This Week in PNEC --- June 21, 2018 - June 29, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

610-826-3113; FAX 610-826-546


Bonnie Bates    Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez    Christian Creyer    Barbara Jennings    Patty Rehrig




The Penn Northeast Conference Resource Center has ceased to exist over the last few years.  There are many resources at the Conference Office that are free for the taking.  If you would like to come and browse, please let us know, or if you are at the Office for a meeting, feel free to fill a box or two!!

We are members of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches and I urge you to prayerfully consider sharing this letter broadly.                           -With love and faith, Bonnie

The Pennsylvania Council of Churches calls on the President, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to end immediately the policy of separating families seeking safety in the United States, as well as the policy to criminally prosecute the parents of these children.  Click to read the full letter.               

Justice Issues Information for our Congregations

As your Conference Minister, I share this information with you so those of you actively addressing these issues in the community and nation, are aware.  Please share as you wish and respond as you feel you must.

                                                                                                                                                 - Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates


Healthcare - The Trump administration told a federal court on Thursday that it would no longer defend crucial provisions of the Affordable Care Act  that protect consumers with pre-existing medical conditions.  Under those provisions of the law, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions.  According to the NYT, a definitive court ruling could be months away and appeals of any decision could take many more months, during which the law is likely to stay in effect.

         -- Our General Synod has called for healthcare that is affordable, accessible and equitable for all people.

     This clearly would move us in the opposite direction.


Voting Rights - Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to one of the practices used by Ohio to purge voters from the state's voter rolls.  By a vote of 5-4, the justices agreed that the practice under question - which cancels the registration of voters who do not go to the polls and who then fail to respond to a notice - does not violate federal laws governing voter registration.  The decision could mean that more states will adopt similar laws to trim their voter rolls.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized the ruling in her dissent, predicting that it could have a disproportionate effect on the poor, the elderly and minorities.

          -- Katie recently wrote a reflection on the attacks on voting rights we're seeing throughout the country

     as part of our work on the Poor People's Campaign.  Read more:

Joint Conference Vision & Development Team Summer Zoom Discussions


The JCVDT is inviting YOU to scheduled Zoom discussions on three separate dates with three separate questions to inform our work to create a new Conference.  The dates are Monday, June 18; Tuesday, July 17; Wednesday, August 28.  Click to view the flyer/registration form/instructions for Zoom

The information is also available on our website

Raise Your Voice! United Church of Christ National Leadership, in a pastoral letter, call on the people of the denomination's almost 5,000 congregations to take action to stop separating children from their parents at U.S. borders. Read how to get involved at

Stretch Out Your With



Sunday, August 19 - Noon to 6PM

Cedar Beach Park, Allentown

Click to see letter to get feedback on our possible participation at Pride in the Park, Allentown


Phoebe Richland, a premier Continuing Care Community providing skilled nursing, personal care and short-term rehab is seeking a per diem Chaplain to work approximately 16 hours/week to support the spiritual needs of our residents, family members and staff at our Richlandtown campus.  For further details, contact Rev. Scott Brooks-Cope at


           MARK YOUR CALENDAR       calendar-grey-header.jpg

PNEC Ministry Day

9AM to 4PM

is scheduled for

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Faith UCC, 5992 Route 378, Center Valley

PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.,unique summer course designed for those interested in learning more about progressive Christian theology:
Living the Heart of Progressive Christian Theology
six-week online course
explore the work of Marcus Borg and consider themes in theology like the nature of God, Jesus as the Christ, and what it means to be Christian in a pluralistic world
begins Wednesday, July 11 - concluded Tuesday, August 21,
facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Trish Greeves
Tuition for the course is $295
Update from the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team (JCVDT)

  • The JCVDT continues to meet twice a month, and we hope to receive feedback from local congregations. Please share your reflections with us! or
Services of Interest
June 24 - 10AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Karen
Moeschberger from St John's Allentown
June 24 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Rebekah Thomas
Emmanuel, Allentown
July 29 - 10:15AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Kevin
Fruchtl - Ebenezer, New Tripoli
August 19 - 9:30AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Joel Risser -
First, Hellertown
     After 5 appointments at Duke Hospital on June 19, there is good news. Dr. Crawford (Alan's Oncologist), said that the results of CT scan shows the main tumor remains stable. There is still a lesion between the chest wall and the atrium (top part of the heart) that has enlarged slightly, and the lesion in his lung is also stable. Dr. Crawford does not want to do chemotherapy at this time. Alan will have a CT September 18th. 
      As far as the autoimmune encephalitis, Alan's memory is better than it was from December until March. He is starting to remember the past, but does not have much of his memory from the past 10-15 years. This is very frustrating for him. He has never lost his memory of people. There are days that he cannot remember what he has done in his day. He will be receiving his next IV Rituximab on July 16. This a medication for autoimmune encephalitis. This is a medication that helps the immune system destroy blood cells that may cause the immune system to create antibodies. Autoimmune Encephalitis occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy brain cells causing inflammation of the brain. 
      We are praying that the Rituximab will help to bring Alan back to us.                                          -Candy Miller
Children's Sermon
for June 24 (based on Mark:35-41)
Items needed: teddy bear, length of yarn or rope, ladder, black garbage bag.  Ask  for a volunteer.  Have them stand apart.   Explain that volunteer will be Jesus. Have them hold one end of yarn and tie the other end around the teddy bear.  Now put the teddy bear on top of the ladder.  Ask kids to imagine what the teddy bear sees.  Then put the teddy bear into the black garbage bag.  Ask kids to imagine what the teddy bear sees now---nothing but darkness!  Put teddy back on top of ladder.  Point out that, on top of ladder, teddy is still tied to Jesus.  Put teddy back in bag.  Point out, when teddy is in the dark, teddy is still tied to Jesus.  In today's Bible reading, the followers of Jesus feel like they are in a black garbage bag, and they are really afraid!  But Jesus is still tied to them, and He won't let them go.  When we are happy, we feel like we are on top of a ladder.  When we are frightened, we feel like we're  in a garbage bag, and all we see is darkness.  But, however we feel, we are still tied to Jesus--just like teddy here--and Jesus won't let us go.  (Apologies from the author about last week's children's sermon.  I didn't realize McDonald's hamburgers do not come in a seeded bun.  In my case, I bought a separate, seeded  roll at the bakery and used that. Hope you were able to adapt.) 
- Rev. David Quinn
23 - 9AM-3PM - Spiritual Renewal Partners - "Rooted & Grounded in Love" - Jordan UCC, Allentown
24 - 10AM - Service of Farewell - Rev. Karen Moeschberger - St. John's UCC, Allentown
24 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Rebekah Thomas - Emmanuel UCC, Allentown

25 - 2PM - Staff & Personnel Committee - Conf. Office
26 - July 5 - Vacation - Conference Minister Bonnie Bates
28 - 12Noon - Clergy Convocation Evaluation Meeting - Carriage House, East Greenville
UCC Matching Grants for CWS Kits
UCC churches assembling CWS Kits are invited to stretch their resources by applying for $250 matching grants from UCC Disaster Ministries. In 2018 - the fourth year the denomination is offering the matching grants - up to 75 matching grants will be awarded. To qualify, congregations must show that they have raised at least $250 in cash and in kind for kits. Grants are given on a first-come, first-served basis.  Email Zach Wolgemuth at
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
a 3-part educational series called
Consistory/Council 101
September 15th, October 6th and October 27th
10AM - 12 Noon
The 3 sessions are titled:  (Sept. 15th)-Making Our Church Meetings Effective, (Oct. 6th)-Pastor and People Working Together and finally (Oct. 27th)-Connecting Beyond Ourselves.  We are asking all Consistory/Council Presidents to place this educational opportunity on their upcoming agenda for consideration.  We are looking at presenting this course via LIVE STREAM to locations in EACH of the Penn Northeast, Penn Central and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences where groups of laity can join together in viewing the presentations and participate in discussion questions.  Download your Registration Form 

Young People Making Peace

Summer Day Camp

July 23-27, 2018 from 9AM to Noon

First Presb. Church, Allentown

For children ages 5-14

who have completed kindergarten to 8th grade

Five mornings of stories, songs, games, crafts and learning activities related to the broad topic of peace and justice.  **Peace Training for those who have completed 7th & 8th grade.  Sliding-Scale fee:  $10 to $40 per child for the week.  Sponsored by Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern for more information or to register, call 610-691-8730.  Space is limited.


Registration for the Eastern Regional Youth Event at California State Universtiy is still open!
Have you registered? If not, click the link below!!
The PNEC planning team is discussing transportation to the event, paperwork needed and a pregathering!
Please contact Marge Baltz if you plan to attend so we can include you in the details

Looking for an Interesting Series?


Consider exploring UCC Polity - for congregations, new members, committees & more...

     Enrich Your UCC Identity - learn from diverse UCC leaders about our faith and our governance, our beginnings and our future, our worship and our witness.

     Make the UCC Story YOUR Story - How do you experience God in this denomination that proclaims a stillspeaking God? 

     Choose Your Own Polity Path - use this curriculum with your small group, conference board, new member calls, confirmation program and more.


You can access all the lessons and resources by

clicking here

                       - Holly Millershank, MESA (216-736-3881)

2018 Boundaries Workshops
"Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders"
                      Sponsored by NE PA Synod 
2018 Workshops will be held: 

   Tuesday, October 23 - St. Paul's Lutheran, Dallas

   Wednesday, October 24 - Christ Hamilton United,
ONLINE UCC History, Theology and Polity Course
      The instructor will be Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister of the New York Conference, UCC. Classes are from 9:30-3:30 on June 23, 30 & July 7. The tuition will be $475. For more information contact course administrator, Ms. Diana Pelletier, at
    Payments should be sent to: Diana Pelletier, 114 Munro Dr., Camillus, NY 13031. Make checks payable to Oneida Association UCC.
      Laity, Members in Discernment and Privilege of Call candidates are all invited!
On-line Polity Class geared towards Ministerial Authorization
Center for Progressive Renewal: (a link to contact the director of on-line learning is on this page


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
We love advertising the "happenings" in our churches Complete Listing of