Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| May 12, 2021
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference -
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (from Jeremiah 31, select verses.)
The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting on June 12 is “Called to Covenant”. Yes, we come together to do the business of our conference. But the time together is so much more than that. This year we come together virtually and in select churches that have technology. We will worship together, pray together, remember those who have gone before us, and celebrate the many anniversaries of clergy and churches.

All of this being together and activity can be translated into “we are called to covenant”; or maybe even more accurately, “we are calling one another to covenant with God and with one another.”

Because, my friends, covenant is the hallmark of God’s people; covenant is the centerpiece of church life; covenant is the main focus of our denomination. We are in covenant with God to do God’s work as disciples who spread the life-giving abundance of life to all around us. We are in covenant with one another to worship together, pray for one another, celebrate each other’s joys and weep with each other’s sorrows. We are in covenant to discover our gifts, celebrate them, and use them for the Godly good of all people. We covenant in the midst of a unity that binds our hearts and minds together; in a diversity of theologies and life experiences; all loved and cherished no matter who we are or where we are on our faith journey.

And this year we will covenant to do something at Annual Meeting that we may have not done for a very long time: we will celebrate and embrace the installation of one of our Associate Conference Ministers.

Many of you may know the term installation because you have installed your pastors to affirm their call of covenant with the members and friends of your church. Participating in my installation as your Associate Conference Minister is an affirmation of my call to join all of you in covenant as members and friends of Penn Central Conference. Let us be “called to covenant” together, Associate Conference minister and beloved of Penn Central; and let us celebrate that covenant, as surely as we celebrate our covenant with our God and with one another.


The Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister for Congregational Transitions
Penn Central Conference
The 59th Annual Meeting of Penn Central Conference
June 12, 2021
"Called to Covenant"

Registration is now open!
Click here to read more.

See documents as they are uploaded on the PCC website.
Submit budget questions in advance here:

Special Meetings to discuss bylaws changes that will be voted on:
June 1st 10:00AM register here
June 1st 6:00PM register here
Printable eNews are available. Pastors and secretaries, please feel free to share with your congregation members that don't get this weekly email. Download and print this PDF with the weekly message to the conference, prayers for Penn Central and brief list of events.
Scheduling notes:

May 16 - St. John's UCC, Boalsburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
May 16 - Grace UCC, Spring Mills - Rev. Nora Foust preaching
May 23 - St. Paul's UCC, Selinsgrove - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
May 23 - Zion UCC, Arendtsville - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
May 30 - Peace UCC, Denver - Rev. Nora Foust preaching
The newest Morsels of Excellence from Rev. Nora Foust is now available! The third in the Healthy Church series is on Stories & Traditions Find the full series here or click below for the newest video.
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 Madisonburg UCC, Rebersburg
St. Luke's UCC, Dalmatia
St. Paul's UCC, Manheim
Canoe Camp UCC, Mansfield
Penn Central Conference is once again accepting applications for the PCC Innovation Grants which is for PCC churches who are looking for funding for a bold & innovative approach to ministry. Application can be found here, please email completed forms to Paul.
PCC Virtual Choir

Do you want to be part of the virtual choir for the Penn Central Conference Annual meeting? Julie Holm will be glad to have your voice, and to walk you through the process. All you need is two electronic devices (a computer and a phone is plenty!) Join us to help bring extra beauty to the worship as we gather in June! email Julie Holm at or call her at (814) 349-5515!
COVID-19 Resources

Penn Central Conference has added a special section on our website for COVID-19 resources, including the times and links for Zoom meetings. Find them here:

FEMA Funeral Expense Assistance up to $9000 to pay funeral costs for any family experiencing COVID-19-related deaths. The grant phone line to apply is: (844) 684-6333. More information can be found at here and a printable flyer can be found here.
General Synod 33
"Rooted In Love"
July 11 – 18, 2021
Important links below

From the PCC Creation Justice Team

Has your church considered creating a Pollinator Garden this spring? This is a very practical and productive hands-on project that individuals and churches can do. Pollinator gardens actively and constructively contribute to the health of our own immediate environment, and provide food and shelter for the bees and other insects.  We do a lot of talking about “policies” and “legislation” with regard to climate change. But this is an action where for folks can get their fingernails dirty and make a tangible contribution!  The gardens of native shrubs and flowers provide food, water and nesting sights for our pollinators on which our food supply depends, and build appreciation for God's interconnected creation and community. Penn State Extension has a Pollinator Garden Certification Program that outlines how to begin planning and creating your pollinator garden in four steps and includes many helpful resources. Check HERE for getting started ideas.

For inspiration check out the Church of the Apostles UCC, Waynesboro Pollinator and Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Waystation - beautiful pictures and story.
PCC Creation Justice Team Meeting
May 13, 6:30PM

Rev. Matt Lenahan, from The Growing Project at the Wittel Farm in Elizabethtown will join us for the very first part of our meeting. So tune into Zoom by 6:30 to learn how our Outdoor Ministry Partners grow many acres acres of vegetables using regenerative farming to feed the hungry in Lancaster County.  

Outdoor Ministries

The 2021 summer camp schedule is set! There are camps for all ages and interests at both Kirchenwald and Nawakwa. Check out what is offered online. There is an early-bird registration discount if you register before April 3. Also, if you attend the Open House, you can get an additional discount. Full brochure here. Special PCC discounts available on camp registrations! Read more here.

Calling all high school kids, college-age young adults, and adults interested in working at camp this summer! Lutheran Camping Corporation is recruiting now for this summer's camp season. Learn more here.

May 15; 9 a.m. -12 p.m.

Sunday, May 16; 3:30-6:00 p.m. (Worship begins promptly at 3:30)
Join friends, volunteers, and staff of The Lutheran Camping Corporation to celebrate the opening of the 2021 Summer Camping Season! It will be an afternoon and evening of worship, fellowship, and fabulous food. While this event is held at Nawakwa, it is to celebrate all the summer programs at Camps Nawakwa, Kirchenwald, and the Wittel Farm.  

This will be a week of summer camp dedicated to carrying on the memorable and special experiences at Hartman Center. It will be a week for folks from Penn Central Conference and friends of Hartman Center to come together and celebrate outdoor ministry with familiar faces and through familiar traditions. There are a variety of camp options ranging from coming for a single day to staying the whole week, from bringing your own food to eating all the meals provided! The Conference has scholarships available - please reach out for more info.

Check out the all new Outdoor Ministries page on the PCC website here!
And a history of Hartman Center is hosted on the PCC website here.
Mercersburg Society Presents
2021 Mercersburg Convocation
Polarization and Reconciliation: Hints From the Mercersburg Tradition
Jun 7 & 8, 2021

Learn more here.

Spring 2021 Ministerial Education Forums – Third Tuesdays
Due to the constraints of Zoom interactions, MEFs will have registration limits. If a registration is full, email Paul to be added to a waiting list. Please let us know if you need to cancel so your spot can be given to someone on the waiting list.

May 18: Life-Giving Leadership with Rev. Bill Worley, Conference Minister in the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference
“Wherever you see significant progress in an organization, it’s because a leader made difficult decisions.” – John Maxwell.
The central task of leadership is influencing God’s people toward God’s purposes.” – George Barna
Where there is faithful and effective ministry happening, there is a faithful and effective leader helping people make difficult decisions. The pastor cannot be the only leader—but the pastor MUST be among the leaders equipping church members to do ministry. Instead, pastors burn out because the pastor and the church members expect the pastor to do most or all of the ministry. This is a failure of leadership. So, what is life-giving leadership? What makes a good leader? This workshop addresses that question by examining some of the core characteristics, qualities, and examples of solid pastoral leadership.
10:00AM registration full
Continuing Education in Theology – Open to all MIDs and Authorized Ministers
PCC Staff have been thinking a lot about theology and liturgy. You are invited to join us for a deeper discussion of our worship elements. We have designed a number of discussions for a registration required, limited-size continuing education opportunity. Twelve hours of theology credits will be offered.
Do you spend much time thinking about the theology behind the elements of the liturgy? What does an assurance of pardon really mean when pastors offer these words following a congregational prayer of confession? Did anyone really confess anything? How do we know? And what about communion - what happens when we speak the prayer of consecration and words of institution?
Register and join us for deeper discussion and community learning!
Theology of Liturgy (Evening): May 27th, and June 3rd, 10th, and 17th
           Thursdays from 6:30 – 8:00 PM
           Limit 10 (minimum 6) Registration
Lectionary Discussion Group continues - using a new Zoom link starting May 4th! Join other clergy on Tuesdays at 1:00PM to discuss the lectionary passages. NEW Zoom link here.
Book Reviews
This month's reviews by Rev. Ken Trauger 
Invitation to Romans by Pamela M. Eisenbaum
This Disciple Bible Series is by the author who is professor of Bible Studies and Christian Origins at the Iliff School of Theology. She is a member of B’nai Havurah Synagogue in Denver, CO.
St. Paul wrote as an Apostle to the Gentiles in Romans. The book includes spaces for your thoughts on the text and the context.
The concluding chapter has a view of all nations, Gentiles and Jews, having salvation and worshiping God and the reigning Jesus. However, there are people not there from all the nations because they worship idols and the darkness of the world. 
I am now reflecting on my evangelism task, my new challenge. It is a call to worship only God, not idols, the first Commandment, Jesus’ faith. In Romans 3:22, she translated “through faith of Jesus”, not “through faith in Jesus” because the Greek text has no preposition in it. The word ’Of’ meets the Abraham discussion in Ch. 4. His “faith could not have been Jesus, since the patriarch lived long before the time of Jesus”, p.45.
You will find many other thoughts in the book study. Evangelism does not worry about Jewish worship. 
UCC Webinars

These webinars are designed to help you enhance your local church ministries. Most are free to attend. Check out the calendar here.

Where Do We Go From Here: COVID-19 in 2021 May 11, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Purple Church May 18, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

TikTok Ministry: Faith, in the World May 25, 3:30PM - 4:30PM
Looking Ahead:

General Synod "Rooted in Love: Special Edition"
General Synod 33 will take place Sunday July 11, 2021 – Sunday July 18, 2021. Pre-Synod events will occur on July 7-10, 2021. Learn more here
UCC Musicians Association Conference 2021
July 8-10, 2021

Join us online for workshops, worship services, a wonderful concert, vendors and networking. We will be virtually hosted by the First Church of Christ, Congregational, UCC in the historic town of Glastonbury, Connecticut. From Thursday evening through the Saturday 4 pm closing worship service, we provide a plethora of activities that will enhance your music skills and give you resources and ideas for new ways of expressing God's Spirit in these pandemic times. We also provide glimpses of the historic scenery around the church in Glastonbury, which you would have enjoyed if you had come in person as originally planned. Join us instead online for a mental reset and spiritual refreshment with a taste of Connecticut. Learn more here.
From our Partners & Friends:
The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Seminary announces:

Bivocational Ministry for Congregations and Pastors, taught by the Rev. Dr. Darryl W. Stephens, Wednesday nights, 7–8:30pm, May 26–June 30, via Zoom. Generous grant funding allows us to offer this 2.5 CEU class for $100 per participant (or $50 for auditors, no credit). Registration and instructions for payment:
Is your congregation considering a part-time pastor? Are you considering a career in ministry alongside a secular job? This class is appropriate for lay leaders and clergy alike. We will explore what it means to be bivocational in ministry. We will study the example of Paul as tentmaker and discuss challenges facing the church today. Students taking this class for CEUs will develop a covenant of expectations between congregation and pastor for successful ministry in a changing world.

Also upcoming:
Ministry Job Search Toolkit: Bivocational and Beyond, instructor TBA, July–August 2021. Grant funding allows us to offer this 2.5 CEU class for $100 per participant (or $50 for auditors, no CEUs).
May 16 is Seminary Sunday at Lancaster Seminary, a day when our faculty, students and staff visit (this year it'll be virtual visits) congregations to either preach, teach or simply say a few words about LTS and the importance of educating the next generation of leaders to serve the church. The pastor decides the level of involvement and are invited to email their interest / availability to our Admissions Team at, which is organizing the outreach this year.
Mt. Gretna Tabernacle
Ecumenical Program
Friday Nights in June - 7:00PM

"GOD'S PRESENCE" is the common theme for Friday night worship services
during June at the historic Mt. Gretna Tabernacle. For speakers and more info, check out the full flyer here.

Parking GPS Address: 41 Boulevard St., Mt. Gretna, PA 17064
Update: COVID-19 and the Church
On Saturday May 15, 10-11am, Dr. Jeffrey R. Martin of Penn Medicine/Lancaster General Health is back by popular demand. He will present timely, local information regarding the trajectory of the pandemic, vaccine distribution, and what to consider when planning in-person gatherings. The second half of the session, Dr. Martin will field participant questions. Like you, he is weighing options for how and when his church can gather safely in this next phase of COVID-19.

Save the Date! June 13th is ERHS Heritage Sunday
The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society looks forward to partnering with you in celebrating the continuing legacy of our historic E and R churches throughout the Penn Central Conference on Sunday, June 13th. Additional details are forthcoming. In the meantime, you can always visit us at and follow us on Facebook @erhistoricalsoc and Instagram @erhistoricalsociety
Employment Opportunities

The Lebanon Valley Home, a continuing care retirement community affiliated with United Church of Christ Homes, is seeking a compassionate and resident focused team member for the position of Chaplain. This position is Part Time (15 hours per week).
The primary duty of the Chaplain is to provide spiritual support and comfort for the residents of the facility in coordination with the resident’s home congregation.

The chaplain will communicate a caring friendship with a tolerant attitude for multiple cultural traditions and a wide range of spiritual beliefs. The chaplain will offer encouragement and support to clergy and churches as they continue to minister to the needs of their members.
The chaplain will be available to offer comfort to the individual as well as the family. During difficult times, sensitivity and compassion are requisite for the spiritual support needed by all involved; the resident, family, and staff.
Providing comfort for the dying is a key part of the Chaplain's job as well as coordinating and conducting regularly scheduled religious services for residents.

Requirements – Must be an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ with a minimum of one year experience in a pastoral ministry as well as one unit Clinical Pastoral Education.
A resume and letter of interest should be submitted to:
Meredith Schell Fields
Executive Director
The Lebanon Valley Home
550 East Main Street
Annville PA, 17003
Fax (717) 867-7060
There is a summer ministry opportunity open at Locust Lake State Park for this summer. The PA Council of Churches has supported a program of chaplains in PA's state parks for 60 years. The Schuylkill Association of the PA Southeast Conference supports the chaplain at Locust Lake State Park.

The Committee is looking for a lay or ordained chaplain to serve at Locust Lake State Park on weekends from Memorial Day, May 31, through Labor Day, September 6, 2021. It is a part-time position. Duties of the chaplain include leading Sunday worship in the park, and walking through the campground, visiting campers in a socially distanced manner on a Friday or Saturday. All ministry takes place outdoors, so it is among the safest ministries!
Worship draws many kinds of people from many different church backgrounds.

The position description can be found at:
Training is provided.

APPLICATION and SCREENING FORM Summer Campground Ministry (Section 1 of 8)
******PLEASE READ****** Do not hit the back arrow button or attempt to go back while completing this form. You will have an option at the end of the form to edit any information you have entered. An older paper version of this form can be found at this link: - Please do not include your SSN or Drivers License number on the paper version of this form. If you complete the paper version of this form, please email a scanned copy to or mail to: Pennsylvania Council of Churches Campground Ministry Coordinator 900 South Arlington Ave. - Suite 211A Harrisburg, PA 17109-5089

For more information contact the Committee Chair, Rev. Maureen Duffy-Guy at or (570) 952-5474.
PT Church Office Administrator - Christ UCC, Elizabethtown, an ONA congregation, looking for PT Church Office Administrator—28 hrs/wk. The Office Administrator should have skills, education, and experience in church office administration which includes web site construction, word processing, office management, and inter-personal relationships. Send application letter, résumé, and two references to or mail to: Christ Church UCC, 247 So. Market Street, Elizabethtown, PA 17022 by May 13, 2021
PT Musician Position - We're looking for someone to assist with the casual service at St. Thomas UCC in Linglestown. This person would help to plan worship, coordinate musicians, and lead the music for Sunday services by playing (keyboard or guitar) and singing. This is a paid, part-time position; for more information, contact Dan Schmidt (
PT Director of Music - Christ Church UCC, an ONA congregation in Elizabethtown, PA seeks a candidate to lead worship through music and oversee the church’s music program. The candidate will possess strong skills in music, leadership, cooperation, organization, and recruitment. A music degree or equivalent experience, broad knowledge of church music, and a willingness to grow the music program are required. Salary up to $19,975 depending on background and experience.
The responsibilities include:
  • Director of Music (Approx. 3-5 hours required/week)
Oversee and coordinate the overall music ministry of six choirs
Meet regularly with pastors to plan worship
Coordinate special music for worship services
  • Chancel Choir Director (Approx. 10 hours required/week)
Direct the adult choir (not during summer)
A letter of application, resumé and two references can be sent to by May 27, 2021.
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15

Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
phone: 717-719-1895
Anne Rankin
Outdoor Ministries Liaison
phone: 717-945-4585
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560