This Week in PNEC --- January 18, 2018 - January 26, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

610-826-3113; FAX 610-826-5464


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



The Joint Conference
Visioning & Development Team (JCVDT)
     We have been meeting since September, charged with continuing the conversation with PSEC to explore our possible future relationship together. We have developed a survey asking for your feedback to include you in our conversations. If you have not submitted a survey, you can click here . On this page, there are also links to our Facebook page and Twitter to stay in the conversation. We have held a town meeting as well to gather your input into this process. Now, we are bringing that information together and also inviting others into this process: leaders from PSEC and PNEC to engage them in conversations to explore how we might be in ministry together. As we continue our conversations, we ask for your prayers in this process.
      We hope to report to you at the Spring Annual Meeting to share how we have pulled all of this information together and explore how we might move forward. I ask for your prayers for our team members, who you can learn about here.
     We have also developed a devotional guide for Lent to help our congregations in personal, community, and conference study and prayer.  Click here for the devotional guide.
      I ask for your prayers for our process together that the Spirit can guide us and move us to be the Body of Christ together. Thank you!
Rev. Joanne Marchetto
Bring Global Ministries to your Doorstep:  Host Missionary Jeffrey Mensendiek
   Jeff Mensendiek    Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek, Global Ministries missionary for 27 years with the Emmaus Center in Sendai, Japan, will be available to speak in churches during his time in PNEC.  The dates of his visit are February 20 through March 5.  (He has commitments for February 20, February 25, February 28, March 1, and March 4.)
     If you would like to schedule a program lead by Jeffrey or want additional information, please contact Barbara Jennings at 610-826-3113;


2018 Pre-Lenten Workshop Jewish Institute

Meals of Freedom for Life

A Congregational Learning Program

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

10AM to 2:30PM

Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown

(off Walbert Ave. at Route 309)

Registration Fee:  $35 (includes lunch)

(NOTE:  Foods will contain gluten, nuts, and other allergens that may cause concern - if this is an issue for you, please bring your own lunch)

Presenter - Peter A. Pettit, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College

Please register by January 17.

For More Information call 484-664-3470 or email

"I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat.
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet."
   3 Great Loves is a denomination-wide story telling initiative. Over the span of two years, with the help of local Ambassadors, we will collect and lift up the stories of our local congregations and affiliates all around the nation. We want to hear about the knitting clubs, the food pantries, the community meals, protests, letter writing campaigns and anything else your church or organization may be doing to create a just world for all. NOTHING IS TOO SMALL.
   The work that is already being done is significant and greatly needed. Our hope is that this initiative, we will tell the story of how we are impacting and transforming the world as covenantal partners united in common purpose, vision, and mission.
   PNEC congregations are invited to submit a LOVE STORY FORM to Gary Barraco, PNEC 3GL Ambassador. Gary will submit these to the national church for inclusion in the web site   , but we will also select 5 stories to present at the PNEC Annual Meeting in April. Submissions can start now and will close April 1st.
     If you have questions, feel free to contact Gary at   or (732)241-6635.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

An Invitation from Pennsylvania Southeast Conference...Discipleship Workshop


Much emphasis is given today to churches reaching new people, and rightfully so.  The real area of untapped potential in any congregation and community are not the people outside of the church, but the people who are sitting in your pews every Sunday (or every other Sunday).  This workshop is designed to equip pastors and lay leaders with modern tools for doing an ancient work; making disciples out of those who are in our care.

Facilitator:  Rev. Cean James

Times:  10AM to 12 Noon

There are 3 opportunities to attend this workshop:

February 24 @ Armenian Martyrs' Congregational Church, Philadelphia

March 3 @ First UCC, Quakertown

April 14 @ Trinity UCC, Reading

There is NO charge for this workshop but please register by going to the PSEC website (, click on the Events & News tab, click Conference Events and find the workshop date you are interested in.

Register now for Clergy Convocation
     Join the Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences 
for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment.  Rev. Wanda D. Craner will be the Guest Speaker. This year's presentation is "The Spiritual Health of Clergy in Times of Dis-Ease".

Clergy Convocation Flyer 2018
To register: click here.

Rev. David Mohr is having shoulder surgery on Thursday.  Dave is a retired PNEC pastor.
Congratulations to Bob Stevens and Janet Boyd who recently announced their engagement.  Bob is the pastor of Zion Allentown and Janet  serving a church in PSEC as an interim pastor.

January 28 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Judy Brandon - UCC Greenawalds, Allentown
February 25 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Kayli Freeman - Union UCC, Neffs
March 4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel at Jordan UCC, Allentown  (Snow Date:  March 11)
Children's Sermon
for Jan. 21 (based on Mark 1:14-20.)  
Items needed: basketball and football, bag, large round wastebasket or trash can, to be the basket.. (If you can't get those, use two different board games,)  Beforehand, put the basketball and football in the bag.  When kids come up, take basketball out of bag and ask kids what it is.  Ask a child to hold the ball.  Explain briefly how basketball is played, including that you score points by throwing the basketball through the basket.  Ask child to throw ball into wastebasket/garbage can.   Score!  Now, what is I were to take the ball(do so,) put it in this bag(do so,) and instead give (child volunteer's name) THIS!   (Take out football and put in child's hands)   Now, they would be playing a different game, with different rules.  You can't run with the ball in basketball, but you can in football. You don't score in football by throwing the ball through a basket, but by getting the ball across a line.  What you're supposed to do depends on what game you're playing.  In today' Bible reading, Jesus asks some people to follow Him. They leave what they are doing to follow Him--kind of like switching from basketball to football.  As followers of Jesus, these people now are following a different set of rules, and they have a new goal---to become  more and more like Jesus.  And we have the same goal--to become more and more like Jesus!
- Rev. David Quinn

22- (5:15 PM supper) - 5:30 Nominating Committee
23 - 9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conf. Office
23 - 12 Noon - Joint Conflict Resource Team Epiphany Luncheon - Morgan's
23 - 2-4PM - Fitness Review Training with Elizabeth Dilley - On-Line
24 - 9AM - Bethlehem AMC Clergy - Bethany, Bethlehem
24 - 4PM - Executive Committee - Conf. Office
25 - 6:30PM - JCVDT - Zoom meeting
28 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Judy Brandon - UCC Greenawalds, 2325 Albright Ave., Allentown
31 - 10AM - Annual Meeting Worship Team - Union UCC, Neffs  

Letter from...The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer,
General Minister and President, UCC
     I am co-Chairing a Task Force for the National Council of Churches. 
    This website went live this morning, and I share it with you along with a promise of more details. 
     On April 4th on the mall in Washington DC, in an act commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. leaders from faith communities will gather for worship, and for truth-telling - calling the nation to seek healing from our racist legacies. 
     Events will begin on April 3 with worship at the Greek Orthodox church in DC. 
     Activities, speeches, presentations, and rallies will continue on the mall from early in the morning on the 4th until late into the afternoon. 
    The content of presentations will include religious leaders speaking their truth about the history with race that their communion shares: either its complicity with the legacies of racial injustice and inequities; or with the pain of enduring the evils that racism inflicts on our communities of color in America. 
     Materials will soon be forthcoming inviting participants at every level to engage: from the local church through the Conferences to the National bodies. 
     If any of you want to begin to organize a gathering from your Conference to attend, I am sending you this link today to give you advance prep time. 
     If any of you want to contribute by telling the truth about your Conferences, or any churches within your Conference who wish to do so, I will be collecting those materials. I will be invited to speak the truth of the UCC and our predecessor bodies. Any stories you have that help unfold this story would be greatly appreciated.
     Please visit the NCC website for more and forthcoming details. And let us all be in a spirit of prayer about our participation in the unfolding of justice.

Call to the 56th Annual Meeting

of the Penn Northeast Conference

Saturday, April 14, 2018

8AM to 4PM


Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs


Theme:  Exploration!

Workshop Leader:  Rev. Michael Piazza,

Spiritual Visionary, Author, Social Justice Advocate, Currently serving as Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, NYC

Guest Preacher:  Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates,

Conference Minister, PNEC

Download a Registration form here


Disaster Ministries Update

Click Here for the 1.11.18 Update 


Eastern Regional Youth Event
Over 300 United Church of Christ youth will gather at California State University, California, Pa on
July 19-22, 2018 taking part in worship, workshops and service projects. Information for registration will be available shortly at   "My theme song is God's love and justice!" Psalm 101:1. Look for additional information each week from the PNEC planning team . Any questions? Please contact Marge Baltz


If you have any youth interested, please get those registrations in!!


Penn Northeast Conference

            Presents ....

13th Annual Youth Retreat

all youth in grades 7th - 12th are invited!


May 4 - 6, 2018

Check-in Friday 6:30-7:00......Pick-up Sunday Noon

Spruce Lake

5389 Route 447, Canadensis


(includes meals Saturday & Sunday breakfast)

DEADLINE TO REGISTER February 12, 2018

We must have all registrations and $50 non-refundable deposit per person.



2018 MINICOURSE    Jewish Institute

Understanding Otherness Within

Religious Communities


January 25 - February 15, 2018

(Thursdays 7 to 9PM)


Presenters:  Pres. Suleyman Eris; Rabbi Dr. Elsa Stern; Dr. Randall Zachman

Seegers Union, GQ Annex

Muhlenberg College, Allentown

January 25: Orientation Questions & Otherness

within Islam - I

February 1:  Otherness within Islam II & Otherness within Judaism I

February 8:  Otherness with Judaism II & Otherness within Christianity I

February 15:  Otherness within Christianity II & Closing Questions and Discussion


Call or email to register:  484-664-3470 or

Polity Curriculum for Local Churches

     MESA recently released a new UCC Polity Curriculum designed for local congregations: new member classes, confirmation classes, COM orientations, and congregations considering joining the UCC. The materials can be found online at:
3 Great Loves Wants
to Come to
Your Congregation
The 3 Great Loves is the denomination's opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world. To move this initiative forward in the Penn Northeast Conference, we have recruited Gary Barraco from Forks UCC to be our '3 Great Loves Ambassador'. Gary has been working with the National representative and Regional Ambassador to prepare our Conference to learn more about the 3 Great Loves program. Gary and others want to come to your church and deliver the Sunday morning message or present to a large group. He has put together a full liturgy for a worship serve, including suggested hymns, so we can come in with a pre-packaged service. To learn more, contact Gary at

 Christian Pilgrims Tour

September 20-28, 2018

England, Netherlands & Boston

for a flyer with full details, please click here



For the complete list of churches who are searching for organists, choir directors sextons, pianist, etc., etc., and also churches who are giving away items, please CLICK HERE

What's Happening in Our Churches
(PLEASE NOTE:  We love advertising the "happenings" in our churches, however the list is getting too long for this publication.)
"What's Happening in Our Churches"