Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 26, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown." - Luke 4:24

Some thoughts on St. Luke 4: 21-30 

I believe Jesus’ rejection by the hometown folk of Nazareth raises questions concerning the many cultural, political and social debates occurring today. How do we define what it means to be a person of faith? How are we to regard and respond to persons whose specific beliefs and practices differ our own? Are we ever justified in regarding others as unrighteous or treating them disrespectfully? 

When considered thoughtfully, there exist many expressions of Christian thought and practices of which significant debate continues. One lesson I suggest we take from this gospel account is to be careful in answering those questions. How one treats others with differing viewpoints may well be how we ourselves are treated. Before anyone asks, I will here state what I am writing is far easier to put on paper than it is to put into practice.
Those gathered, as Jesus taught, assumed they were within God’s inner circle and so had right to judge. Jesus’ declaration makes evident such assumptions are unjustified. In quoting the prophets Isaiah, Elijah and Elisha Jesus announces a call for ever widening of the circle of inclusion, and to do so graciously. His illustrations of the widow and the enemy Naaman are presented as being among God’s chosen. Clearly a bitter pill to swallow for those gathered and it appears to be the case for too many persons today.

When scripture challenges our personal cherished assumptions, as it did in this gospel account, many persons become resistive and even hostile. The people of Nazareth reacted by trying to make Jesus an outsider in their minds. Do we behave similarly toward persons with whom we disagree, especially when they behave toward us in a disagreeable manner? Despite the clear threat to his physical well- being, Jesus simply moved on. As tempting as it maybe and regardless the provocation we experience, are we ever justified in citing others as being unrighteous? Are we somehow ever exempt from the admonition, “None is righteous, no not one”?

I believe that by extension, our Lord’s instruction herein is to further ask, “Are my attitudes and actions toward others helping to expand or to restrict the circle of inclusion”? So, before reacting to this evening’s news or responding to someone with whom disagreement is strong, take a moment and meditate on St. Paul’s words from 1Corinthians 13: Love is patient and it is kind; love does not envy, nor does it boast; love is not proud and it is not rude; love is not self-seeking, nor is it easily roused to harsh reaction; love keeps no record of wrongs and does not delight in evil; love rejoices with the truth and always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres; love never gives up.”

Rev. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Clergy Care
Penn Central Conference
Calling all Small Churches in Penn Central Conference

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, ACM for Congregational Transitions, is planning Small
Church Vitality Workshops that will be offered on four (4) Saturdays across the
conference. These workshops are for any church that self-identifies as “small.”
Small refers to size and not importance or robustness! Typically, small churches
are less than 100 members and/or cannot afford a fulltime minister. Click here for list of dates.

The focus of the workshops is to celebrate the small church as a sacred part of the
future of God’s church, including validating lay leadership to supplement parttime
pastorate and identifying the vital mission opportunities of each church as
beacons of light to their greater community. Each church is asked to bring a
pastor plus two laity and be prepared to share joys and trials with other churches

***For information or to register, contact Dr. Laviola:***
Scheduling notes:
January 30 - Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
January 30 - Faith UCC, State College - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
January 31 - February 2 - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call on retreat
February 6 - Grace UCC, Spring Mills - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
February 11 - 13 - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola on retreat
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...

Trinity UCC, Hallam
David's UCC, Herndon
St. Paul's UCC, Herndon
Zion UCC, Herndon
Save the Dates:
PCC's 60th Annual Meeting
Opening Plenary: 6:30PM, June 6, 2022
Workshops: 6:30PM, June 7-9, 2022
Business & Worship: 9:30AM, June 11, 2022
Creation Justice

The next Creation Justice Webinar is entitled "When Disaster Strikes: Faith Communities Responding with Equity and Justice." We will be looking specifically at climate-related disasters. Our panelists will include Marcus Coleman, Jr., from FEMA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Marcie Roth from the World Institute on Disability, and the Rev. Fred Meade from the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, February 9th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording.
Outdoor Ministries Winter Events

WINTER FUN DAYS at Kirchenwald
February 20 from 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Bring your family or youth group and enjoy an afternoon on Kirchenwald’s award-winning toboggan run, ice-skating on the lake, or drinking hot chocolate in the lodge.
For more information and to register, visit:
February 20 Event
Lenten Day Apart (March 12 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at The Wittel Farm)

"[Every]Body Of Christ" Youth/Confirmation Retreat
March 18-20 at Camp Nawakwa, located near Gettysburg. The weekend will begin at 7:00 on Friday evening and end with a closing program at 10:00 on Sunday morning. Cost is $100 for 2 nights of lodging and 4 meals (3 on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday) Learn more here. Registration link:

For more information and to register, visit:

Check out a full slate of winter and spring Outdoor Ministries events here!
Clergy Events
Rural Church Ministry Group

Please join Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola and others from around the UCC for a monthly conversation on ministry in rural settings. Whether you've joined in before or this is your first time, all are invited the first Tuesday of every month via Zoom at 4:00PM. Next meeting is Tuesday February 1st!

Zoom Meeting ID: 854 92148080 Passcode: 184468
Ministerial Excellence Forums
There are monthly MEFs specific Tuesdays that will be offered at both 10am and 6pm via zoom. (Some morning sessions may become in-person later in the spring, depending on virus status).
February: Our own Conference Minister, Rev. Dr. Carrie Call will lead our February 15th session on God and the Problem of Evil in Today’s World. How has the theological world talked about and made sense of evil in the world? Join us for a lively theological discussion.

See the rest of the winter/spring educational opportunities here.
Upcoming Book Study:
Thirteen Turns: A Theology Resurrected From the Gallows of Jim Crow Christianity – facilitated by the author Larry Covin Jr. and co-lead by David Bushnell

Tuesdays 6:30 to 7:30 PM February 15, 22, March 1, 8, 2022
 “It is remarkable that African Americans, the descendants of slaves, embrace Christianity at all. The imagination that is necessary to parse biblical text and find within it a theology that speaks to their context is a testimony to their will to survive in a hostile land.” (from Dr. Covin’s book cover) More information and registration is available at The book study is limited to 15. Contact Rev. David Bushnell with questions.
Travel with Pastor Julie: Presentations on Julie Holm’s Sabbatical

Zoom on Mondays (recordings available after)
● January 24: Scotland: Isolation, Highlands and the Holy Isle.
● February 7: Italy and Switzerland: The Great Church, the Saints, and the Swiss Reformation.
● February 21: Germany, Family, Refugees, and Luther Land.
● March 7: Greece: A Lagniappe, Journeys with Paul, and the Orthodox Church.

For Zoom information, please email Zoom capability provided via the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ.
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 Stewardship Webinars
with Andrew Warner

February 23 - Year-Around Stewardship
We hold stewardship campaigns for a few weeks but hope that people will make gifts throughout the year. This webinar focuses on practical steps to move from a few weeks of a campaign toward a year-around plan that continually engages and inspires donors. 6:30 to 7:30pm Central Time; 7:30 to 8:30PM Eastern Time
Register in advance for this meeting here
JOIN THE MOVEMENT - United Church of Christ
Launched at the 2022 General Synod, the Movement toward Racial Justice is an invitation to demonstrate God’s love and to partner with others who are working for the transformation of racism in our world so that we might foster flourishing lives for all. Check out the website at

Every setting of the UCC, from local churches to global partners, has a role to play in expanding our practices of antiracism and strengthening our capacities as partners and participants in the burgeoning racial justice movements of our time. In this effort, story-sharing is a key component. Our stories show us not only who we are, but also inspire who we may become. Providing opportunities to encounter the antiracism journeys of others, Join the Movement will be a hub for churches within the United Church of Christ of story-sharing that draws others to participate and opens hearts to new possibilities and practices of racial justice.

The Christian church began as a movement towards a just world through the teachings of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we believe it is our mandate to work for and seek justice, love, and compassion, as we join with and become our own Spirit-led movements toward racial justice.

Go to the website to learn what churches are doing, find antiracism resources, and identify local and national practices that are unjust.
From our friends and partners
NEW online classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry:

Fundraising Fundamentals: Churches and Other Non-Profits, Feb. 22 – March 29, 2022. This class provides essential fundraising tools for lay leaders, pastors, and other ministerial leaders. Whether working in a congregation or not-for-profit, all ministerial leaders need to be able to raise money. Taught by an experienced fundraising consultant, this class helps participants hone their skills in developing the fundraising “ask,” writing letters for fundraising, and leveraging networks to grow your ministry.
Each six-week class is offered online. 2.5 CEUs. $325. Deadline to register for Pastoral Care is December 21.
South Central PA Task Force Presents 2022 Congregation Security Webinar
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022 Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location: Virtual

Who should attend: This workshop is geared for all faith-based organization leaders, administrators, ushers and safety/security team members by providing exposure to resources and references from subject matter experts in houses of worship security. The workshop will provide the participants an opportunity to: ▪ Receive an overview on the safety & security role of the Ushers ▪ Learn about the preparation, response and recovery for an active shooter incident ▪ Obtain security best practices for Houses of Worship ▪ Learn about government resources and assistance to the faith-based community

To register for this event, click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. There is no charge to attend this workshop as it is sponsored by the South Central PA Task Force and Millersville University.
Employment Opportunities
UCC Homes is seeking an Accounts Payable/General Accounting Clerk for a full-time position working 75 hours in a two week pay period. This position requires previous general office experience, basic computer skills and attention to detail. 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. Excellent wages and benefits, including retirement plan. EEOE
Interested persons should please mail, fax or e-mail resume and letter of interest to UCC Homes, Attn: Human Resources, 30 North 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011; (717) 303-1607 FAX or by
December 20, 2021. 
Zion UCC, Arendtsville job openings

The Choir Director directs a 15-member choir to prepare music for regular Sunday morning services. The choir director also works with the minister and the organist to plan special services. Duties include preparing music, scheduling choir practices, identifying soloists, and developing special music presentations. Salary compensation is negotiable.
The organist/pianist accompanies a 15-member choir at regularly scheduled Sunday morning services. Applicants must have the ability to play both the piano and the organ, and be prepared for weekly choir rehearsals. Duties include following the direction of the choir director and minister in planning musical services. This includes Sunday worship and special services. He/she must attend regularly scheduled and special choir rehearsals. Salary compensation negotiable.
Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster has two positions open:

Director of Children & Family Ministry: Authentic, Out-going, Creative, Enthusiastic and have a passion for sharing the love of Christ with children and their families? Raise your hand if that is you! Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is looking for someone like you to become our Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM). Join the commitment leaders and members of HPUCC in finding new, innovative ways to share and experience the love of Christ within the church and the community. Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information:

Worship Accompanist: Like to lift a joyful noise? Do you love playing a wide variety of music among an enthusiastic congregation? Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is searching for someone to bring their gifts to their Sunday morning worship service where we appreciate both piano and organ music as well as a blend of contemporary and traditional pieces. The successful candidate will provide piano and organ music during one Sunday worship service as well as accompany one weekly rehearsal throughout the choir season.
Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information: Read more here.
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. 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
Anne Rankin
Outdoor Ministries Liaison
phone: 717-945-4585
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