Days of Grace December 2018


December 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


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)


9:00 AM,  December 2

Advent Celebration Service with Communion followed by crafts, decorating, & projects in Fellowship Hall.  At 11:15 AM there is a family project followed by lunch. 


7:00 PM, December 16

Christmas Program & Party


Christmas Eve Services – December 24

4:00 PM  – Family Service with communion in Fellowship Hall

9:00 PM – Candlelight Service with communion in Sanctuary


A Word From Pastor Bonnie…

Good Morning!

It is overcast, but not raining!  Yahoo. A beautiful day in the neighborhood.  I continue to reflect on the number of children we had in church on Sunday.  Both services had so many children. It is wonderful.

I hope you take time to stop in and check out what is happening at the church during the week.  It is a bustling place! A group has been in making candy; a group has been in helping to clean out old stuff in order that we might have room for new supplies and a neat environment to work.  The phone rings often. Visitors stop in regularly, and we even have a neighbor that is not a member that stops in to see if she can help fold bulletins! We are a presence in the neighborhood.

At Trunk or Treat we had neighborhood families waiting in line to come into the building.  This is what Jesus calls us to do—we are called to be a welcoming presence in the community.  We are called to let the children come! We are doing it, and it is exciting!

I have 6-8 people ready to join the membership.  We will be welcoming them in January at a service of commitment.  We will be inviting current members and new members to a commitment service.  We will re-commit to our membership at Grace United Church of Christ. Have you thought about what it means to be a member of the church?  It is so much more than receiving communion and giving a tithe. It is time and talent as well. It is being present when someone needs a hand.  It is greeting your neighbor all week and during worship.

As we greet our neighbor, it is listening to what they have to say.  It is encouraging someone struggling. It is praying with someone in need.  It is letting go of gossip, mis-communication, manipulation and divisive behavior in order to truly love our neighbor as ourselves.  

In 2019 we are going to work specifically on healthy behavior: communication, listening, praying and working together.  We want to move into 2019 as a healthy, thriving, life giving community!! I hope you will plan to attend as many of the activities as possible during December and January.

Blessings as we walk this journey together,

Pastor Bonnie


Another group Pastor Bonnie is willing to lead is a 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 1:00 and have an hour or so in the afternoon.

Anyone interested? Please let Pastor Know your thoughts!


November 2018 Consistory Digest

There were 15 members present including Pastor Bonnie Whittier.

Treasurer’s Report:

General pledge for October 2018:  $10,362.80 (4 Sundays)

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

YTD 2018 income:     $168,876.23

YTD 2018 expenses:  $202,356.28

YTD shortage:              $33,480.00

Checking account balances

Deacon:      $17,810.93

Education:  $12,609.45

Memorial:    $34,711.02

Resource:    $13,662.95

Operating:   $9,232.00

Carroll Miller reported giving continues to be flat at $10,362, which is $2,000 below our monthly average. Expenses included $2,022 for stripping and waxing the floors. The October net deficit was $5,099. The Finance Committee met during October and started the 2019 budget process. We also agreed to take $20,000 from investments to cover our future deficits.

The 2019 Budget was presented for review.  The 2019 Budget will be discussed at the December Consistory meeting.

A Deacon Fund Committee meeting was held.  There is a lot of money in the fund.

The Education Fund currently has a lot of money as well. Donations can still be made to the Deacon Fund and Education Fund; however, those fund envelopes will be removed from the 2019 offering envelopes box.

Linda DeMaio submitted a letter of resignation.

Carroll Miller will work five hours per week at $14.25 per hour, to count and post the Sunday offerings.

Len Bankert has served as the de facto maintenance supervisor for the church for many years. Len has decided to retire and presented the Consistory with a letter listing all the maintenance activities he has been doing. Mike Mummert will take over most of Len’s duties.

There was an electrical short in a light in the men's bathroom downstairs.  Tim Hagarman was called to make repair.

Sanctuary temperature for the Moller Organ and Steinway Piano was discussed.  

Temperature/ humidity recorders should be installed in the two organ chambers over a long period of time.  This will help us decide what changes need to be made regarding sanctuary temperature. An average of the past three years church gas and electric bills should be used to compare to new utility bills in regards to any sanctuary temperature changes. The sanctuary temperature should be set at 55 F this winter.  

Amy Fawks reported upcoming Worship and Music activities: November 11, Veterans Recognition; December 2, Advent Celebration; December 24, two Christmas Eve services, Family at 4:00 PM and Traditional at 8:45 PM.  

Ken Wenger reported support for Sharing God’s Grace Heifer Project is staying strong with the October offering of $797.20, bringing the year total to $4,798.55.  Remember there is a matching gift challenge of dollar for dollar given by individuals for every dollar over $5,000, up to $2,500, which would bring the grand total to $10,000.

Pastor Bonnie reported the following:  She has been randomly calling in-active members.  The conversations have been very similar and very upsetting to her as pastor.

She has gotten a couple in-active families to commit to lighting the Advent Candles during the Traditional worship services.

She has met with the Stewardship Committee to have a plan for moving forward.

She will be doing all home communions in November.  She only does home communions 3-4 times a year and bases them around Advent, Easter, and Summer.

Reports for the Annual Report should be sent to Amy Fawks by the first week in January 2019.

Prepared by Craig Bixler 11/15/18



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




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).


 Help Needed

Can you offer a few hours to help clean the church?

There are several areas where help is needed to sort through and organize materials.  If you have time during the day or evening to help, you will be helping create a welcoming, orderly environment at church to gather with others. Also, what a great opportunity to work together with others!

If interested, please contact the church office.


Sewing Group – December 11

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 December 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 Advent Celebration will take place on Sunday, December 2, beginning at 9:00 AM.  The worship service will take place in the Sanctuary and will begin with the prelude by Ambient Grace.  The Advent Processional will follow. Holy Communion will be offered. Following the service, we will adjourn to Fellowship Hall, where various activities will take place.  At approximately 11:15 AM there will be a family project for all the families. Lunch will be served at about 12:15 PM. A brief closing will conclude the day’s activities. We hope you will join us for the Advent Celebration as we prepare out church and our hearts for the coming of Christ.


Annual Christmas Play and Party

December 16 at  7:00 PM

“The Secret of Christmas” will be presented in the Sanctuary beginning at 7:00 PM.  During the play, the children will re-enact the nativity. Following the play, refreshments will be served in Fellowship Hall, and Santa will be there to greet the children.  Participants in the play will be contacted and will be advised of two rehearsals. The first rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 15, at 1:00 PM in the Sanctuary.  The children will be fitted for costumes.  The second rehearsal will be held at 9:30 AM December 16 in the Sanctuary.  All members and friends are invited to attend.


The Christmas Fund

The light is surely coming.

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 in 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.


Do You Shop at Giant or Weis?

Giant and Weis grocery cards are available to buy at the church office.  There are $25, $50, and $100 denominations available. The church receives a 5% rebate on the face value of each card used.  The rebate supports our Deacon's Fund when you use these cards.



Peanut brittle sale is going well.  We will be making candy on Thursday, December 6, from 7:00 AM until 4:00 PM, and on Friday, December 7, from 7:00 AM until we are done cooking.  Lots of help is needed in the kitchen to measure ingredients, butter the pans, cook the brittle, and wash dishes. Cracking, weighing, and packing of the brittle will begin at 7:00 AM Friday.  Help is also needed for this part of the project. We will finish the cracking, etc., on Saturday, December 8.  Brittle may be ready for pickup after 3:00 PM.  We have a great time working together and hope you will join us.  The Ladies of Grace will provide lunch on Thursday, and lunch and supper on Friday. Thanks to all who supported this worthwhile project.

Come and join us.  There are sit down jobs for those who need to sit.  Call Janet Black (717-637-1768) for more information or volunteer to help.

Thank you.


Blue Christmas Service

December 5 at 6:30 PM

Christmas is right around the corner.  A happy, merry time yet there are other feelings stirred up by this Holiday.  Some folks among us may be feeling a bit blue.  Missing someone they love, having a rough time, not fitting in. 

Grace is reaching out to all with an invitation to join us for a very special Blue Christmas service, to be held Wednesday, December 5, beginning at 6:30 PM, in the parlor.

Pastor Bonnie will have a meaningful message and Ambient Grace will bless us with music for all to enjoy.  For more information, please call the Church Office.  717-632-1146



Ladies of Grace will host their third annual Cookie Swap on Sunday, December 9, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  All members and friends of Grace Church are invited to participate.  Simply bring three dozen of your favorite homemade cookies and a container to take three dozen cookies home.  Recipe books from last year’s cookie swap will be available for your enjoyment. We will have refreshments and activities to round out the afternoon.  Please plan to join us for a fun-filled afternoon. For more information, please contact Janet Black (717-637-1768).  Happy cookie baking….


Community Aid

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!


Let’s rally around Rev. Richard & Pauline Benner’s granddaughter who is serving in the Peace Corps.  Her address:

Emily Benner, PCV


P.O. Box 2797

Mbabane, H100


To mail a regular 1 ounce or less letter, $1.15 postage will be required.  Regular U.S. postage is accepted.  It would be best to use a regular business sized envelope.  For more information, please check with the Post Office.






Cling is larger than the Picture.






 Abigail Kae Shearer

Parents: Megan & Ryan Shearer

Sister: Zoey Shearer


Gracieanna Joy Hossler

Parents: Jay & Elizabeth Hossler

Sister: Abigail Hossler




In Loving Memory

 Shannon Weaver



Christmas Caroling 2018 

Saturday, December 8, at 4:00 PM 

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

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

We are planning to meet at the church on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 3:30 PM. We plan to leave around 4:00 PM and will return to the church around 6:00 PM. As it has been done in the past, we will return to the church for a light supper, hot cocoa and fellowship. 

To make sure that we have plenty of baked goods to pass out while caroling, enough food for our carolers and enough vehicles, please contact Elf Stephanie by Friday, December 7, 2018 if you are willing to join us in this wonderful opportunity to spread some Christmas Love and Joy. 

Stephanie Welper (717) 752-5551


Chancel Choir


Chancel Choir meets every Thursday at 7:00 PM. Please come and join us!   



Thank You

Dear Rev. Bonnie and Grace UCC Congregation,  

Your generous donation of handbags filled with useful supplies will help many people in need.  Thank you.

Peace and Blessings,

Safe Home Staff


Thank you one and all for making our recent Green Bean drive a success.  We were able to meet and exceed our goal of 500 cans, to benefit New Hope Ministries’ Thanksgiving Drive.  A special Thank You to Sue Maddox for helping to organize and count the incoming donations, Barry and Donna Bankert for delivering most of the cans to New Hope, and Sue and Tracy Caler for making a delivery as well. Proof, once again, that when we pull together, great things happen!  God Bless!


Grace United Church of Christ

Team Security 11/20/2018

The following persons have completed the 3 hour First Aid/ CPR/ AED training held during November here at Grace church.

Mike Bankert              Craig Bixler

Angie Boyers               Sue Cerifko

Linda DeMaio              Rob Greenholt

Kendra Kauffman        Brittany Rasnake

Deb Rickrode               Glenn Ruhlman

Carol Spangler Solomon

Jim Stair                        Melissa Storm

Laura Tasto                   Deb Wierman

Thank you to members of Consistory for approving this expenditure and to our members for supporting this effort.


Gary Rickrode



Sharing God’s GraceSheep

Our project for 2018 is Heifer International.  Heifer International provides livestock to improve the lives of those who struggle for reliable sources of food and income.  Since its founding Heifer International has helped more than 31 million families. 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.

We have been challenged to fill two arks for a total of $10,000.  As of October 31, 2018, we have given $4,798.55. To help us reach the challenge of two arks, our matching gift angel will match everything given till December 31, 2018 by individuals after we reach the initial goal of $5,000 up to a grand total of $10,000 for two arks.

This means if we give $1,000 over the initial $5,000 goal it will be matched for a grand total of $7,000.  If we give $2,500 over the initial $5,000 goal it will be matched for a grand total of $10,000.

The last Sunday of  December, you are invited to come forward during the final hymn in each service and put your offering in the ark.  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.






The Clothing Bank needs your help!

We are looking for individuals who are available to come and sort clothing and items. Sorters are needed 8:30-11:00 AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Cashiers are needed 9:00 AM-12 noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on the first Saturday of the month when the Clothing Bank is open from 9:00 AM to 12 noon. 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  November Needs


Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Egg Noodles


Thermal Gloves, Paper Towels, Baby Wipes



Clorox wipes, Men’s Boxers M to L,

Drink mixes tea or lemonade



single servings of entrees and juice boxes




 Fork and knife


The December meeting of Grace Seniors will be held this year on MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, at the Elks on N. Forney Avenue.   Monday is the day we were able to get their facility.  We will meet there at noon, order from their limited menu, and each will pay for his/her own meal.  Desserts will also be available. The program will be an appropriate Christmas-themed program.  Remember that this is the month we contribute Bingo prizes for the Assisted Living folks at Homewood at Plum Creek.  Small tissue packs, packs of crackers and cookies, pretzels, sugar-free treats, etc., are welcome. 

Please let Glenn Ruhlman or Dona Warner know by December 12 if you plan to attend this gathering.  A “tear-off”  is included here to sign up. 


Yes, I/we plan to attend Grace Seniors Christmas gathering on MONDAY, DECEMBER 17.  See you there.








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:          Carroll Miller, Dan Trimmer

December   2:         Consistory

December   9/16:    Carol Spangler-Solomon, Levi Highlands,

                                        Leslie Grote, Luke Highlands,  

                                        Paul Grote, Debbie Wierman

December 24:         Consistory

December 23/30:    Barry Bankert, Stephanie Stonesifer, 

                                        Kris Benner, John Storm,

                                        Mike Stonesifer, Melissa Storm



December   2:        Amy Fawks Assisting Elder

December   9:        Linda Heller

December 16:        Linda Bixler

December 23:        Hannah Shank & Linda Bixler

December 30:        Faye Myers



December   2:        Consistory

December   9:        Janette Becker

December 16:        Cathy Reck

December 23:        Deb Wierman

December 30:        Cathy Reck



Acolyte 10:45 service

December   2:         Lexi Knopp

December   9:         Luke Highlands

December 16:         Levi Highlands

December 23:         Colby Bealing

December 30:         Maxwell Wisensale




December   2:          No Coffee Hour/Advent Celebration and luncheon

December   9:          Michele & Steve Rudisill

December 16:          Vickie & Brad Arnold

December 23:

December 30:



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


Please contact Ashley Rummel if you are interested in helping in the nursery.



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