This Week in PNEC --- January 12, 2017 - January 20, 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
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. 
The Amigos de Guatemala have received a wonderful Christmas present!!!! The construction contract for the multi-use facility and clinic in Monte Margarita, Guatemala is signed!!!! At our last PNEC Board meeting we skyped with members of Concejo Ecumenico to jointly sign the covenant. Now on to construction. The builder, Don Francisco Ixcot, is open to the idea of workers from PNEC going to Guatemala to work with the construction crew and members of the community. Contact Gilberto Garcia ( ) or Karen Heim ( ) for more information if interested in working with the wonderful people of Monte Margarita. Some fluency in Spanish is a plus but not necessary.
Call to General Synod 31
     I am officially calling all delegates, visitors, and friends of General Synod 31 to join us in Baltimore, MD June 30 - July 4, 2017.
     As always, Synod promises to be an inspiring and engaging event. Our keynote speakers include Aaron Mair, environmentalist and the first African American president of the Sierra Club, and Glennon Doyle Melton, activist, philanthropist, and author of the best-selling Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior.
     Preachers in worship include Amy Butler, Sr. Minister at The Riverside Church in New York; David Vasquez-Levy, President of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley; Kimberly Kendrick, Sr. Co-Pastor at Church of the Living Water in Philadelphia; and myself.
     Consistent with our theme, "Make Glad!" - we intend to make the experience one that infuses participants with joy. We will celebrate what it is that makes the United Church of Christ one of this nation's most consistent agents for social transformation. We will seek to articulate a vision and a hope for a future in partnership with God's Holy Spirit, a future that engages us in a mission that matters.
     We will celebrate in song, dance, art, and worship what it is that our Creator shares with us each day that comes as a blessing.
     We will celebrate the rich diversity of thought, mind, body and spirit that is made evident when we come together in one place.
     This will be our first opportunity to gather at Synod with a new Purpose, Mission, and Vision statement. In a spirit of true discipleship and discernment, we will explore together what commitments to love God and neighbor, to welcome all, and to build a just world for all looks like and requires of us.
     We are a people who share core values of extravagant welcome, of continuing testament, and of changing lives. My hope and prayer is that all who join us in Baltimore will:
* feel that extravagant welcome;
* open their hearts and minds to hear the new word God is speaking to this people, in this place, at this time;
* discover who it is that we are called to serve and how it is we can partner with them to change lives and change the world.
     Bring a spirit of love, of compassion, of openness, and of hope with you. I look forward to seeing you in Baltimore. Until then, let the light of the living Christ shine in and through you, and be known to all whom you meet along the way.
See you in Baltimore,
John C. Dorhauer, General Minister & President
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.
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
March 22-24, 2017
Hartman Center Camp, Conference & Retreat Center, Milroy, PA  
     How can we take on the urgent challenges of environmental justice in our present time and place? Using video, discussions, and hands-on learning opportunities, this workshop will equip participants to mobilize their communities around local and global issues of environmental justice.
     Materials are biblically based and centered on the deep issues of justice and the beloved community. Local church leaders, pastors, educators, seminary students, and members of communities of faith beyond the UCC are all welcome to attend.
     The event begins with dinner at 5:30 pm on Wednesday and concludes with lunch on Friday.
     Participants will be expected to commit to the entire workshop in order to cover all subjects and build community.
Cost: $140 includes lodging, meals, &program expenses
Click Here for the Registration Link:
Registration Deadline: March 7, 2017
Cosponsored by the UCC Justice Witness Ministries and the Penn Central Conference of the UCC Green Justice Ministry Team.
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
      The Center for Progressive Renewal is offering a
spring semester online UCC History, Polity and
Theology class beginning on January 11, 2017 and
ending April 12, 2017.  The class has met the polity
requirements of most Committees on Ministry in the
UCC, and has been accepted as a three credit course
over nine seminaries, including Union (NYC),
Vanderbilt, Candler, Columbia, Lexington, Eden, and
Lancaster and a number of others.
     It is a rigorous, engaging class that is offered
asynchronistically so it is convenient for those who are
bi-vocational, have full schedules, or odd sleep habits!
It is designed to meet the needs of students with
different learning styles and varying levels of formal
     Students taking the class for credit need to make special arrangements with Tim Downs and their seminaries. Certificates of Completion are issued for all students who successfully complete the requirements for the class. Letters with a grade and summary assessment of the student's performance in the class for Committees on Ministry are available upon request.
     Any questions about can be directed to Tim Downs, the lead instructor, at The cost of the class is $629, and this is the link to registration
Children's Sermon for
         for Jan.15 (based on John 1:29-42)  Items Needed:  two lengths of string, a length of chain or heavy rope, scissors. Ask  child to be a volunteer. She/he is Jesus.  Ask them to hold one end of a length of string and you hold the other end.  Say, this string is like my love for Jesus.  It is real, but it can  be broken (use scissors to cut string.)   Use second string as replacement for first  string--so, this is like my love for Jesus.  In today's Bible reading, Jesus is called "the Lamb of God."  What that means is, (give one end of chain or rope to kid being Jesus and you take the other end) that Jesus' love for me is like this chain/rope--it can't be broken(use scissors to try unsuccessfully to cut the chain/rope.)  So remember, no matter what, Jesus'  love for you and me can't be broken.
- Rev. David Quinn
announcement ANNOUNCEMENTS &

Service of Interest...
January 15 -3:00PM - INSTALLATION - Licensed Minister Jim Stanley will be installed at St. John's UCC, Wapwallopen (as pastor at St. John's, Wapwallopen & St. Peter's (Hobbie), Wapwallopen
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 - 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
15 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Licensed Minister, Jim Stanley will be installed at St. John's UCC, Wapwallopen - the installation will be for his pastorate at both St. John's & St. Peter's (Hobbie), Wapwallopen
16 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Martin Luther King's Birthday
17 - 11:45AM - Blue Mountain AMC Clergy - China House, Schnecksville
17 - 6PM (Supper) - Nominating Committee - Conference Office
18 - 9AM - Ordained Church & Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
19 - 9:30AM - Licensed/Commissioned Ministry Committee (Please note the change from January 17)
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"


Claire Keeler & Stephanie Ringer of St. John's UCC (Mickleys), Whitehall delivered 25 clean-up buckets to the Penn Northeast Conference Office for Church World Service.  The bucket contents were collected by their church and Shoemaker Elementary School in Macungie.

"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 me know and I'll call in a reservation for us. 
A Unique Opportunity to Assist Our Students Preparing for Ministry
Alan C. Miller, Conference Minister
        Phoebe Ministries is conducting a capital funds campaign for their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program. Clinical Pastoral Education is an education program to teach pastoral care to clergy and others. CPE is the primary method of training hospital and hospice chaplains and spiritual care providers. In addition to learning visitation and caring skills, CPE regularly encourages students to reflect on their work, which helps them to develop their self-awareness.
     Phoebe Ministries initiated its Program in 1997 and was accredited by the year 2000. It is one of 300 accredited CPE programs nationwide and one of only five programs in the long-term care setting.
CPE is a requirement for our students preparing to be ordained and licensed ministers. Over the years, 202 students have completed Phoebe Ministries Program, 57 of which have been United Church of Christ students.
     The campaign has three goals: 1./ If $100,00 is raised, $4,000 will be available each year for student scholarships; 2./ If $200,00 is raised, Phoebe Ministries will be able to enhance their Program with special speakers and education events for both students and the community; 3./ If $300,00 is raised, Phoebe Ministries will be able to add supervisory CPE education to its Program, the program by which CPE students becomes CPE supervisors. Your congregation should have received a letter from Phoebe Ministries introducing this campaign.
     The Church & Ministry Committee of the Penn Northeast Conference is grateful for the quality of preparation that Phoebe Ministries CPE Program has added and continues to add to our students' theological education. Thus we have voted to give the campaign a gift of $5,000 from the Conference's Longsdorf Scholarship Fund. As you learn about this Campaign through your local congregation, we encourage you to help future theological students in their preparation for ministry by making a generous gift to the Campaign.
     For more information contact: Adam Marles at Phoebe Ministries, 610-794-5129,
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 Disaster Ministries is Looking for Volunteers Who Like to Work with Tools!
Our PNEC Disaster Ministries tool trailers are back in Pennsylvania!  We need volunteers who would be willing to inventory, clean, and provide repairs on all tools in both trailers. The garage we will be working in is heated but it is a concrete floor. Our first day of inventory will be Saturday, January 14 beginning at 9 am. The garage is in Bethlehem and if you volunteer we will provide specific directions. We need to do this work to ready the trailers for their next mission. Interested? Please contact Donna Zangari at  or text at 484-357-8399.

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 its'
"Understanding Worship" class
Saturday, January 21, 2017
9AM - 4PM
                                First UCC in Schuykill Haven
This class is part of the basic series for Licensed Ministry preparation but is also a wonderful opportunity for lay leaders in the church to prepare themselves to assist with worship and be a part of the sacred space we call worship.  This is also a great refresher for all current authorized ministers who want to revitalize their worship experience as well.  Click Here for a registration flyer or you can register online at 
The class is also LIVE STREAMED and is recorded for those with scheduling conflicts.


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



 Jewish Institute
(Four Tuesday evening sessions)
January 24 - February 14 @ 7:00-9:00pm 
Understanding Power & Prejudice: Building Bridges Across Difference
Jude-Laure Denis, Executive Director, POWER-NE
The Rev. Dr. Peter Pettit, IJCU Director
Seegers Union, GQ Annex (Muhlenberg College)
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"