Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| August 25, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear friends and members of Penn Central Conference,

“For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received…”
(1 Corinthians 15:3a)
Earlier this month I drove to Lebanon to sign papers. The papers were the closing documents on the sale of St. John’s UCC in Lebanon to the Rock of Salvation Pentecostal church. For those of you who don’t know, St. John’s church was built in 1859 in Lebanon and was the church of Rev. Henry Harbaugh, one of the German Reformed Church’s most esteemed pastoral leaders. St. John’s is big, beautiful, and historic. Filled with unique woodwork and glass mosaic windows, the entrance hall and sanctuary always drew comments and compliments.
I confess, I love this church. I love the building and the towers, the unique glass windows, the spiral staircases and the truly exceptional 19th century woodwork. Every time I visited I was overcome with a powerful sense of history. I loved the people in the congregation too – including two who were 5th generation descendants. There was a palpable sense of the history of faith in the building and among the people.
The congregation worked diligently to stay in the building (with the help of Rev. Dave Jones) yet eventually accepted that their ministry had come to an end. They voted to close, and the building came to Penn Central Conference. We considered a variety of possible uses and all were passed over, given significant HVAC needs. We listed the building for sale, received an offer, and accepted it.
When I went to sign the papers, I recognized an undercurrent of grief. I felt that a loss was happening and we – Penn Central and the UCC – were losing something precious. The history! The beauty! However, I was quickly humbled. Turns out the Holy Spirit was hovering there in the room of the Lebanon Land Transfer Company. The moment I met the new owners I was suffused with a quiet joy. Our eyes met and my heart shifted. I was moved and humbled. 

I remembered suddenly that we do not own the church. Any church. Ultimately all churches belong to God – both the buildings and the people. Our job is to steward them faithfully, for as long as we are able, living out the mission of the Gospel.
In the case of St. John’s, the building passed on to another church who will love it and steward it. I have no doubt that the sanctuary will ring with music, praise, and preaching…and it will be filled with the Holy Spirit. I know this because Rock of Salvation is part of the Body of Christ. Their theology may differ from ours. Their worship may differ too. Yet we are joined in a long line of faith that has been handed down through history, cared for and curated by believers before us. The congregations (and the church buildings) of St. John’s UCC and Rock of Salvation church both stand in the stream of history. Our task is to preach and teach the gospel and hand on the faith to those downstream. Sometimes that also means letting go and handing over, remembering that only God truly owns the church.

Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
The United Church of Christ is issuing a call to action to help the people of Haiti. A massive 7.2 earthquake on Saturday has killed nearly 1,300 people. Search and rescue efforts are expected to be hampered by Tropical Depression Grace, which came ashore on Monday.

To donate to this appeal, use this link and designate the gift to “Haiti Appeal.” One can also mail a check made payable to the United Church of Christ, to 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115. Please be sure to note “Haiti Appeal” on your check in the memo section, or in an attached letter.
Summaries of General Synod Resolutions:

Becoming a Church of Contemplatives in Action – Resolution Summary
By Sterling Fritz & Charlotte Pinette Read here...

Declare and Respond to Racism as a Public Health Crisis – Resolution Summary
By Shirley Keith Knox Read here...

A Resolution to recognize the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) - Resolution Summary
by Terry McGarry Read here...

The Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ Request to be Recognized as a Formal Group - Resolution Summary
by Shirley Keith Knox
The Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers (AACM) sought to be recognized as a Self-Created Group according to United Church of Christ By-Laws.  The purpose of the Alliance is:
  1. Building and maintaining a covenantal and collaborative relationship with all United Church of Christ Associate Conference Ministers.
  2. Developing and maintaining a covenantal and collaborative relationship with the United Church of Christ Council of Conference Ministers, officers of the Church, UCC Covenantal partners, and UCC Board of Directors.
  3. Being a resource to share information and best practices to promote excellence in our various ministries.
  4. Being a collective voice of advocacy for concerns important to the role and work of the Associate Conference Minister as they relate to the life of the United Church of Christ.
Scheduling notes:

August 29 - Dover UCC, Dover - Rev. Nora Foust preaching

September 5 - St. Paul's UCC, Stovertown - 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.
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...

Peace UCC, Denver
Paradise UCC, Milton
Trinity UCC, Turbotville
Emmanuel Union UCC, Centre Hall
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.
Local Church News:
The newly chartered Lebanon County chapter of the NAACP elected PCC's own Rev. Tony Fields as president on August 17th. Congratulations to Tony and the other new officers! Read more here.
If you wished you had been able to attend Hayshire UCC's Go Green Sunday event, and/or would like to hear it again, here is a link for where you can download a recording of Jim Antal's talk:
Please note the things everyone can and should be doing to help slow the progression of Climate Change and its negative effects on our world.
Special thanks to Denny Daugherty from Mt Zion UCC for helping out with the Zoom session and providing the recorded version.
Outdoor Ministries Fall Events

Volunteer for The Growing Project through October at The Wittel Farm! This project reclaims a portion of the acreage for farming. The crops harvested are donated to assist those in need in Lancaster County. To volunteer as an individual, or a multi-generational group, youth group or family, contact Pastor Matt Lenahan at
For more information about this project, visit:
October 3; 3-5:30 p.m. @ Kirchenwald [Free]
Review your camp map, paint your face, and practice your cone zone celebration dance! Invite your friends and family – of all ages! - to join you in this Capture the Flag event. Campfire worship to follow.
October 5-7 @ Nawakwa [$150/person]
All meals (7) are included in the price and served at the Dining Hall. This mid-week retreat begins Tuesday morning and ends with lunch on Thursday. Lodging in Zinn-Tozer Lodge.

More events can be found here!
Clergy Events
Boundary Training – All Zooms unless otherwise noted, 2 credit hours
September 15 10am (Register) and 6pm (Register) – Power and the Pastoral Office with Rev. Nora Foust
This has been offered with some ministeriums this year so you may want to double-check before you register as you can only get credit once. Drawing from writings of Karen Lebacqz and Richard Gula, we will explore some of the aspects of the professional power that comes with the pastoral office. The power that pastors have is often understated and misunderstood. Some of you may remember this example from FaithTrust Institute and Margaret Atwood.
  • She unlocks her office door, then locks it behind her to disguise the fact that she’s in there. It’s not her office hours but the students take advantage. They can smell her out, like sniffer dogs; they’ll seize any opportunity to suck up to her or whine, or attempt to impress her, or foist upon her their version of sulky defiance. I’m just a human being, Tony wants to say to them. But of course she isn’t. She’s a human being with power. There isn’t much of it, but its power all the same.” Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood
Like that of a professor and student, the pastoral relationship is one of unequal power between minister and congregant. Unequal power does not necessarily indicate abuse, but it is something for us to consider with some regularity and intentionality.

More Boundary Trainings: (read full descriptions here.)
September 29 10am-1pm LIVE at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Pepper Theo Café – Retired and Supply Boundaries and Departures (with LUNCH at Pepper Theo) $10 (register and pay)
October 13 6pm (Register) – A Boundary Refresher for All Stages of Ministry with Rev. Nora Foust
October 25 10am (Register) – A Boundary Refresher for All Stages of Ministry with Rev. Nora Foust
October 28 10am-1pm LIVE St. John’s in Lewisburg Retired and Supply Boundaries and Departures (with LUNCH) $10 (register and pay)
Fall 2021 Education Forums
Third Tuesdays at 10am LIVE ONLY at St. Thomas, Linglestown and 6pm ZOOM ONLY

September 21 with Pastor Mark Harris – As a sexual abuse survivor and pastor, Mark will talk with us about trauma informed pastoral care. Check out this information from Mark in preparation for our time together at (2 hours Boundary Training Credit)
10am Live at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)
Pastor Mark writes, “From the ages of 11 to 15, I was progressively groomed and led into a network of pedophile and child pornography by a charismatic man who was well known to my family. He was the director of an Outward Bound type school that worked primarily with adjudicated youth. Through progressive stages, I encountered a dozen men who sexually abused me, and made me the subject of child pornography. In the course of extensive therapy as a young adult, I took part in the prosecution of some of these men. My recovery from trauma took place over the next two decades, although I would hesitate to say that it is ever over. Recently, I graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and I am well on my way to being ordained in the United Church of Christ. For now, I am a working Pastor, leading a small church as an authorized minister. I am working on a book about my experiences and see my path in ministry as including working with survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as survivors of other trauma. I feel strongly that the story of Jesus offers much to those who are recovering from traumatic experiences.”
Pastor Mark Harris is the pastor at Salem UCC in Columbia.

More Education Forums: (read full descriptions here.)
October 19 with Rev. India Garnett
10am LIVE at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)

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.
August/September 2021

We are a community working together to welcome and support individuals who suffered child sexual abuse and other sexual traumas as we recover together.

Meeting 1 -Tues Sept 7th @ 7pm via zoom
Meeting 2- Thurs Sept 26th @ 2pm in person

CONTACT Mark Harris for meeting details at
“Don’t Join the Cloister” is the theme for the 2021 Old Zion Reformed Church Anniversary Service to be held on Sunday, September 12th at 4:00 p.m. The theme is taken from the religious controversy in the 1730’s with the establishment of the Cloister in Ephrata. The Old Zion Anniversary Service will reenact how the churches might have responded to this controversy. Our guest preacher will be Rev. Bruce Farrell, pastor of Zion Goshert’s Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, in Mt. Zion, PA. Read more about it here.
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.

September 1, 2021, 12:00PM - 1:00PM

September 11, 2021, 5:00PM-6:00PM
The Valarie Russell Lecture during General Synod featured a keynote address from international scholar, lecturers, and author Dr. Joy DeGruy on the socio-political impact of racism in our society. The lecture was so well received we are offering a 2 day BE THE HEALING course with Dr. DeGruy featuring her Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome Work as well as her healing work to an anti-racist world on Frontline Faith. The registration link is below:
Stewardship resources:

Congregational Economic Evaluation Tool – The survey helps leaders compare their stewardship and financial practices to other faith communities and to identify best practices they can implement. Survey available at
Cultivating Generous Congregations Seminar – The seminar offers pastors and leaders an opportunity to explore faithful, practical, and tested ways to promote generosity. Information and registration is available at
“Don't Beg - Rethinking the Stewardship Sermon” - A Bible Study for pastors as we think through options for sermons on stewardship for a fall pledge campaign. Henri Nouwen’s observation will guide us, “Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring, ‘We have a vision that is amazing and exciting.’” Oct. 6, 5pm Eastern Time. Register at
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry

Job-Hunting Field Guide: Bivocational Ministry and Beyond, Tuesday nights September 7 – October 12, 2021, via Zoom. $100 for 2.5 CEU credits. Instructor: Packard Brown. Hands-on classes will equip you to create your own promotional package, develop and hone interview skills, find jobs before they are posted, and design your own job-search campaign. This class is beneficial for secular as well as ministerial job searches. Register by Aug 31.
Money and Ministry: A Theology for Congregational Leaders, Thursday, October 14, 7–8:30pm and Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm, Oct 19–Nov 16, 2021, via Zoom. Instructor: Mike Little, Director of Faith and Money Network. 2.5 CEUs. $325. Register by October 5.
Employment Opportunities
Phoebe Berks (Wernersville, PA)
Part time and full time
Resident Care Assistants (no exp. necessary)
Dining Services positions

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.
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 OPENINGS: The Quentin UCC (Quentin, PA) is seeking a person to fill the position of choir director (approximately 15-20 persons). We are also looking to hire a church organist. If you’d like a copy of the job descriptions, please email the church office at Or you can send your resume directly to QUCC, P.O. Box 1138, Quentin, PA 17083

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. Learn more here. Please send your resume to by July 15.
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
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