Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| August 31, 2022

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Message to the Conference

Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

You have come down to the lakeshore, Seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy, But only asking for me to follow.

Refrain: O Lord, you have looked into my eyes, Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You know full well what I have, Lord; Neither treasure nor weapons for conquest, Just these my fishnets and will for working.



You need my hands, my exhaustion, Working love for the rest of the weary, A love that's willing to go on loving.


You who have fished other waters; You, the longing of souls that are yearning; O loving Friend, you have come to call me.



This hymn of invitation, humility, willingness to love without ceasing, and to follow always, has always been one of my favorites; from the time I first sang it from a UCC hymnal. It so beautifully puts flesh and intention and spirit onto the brief story of Jesus’ call to his first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22:


As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.


What was it, I have often wondered, that Jesus saw in this ragtag group of fishermen that compelled him to decide they would live with him, learn from him, grow by fits and starts and tragic circumstances, and become the founders and planters of Christ’s church for the centuries?


What was it, I have wondered even more, about Jesus that these down-to-earth fishermen would decide to follow this unknown, seemingly run of the mill lake preacher?


For me, the hymn put flesh and spirit to these questions. Jesus was looking for quite ordinary people, with no sense of pretense or hubris. He was looking for a willingness to work, a willingness to love those who are too weary to love, with an intention to keep on loving even when—especially when—it seemed too hard to love.


And Jesus needed folks who would be willing to go into the unknown future…commit to continuing the work for love, not give up, not veer from left to right, even when—especially when—the future looked so ominous.


When I first had the blessed opportunity to follow Jesus to Penn Central Conference two and a half years ago, I was not sure what God was asking of me or what I could expect from the beloved folks of Central Pennsylvania. I came with an intense love for our churches, especially our struggling and smaller churches, and a seminal sense that God wanted me to express that love through actions as God led me and the churches of Penn Central. I learned more than I imagined, both the deeply blessed assurance of God’s hope filled future and the troubling present reality of the status of churches in Penn Central and all over the United States. I pray in my deepest being that I have been present enough to Jesus to follow as he led me here, without pretense or hubris, using my hands and feet to spread love and hope where love and hope have been needed, where folks have struggled or have been too weary to hold onto hope.


Now as I follow Jesus into the blessed opportunity to partner with the Maine Conference, I do not know fully what God is asking of me or what I can expect from the beloved folks of Maine. I go to Maine with an even more intense love for and determination to help our churches, larger and especially smaller; to lean into, to boldly venture into the foreboding unknown with the faith that God has a hope-filled future although we may not know what it is. I do believe in my heart of hearts that God is yearning to unfold something new into the life and spirit of the churches in the UCC. I am just humbly grateful that Jesus has called me, ordinary minister that I am, but O so willing to work and to bring love where Jesus calls me.


Jesus calls any of us, all of us to follow. We don’t always know what that means. As Thomas Merton so eloquently prays,


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.”


I wonder if that sums up how the disciples felt. It certainly reflects how I feel every time Jesus  has called me to follow in a new direction; along a different path: as faculty to teach music in a Christian College, as therapist to help troubled souls to heal, as local pastor to partner with a church to be vital in their greater community, as Associate Conference Minister to join with churches across the Penn Central Conference for hope and vitality, as Conference Minister to partner with the churches and associations of the Maine Conference as we venture together into the unknown of God’s future.


My prayer for all of you, beloved of the Penn Central Conference, is that you will follow Jesus, into the unknown, with the openness of unpretentious willingness to love those who are too weary to love, and to bring hope to those who are not so hopeful—with a persistent and unwavering faith that God knows the road ahead, and the road is filled with hope-filled goodness, as God is always making things new!


Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola

Associate Conference Minister

Penn Central Conference

Save the date:

September 10, 2022, 10:00AM-1:00PM

Open House to celebrate ACM Marisa Laviola's final month with PCC before moving on to her new position as Conference Minister in the Maine Conference. Refreshments will be served and a presentation will happen at noon. At Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg.

Scheduling notes:

September 11 - St. John Center UCC, East Earl - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

September 18 - St. John UCC, Denver - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

September 25 - Salem UCC, Harrisburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

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.

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. Paul's UCC, Bowmansville

St. Jacob's (Stone) UCC, Glenville

Salem UCC, Campbelltown

Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill

Local Church News
Congregation Granting, Scholarship and Leadership Development on the faith INFO team of Justice and Local Church Ministries has launched their common application for congregational grants for 2022. They are ready to receive applications. The common application allows grantees to apply for four different funding sources offered through Justice and Local Church Ministries: Neighbors in Need, Operational Support, CASA: New and Rebirthing Churches and the Pension Board New Church Start.
Below please find a link to the informational video that goes over frequently asked questions and walks through the grant application key aspects. Additionally, you will find the link for the application beneath it. Thank you for your assistance!
Grant Informational Video Link
Save the date
Hybrid Hope
Church of the Future for Churches with a Future
Rev. Dr. Michael Piazza Workshop

Saturday October 1 from 9:00-2:00
Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ
1850 Marietta Ave. Lancaster, PA – (717)392-5718
More Information and How to Register to Come

Old Zion German Reformed Church Anniversary Service

Sunday, September 11, 2022

3:00 p.m.

The history of Old Zion German Reformed Church, Brickerville, is commemorated each year during its annual Anniversary Worship Service. The theme for this year’s Anniversary Service will be “Old Zion During the Revolution.” During the Revolutionary War, Old Zion, then known as Reyer’s German Reformed Church, served as a hospital for wounded soldiers following the Battle of Brandywine and the Philadelphia campaigns of 1777-1778. Revolutionary War veterans are buried in the cemetery.


Rev. William LaSalle will give the sermon, playing the part of Rev. John Christopher Gobrecht, the pastor from 1770-1779. The worship service will include music and hymns from the time period with soloist Amanda Mrenna and J. P. Welliver on Old Zion’s pump organ.


Gary Meyers of the German Battalion and other Revolutionary War reenactors will be present and offer a display of Revolutionary War equipment they might have carried.


Seeking to following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), while indoors masks are encouraged and remain optional at Old Zion events.


Old Zion German Reformed Church is located near Brickerville at 187 Reifsnyder Rd., Lititz, PA.

Association Events
Kayak Vespers (on Land and Lake) at Lake Redman in Jacobus
Fellow members of the York Association!!
Please join fellow boaters for a 30-minute Vesper Service around 5 pm on September 25 at Lake Redman in Jacobus. Meet at the Muskie Pavilion; then gather for vespers on land or sea. Please bring a snack to share! Volunteers are needed to plan vespers and read. Boats may be available to rent, if ordered in advance. Please contact Pastor Martha Boyer, St Paul Church at 717 858-2991 for questions or more information! We will be including in prayer those in York County who are continuing to suffer hardship due to damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021.
This event will be live-streamed on the St. Paul Shrewsbury Facebook Page and available later on YouTube!

Sunday, September 25 - Installation Service of Rev. Heather Kurtz - Zion UCC, Arendtsville - 3:30PM

Sunday, October 23 - Installation of Rev. Ken Peterkin - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover - 3:00PM

Clergy Events

PCC has launched a new monthly email just for clergy, with news, events and clergy transitions. If you did not get this month's email on Tuesday, please let Paul know.

We will be including some items in the eNews (see below), but please check out the full email here for more events and news!

Fall MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom) - now with registration links

September 20 - "Contemplatives in Action" with Janeen Adil
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM Zoom only - register here

October 18 - "Humility as Spiritual Practice" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM Zoom only - register here

November 15 - "Just War, Just Peace - A 21st Century Discussion" with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PN Zoom only - register here
Boundary Training - now with registration links

September 29 - "Bi-Vocational Boundaries and Ethics" with Darryl Stephens
6PM via Zoom - Register here

October - dates and topics to be announced

November 9 - "The Ministerial Code: A Way of Being" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM Zoom - register here

UCC Webinars

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

UCC Colectivo de Latinx Ministries: Present & Future  - September 8, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The Birth of a Movement: A 40th Anniversary Retrospective- September 14, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Just Peace Churches and the Disruptive Power of Peace!September 15, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

"Making All Things New"
General Synod 2023
Making All Things New” will be the theme of the 34th biennial General Synod of the United Church of Christ, scheduled for June 30–July 4, 2023, in Indianapolis.
Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.
For the full press release, click here.
The Space Between: The Emerging Church in a Post-Pandemic World
September 19, 2022 – September 21, 2022

Join us to reflect on what we've moved through as church experiencing pandemic, to recognize the innovative ways we have survived and in some ways thrived: What did we learn when faced with the need to pivot quickly and still be effectively present as church? Where do we need to stretch ourselves? What and how do we need to build capacity to resource how we're evolving as church? What might we each offer to help us become? These and other questions will be contemplated as we lean in to lessons learned about adapting with agility, and unpack potential possibility. Learn more and register here.
From our friends and partners
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

Upcoming Classes:

Church Finances, Oct 11–Nov 15. Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. Instructor, Lovett Weems. Practical skills for creating and presenting budgets grounded in the church’s mission, expanding means of giving and sources of income, presenting accurate tracking and reporting of giving, proper financial administration of funds, and exploring new options for funding ministry. For pastors and lay leaders. 2.5 CEUs. $125.


Information and Registration:

2022 Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness Conference
September 22, 2022

This workshop is designed to improve the knowledge in the business continuity planning areas related to an armed intruder incident. It is intended for professionals from the public and private sectors as well as faith-based organizations responsible for business continuity planning and emergency planning. This workshop is free of charge courtesy of the South Central PA Task Force, Millersville University and grants from US DHS! Seating is limited so register soon.
Employment Opportunities

Office Administrator - Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown

The Office Administrator provides administrative support for Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown's pastors and lay leaders and coordinates church-wide communications. The Office Administrator position is Part Time—4 days per week, 7 hours per day, 28 hours total.


The Office Administrator should have education and/or training and/or experience in secretarial, clerical and computer skills—specifically in databases and publishing software; mainly MS Publisher, MS Word both for word processing, skill in inter-personal relationships, ability to honor confidences, and organize and implement an office routine.

The Office Administrator should have education and/or training and/or experience in secretarial, clerical and computer skills—specifically in databases and publishing software; mainly MS Publisher and MS Word, bookkeeping and accounting skills, skill in inter-personal relationships, ability to honor confidences, and organize and implement an office routine.

Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg
(Available Immediately)
Full-Time: 52 weeks per year
37.5 Hours per week
The purpose of this position is to provide administrative support for the pastor, staff, Council, and committees. This person is appointed and dismissed by CPUCC Council and reports to Senior Pastor. Read full description here.
The communities of United Church of Christ Homes are seeking to fill several positions for Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Dining Service Assistants. If you or someone you know is looking for a new employment opportunity, please visit the UCC Homes Employment Opportunities page on our website at for more details. Our communities include The Lebanon Valley Home in Annville, Thornwald Home and Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home in Carlisle, Ephrata Manor in Ephrata and Kindred Place at Annville and Kindred Place at Harrisburg.  

These highlighted employment opportunities are also available:
Information Technology Specialist: UCC Homes is seeking an Information Technology Specialist for a full-time position for an experienced individual to install, troubleshoot, and maintain computer software, hardware, and accessories, as well as network hardware and accessories for a multi-site healthcare organization. 
Benefits include: Insurance coverage beginning the first of the month after hire! Employee Health Insurance for $40/month! $20 Doctor Office Visits with Prescription coverage; Free Dental Insurance with no deductible for preventive services! Two Vision Coverage Options to choose from! Free Life Insurance equal to your annual salary! AMAZING company-paid retirement plan! Pet insurance plan available! Other voluntary insurances available! Subject to reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position. Please mail or email resume and letter of interest to: United Church of Christ Homes, 30 North 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011;
Director of Nursing: Ephrata Manor is seeking a Director of Nursing. This is an exempt full-time position for a caring individual with exceptional organization, communication, and multi-tasking skills and a focus on quality resident care. The successful candidate will be a PA Licensed RN or BSN (in good standing) with three years of management experience in senior living care. Must have a thorough knowledge of Pennsylvania State and Federal regulations, MDS 3.0, CMI, UMR, QM, Care Planning Process. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. Please mail or fax resume and letter of interest to: Heather Brand, Executive Director, Ephrata Manor, 99 Bethany Road, Ephrata, PA 17522; 717-738-7478 FAX by August 19, 2022. Subject to reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position.
Social Worker: Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home is seeking a Social Worker for a regular full-time position. Bachelor's Degree in Social Work is required. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. Subject to reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position.  Interested persons should please mail, e-mail or fax resume and letter of interest to Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, Attn: Erin Jayman, 1000 West South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013;; (717) 245-9733.
Director of Social Services: Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home is seeking a Director of Social Services for a full time-exempt position. Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or related human services field and one year in long-term care experience is required. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. Subject to reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position.  Interested persons should please mail, fax or email resume and letter of interest to Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, Attn: Erin Jayman, 1000 West South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013; (717) 245-9733 FAX; or to EEOE.

UCC National Positions:

Faith Education, Innovation & Formation (Faith INFO)

Team Lead & Minister, Faith Education, Innovation & Formation Close Date: October 3, 2022

OPTIC - Marketing and Communications (MarCom) Digital Content Specialist Close Date: September 30, 2022

Human Resources (HR) Human Resources Generalist Close Date: September 30, 2022

Shiloh UCC, York
Family and Children Ministry Coordinator

Part-time Position Summary: Nurture and develop a caring Christian community where children and youth have a meaningful and fun relationship with other youth and adults; have an opportunity to grow in God’s grace; develop the spiritual and personal resources necessary for life’s journey and develop a loving relationship with God, themselves and others. Learn more here.
Accompanist Position Available
We are searching for an Accompanist to bring their gifts to our church where we appreciate a blend of contemporary and traditional music.

General Responsibilities:
In support of the vision of the church, this year-round, part time, salaried position will provide music for worship and other events in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.

The current music ministry of HPUCC consists of one volunteer choir, as well as instrumental and vocal soloists.

For more information, please call the church at 717-397-9791 or email: If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Dr. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-433-2587

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3564

Rev. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-433-6306
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560
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