Why Are We Here?
The answer is simple: Hanover Valley exists to assist people in knowing Jesus Christ, until there is a visible difference in their quality of life and in the community. We believe that the Gospel of Christ has a tremendous power to produce positive transformation spiritually, psychologically, socially, and culturally – first through ourselves and then through the community by word, deed, and community.
We believe that historic Christianity has the resources to meet this challenge, by connecting people to God, to one another and to their communities. First and foremost, Hanover Valley wants to help people establish a vital link with God. We wholeheartedly believe that people will never be complete unless they establish an actual relationship with God and come to know Him personally. It is for such a relationship that we were made, and our hearts are restless until this relationship exists. The good news is that through Jesus Christ it is possible to have this vital link with God. Though we joyfully invite every person to faith in Jesus, we are committed to sacrificially serving our neighbors whether they believe as we do or not.
What kind of church do we need to be to make a difference in Hanover? To help people know, love, and serve God through Jesus Christ? We are striving to be a church with an open door to those who seek Christ and a clear path for those who are journeying toward Him.
An Open Door
Hanover Valley is committed to maintaining an open door to anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus Christ. We welcome the questions, objections, and problems of people searching for truth, and we are committed to responding with honesty and compassion, not hostility or condescension. While some churches are almost completely for those skeptical of Christianity and others are only for those who are confident believers, we hope you’ll find people here all along the spectrum of discovery – those who are convinced, those who are perplexed, and those who are skeptical of the Christian faith. We revel in this diversity.
Hanover Valley is firmly rooted in the mainstream of historic Christianity. We wholeheartedly embrace the historic faith as expressed in the ecumenical creeds of the universal church, such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creeds. We are also committed to the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition through our commitment to the Westminster Confession of Faith. (Copies of these creeds and confessions are available upon request.) Hanover Valley is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, a denomination with churches throughout North America.
Our vision is to be a Biblically based, Christ centered, grace oriented church for the Hanover area. We want to become a people who are daily living out the acceptance, freedom, and power of Christ, reaching out to a broken world through genuine and caring relationships, expanding God’s kingdom life by life.
What Are Our Values?
Joyous, Biblical Worship
We must focus on both private and public worship for the former drives the latter. We expect to experience joy in our worship since the message of the gospel tells us that we are accepted and forgiven through the work of a Savior and not our own frail efforts. The worship service will be Biblically based, God-centered, & Grace-focused. It will reflect God’s desire to reveal Himself by being understandable to those present and marked by excellence. We will have a traditional yet dynamic service using the best of historic and contemporary elements, as well as, a variety of styles to expose people to the multi-facets of God’s nature and character (Blended Worship). The preaching will be passionate and insightful reaching across the spectrums of believers and unbelievers, young and old, infants and mature in the faith.
The church is to be a community that is not exclusively focused on itself. We are here for those who do not yet attend. Part of this means that we should do everything in our power to be welcoming. We desire to be a church where non-Christians are expected, welcomed, and respected, with any questions, objections, struggles, and doubts. The bottom line is that the church should be a place that empowers Christians to be servant missionaries in Hanover. The gospel should be making us a safe community where anyone can explore the reality of Christ no matter where they are along the spectrum of discovery.
God is at every moment building and spreading his healing presence in our world. We want to honestly assess the community’s needs and meet them Biblically and holistically as the Lord provides leadership and resources. Our commitment is to incarnate the gospel in Hanover in such a way that people are drawn to trust the church and to lower their sense of the church’s hypocrisy. We desire to meet spiritual and physical needs at the same time so that there is real change socially, culturally, spiritually and physically.
The gospel is the good news about what God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ. It is not a law that we must do or achieve. Because of this, we seek to motivate one another with grace, not with guilt and shame. Religion makes nice people; the gospel makes new people. Religion reforms you on the outside; the gospel transforms you from inside out. For this reason, we tend to focus on the heart and motivation rather than a concrete set of outward behaviors. The gospel says, “None of us is good. In fact, we are far worse than we think (this creates humility and authenticity). But the gospel also says that through Jesus Christ we are far more loved than we ever dared dream (this creates freedom, confidence and hope).” To be a Christian means that you have been given a new identity, a new Father, and a new family.
Discipleship through Small Groups
We hope to see folks exploring the work of Christ in all of life. The best and most authentic means to this is through ongoing small group interaction and through mentoring rather than simply through a smorgasbord of programs. We value relationships over structures and believe that needs can be met more affectively within the context of committed relationships.
Every Member Ministry
Every member of Christ’s kingdom is gifted in some way to care for and serve others. We want to unleash people for ministry so that more and more are involved in the work that Christ is doing in his church and world. We want people to discover what they really love to do in the kingdom and then help them do it.
We want to be a church saturated by prayer in every aspect. Prayer changes our hearts so that we can be used to change our world. Prayer is one of the main ingredients needed for healing our broken world. We want to be so built upon prayer that it could said that if we haven’t prayed about it we can’t do it yet.
Excellence is one of God’s characteristics. We believe the church ought to reflect this character in all it does. What can we expect others to think if God’s children give Him the leftovers in their lives? We desire to be purpose driven rather than slaves to preference or tyrannized by the urgent. We are committed to doing a few things well rather than many things with mediocrity. This doesn’t mean we go beyond our means but that we truly strive to present Him with the best He has given us and not simply settle for the best we can do.
Meet Our Staff
Reverend Drew Derreth
Drew Derreth is a native of Baltimore, MD and a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (degree in mathematics) and Westminster Theological Seminary (graduate degree in theology and pastoral care). While in seminary, he was involved in the work of church planting in Bucks County, PA. Before coming to Hanover, he was the associate pastor for youth and family in a growing church in Baltimore for nine years seeking to develop disciples of Christ in and through the church. His wife, Becky, has roots in the Lancaster County area and is an accomplished fine artist. They have been married since 1986 and have 3 children: Tyler, Hannah, & Kate.
Web and Graphic Design
Youth - Middle School
COLBY AND ANGELA BREWER
Kids Fest Coordinators
Adult Sunday School Coordinator
Child Care Coordinator
Children's Ministry Coordinator