Paid for by your OCWM Contributions | April 26, 2023

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Message to the Conference

Greetings, everyone, from your PCC Board of Directors,

Our Board met in person in the fellowship hall of St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown, which is also the host church for our Penn Central Conference offices. The following are the highlights of that meeting:

Under Committee and Commission Reports, the Finance Committee chair, Phil Landers, shared that the transition of the Outdoor Ministries Grants has been completed and is now being handled by the Outdoor Ministries Commission. The Finance Committee will continue to handle Innovation Grants and Grants from the St. John’s UCC, Lebanon Fund. A thank you note was read from Rev. Brad Walmer of New Covenant UCC, Williamsport. The congregation was a recipient of an Innovation Grant for church revitalization. Nora Foust reported for the Outdoor Ministries Commission. She said Rev. Alice Rauch has been selected chairperson. As stated about they are accepting grant applications at this time. A webpage is being developed for this Commission. Registrations for Spirit Week at Hartman Retreat Center this summer have more than doubled from last year already.

Under Old Business, we received as update about the 2023 PCC Annual Meeting to be held at the Double Tree Hotel & Resort in Lancaster County, June 9 & 10. Registration is now open. Business sessions will be hybrid and that is an option when registering online. Delegates’ votes will be counted from both online and in person during those sessions. It was noted the Board will meeting the morning of June 9 at 9:00 a.m. at the same location. 

An update about the Keystone Project was presented by Carrie Call, Nora Foust, Carolyn Herman, and me (Dwight). The Keystone Working Group met on April 14 in Harrisburg. The entire session was devoted to defining and distilling the project’s “Why,” meaning why are we exploring these avenues of shared ministry and/or partnership. The project will continue to meet monthly with the next meeting on May 12. There will be a presentation at Annual Meeting for those who wish to learn more.

An update on the search for hiring a part-time PCC bookkeeper come to an action moment when Paul Keller, Phil Landers, and Mike Price, PCC Treasurer, shared their recommendation for a candidate who has broad experience in both secular and church accounting fields. On motion and a second, a unanimous vote was made to offer the position to the recommended candidate for 6-10 hours a week at $25 per hour.  

Under New Business, Carrie shared the idea of a possible joint Annual Meeting in 2024 with the Penn West Conference. Plenaries, keynote speakers, workshops and worship services would be shared together, while business sessions would be held separately. After some discussion, there was consensus to have Carrie continue the conversation with Rev. David Ackerman, Conference Minister of the Penn West Conference, if the Penn West Board of the Directors is also in favor of exploring this idea.  

The Board then had a conversation about the Nomination Commission of the PCC. Rev. Galen Russell, chairperson, informed staff that he would like to step down from that position after many years of service. The Board is truly grateful for Galen’s years of service leading the Commission in this often difficult and very important task. There was consensus that this now seems like a good time to have a discussion with Galen about best practices and recommendations, as well as explore what the make-up of Nominations Commission may look like moving forward, with perhaps a recommended change to what is stated in the current Bylaws for this commission. The slate of nominees for election for approval to take to the 2023 PCC Annual Meeting will be presented to the Board at its meeting on the morning of June 9, 2023.

Announcements were shared and the meeting concluded with reciting the Lord’s Prayer together. Board members, who were able, stayed and enjoyed lunch with the 2023 PCC General Synod Delegates who were arriving and were having a training meeting at the same location at 12:30 p.m. 

PCC Board of Directors will meet next on June 9 at 9 a.m. prior to the 2023 PCC Annual Meeting.

If you have any questions about the work of the Board of Directors, my contact information is on the Board page of the PCC website. The other Board members and I look forward to seeing many of you in-person at the Annual Meeting in June!


Rev. Dwight Hein

Board Moderator

Penn Central Conference

Annual Meeting registration is now open!

"Renewing the Covenant We Share"

 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a 

The 61st Annual Meeting of the Penn Central Conference will return to in person, with virtual options for plenaries. We will gather at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton; 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, PA 17602 on June 9th & 10th, 2023.

Our special guest is Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman, author of Covenant: A Study for the United Church of Christ. She will be our keynote speaker as well as lead a workshop. If you'd like to read her book, it is available to purchase here.

We will be voting on two bylaws changes as well as a slate of nominees. You can see more about those bylaws in the full invitation here.

Read all about the tentative schedule, workshops and more on the registration page here.

We have special rates through the DoubleTree if you are staying overnights. The website to make reservations is here, however there is currently a glitch so you may not be able to access until they fix it. You can make reservations by calling the hotel directly at (717) 464-2711, press 0 for the front desk and request the group rates for Penn Central Conference Annual Meeting (group code 20902). 

The Annual Meeting this year will feature both in person and virtual choirs. A special version of the virtual choir is forming now to begin working on the piece in late April.   All are welcome to sing with us!  If you are interested, and are not currently part of the Virtual Choir, contact Julie Holm at

Scheduling notes:

April 30 - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching

May 7 - Emmanuel UCC, Abbottstown - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

May 14 - St. John UCC, Red Lion - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call 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...

Mt. Zion Congregational UCC, Shamokin

St. John's UCC, Shamokin

Salem UCC, Coal Township

Grace UCC, Shippensburg

Creation Justice

National UCC Climate Hope Cards Campaign!

On April 29th, the UCC will be launching an effort to collect as many petition postcards as possible to seek government action for cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Such action could both save lives and put our nation on track to meet climate goals. Sign-up to get updates on the Climate Hope Cards campaign and this launch event.

UCC Webinar on Police Violence and Environmental Justice

May 10. 2023 - 10:00AM


In Atlanta, faith leaders have been involved in a struggle to confront violence in multiple forms as they seek to prevent the destruction of the Weelaunee Forest for the building of a police training facility in a predominantly Black community. Through their actions for a just world, these faith leaders have additionally sought to honor Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán who was killed by the Georgia State Police while protecting the forest. This webinar will feature faith leaders from Atlanta as they share with us about this cause of justice. Even if you cannot make the webinar at its scheduled time, still sign-up, and we will send you a link to a recording of it. Register now!

Local Church

Is your church looking to sell or donate surplus church chairs? St. Paul's UCC, Milton is looking for some. Please contact Pastor Tim Hogan-Palazzo if you do.

Foundations of Worship Planning with PSEC

May 20, 2023 - 9:00AM - 1:00PM via Zoom

This workshop prepares lay leaders and refreshes authorized ministers on the foundational principles of worship with an emphasis on practical application. Participants will gain tools and sharpen skills for planning meaningful worship that facilitates holy encounters. No previous experience with worship planning is necessary.

Participants should bring a recent bulletin or order of service from their context as well as a Bible and music selection resources (i.e. hymnal and/or songbook). Register Here

About the Facilitator: The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay serves as the Minister for Worship and Theology for the National Ministries of the United Church of Christ as well as Pastor and Teacher of First Congregational UCC of Wellington, OH.

Association Events

April 23, 2023 2:30PM - Gettysburg Association Spring Meeting - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover

April 23, 2023 3:00PM - Ordination of Julia Brown - Solomon's UCC, Chambersburg

April 23, 2023 4:00PM - Ordination of Peter Billings - St. Paul's UCC, McConnellsburg

April 29, 2023 9:00AM - Central Association Annual Meeting - St. Paul's UCC, Selinsgrove

April 30, 2023 3:00PM - Ecclesiatical Council of Tom Kiepert - Faith UCC, York

May 7, 2023 3:00PM - Mercersburg Spring Meeting

May 7, 2023 3:00PM - Ordination of Jeff Hauck - St. Peter's UCC, Lewisburg

Outdoor Ministries

Events with our partners at Lutheran Camping Corporation

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION April 23, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Kirchenwald

NAWAKWA WORK DAY April 29, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

KIRCHENWALD WORK DAY May 6, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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

Retirement Q&A with the Pension Boards

Date: April 27, 2023

Time: 3-4PM


The Pension Boards will be providing information and answering questions Retirees may have regarding programs of the Pension Boards, including your pensions, health insurance and investment concerns. This is an opportunity to directly interact with representatives of the Pension Boards via Zoom. The Zoom information for this event is as follows:


Topic: Pension Board Retiree

Time: Apr 27, 2023 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

Winter/Spring 2023 MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom)

May 16 - "Starting Justice Conversations: Part 1" with Rev. Carla Christopher

Becoming a community connected congregation grows membership, mission, and meaning for churchgoers but how do we start when the demographics of our congregations ofton look or live differently than the neighborhoods around them? We can use effective and accessible tactics from community organizing, diversity education, and the trauma-informed care field! Beginning conversations around justice and community advocacy in our congregations can be deeply effective even in this divided time when we accompany our parishioners in a dynamic and practical way.

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom Only - register here

Suicide and Moral Injury Clergy Workshop

with Lebanon VA Chaplain Rev. Dean Luther

Full flyer here

Friday May 19th 10-12 on Zoom

Register here

From our Friends and Partners

Mercersburg Convocation 2023: Tradition in Crisis

May 22-23, 2023

Lancaster Theological Seminary

In his most recent book, Tradition in Crisis, Peter Schmiechen describes the various crises confronting Centric Protestants—i.e., those reformed by the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the theological and biblical revolutions of the twentieth century—and calls for a further reform of Centric Protestantism today by reclaiming Luther’s conviction that the true treasure of the church is Jesus Christ, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community in America. In other words, he calls for a further reformation of Centric Protestantism based on grace and community. The 2023 Mercersburg Convocation will address various aspects of Peter Schmiechen’s analysis of the tradition in crisis, in order to explore productive ways of creating a future beyond this crisis.

See schedule and full list of presenters here.

Register here

On June 15, Phoebe will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our Clinical Pastoral Education program with current students, alumni, staff, generous donors and members of the community. The Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart, currently Director of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs for the city of Philadelphia will be speaking at the event. She is a graduate of Lancaster Seminary and an ordained UCC minister. The event will take place at the Lehigh Country Club, at 2319 S Cedar Crest Blvd, Allentown, PA 18103. 

If your church, business or organization would like to be a sponsor for the event, here is the link to the sponsorship page on our website: If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to be in contact with me. 

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.

General Synod Frequency Town Hall 2/3

APR 26, 2023 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM

Rethinking What God Calls Volunteers to Do

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

A new eco-system for Members in Discernment.

MAY 3, 2023 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM

Nurture the Soul

MAY 4, 2023 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

What is changing in ministry?

MAY 17, 2023 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM

"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 April 17 through May 1 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in June

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)


May 23 - June 27, 2023



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 Close: 4/30/23

Faith Education, Innovation, and Formation (Faith INFO)

Program Assistant Close: 5/21/23

Assistant Project Administrator for Love of Children Close: 5/21/23

Education for Faithful Action Ministries (EFAM)

Climate Hope Summer Interns Close: 4/30/23

Communication & Development Archives Intern Close: 4/30/23 

Hummelstown UCC Seeking Director of Music /Organist/Musician


Are you a musician who values a progressive Christian community? Apply now to the small church with a big heart! Hummelstown United Church of Christ is seeking a flexible and engaging musician to serve as Director of Music and Organist/Musician. Note: The congregation is open to this position being an accompanist only position, rather than a Director of Music with choir direction responsibilities. If interested in one or the other, please note that in your application to the contact below.


This vibrant and inclusive congregation has a deep appreciation for music, and is excited to hire a musician for the following:

·      Collaborate with the Pastor, choir, and other team members to select, prepare, and present music for all services

·      Assist in integrating music into the life of the church

·      Accompany and/or direct choir for rehearsals and performances

·      Play the piano and/or organ for hymns and other parts of the worship services 


Benefits include paid time off from 4 worship services per year, education and training budget and team based creative atmosphere. 


Our beautiful sanctuary has both a Yamaha baby grand piano and an organ built by Gundling, a two- manual pipe organ with foot pedals.


If you have musical passion and would like to join us on our journey, send an application/resume to


For details on open positions, see position descriptions posted on our website: Director of Music and Organist/Musican3/22/2023


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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