Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| July 21, 2021
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference-

Because perseverance is so difficult, even when supported by the grace of God, thence is the value of new beginnings. For new beginnings are the life of perseverance. – E.B. Pusey (1800-1882)
Doing new things can be scary; change can be hard. New beginnings may be uncomfortable, upsetting, and anxiety-provoking. New beginnings can also be exciting, eye-opening, and encouraging. You know the cliché: “when one door closes, another opens.” Focusing on outdoor ministries in Penn Central, let’s adapt it slightly: “when one camp closes, other camps open.” Sometimes going thru that new door -- or to that new camp -- is the only option. And so, we have…and here we are…in partnership with Camps Nawakwa and Kirchenwald, The Wittel Farm, and Camp Mount Luther…persevering in new beginnings.   
At the same time though, persevering in the new does not mean deleting the past. Memories, experiences, and relationships are held and shared. Last month, as I was walking with my son on the path to his cabin for his first week of camp at Nawakwa, we heard someone yell over, "Hey, you're from Hartman Center!" We looked over and recognized this person as an SST from several years ago. Even in this new place, Jacob immediately recognized Zach and, even in his Nawakwa staff t-shirt, Zach recognized Jacob. We were welcomed and felt like we belonged. 
The partnership between camp-as-we always-knew at Hartman Center and the camps-that-we-are-getting-to-know is one that allows for the comfort of what is familiar and the challenge of what is new.  As we are guided by the past and supported by the grace of God, we are able to make our way in the wilderness and the streams (Isaiah 43:19). Based on that Isaiah passage, the theme for summer camp at Hartman Center in 2013 was All Things New. That theme could be adopted again this year as we consider the ministry programs in new places, with new people, and in new ways. 
The invitation to participate in opportunities at the Lutheran camps and facilities has been extended to every member of Penn Central. Many have found interest in programs already: retreats; the Growing Project; open houses; worship; work days; and the Earth Day celebration. And right now, in this summer season, there are staff, volunteers, and campers from PCC at all of the sites. Where do your interests, abilities, and ideas fit into outdoor ministry? I hope you find an enthusiasm (or at least a willingness) to explore the possibilities.
Yes! Outdoor ministry and camp programs are taking us to new places and opening up new options!  How are these new beginnings giving us the chance to persevere? What experiences can be had? What ways can the partnership with our Lutheran friends be strengthened? What ideas can individuals, churches, and Conference groups explore to make use of these facilities? I encourage you to welcome what is before us so that wonderful new beginnings continue to come and so that what is becoming will continue to grow. I pray you find comfort in knowing that going to summer camp, on a retreat, and to other programs in God’s creation -- even in new places -- still offers something unique, something special, and something inspiring. 

-Anne Rankin
Facilitator for Outdoor Ministries
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:

July 25 - Grace UCC, Greencastle - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
July 19-26 - Rev. Nora Foust on vacation
August 1 - Zion UCC, Chambersburg - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
August 1 - Hayshire UCC, York - Rev. Nora Foust preaching
August 8 - St. Paul's UCC, Sacramento - Rev. Nora Foust preaching
August 8 - St. John's UCC, Boalsburg - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
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...

Salona UCC, Mill Hall
St. Paul's UCC, Schaefferstown
St. Paul's UCC, Selinsgrove
Mt. Zion Congregational UCC, Shamokin
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:
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.
Communion Plates

Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg has communion trays that are looking for a new home. There are 16 juice trays plus two lids. There are 17 bread trays plus one lid. There is one "contraption"
The one lid is engraved "Donated by the Sunshine Class 1940."

Please contact Paul if you are interested in learning more.
Virtual Pastoral Colloquy: "BEYOND WHITE PRIVILEGE" 

Penn Central’s PCC-UEK Partnership Ministry Team & Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia
“BEYOND WHITE PRIVILEGE: How Churches Can Engage in Building Peace in Our Societies”
Featuring the Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Associate General Minister
Wednesday, July 28, 2021, 1:00 to 4:00PM
Register here.
Outdoor Ministries

August 7; 9-10:30 a.m.
Join Pastor Matt and Cherie Lenahan for a morning of education, with special guests, to learn about the farming practices at The Wittel Farm and how they support a healthier ecosystem, climate, and community. For more information and to register visit:
August 15; 8-9 p.m.
Come to the farm for summer Campfire worship nights. Songs, stories, s’mores. For more information and to register, visit:
Volunteer for The Growing Project through October! This project reclaims a portion of the acreage for farming. The crops harvested are donated to assist those in need in Lancaster County. For more information about The Growing Project, visit:
To volunteer as an individual, or a multi-generational group, youth group or family, contact project director, Pastor Matt Lenahan at or sign up here:
August 8-14
Bring your family - whatever that looks like! - to one of the camps for a week of all the camp activities -- swimming, crafts, canoeing, hiking, bike rides, tournament games, book discussions, playground time, challenge courses, bible studies, championship napping, evening worship...and more!
For more information and to register, visit: 

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.
Penn Central Conference Lectionary Discussion Group - This group is open to all clergy, meets weekly on Tuesdays at 1:00PM to discuss upcoming lectionary passages. Us this Zoom link here.
Go Green Sunday
August 8, 2021
Mt. Zion UCC, York
"Dr. Joe" Utterback live in concert!
Friday, August 20, 7PM - Free Admission
Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg
Salem's Closet, a ministry of Salem UCC Harrisburg, will re-open on August 7 from 10-12AM. Curated clothing, toys and small household items are offered to those in need in our community. Salem is located at 231 Chestnut Street in downtown Harrisburg. Free parking is available for four hours on Saturday by downloading the Parkmobile app and using the code LUVHBG at checkout.
Association Events:
Sunday, August 29 - Lancaster Association Ordination Service for Joao Teixeira - 3:00PM - Wisdom’s Table at St. Peter’s. The service will be in-person and live-streamed on the church’s Facebook page.
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 MESA team offers regular zooms for Committees on Ministry and will offer a Special Boundary Event on August 23rd from 7:30-9pm. Click on the title to register.

In their book “Saying No to Say Yes” (written by David C. Olson and Nancy G. Devor), we are invited into a discernment process that engages our family of origin legacies alongside systems thinking and an astute sense of life in ministry. The authors write, “Part of our job as clergy is to model an understanding of who saves us—and for what. It is our job to preach, teach, and live a gospel that doesn’t depend on human over-functioning but on God’s grace. Ultimately, such a life enables us all to become masters of renunciation: saying “a hundred nos for the sake of an overwhelming Yes.”

While this is true for pastors, it is also true for congregations and other ministry settings. In a time where we face the tension between “going back” to how it used to be and forging ahead to a new way of engaging in ministry, it will be vitally important to discern what nos will allow us to say YES to the future God imagines. Take some time to read the book and join us in conversation with COMs, PPRCs, pastors, and congregational leaders.
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
Trinity United Church of Christ in Waynesboro, Pa. is looking for a Director of Faith Formation and Programming. The position is part-time (20-25 hours per week) and is open beginning August 1st, 2021. The Director position will be responsible for developing programs for youth, adults and children from pre-school age through fifth grade. The Director will engage children with exciting and relevant opportunities for learning, serving, and growing towards a meaningful relationship with God. Director will be responsible for providing leadership and effective communication for youth and adult Sunday School classes and other Christian Formation offerings (such as Vacation Bible School, book studies, outdoor education, etc.). The Director will engage all ages with exciting and relevant opportunities for learning, serving, and growing towards a meaningful relationship with God. Full description here.

St. Paul’s United Church of
Christ in Selinsgrove is looking for a part-time Youth Leader who will build up
our children and youth programs. The candidate is to closely connect with and
relate well with children, youths and their families, should be tech savvy, work well in a team, and have all necessary clearances. Compensation is based on 20 hrs/week at $15-18/hr based on education and experience. St. Paul’s UCC is an Open and Affirming Congregation that extends an extravagant welcome to all of God’s children reflecting God’s unconditional love by celebrating diversity and inclusion. The individual best fit to fill this position will be dedicated to collaborating closely with church leadership to revitalize the
youth programming at St. Paul’s following the disruption caused by the pandemic
over the last 15 months. Please send your resume to by July 15.
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.
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 (
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