Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| November 24, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear Members and Friends of Penn Central Conference,
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NRSV)
On Monday clergy from PCC joined with colleagues from Penn Northeast and Penn Southeast Conferences at Lancaster Seminary for lunch and conversation with our General Minister and President Rev. John C. Dorhauer. The topic for the gathering was how clergy and churches adapted to the pandemic. Three panelists – one from each Conference – answered questions posed by Rev. Dorhauer and their reflections were heartfelt, inspiring, and deeply personal.
By the end of our event, I was fully aware of how remarkable it is that we came through this time together – and the key word here is together. When asked about something that surprised them during the pandemic, our PCC panelist Rev. Jes Kast (Faith, State College) spoke about a realization she had early in the pandemic. She noted that in coming from a large church in Manhattan (The Collegiate Church of NYC) she knew her own competencies and she knew how to ‘go it alone’. But when the pandemic came, she realized, “that mindset needed to be put to death.” I was surprised by the forcefulness of her comment. Yet her point is a powerful one: we will only survive if we acknowledge our need for one another. This pandemic brings comprehensive struggle and comprehensive grief. There is no way to survive mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, without leaning on each other.
What is it about our pride that tells us we can make it on our own? Our elevated sense of invulnerability, bloated self-reliance, and rugged individualism cannot save us or serve us in the face of the tragedy and disruption of this global pandemic. The scourge of Covid brings a humbling lesson home about the nature of truly effective and grace-filled ministry: we must do it together. There is no longer a place for competition or isolation. We must love and care for each other – clergy and churches - as disciples-in-arms.
This Thanksgiving I will be remembering the ways we have leaned on one another in the past almost-two years and how the prayers, tears, anger, laughter, and grief pulled us closer together and made us aware of our deep need for God and each other.
And I will keep this story from the desert fathers in mind: It was said of one of the elders that he persevered in a fast of seventy weeks, eating only once a week. The elder asked God to reveal to him the meaning of a certain Scripture text, and God would not reveal it to him. So he said to himself: Look at the work I have done without getting anywhere! I will go to one of the brothers and ask him. When he had gone out and closed the door and was starting on his way an angel of the Lord was sent to him, saying: The seventy weeks you fasted did not bring you any closer to God, but now that you have humbled yourself and set out to ask your brother, I am sent to reveal the meaning of the text.*
This Thanksgiving may we be humbled enough to recognize how to ask others for help and how to speak words of gratitude when it is given. Let us put to death our pride and embrace one another in mutual support as we face the days to come.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister, Penn Central Conference

*From Thomas Merton’s text The Wisdom of the Desert
Let us Pray Together: Join with colleagues on the four Thursdays of Advent (December 2, 9, 16 and 23) at 12:00 noon on Zoom for 30 minutes of prayer, readings, candle lighting and silence. Zoom link:
Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is November 30th, 2021!  This day is dedicated to charitable giving, and I ask you to join the millions of Americans who participate in this national tradition of generosity. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Here's how you can give locally and nationally.
Climate change most directly impacts people of color and the poor. We must stand together to change this. Giving Tuesday is your chance. Enact Climate Justice with a gift to the UCC. Funds raised will be directed to 
·        Honor the Earth, an indigenous organization working to saving our planet (70%) 
·        The UCC Council for Climate Justice to enhance our advocacy and education efforts (30%) 
Watch this inspiring Giving Tuesday video from the Rev. Nellis Kennedy-Howard, a teaching pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For four years, she worked alongside Winona LaDuke as the Co-Executive Director for Honor the Earth. 
Please give generously on Giving Tuesday, November 30.
Each year members of the Penn Central Conference are asked for your spiritual and financial support, and your prayers. During this past year, our conference has played a critical role in the support and guidance to the many churches within our conference as they adapted to ministering in a time of a major pandemic. We are blessed with an incredible group of talented and passionate staff that minister, organize, teach, worship, and provide spiritual direction to our many local churches day after day, month after month, and year after year. If you have been on the receiving end of any of these gifts, you more than any other person or local church, know how deserving the Penn Central Conference is of our time and financial support. 
Like me, you will receive many requests for your giving, and we know there are so many organizations that are worthy of our support. As you consider your year-end giving, I ask you to consider giving to the Penn Central Conference, remembering the impact our conference has on the life and ministry of many!  
You can give here, either a one time or recurring gift.

-Shirley Keith Knox
Board Moderator
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

We thank you for your patience during our move, as response times may be delayed.

Updated phone numbers:
Marisa Laviola: 717-433-3564
Nora Foust: 717-433-2587
Carrie Call: 717-433-3196
Rick Luciotti: 717-433-6306
Paul Keller and main office line: 717-652-1560
Scheduling notes:

December 12 - Myerstown UCC, Myerstown - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola 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...

Salem UCC, Columbia
St. John's UCC, Dallastown
St. Paul UCC, Dallastown
Zion (Stone Valley) UCC, Dalmatia
The Virtual Choir is back! 
The Virtual Choir, which brought us so much lovely music last year, is back and will be continuing through this year, and probably as an ongoing effort!  Our first piece will be And the Glory of the Lord, from Messiah, which we will be recording in late November, and will be available to all churches by December 7 for your Advent/Christmas use.
If you did not receive an email from Pastor Julie Holm, and you want to be part of this group, you can email her at  If you are a church that would like to be on the mailing list when we have news, you can also email Julie. Of course, you'll get a link here to any music produced, as well.
Outdoor Ministries Fall Events

December 4 @The Wittel Farm (9 a.m. - 2 p.m.)
Enter into the Advent spirit by participating in a day of Bible study, worship, and prayerful reflection.

For more information & to register, go to:  

December 19 @ The Wittel Farm (7-8:30 p.m.)
Come gather around the outdoor fire and have cookies and cocoa in the barn. There will be inspiring lights and seasonal decorations!

For more information & to register, go to: 
Clergy Events
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. NO LECTIONARY GROUP this Tuesday, 11/23!
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
"History & Polity of the UCC" Class for Spring 2022
This annual course is being taught by Carrie Call and Penn Central Conference staff with special guests. Join with students from all over the UCC to learn more about who we are and where we came from as a denomination!

Classes will take place Fridays at 2:00PM starting February 11, 2022 through April 01, 2022. Register by January 30th. Registration is limited. Classes are online via 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.

Let’s Talk About Abortion - November 30, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Global HOPE Blue Christmas Worship - December 1, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Purple Church - December 2, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The History of Afro-Christian Churches in the UCC - December 7, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The State of Black Bodies in the US - December 9, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

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).
From our friends and partners
Conducting Church Safety Inspections
Webinar: December 9th, 2pm EST
It is critical for ministries to understand the importance of conducting regularly scheduled safety inspections of their facilities and grounds. This webcast will dive into the specifics about what needs to be evaluated at your church. Join us for our webcast on Thursday, December 9th, at 2:00 p.m., while Howard Sewell, Board Member of Insurance Board and retired insurance risk manager, offers suggestions on how to mitigate loss based upon inspection findings, as well as discussing the major loss drivers for churches.
Click here to register and learn more.
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
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