Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 15, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

Greetings from the Penn Central Conference Board of Directors. We met in our regular quarterly meeting last Saturday at UCC Homes in Camp Hill. I am delighted to report that good things are happening in our conference and we are going in a good direction.
When the Board hired the Rev. Dr. Carolyne Call as our Transitional Conference Minister for a year, she was given a number of areas to focus on on during this time. These things included the management and organization of the Conference staff, providing pastoral leadership for the Conference, and the wider church. We are already seeing the results of her work through the many ways she has worked with our committees and staff, meeting with them regularly. She assisted in re-writing the description for the ACM for Congregational Transitions and a search committee is in the process of finding the right person to fill this position. They have received a number of applications and hope to conclude their work soon. The work of the conference office staff is being realigned in preparation for this new position. The Area Search and Call Associates are continuing their work with individual churches in the transition process. She has conducted Town Hall meetings in almost every association, met with the Search and Call Associates on a regular basis, is preaching as invited, in different churches, meeting with Association Executive committees as much as possible and providing direct in-person assistance where there is conflict or transition needs. She has worked to establish the job description for the new Coordinator of Camps and Retreats and was integral in hiring Zoe D’Heedene for that position, as well as working with with the Hartman Center Committee during these crucial days. In addition, she continues with her love of teaching through her various interests in the Mercersburg theology and tradition and will be the lead teacher for a UCC Polity course this spring at Lancaster Seminary. We can be proud of what has been accomplished thus far in her work among us. She is pleased to be a part of our conference work and I hope that you have all had or will have the opportunity to meet and interact with her soon!

In important actions, the Finance Committee recommended and the Board approved sending an additional $10,000 in OCWM to the national church as a one time gift. Thank you all - churches and individuals - for stepping up to the plate with your own giving. We are now seeing an improvement in the budget and felt it important to give what was removed last spring. It was also voted to put $10,000 back into the Wilbur Valentine Fund to return some of the $60,000 we needed to take out last spring.

We are happy to welcome Zoe D’Heedene as our new Coordinator of Camps and Retreats. Her energy and enthusiasm for Outdoor Ministries is contagious and her dedication to this position is evident. The summer camp brochure is out and I truly hope that our churches will see that many youth and adults are able to participate in this year’s camping season. Summer church camps play an invaluable role in the spiritual development of young people. There is an exciting season being planned. Please be in touch with Zoe about the offerings at Hartman Center. The committees established at the 2020 Vision Retreat last fall are at work on various activities and Dave Bushnell is working hard to organize retreats and events for adults at Hartman Center in addition to what was already planned. The work on Michaux Lodge planned for this year is completed.

There have been several benchmarks set for this year that must be met in order for us to be able to continue operating Hartman Center as the conference camp. You can be a part of helping us attain those goals by your participation in the retreats and camps being held there, and by encouraging and enabling others as well!

The Hartman Family descendants have all signed off on the deed restrictions placed many years ago when it was given to the Conference. We are extremely grateful for the Haines and Hartman families for their gift to the conference and that now allows us complete decision making as to the future of this property. The sewer problem that was identified last year has now been determined to be fairly simple and will be fixed very soon. There appears to be no interest in the Stone House, so it will continue on in its current state.

We are working with UCCR, the camp management company, to determine what needs to happen if the decision has to be made to close down the camp at the end of the year. The Board is working out a time line for when and how the decisions regarding Hartman Center will be made. In all of this, please be assured that no matter what the future holds, the Board of Directors is committed to Outdoor Ministries, and this ministry will continue on - just perhaps in a different way. We are not giving up on this ministry!!

The Innovation Grants instituted a couple of years ago were discussed and assigned to the Finance Committee to determine where to proceed at this point.

In general, I am personally pleased that we are on a good path for Penn Central Conference. The Strategic Planning Committee is working on a renewed mission statement and planning for the years ahead. The Personnel Committee will begin an evaluation process for our Transitional Conference Minister soon and will have a recommendation for the Board at our meeting in April. We have a great Board of Directors that works well together and I am grateful for each one. Even though we live in a continually challenging and changing environment for our people and our churches, God’s spirit is moving and working among us! For that we give thanks!   
Rev. Ann Graves

Moderator, Penn Central Conference Board of Directors
Mid-Winter Clergy Sabbath
January 21-23, 2020

Join Jill Peters and Maggie Wellert as they lead us through a look at balance with workshops and discussions. PCC's own Rev. Carrie Call and Scott Watts will also be leading sessions. There will also be fellowship, self care spaces, time to speak with chaplains and more!

This is your last chance to register for this event! Take advantage of this needed time of peaceful Sabbath and fellowship. After the hubbub of Advent and Christmas, take some time to refresh and re-energize.

The top 5 reasons to participate:
1) Clergy need to practice Sabbath and self-care. As a colleague put it, "if we don't practice it we better not preach it."
2) Clergy need to have time with colleagues to connect and remember covenant
3) We get to actually worship together...not solely prepare and lead worship
4) Our topic this year came out of the responses from last year... We are in a world that often competes for our time and does not prioritize peace and balance. How do we find peace? How do demonstrate balance? What keeps us from peace in us and our ministry setting?
5) The value to the congregation is not solely teaching/learning peace and balance, but a refreshed, renewed and grounded clergy person. 

We have not met our minimum registration, so please consider registering by Thursday evening!

Registration deadline extended! Registration with meals closes 01/16/2020!

Climate Justice

From the Pollinator:

As the year began, the UCC Council for Climate Justice issued " A Kairos Call to Action , " a call for an all-out mobilization of churches to address the twin crises of climate and inequality during this critical window of time. The call builds upon the rich tradition of South African liberation theology which during apartheid focused on the biblical concept of kairos, a Greek word that evokes moments that are paradoxically times of both crisis and possibility. In South Africa, it was noted that such times are also moments of truth, especially with regard to where churches stand on matters of justice. With 25 human deaths and an estimated 1 billion animals killed , the fires that have ravaged over 12 million acres in Australia are yet another unsettling moment of truth in our present climate crisis.

In the Bible, there are many profound and often disturbing moments of truth. A verse that I have never heard elucidated from the pulpit comes as Jesus is arrested. All of the disciples have turned their backs on him. Symbolic of their desertion is the follower of Jesus who in his haste to escape the crowds left his linens behind and "ran off naked" (Mark 14:51). It would be comical if it were not so deadly serious.

In this time of crisis, we cannot afford to run off naked. I am grateful that the Council has offered ten ways for churches and institutions to effectively mobilize. Read now about the second suggested action for this second week of the year: Inspired worship that continually focuses attention on this kairos moment.

Read the introduction to " A Kairos Call to Action ."
Read about the first suggested action: Enter a Period of Study and Immersion.

Preaching Around the Conference

January 19 - Trinity UCC, Gettysburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 8:00AM

January 26 - Hill Church, Cleona - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 9:00AM

January 26 - St. John's UCC, Fredricksburg - Rev. Nora Foust - 11:00AM

January 26 - Hill Chur c h, Cleona - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 10:00AM
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. John's UCC, Boalsburg
Saint Paul's UCC, Bowmansville
Saint Jacob's (Stone) UCC, Brodbecks (Glenville)
Salem UCC, Campbelltown
Updated Clergy Compensation Guidelines

As we start a new year, new clergy compensation guidelines go into effect. One piece of the guidelines to be aware of is the changes to Supply Preaching. T he recommended pay for a supply pastor is $175-$200 per Sunday (multiple services may be higher) plus the IRS mileage reimbursement. The IRS mileage has been dropped a half cent from 2019, to 57.5 cents per mile.
Yearbook 2020
Year End OCWM
Thank you for your gifts to OCWM . All 2019 donations (OCWM or others) must be received at the Penn Central Conference Office by Friday , January 17, 2020.   Any money received after that date will be counted as 2020 donations. Please clearly mark your donations as for 2019.

Pledge Forms
We are grateful for the monthly OCWM gifts and appreciate those churches that added OCWM as a line item in their 2020 annual budget. Please let us know what you have pledged to OCWM in the coming year by completing and submitting this  online pledge form  or by sending this paper form  into Paul via email or mail.
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below.

If you need assistance - reach out to the conference office and we will be glad to assist.

Salem's Closet located at Salem UCC, 231 Chestnut St., Harrisburg, Pa. will be open on February 1st from 10AM to Noon.
The Closet is in need of blankets, pillows and socks, but it is in desperate need of Children's clothing. We give clothing not only to those who come on open days but also to various shelters such as the one for Abused Women. Many children are at these shelters and some only have the clothing on their back. If you have anything to donate please call Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

January 26 - Installation of Rev. Betsy Bruaw at Peace Church, Swartzville - 3:00PM
February 2 - Installation of Rev. DiAnn Baxley at First UCC, Middleburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Carrie Call attending) Snow date - February 23
February 22 - Ordination of Rev. Amy Fishburn at Grace UCC, Lancaster - 2:00PM
February 23 - Installation of Craig Munnel at Trinity UCC, Lewistown - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

January 15 - Harrisburg Ministerium (with Rev. Carrie Call) - Kindred Place - 9:30AM

February 15 - Ministerial Gathering, hosted by the Executive Committee of Central Associatio n - Silver Moon Banquet Hall, Lewisburg, PA - 8:15AM
Association Special Events

January 12 - York Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 2:00PM   

January 17 - Retiree Breakfast sponsored by the Gettysburg Association COM - Trinity UCC, Hanover - 9:00AM (snow date is January 25th)

February 3 - Harrisburg Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill - 6:00PM   

April 18 - York Association Earth Day Anniversary Weekend w/ Jim Antal - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 9:00AM

Hartman Center Retreats - NEW RETREATS LISTED
Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29 (details to come)
Pride Retreat for LGBTQ Folks & Allies - May 29-31 (details to come)

Early bird pricing for those who pay in full before March 31, 2020.
Clergy Events
Lenten Worship: A Collaborative Planning Event - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - January 9, 10:30AM-3:00PM Register here
 Save the date
February 19 - MEF at St. Thomas
March 18 - MEF at St. Thomas UCC
April 22 - MEF at St. Thomas UCC
May 13 - Worship Planning at Colonial Park UCC
Open & Affirming
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Rev Dr. Beverly Dale - an ordained minister, a playwright/performer/author, sex educator, teacher, educator, and spiritual director.  
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase & Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
From our Local Churches
Mended Heart Lenten Concert/Potluck - Salem UCC - March 15 - 3:00pm

DVD Lending Library - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg
From PCC Partners & Friends
Live Webcast "Violence in Houses of Worship" - Presented by The Insurance Board - January 9, 2:00 pm

“Solidarity Not Solitary” - St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Harrisburg - January 12, 1:00-3:00 pm - register here

LTS Tuesday Topics "Christianity & Immigration" - Lancaster Theological Seminary - January 21, 10:00AM

"True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality" presented by ACLU-PA South Central - Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse, Lancaster - January 27, 7:30PM - rsvp via email to

Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

2020 UCC History & Polity Class - Lancaster Theological Seminary - February 21 through April 3

Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) 2020 Annual Conference Holistic Faith Formation: Engaging Our Whole Selves - Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center, Mt Bethel, PA - April 27 through April 29, 2020 - register online by March 1st here
The more you know...
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Rev. Sally Dries

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. John Fureman

Staff Directory
Rev. Carrie Call, PhD
Transitional Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
Scott Watts
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Laura Dalton
Administrative Assistant/Search & Call Assistant
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 10
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560