Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 01, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV)
New Year’s Day is unique. There is no other day of our year that serves as such a gate between the old and the new. Ask most individuals and you will find that they have plans for their new year – resolutions, projects, goals, or deadlines for important decisions. The celebration of a New Year is considered a universal practice – which is quite rare in human society – and we use different dates and traditions in the celebration. Usually some sort of display is required, such as fireworks, or dance rituals, or special activities that serve to sweep away old spirits, habits, concerns, grudges, and failures.

Psychologists agree that the desire for a New Year celebration is largely about control. The need for recognition of the day stems from our desire to exert control over our world, which explains why we set so many resolutions, even though over 80% of us don’t follow them! In some cultures the New Year’s celebration is an open acknowledgement of our desire to escape death – to recognize that we have “made it” another year and escaped the grim reaper.

The idea of a new start is attractive for many of us. A variety of religious traditions celebrate the New Year by letting go of grudges, making amends, increasing prayers, or returning items borrowed from neighbors. Something in these rituals satisfies our desire for balance and for spiritual reconciliation.

Western Christianity celebrates the New Year as set by the Gregorian calendar (based on the one established by Rome), which established January 1 st as the beginning of the year. Meanwhile in Judaism and Islam the New Year is celebrated on different days, having been established deep within their scriptures and traditions. However, Christian perspective vary on the celebration these days. But the time and date is not in question. Instead some Christian groups shun the celebration because of its pagan roots or the tendency to engage in questionable moral practices, such as exuberant alcohol consumption!

Still, the experience of a fresh start can be both liberating and humbling. The Christian is offered this opportunity on a daily basis, since our regeneration in Christ has already happened and we live into new life on a daily basis. We have been redeemed and yet we experience regeneration continually when we live in communion with the Holy Spirit. Unlike secular celebrations of the New Year, our sense of newness can stay with us daily through the passage of time.

May this New Year be one of blessing and refreshment in our new life in Christ!


Preaching Around the Conference

January 5 - Trinity UCC, Hanover - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 9:00AM

January 12 - Hill Church, Cleona - Nora Foust - 9:00AM

January 19 - Trinity UCC, Gettysburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 8:00AM
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...

St. Pete's UCC, Aaronsburg
Salem (Spring Mills) UCC, Spring Mills
Emmanuel UCC, Abbottstown
Christ UCC, Annville
Year End OCWM
Thank you for your gifts to OCWM . All 2019 donations (OCWM or others) must be received at the Penn Central Conference Office by Friday , January 17, 2020.   Any money received after that date will be counted as 2020 donations. Please clearly mark your donations as for 2019.

Pledge Forms
We are grateful for the monthly OCWM gifts and appreciate those churches that added OCWM as a line item in their 2020 annual budget. Please let us know what you have pledged to OCWM in the coming year by completing and submitting this  online pledge form  or by sending this paper form  into Paul via email or mail.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

January 11 - Installation of Rev. Beth Rogers at Hummelstown UCC - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
January 26 - Installation of Rev. Betsy Bruaw at Peace Church, Swartzville - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

January 15 - Harrisburg Ministerium (with Rev. Carrie Call) - Kindred Place - 9:30AM
Association Special Events

January 12 - York Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 2:00PM   

January 17 - Retiree Breakfast sponsored by the Gettysburg Association COM - Trinity UCC, Hanover - 9:00AM (snow date is January 25th)

February 3 - Harrisburg Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill - 6:00PM   

April 18 - York Association Earth Day Anniversary Weekend w/ Jim Antal - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 9:00AM

Hartman Center Retreats
Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29 (details to come)
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
Lenten Worship: A Collaborative Planning Event - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - January 9, 10:30AM-3:00PM Register here
Mid-Winter Clergy Sabbath
January 21-23, 2020

Join Jill Peters and Maggie Wellert as they lead us through a look at balance with workshops and discussions. PCC's own Rev. Carrie Call and Scott Watts will also be leading sessions. There will also be fellowship, self care spaces, time to speak with chaplains and more!
Registration with hotel stay closes 01/08/2020;
Registration with meals closes 01/15/2020

 Save the date
February 19 - MEF at St. Thomas
March 18 - MEF at St. Thomas UCC
April 22 - MEF at St. Thomas UCC
May 13 - Worship Planning at Colonial Park UCC
Open & Affirming
Save the date:
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
From our Local Churches
DVD Lending Library - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg
From PCC Partners & Friends
"As He Did Unto Others" Music Sundays - Dr. Robert Horton - LTS Santee Chapel - January 5, 4:00PM

Live Webcast "Violence in Houses of Worship" - Presented by The Insurance Board - January 9, 2:00 pm

“Solidarity Not Solitary” - St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Harrisburg - January 12, 1:00-3:00 pm - register here

LTS Tuesday Topics "Christianity & Immigration" - Lancaster Theological Seminary - January 21, 10:00AM

Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

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 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
Laura Dalton
Administrative Assistant/Search & Call Assistant
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 10
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560