This Week in PNEC --- January 26, 2017 - February 3, 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

Attention all PNEC Congregations:  
     -What One Mission Project do
 you do at your church that 
 everyone gets excited about?  
     -What Mission Project are you
 known for in your community? 
     -What Mission Project does your congregation do so
 well that if you didn't have it, it would not get
    Whatever you come up with, please write a few words about it and email this info, including the date of your next event, your church's name, and location (with a pic if possible - but not necessary) to Jane Hess so that she can make a  Power Point presentation for our Annual Meeting.     Please call her if you have a question: 570-401-2239. This Power Point will run continuously as folks are coming and going from the main meeting room at the Annual Meeting!  Thank you from the bottom of our socks - because the bottom of our hearts aren't deep enough.

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.
Contextual Outreach - Advanced Notice
Crossroads Lay Leadership at Moravian Seminary is pleased to announce that Contextual Outreach, one of our most popular courses, will be run starting March 9.  It is designed for individuals or congregational teams who want to discover how to reach their local community for service and ministry.  It combines demographic data with a practical community exploration to help a congregation develop a ministry plan framework that can be used for years to come.  Contact Jill Peters at for more info and to inquire about discounts for congregational teams.
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
Children's Sermon for
         for Jan. 29 (based on  Mt. 5:1-12)   Items needed: electric fan; box with lid, white towel; two yardsticks or long wooden dowels, masking tape.   Beforehand, lay the yardsticks/dowels, lengthwise, across the top and bottom of the towel, then use tape to attach them to the towel, so you have created a kind of frame.  At beginning of children's sermon, turn on fan, directed away from the children.  Pick up box and tell then that you are going to catch the wind.  Stand in front of the breeze created by the fan, open up box towards the breeze--"See, I'm catching the wind in this box!" , then close the box lid.  Bring box to kids and open lid--"Do you feel any wind?"  (No!)  "Now I'm going to try to catch the wind in a different way.  Pick up towel, holding on to the yardsticks at the top and the bottom, then go stand in front of fan.  "See how the towel IS able to catch the wind, like this.   This is how a sailboat works; the sail is open to the wind and gets moved by the power of the wind.  In today's Bible reading,  Jesus talks about certain people who are blessed.  Blessed people are like my sail here--by the way they live, they open their lives to the power of God's love, and get pulled by God's love to be a blessing to others.
- Rev. David Quinn
announcement ANNOUNCEMENTS &
Some of you know that the Rev. Dr. Grant Harrity was admitted to the hospital on Monday after falling and breaking his hip.  He became unresponsive on the way to the hospital and never regained consciousness. We are sad to inform you that Rev. Dr. Grant Harrity passed away on Wednesday, January 25.  A special email will be sent out when details of funeral services are made.
Service of Interest...
January 29 - 10:00AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Jerry Smith will be installed as pastor at St. Mark's UCC, Allentown

February 12 - 10:30AM - INSTALLATION - Licensed Minister Louis Aita - Emmanuel UCC, Mountain Top

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
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"


serving those in need in our community

Saturday, February 11, 2017

10AM - 1PM

Christ UCC, 75 E. Market St., Bethlehem

Please click here  for the full flyer and detailed information

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 4 years

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

UCC History & Polity Course Online 

Offered by PATHWAYS

March 1 ~ May 30, 2017 (13 weeks)

Register by February 20, 2017

Click Here for Course & Registration Info


Moravian Seminary

Elana Katz Presents the

2017 Psychology & Spirituality Lecture

Thursday, February 16 from 9:15AM-4:45PM 

Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Bldg., Bethlehem

"Making a Difference in Couples Treatment:  The Art and Science of Emotionally Focused Therapy"

Click Here to Register

Hackman's Bible Book Store VBS Workshop dates have been announced.  They are:
Thursday, February 16th, at Epler's Church UCC, 1151 West Leesport Rd., Leesport, PA - open house 4 to 8PM
Monday, February20 at Hackman's Bible Book Store, 1341 Mickley Rd., Whitehall:Workshop with Reps. from two companies.  This event starts at 5:30 and goes till 8PM.  We are asking for registration this year in case of snow, or icy weather.  Call 610-264-8600  X334 to make your reservations.
Tuesday, February 21st through Saturday February 25th, we are having an open house at Hackman's Bible Book Store, 1341 Mickley Rd., Whitehall.  Hours are 10 AM to 7 PM.   Appointments appreciated, but not necessary.
This year we are carrying the following Curriculum:
  • Group-Maker Fun Factory
  • Group-Passport to Peru
  • Concordia-Mighty Fortress
  • Answers In Genesis-Operation Arctic
if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Sarah Rarick, Hackman's Bible Book Store, Inc.
610-264-8600 X334   

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 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"