Days of Grace December 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 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


Note:  Worship Service Time Changes


December 3    10:00 AM    First Sunday in   

Advent combined service followed by Advent activities

December 24  10:00 AM combined Service


Christmas Eve Services:

8:00 PM Family Communion

9:00 PM Candlelight Service


2018 contribution envelopes will be

available beginning December 10.


A Word From Pastor Robin Keating…


The following article was printed in Net Results in the May 1998 issue, entitled “Success Requires Failure” by Rev. Warren J. Keating (no relation). (Reprinted by permission.):

I have heard that in its heyday the corporate giant IBM urged all of its managers to follow “the two-failure rule”. It supposedly went like this: Each manager and/or department head should fail at two major projects each year.

The idea sounds crazy until you hear the logic behind it. A company that lets people fail (without punishing them) increases their chances of succeeding. Leaders who fail at two projects per year are out there on the creative edge – risking, trying, “pushing the envelope”. They are trying new and innovative things that just might work. Such behavior increases the likelihood of producing new products and services.

The two-failure rule became our church’s theme for last year. I encouraged each group, committee, church school class, women’s circle, governing board – even myself – to achieve two failures. The idea freed up people to try new and innovative ministries, programs, fellowship activities, classes, etc. – without any stigma attached if a project failed.

Our two-failure rule became a continuous source of humor around the church. We often heard statements such as, “Well, we tried to have a failure but it worked anyway.” Example: Our aviation group likes to get together and fly here and there just for fun. Thinking that we’d do a more serious program, we said, “We’re going to have an all-church picnic at a small airport nearby. At this picnic we’ll give rides to anyone who wants one – for a small donation. The money raised will go to the flood relief fund for folks in the northern part of the U.S.” The picnic sponsors figured this would be one of their failures for the year. Not so! More than fifty people showed up. We raised significant monies to help with flood relief.

Another example: We tried having a Sunday worship service under a circus-type tent. It too was a huge success.

Failure is such an ugly word in our society. Yet it has become a very positive thing here in Derby. Our congregation’s leaders increasingly want to push their ministry creativity to the limit by attempting audacious ideas, whether they succeed or fail.

Of course, some programs and events have failed. When that happens, this is our attitude: “OK, what made this event not a success: How could we improve on it if we tried again?” Consequently, we have stopped hearing the old “Well, I told you so” or “See, it didn’t work; we really bungled; we can never try something like that again.”

Throughout the year I constantly reminded people – in the newsletter, in sermons, and in conversations with individuals – that we need to try new things: to walk on the edge of creativity so that we sometimes fail, to take new risks in order to get new results.

It worked! Folks are excited about trying new things. How can they lose? If the idea doesn’t work out, they smile and say, “This is one of our failures.” If the project succeeds, they smile and say, “This is one of our failures!”

Permission to “fail” can be almost as freeing as knowing the love God has for us. As freeing as “Have I told you today that I love you?”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.







UCC Websites

The Gettysburg Association now has a website: .

Other websites you may find of interest are; 

Penn Central Conference:     and

National United Church oChrist:

If you want to know what is happening in the UCC, these three sites can be checked for local and national events and activities.


November 2017 Consistory Digest


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

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for October 2017:  $12,656.25 (5 Sundays)

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

    YTD 2017 income:     $173,993.50

    YTD 2017 expenses:  $212,805.41

    YTD shortage:              $38,811.91

    Checking account balances

        Deacon:      $19,634.03

        Education:  $11,932.33

        Memorial:   $16,414.25

        Resource:      $4,809.69

        Operating:    $32,238.11


Carroll Miller reported collections seem to be maintaining a level of about $2,600/per week.  This is not enough to cover operating expenses, so we are in the red by $1,630 for October.  There were expenses in October for the 2018 envelopes ($996) and for floor cleaning ($1060).  Also, be advised that we usually pay some outreach items in November or December totaling approximately $5,000.00.


The proposed Grace 2018 budget was distributed to Consistory.


A discussion was held about what the congregation can do to avoid the annual budget deficits.  There appear to be three options:  donate more, continue to use reserve funds, or cut programs and staff and become a part time church.  Currently 94.6% of annual expenses are fixed, such as, salaries, utilities, etc.


The Fundraising Committee met on November 6. The primary topic was the fundraising activity load each year end and whether there could be too much to do. The Resource Group is also very busy this time of year. The Resource Group will be sure to let the helpers know that if it is too much for them to help, they can decline any project.


The Consistory approved $1000 of funds raised by the Resource Committee to be used as a donation to organ restoration.


Greg Sindlinger has agreed to serve as an at large member of the membership committee. Another at large member will be recruited.


Carol Spangler-Solomon reported there are currently two openings for the 2018 Consistory that will need to be filled.


Amy Fawks reported the Modern Service had its first baptism on November 5, with a total of 76 people in attendance. 


The Search Committee reported there will be two pastoral candidates, one woman and one man, interviewed the week of November 12.  A total of twelve pastoral profiles have been sent to Grace.


The Consistory approved the Grace Safe Church Policy.


Ken Wenger reported Sharing God’s Grace donations:

October 2017 donations:   $383.89   

Total YTD donations:    $3,435.40

Volunteer hours: October 2017        Total YTD     

                     Church       114               438.5

                  Community   182               568   


Our 2017 goal is $5,000.  As of October 31 we have given $3,435.40.  We have been given a challenge by our angel for November and December.  Each dollar given in offering for the project will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $5,000 goal.

Prepared by Craig Bixler November 14, 2017



New Hope Ministries’ Thanksgiving Drive

Thank you to all who helped us reach and surpass our goal of 500 Stuffing boxes for New Hope Ministries’ Thanksgiving drive to help those less fortunate.  Christine Morey did an awesome job leading the way as our Chairperson of this effort.  Thank you, Chris so very much!  Great job!


The “Longer” Night

When the nights grow longer and the days shorter, the Holiday season can be a difficult time for many.  Joy can be fleeting. Perhaps this is the first Christmas season without a particular loved one. Even broken relationships, unemployment, and ill health can make us feel alone in the midst of the celebrations. The over-commercialization of the season challenges us to find the true season’s joy, and reminds many of what they may have difficulty finding. We need space and time to acknowledge our feelings. We need to know that we are not alone. We need encouragement to live the days ahead of us. Together we can seek the joy that the Christ child brings to all humankind.

The “Longer” Night

on Wednesday, December 20,

beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In Fellowship Hall


This brief program will be followed by light refreshments and fellowship for all.  Everyone, regardless of church background is welcome.



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.



Christmas Fund Offering

“Shepherding the Light”


UCC congregations and members are provided an opportunity to reach out in kindheartedness to those who have faithfully shepherded our Church and who now find themselves facing unexpected financial needs.


You have the opportunity to be part of this ministry that cares for the active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ through your participation in the annual Christmas Fund offering.


This offering will be received during the month of December. An envelope is available beside the December Days of Grace for your gift.


Gifts to the Christmas Fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retirees, emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees, and Christmas” Thank You” Gift Checks to hundreds of annuitants.


The Christmas Fund provides a lifetime of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees in the United Church of Christ. There have been many instances in which gifts from the Christmas Fund have made a critical difference in the lives of people living literally on the edge. Prayerfully consider a contribution to this fund.





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







Hanover Has Talent

Sunday, February 3, 2018



Performers Needed

Applications available from Grace UCC


our website:   

or contact Jenn at


Proceeds benefit the Hanover Area Council of Churches Changing Lives Shelter.


Valet Service Volunteers Needed

Due to health reasons, some current volunteers needed to resign from valet service.  Volunteers are needed from 10:20 – 10:40 AM on Sunday morning to assist persons at the elevator and occasionally park a car.  You would be scheduled every 4 to 5 weeks depending on the number of volunteers.  Without a sufficient number of volunteers, Grace will not be able to continue this service.  To volunteer or for more information, please contact Linda Bixler 717-632-5606. 




14 Church World Service Bucket Kits


Grace friends and members generously donated many items to fill CWS cleanup buckets.  In addition, $533.11 was donated to purchase additional items and pay the handling fee of $3.00 per bucket.  The 14 bucket kits we assembled were delivered to New Windsor, MD,

November 2.  THANK YOU!


"This Week at Grace"


Corby Myers updates the “This Week at Grace” email and the church website.  If you would like publicity on the “This Week 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 “This Week 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.



GRACE SENIORSFork and knife


The December gathering of Grace Seniors will be held at 12 noon on December 13 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 no later than Sunday, Dec. 10.  Please use the attached form at the end of this newsletter.  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.  



Sewing Group – 12 December

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.







Annabelle Kay Tasto

Parents: Mike & Laura Tasto

big brother: Michael Tasto

Grandparents: Rob & Lisa Greenholt.



Thank You


Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers during my recent hospitalization and recovery.  Thanks to Pastor Robin and Pastor Melissa for their visits.—Linda Heller





Words can’t express how grateful I am to my church family for all your prayers and support during my husband’s recent open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

Ron is progressing well but still has many weeks if recuperation ahead.  Your continued prayers would be deeply appreciated.

Most sincerely,

Betty Klunk







Many thanks to all who were so willing to purchase our chicken corn soup.  This fundraiser produced 110 quarts of soup and netted $448.84 for the cause.

Pumpkin pies are coming up on Nov. 21 &22 and candy is being cheerfully assembled in our busy kitchen.  We really do have joy there. The following is a list of the remaining dates we will be working on candy.  Please choose what works for you and call in—we need you!  

November 21, 24, 29

December 5, 8

We may not need all of the dates, depending on how the work proceeds.

The bus will leave for Philadelphia on November 30 with 42 folks aboard—Another success!!

We as a group have unanimously voted to donate $1,000 to the organ fund.

Thanks to all who see the Resource gang as beneficial.


Mary Jane


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, and then on Tuesdays, she will present a short Bible Study and prayer. On Fridays, 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 and 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






The Youth Group meets on Sunday mornings from 9:45AM to 10:30AM.  All youth, 5th grade and older are invited to join us.  Leaders are Janet Black, Jenn Weaver, and Amy Fawks (will lead the Kahootz).




Plum Creek is also looking for folks who sew to make laundry bags (standard size or king size pillowcases can be used) and soakers.  For anyone who is interested, Pauline has the directions for both of these items. 


Community Aid Collections

We recently received a check for $138.00 from Community Aid.  This is our calculated compensation (2nd quarter 2017) for allowing them to have their collection bin here at Grace.


Please remember to donate gently used and in good condition clothing to this great effort.  The bin is located at the end of our parking lot.  For more information, please contact the Church Office.  Thank you!



 Christmas Caroling 2017


Saturday, December 16 at 2:30 PM


Join in sharing the Christmas Spirit.

All ages welcome 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.

Stephanie is looking for persons who 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 16, 2017 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 Stephanie by Friday, December 15, or contact Linda DeMaio in the church office if you are willing to join us in this wonderful opportunity to spread some Christmas Love and Joy.

Stephanie Welper (717) 752-5551





Ladies of Grace will host a Cookie Swap on Sunday, December 10, from 2:30PM to 4PM.  All of Grace Church is invited to participate.  Just bring three dozen of your favorite cookie and the recipe and be prepared to take up to three dozen cookies back home.

Games and refreshments will round out the afternoon.  We hope to make a cookie cookbook from all of the recipes provided.  Any questions of for more information, please contact Janet Black (717-637-1768).  Happy cookie baking….





Come join us as we prepare our hearts, our church, and our homes for the advent season.  


Our celebration at Grace Church begins on Advent Sunday, December 3, at 10AM with a combined worship service featuring the Modern and Traditional services.  

Please note: there will be no Sunday School classes on this day.  The worship service will include the Advent Processional and Holy Communion.


Following the service, a variety of activities will be held throughout the church and in Fellowship Hall.  The children will begin working on their crafts during Children's Church, which will take place in the Youth Room during the worship service.  The youth and adults will have many opportunities to participate, such as hanging wreaths on the doors of the church, making shut-in gifts, addressing cards to the shut-ins, preparing favors for the PAL Luncheon program, making a family craft, and hanging decorations inside the building.

At 12:30PM a luncheon will be served in Fellowship Hall, courtesy of the Board of Education, followed by a group activity and short closing program.  Everyone should be on their way home by 2:30PM.  We hope you will plan to join us and share in the fun and fellowship.





“The Holy Night of Miracles” is the title of this year's Christmas Program to be held Sunday, December 17 at 7PM in the Sanctuary.  All members of Grace Church , their friends and families are cordially invited to attend.

Adults, youth, and children will be participating.  Several songs from the cantata “Night of Miracles” will be sung during the program as the children act out the story of the Nativity.  As always, there will be angels, shepherds, and stars. We invite all children who would like to be an angel or a shepherd or, for preschool-aged children, stars.  Please call Janet Black (717-637-1768) if you have a child that wants to participate.

Practices for the program will be held in the Sanctuary for an hour on Saturday, December 16, at 1PM and on Sunday morning at 9:30AM.  All members of the cast should plan to be at both rehearsals.  On December 17 all participants will report to the nursery room to be costumed.  All costumes are provided be the church.

Following the program, we will adjourn to Fellowship Hall for refreshments while the children visit with Santa.  Mark your calendars now and plan to attend.  We hope to see you on December 17.


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 6:30 PM the third Wednesday of each month: 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


Our project for this year is the Hanover Council of Churches which provides many (actually 18) necessary services to individuals and families in the greater Hanover area including: PAL lunch 7 days a week, Year-round shelter providing temporary housing and assistance in getting a fresh start, Clothing Bank for those in need. Our 2017 goal is $5,000. We have been given a challenge by our angel for November and December. Each dollar given in offering for the project will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $5,000 goal. Contributions may be made during the final hymn of the last Sunday of the month (Dec 24 & 31) in the house at the front of the sanctuary. Checks should be made payable to Grace UCC with PAL lunch or HACC in the memo line.





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.


December Needs



Salad Dressing, Pineapple, Coffee (no flavored) & creamer, Hot Chocolate, Scalloped Potatoes


Men’s Socks, Warm gloves (all sizes – no knit)

Child Pull-Ups (4/5), Wipes


Sweats M/F-M/L/XL, Warm gloves (all sizes – no knit), Blankets (no crochet)



All single serving please!   

Entrees, Pudding, Cereal, Fruit Cups,

Non-refrigerated Milk


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.




Weekly Prayer Requests

Week of Dec.  3:  HACC Volunteers

Week of Dec.10:  Board of Directors

Week of Dec.17:  Building Committee

Week of Dec.24:  Shelter Staff/Volunteers




If you are unable to serve a position that you are scheduled for please find a substitute and/or inform the church secretary.



Head usher:  Dan Trimmer

December   3:     Consistory

December 10 &17  

        Joleen Fennell, Carol Spangler-Solomon.

        Michele Rudisill, Karl Whisler

        Steve Rudisill, Merle Whisler


December 24:  10 AM service

        Barry Bankert, Rick Boyer
        Matt Boyer, Fay Emlet

        Becky Boyer, Betsy Eyler


December 24:   8 PM– Consistory


December 31:   

        Barry Bankert, Rick Boyer

        Matt Boyer, Fay Emlet

        Becky Boyer, Betsy Eyler




December   3:  Combined Service – Amy Fawks

December 10:  Rev. Benner

December 17:  Holly Smith

December 24:  Combined Service – Amy Fawks

December 31:  TBD


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 (717-632-6361)




December   3:   Consistory

December 10:   Faye Myers

December 17:   Gary Rickrode

December 24:   Consistory

December 31:   Mike Mummert


        Acolyte & Reader

December   3:  Alexis Knopp

December 10:  Maxwell Wisensale

December 17:  Cobie Caler

December 24:  Luke Highlands

December 31:  Briahna Rorrer





Please consider helping with this Ministry that cares for our young ones during Worship Service.  


December   3:  Jenn Weaver, Betsy Eyler, Holly Smith

December 10:  Cindy Garrett, Michelle Rudisill, Paige Harget

December 17:  Linda Sager, Donna Bankert, Faye Myers

December 24:  No Nursery (Christmas Eve)

December 31:  No Nursery (New Year’s Eve)


Contact Nancy Kuhn 637-2713 for more information and to sign up for an assignment date.  







December   3:  No Coffee Hour

December 10:  Gary & Deb Rickrode

December 17:  Johanna Sites

December 24:  No Coffee Hour

December 31:  Youth Group


We are grateful to Janet Black for coordinating the Coffee Hour effort and the good folks who take their weekly turn. 


What is gluten and why is everyone going gluten free? On December 17th, Johanna Sites will be presenting her research project on gluten disorders in fellowship hall during the traditional service coffee hour. It will be a short presentation with a small questionnaire which is a requirement for Johanna to receive her Master's degree in Physician Assistant Sciences. Come and enjoy some snacks and coffee while supporting her in this endeavor.







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.