The Days of Grace
Grace United Church of Christ
GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
100 FOURTH STREET
HANOVER, PA 17331
Web site: http://graceucchanover.com
Church Office Hours
Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 A.M – 4:00 P.M.
Interim Pastor: Rev. Robin S. Keating
Visitation Pastor: Rev. Melissa A. Eicholtz
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 & Faye Myers
Modern Service 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Church School 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM
Traditional Worship Service 10:45 AM
Rev. Keating’s Cell Phone: 336-250-9554
Rev. Keating’s e-mail address:
Rev. Eicholtz's Cell Phone: 717-739-6126
Rev. Eicholtz's email:
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 Consistory Retreat in the beginning of August I asked the group what their fear for our congregation is.
1) Getting smaller
2) Being stuck in the past (unwilling to change)
3) That the congregation is aging
(unable to attract new members)
4) Lack of solvency
(or a lack of commitment to financial
5) Continued divisions within the membership
6) A lack of teamwork
7) Overly critical membership
8) An attitude that Grace is “My” church
(not God’s/Christ’s church)
These are very real concerns and many were mirrored by the Transition Team 9 months ago. As the conversation with the Consistory continued, we gravitated into our hopes for Grace UCC. We agreed that there is a reason for optimism, as we have seen many growing edges.
Relationships that often matter are those found internally, member to member, and many of us take the steps necessary for reconciliation with one another. There has been evidence of our use of the “tools” that enable us to listen for the meaning behind the actions and words expressed. There is an evident desire to understand one another at a core level. There is also a desire to be welcoming, maybe not “radical and extravagant” (we’re still working on that one), to the other/stranger. Our welcoming takes place not just on Sunday mornings, but also out into the community as we minister to those in the community. Admittedly there are those who “welcome” better than others, but we have seen those number of persons increase over time.
There is an awareness of the importance staying connected to one another throughout the week. A core group do visitations to the homebound, so that ministry is shared, not just a duty of the pastors. Some churches will identify the ordained clergy as the pastor(s) and every member as ministers. While we do not articulate that identification, we are moving towards living it.
We, also, seek ways in which the church can be present to the community 24/7 by utilizing the technologies that are available to the secular world. That epitomizes change within the church culture, while surrounded by a changing world. And we have accepted change in worship, through different liturgical elements, including the occasional joint worship with the Modern and Traditional worship services.
Grace is not a “perfect” church or an “ideal” one. We are in the process of become more accepting and open-minded, doing more outreach, increasing co-operation, and being more open to the “still speaking God”. May we continue to grow with loving and faithful leadership, striving to fulfill our Vision Statement: “…to reach out with love and share God’s grace”.
Have I told you today that I love you?
P.S. With what has occurred in Charlottesville, Va. I need to express my view. When I entered seminary I began serving churches in rural Missouri as a student pastor (Timothy McVeigh had just bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City). I attended many workshops and meetings in how the church could counter the right-wing militia groups that were on the rise in our country (particularly in our rural areas). Pastors across the country met in America’s heartland to educate ourselves and our congregations.
I actually thought that over the past couple of decades these groups had diminished. Yet recently I read that there are 125 new hate groups recently formed in the US. These groups – KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacists – are seeking to overthrow the American principles of freedom (if not actively desiring to overthrow our government). They adhere to and teach principles that are un-American and anti-Christ.
While I pray for their souls and a change of mind and heart, I believe they are seditionists with no place in our American society. This does not exclude them from God’s love, but I do believe that God is crying rivers of tears when viewing the hate being spewed. We in the church need to speak out!
The Gettysburg Association now has a website:
Other websites you may find of interest are;
Penn Central Conference:
National United Church of Christ: www.ucc.org.
If you want to know what is happening in the UCC, these three sites can be checked for local and national events and activities.
Craig & Linda Bixler Conference Delegates
August 2017 Consistory Digest
There were 15 members present including Pastor Keating.
General pledge for July 2017: $12,803.50 (5 Sundays)
General pledge for July 2016: $12,938.30 (5 Sundays)
YTD 2017 income: $122,695.41
YTD 2017 expenses: $147,451.06
YTD shortage: $24,755.65
Checking account balances
The Organ Restoration Committee will be sending a letter to members of the congregation to update its list of those who made donations.
The Memorial Fund Committee met August 8 and composed a Memorial Gift List.
The Fundraising Committee held an organizational meeting on July 27. The purpose of the committee, as well as benefits and concerns of fundraising, were discussed. The Committee will try to find ways to incorporate the Church’s mission statement into all projects.
Dan Trimmer reported the Search Committee is nearing completion of the profile. This will be sent to the Conference for approval and distribution. How long before we begin receiving applications is unknown.
The Trustees reported trimming around the church will be done Monday, August 28, in the evening. The floors in the lower level will be done October 17. The air conditioning in the sanctuary was repaired. The roof on the Education Wing may be completed in August or September. Quotes will be gotten to repair some deteriorating exterior window sills on the church.
Amy Fawks reported the Modern Service has recently been podcast on Facebook. The service can be digitized and put on audio file, which will permit the services to be available to shut-ins. CCLI will charge an extra $60.00 per year to live-stream music that is available through the CCLI license. The $60.00 fee will cover the whole congregation for music that is permitted by the CCLI license.
Corby Myers and Justin Moul will be managing Grace’s website. They will soon begin getting the information on the site updated.
Ken Wenger reported HACC donations, $338.00 in July and total year to date $2019.83. He also reported volunteer hours. Church: July 58.5, and 241.5 year to date. Community: July 43, and 218 year to date.
Pastor Keating reported there will be a Confirmation Class beginning in September. Pastor Robin is currently contacting prospective confirmands and will soon meet with them and their families.
The Consistory approved the Grace Funeral Policy to be sent to the congregation for comments and vote. There will be time after both services on Sunday September 24 for questions and comments on the Grace Membership Policy and the Grace Funeral Policy. Voting on both policies will be Sunday October 1, 2017, immediately after both services.
Prepared by Craig Bixler August 15, 2017
The search committee has been meeting during the month of August to complete the church profile. The profile is the document that provides information about all aspects of our church and is sent out to prospective candidates. By the time you read this, the profile will have been submitted to the Conference to be posted and distributed. Interested candidates will submit applications to the Conference who will then forward them to us. The committee will review the applications to determine if there are any candidates that meet our needs and are a good match for our congregation. The best candidates will be interviewed and arrangements will be made to hear them preach. The pool will be narrowed to a final candidate who will be presented to the congregation for approval.
It is difficult to predict how long this process will take. The number of applications received and the quality of the candidates will play a big part. I can say the committee is committed to working as quickly as possible as soon as applications start coming in. We hope to begin receiving applications in early fall but have no real control of how quick the response may be. Even though we cannot say exactly when a new pastor will be called, the process is moving forward in a defined and clear manner.
Church Policy Updates
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.
Volunteers Needed for Fundraising Committee
The fundraising policy that was recently passed by the congregation requires a committee to administer the policy. If you are involved with any form of fundraising at the church it would be very helpful if you would consider serving on this committee. It is hoped that every organization that does fundraising is represented on the committee. If interested, please contact Carroll Miller.
Grace Membership Policy and Funeral Policy
The Consistory recently approved the Grace Membership Policy and Funeral Policy to be sent to the congregation for comments and votes. There will be time for questions and comments about the policies after both worship services Sunday, September 24, 2017. The congregation will have the opportunity to vote on the policies Sunday October 1, 2017, after both worship services.
Paper copies of the policies can be found in the manila policy folders located on the large table at the rear of Fellowship Hall, on the pew in the large transept, and on the small table at the front entrance narthex.
The policies can also be found on the Grace Website, www.graceucchanover.com, under Contact Us. Contact Craig Bixler for more information.
To sponsor flowers or bulletins for worship services, please contact the church office 632-1146 for open dates.
In September, we will meet on Wednesday the 13th in Fellowship Hall at noon. The meal will include ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, rolls and dessert and the cost remains at $6.00 per person. Please use the form at the end of this newsletter to make your reservation and give to Dona Warner. Deadline for reservations is Sept. 6.
For the program, we welcome back Andrea Adams from York who has been here before portraying serious and humorous women of the Bible. This time she will share with us her interpretation of Martha of Bethany, a bit on the lighter side. Come, enjoy your friends and be inspired by Andrea.
Wow! Hanover was really hungry for peach pies. Thanks to all who ordered!
Next up: We need to fill up our Southern Cities bus trip. It's going to be very fun and enlightening. Come join us! The bus trip will be on Monday, October 30 to Friday, November 3. We plan to do Charleston, SC—just voted the most popular city in America—to see the only tea plantation in North America, run by Bigelow. A great tour there! Then a guided tour of the city, including the Battery, Citadel, and market place. Dinner will be at a lovely restaurant: Hymans. Then on to Charlotte, NC, to see NASCAR and Billy Graham's Library (Super– A must see!) Then on to Ashville, NC, for the famous Biltmore Mansion and more. As we like to say, “If it's there, we”ll see it.”
Call Mary Jane for information.
It's time to start thinking Christmas Candy! The following is a list of dates we will be working on candy. Please note the dates and join us if you can.
September 19, 22, 27, 29
October 4, 6, 24, 25
November 7, 10, 15, 17, 21, 24, 29
December 5, 8
We may not need all of the dates, depending on how the work proceeds.
Our Dessert and Tea will be held on October 11. Set up will be on October 10, after the sewing group.
A one-day Christmas bus trip is scheduled for November 30. We are going to Philadelphia. Details will be announced soon.
CHURCH CAMPFIRE Saturday, September 23
Rain Date: Saturday, September 30
Location: Myers Hollow Farm
665 Tracey Road, Hanover
Directions: Route 94 south, turn left on Hobart Road. Go 1 mile past St. David’s Church. At 4-way stop turn right on Glennville Road. Go ½ mile turn left on Tracey Road.
Hotdogs, S’Mores, Chips, Soda, and Water provided.
Bring lawn chairs, flashlights or lanterns and roasting utensils for campfire.
Bring Forks, Knives, & Spoons if desired.
Songs Stories (If you have any favorites,bring them to share.)
Please use the reservation form at the end of the newsletter.
"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 http://graceucchanover.com/?page_id=2743 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.
Prayer Line and Bible Study
A few changes have come to our Prayer/Bible Study Line. Patti Miller will be recording the message on Tuesdays and Fridays. She will, of course, update any changes to the prayer requests both days. On Tuesdays, she will present a short Bible Study and prayer. On Thursdays, she will briefly introduce Pastor’s Keating’s focus for the following Sunday and then read the poem for that Sunday. We hope that you find these messages uplifting valuable.
To access the message, dial 1-717-632-1819 and then enter the assess code: 86212.
If you have any questions or concerns, please give Patti a call at 1-717-451-1913.
New members Allen and Jane Hahn.
Jacqueline Mae Fink
daughter of Brian and Jessica Fink.
Sewing Group – 12 September
The Sewing Group will once again be meeting in the second Tuesday of each month, September through June to assemble bed pads. More hands are always welcome.
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.
(TWIC-TEENS WORKING IN CHRIST)
The Youth Group meets on Sunday mornings from 9:45AM to 10:30AM. All youth, 5th grade and older are invited to join us.
Thank you , Thank you, Thank you! to Pastor Robin and all of my wonderful Grace Church friends, who have helped me during my road to recovery. The calls, cards, food, and everything have been wonderful and very appreciated.
Love, Sofie Bubb
A special thank you to all of my Grace Church friends who have kept me close in their thoughts and prayers, in recent months. Your calls, cards, flowers, and all acts of kindness have meant so much to me.
God bless each and every one of you,
Love, Nancy Bankert
Hanover Has Talent, What is Yours?
Grace WISE Mental Health Awareness
The Grace WISE Mental Health Awareness group announces their meeting schedule for the rest of the calendar year. We will be meeting in Fellowship Hall at 7:00 PM the third Wednesday of each month: September 20, October 18, November 15, and December 20. Program for each meeting will be announced when information is available. All are welcome to join this supportive group in an effort to promote awareness and foster understanding of mental health issues that affect so many folks today. We are a nonjudgmental, loving group who care. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please contact the Church Office at 717-632-1146. Stop in and see what we are all about. Bring a friend!
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 (outside of church) 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.
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, job loss, fire, or other difficult situations.
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
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
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.
Pam Spray, Coffee, Coffee Mate, BBQ, Sauce, Bread Crumbs
Back-to-School – Blue/Red pens, Notebook/Binder, Paper, Backpacks
CHANGING LIVES SHELTER
Liquid Hand Soap, Midsize Shampoo,
Midsize Body Wash, Band aids
All single serving please!
Snacks, Cereal, Fruit
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.
SERVING IN SEPTEMBER
Head ushers: Barry Bankert, Joann Sites
September 3: Donna Bankert, Gary Rickrode,
Earl Fuhrman, Linda Sager,
Mary Jane Fuhrman, Ken Wenger
September 10: Donna Bankert, Gary Rickrode,
Earl Fuhrman, Linda Sager,
Mary Jane Fuhrman, Ken Wenger
September 17: Levi Highlands, Julie Truesdale,
Luke Highlands, Debbie Wierman,
Pete Truesdale, Mike Mummert
September 24: Levi Highlands, Julie Truesdale,
Luke Highlands, Debbie Wierman,
Pete Truesdale, Mike Mummert
September 3: Martha Channel
September 10: Pauline Benner
September 17: Carol Spangler Solomon
September 24: Greg Sindlinger
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)
September 3: Faye Myers
September 10: John & Melissa Storm
September 17: John & Melissa Storm
September 24: Faye Myers
Acolyte & Reader
September 3: Cobie Caler
September 10: Sydney Bankert
September 17: Vance Hagarman
September 24: Kristina Newman
Beginning Sunday, July 2, the Nursery will be closed for the Summer.
September 10: Jennifer & Brian Baldwin, Kim Aumen
September 17: Becky Plunkert, Jenn Weaver, Joann Sites
COFFEE HOUR HOSTS
September 10: Board of Education
September 17: Jedd & Betsy Beall
September 24: Sue Caler
We are grateful to Janet Black for coordinating the Coffee Hour effort and the good folks who take their weekly turn.
If you are interested in providing refreshments for the modern service, please contact
Pam Kreitz 717-476-9511.
YOUTH CHURCH ASSISTANTS
If you are interested in helping, please contact Tina Hagarman 633-5309.
Neighbors In Need
The Neighbors In Need special offering will be received during the month of October. Collection information and envelopes are located throughout the church, near our monthly newsletter distribution areas or by contacting the church office.
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.
Senior Luncheon Reservation Form
There will be ____1____2 (please circle) and attached you will find our payment.
(Checks should be made out to Grace UCC Senior Group)
__________________________________________Your name please
Campfire Reservation Form
For planning purposes, please complete the form below.
(Return to Craig Bixler or the church office by Sunday, September 17.)
I will attend the church campfire on September 23.
Number attending: _____________