Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| July 1, 2020
Message to the Conference
“Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.”
2 Thessalonians 2;16+17

The PCC Board of Directors met last week to conclude some business prior to summer break. At the meeting, an opportunity arose for further discussion and reflection about Hartman Center. Upon request of the Board, Chair of the Hartman Center Committee Eric Dundore shared some thoughts in writing regarding Hartman Center. We wished to make available some of those thoughts to the wider Conference and have included them below. We thank Eric – as well as the countless volunteers who have loved and served Hartman Center through the years – for his dedication and devotion.

Dear Friends and Family of Penn Central Conference :

As chairperson of the Hartman Center Committee of the PCC Board of Directors, and as a 13-year Director of MAD Camp (where I brought my wife and three boys every year), my love for the healing and holy space that is Hartman Center is deep and wide. The camp has touched so many people in its 60-year history and I’m proud to have been a part of it. My faith has been strengthened and my soul refreshed at Hartman, but certainly I am angry and sad and I grieve with many of you at this most painful and unfair time in our Conference.

The Hartman Center Committee has been my home on the Board for four years now and, along with the Hartman Center Advisory Council, have tried or considered everything that was suggested to us. We have been trying to deal for at least the last 8-10 years with the obvious realities of declining interest (by churches, parents and even youth), deferred maintenance of the facilities, lack of pervasive PCC congregational support, economic down turns, declining use by outside groups, and a general societal spurning of camps of all kinds. The pandemic was just the unfortunate and uncontrollable last straw for the whole situation.

We have entertained many ideas and suggestions for keeping the camp solvent and have come up empty-handed and frustrated. Several smaller projects have been successful due to awesome and caring volunteers, ie. the buying of a tractor, fixing up the Crafts building, and many others. Dave Bushnell and other volunteers, for example, successfully raised needed funds for the new pool over about 3 years. The efforts of volunteers will always be deeply appreciated. However, the Hartman Center Committee and the Board of Directors recognize that running a successful camping and retreat center requires at least $350,000 each year in income to break even. Neither the PCC nor a volunteer group would find that amount sustainable. 

It is very tough right now to consider, but our greatest hope is that we can all unite and pull together to create a new vision for the youth, families and congregations of the PCC that we love so dearly. We need to rise from this unfortunate time ready to engage in a program that will honor the history and love we all have for Hartman Center, but better serve the needs and ministries of our local churches and youth as we struggle with the realities and priorities of the future. 

Our PCC staff members are already working on how we can serve the associations and their congregations and their young persons and families in many exciting ways to engage those who participate a meaningful, Spirit-led and long-lasting experience. Our memories of Hartman Center will always be deep-held and cherished. We must allow our new generations to have those experiences without our notions of how it should be done. I encourage you to allow our young people help decide what is worthy and relevant to summer camping and all-year programs that speak to their needs and passions. Please let new camping/gathering/mission projects create a combination of old and new - a beautiful phoenix rising using a different perspective encouraged by those who know how strongly Christ works in our hearts when we gather together in groups with common purpose and love.

Eric Dundore
Celebrating Hartman Center

A digital worship service is being put together to be available early July. We want your testimonials! Please, take a moment to record a video sharing some words about what Hartman Center means to you and send them to so that we can include lots of different voices in this sacred time.

Our social media accounts will be hosting a “Month of Hartman Center Memories” throughout the month of July. So get your pictures and stories ready and check out the calendar on the Facebook page here.

“Hartman Hikes” will take place each Sunday from July 12th-August 2nd. Participants are asked to register, bring a mask, maintain social distance, and bring a packed lunch.
  1. Northern & Central, 07/12, register here!
  2. Gettysburg & Mercersburg, 07/19, register here!
  3. Harrisburg & York, 07/26, register here!
  4. Lancaster & Lebanon, 08/02, register here!

A Service for the Decommissioning of Hartman Center will take place September 12th [Date Changed] at Hartman Center, which will include a hike.
Scheduling Notes:

Sunday, July 5 - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call will be preaching at Heideburg UCC, York's online service
Thursday July 2 - Wednesday July 8 - C. Paul Keller will be on vacation. He will reply to emails and phone messages when he returns.
Monday July 6 - Sunday July 19 - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call will be on vacation. She will reply to emails and phone messages when she returns.
Friends , we want to share a music resource with you from Rev. Scott Silciliano . He is posting traditional, contemporary and original hymns on his YouTube channel and offers them to you for use in worship as we continue to navigate worship in creative ways. Please be sure to share links with your congregation and include your CCLI or ONELicense information to cover lyrics (and be sure your license covers that particular song.) If using an original song, please contact Scott at .

There's also a virtual choir video that was produced by Convergence Leadership for Pentecost Sunday that's great. You can download it from their website with permission and use it in virtual services. It's a setting of a well-known African American Spiritual with new lyrics. Scott is one of the accompanists in the video.
These are Hard Times for Clergy.
Penn Central Conference, in response to the difficult situations, news, and decisions of the past months and weeks, the Conference wants to inform you of three things:
1.      These are very stressful times . Please reach out to our Clergy Care Facilitator ( Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler ) if you or someone you know needs support. This is confidential and pastoral. No matter what the issue, please reach out.
2.      Penn Central is in the process of creating an anti-racism program for clergy to begin at the close of summer. We will be providing information about a text soon (so you can read over the summer) along with our follow-up plans for clergy gatherings and discussions.
3.      Let us know what you need. We are committed to serving everyone in this Conference, so please send us your suggestions and ideas about how we can best provide you with support, education, and communication in these trying times.
Prayers for Penn Central Conference
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

This week, we pray for each other as we continue to live into God's calling...

Trinity UCC, Mercersburg
First UCC, Middleburg
St. John's UCC, Mifflinburg
Trinity UCC, Millersburg
From our friends at Mission Central
Thank you for your support in making Mission Central Care Kits and for setting a goal of 500 (almost 3 per church!) We are grateful for the support of the Penn Central Conference.

In 2019, these Care Kits were distributed throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as internationally to the Philippines, Belize, Niger, Cuba, Ghana, Dominica and Sierra Leone.

As needs have increased, we expect these to immediately go out within our communities in Pennsylvania.

We are grateful for your support!
This is our mission project for Annual Meeting 2020. Please email Sherry Spencer ( ) or Shirley Keith Knox ( ) if you have any questions. Click here for a flyer to share with your congregation and friends.
General Synod 33 to be a virtual experience

For the first time ever, the United Church of Christ General Synod will gather virtually in 2021. The biennial gathering is moving entirely online next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Church of Christ Board made this historic decision this week after considering a number of factors. Read more here...
Every four years for four decades, the United Church of Christ's  National Youth Event  has attracted young people from all over the denomination for high-energy inspiration, faith-building and educational activities, community service, and in-the-moment actions for social justice.
Now, like so many other events in the Year of the Coronavirus, the live event has been postponed, with online opportunities taking its place this summer (including live chats, a playlist and more.) Learn more here .
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

Aug 2 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)

Association Meetings

July 28 - Harrisburg Association Northern Cluster Meeting - St. Peter's - 7:00PM
Clergy Events
 Boundary Training & Ministerial Excellence Forums

Boundary Training - July 15, 2020
The pandemic season has brought a host of new boundary challenges to many clergy among us. Among the most recent challenges is responding to the injustices in the headlines that have brought demonstrators and protesters to the streets. Join Rev. Nora Foust for a discussion of boundaries in this season. Discussion topics will include: Self-care in crisis, digital presence, performative ally-ship and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

This will be a zoom discussion with 2 credit hours for Boundary Training. You must register in order to receive the zoom link. Registration is limited to 20 participants in each session.
To Register for 10am:
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
To Register for 6:30pm:
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For other boundary training options, Convergance offers an online course.
PCC Clergy Book Study: How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Completion of all four components will earn 4 hours of Antiracism Training and
2 hours of Boundary Training. You will have July and August to read the book and respond in writing to reflection questions. Discussion groups via Zoom will follow in September. Register now, space is limited. Registration links and more information here.
The Perfect Blend: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations - A day with author Bishop Robert Schnase - Saturday, September 19, 2020 Cancelled
Serving as an associate or assistant pastor provides its own set of unique challenges and opportunities in ministry. Having a safe environment with others who understand your position can be extremely helpful, particularly during difficult seasons. 
That’s why for the next two months, Samaritan’s Clergy and Congregation Care program is waiving the fee for associate pastors and assistant pastors to meet in an ecumenical, facilitated group with peers. 
The group will provide an arena to talk about the challenges, joys and sorrows related to ministry, as well as to test ideas of how to best serve congregations. Additionally, these sessions will provide a safe space for clergy to be vulnerable with trusted colleagues who know where they’re coming from.
Sessions will be facilitated on Zoom by the Rev. Don Hackett. The group will be limited to 6 participants, who will collaboratively determine the frequency and tone of these sessions. After the initial free sessions, participants can elect to continue with the group for a monthly fee.

If you’re feeling stressed amid this trying time, or just want to join with others, click here today to email Don and sign up for one of the 6 openings.
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting via Zoom - August 29, 2020
Hiring Information:
Executive Director – Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
(Half-time position)

We are seeking a visionary: a flexible and creative individual who can help guide PA IPL into the next decade, particularly with the work of expanding and deepening the organization’s base of support and of helping PA IPL realize its broader goals from its strategic plan such as clarifying our organizational identity (rebranding and diversifying stakeholders), developing more focused programming, and building the necessary internal infrastructure to see PA IPL into the future. Learn more here.
Office Experience Required
24 hrs./week ($15/hr.) – M-F
Proficiency in: Microsoft Publisher, Word, and Excel
Learn more here...
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at LTS

Nondegree classes are ideal for:
  • Lay Ministers already pastoring churches
  • Pastoral Leaders in part-time or bi-vocational ministries
  • Individuals in discernment
  • Laity serving Christian denominations and independent churches

Register by June 19, 2020

Register by August 7, 2020
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Rev. Sally Dries

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. Richard Luciotti

Staff Directory
Rev. Carrie Call, PhD
Transitional Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola
Associate Conference Minister

Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
phone: 717-719-1895
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560