Paid for by your OCWM Contributions | June 21, 2023

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Message to the Conference

Greetings members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 NRSV)

The epistle message falls on the summer solstice this year! This does not happen very often, so I feel thankful. The solstice is an important day for me, not only because it is the day before my birthday. :) Summer solstice is a recognition of the longest day of the year, when the light stretches out into the evening, and there is a moment when it seems the earth stops and stands in perfect balance. Solstice celebrations are held all over the northern hemisphere and contain various festivities, almost always including bonfires. There may be dancing and flowers. The sun is praised, and many give thanks for the gift of light.

Just as Jesus’ birth was tied together with the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, there is a Christian connection with the summer solstice. The day is celebrated as St. John’s Day, marking the birth of John the Baptist. Early disciples knew that pairing the two events would strengthen their own witness among their people by not eradicating the event, but instead embracing it and providing a Christian patina, so to speak. St. John’s Day is still celebrated in many countries.

Tying John the Baptist with the summer solstice made good Christian marketing sense. Nowadays I like to think there are additional reasons to draw attention to the summer solstice for believers. That momentary balance between light and dark is a potent reminder that we exist on a small blue marble in the universe, dependent upon our sun for life – even though it is 93 million miles away. Too much astronomy can make your mind ache with wonder, but in this case our fragility in the universe is balanced by our assurance of our Creator’s hand holding us. Not only do we depend upon the sun, but we also depend on the slow oscillation of the blue marble that tilts us toward and away from the sun depending on the season. This is the foundation for our agriculture, the migrations of God’s species, the elemental shift of seasons, the birth cycles of creatures, the trees in golden turning. All of it should result in wonder. And gratitude.

There is a progression in the life of the universe and there will come a day when the summer solstice ends. However, God’s providence still holds. We trust that what will be will be, and, with Julian of Norwich, “all manner of things shall be well.” Finitude always haunts us. But this solstice day, give thanks for the light that sustains us (both the sun and the son) and give praise to our Creator, who “saw the light was good, and… separated the light from the darkness… and called the light day, and the darkness… night.” Every solstice we can remember, “there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” 



Rev. Dr. Carrie Call

Conference Minister

Penn Central Conference

Scheduling notes:

June 23 - 26 - C. Paul Keller on vacation

June 29 - July 5 - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call and Rev. Dr. Nora Foust at Synod

July 9 - St. Paul's UCC, Sacramento - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

August 13 - September 4 - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust on sabbatical

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...

Emmanuel UCC, York

Faith UCC, York

Hayshire UCC, York

Heidelberg UCC, York

"Preventing Vicarious Trauma" with Rev. Rick Luciotti

(Rescheduled Annual Meeting Workshop)

The workshop will focus on encouraging clergy to strive to ever more take effective care of their self as essential to efficiently extending pastoral care to others.

The session will take the scriptural directive to love the Lord God with all of one’s heart, mind, soul and strength; and one’s neighbor as oneself and extend that to the concept of ‘Total Behavior’ as developed by Dr. William Glasser in Reality Therapy and Choice theory. The result being that learning and choosing to integrate the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual components of behavior for wellness facilitates a healthier ministry.

June 26, 6:30PM-8:00PM

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.

Local Church

Is your church looking for a local mission project? Starview UCC, Mt. Wolf has been partnering with Servants in York County for nearly two decades. Churches can assist with a variety of residential home repairs for people in need, or with meals for volunteers and homeowners. Learn more here.

Bethel UCC, Spring Grove will be celebrating 150 years with a Concert and Hymn Sing on June 24m from 2-4PM. Join them for food, fellowship and games!

St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg is having their annual blueberry sale! $34 for a ten pound box, last day to order is Tuesday, June 27 with pickup on July 7.

St. Thomas UCC. Harrisburg is having their 17th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, August 4, 2023 at Manada Golf Club. Register by July 23rd. See the brochure here.

Association Events

Northern Cluster Pig Roast and Concert – June 25

On Sunday, June 25, beginning at 5pm, the Northern Cluster of UCC Churches will host a free pig-roast and concert at MYO Park in Millersburg. Brothers in Grace, a Southern Gospel quartet from the Hershey area, will provide the music. Bring a covered-dish to share, and a lawn chair. A free-will offering will be received. All are welcome – come join us for great food, music, and fellowship!

This year, the churches of the Northern Association of the Penn Central Conference are hosting an Outreach Mission Event to fight world hunger.  The Association is working with the organization "Rise Against Hunger", a group striving to end world hunger in our lifetime.  Rise Against Hunger is a program that packages nutritious dehydrated meals of rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals.  The packaged meals are then sent to developing countries and areas affected by natural disasters as needs dictate.

The Association meal packaging event will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at the Centre Hall Lion's Club beginning around 10 am.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Please consider contributing to this event either by volunteering to help package the meals and/or donating to the event (each meal costs 38¢).

This is a great fun activity and no special skill or equipment is required.    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  Volunteers can vary in age from 5 years old  to 99 years old.  The goal is to package 20,088 meals--meaning we need to raise $5,850 to cover the meals and transportation expenses of the Rise Against Hunger Team traveling from Pittsburgh.  We will also need approximately 60 volunteers.  We are looking to run two shifts 10 am to 12 noon; and 1 pm to 3 pm. and 30 volunteers for each shift.  If you feel comfortable you can sign up for both shifts.  You may register online at  or you may contact Susan Rudy at 1-303-349-3028 and provide her your information and she will register you.  We are also looking for a few strong arms to lift 50 pound bags when the truck arrives to unload.  They would need to arrive around 8:30 am that day July 29, 2023.

To make your tax deductible donation please make checks payable to Northern Association and mail them to:

Trinity United Church of Christ

ATTN:  Bob Rumbaugh

PO Box 212

Centre Hall, PA  16828

(please note in memo line "Rise Against Hunger")

Outdoor Ministries

Events with our partners at Lutheran Camping Corporation

Summer Camp with Lutheran Camping Corporation - use code PENNCENTRAL2023 to use a 50% campership from PCC's Outdoor Ministries!

Hartman Center Homecoming week

July 31 through August 5, 2023

We will be returning to Hartman Center Campground in Milroy, PA as guests.

Camping experiences for all ages, including intergenerational camps.

2 night camps - Monday, July 31 at 4PM through Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM

Getting Started - Grades 1 and 2 ($125)

Intergenerational Camp ($125)

3 night camps - Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Intergenerational Camp ($190)

Camp of the Heart ($250)

5 night camps - Monday, 31 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Elementary - Grades 3 - 5 ($300)

Junior High - Grades 6 - 8 ($300)

Senior High - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)

Leadership - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)

For more information, contact Rev. Alice Rauch (director) 

or Rev. Amelia Price (registrar)

Register here and print a brochure here

Summer camp with St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

2023 Summer Camps 

Camp Galilee (9-12) June 18-23

Camp Kum Ba Yah (5-8) June 25-30

Camp Noah (K-4) June 26-30

Learn more here.

Clergy Events

Our own Conference Minister Carrie Call will be speaking at the Mt. Gretna Tabernacle Friday Night Services on June 23, 2023. Learn more at

From our Friends and Partners

Bethany Children's Home

Celebrating 160 Years

Summer Concert Series

July 14th - Flamin' Dick & the Hot Rods - 5:00PM, $5.00 per car

August 19th - Anniversary Day Returns: Raffles, Live Music, Carnival Games, Food & Ride - $5.00 per car & additional costs for activities

Jeff Krick Jr: Elvis Tribute - 12:00PM

The Celtic Martins - 3:00PM

UCC National Setting

UCC Webinars

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

The Tenure of John Dorhauer: a Nurture the Soul Special Offering

JUN 22, 2023 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Summer Artist Series III: Music That Makes Community

JUL 13, 2023 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Discover Your Why: How a Clear Purpose Strengthens Evangelism, Giving, and Impact  

JUL 26, 2023 | 6:30PM - 7:30PM

UCC Webinar— Seeing through the Smoke: Wildfires, Climate, and a Path Forward

How can we find a path forward in addressing the wildfires that have created a landscape of crisis in our climate changed world? This webinar will feature leading thinkers and practitioners in answering this question. Panelist John Vaillant has recently released an acclaimed book entitled "Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World,” while panelist Kimiko Barrett from Headwaters Economics is a wildfire research and policy analyst who has been interviewed by national news outlets for her insights. Even if you cannot make the webinar at its scheduled time on July 12th at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a link to a recording of it. Register now!

Rev. Dr. Aaron B. Wade, Minister for Congregational Leadership Development,

Granting & Scholarships, is delighted to share the exciting news that the 2023 Justice and Local Church Ministry Common Application is NOW OPEN. I encourage you to share the link provided below with individuals and churches who may be interested in applying for Operational support, Neighbors in Need, CASA New and Renewing Church, and Pension Board New Church Start Benefit Support grants.

Link to the application:

This convenient link allows applicants to either print the application or start filling out the common application for any of our four grant offerings. Please note that all applications will require a reference from their respective Conference Minister.

"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.

Our Whole Lives training

In addition to an increasing number of in-person trainings across the country, Our Whole Lives trainings will continue to be offered online in 2023 for UCC and UUA members, at a cost of only $250 plus curriculum.

Registration applications will be accepted from July 17-July 31 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in September

Registration applications will be accepted from Aug 21-Sept 5 for an Elementary (Grades K-1 and 4-6) Training in October

Registration applications will be accepted from Sept 11-Sept 25 for an All Adult Levels Training in November

More information about these trainings, in addition to information about upcoming in-person trainings, can be found here.

From our friends and partners
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)


July 11 - August 15, 2023


Tuesday evenings via Zoom.

Clergy and laity are invited to join instructor Kelsey Wallace for an introduction to the art and practice of biblical interpretation. We will consider issues of historical context, translation, literary analysis, and social location and the skills necessary to be a responsible public interpreter of scripture.

For clergy/pastors and lay leaders

$325 for each of the two series of six classes

2.5 CEUs may be earned for each series

Information and Registration:

2023 Festival of Biblical Storytelling

AUGUST 2,3, AND 4, 2023

At the Maritime Conference Center near BWI and Baltimore, MD

Learn more and register here.

Employment Opportunities

Current Openings - UCC National Setting

OPTIC - Philanthropy

Generosity Officer, West Central Region Open until filled

Generosity Officer, New England Region Open until filled

Global H.O.P.E. - Humanitarian. Opportunities. Progress. Empowerment.

Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery Open until filled


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. Rick Luciotti

Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families


Phone: 717-433-6306


C. Paul Keller

Office Manager


Phone: 717-652-1560

Penn Central Conference Ministry Opportunities Page

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