Days of Grace June 2017


JUNE 2017

The Days of Grace


Grace United Church of Christ






Web site:


Church Office Hours

Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 A.M – 4:00 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…



On June 25th we celebrate the 60th year anniversary of our denomination, the United Church of Christ. The following is an explanation of our denomination’s emblem.

Front and center is the “Cross of Victory” or the “Cross Triumphant”. This is a cross with a crown on top, signifying Christ’s kingship over the entire world. It helps to remind us that we are a church of Christ, called to witness, serve, help, heal, reconcile and rebuild – locally and globally. As Christians we share Christ’s name, hence we belong to him and he calls us to follow where he leads.

The circle at the base of the cross represents the world divided into three segments. This corresponds with Christ’s command to us, his disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8b)” We are instructed to carryout Christ’s mission to the entire world – to those in need, confronting injustice, and battling greed. It is idealistic, but ideals based upon the teachings of our Lord and Savior. Ideals that led him to the cross. Ideals that presents us with salvation. Ideals that, as Christians, we must embrace, if we are to follow where he leads.

The cross, crown and globe is surrounded by both our name, United Church of Christ, and our motto, “That they may all be one.” This statement is a part of Christ’s prayer in John 17:21. As our motto, it emphasizes that we are a united and uniting church. Historically this is reflected in the mergers that have occurred (Christian/Congregational Churches and the Evangelical/Reform Churches) and our continuing conversations with other denominations (Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church of America, etc.), our great sense of ecumenism and exploration into inter-faith dialogues.

Robert Moss, former president of the United Church of Christ stated “[We are] a free church and responsible church.” While it is true that we are “free” in America, we do not find our freedom in nationalism, but rather in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is in this gospel that we, also, find our responsibility to the fellowship we share, as well as the ministries we do. We are a people who gather to worship, work and witness, as the head of the Church, Christ Jesus, calls us to do and be.

And one of those ways to do and be is to ask “Have I told you today that I love you?”



May 2017 Consistory Digest


There were 16 members present including Pastor Keating and Pastor Thormaehlen.


Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for April 2017:  $15,057.04  (5 Sundays)

General pledge for April 2016:  $13,499.75  (4 Sundays)

    YTD 2017 income:         $70,255.53

    YTD 2017 expenses:      $80,358.37

    YTD shortage:                $10,102.84

Checking account balances

        Deacon:               $20,871.78

        Education:           $11,917.01

        Memorial:            $38,397.25

        Resource:             $37,636.18

        Operating:              $6,537.25


Sisters Through Grace, a current Grace book group, has discussed possible ways Grace might be more accessible to those who are physically challenged.  The group is requesting the Consistory consider a space in the main part of the sanctuary.  A possibility would be to remove a pew on the pulpit side.  Trustees will check with congregation members to see if there is need and, if so, where the pew should be removed.

The third draft of the Fund Raising Policy was accepted by Consistory for congregational vote.

The question and discussion date for the Memorial Fund Policy, Use of Fellowship Hall and Kitchen for Nonchurch Events Policy, and the Fundraising Policy will be Sunday June 4.  The vote on these three policies will be June 11.  A Grace Funeral Policy will be written.


Pastor Dot has submitted her resignation effective the middle of June.  She indicated that the resignation is for health reasons.  She has given us a name of an ordained minister who may be interested in the position.  


We will be collecting nominations for the Search Committee on May 14th.  The Personnel committee should meet shortly after that to review the nominations and begin the selection process.  The goal is to have the committee in place by the end of May.


Trustees reported the carpet will be installed in the sanctuary in June. 


The Transition Team is winding down.  The group will present a report to Consistory.


The Board of Education is looking for new officers.  The Church School youth will be divided into two groups.  A Bible study group will meet in the Youth Room.  A group of active youth will learn what goes on in the building and may go outdoors to volunteer in Grace’s neighborhood.  Adult volunteers will be needed to work with this group.


Grace Youth will sponsor a float in Hanover’s Memorial Day Parade.


There is concern there is only one adult in the nursery during the Modern Service.  Another person will be needed.


Prepared by Craig Bixler on May 14, 2017


Church Policy Updates


As you know, the consistory is in the process of developing policies to cover a number of different areas in the church.  Not everyone will agree with every sentence of every policy presented, and the process will take time and effort.  However, it is an important step in our transition to a new minister.   These policies will give our new minister clear direction in making future decisions that reflect our congregation.


Grace Policy Discussion and Vote

A time for questions and discussion regarding three Grace policies will be held after the Modern Service and Traditional Service on Sunday, June 4, 2017.

The policies are: Memorial Fund Policy, Use of Fellowship Hall and Kitchen for Nonchurch Events, and Grace UCC Fundraising Policy.

The congregational vote for these three policies will be Sunday, June 11, 2017, immediately after the Modern Service and the Traditional Service.


Opportunity for Input


One area that was revealed in the survey was a belief by some in our congregation that how decisions are made are not always clear and may not always reflect the will of the congregation.  To try to address these feelings, the consistory invites any member of the congregation to attend our monthly meetings.   There will be time set aside at each meeting for members of the congregation to ask questions or express concerns to the consistory as a whole.  Meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 7:00 P.M. in the parlor.  If you have a question or are concerned about any aspect of the church, please consider taking this opportunity to share.




Dear Friends/Members of Grace Church:


It is with both joy and sadness that I write this note.  As Visitation Pastor at Grace Church for the last five years and a few months, it has been my privilege and joy to be invited and welcomed into your lives and it is now with sadness I inform you that I have resigned from my positon.  My last day at Grace will be on June 16, 2017.  I will be working a reduced number of hours until that date.


Over the last year I have experienced four episodes of illness and my recovery from these illnesses has become lengthy and more difficult.  My ability to make visits has been compromised.  The only way to improve my health at this time is to limit exposure to illness and that means avoiding medical and health care facilities, places I routinely visit.


God has given us so many gifts and such goodness in life and it is a privilege to have been your Visitation Pastor.  Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the wonderful gift of having known you!  As a congregation you first supported my ordination and then my ministry within the congregation, and I am most grateful for our faith journey together.


May Christ’s Peace be with us indeed!


Rev. Dorothy Thormaehlen


Transition News        

Search Committee Forming


By the time you read this the nominations for the search committee will have been received.  The Personnel committee of the consistory will tabulate the nominations to determine those individuals receiving the greatest number of nominations.  Those individuals will be contacted to determine their willingness to serve.  The goal will be to have 8 – 10 members on the committee.  Once a commitment from that number of people is obtained the committee will be announced to the congregation and formally installed at a Sunday morning service.  This should happen by early June.


The first order of business of the committee will be to meet with representatives from the Conference and Association to review the procedures for the search.  Shortly after that, they will develop a profile of our church to be used to advertise the position prospective candidates.  Much of the work we have done as a congregation over the past 11 months should make this a less difficult task.  With the help of the Conference, the profile will be disseminated.  The committee will then turn their attention to reviewing applicants, conducting interviews, and making visits.


There is no way to predict how long this process will take.   The committee will be operating by June and the profile will be produced as quickly as possible.  However, we cannot predict how many quality applicants there will be, or how many interviews or visits will need to be conducted before a finalist can be presented to the congregation.  We can only prayerfully support the committee and trust that God will guide their actions and bring the right person to Grace.  

Dan Trimmer




The Strengthen the Church offering will be received in June.  This offering helps start new UCC churches, awaken new ideas in existing  churches, and helps develop the spiritual lives of the youth and young adults.


Envelopes are located by the Days of Grace in the large transept and front of the church.


Prayerfully consider a contribution.


Designated envelopes are available throughout the Church, near the Days of Grace newsletter distribution sites or the Church Office.




To sponsor flowers or bulletins for worship services, please contact the church office 632-1146 for open dates.


Vacation Bible School

Sunday, July 9 – Thursday, July 13

6:15 PM -8:00 PM

Theme: Maker Fun Factory

Created By God – Built for a Purpose


Registration for VBS may be done online at the following link

or contact Linda Bixler.


Anyone who would like to help with VBS, please contact Linda Bixler  632-5606 or use the above link to volunteer.


 VBS Supply Donations

In June, check the wall in the large transept to donate items for VBS.




Save the Date – The Ladies of Grace will be sponsoring a Mini-retreat on Saturday, August 12, from 9AM-11:30AM in Fellowship Hall. Please contact Jenn Weaver @ 717.451.9703 (text or voice)  OR if you would like to help organize the event. More details will be available in the July Newsletter.


Please Join us as we fill our cups with the sisterhood of spiritual growth and love. We will share this love by reaching out to share God’s grace.


      What: Women’s Retreat

(all women 16 and older welcome)

When: Saturday August 12  9-11:30 AM

Where: Fellowship Hall of Grace UCC

RSVP: by August 6 to Jenn Weaver or 717.451.9703




Two teas with the theme “By the Sea” sponsored by the Auxiliary will be held on Saturday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 27 in the Windows Dining Room at Homewood at Plum Creek.  The cost is $20 per person.  We have reserved a table for 8 for Saturday and if you are interested, please let Pauline Benner (632-1057) know as soon as possible.  If a number of folks prefer to attend on the Tuesday date, we can see if spaces are still available.  Tables for 4, 6, and 8 available.  There is always a good time around the tables, good food, and a variety of door prizes to be given away.




Forty-four folks have paid for the June 18-21 Vermont trip.  We have room for four more, if you are interested in a great holiday.  We are staying at a Four Season Resort Inn, which will provide you with upscale lodging in an attractive setting.  We have scheduled some very remarkable venues to explore.  All meals will be  provided and then off we go to explore this beautiful area.  You can call Mary Jane Fuhrman 637-1513 for additional information.




The June meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at noon in Fellowship Hall.  The meal will be Chicken Pot Pie with Linda Sager and Donna Bankert  as the “cooks in the kitchen.”  Of course, included will be pepper slaw, applesauce, and dessert.  We'll need to know, by June 7, how many meals to prepare.  Please see the Sunday bulletin for a form to reserve your space for this meal and the cost again will be $6.00.  The program will be presented by Dan Martin of God's Country singing a variety of songs from his program, including 1950's, Rock and Roll, Classic, Country, and Gospel music.  He is a local person, living in Spring Grove.  We look forward to seeing you.


Please return the reservation form located in the Sunday bulletin to Dona Warner, Glenn Ruhlman, or Pauline Benner.


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.  Please call the Church Office with any questions or concerns.  Thank you!


"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#




William Henry Abbott





Wayne Emberly Brash

Parents: Kara Martin & William Brash IV



Thank You


A very warm and sincere Thank You to all of those who shared the joy of the recent arrival of our very first grandchild. Sharing prayers along the way, stopping in with a hug of congrats, a card, email, and even a few gifts was most appreciated.  Best of all, though, was the  baby blanket presented to me by Leslie Grote on behalf of the Blanket Ministry. Knowing how dear to me our beloved, now passed Pat Lawver was, Leslie had tucked away one of her special handmade treasures.  I was thrilled to take it to little Graham!  Many Thanks to all!


 Linda DeMaio






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


Sewing Group – June 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.


Volunteers Needed for Valet Service


Each Sunday volunteers are available at the elevator entrance to assist as needed.  Occasionally there is a need to park a car.    This service has received many positive comments and is greatly appreciated.


More volunteers are needed to assist with this service.  You would be scheduled every 5 or 6 weeks depending on the number of volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Linda Bixler 632-5606.


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.


Baby Blanket Ministry


We have a wonderful group of ladies that have made beautiful baby blankets for parishioners who have had new babies.  We thought we could stretch our wings…since folks are so kind to make these blankets…to include new grandchildren of grandparents in our congregation. If you have a new grandchild please call Leslie Grote at .717-968-6183 If your grandchild lives in another state either you or Leslie can mail the blanket for the new baby. We have talked about "reaching out" and this is a good way! For those who have been "on hold" for knitting/crocheting baby blankets…please stand by for new requests. Thanks!


Sharing God's Grace


Sharing God's Grace has set a goal of $5,000 to be our project this year, as well as a new goal of 750 volunteer hours donated by our congregation.  Volunteer hours can be counted from any community outreach activity.  Examples:  PAL, New Hope Ministries, Hanover Hospital, bedpads, etc.


Collections for the project are on the last Sunday of the month until the end of December.  Envelopes will be in the pews for your use anytime and the last Sunday of the month an opportunity will be given to bring your financial or volunteer hours to the front at the beginning of the last hymn. Checks should be made to Grace UCC with PAL in the memo line.


Church Office Hours have changed to:


Monday through Thursday,from 8:00AM until 4:00 PM  If you have a concern, please handle it through the Office Monday through  Thursday, from 8:00AM until 4:00PM.  As always, if there is a concern that can not wait, either Pastor Robin or Pastor Dot can be reached by calling them on their respective cell phones.  Their numbers are listed in the service folder each week and in the monthly newsletter.


“My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have – to try to make a difference.”

Jimmy Carter








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.


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.


June Needs



Ketchup, Coffee/Coffee Mate, Sugar,

Scalloped Potatoes



Sheets, Full-size Towels   



Powdered drink mixes, Men/Women’s deodorant, Larger sized flip flops  



All single serving please!   

Snacks, Fruit, Breakfast Items, Drinks  


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:  Sue Fuhrman, Joann Sites          

June   4:  Consistory – Communion


June  11: Mike Bankert, Kris Benner, Kelly Bankert,       

       Faye Myers, Sydney Bankert, Cathy Reck


June  18: Stephanie McIlwee, Ryan Smith,

      Vance Hagarman, Holly Smith,

      Wes Hagarman, Kris Smith


June  25: Stephanie McIlwee, Ryan Smith,

      Vance Hagarman, Holly Smith,

      Wes Hagarman, Kris Smith




June   4:  Steph Mcillweee Assisting Elder

June  11:  Craig Bixler

June  18:  Len Bankert

June  25:  Holly Smith


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)




June   4:  Communion –  Consistory

June  11:  Bonnie Miller

June  18:  Kris, Holly, & Ryan Smith

June  25:  Ron & Judy Rummel




        Acolyte & Reader

June   4:  Kristina Newman

June  11:  Cobie Caler

June  18:  Sydney Bankert

June  25:  Vance Hagarman




June   4:   Dani Benner, Betty Klunk, Betsy Eyler

June  11:  Cindy Garrett, Michele Rudisill, Paige Harget

June  18:  Pam Kreitz, Teresa McCleary, Troy Bossom

June  25:  Alecia & David Highlands, 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!!!





The Coffee Hour will be on hiatus for the summer.  It will resume in September.





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.