Days of Grace September 2018


September 2018

The Days of Grace At

Grace United Church of Christ






Web site:


Church Office Hours

Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 A.M – 4:00 P.M.

Pastor:  Rev. Bonnie J. Whittier

Visitation Leader:  Patricia A. Miller

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


*Pastor Bonnie’s Phone:  717-324-6639

*Pastor Bonnie’s e-mail address:


*Pastor Bonnie really appreciates communication and her office door is open to stop in anytime.


Patti Miller’s Cell Phone:  717-451-1913

Patti Miller’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)



A Word From Pastor Bonnie…


Greetings and Salutations!

The sun is shining, the clouds are white and fluffy, schools are starting next week, the temperature is cooler…it must be getting close to fall.  I love fall. I love everything about fall: pumpkins, gourds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, the colors of the leaves, sweatshirts, soccer, soup…the list goes on and on.  From a clergy perspective, the beginning of the school year usually means better attendance because vacations are drawing to close.  I love having children come up for “time with children.”

Children have so much to teach us.  Their innocence is priceless. I love that Jesus understood the importance of the children. I wonder if you understand the importance as well?  I read a lot of children’s books because I have learned there is often great wisdom said in a way many adults need to hear.

I wonder what it is you need to hear right now?  Have you ever just stopped to think about what might be said that would cause you to belly laugh?  What might be said that could cause you to laugh until tears rolled down your cheeks? Do you understand how important it is to laugh?

Laughter will get you through so much.  It is important to laugh at ourselves and not take “me” so seriously.  The only perfect one was Jesus. Why do we put so much energy into trying to be perfect?  What are we so afraid of?

It seems to me if we were able to laugh when we forgot something; laugh when we made a mistake; laugh when we wore two different shoes or socks or wore our shirt on inside out we might be able to realize what is important and what is not important.  Being KIND is important.

Being KIND will take us so far in this life.  It is easier to be KIND when we are laughing rather than when we are angry.  

I don’t have answers, but I have loads of questions.  I am on this journey with you. I get frustrated; I get angry; I can point fingers; I can be judgmental; but I know it is not what God expects of me.  I know God expects me to be KIND.

Might we practice being KIND together?


Pastor Bonnie


Ladies Purse Night & Men’s Suitcase Night

By Now most of you have heard about “Ladies Purse Night” and Men’s Suitcase” night.


Ladies Purse night is an opportunity for any lady to bring a used or new purse or back pack in to the church.  We will fill them with items for women and deliver them to a homeless shelter. Some of the items we will put in them are:

Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, dental floss, shampoo, deodorant, etc.

Men’s Suitcase night is an opportunity for men to bring in a suitcase, duffle bag, back pack that we will fill with items such as:

Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, razor, socks, dental floss etc.


By offering the purses and bags, the men and women have something that belongs to them.  They have something that they can take with them. We will need to know how many are planning to attend both evenings, so we can have enough supplies for each.  Everyone attending is invited to bring one item for the bags. If you can come and not provide an item that is no problem either, because someone might be able to donate things and not attend.


If you can attend the women’s night, November 5 @ 7pm or the men’s night on November 27th please call in to the church and Linda DeMaio will have the list to add your name.  

After everyone signs up I will get back to you with a suggestion of what you can bring in to donate!




Pastor Bonnie is interested in starting a new group at Grace Church.  A healthy Lifestyle Group.  This group is for both men and women.  It is a group that will encourage, support, and share different ideas for a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy lifestyle might include eating, reading, exercise, self-care, recipes, and what?

This group will meet for an hour.  If you are interested, please contact Pastor Bonnie.  We will set the time according to schedules. I am open to it being in the evening, during the day or even after church on Sundays.


Another group Pastor Bonnie is willing to lead is a Monday Chatter group.  A group to come together and talk about the sermon, a Bible verse you are struggling with or what have you.  It is just a time to come together and share in fellowship. I think we could meet at noon and bring a bag lunch, or order pizza, or sandwiches OR we could meet about 1 and have an hour or so in the afternoon.

Anyone interested? Please let Pastor Know your thoughts!



August 2018 Consistory Digest

There were 16 members present including Pastor Whittier and Patti Miller.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for July 2018:  $12,812.11 (5 Sundays)

General pledge for July 2017:  $12,803.50 (5 Sundays)

YTD 2018 income:     $124,488.33

YTD 2018 expenses:  $136,463.78

YTD shortage:              $11,975.45

Checking account balances

Deacon:       $20,187.20

Education:   $12,608.71

Memorial:    $34,483.92

Resource:     $1,222.93

Operating:  $28,523.63

Carroll Miller reported the operating deficit for July was $2,065.  The expenses through July are generally in line with the budget.

Mike Tasto has filled the open position on Consistory. There will be three openings for the 2019 Consistory.

Carroll Miller has volunteered to take over the bookkeeping responsibilities for several months for the office. 

Vickie Arnold will check about having a short pew rebuilt and investigate if another pew in the sanctuary should be removed.

A video intercom system with remote door unlock for the alley door entrances will be sent to the congregation for approval.  The proposed installation cost will be approximately $5600.

The Modern Service Team is looking into getting estimates to update Fellowship Hall

Worship & Music reported:  August 19 is blessing of the backpacks.  Acknowledgement of educators will be September 30. Lisa Erney will chair the Crop Walk scheduled for October 21. We will be inviting all of the families who attended 2018 VBS to all church activities involving children and families. There will be a Christmas Eve family service at 4 PM  this year in Fellowship Hall.  The next Worship & Music meeting is October 9th at 7 PM.

Linda Bixler sent a report about Vacation Bible School.  Theme: Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus

A total of 43 children were registered.  Average attendance each night was 39.  Several children were not able to attend every night. Approximately 1/3 of them were not affiliated with Grace UCC.  Children and volunteers donated $330 for Heifer.  VBS children and families will be invited to attend events at Grace.   There were many volunteers helping each night and numerous donations from many members of the congregation.  A VBS celebration service was held on Sunday, July 22 in Fellowship Hall.  The enthusiasm of children and adults and support from the congregation helped make VBS a success.

Ken Wenger reported the July giving for Sharing God’s Grace was $776.00 which included $330 from Vacation Bible School.  This brings our three-month total to $2585.58.  If we keep up this level of giving, we can surpass our initial goal of $5,000 and reach $10,000 or even $15,000.

Pastor Bonnie reported the following schedule:

Advent Celebration    December 2, 2018

Sunday School Christmas Program   

Family Worship 4PM   December 24

Christmas Eve Service

VBS children and families will be invited to attend events.


Pastor Bonnie also reported she is trying to shorten the bulletin, announcements etc.

Starting in September, prayer requests will be placed on the list to the end of each month.  At the beginning of the next month the request will need to be added again, if needed.


Gary Rickrode, Grace Security Team, reported there are 3 first aid kits available.  They are located in the nursery, Sunday school room at the end of hall on the third floor of the Education Wing, and at the Fourth Street front entrance.  

Advertising will be done to find Grace Members who may be interested in training for First Aid.  The training fee will be paid by Grace.


Prepared by Craig Bixler 8-15-18

Alive In Christ

Re-visioning Key Vital Signs


Report of 56th Annual Meeting of

Penn Central Conference June 6-9, 2018 at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA.

Attended by Craig and Linda Bixler


The conference began Friday afternoon with a worship service followed by the state of the conference/strategic plan review.  A business session followed which included reports of the secretary, the treasurer, and auditors. The budget was presented.

There were two resolutions presented.  The resolution on plastic foam states, "Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ encourages all congregations to avoid the used of plastic foam in food packaging and other activities within their church facilities.  Be it further resolved that congregations educate their members about plastic foam and that they encourage them to use alternatives such as paper products or better yet, ceramic or other dishwasher safe products. The resolution passed:  237 yes, 17 no, 5 abstain." The second resolution was to approve amendments to the UCC Constitution and Bylaws which were approved at General Synod in June 2017. The resolution passed 246 yes, 7 no, 7 abstain.

The keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, presented her message.


On Friday evening we attended the following workshops:

How does climate affect our health and vitality? Presented by the PCC Creation Justice Ministry team and led by Dr. Alan S. Peterson (Lancaster General Hospital)

The workshop began with the basics of climate change and then moved to the effects of climate change on our health.  Greenhouse gases now contribute to 4 of the top 5 causes of death in the US. Starting now, action must be taken to protect the health of the most vulnerable because climate change is already here, and people are being harmed.  If action is not taken now, by the time the next generation reacts, it may be too late.


Active Shooter and Church Safety by Miller Insurance Agency and led by Debb Laukaitis and Trooper Rick Bair

Trooper Blair reviewed “run, hide, and fight “strategy for an active shooter.  He also stressed welcoming new people and having someone sit behind anyone who appears suspicious.


Following the workshops, we attended an Intergenerational “Messy Church” with the theme: Transformed – More Than Meets the Eye based on Acts 9.


Saturday morning began with a second business meeting. Delegates voted for a $1,071,954 PCC budget for 2019.  The Hartman Center budget for 2019 is $269,400.

Both budgets passed.


Following the meeting we attended the following workshop.

Books Don’t have to be Boring: A Passion for reading as a Way to Come Alive in Christ by Byron Borger from Hearts and Minds Bookstore

Reading books can be a spiritual practice that allows us to grow in faith.  Books can help us clarify what we believe, can inform us as we talk together, and can inspire us to serve together, alive in the goodness of the sacred journey.  Titles of many books were shared.


After lunch there was another business meeting during which Hartman Center information was shared and new Board members were commissioned.


This was followed by communion worship service with Rev. Dr. Chris Davis delivering the message.  


There are currently 184 congregations in the Penn Central Conference.  


We met a lot of great people and enjoyed good food and fellowship activities.


Gettysburg Association of the Penn Central Conference of the UCC

56th Annual Meeting

April 22, 2018


The meeting was held Sunday April 22 at Redeemer’s UCC in Littlestown, PA, with 16 of 21 congregations represented, including 14 pastors in attendance.


The meeting began with a worship service lead by Rev. Sterling Fritz.


Church Updates:   It was reported Trinity UCC, Biglerville, elected to break ties with the UCC as of April 1, 2018.  It was also reported Grace UCC called a new pastor February 18, 2018. Rev. Bonnie Whittier will begin serving as Pastor of Grace on May 1, 2018.  Her installation service will be June 3, 2018 at 3 PM.


Treasurer’s Report:  Actual income for 2017-2018 was $10,107.73, with actual expenses of $4,660.54.  Balances as of 3/31/18 showed $4,506.32 for Hartman Center and $21,832.23 in checking for a total of $26,338.54.

The proposed 2018-2019 Budget showed income of $6,000.0 and total expenses of $10,075.00.


The Gettysburg Association Committee on Ministry and Gettysburg Association Coordinating Council presented reports.  An updated United Church of Christ Ministerial Code was presented.


The PCC Strategic Planning Initiative will be presented by Rev. Dr. Monica Dawkins-Smith at St. David’s UCC, Hanover, on September 30, 2018 at 3 PM.


Craig & Linda Bixler, Delegates



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


Prayer Line and Bible Study

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 Miller a call at 717-451-1913


Thursday Evening Book Group

The Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ written by Quinn G. Caldwell and Curtis J. Preston will be read and discussed beginning September 6, 6:30 PM in the parlor.  This book is very easy to read, however, contains a lot of very good information. Topics include: Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff, Bible Stuff, and UCC Stuff.  A review on the back cover states, “Think of it as a comedian with a dry sense of humor and a degree in Theology.” Please contact Craig Bixler for more information.


Doors Locked for Grace Security

Due to security concerns at Grace, the Consistory has decided to lock the elevator entrance on weekdays.  You will need to bring your swipe card or call Linda DeMaio to enter the elevator on weekdays.  Also, the Fourth Street entrance into the education wing will now be permanently locked and used as an exit only.

Sewing Group – 11 September

The sewing Group will once again be meeting on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, to assemble bed pads. This month we will meet on September 11.  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.




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


In-House Gardener Needed

The flower beds around the church and parsonage are cared for by the congregation.  Barry and Donna Bankert have been doing the work for 50 years. It is now time for younger folks to take it over.  The work entails planting flowers (leftover from Grace UCC spring flower sales), watering, weeding, and the general care for the church and parsonage flower beds.  The trees and bushes are cared for by the Consistory.

For questions concerning the gardening work, please contact Donna and Barry Bankert.




Wow!!  What a memorable trip and unbelievable sight as you first see “The Ark.”  Imagine seven stories tall; 1½ football fields long—the largest frame structure in the world.  I learned it took 23 months to build. That was with electric tools, etc. How in the world was it ever completed before?  It’s massive.

We are now involved in peach pies orders.  I hope you can catch us on 22-23 August.

The annual Fall Dessert and Tea will be held on Wednesday, October 17.  So round up your players.  Hope to see you there. It’s been a super success.  We will continue to keep it fun. Naturally, I’ll be calling for some great desserts.  We get many compliments on those.

We have been putting the final touches on a wonderful holiday memory for those who participate in our next bus trip.  The dates are November 18-20, 2018.  Wheeling, West Virginia, is our destination. We will see “The Winter Festival of Lights,” for one thing.  In 1985 the festival began as 125 acres. Now it is one of the nation’s largest light shows, covering 300 acres and six miles of lights.  You won’t forget it. Also, accommodations have always been a priority for me. You will not be ready to leave “The Wilson Lodge” at Oglebay.  Over 100 years ago, Mr. Oglebay gave his estate to Wheeling—1700 acres of year-round recreation and excellent overnight accommodations. We will be visiting a lot of venues.  Hope you can give yourself a “special gift” this year.

We will stop at Shanksville on the way home to see the beautiful memorial to the brave souls who gave their lives to stop the horrible events on 9/11.  

There will be something for everyone.  The deadline is September 5 for the bus trip sign up.  

Resource will be donating $200 to the Ark Fund this month.

Keep on Keeping On!

Mary Jane



Chancel Choir and Summer

Chancel Choir will resume its practice schedule on Thursday,  August 30. Choir meets every Thursday at 7:00 PM. Please come and join us!   


Community Aid Collections

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!



In Loving Memory


Earl Shank

Brian Hockensmith

Mary Shoemaker

Jimmy Wildasin

Joyce Deardorff

Donna Zeigler





Sharing God’s Grace

Heifer International is the project for Sharing God’s Grace for 2018.  Since 1944 Heifer International has provided livestock to improve the lives of who struggle for reliable sources of food and income.  Since its founding Heifer International has helped more than 31 million families and in the past four years has been ranked in the top four most trusted nonprofit organizations by Harris Poll Equitrend.

Heifer International operates under the concept of passing on the gift or giving away a portion of what one has been given.  Families who receive livestock are given extensive training on how to care for their animals and agree to pass on an offspring to neighbors in need.  In this simple way every gift will multiply for years to come and help spread hope around the world.

 Grace UCC’s goal is to give enough animals (cows, sheep, oxen, pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens, geese, beehives,  etc.) to fill an ark.  In this way we can provide assistance to those in need.  The cost of an ark is $5,000. 

The last Sunday of each month thru December you are invited to come forward during the final hymn in each service and put your offering in the ark.  Please make checks payable to Grace UCC with Heifer Project in the memo line. Of course you may put the money in any Sunday and mark it for Heifer International or Sharing God’s Grace.  

Just as Jesus fed the multitudes during his ministry let us provide food for those in need.



Neighbors In Need

We will be receiving the special Offering for Neighbors in Need in the month of October.  Neighbors in Need is the UCC's annual offering to support ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States, including the Council for American Indian  Ministries, justice and advocacy efforts, and direct service projects funded by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries. 

Please prayerfully consider donating to this worthwhile cause. 

Envelopes can be found near the September Days of Grace.

Thank you.



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.



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

PAL  September Needs


Coffee, Hot Choc. and salad dressing – (Ranch, Italian or 1000 Islands.)



Toilet Paper, Paper Towels



Wash Clothes, Bath Towels, Hand Towels



All single serving please!

Single Servings of juice boxes, bottles of water, single serve vegetables, and single serve fruits



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: Barry Bankert, Mike Mummert

September 2 & 9: Joann Sites, Gary Rickrode

                              Fay Emlet, Glendon Ruhlman

                              Faye Myers, Greg Sindlinger

Sept 16 & 23:       Carol Spangler-Solomon, Richard Boyer 

                              Matt Boyer, Holly Smith 

                              Becky Boyer, Kris Smith

September 30:     Sue Lang, Nancy Bankert

                              Kelly Bankert, Sydney Bankert

                              Len Bankert , Cathy Reck



September   2: Jenn Weaver

September   9: Faye Myers

September 16:  Len Bankert

September 23:  Ethan & Caleb Shank,

             w/ Linda Bixler

September 30:  Greg Sindlinger



September   2: Mike Mummert

September   9: Jenn Weaver

September 16:  Cathy Reck

September 23:  Mike Mummert

September 30:  Jenn Weaver


ACOLYTE 10:45 service

September   2: Alexis Knopp

September   9: Luke Highlands

September 16:  Levi Highlands

September 23:  Briahna Rorrer

September 30:  Colby Bealing



September   2:

September   9:

September 16:

September 23:

September 30:




September   9: Board of Education

September 16:  

September 23:  Nancy & Len Bankert

September 30:  Jenn Weaver




If you are interested in providing refreshments for the modern service, please contact Pam Kreitz 717-476-9511.



Saturday, September 22 at 6:00 PM

Rain Date: Saturday, September 29

Location:  Myers Hollow Farm

(Faye Myers)

665 Tracey Road, Hanover

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.)


For planning purposes, please complete the form below.

(Return to Craig Bixler or the church office by Sunday, September 16.)


I will attend the church campfire on September 22.

Name: ________________________________


Number attending: _____________   Telephone Number _________________


Grace Seniors

GRACE SENIORS MEET once again on Wed., September 19, at noon in Fellowship Hall. 

 On the menu for lunch is a “picnic theme” with Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Chips, Pickles, and Dessert.  

The cost is the same–$6.00.  

The program will be presented by our own Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia, AKA Bob and Martha Channell Come, travel back to Civil War days with us as we review a bit of history and gain some new insights into this couple. 

 Please use the form found below to let us know you will be there. 


Yes, I/we will be there for Grace Seniors on September 19.  

__________________________         No. attending       1         2   (Please circle)


Payment attached _______           

Pay at the door_______


Please return to Dona Warner or Pauline Benner by Sept. 16. 


  Fork and knife



Christ calls us to reach out with Love and share God's Grace.