.13

    YTD shortage:            $  41,110.70

Checking account balances

        Operating:        $  14,588.75

        Deacon:            $  19,889.77

        Education:        $  11,194.98

        Memorial:         $  10,721.38

        Resource:         $  14,708.99

Les Loucks resigned from the Consistory. (omitted in October report)

Hanover Area Council of Churches needs volunteers for the clothing bank and cashiers on sale days.  HACC is going to do an outreach into the community for monetary donations.  

  • There will not be a Modern Service on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. We are looking into the ability to live stream the modern service.  It is an additional $85/year for the CCLI license to live steam the music portion.

  • The Visitation Team is looking for some male volunteers with military background.  We have a few men who would enjoy sharing memories and are interested in history.

  • The Transition Team is planning a second event which will occur over several Sundays in February 2017.

  • The Grace UCC Wedding Policy was approved.


The Grace Fund Raising Committee will develop a request form for fund raising events.  A bank account will be opened for the fund.


The elevator occasionally will not go to the top floor.  The trustees will contact the company to have the elevator checked.


Prepared by Craig Bixler, November 15, 2016


Christmas Eve Services

8:00 PM Family Communion

9:00 PM Candlelight Service

Christmas Day Service 10:30 AM


2017 contribution envelopes will be available beginning December 4.


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.    Please take a second to double check the doors as you leave to make sure they have 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.

Christmas Caroling 2016

Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 PM


The elves are hustling and bustling around, trying to make their list for Christmas Caroling and they are checking it twice. Elf Dot and Elf Aaron are compiling a list of other elves that would love to join them in sharing the Christmas Spirit. The elves can range from any age and singing ability is not required. All that is required is the willingness to spread some Christmas Love and Joy to others in our congregation.


Elf Stephanie is looking for elves that would be willing to make some delicious baked goods (cookies, bars, etc.) that our Carolers can pass out as they spread Christmas Cheer.


We are planning on meeting at the church on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 2:30pm. We plan on leaving around 3:00 PM and will return to the church around 5:00 PM. As it has been done in the past, we will return to the church for a light supper and fellowship.


To make sure that we have plenty of baked goods to pass out while caroling, enough food for our carolers and enough vehicles, please contact Elf Aaron, Elf Dot or Elf Stephanie by Friday, December 9, 2016 if you are willing to join us in this wonderful opportunity to spread some Christmas Love and Joy.

Aaron Welper (717) 752-5552

Pastor Dot (443) 904-3363

Stephanie Welper (717) 752-5551




We have a one day Washington, DC, trip on Tuesday, December 13, to see all of the Christmas-related venues.


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:

December 6, 9,16

Mary Jane Fuhrman


"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#





The Youth Group made a financial contribution to buy mashed potatoes for the New Hope Thanksgiving dinner.  They will be making favors for the PAL Luncheon program during the Advent Festival.  They will also participate in the Christmas Program.  During their last meeting they discussed having the Souper Bowl Program again in January on Super Bowl Sunday.  They also will be planning a spaghetti supper in January or February.  Watch the newsletter and Bulletins for more information.


The Youth Group meets on Sunday mornings from 9:45AM to 10:30AM.  All youth, 5th grade and older are invited to join us.




The annual Advent Festival will take place on Sunday, November 27, beginning at 9:00AM with the Modern Worship Service.  Activities include shut-in gifts, wreath decorating, family crafts, PAL favors, and take-home crafts for the children.  All the activities will take place in the basement of the church beginning at 9:45AM. All are invited to help with the activities.  Look for signs to show where activities are located.  There will be a luncheon served following the Traditional Church Service in Fellowship Hall.  Activities what need to be completed will be finished up following the luncheon.  There will be a brief closing program in the Sanctuary to end our celebration.  The Advent Processional will take place during the 10:45AM Traditional Service and Holy Communion will also be served.  The outside Nativity will be set up on Saturday, Nov. 26, weather permitting.  Check with Rick Boyer if you are interested in helping.




The Annual Christmas Program and Party will be held on December 11 at 7:00PM in the Sanctuary.  This year's program is entitled “The Christmas Story”  and will feature children re-enacting the story of the birth of Christ.  The program will include the Children's Choir, the Chancel Choir, participation from several members who appeared in the Christmas program many years ago, as well as members of the Youth Group.  Following the program, refreshments will be served in Fellowship Hall and Santa will be there to talk with the children.  Rehearsals for the program will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1:00PM and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9:45AM in the Sanctuary.  All are welcome to attend the program and to support the children in their good efforts.




The Ladies of Grace will be making Peanut Brittle on November 30 and December 1-2.  It will sell for $7.50 per pound.  Pick up for orders will be Friday, December 2,  at 1 PM to 8 PM; Saturday, December 3, at 9 AM to 1 PM; and Sunday, December 4, at 9:30 AM to noon.  Thank you.  


Sewing Group – December 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.


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.




The December gathering of Grace Seniors will be held at 12 noon on December 14 in a private room at Perkins Restaurant on Eisenhower Drive.  We will order from the menu and each person will be responsible for his or her own meal.  We need to let them know how many will be attending and therefore, please sign up to let us know you’ll be there by December 11.  Please use the attached form for that purpose.  There will be a Christmas program for the enjoyment of all.


At this meeting, it is our custom to bring “prizes” for the Bingo games in the Personal Care facility at Homewood at Plum Creek.   Items such as the following are suggested:  small bottles of hand lotion, tissue packs, snack crackers, sugar free items, candy, etc.   


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –




Name(s) ______________________________


Number attending ________________                               

Turn your reservation in to Dona Warner, Glenn Ruhlman, or Pauline Benner


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.


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.


Ladies of Grace

Cookie Swap


The Ladies of Grace will be sponsoring a Cookie Swap on Sunday, December 11 from 2:30 PM to 4 PM.  This is a congregational event, so all are welcome.  You need only to bring three dozen of your favorite cookies and the recipe for your cookies.  During the swap you will be able to choose up to three dozen cookies to take back home.  Of course, you will want to bring your own container to put them in.  There will be light refreshments served along with entertainment.  In order to plan the event, we need a count of how many will be attending.  Please call the church office (632-1146) or Janet Black (637-1768).  Please plan now to attend this fun event.




From Vivian Eline's children:  

    Mother was a proud member of Grace Church.  She often spoke of memories and her long time friends there.  

I would, at times, read some of your monthly bulletins to her.

Pastor Dot's service was wonderful!

Our gratitude, thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  

Love from Vivian's children, Lois, Jean, Joanne and Bob


From Michael Baum:

    Thank you for the use of the Social Room to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nadine Baum!  She is the grandmother to Michelle Harter.



A big, sincere Thank You to all my Church Family Friends that took the time to send this old lady a Birthday Card! It truly made my day!


God Bless,


Donna Zeigler


In Loving Memory

Anna Wagner

Mary “Caroline” Blettner




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

632-1146 for open dates.




For a variety of reasons, some changes are underway for the Santa’s Wish List Project at Homewood at Plum Creek this year.  For 2016, a new opportunity is offered to reach out to the 212 residents in Skilled Care and Personal Care.  We are asked to bring in individual Christmas cards complete with a special message and signed by you.  Leave the envelope blank and a resident’s name will be written on that envelope to personalize it.  The cards will be delivered by volunteers who will let the residents know that the cards are from members of the UCC churches that support Homewood.  The volunteer will offer to open, read, and display the cards for the resident.  The hope is that each of the residents in Skilled Care and Personal Care will receive several special cards. Cards may be brought to the church the last two weeks of November through December 4 when they will be turned over to the people in charge at Homewood.  Cards may be given to Pauline Benner or placed in a box marked Christmas Cards for Homewood which will be found in the kitchen after November 15.


Sincere thanks are extended to everyone for past participation in the Santa’s Wish List Project.  We hope that our participation in this effort will let them know that they are still in our thoughts and prayers.









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.


December Needs



Scalloped Potatoes, Salad Dressing, Hot chocolate



Toiletries (Family size), Sheet Sets (Queen)



Deodorant (Men), Sandwich Bags, Hand Soap



All single serving please!   

Snacks, Drinks, 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


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.





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 Mummert    Jenn Weaver

December  4:     Carol Spangler-Solomon,

         Faye Myers, Kris Benner,

         Sandy Puterbaugh, Betsy Eyler, Dona Warner

December 11: Carol Spangler-Solomon,

         Faye Myers, Kris Benner,

         Sandy Puterbaugh, Betsy Eyler, Dona Warner

December 18: Mike Bankert, Linda Bixler,

         Carroll Miller, Dylan Staub,

         Eugene Bixler, Jessica Staub



December   4:  Carol-Spangler Solomon

December 11:  Craig Bixler

December 18:  Len Bankert

December 25:  TBA


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

December   4:  Valerie Utz

December 11:  Cobie Caler

December 18:  Sydney Bankert

December 25:  Vance Hagarman



December   4:  Betsy Eyler

December 11:  Faye Myers

December 18:  Fay Emlet

December 25:  TBA




December   4:  Teresa McCleary, Troy Bossom,  Cindy Garrett

December 11:  Jennifer & Brian Baldwin, Cindy  Garrett

December 18:  Allison Myers, Betsy Eyler, Holly Smith

December 25:  Merry Christmas!  No nursery.


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.  Please contact Nancy Kuhn or the Church Office, to join in on the fun that is our Nursery Ministry!!!





December   4:   Tim & Tina Hagarman

December 11:   Holly & Kris Smith  

December 18:   Janet & Ray Black

December 25:   Merry Christmas -no coffee hour





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.