This Week in PNEC --- November 8, 2017 - November 17, 2017


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



     I seem not to be able to take a breath without remembering the tragedies in our midst: Sutherland Springs, TX and 306 other shootings in the United States in 2017 ( But others have written so poignantly, I wanted to share their words with you, as I share our prayers for us all.

A Prayer for First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas by Maren Tirabassi - November 5, 2017

O God, who calls your children to gather
and sing old hymns and new songs,
to pray and witness and pass your peace,
and to listen for a blessing

to take home to their weekday lives,
we pray for this small and faithful church
where gunshots broke your peace
and twenty-six of your saints
were taken from those who love them.
We sing Easter for them,
we pray for tenderness and comfort
for mothers, fathers, children,
sisters and brothers, friends.
 We ask you to walk 
 into the desperate loneliness
 where there is no answer but love.
 Guide those who counsel,
 teach us to weep at every funeral,
 witness against the demon called legion
 which sends guns into the hands
 of those who are so ill,
 and carry on into life

 blessings these precious children of yours
 could have given to the world. Amen.

Rev. Donna Knutson - November 7, 2017
too close, too close
I'm a mom
grandma, nona, grammy...

I've buried a child- you don't want to do that -

watched tiny ones learn to walk on the wooden
floors of the cottage...watched their slippered feet
learn to balance while holding on to a wooden
block, a penguin with a tuxedo coat or a plastic
turtle with shapes cut out on the back.
I've married their dreams to a future with mine;
stocked the cabinets with crayons and trays of paint;
kept baskets of construction paper,
stickers of flowers,
of clowns,
green and purple scissors with rounded tips
left over from children now in their thirties
and every mother knows
it has to stop...

every mother knows that sanctuary has to exist
that hopes and dreams are particles of heaven
and mercy hangs around at every entrance to the chapel door -
that fear and worry do not just dissolve because we say a prayer for their day
and hope that others will be kind
- we believe that others too will care for them
keep them safe,

protect them as their sons and daughters...
grandchildren of a better way,
- the Blessing Way
because wherever we are
wherever they are -
I pray that they are safe
that we are heading in the right direction
that they are the future
and that they never have to worry about
going out to play,
or singing in God's house,
or hanging out with the neighbor kids.

because I am a mother,
a minister
a spirit of love.
a protest rises up
a mother bear climbs out of her cave,
a piece of the wounded heart staggers to the
a god wings her way
- to the surface


So, friends, today I pray for peace, for compassion, and for hope.  Today, I pray for strength to make a difference in our world - AND - I raise my voice in protest - NO MORE!  NO MORE!  NO MORE!

Blessings,  Bonnie
The United Church of Christ holds NYE national youth events every 4 years (the next being in 2020) and Regional Youth Events (we are part of the Eastern group) every 4 years (the next being in 2018) - watch for details. These events are held every 4 years and bring UCC youth together for 4 days of praise music, worship, challenging speakers, fun and much fellowship!
Our next UCC Eastern Regional Youth Event 2018,will be held July 19-22, 2018, bringing together UCC youth from the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, to be held in western Pennsylvania at California University of Pennsylvania. Our theme for the event is the 3 Great Loves: neighbor, children, and creation.  The event is open to Youth in Grades 7-12 (includes those who just completed 6th and are entering 7th as well as those who graduated high school just before the event). Cost: $350.00 per person for double occupancy. Click to go to the UCC ERYE Facebook page
Hello Friends, 
     I join you in profound grief over this continual
perpetuation of trauma and death in our midst. My
prayers join yours for those killed and left wounded
physically, emotionally, and spiritually from this latest
     Someone shared with me the following resource. I have not finished reading every attachment, but I find this format to be helpful since it provides resource sheets by scenario.  I offer it just in case it might help address some of the Congregational need mentioned here. After I finish reading them I am going to vet them through disaster ministries, but I am confident you all can determine whether they are useful for you. 
Please, Click Here for the resource
May Peace Abide,  Traci
Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Executive Minister 
Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ
  PNEC Disaster Ministries
Update 11.9.17
to see the
FULL UPDATE , please click here

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

November 19 - INSTALLATION - 10AM - Rev.
    Dale Sattizahn will be installed as pastor of
    St. Peter's UCC, Tatamy
December 3 - INSTALLATION - 3PM - Rev. Russell Campbell
    will be installed as pastor of Zion's Stone of West Penn
    Twp., 45 Cemetery Rd., New Ringgold
December 10 - ORDINATION - 2PM - Kayli Freeman - St.  
    John's UCC, Emmaus - PLEASE NOTE THE
Children's Sermon
for Nov. Nov.12 (based on Mt. 25:1-13)
Items needed: Halloween decoration, bowl of candy, lamp.   Tell the kids that the night before (Saturday, Nov. 11,)  you put out the Halloween decoration(show to kids,) you got a bowl of  candy ready (show), and you turned on your porch light (turn on lamp.)  Then you waited for the trick-or-treaters to come...but nobody came.  Ask them why nobody came--because you were too late.  Trick or treat was weeks ago.  In today's Bible reading, Jesus talks about how important it is to be ready at the right time--like being ready for trick-or-treat when it  is trick-or-treat night.   When Jesus speaks to us through kind people or says something to our hearts, we need to be ready to listen to Him.
- Rev. David Quinn

9 - 9:30-11AM - Licensed/Commissioned Mentor Group - Conf. Office
10 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Veteran's Day
13 - 10AM - Licensing/Commissioning MID Committee - Conf. Office
15 - 9AM - Ordained Church & Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
16 - 11AM - Annual Meeting Planning - Conf. Office
16 - Noon - Clergy Convocation Mission Team - Carriage House, Palm
16 - 2PM - Committee on Ministry Chairs - Conf. Office
16 - 6:30-8PM - Town Hall with Joint Conference Vision and Development - Zion UCC, S. 2nd & Iron Sts., Lehighton
19 - 10AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Dale Sattizahn, St. Peter's, Tatamy
20 - Noon-2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED for Staff Meeting
21 - 11:45AM - Blue Mountain AMC Clergy - Katie's Family Restaurant, 6397 Route 309, New Tripoli
21 - 9:00AM - 4PM - Licensed/Commissioned Ministry Committee Reviews - Conf. Office
22 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED 1/2 DAY - Thanksgiving Holiday
22 - 9AM - Bethlehem AMC Clergy - St. Thomas (Macada), Bethlehem
23-24 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Thanksgiving Holiday
27 - 1-3PM - Joint Conference Vision and Development Team - First UCC, Quakertown
28 - 9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conf. Office
28 - 9-11:30AM - Joint Conflict Resource Team - Conference Office
29 - 10AM - Annual Meeting Worship Planning Team- Conference Office

In light of conversations this week about resources for churches as they consider the potential for horrific "active shooter" scenarios. This link is from UCCIB in response to the situation in Texas on Sunday.


Retirees Luncheon

(for Retired Clergy, Their Spouses/Partners & Surviving Spouses)

Thursday December 7, 2017

11AM o 2PM

(Lunch at 12:00PM)

Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Road, Allentown


By Monday, November 27, please let us know if you will be attending by either:

calling the Conference Office (610-826-3113)  OR

emailing Barbara at


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.


2017-18 Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Season is Now Open
The 2017-18 LIHEAP season has begun.
CLICK HERE for the English and HERE for the Spanish versions of the 2017-18 LIHEAP application (form HSEA 1).
On October 20th, the Office of Community Services (OCS) Division of Energy Assistance (DEA) released 90% of the FY 2018 LIHEAP funds. Pennsylvania received the second largest funding allocation at $178,633,729 of the approximately $3.03 billion of Federal Fiscal Year 2018 regular block grant funding.


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Town Hall Meeting   
The Joint Conference Visioning and Development Team (JCVDT) invites everyone...clergy, lay leaders, and church members to a town hall meeting on:
Thursday, November 16 from 6:30-8:00 pm.
Zion UCC, 2nd & Iron Sts., Lehighton
The JCVDT is the team of people from northeast and southeast Pennsylvania who have been working together to develop a vision for a new Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. We invite you to be a part of this conversation to learn the work we have been up to, and we would love to receive your input into this process. We value your input and insights into discerning what it means to be the body of Christ and function as a conference in eastern Pennsylvania. Everyone is invited and we welcome you to join us!
- Rev. Joanne P. Marchetto
     Don't miss the fall issue of the   
Phoebe Messenger, now available
in print and online at
     This issue also includes the annual report of gifts for the fiscal year. We thank our donors and volunteers for another year of generosity and dedication to advancing Phoebe's mission in the community!
     To subscribe to the Phoebe Messenger, call
610-794-5124 or visit


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"