Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| February 12, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5
How many of you have had the great misfortune of knowing exactly what you should have said mere moments after something else had passed your lips? That was me this past weekend.

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with pastors in the Central Association to talk about covenant. (In April, that conversation will continue at their Annual Meeting and include lay delegates and visitors as we look deeply at what it means to truly belong to one another.) On Sunday, I was preaching on the lectionary passage in Matthew – four laws framed by Christ as centered on human relationships – when something I should have said Saturday, hit me.

“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not murder,’” Jesus was teaching. “But I tell you anyone who is angry with a brother or sister…” (Matt 5:21-22) What if Jesus was really teaching about living in relationship with one another, belonging to one another? If that were the case, the well-being of another is important; your mere feelings toward another are as important as your actions toward them.

That is what I should have said on Saturday when talking about how covenant asks much of and yet, transforms all parties. Covenant calls us into an active yielding of wills that binds us in a common life. That is what truly belonging to one another might look – and feel – like.

When I was a child, my church sang John Fawcett’s hymn “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” with great regularity. Back then I had no idea what this ‘tie’ was, I figured it had something to do with our church. As I have grown up in life and faith, I have come to understand covenant as the tie that binds “our hearts in Christian love,” our lives, too. And just as there is no one tie that binds, there is no one understanding of or way to live in covenant with one another.

Walter Brueggemann writes. “Covenant insists that we are members one of another, pledged to solidarity across ideological lines and prepared to live in sustained engagement with each other in ways that impinge on and eventually transform all parties to the transaction…all members stand in accountability to a will and purpose beyond our own will and purpose…covenant yields a way of life that is always on the move, always summoned beyond our preferred way stations, always sustained when we move out beyond our comfort zone in faithful obedience.” ( Introduction to Jane Fissler Hoffman’s “Covenant”)

How is covenant lived out in your church community? What does the common life of your association look like? How does this unity in the Body of Christ hold us together over many possible differences? In what ways might thinking about your feelings being as important as your actions transform your relationships with others and with the Church?


Preaching Around the Conference

February 23 - St. John's UCC, New Columbia - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 10:00AM

February 23 - St. John's UCC, Red Lion - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:00AM

March 1 - Heidelburg UCC, York - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 10:00AM
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...

Trinity (Strawberry Ridge) UCC, Danville
St. John's UCC, Denver
Dover UCC, Dover
Salem UCC, Dover
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!
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!
Climate Justice

From the Pollinator:

Ash Wednesday is coming. On Wednesday, February 26 th , many of us will go to church and begin the season of Lent with the imposing of ashes on our foreheads. For me, this holy day will be different this year. It will have a distinctly environmental flavor. I say this for a couple of reasons. The first is that I will be in Washington, D.C. that day as the UCC holds a press conference and Ash Wednesday service for the release of a new report entitled ‘Breath for the People’: Sacred Air and Toxic Pollution. The report places a moral spotlight on the places and people who suffer disproportionately from toxic pollution, with the small, developing bodies of children being of particular concern.

It is not an accident that we are releasing this report on a day associated with repentance. The meaning of the word “repent,” however, has often been lost in translation. In its Greek origins, it is about turning around and changing course to go in a new and better direction. When it comes to the environment and public health, our nation today is faced with a moral reckoning, but it is also faced with an opportunity to head in a new and better direction, a direction that seeks to protect without fail the health and wellbeing of children.

Beyond D.C., I also see Ash Wednesday taking on an environmental flavor in other parts of the country. I see it in churches that are utilizing Creation Justice Ministry’s Lenten Calendar . I see it in groups that are making use of Leah Schade’s Lenten devotional book For the Beauty of the Earth . I also see it places like St. Paul, Minnesota where David Weiss has created an Ash Wednesday liturgical service that supports the UCC Council for Climate Justice’s Kairos Call to Action .

With the primary electoral season upon us, this week’s Kairos action is especially fitting. By voting our values, our nation can head in a new and better direction. Learn more about how churches can further values-based voting with particular concern for God’s creation
With gratitude for your ministry,

Read the introduction to " A Kairos Call to Action ."
Read about the first suggested action : Enter a Period of Study and Immersion.
Read now about the third suggested action : Know Your Environmental Justice History and Become a Zero Waste Church .

Keystone 10 Million Trees
Does your church or business own land? Do you want to improve Pennsylvania's communities, economy, and ecology by planting 10 million trees throughout
the Commonwealth? Learn more about Keystone 10 Million Trees here
Earth Day
The UCC Celebrates the Love of Creation by Planting Trees for Earth Day and your church can too! Hope you will join in! Read more here.

The impetus for this comes from an UMCOR Grant we received to purchase plastic free sample products for area churches and small business in our county. It’s an educational endeavor spirited from our own PCC initiative, Annual Meeting Resolution and Synod 2019.
Yearbook 2020
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below.

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

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.
Salem’s Closet  at Salem UCC, Harrisburg was opened on February 1, 2020. We served 77 adults and 13 children, but we also were able to help 212 people from our various outreaches over the last two months. 
Next time open: April 4, 2020. Needed: blankets, pillows, socks. Questions and to
volunteer, please call Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569 or Judy and Bob Enders at 717-732-1474.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

February 22 - Ordination of Amy Fishburn at Grace UCC, Lancaster - 2:00PM (Rev. Carrie Call attending)
February 23 - Installation of Craig Munnel at Trinity UCC, Lewistown - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
June 7 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

March 9 - Mercersburg Ministerium–Spiritual Care in the Congregation with Rev. Nora Foust - 9:00am
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 11 - Mercersburg Ministerium (Rev. Carrie Call Attending)
May 14 - Gettysburg Ministerium with Rev. Nora Foust
Association Special Events

Outdoor Ministry Retreats at Hartman Center
Countdown To Opening Day (Fishing, of course!) with Dave Bushnell & Friends - March 16 - 18
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 Team Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - More info to come
July 26 - 31 - UEK Pastoral Colloquy 2020 - Elizabethtown College; register here
 Boundary Training & MEFS
March 3 - Crossing Boundaries, Tending Boundaries: Collective Wisdom for Best Pastoral Practices with Rev. Ed Dickel - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - 6:30-8:30pm
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: Recognizing and Responding to Disruption in Community or Life Together: Its Challenges and Rewards with Scott Watts - 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
Chicken and Waffle Dinner, to benefit the Hartman Center Sponsored by the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith, UCC and ELCA at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 120 East Main St., Rebersburg, PA
Saturday, February 29 from 4 to 7 PM. Eat in and Take Out available. Adults $10, Children 5-10 $8 and under 5 Free

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 for Bells - Church of the Apostles, Waynesboro
Narda Druckenmiller is looking for a 2 Octave set of Handbells that another church may not be using or willing to sell. Contact Narda at 717-994-4614

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
Open & Affirming
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA - 9:30AM-3:00PM - register by emailing

KEYNOTE SPEAKER : The Rev Dr. Beverly Dale - an ordained minister, a playwright/performer/author, sex educator, teacher, educator, and spiritual director.  

BREAKOUT GROUP PRESENTERS : Rev. Kim Kendrick - Chaplain of Bethany Children’s Home on O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives)

Steven Roush, Penn Central Conference’s ONA Consultant and Bethany Sweger, ONA Team Member on ONA 101A
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

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

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
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase & Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
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.
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