This Week in PNEC --- December 14, 2017 - December 22, 2017


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



PNEC's 2017 Closing Date will be Friday, January 12, 2018
Please plan your closing so that your final 2017 remittance will be received in the Conference Office by Friday, January 12, 2018.  Receipts received after the 12th will be credited to 2018.  Do not include 2017 remittances with 2018 and make certain remittance slips are marked for either the year 2017 or 2018.  Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Find us on Facebook...December/January Newsletter

Getting to the Root of It        


We've asked UCC advocates to help us unpack the complex justice issues that we're working on.  Using our General Synod pronouncements as the basis for these reflections, we hope to provide insights into the issues you care about that are rooted in our shared faith, and can inform your advocacy efforts.  This month Rev. Dr. Sheila Guillaume write about our call to be a just peace church.   


For Unto Rev. Dr. Sheila Guillaume...What does it mean for us to claim the Prince of Peace in times like these?  How do we reconcile the Good News of the Prince of Peace with news we read each day of unjust tax bills, increased threats of War with North Korea, famine in South Sudan, and the pervasiveness of sexual assault against women in our society?  (Read more.)


Justice Events

National Week of Action to Close Guantanamo...The UCC has partnered with the National Religious Campaign

against Torture (NRCA) since its founding in efforts to end torture and close the prison at Guantanamo.  January 6-14 is the National Week of Action to close Guantanamo, and the NRCAT is calling on churches to mark this date by organizing or joining events across the country.  Learn more  and sign up to be a point of contact or to host an event.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day...January 11 - a day to bring awareness to the world-wide crisis also know as modern day

slavery.  The 29th General Synod officially recognized the date and called on UCC congregations to be part of the education and advocacy efforts associated with Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Help raise awareness about human trafficking and kick off a year full of justice advocacy and faithful witness this January.

Wendy's Boycott Fast and Action...On January 18, 2018, faith leaders from around the country will join together for National

Day of Fasting and Witness in protest of Wendy's executives' ongoing regusal to join the Fair Food Program.  Join UCC General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer, author and public theologian Brian McLaren and 30+ clergy in a National Day of Fasting and Witness.  Learn more

UCC Health and Human Services Sunday...this is a special opportunity to create awareness of the health concerns of our

communities and world, and to learn about the many and various health and human service ministries of the United Church of Christ.  it is observed annually in the UCC and is an opportunity to talk about health in a holistic way, address the issues of justice in our health care systems and learn about how each of us can become involved.  Learn more.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days...Join us in DC April 20-23 at the 2018 Ecumenical Advocacy Days - a weekend of faith-rooted

worship, learning and advocacy in our Nation's capital.  he gathering will focus on the uprootedness of our world.  We will analyze current policy and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities.  Together we will seek policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on God's people.  Scholarships available for UCC Young Adults.  Learn more.


Justice in Action

Tax Update:  It's Not Over Yet...Great thanks to all who acted on our faith call to love our neighbor by opposing the Senate

version of the tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Although we are deeply disappointed that the Senate narrowly passed this harmful legislation, there is still time to act.  Read more from UCC Washington Office Director, Sandy Sorensen, and take action.

Souls to Enroll - Only One Week to Go!...It is our call as people of faith and leaders in the UCC to help connect our neighbors

with the health care they need.  Open enrollment for the health care marketplaces ends on December 15.  The period is half as long as it has been in the past, and that is not an accident.  It is part of a cynical, partisan attempt to weaken the Affordable Care Act.  Help spread the word about open enrollment and ensure that all our members have the info they need to get the coverage they need.  We have resources you can use.  Learn more. 

Join the Poor People's Campaign...a national call for moral revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to

challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation's distorted morality.  The UCC is a founding member of the movement and this week Rev. Traci Blackmon was in DC to help launch the campaign, which will begin rolling actions in state-houses around the country in 2018.  Learn more and join the movement.

Frontline Faith Immersion Training...Coming in 2018...Transforming injustice that is deeply woven into the fabric of our society

requires critical and creative strategies.  This training is a week of intensive training for pastors and congregational leaders to make connections between history and policy, employ critical race and intersectional theories, recognize and activate within different systems and mental models, organize and design direct action, and develop spiritual practices and community building skills for the long deep work.  The first training will take place in Charlottesville, VA.  More information will be shared. 


Justice Resources

Podcast for a Just World...subscribe to this new podcast hosted by Rev. Tracy Howe Wispelwey, UCC Minister for

Congregational and Community Engagement.  This podcast provides listeners the opportunity to encounter the beauty and diversity of our church and stay informed on the church's specific and intersecting efforts to build a just world for all.  The Inaugural series combines Advent lectionary reflection with action to create just borders and immigration policies.  Listen and subscribe via iTunes or SoundCloud 


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.
History, Theology and Polity Course
Jan/Feb 2018
     A UCC History, Theology and Polity Course that meets the requirements as set forth by the UCC Polity Teacher's Network will be offered online in Jan/Feb 2018. The instructor will be Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister of the New York Conference, UCC. Classes will begin at 9:30am and end at 4:00pm on the following dates: January 20&27 and February 3&10. The platform utilized will be Zoom Video Conferencing ( The tuition will be $475. For more information contact course administrator, Ms. Diana Pelletier, at
     This polity course is sponsored by the Oneida Association of the New York Conference. Payments should be sent no later than December 23rd to: Diana Pelletier, 114 Munro Dr., Camillus, NY 13031. Make checks payable to Oneida Association UCC.
     A syllabus is available by clicking here.  Laity, Members in Discernment and Privilege of Call candidates are all invited!   Class size is limited to the first fifteen to register.  The course will be cancelled if we do not obtain seven registered students. A student is considered registered when full payment has been received. Students who cancel enrollment will receive reimbursements up until January 11th. Please note the last two online classes reached maximum capacity.
  PNEC Disaster Ministries

To keep updated with the UCC's Disaster Response and Resources, please go to

January is closer than you think!  Plan now to take a Winter term course through Crossroads.
 New Testament with Rev. Dr. Joanne Marchetto will begin on Jan 8 for eight Monday nights.  Compass, a good place to start and to define your sense of call, will be Thursday nights starting Jan 4 also for eight weeks.  Crossroads participants discover new skills, learn more about their faith and prepare for exciting ministries.  Come join us for New Testament and Compass starting in Jan and watch for Theology and World Religions in Spring.  For more info context Jill Peters at or go to  

Penn Central Conference

Mid-Winder Clergy Convocation

Proclaiming the Good News Today:

How We Embody Jesus to the World

January 30 - February 1, 2018

Keynote Speaker - Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

Registration Link

For a full flyer of this event.....Click Here

March 4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel at Jordan UCC, Allentown  (Snow Date:  March 11)
Former Conference Minister, Alan Miller, is in High Point Hospital, NC, undergoing tests to determine why he had a seizure early Tuesday morning. Candy is asking for prayers and cards. Please mail cards to the home address: 4080 Saint Johns Street, High Point, NC 27265.   And, please put Alan on your prayer list. Thank you.  

If you would like to send a Christmas card to Alan and Candy, here's their address:  4080 Saint John Street, High Point, NC 27265.  This is their first Christmas away from their Lehigh Valley friends.  
Children's Sermon
for Dec. 17 (based on theme of Joy for third Sunday of Advent) 
 Items Needed: regular (lit) candle, unplugged  electric candle or lamp with shade off, nearby electric outlet.  (If you're using lamp, make sure switch is on beforehand,) black garbage bag or black blanket.   Show kids the regular, lit candle and ask them what it is.  Show kids electric candle/lamp and ask what it is.  Plug it into outlet  so it lights up. Hold regular candle in front of kids, and ask them to blow it out.  After they do so, hold up  electric candle/lamp, and ask them to blow that out.  Why can't you blow  this out?  This light can't  be blown out because it is plugged in to the power(point to outlet) that  makes it light up.  Today in church we are talking about joy.  Joy is different than happiness.  Happiness is like this (regular) candle.  I am happy when things go as I want them to, but my happiness gets "blown out" when things happen that I don't like.  But joy is like this lamp/electric candle.  It never goes out because joy is about being connected to the love of Jesus.  Since Jesus's love is always there, joy is always inside.  (Cover light with garbage bag or blanket)   See, joy may be hidden by our problems, but joy is still "on"(have them peek inside to see light still on.)  Sometimes we are happy and sometimes our happiness gets "blown out,"  but joy is always on inside us, because Jesus  always loves us. 
- Rev. David Quinn

19 - 11:45AM - Blue Mountain AMC Clergy - Villa Lentini Ristorante, 2700 Balliet St., Ballietsville
19 - 9:30AM - Licensed/Commissioned Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
20 - 9AM - Ordained Church & Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
25 through January 1, 2018 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Christmas & New Year Holiday
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
Lehigh Conference of Churches
RSVP for "Safety Considerations in Worship Today"
a free Security Training for Faith Communities
Dale Rothenberger of Advocate Insurance
will present at 10AM on Saturday, December 16 at Dubbs Memorial Community Center, Allentown
free seminar open to all
MLK Jr. Day Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
January 15 - 9AM
Dubbs Memorial Community Center, Allentown
Women's Clergy Retreat
Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Invitation to the...
Women's Clergy Retreat being offered to the female ministers in PNEC. Please click here for the flyer.
January 16-18, 2018
@ Mariawald Retreat Center, Reading, PA
THEME Being Mindful & Self-Aware in a World Which Seems to be Losing Its Mind
Deadline to register is January 10, 2017
The link to register at Eventbrite is:

Safety Considerations in Worship Today

December 16 - 10:00 am

In light of recent violence and terrorist attacks, the Lehigh Conference of Churches is offering to member churches a seminar on the issues surrounding awareness and assessment of the physical space and procedures affecting each place of worship. This seminar should assist house of worship leaders improve security by learning how to determine where your facility is vulnerable, then providing an overview of conducting a basic security survey, followed by a report outlining steps for corrective action
Resources to Protect Your House of Worship
(shared from FEMA by Linda Lenhart, PNEC Resource Person for our Disaster Response Team)

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.



Ecumenical Stewardship Center NEWS


Pathways to Generosity: Signs of Hope Conference

April 3-5, 2018 in Dallas, TX

Keynote Speakers:

Rev .Dr. Katie Hays of the Galileo Church in Mansfield, TX; Rev. Dr. Eric Law, founder of the Kaleidoscope Institute; Aimee Laramore, Director of Seminary Advancement at Christian Theological Seminary; and Rev. Pedro Suarez, incoming Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  More


Register for the Stewardship Educators Forum by December 31

Join your peers in stewardship ministry at the Stewardship Educators Forum Gathering and stay for the Stewardship Summit

January 23-25 in Southhaven, Mississippi



COMPASS Blog focuses on

Hymns and Hopes for the Holidays

The Ecumenical Stewardship Center COMPASS Initiative engages young adults in conversation avbout faith and finances.  Gain some inspiration and insights on generosity with COMPASS blog posts on Hymns and Hopes for the Holidays.  More


A Different Twist on Year-Round Stewardship

While any of the Ecumenical Stewardship themes can be adapted for a year-round emphasis, the Remember theme's approach combines ongoing celebrations with personalized giving invitations based on individual membership anniversaries.  More



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"