This Week in PNEC --- February 23, 2017 - March 3, 2017


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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

Alan Miller                            Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

Barbara Jennings             Patty Rehrig



2017 Annual Meeting of the Penn Northeast Conference will be
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  -
St. John's UCC,  1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station, PA
In My Weakness, You are My strength!
By Alan C. Miller
My book has finally arrived.  Book is a bit of an exaggeration; it is more of a devotional.  It is my journal written during the first eight months of my treatments for thymic carcinoma.  It is the story of finding the grace of God in the midst of cancer.  All proceeds from the book are going to Sloan Kettering Hospital for rare cancer research.  You can pick one up at the Conference Office for $10.00, or call  (610-826-3113) or email us ( and we will send you one for $11.00; make sure you include the shipping address.
Gwilym Williams Scholarship If you are a college or graduate student who is preparing for a career either as a/an ordained minister, certified teacher or educator, doctor of medicine then you may qualify for a scholarship grant from the Gwilym T. Williams Scholarship Fund
     This Trust Fund, created over a generation ago by a now deceased PNEC benefactor from Scranton, is administered by the Penn Northeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. The purpose of this Fund is to provide financial assistance for post-secondary students enrolled in accredited institutions of higher learning, and who are preparing to embark on a career either as an ordained minister, a certified teacher or educator, or a doctor of medicine.
     Grants are limited by stipulation of the Trust to students pursuing one of these three career options, and who are also currently members in good standing of a PNEC congregation. Financial assistance will be awarded only to help pay the institution-stipulated costs of tuition and/or housing.
     You are required to submit to the PNEC office all application materials (your application, certification of an acceptable program of study, your school's financial bill) before your request will be considered. Application materials must be in our office by October 1st in order to be considered for a grant for the (preceding) summer and/or (current) fall terms, and by March 1st in order to be considered for a grant for the (preceding) winter and/or (current) spring terms. Reimbursement checks will be issued directly to successful applicants. Even if you have received a Gwilym T. Williams scholarship in the past, you must reapply in order to be considered for a new grant. Applicants are awarded a maximum ten grants for undergraduate work, and ten (more) grants for post-graduate studies.
    Please go to to obtain the application packet.
     Please note: your application will not be processed until all three application materials are received in the PNEC office.
Attention all PNEC Congregations:  
     -What One Mission Project do
 you do at your church that 
 everyone gets excited about?  
     -What Mission Project are you
 known for in your community? 
     -What Mission Project does your congregation do so
 well that if you didn't have it, it would not get
    Whatever you come up with, please write a few words about it and email this info, including the date of your next event, your church's name, and location (with a pic if possible - but not necessary) to Jane Hess so that she can make a  Power Point presentation for our Annual Meeting.     Please call her if you have a question: 570-401-2239. This Power Point will run continuously as folks are coming and going from the main meeting room at the Annual Meeting!  Thank you from the bottom of our socks - because the bottom of our hearts aren't deep enough.
Pre-Retirement Seminar 
The Pension Boards is sponsoring a Pre-Retirement Seminar on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 ,at Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Road, Allentown, PA 18104 (registration/fellowship is from 8-9 a.m., 9 a.m. seminar starts, 2:30 is closing prayer). All members age 50 or over who have an Annuity Plan account balance are invited to attend. The event will begin with registration and continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 2:30 p.m. The seminar is offered at no cost and a one-time $100 stipend is given to each first-time member to help defer your travel expenses. Space is limited, so we encourage you to register early. To register online go to, no later than 4:00 p.m. (ET) Thursday, March 9, 2017. Please remember to have your seven digit Pension Boards Member ID (which can be located on your quarterly statement) to register. Should you need any additional information or if The Pension Boards may be of assistance to you in any way, please feel free to contact 1.800.642.6543, Ext 2646.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
is proud to announce its
2017 Licensed Minister's Convocation
to be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017
from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
at St. John's UCC (Hain's Church)
at 591 N. Church Road in Wernersville, PA 
Our Keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Fogal on Practicing Generosity: How to communicate with clarity and grace.  Two additional workshops will be provided by Rev. Ann Graves on Hymnody: A historic & creative look at the hymns we sing and by Rev. Heather Kurtz on Ordinary to Extraordinary: A new look at Ordinary time.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  This is a great way to network with your peers while fulfilling continuing education for your ministry.  We hope to see all our Licensed Ministers for this annual event.  For more information please contact our Program Director: Rev. Steve Hummel at or call him at 484-239-5578.  For the full brochure and registration CLICK HERE
Children's Sermon for
         for Feb. 26  (based on Mt. 17:1-9)  Items needed:  3 dimes; 9 pennies: picture mounting putty; 2 pieces paper.  Beforehand, use the picture mounting putty to stick  the 3 dimes to one piece of paper and put the 9 pennies on the other.  Show kids the paper with the  3 dimes,  and the other with the 9 pennies.  Ask which paper they'd rather have.  Assuming they choose the 3 dimes rather than the 9 pennies, ask why they chose the paper with less coins.   Because, even though there are  are  less, the 3 dimes are worth more than the 9 pennies.  In today's Bible reading,  Jesus could have chosen many people to go up on the mountain with Him, but  they would have been like these pennies here.  Instead  Jesus chooses  3 special friends (hold up dime paper). They are like his "dime friends," His best friends.  You and I know many people, but hopefully you have some "dime friends," people who are worth a lot to you.  And maybe this week, you and I could serve Jesus by trying to be a "dime friend" to someone else, showing someone who is lonely or sad or afraid that we care about them.
- Rev. David Quinn
You are invited to honor the memory
of the life and ministry
of the Rev. Dr. Kim Johannessohn Moor
on Sunday, March 12, 2017
5:00-7:00 p.m.
in the Fellowship Hall
of Jordan United Church of Christ
1837 Church Road, Allentown
This celebration will include liturgy
with an Agape Meal,
a simple sharing of the things that feed us.
Please bring bread, cheese or fruit.
Those present will be gathered at tables
and invited to offer memories and tributes
as food is shared.
Memorial gifts will be dedicated in Kim's name
to Penn Northeast Conference
ministries of transformation.
RSVP to Emily Jean Gilbert if you are attending or 484-764-5964
You may direct any questions to her as well
Lorraine M. Schnell has had five Reading Hospital  emergency room visits  requiring three hospital admissions and a week at Phoebe Berks rehab. since early November. She currently needs  oxygen  and receives  Visiting Nurse Care.    Improvement is slow with Diabetes and recovery  from A-Fib, Flu, Pneumonia  and  fluid retention.  Her husband  Rev Sterling   Schnell, retired  Pastor  conducted funeral Services for their Son-In -Law John W A  RaIfsnider 
(wife Carol ).   The  next month  he conducted funeral services for  the  father -in -law of their daughter  Kathleen  who was Mayor of Lenhartsville , Richard  K. Kunkel  Sr. 
Service of Interest...

February 26 - 9:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Steve Hummel will be installed as pastor at Trinity UCC, Bloomsburg

February 26 - 10:30AM - INSTALLATION - Louis Aita, Licensed Minister - Emmanuel UCC (Dorrance), Mountain Top
February 26 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Christian Creyer will be installed as pastor at Chestnut Hill, Coopersburg
April 30 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Michael Lonergan - Christ UCC, Bethlehem
May 7 (please note change of date) - 3:00PM - INSTALLATION - Licensed Minister Sandy Murphy will be installed as pastor at Christ UCC, Conyngham
May 7 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Michael Lonergan will be installed as pastor at Salem UCC, Pocono Pines
UPCOMING DATES            

25 - 10AM-Noon - General Synod Delegates
pre-Synod Gathering - Conference Office
26 - 9:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Steve Hummel -
Trinity, Bloomsburg
26 - 10:30AM - INSTALLATION - Louis Aita, Licensed
Minister - Emmanuel UCC (Dorrance), Mountain           Top
26 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Christian Creyer -
Chestnut Hill, Coopersburg
28 - 9-11:30AM - Joint Conflict Resource Team - Northeast
 PA Synod
28 - 9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conference Office


        SAVE THE DATE...                           

Retirement Party

for our Conference Minister

Rev. Alan Miller

Sunday, July 23

Time TBA

Northampton Memorial Community Center

Northampton, PA

PNEC logo

A Letter from

the PNEC Transition Team


For the past few years, the PNEC and PSEC have been engaging one another in ministry and sharing our programs.  Our leadership teams have encouraged dialogue with one another. 

For the full letter, please CLICK HERE


PNEC-UCC A Letter to Penn Northeast Conference

from the Moderator, Barbara J. Hanks

writing on behalf of the PNEC Board of Directors as we proceed following the announcement of Rev. Alan Miller's retirement.



PNEC 12th Annual Youth Retreat
"GOD First"
May 19-21, 2017
All youth grades 7th - 12th are invited!
Check In Friday 6:30-7:00PM
Pick Up Sunday at 12 Noon
Spruce Lake
5389 Route 447, Canadensis, PA
DEADLINE for REGISTRATION & $50 deposit due April 3rd 2017
CLICK HERE for registration flyer and detailed information
The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (formerly Lay Ministry of the 21st Century) has instituted its NEW curriculum with ALL classes being held at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven on specified Saturdays below from 9am to 4pm with each class being LIVE-STREAMED and recorded. February-April curriculum includes:
March 11, 2017
(Formerly: Telling the Good News)
Enrichment/Basic Class
The church has good news to share. How do we reach out to the world around us with the transforming message of the gospel?  This session will explore both the necessary foundations and practical strategies for reaching out beyond the four walls of the church.
April 8, 2017
Advanced Class (Prerequisite is Preaching I)
Students explore the nuances of preaching funerals, weddings and other special circumstances that broadens ones' ability to transform, motivate and inspire the congregation to follow Christ's teachings in the world.

For more information & REGISTRATION VISIT
Three Important Opportunities in One Day 
On Monday, March 20th, Heather Kimmel, General Counsel of the United Church of Christ, will be joining us to lead three educational opportunities
#1 10:00 am - "Best Practices for Boards and Councils" - She will help us understand what are the primary responsibilities, the legal obligations, and best practices for governing boards.
#2  2:00 pm - "The New PA State Child Abuse Laws" - This session is designed to speak to pastors, Christian educators, and youth ministers who are employees of a church. Heather will review both the new child abuse reporting obligations and the required background checks for employees. Lay leaders are welcome to attend, however there will be a special event for them in the evening.
#3  7:00 pm - "The New PA State Child Abuse Laws for Volunteers" - This session will be similar to the afternoon session but will address the same issues as they pertain to local church volunteers.
     There is no cost for these events. We are going to try and hold them at the Conference Office, unless we have more register than we can accommodate at the Office. In that event we will move to a local church Fellowship Hall. Thus to help us please register early by calling or emailing either Barbara Jennings ( or Patty Rehrig (, 610-826-3113.
     Heather E. Kimmel is the General Counsel of the United Church of Christ. She has been serving in that capacity since December 1, 2015. Prior to that, she served as Associate General Counsel of the United Church of Christ. Before joining the Office of General Counsel, she practiced in the areas of white-collar defense and complex civil litigation at Jones Day and Baker & Hostetler, as well as serving as a federal judicial clerk. She also served as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.


 PNEC Boundary Training Workshops

October 4, 2017

Rev. Diane Wheatley, Presenter

8:30AM Registration

9:00AM to 3:00PM Workshop

St. John's UCC, 183 S. Broad St., Nazareth

Host Pastor:  Rev. Jeff Brinks

Cost:  TBA


October 5, 2017

Rev. Diane Wheatley, Presenter

8:30AM Registration

9:00Am to 3:00PM Workshop

Faith UCC, 21 Faith Drive, Hazleton

Host Pastor:  Rev. Jane Hess

Cost:  TBA


To register for one of these events, please email Patty Rehrig at  or call the Conference Office 610-826-3113


Boundary Training needs to be done once every 4 years

If the above dates do not work for you, please


for other opportunities for 2017.


23rd Annual Clergy Convocation

May 2-4, 2017

Double Tree by Hilton, 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster

     Guest Speaker, Rev. John C. Dorhauer

    General Minister & President of the UCC

For full flyer and registration information





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"