Paid for by your OCWM Contributions | March 22, 2023

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Message to the Conference

Greetings members and friends of Penn Central Conference,


But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves… I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22: 26, 27b NRSV)


Yesterday was the memorial service for Rev. Richard C. Gordon, a man many of you knew from his long service to the church and his deep spiritual life. Rev. Allyssa Boyer did a wonderful job with his eulogy. During her conversations with Richard prior to his death they decided upon three words that reflected who Richard was and what he was about. The words were connection, authenticity, and compassion. All three of these words were rooted in a deep faith and sense of the holy.


I have been thinking about those words and how they reflect the life of Jesus as he moves toward Jerusalem. Jesus clearly connects with the people around him, especially the crowds who follow to seek his blessing and his touch. Further, he demonstrates his compassion on numerous occasions.


The word authenticity sticks with me because I know intuitively that Jesus is authentic, but how do I know that and what does it mean? How do we know when a person is authentic? The website www.mindtools.com instructed me that authentic persons are those who are true to their values even when under pressure; who are honest with themselves and with others; and takes responsibility for their own actions. Authenticity is demonstrated by the alignment of values, ideals, and actions.


Certainly, Jesus is authentic by this definition, but there is something missing. I believe authenticity also includes the ability to allow oneself to be vulnerable. Many of those whom Jesus heals are vulnerable – some made so by society and others from life experience. Jesus recognizes their vulnerability and brings love and healing to them. Jesus’ own vulnerability is on display in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he struggles with what lies ahead and prays. His time in the garden is a deeply moving portrait of authenticity. 


How then do we, as the body of Christ, reflect such authenticity? Recognizing, practicing, and welcoming vulnerability is one of most important roles of the church. For we are called to be as Jesus was, thus we must not run from vulnerability (our own or others’). To be the authentic body of Christ, one of our tasks is to speak and demonstrate healing, acceptance, empowerment, and love in the face of others’ vulnerability. The church has not always done well with this holy task. I regularly meet those who find more healing at AA than they ever have at church. Why is this and what needs to change?


As we continue to walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem, think about your own authenticity. Think about the authenticity of your church community. Asking ourselves if our values, ideals, and actions align is always good practice. But reflect more deeply. What can we learn from Jesus’ authenticity – from his willingness to touch vulnerable people and to be vulnerable himself? There is nothing more vulnerable than death on a cross. In this way he fully enters the space of fear, suffering, and grief. And then he brings redemption and new life out of it. How can our congregations do more of the same? This is our holy calling as his body in the world.


Peace,


Carrie

Rev. Dr. Carrie Call

Conference Minister

Penn Central Conference

Scheduling notes:


March 26 - Shiloh UCC, Danville - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

March 26 - Trinity UCC, Lewistown - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching

April 2 - Trinity UCC, Mercersburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

Printable eNews are available. Pastors and secretaries, please feel free to share with your congregation members that don't get this weekly email. Download and print this PDF with the weekly message to the conference, prayers for Penn Central and brief list of events.

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...


St. Peter's UCC, Rebersburg

Himmel's Church UCC, Dornsife

Emmanuel (Freysville) UCC, Red Lion

St. John's UCC, Red Lion

Clergy Convocation 2023

Being One: Clergy Wellness, Clergy Wholeness

May 2-4, 2023


Focus Texts: John 17: 20-23 and John 15: 1-5


Welcome your new friends and colleagues from Penn West as they join together for the first time with Penn Central, Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment...Clergy Convocation 2023!


Our time together will focus on connection—connecting with God, self and others. We will have times dedicated for worship, theological reflection, gatherings of affinity groups, connecting with folks from other Conferences and free time. Our teaching focus on clergy wellness will take shape in four 90 minute sessions, each dedicated to one of the components of wellness every pastor needs: spiritual wellness, vocational wellness, financial wellness and physical wellness. Pension Board staff and outside facilitators will provide attendees with thoughtful and relevant content for those engaged in local church ministry. (If you desire, a Pension Boards representative will be available throughout the retreat for individual meetings to answer questions about your benefits.) 


Registration ends April 1st - register here!

Creation Justice

Join the First Ever UCC Earth Day Summit!

 

This online event will take place on Saturday, April 22nd at 11 am ET. The theme is “What’s Possible?: Earth Day Stories of Hope.” This two and a half hour summit will feature a keynote from the Rev. Jim Antal, a panel of inspiring speakers, the presentation of the Dollie Burwell Prophetic Action Award, and a video showcasing the uplifting story of Mayflower UCC in Minneapolis. Even if you cannot make the event at its scheduled time, still sign-up, and we will send you a link to a recording of it. Register now!

LANCASTER COUNTY 2023 EARTH DAY CLIMATE SUMMIT

April 22, 2023 

A Lancaster County 2023 Earth Day Climate Summit will be held in downtown Lancaster on Saturday April 22, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Over 50 presentations, workshops, and exhibits will be held at multiple sites in Lancaster City (all walkable distances) including The Ware Center, Tellus 360, First Reformed UCC, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, St. James Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church.


Each site of the Summit will feature an important sector like Land, Food, Water, Buildings and Materials, Transportation, Public Health and Environmental Justice. There will also be a site for Faith Based Climate Action. Keynote speakers will include: President Pedro Rivera (Stevens College of Technology) and President Daniel Wubah (Millersville University). 


If you’d be willing to volunteer to help at the Summit contact Dave Bushnell (abushnell@aol.com). Dave is the Chair of the Planning Team. For more information go to https://regenall.org/2023climatesummit.  

Local Church

LAY LEADERS CONVOCATION


Who: For elders, deacons, church council members, and other leaders


What: A full day of worship, address, workshops, and fellowship


When: Saturday, April 15, 2023, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm


Where: Trinity and Zion U.C.C., Pottstown, Pennsylvania


Cost: $40 per person ($20 for persons coming for part of the program not eating lunch)


The event will include: Worship and Keynote address on

Empowering Lay Leadership

Workshops on some of the following topics:

Being effective as a post-Covid Church

Reviving the Sunday school

Stewardship of Financial Resources

Becoming Spiritual Leaders

Becoming an Environmentally Friendly Church

Church Meetings that get out on time

How does the U.C.C. work

Music ministry when the choir is shrinking

Worshiping when there is no pastor.


Register here


Sponsored by the Lay Leadership Education Team of Penn SE Conference, U.C.C.

Outdoor Ministries

Events with our partners at Lutheran Camping Corporation


SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE April 16, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm - Kirchenwald

SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE April 16, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm - Nawakwa

WITTEL FARM GROWING PROJECT OPEN HOUSE April 16, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION April 23, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Kirchenwald

NAWAKWA WORK DAY April 29, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

KIRCHENWALD WORK DAY May 6, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Summer Camp with Lutheran Camping Corporation - use code PENNCENTRAL2023 to use a 50% campership from PCC's Outdoor Ministries!


Hartman Center Homecoming week

July 31 through August 5, 2023


We will be returning to Hartman Center Campground in Milroy, PA as guests.

Camping experiences for all ages, including intergenerational camps.


2 night camps - Monday, July 31 at 4PM through Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM

Getting Started - Grades 1 and 2 ($125)

Intergenerational Camp ($125)

3 night camps - Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Intergenerational Camp ($190)

Camp of the Heart ($250)

5 night camps - Monday, 31 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Elementary - Grades 3 - 5 ($300)

Junior High - Grades 6 - 8 ($300)

Senior High - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)

Leadership - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)


For more information, contact Rev. Alice Rauch alirauch07@gmail.com (director) 

or Rev. Amelia Price aashivers@gmail.com (registrar)

Register here and print a brochure here


Summer camp with St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

2023 Summer Camps 

Camp Galilee (9-12) June 18-23

Camp Kum Ba Yah (5-8) June 25-30

Camp Noah (K-4) June 26-30

Learn more here.

Clergy Events

Winter/Spring 2023 MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom)


No April MEF, staff will be on retreat


May 16 - "Starting Justice Conversations: Part 1" with Rev. Carla Christopher

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom Only - register here

Winter/Spring Boundary Training


Thursday, April 13, 10:00AM & 6:00PM, Humility as Spiritual Practice

via Zoom

Register 10am

Register 6pm

Please join the Pension Boards for its upcoming two-day Planning for the Transition to Retirement seminar on March 29-30, 2023.


Whether you are planning to retire soon or are in the middle of your career, clergy or lay, this seminar is designed to help you transition to retirement. If you are an actively-contributing Pension Boards member, 45 years of age or older, we invite you to participate.

 

Here is what you can expect:


• On Day One of our presentation, we discuss some of the landmark issues along the journey to retirement and how we can best prepare to hit those milestones. We will then focus on the two largest financial sources for most of our members: Social Security and the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ.

 

• One Day Two of our presentation, we will dig a little deeper into some of the accompanying details of the retirement journey. We will look at how our investment choices should be informed by our current lives and future goals, and review additional benefits to help smooth our path. Finally, we will examine the way our lives will change and what we can do to continue leading purposeful, fulfilling lives in retirement.


Date: Day One: Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on EST 


Date: Day Two: Thursday, March 30, 2023

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on EST 


Register here by March 28, 2023. The Zoom credentials you receive upon registration are the credentials you will use to participate in both Day One and Day Two of the Planning for the Transition to Retirement seminar.


Suicide and Moral Injury Clergy Workshop

with Lebanon VA Chaplain Rev. Dean Luther


Full flyer here

Friday, March 24th 10-12 on Zoom

Register here

Friday May 19th 10-12 on Zoom

Register here

Though the proposed Retiree Convocation scheduled for May 9-11 has been postponed, work on redeveloping "Journey Into and Through Retirement" will continue. Please watch this space for announcement regarding a rescheduled date.

UCC National Setting

UCC Webinars


These webinars are designed to help you enhance your local church ministries. Most are free to attend. Check out the calendar here.


General Synod Frequency Town Hall 1/3

MAR 15, 2023, 2:00PM - 3:00PM


Changing Landscape of Giving: What we can learn from Millennial and Gen Z Donors

MAR 22, 2023 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM


How we gather: Where are future faith seekers finding access to their Sacred?

APR 5, 2023 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM

"Making All Things New"

General Synod 2023

 

"Making All Things New” will be the theme of the 34th biennial General Synod of the United Church of Christ, scheduled for June 30–July 4, 2023, in Indianapolis.

 

Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

 

For the full press release, click here.

Our Whole Lives training


In addition to an increasing number of in-person trainings across the country, Our Whole Lives trainings will continue to be offered online in 2023 for UCC and UUA members, at a cost of only $250 plus curriculum.


Registration applications will be accepted from April 17 through May 1 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in June

Registration applications will be accepted from July 17-July 31 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in September

Registration applications will be accepted from Aug 21-Sept 5 for an Elementary (Grades K-1 and 4-6) Training in October

Registration applications will be accepted from Sept 11-Sept 25 for an All Adult Levels Training in November


More information about these trainings, in addition to information about upcoming in-person trainings, can be found here.

From our friends and partners

This event will be held at

Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown.

Breakfast and lunch are included with the cost of your ticket.

To register you can email Barbara Jennings at barbaraj@pnec.org and send your check for $35 made payable to PNEC to the Conference Office (PNEC, 431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071)

OR

you can register and pay through tithe.ly at https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/6681834

Keynote; “Repenting of the unforgivable” Through the medium of storytelling, Rev JimBear Jacobs will share how the legacy of Indigenous residential boarding schools has left a stain upon the church. The sin of complicity in the boarding school has for far too long been ignored or rationalized away. It is time to face this sin head on and enter into a season of lament that can hopefully lead to repair. Workshop: “Beyond lament; Movement towards repair” In this workshop Rev. JimBear Jacobs will explore some tangible and challenging steps that churches might wrestle with as they consider reparations for the traumatic legacy of the boarding school system

Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

CHURCH HISTORY 2 - PROTESTANT REFORMATION: REFORMED AND REFORMING

April 11 - May 16, 2023

Online on Zoom

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00-8:30pm

 

Join Rev. Matthew Deal to identify historical roots and analogies for contemporary ecclesial issues. We'll study the basic sweep of Christian history, including key figures, movements, denominations, and turning points in their cultural contexts


 For clergy/pastors and lay leaders

 $325 for the series of six classes

2.5 CEUs


BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION 1

May 23 - June 27, 2023

 

BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION 2

July 11 - August 15, 2023

 

Tuesday evenings via Zoom.

Clergy and laity are invited to join instructor Kelsey Wallace for an introduction to the art and practice of biblical interpretation. We will consider issues of historical context, translation, literary analysis, and social location and the skills necessary to be a responsible public interpreter of scripture.


For clergy/pastors and lay leaders

$325 for each of the two series of six classes

2.5 CEUs may be earned for each series


Information and Registration: https://www.lancasterseminary.edu/programs/pennsylvania-academy-of-ministry/

2023 Festival of Biblical Storytelling

AUGUST 2,3, AND 4, 2023

At the Maritime Conference Center near BWI and Baltimore, MD

Save the date - REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 2!

Employment Opportunities

Current Openings - UCC National Setting

OPTIC – MarCom

Web and Digital SpecialistClose: 3/31/23 - new 


OPTIC - Philanthropy

Generosity Officer, West Central Region - Open until filled

Generosity Officer, New England Region - Open until filled


Hospitality Ministries and Event Services

Associate for Event Technology - Open until filled


Global H.O.P.E.

Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery - Close: 4/10/23

Hummelstown UCC Seeking Director of Music /Organist/Musician

 

Are you a musician who values a progressive Christian community? Apply now to the small church with a big heart! Hummelstown United Church of Christ is seeking a flexible and engaging musician to serve as Director of Music and Organist/Musician. Note: The congregation is open to this position being an accompanist only position, rather than a Director of Music with choir direction responsibilities. If interested in one or the other, please note that in your application to the contact below.

 

This vibrant and inclusive congregation has a deep appreciation for music, and is excited to hire a musician for the following:

·      Collaborate with the Pastor, choir, and other team members to select, prepare, and present music for all services

·      Assist in integrating music into the life of the church

·      Accompany and/or direct choir for rehearsals and performances

·      Play the piano and/or organ for hymns and other parts of the worship services 

 

Benefits include paid time off from 4 worship services per year, education and training budget and team based creative atmosphere. 

 

Our beautiful sanctuary has both a Yamaha baby grand piano and an organ built by Gundling, a two- manual pipe organ with foot pedals.

 

If you have musical passion and would like to join us on our journey, send an application/resume to search@hummelstownucc.org

 

For details on open positions, see position descriptions posted on our website: Director of Music and Organist/Musican3/22/2023

Faith UCC Grantville, PA seeks Director of Music, Choir Director, Organist, Pianist

Faith UCC Grantville, PA in the Harrisburg Association of the Penn Central Conference United Church of Christ, seeks a Director of Music-Choir Director-Organist-Pianist. Responsibilities may be assumed by one or two individuals. Responsibilities include:  

·     Collaborating with the Pastor to organize worship experiences

·     Choose seasonally appropriate anthems

·     Conducting Faith’s vocal choir

·     Playing organ and/or piano for choir accompaniment, leading congregational singing, prelude, postlude and special pieces, as able.

·     Organ is a Rodgers 2-manual with 5 ranks of pipes. Piano is relatively new 

This is (these are) part time position(s) in the range of 10-15 hours per week or time needed to prepare/practice 

About Faith UCC Grantville: Faith honors its historical roots with a traditional worship style in a relaxed atmosphere where fellowship is highly valued. 

Faith UCC is located in Grantville, a rural/commuter community in Central Pennsylvania, 7 miles north of Hershey, 15 miles east of Harrisburg, and 30 miles from Lancaster. We are easily accessed via Route 81.  

If you would like more information, please contact Pastor George Robertson at: faithgrantville@gmail.com 2/22/23

Peace United Church of Christ is seeking candidates for the position of Church Musician. Primary responsibility is to provide piano and/or organ music during one contemporary and one traditional worship service on Sunday mornings, with adult choir accompaniment September-May. Salary dependent upon experience. Resumes may be sent via email to: secretary@peaceunitedchurch.org, or mailed to: Peace UCC 37 E. Swartzville Road Denver, PA 17517 For additional information or questions, please contact Rev. Betsy Bruaw at 717-484-4400. 2/8/23

Job opening for Director of Music of Salem UCC, Campbelltown, PA     

 

The Salem UCC Director of Music will be responsible for performing the music used in worship services, including the congregational, choral and special group music throughout the church liturgical year, including Sundays and some holy days. Currently there is one traditional service at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. The candidate should be a person of faith, comfortable theologically with the United Church of Christ and a person who brings vitality and flexibility to the duties of this ministry. Musical ability on pipe organ or piano are required. The candidate should have the ability to play a variety of types of musical expressions; possess good communication and organizational skills; the ability to sight‑read would be a plus. Salem UCC is a congregation that highly values and encourages creativity and musical abilities of all ages within the congregation. The Director of Music will be encouraged to use creativity to help foster and nurture the music ministry within the church community in the years ahead. Employment at Salem UCC requires compliance with the Pennsylvania Child Protection Laws, with employees being subject to the required background checks and clearances.


Note: The congregation is open to this position being an accompanist only position, rather than a Director of Music with choir director responsibilities. See contact below for more information.


Details of Director of Music position:          

Quarter-time position (approximately 10 hours a week) includes:

 - preparing worship music

 - accompanying congregation singing in worship

 - selecting choir anthems, preparing and leading Wednesday evening choir rehearsals 2-3 times a month (12-15 adult choir members)

 - accompanying the choir during the regular Sunday worship service (2-3 times a month)  and occasional holy day evening services. Choir rehearsals and singing in worship usually occur September through May.

 - attending Worship & Music Committee evening meetings (3-4 times a year).


Salary - $9000 - $12000 per year (negotiable based on experience and skill level)

- paid twice a month

- additional income from occasional weddings and funerals is possible, based upon

  availability of the organist/accompanist.


Vacation - four paid vacation Sundays a year with the responsibility of arranging substitute organist/accompanist, substitute’s fee paid by the church.

           

Contact Rev. Dwight Hein, Pastor of Salem UCC, Campbelltown

pastor@salemucccampbelltown.org

717-838-4236 – office 2/8/23

Directory

Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.

Conference Minister

email: ccall@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-433-3196


Rev. Dr. Nora Driver Foust

Associate Conference Minister 

email: nfoust@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-433-2587


Rev. Rick Luciotti

Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families

email: rluciotti@gmail.com

Phone: 717-433-6306

 

C. Paul Keller

Office Manager

email: pkeller@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-652-1560

Penn Central Conference Ministry Opportunities Page

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