This Week in PNEC --- January 19, 2017 - January 27, 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
IRS Mileage Rate Has Changed for 2017
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
*           53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
*           17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
*           14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations


The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged

We congratulate the PNEC Pastors who will celebrate a Special Anniversary of Ordination/Licensing in 2017.

Please Click Here  for the full listing.

On Saturday, January 14, PNEC Disaster Ministry volunteers inventoried all the tools on the tool trailers. Thank you to the six wonderful volunteers who took time out of their busy lives to help get the trailers ready for their next "mission". PNEC Disaster Ministry volunteers are awesome! We appreciate your willingness to serve on Martin Luther King Weekend.
The PNEC will host
a day of Education with Martha Spong
The PNEC will host a day of Education on February 14th with Martha Spong.  Lay and Clergy are invited to attend this event!  We will gather at St. John's Fullerton from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.   If you would like to register please email Barbara Jennings at  or Patty Rehrig at   by February 9th.
The cost at the door will be $10.00 - which will cover the cost of lunch.  The snow date is February 21st. 
PNEC-UCC Penn Northeast Conference will be hosting a
Pre-Retirement Seminar sponsored by The Pension Boards United Church of Christ on
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
at Jordan United Church of Christ
1837 Church Road, Allentown.
Registration and additional information will be mailed by The Pension Boards approx. two months before the event.
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
Zion's Jubilee Breakfast Ministry to the Homeless
  moneybag_graphic.jpg The Allentown Area Mission Council clergy would like to invite those churches who collect a special offering for Souper Bowl Sunday (2/7/17), and if you are looking to support a UCC program providing direct ministry to those who are hungry, Zion's Jubilee Breakfast Ministry to the Homeless certainly would appreciate your support. More info is available at
Volunteers Needed for Spiritual Care Program with Dementia Residents
  The Spirit Alive program at Phoebe Ministries is an innovative way of leading worship with residents who live in Phoebe's memory support neighborhoods. The program uses the five senses and Montessori based-techniques to spiritually engage those with cognitive impairment.   Phoebe is currently seeking volunteers who enjoy sharing stories of faith and interacting with older adults living with dementia, to lead small group sessions at skilled care centers in Allentown, Wernersville, Richlandtown and Wyncote.  Training sessions will be held from noon to 4:00 on Friday, January 20th and from 8:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, January 21ston the Phoebe Richland Campus, 108 S. Main Street, Richlandtown.  If you are interested in attending the training, please contact Elizabeth Buss, Spirit Alive Coordinator at 610-794-5114 or
Children's Sermon for
         for Jan. 22 (based on Mt. 4:12-23)   Items needed: music-playing device, six folding chairs.   Beforehand, set up music-playing  device and put 2 of the chairs  side by side.  Ask kids if they ever played musical chairs.  Tell them you're going to explain how musical chairs is played.  Get 3  kid or  adult volunteers.  Explain that you will play  music while  the three of them  walk around the two chairs.  When the music stops, everybody is to try to sit in one of the chairs.  Whichever person doe not get a chair, she/he is out of the game.  Start the music and let them walk around, then stop music, and two grab a seat, leaving one person out.  Then tell kids, now I'm going to show you how to play CHRISTIAN musical chairs.  Tell your three volunteers to start walking around the two chairs again when you start music.  Play music a bit, then stop it.  Tell volunteers to wait, tell them this is CHRISTIAN musical chairs--you run over to folding chairs on the side, and grab another chair and open it up for the third person to sit, too.  Explain that with CHRISTIAN musical chairs, you (as you act it out) are always going to get more chairs, to welcome more people, to know Jesus.  That's what happens in  today's Bible reading--Jesus starts with a small group, but He tells them He wants them to play CHRISTIAN musical chairs to invite more people to know Him
- Rev. David Quinn
announcement ANNOUNCEMENTS &
Louis Aita was called to be the Licensed Pastor at Emmanuel UCC, Mountain Top.  Louis will begin on January 26, 2017

Sandra Murphy was called to be the Licensed Pastor at Christ UCC, Conyngham effective December 1, 2016.

Service of Interest...
January 22 - 11:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. John Heeckt will be installed as pastor at St. John's UCC (Farmersville), Easton
January 29 - 10:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Jerry Smith will be installed as pastor at St. Mark's UCC, Allentown
February 26 - 9:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Steve Hummel will be installed as pastor at Trinity UCC, Bloomsburg
February 26 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Christian Creyer will be installed as pastor at Chestnut Hill, Coopersburg
May 7 (please note change of date) - 3:00PM - INSTALLATION - Licensed Minister Sandy Murphy will be installed as pastor at Christ UCC, Conyngham
UPCOMING DATES            

JANUARY - 2017
19 - 6PM (Supper) - Annual Meeting Planning Team - Conference Office
22 - 11:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. John Heeckt as pastor at St. John's UCC (Farmersville), Easton
24 - 9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conference Office
24 - 12 Noon- Joint Conflict Resource Team Epiphany Luncheon - Morgan's
25 - 10AM to 2PM - Search Committee for Designated Conference Minister - Conf. Office
26 - 6PM supper/meeting - Search & Call Team - Conf. Office
28 - 9AM to 2PM - Jerusalem Western Salisbury, Allentown Retreat at Conference Office
29 - 10AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Jerry Smith as pastor of St. Mark's, Allentown
31- 6:30PM - PSEC/PNEC Transition Team - First UCC, Quakertown
      FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF "Upcoming Dates"
"Flourishing in Ministry"
The United Church of Christ is partnering with Notre Dame University in a project entitled: "Flourishing in Ministry."  The Project's Director is Dr. Matthew Bloom and the work is being funded by a Lilly Foundation grant.  The project is a national study on clergy wellness.  On February 7, 2017 all ordained, licensed, commissioned, and privilege of call UCC ministers and members in discernment will receive an email inviting them to participate in the project by completing a survey.  The survey must be completed by February 17th to be included with the results.  Through our participation in this project all UCC conferences, associations, local churches, and ministers will receive the tabulated results of the study.

All of your answers will be kept confidential.  For more information go to the following Link:

Rev. Scott Brooks-Cope will be
attending the following events and wanted to invite you to join if you can:
     The Lehigh Conference of Churches is sponsoring these events which will be held at Dubbs Memorial Community Center, 457 Allen St, Allentown:
World Day of Prayer service will be held on Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. at Dubbs.
Robert K. Campbell Memorial Lecture on Christian Unity, Friday, April 7th at 9 a.m.
Speaker: Robert P. Jones speaking on the topic of his book "The End of White Christian America"
I read this book while I was recovering from my recent surgery and I think it's one of the most important books about the current cultural and religious shifts happening in our society. The book is very thoughtful and well-written and lots of statistics to back up his analysis.  Jones is the head of the Public Religious Research Institute.  I'm looking forward to hearing him in person.
     If you can go to one or both of these events let Scott know (904-568-2052) and he will call in a reservation.
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.

Save The Dates...       


Boundary Training Workshops

October 4, 2017

8:30AM Registration

9:00AM to 3:00PM Workshop

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

Host Pastor:  Rev. Jeff Brinks


October 5, 2017

8:30AM Registration

9:00Am to 3:00PM Workshop

Faith UCC, 21 Faith Drive, Hazleton

Host Pastor:  Rev. Jane Hess


Boundary Training needs to be done once

every four years

More information will be announced at a later date.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry will be conducting it's 2nd class of the
Preaching Series on
Saturday, February 11, 2017
at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven from 9am to 4pm. 
The Rev. Ronnette Comfort-Butler,  Pastor of  Maytown Reformed UCC in Lancaster, Doctoral Student at LTS, and a teaching assistant in Preaching at Lancaster Theological Seminary will be instructing the class. Registration is available online and is attached to this announcement.  Please be sure to check the PRE-CLASS assignment for this Advanced Studies Class.  For more information or questions please contact Rev. Steve Hummel at or call

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



Save the Date... 
  PNEC Annual Youth Retreat
May 19-21, 2017
Spruce Lake
More information will be forthcoming!


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


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"