This Week in PNEC --- January 24, 2018 - February 2, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



A Note from Candy & Alan Miller

Dear Friends in Christ,

     Alan and I are overwhelmed with the outpouring of get well wishes, letters, cards and comments left on Caring Bridge. We are deeply grateful for each and every one of you.
     Alan and I open and read each card together while visiting in the hospital. He loves reading them.  He is amazing. Even though his short and long term memory is compromised, he still remembers names and faces.
    Alan has touched so many lives throughout his career. After reading his cards, I never knew to what extent.
     It has been heartbreaking for Mark, Tina and I to see Alan so ill and not to remember events in his life, unable to crack the jokes and come back with those famous "Alan Miller" one liners.
     Continue following our updates on Caring Bridge.  If you would like to send Alan a card, please send to our home:  4080 Saint Johns St., Highpoint, NC  27265.
                                                            We love all of you,   
                                                                Alan and Candy
Hello Colleagues,
     I was contacted by Amy Butler, Senior Pastor and Riverside Church. On Thursday evening, Feb. 1 they are hosting an event with Brene Brown and DeRay McKesson entitled "The Courage to Show Up."
      Local Churches can livestream the event to an audience, and there is a link below they can go to if they are interested in hosting a local airing of this event. Here is a copy of the email request I received, and that I am now passing on to any of you who have churches you think might be interested in hosting a livestream location. 
     While the event won't be publicly livestreamed or recorded, we have secured permission for local congregations to serve as "livestream sites" so this would be exclusive content they are getting access to.  At the bottom of this email is the text we've been using to invite congregations to participate.  We just need whoever is interested to fill out the form and then we'll send them everything they need.
     Your congregation is invited to be a livestream site for our upcoming event, The Courage to Show Up: a conversation with BrenĂ© Brown and DeRay McKesson."
     Fill out this form
to receive more information on how your congregation can host your own event via livestream.
Shalom,   The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President, UCC
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 held a town meeting to gather your input into this process.  We are bringing that information together and inviting others into this process: leaders from PSEC and PNEC to engage in conversations to explore how we might be in ministry together. 
     The following information is available on the PNEC website at  or by clicking on the links below:
1.  Newly posted  Health Care Justice Workshop 
2.  JCVDT Survey
5.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on FACEBOOK
6.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on Twitter

      We hope to report on all of this at the Spring Annual Meeting and explore how we might move forward. 
      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;

"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.
Have you heard about the transformative leadership initiative of the Pension Boards called the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI)?  NGLI equips, energizes, and empowers younger United Church of Christ local church pastors to build vibrant congregations that change lives and further God's mission in the world. Here's a video that tells you more:
More information can be found at:
     Phoebe Ministries will honor Bill Hacker and Eric Blew of Arbor Insurance with the Rev. Dr. Grant Harrity Award for Exemplary Service to the Aging at their annual Institute on Aging Benefit on Thursday, March 22 in University Center at DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. The cocktail attire event will feature dinner and dancing and begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. Music will be provided by The Craig Thatcher Band.  For full details and reservation information click here.

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. 28 (based on Mark 1:21-28)
Items needed: shoes with shoelaces.  Right before children's sermon, untie the laces on the shoes you are wearing.  Ask kids, who knows how to tie shoelaces.  Ask if they think whether you know how to tie shoelaces.   If I were walking around like this(point out your untied shoes,)  would you believe I know how to tie shoelaces. You would be much more likely to believe I know how to tie shoelaces if my shoes were tied.  Ask one of kids to tie your shoelaces, then thank them after they do it.    In today's Bible reading, people believe Jesus knows about God because  He acts like He knows God---he is kind and brave and forgives people.  Just like you would believe I knew how to tie shoelaces if my shoes were tied.  And just like people will believe we know Jesus if we are like Him--brave and kind and forgiving.  
- Rev. David Quinn

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  


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

Also available for download from

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. 
     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. 
     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.
Disaster Ministries Update
volunteering in Port Arthur, Texas with UCC Disaster Ministries.
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.


Pursuing Authorized UCC Ministry Survey

     You are invited to participate in a short survey that will help Lancaster Theological Seminary and the PA Academy of Ministry best serve those pursuing authorized ministry in the UCC.  You have been invited to participate because your point of view is important as we work together to provide opportunities best suited for individual, UCC, and congregational needs.
     Please complete this 7-question survey prior to February 5 and feel free to pass this survey on to others, as well.
     Survey link:
     One survey participant will be selected at random to receive a $100 Visa card. 
     Thank you for participating and providing your insights.
Carter Farmer, ATS Innovation Grant Project Manager,
Lancaster Theological Seminary, 555 West James St., 
Lancaster, PA 17603;  (717) 290-8756 phone 

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
UCC Clergywomen Event
The Antoinette Brown Society will host a UCC Clergywomen Leadership Event May 1-3, 2018 at the Carefree Resort and Conference Center in Carefree, Arizona. The keynote presenters are the 2017 Antoinette Brown Awardees, the Rev. Day McCallister and the Rev. Loey Powell. This event is open to all authorized clergywomen in the United Church of Christ; registration information can be found here.

 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"