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Custodian Position

Accepting applications for a custodial position whose responsibilities are carried out on a regularly scheduled daily basis to include a maximum of forty (40) hours/week, Monday through Friday.  Download the Custodian Job Description from the list below for detailed information.  Background checks required for employment consideration.  Our church office is open (M-Th 9:00-4:30).  Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, 300 East Simpson Street, Mechanicsburg PA  17055.  Phone 717-697-0351

See these links for more information: 

Voracious Readers – April and May 2017

April 2017

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White is a rather quick read that kept us interested in the mystery of the ghost-inhabited house. We shared some of our own opinions/anecdotes about these visitations from the other side. 🙂 We were glad to see the characters work through their pasts and find themselves in happier situations.  Those of us who have been to Charleston enjoyed re-visiting this setting. Several attendees preferred our previous Karen White selection On Folly Beach.

May 2017

I think that it is safe to say that we all appreciated reading Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, a very moving historical novel about WWII and the inhumane treatment of prisoners in Ravensbruck concentration camp.  One Book, One Community in York County picked Wein’s book for 2017 and  Ruth Ann brought in the posters from the York County study of this book. It is so meaningful to put faces to these unfortunate women.  Visit Wein’s website and look under the tab Resources to see more about the story behind her novel.

From the unbelievably cruel treatment of the Polish “Rabbits” to the beatings, cold, starvation, and subsequent PTSD, we were once again appalled by these experiences. On a more positive note, I really enjoyed Wein’s use of poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay as the main character finds comfort in it as well as creating her own.   The strength that these women drew from their common hardships and new friendships was also very inspirational.

We enjoyed coming upon occasional references to Central Pennsylvania/Hershey based on the author’s living here for a while during her childhood.

Those of us who also read Wein’s Code Name Verity, the first book of this series, found it to be equally powerful as it followed another woman pilot who was captured and cruelly treated by her interrogators in France.

The Book Club meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except December, at 7:00 PM in the Church Library.  Summer/early fall reading:

June 27 – Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
July – The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
August – The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
September – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
October – A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Voracious Readers – March 2017

We really enjoyed this debut novel, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. It is quite amazing that a young Swedish woman who had never been to America could capture the spirit of this small town and its cast of interesting characters. Some of us think that this would make a good movie, ala A Man Called Ove, which we noted was nominated this year for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards!

As someone on Goodreads wrote, this is definitely a book “for book lovers about a book lover written by a book lover”! Bivald captured how much books mean to many of us and how much influence a particular book can have on someone’s life. She skillfully wove into her plot the plots and characters of many books that we have read or hope to in the future.

We appreciated reading about this “family” that Sara joins and the great impact she has on each and every one of them. We enjoyed the development of the plot and its resolution, even if we were a little skeptical about some of its plausibility.

Thank you to Lynn and her mother for this recommendation!

We will be reading The House of Tradd Street by Karen White for our April 25 meeting, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein for May, and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly for June. By the way, I just learned yesterday that Rose Under Fire is actually a young adult novel and second in a series; book #1 is Code Name Verity, which also received very good reviews.

You can find our upcoming books and meeting dates at this MPC webpage.

Voracious Readers February 2017

Appropriately, women’s work was the theme of our recent discussion about Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt.  The book club decided to read Holt’s book for February and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly in June.  Therefore, I asked that we save comparisons between the two books until the June book club date.  Shetterly’s book covers the women computers that worked at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. and Holt wrote about the women computers at the Army’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Caltech in California.  Both sites later became part of NASA. 

We opened with a review of a selected timeline of rocket and missile technology from 1916 up to 1998.  As was emphasized in Rise of the Rocket Girls, the USA lagged behind Russia and also Germany in rocket, missile, and satellite technology.  We learned from the timeline that in 1945 Operation Paperclip took 1,600 German rocket scientists and technicians to the United States and Operation Osoaviakhim took 2,000 German rocket scientists and technicians to the Soviet Union.  You may remember that Russian Soviet Yuri Gagarin in 1961 was the first man to orbit the earth, but everyone was unaware that Valentina Tereshkova from the USSR was the first woman to orbit earth in 1963.

Rise of the Rocket Girls begins its true story in 1939 with Barbara Canright, her husband, and the Suicide Squad, a group testing rockets.  Fast forward to the end of WWII and Macie Roberts hires women exclusively to be human computers, specifically women with advanced mathematical skills.   In light of this unique opportunity for women, we discussed what professions we felt were traditionally open to women in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  We briefly talked about our math classes and the use of the slide rule and, later on, electronic calculators before we finally had the personal computer in our homes

Expectations of dress, demeanor, and <gasp> if someone become pregnant while in the labor force were part of our discussion.  We shared how attitudes shape girls for science and math and also how some male attitudes still work to keep women out of the computer field.  Holt wrote:

Women’s roles at JPL stand in sharp contrast to trends in the rest of the country.  In 1984, 37% of computer graduates were women; today that number is at 18%.

In response to this, I encourage you to consider supporting the following initiatives:

We marveled that the story of these women was buried in NASA’s history and appreciated that Holt brought their work to life.  Some members thought that the book could have been edited a bit better, and we look forward to reading about the women at Langley Research Center in June. 

Next month we discuss The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

Mike Morret’s Testimony

I’ve had so many people share their appreciation of my testimony last Sunday… thank you all! I thought I’d post my “speech” for you to read and share. It was one of the most difficult things I ever did but I’m so glad I had the strength to get through it. Sorry it’s so long.

Good morning. My name is Mike Morret and I’ve been asked to share my faith story with you. My story begins in 1991 when my wife at that time and I were blessed with an amazingly wonderful son. We named him Nicholas. Nicholas wasn’t like “normal” babies. He had a hole in his heart, a deformed brain and a condition similar to Cerebral Palsy, which was never confirmed. He was literally our million dollar baby! The stress of having a special needs child is said to either bring a family closer or tears them apart. Unfortunately, we went our separate ways but continued to love this little guy with all our hearts.

I tried to date but Nicholas seemed to be more “baggage” than they wanted to handle. Shame on them.

In 1995, I met an amazing younweddingg lady who was quite new to the area. She was originally from the Reading area and moved to Mechanicsburg for her job. We met somewhere where relationships weren’t supposed to last but as we got to know each other, I realized she was a very special woman. When Tanya met Nicholas, she didn’t run from the challenge, she didn’t give me any excuses; she loved that little man just as if he was her own and I loved that about her… among other things!

Two years later, Tanya and I were married right here in this church! Pastor Tom Schmidt officiated the service. Nicholas was my best man; family and friends were there to witness our vows to each other. As I said my vows and went to slip the ring on her finger, the ring twisted in my fingers and dropped onto the solid wooden floor of this sanctuary. As I reached down to try to grasp the ring on its third bounce, I called for heavenly assistance by yelling “JESUS”… It took ten minutes for Pastor Schmidt and the rest of the visitors to stop laughing so we could continue our vows!! It was quite a memorable experience! When Tanya and I started our lives together, MPC was there for us.

NicholasWe quickly chose MPC as our family church. It was warm and inviting and each week when we brought Nicholas to church, people would seek him out to say hello, give him a hug and to talk to him… waiting for him to share his infectious smile with them!

On October 10, 2005, we brought Nicholas to MPC for the last time. He contracted an infection which invaded his heart and blood stream and took him from our lives. His mother and I had some special accommodations we asked for during the viewing and MPC had graciously met each of them. During Nicholas’ viewing, MPC was visited by hundreds and hundreds of people whom Nicholas had touched in his short life. Members of this congregation were both part of that procession and ones who helped with any other task that needed to be done that day. The viewing lasted most of the entire day.

Pastor Rick Sweeney had the task of presiding over Nicholas’ funeral service and it was evident that Nicholas’ passing affected Rick as much as it did us. In our darkest hour, MPC was there for us.

Over the years, Tanya and I have contributed our services and talents to the church. We have volunteered in the nursery, been greeters and ushers, and served as Deacon. When Mackenzie became middle school age, we were asked to think about teaching the junior high Sunday school class. Do you remember when you were younger and your parents told you that you were going to visit your grandparents? You REALLY didn’t want to do it, but once you got there, you had fun and found out it wasn’t really that bad? Well, that was my initial reaction to this mission. I’m a teacher and I really didn’t want to have to plan ONE MORE LESSON for the week. But once we decided to accept the challenge and once we got our feet wet, it was fun and I’m really glad I did it! We volunteered for four years (two with Mackenzie and two with Jordan) and we loved it!

Most recently, I was approached by MPC about becoming a Deacon myself. I took a long look back at my life and thought to myself, why would God want someone like ME to become a Deacon… if anyone knows the kind of person I’ve been, it’s GOD! But talking it over with a few very important people, I accepted this calling as well. Honestly, I didn’t feel I was the right kind of person to be in that type of position but I’ve come to learn that being a Deacon isn’t about going out and preaching or testifying or shepherding. It’s about being an active part of this amazing church and helping those who are in need. It’s about going and visiting someone who just needs someone to sit and talk to, or showing up with a small gift that might just brighten their day. I get as much out of these visits as do the special people I visit.

When I was asked to share my faith journey, and while I was writing this testimonial, I realize that it really is a journey and that my journey is nowhere near over. It’s had some potholes and bumpy roads, but it’s also had some amazing stretches as well. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next, but I know whatever those tasks are, MPC will be there for me.

Thank you.

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