Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| March 4, 2020
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

There is an old Asian proverb that says, “The mind makes a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” The proverb speaks to the common human experience of suffering created by the thoughts people sometimes find marching through their brains. The point of the proverb is that the mind can be a wonderful problem-solving tool, but also a tyrannical ruler of a person’s mood, emotions and wellbeing. In some sense, the happiness we all seek is significantly related to the thoughts or stories we tell ourselves about the reality we experience. There is no doubt that real suffering occurs when hurtful things occur in our lives. In acceptance therapy this is called “clean” pain. “Dirty” pain however, concerns the thoughts about how bad life is. In this view unhappiness occurs not simply as a result of a painful situation, but because of painful thoughts or the stories we create around the event.
If you think about any issue that has troubled you for a while like a spouse’s addiction, a child’s misbehavior, or your own physical health, you can see how worrying about the problem has been to no avail. Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Own North Star states, “No doubt you have tried valiantly to control this issue but are your efforts working? The answer has to be no; otherwise you would have solved the problem long ago. What if your real trouble isn’t the issue you brood about so compulsively but the brooding itself?”
Beck notes that “acceptance, detachment and surrender are the pathways to freedom and healing”. Acceptance, detachment and surrender are traditional Christian practices that are now being adopted as viable psychotherapeutic devices. Practices such as mindfulness training or focusing teach us to detach by paying attention to our thoughts in non-judgmental and compassionate ways. For example Beck states, “When we find ourselves using words like should or ought we’re courting ‘dirty’ pain. Obsessing about what should be rather than accepting what is, we may try to control other people in useless, dysfunctional ways. The result is an emptiness that we usually blame on our failure to get what we want. Actually it comes from refusing to accept what we have.”
 During this time of Lent, preparations for Easter and the assault of media pronouncements, take time to compassionately observe the stories you tell yourself about family members, co-workers or government officials. Loosen their hold and feel the joy, peace and love available to all as children of God.
Julian of Norwich, a 14 th Century mystic who lived during the Black Death, was quite familiar with personal and societal suffering. Yet she is one of our foremost teachers of detachment and compassion in the midst of suffering and yet she affirms for us again today that all shall be well. Hers is an optimism that is not born of naïve idealism, but an ongoing trust in the mysterious and providential love of God. Her affirmation of faith is as apt today as it was in her own day:
           “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Scott M. Watts, M.S., M.Div., LPC, NCC
Penn Central Conference
Facilitator of Care to Clergy and Clergy Families
Conference Minster Travel

March 8 - Preaching at Trinity UCC, East Petersburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 7:45AM & 10:30AM

March 15 - Preaching at Dover UCC, Dover - 10:00AM

March 23-28 - Council of Conference Ministers and United Church Board meetings - Cleveland, OH - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
March 31-April 1 - UCC Historical Council - St. Louis - Carrie Call
Prayers for Penn Central Conference
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

This week, we pray for each other as we continue to live into God's calling...

Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown
Salem UCC, Elizabethtown
Bethany UCC, Ephrata
Zion's Reformed UCC, Ephrata
A word from Rev. Traci Blackmon on coronavirus

"The faith community has a special responsibility to care for our fellow congregants and communities, said the Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC Associate General Minister, in her introduction to a selection of resources on coronavirus. "When we are prepared, we are in a better position to help others." Click here to read her statement .

We especially commend to your attention:
FLYER/BULLETIN INSERT  for congregants, including health and hygiene tips, and a reminder of our special responsibilities as people of faith to care for our neighbors.
PANDEMIC PREPARATIONS . This excellent resource from UCC's Southern New England Conference offers church leaders a succinct pandemic preparation checklist covering community relations, worship services, communications, fiscal concerns, key leadership backup and pastoral care.
More useful resources:
Latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):  
UCC Disaster Ministries "A Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches"  (no "pandemics" section - yet! - but great counsel for preparing for any sort of disaster)
The Perfect Blend: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
A day with author Bishop Robert Schnase
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Lancaster Theological Seminary, Santee Chapel

Come spend a day in conversation around how these practices can help your church live out the Gospel and be a missional presence in your community.
We will hear 3 presentations from Bishop Schnase and have a few guided, small group discussions along the way. See a full flyer here. Seating is limited, so registration is required. $25 per person, or a discounted rate of $100 for groups of 5 people. Register here!
Pastoral Colloquy 2020
Penn Central Conference, United Church of Christ
Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz
Penn Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ
Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland
Southern Conference, United Church of Christ
Wisconsin Conference, United Church of Christ
in cooperation with
The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
26 to 31 July 2020
“Building a Just Peace in an Unjust World:
Learning with and from Our Anabaptist Colleagues”

Who?   Pastors from all the church bodies listed above
What?  A week of learning, discussion, and fellowship
Where?            Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
When? Sunday, 26 July, through Friday, 31 July, 2020
                       Weekend visits before and after the colloquy are
                                   available for our German guests.
Why?   “All we are saying is ‘Give peace a chance!’” ~John Lennon, 1969

Welcome and Hospitality are major themes of our UCC culture. You have the opportunity to provide welcome and hospitality to a guest from German during the weekend before and/or after the PCC/UEK Pastoral Colloquy.  Hosts are needed throughout the conference to host German visitors, primarily single individuals and couples, from July 24 -26 and/or from July 31 to August 2. If you have a guest room, an open heart and a passion to share yourself with new friends, contact Julie Holm ( or 814-349-5515).  Join us in providing a warm welcome for our overseas guests.
UNITE! Purdue University
July 22-25, 2020
Who’s headed to NYE this summer? I remember my first NYE at UT Knoxville where I realized just exactly what this Church I am a part of was all about. I remember how so many of the conferences sat together and had matching t-shirts and cheers as we would transition from one stage event to the next. Singing, praying, and worshiping with so many gave me glimpses of a different way to be church. Workshops with youth and leaders from across the country helped me get outside the box of the “way I had always done it.” Hopefully, your church youth are already fundraising for this exciting time! If you are planning to join the more than 3000 youth at Purdue University, please contact Rev. Nora Foust so we can UNITE! our Penn Central presence!
Yearbook 2020
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS MIDNIGHT MARCH 4 - TONIGHT!

If you need assistance - reach out to the conference office and we will be glad to assist.

If you cannot access the DataHub and want to submit the paper forms to the office, please find those here and here . Email them to Paul ASAP!

Church Officer Reporting

In addition to your online Yearbook reporting via the Data Hub, PCC will still be collecting the voluntary Church Officer reporting. Please complete this form and email to Paul at the PCC office.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

June 7 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

March 9 - Mercersburg Ministerium–Spiritual Care in the Congregation with Rev. Nora Foust - 9:00am
April 19 - Central Association’s Spring Meeting - Trinity UCC, Centre Hall
April 25 - Harrisburg Association Meeting (Rev. Carrie Call attending)
April 26 - Central Association Meeting with Rev. Nora Foust
April 26 - Gettysburg Association Meeting and Town Hall with Rev. Carrie Call
April 30 - York Ministerium with Rev. Nora Foust
May 3 - Lancaster Association Meeting (Rev. Carrie Call Attending)
May 3 - Mercersburg Association Spring Meeting
May 11 - Mercersburg Ministerium (Rev. Carrie Call Attending)
May 14 - Gettysburg Ministerium with Rev. Nora Foust
Association Special Events

Outdoor Ministries at Hartman Center
Hartman Center Golf Outing Fundraiser - May 9 - Fairview Golf Course - Quentin (Lebanon), PA - Registration now open!!!

Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29
What is Good Leadership? with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - April 14 - 15
Learning to See - A Photography Retreat with Nelson Dodson - April 27 - 29
Pride Retreat for LGBTQ Folks & Allies - May 29-31 (details to come)

Early bird pricing for those who pay in full before March 31, 2020.
Clergy Events
May 13 - Ordinary Time Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - register here
July 26 - 31 - UEK Pastoral Colloquy 2020 - Elizabethtown College; register here
 Boundary Training & MEFS
March 18 - MEF: Civility, Empathy and Well Being in Community with Therapist Judith Kennedy, MS, MA, NCC, LPC at St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
April 22 MEF: Building Community - Within and Beyond the Building with Rev. Carrie Call and Rev. Nora Foust - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-1:30pm
May 7 - Retired and Supply Boundary Awarenes s with Rev. Sally Dries and Rev. Nora Foust - PCC Office, Harrisburg - 10:00am-1:00pm
From our Local Churches
Mended Heart Lenten Concert/Potluck - Salem UCC, Elizabethville - March 15 - 3:00pm

DVD Lending Library - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

Free Choir Robes - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover
Emmanuel UCC has 36 choir robes (made in the US by E.R. Moore.) They are green, in a traditional style, gathered yoke, front zip with stoles. (See picture here.) Call Emmanuel UCC at 717-632-8281 for details.

Looking to borrow - A congregational set of "Unbinding Your Heart" by Martha Grace Reese. If your church has a set to lend, contac t Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster
5 for 5
Is your church 5 for 5? The next Special Mission Offering is One Great Hour of Sharing - which takes place on the 4th Sunday of Lent, March 22, 2020.

OGHS channels resources for international programs in health, education and agricultural development, emergency relief, refugee ministries, and both international and domestic disaster response, administered by Wider Church Ministries, Global Sharing of Resources.

For more information on the 5 for 5 offerings, click here.
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
From PCC Partners & Friends
Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop - Palm Lutheran Church, Palmyra - March 14, 9:00AM - 1:00PM

Music Sundays - Singing Our Lives: From Joni to Gaga - Liz Fulmer - Santee Chapel, Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 22, 4:00PM

Tuesday Topics - Women Who Speak for God: Females Among the Prophets - Dr. Julia O'Brian - Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 24, 10:00AM

The Path Between Us: Enneagram & Healthy Relationships - Parish Resource Center - March 27-28

LTS Discovery Days - Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 28 & April 1

2020 UCC History & Polity Class - Lancaster Theological Seminary - February 21 through April 3

Seeing Stewardship Clearly 2020 - Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Lancaster - April 20, 27, May 4 - Register here

Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) 2020 Annual Conference Holistic Faith Formation: Engaging Our Whole Selves - Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center, Mt Bethel, PA - April 27 through April 29, 2020 - register online by March 1st here

WISE Conference - UCC Mental Health Network in partnership with Penn Northeast Conference - Jordan UCC, Allentown - May 16
The more you know...
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Rev. Sally Dries

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. John Fureman

Staff Directory
Rev. Carrie Call, PhD
Transitional Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
Scott Watts
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560