Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| November 3, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear Members and Friends of Penn Central Conference,
For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. (Mark 12:44 NRSV)
The lectionary passage from Mark this week seems to appear in some guise every year around this time. It coincides with annual stewardship campaigns, and is held up as an example of what it means to “give to the church.”
I have heard this passage and the coincidence with stewardship for years. I probably even referred to it while serving in the local church. But truthfully the passage makes me uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking about why.
In Chapter 12, for those who follow the lectionary, we already explored the role of the religious leaders who engaged in disputation with Jesus. Their form of question and answer and argument was typical of the religious scholars of the time and allowed Jesus the opportunity to prove himself as a rabbi. The political and esoteric questions (taxes and the resurrection) provide Jesus a stage for verbal sparring, and his demonstrated wisdom evokes the admiration of a passing scribe. The disputations end with Jesus’ recitation of the Great Commandment (the Jewish Shema) which lays out beautifully what is required of those who claim the Israelite tradition as their own: To Love God with all our mind, soul, heart, and strength. And to love our neighbor as ourselves.
It’s a bit of a surprise then when at the end of the chapter – just before we meet the widow – Jesus warns his listeners about the scribes and their hypocrisy. He claims that they like to walk about in long robes and be greeted with honor in the marketplace. (This description feels a bit pointed since it refers to religious leaders and I can see myself in the critique!) And then we meet the widow as she brings her gift to the temple.
Jesus presents the widow as a contrast. After all the previous talk, disputations, and warnings, she is the example Jesus holds up. In the face of all our theologizing, disagreements and judgments, the widow’s capacity to give all she has to God remains the best example of a faithful heart. She gives her whole heart, soul and strength. And when I’m honest with myself I know why this makes me uncomfortable. I confess I’m more at home with the theologizing, the scholars’ disputes, even the hypocritical scribes (I recognize them, after all). But I do not identify with the widow, in her solitude, poverty and vulnerability. She represents a social position that I fear.
The widow gives what she has in the face of her own poverty. She enters a place of complete vulnerability and total dependence. That willingness to be vulnerable, to lay her life down before God, and to do so freely is the model of faithfulness. Others give of themselves out of their abundance. But the widow, in effect, gives her whole life.
My personal discomfort reflects the knowledge that I am not where she is. Her gift of vulnerability is humbling. I am mired in my own disputations, long robes, and judgments. Yet Jesus continues to redirect my attention to the widow. He reminds me of what is required of the truly faithful heart: trust, vulnerability, and surrender.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Address Change!

As you may have been hearing, the PCC offices will be moving in the month of November. Please begin mailing any correspondence to our new PO Box:

Penn Central Conference
PO Box 6625
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Our physical address starting the week of November 15 (Do not mail letters to this address!)
St. Thomas UCC
6490 Linglestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Scheduling notes:

November 7 - Starview UCC, Mt. Wolf - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
November 7 - St. John's UCC, Jonestown - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
November 7 - Hill UCC, Lebanon - Rev. Nora Foust preaching
November 14 - Himmel's UCC, Dornsife - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
November 14 - Zion UCC, York - Rev. Nora Foust 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.
Email Spoofing

Just a reminder to keep an eye out for emails from the PCC staff, board members and clergy that do not feel right. Email spoofing has become more common recently. This involves creating an email address that looks like it belongs to someone you know, but if you click on the address or name you will see it won't match the email address in your address book. The emails often ask for "help" in the form of gift cards.

If an email seems suspicious, try contacting the person via alternate method, like phone call, text or starting a new email using the email in your address book.
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. Jacob's UCC, Glenville
Salem UCC, Campbelltown
Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill
First UCC, Carlisle
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:
Church World Services Bucket Project

UCC Disaster Ministries awarded a matching grant to St. Paul’s UCC, Stoverstown for creating CWS Clean Up Buckets. Their hope was to be able to create 7 kits. However, with the generosity of their members, St. Paul’s Special Gift Fund distribution, and the UCC Disaster Ministries Kit Matching Grant they were able to complete 12 kits! 
See below for some pictures! St. Paul's pastor, Rev. David Martin, is planning for the kits to be dedicated on Stewardship Sunday, and then they will be delivered to the CWS Kit depot at the Brethren Service Center Annex in New Windsor, MD.
It is their hope that the gift of these clean up supplies will uplift the recipients. They pray that they will be a tangible sign of God’s love and compassion in their time of need.
Outdoor Ministries Fall Events
Saturday, November 6 @ The Wittel Farm
This silent retreat is an invitation to take a long pause amidst the harvested, fallow fields of The Wittel Farm as we turn our focus inward to prepare ourselves for winter once again. The day and space will allow you a quiet and peaceful setting for rest and contemplation. There will be guided reflections, walking in the outdoor labyrinth, a campfire, a simple meal, and cultivation of your own contemplative practices. Reflection and Gathering the Graces will break the group silence. This event is sponsored by the Parish Resource Center.

For more information and to register, to go:

November 7 @ Nawakwa
This fun-filled day of bidding raises money for the Lutheran Camping Corporation’s Endowment Fund, which helps to financially sustain LCC’s outdoor ministry activities and programs.
Donate an item: Download the Donation Form

November 12-14 @ Nawakwa [$155/person]
Try new techniques, share your latest creations, work on whatever you've been trying to finish, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of camp in the fall. Worship led by Rev. Cindy Brommer. All meals provided. Please register by November 1.
Stay over an additional night (Thursday): $30

More events can be found here!
Clergy Events
Q&A and Panel Discussion
Our General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer will be in town and has asked to meet with clergy from Penn Central and our two adjoining Conferences. The event will happen at Lancaster Seminary and includes a catered lunch by Pepper Theo (yum!).

John wishes to hear how clergy have been adapting to the past 18 months and what the issues/challenges/joys have been. There will be a panel of 3 clergy – one from each Conference - and John will facilitate a discussion. This will also allow for substantial Q&A with clergy who attend.

Our numbers will be limited, so please register soon. The cost is $15 each and you can pay at the time of registration below.

Date: Monday November 22nd
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Gathering
           12:00 – 12:45 Lunch
           12:45 – 2:00 Panel and Discussion
Registration Link - Registration is full, but there is a waiting list!
Fall 2021 Education Forums
Third Tuesdays at 10am LIVE ONLY at St. Thomas, Linglestown and 6pm ZOOM ONLY

November 16 with Rev. Nora FoustChallenges of Living in Covenant
10am LIVE at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)
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.
Advent Prayer Group
Pastors are you weary? Is the yoke of pastoring in this extended season of COVID heavy? Share your burdens and joys as we pray together on Thursdays at Noon during the season of Advent! A brief period of facilitated check-in will be followed by curated poems, prayers, and silence. Light a candle and feed your spirit this Advent by gathering in prayer with colleagues from Penn Central, Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conference and prepare for the inbreaking of Emmanuel once again!

Join us December 2, 9, 16 and 23 at noon We will end promptly at 1pm each week.
Zoom #882 9955 4125, passcode Pray
Association Events
York Association Annual Meeting - November 14, 1:00PM - Shiloh UCC, York
UCC Webinars

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

Mysticism and Mindfulness - November 4, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Disabilities, Mental Health, and Racial Justice - November 9, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Digital Funerals & Grief: A Conversation & Ritual - November 11, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

If your local congregation wants to send contributions to the national offices, the best way to do so is via the conference. However, if you are sending any directly, please send to the updated address:

United Church of Christ
PO BOX 71957
Cleveland, Ohio 44194
Summaries of General Synod Resolutions, by our PCC delegates.
Read them all here.
Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application (20-22)
- Grant Application will be awarded to churches that have submitted a completed Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application.
- Grant Applications for 2021 will be received through January 28, 2022. 
- Congregations that raise $250 or more (monetary or in-kind supplies) for Church World Service Kits are eligible to apply for a $250 matching grant from UCC Global H.O.P.E.
- Grant Applications must be accompanied by a completed W-9 form at
- 100% of Matching Grant funds must be used for purchasing supplies for the assembly of the CWS Kits or for processing costs ($3/Clean Up Bucket, $2/School or Hygiene Kit).
PCC Board Member Rayna Cooper has put together a sheet of Afghan Resettlement Info and Training for Churches with links from the UCC and Church World Services. Click here for that list.
From Our Partners and Friends
Employment Opportunities
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.
Position available: Church Musician
This 9 to 12 month position includes playing for weekly adult choir rehearsals, a scheduled single Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service and occasional evening/special services. Proficiency with piano is required. We have two Yamaha studio upright pianos that are well maintained via regular tuning/maintenance. We also have the historic 1868 Durner tracker pipe organ that was restored in 1998 and is well maintained via regular tuning/servicing. Candidates will work with church/choir leaders in rehearsing and planning musical material appropriate to the liturgical calendar. Candidates should send a letter of introduction and resume to or mail to St. John's UCC, PO Box 88, Boalsburg, PA 16827
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. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-679-0001
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