Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| May 13, 2020
Message to the Conference
Dear friends of Penn Central Conference,
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house…” (2 Peter 2:4-5)

One of the best aspects of living in eastern PA is the preponderance of stone houses built by early settlers in the 1600-1800s. Redstone, limestone, and fieldstone – all are employed to create structures that while architecturally simple, possess elegance and aesthetic balance. And then there are the stone barns, structures that are more architecturally grand and awe-inspiring in their scale. Many of these structures have weathered time and war and are a testament to the resilience of stone. I imagine that some of the residents of these homes also exhibited resilience and strength given the times in which they lived.

I have been thinking about how we, as living stones, are built into a spiritual house in these days. How are we to be strong? To be resilient? To practice forbearance? I gained some insight today when I joined with a group of clergy from Lancaster Association as we explored the question, “What are some strengths within you that you see emerging from this time of Covid-19?” I ask this questions because in so much of our uncertainty, fear, anxiety and isolation, it’s common to feel weak or inadequate. I hear this in particular from clergy who feel they aren’t doing enough, or reaching out enough, or modeling strength and faithfulness. But today I heard some reminders of how much strength there is within us.

Those I asked have found their strength in a variety of ways: through creativity as a means to accompany others on the journey (making a blanket for a graduate); or strength in spiritual practices such as intentional focused prayer; or strength in connection with others, in particular with elderly members of the congregation; or strength in authenticity- by being vulnerable and honest with the members about their own fear and grief; strength demonstrated through being a non-anxious presence in the face of conflict borne of anxiety and fear; strength by embracing technology and seeing how it can bring us closer (such as the 101-year old shut-in who saw his pastor preach for the first time via Facebook live); and strength borne of looking forward to how the church will shift and change into this new future. Ironically there is strength too in admitting our weaknesses, acknowledging that we cannot do everything, and releasing our perfectionism.

All of these demonstrations of strength show how we are living stones. We are being built into a house for these times. We do not have blueprints and we don’t always get a straight answer from the Architect. But we do trust that we are working together on this building site. The stones (us) are rough, yet somehow, miraculously, they can fit together, and all have a place. I encourage you to focus some time on the strengths that you see emerging in yourself that need to be nurtured. Our weaknesses are easy to enumerate. But our strengths can build a house, a home in which Christ will dwell, no matter what comes next.


An additional note from the Transitional Conference Minister:

Dear Clergy Colleagues – Your Conference staff will continue to offer weekly opportunities to meet via zoom throughout the month of May. Please consider joining us, as the conversations have been fruitful and enriching. And it does us good to see one another’s faces! See our offerings here . Special-topic zoom meetings are in the works, including how to approach worship platforms moving forward, financial concerns and stability, and more. If you have a topic that you think would be of interest to a number of your colleagues, please let us know. We will do our best to make it happen.
"In The Time of Pandemic" vlogs series

The staff of Penn Central Conference have put together a series of vlogs to walk us through this unusual season. Three are already available, and two more will arrive this week.

See the full series on Youtube here , or check them out on our Facebook page (and follow us if you haven't already!)
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...

Saint John's UCC, Lebanon
Saint Mark's UCC, Lebanon
Saint Paul's UCC, Lemaster
Dreisbach UCC, Lewisburg
COVID-19 Resources

Penn Central Conference has added a special section on our website for COVID-19 resources, including the times and links for Zoom meetings. Keep checking regularly for updates.

OCWM Giving
Thank you for your generous giving! April 2020 OCWM was down 25% from 2019. We are currently tracking at 68% of our 2020 Budget, year-to-date and 97% of 2019 OCWM.
Outdoor Ministries at Hartman Center

It is with a heavy heart that, due to the risks of Covid-19, we are cancelling all Conference in-person events at Hartman Center until September 1st.

Hartman Center Online!
Please encourage the campers (both youth and adult) in your life to join us online for events every week!

Join PCC's Outdoor Ministries for online meetups:
Mondays at 3:30 - Time for the Young at Heart on Facebook Live
Mondays at 4:00 - Bible Study on Zoom -
Wednesdays at 6:00 - Devotional & Hangout time on Zoom - 9124829107

Plans are being made for ways we can stay connected as a Hartman Center family through the summer of 2020. Stay tuned for programming announcements coming May 15th!
You are invited to join with PSEC, PNEC and PCC clergy, lay leaders and friends on line to discuss Faith in a Time of Pandemic by Bruce G. Epperly Wednesday, May 20 th @ 3:00pm via Zoom.
The Coronavirus is changing our church and culture (and the culture of church). It’s provoked isolation and self-interested individualism. It also inspires kindness, generosity, patience, and compassion. Facing the pandemic with God as our companion deepens our sense of agency as well as peace. Bruce Epperly’s very short treatise provides a theological, pastoral, and spiritual pathway to help us find a way through the wilderness of the Coronavirus pandemic. Join the discussion!

(Join Zoom Meeting here . )

You can download or order the book here:
The Perfect Blend: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
A day with author Bishop Robert Schnase
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Lancaster Theological Seminary, Santee Chapel

Come spend a day in conversation around how these practices can help your church live out the Gospel and be a missional presence in your community.
We will hear 3 presentations from Bishop Schnase and have a few guided, small group discussions along the way. See a full flyer here. Seating is limited, so registration is required. $25 per person, or a discounted rate of $100 for groups of 5 people. Register here!
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

May 17 - Laura Ramsey’s installation at Emmanuel UCC, York, service at Hayshire UCC, York - 3:00pm (Happening online)
Aug 2 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
Clergy Events
May 13 - Ordinary Time Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - CANCELLED
July 26 - 31 - UEK Pastoral Colloquy 2020 - Elizabethtown College; CANCELLED
The PCC-UEK Pastoral Colloquy on Peace-Building scheduled for July has been postponed until the summer of 2021. Specific information will be posted here when the new plans have been finalized.
 Boundary Training & Ministerial Excellence Forums

Boundary Training - POSTPONED new date TBA
For those who need boundary training in the meantime, Convergance offers an online course.
May 20 - MEF: Civility, Empathy and Well Being in Community with Therapist Judith Kennedy, MS, MA, NCC, LPC at St. Thomas UCC, Harrisbur g - 12:30-3:30pm DATE & TOPIC CHANGE -TBA
Women's Clergy Group

Serving as a spiritual leader can often be isolating, particularly during times of crisis like we’re in now. 
That’s why for the next two months, Samaritan’s Clergy and Congregation Care program is waiving the fee for women clergy to meet in an ecumenical, facilitated group. 
Sessions will be facilitated on Zoom by the Rev. Carolene Brubaker (retired) and provide opportunities to share joys, sorrows, ideas, challenges and encouragement with one another.

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. Email the Rev. Carolene Brubaker and sign up for one of the 6 openings.
From our Local Churches
"The Spirituality of Grief in the time of COVID" - May 13, 7:30 PM - Mt. Zion UCC, York via Zoom

"We hope you will join us for this opportunity to be in conversation about the grief and tenderness that this time of COVID as wrought. Join us on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:30 PM for a zoom presentation and conversation with Rev. Dr. Ted Trout Landen, Mt. Zion member and retired Director of Spiritual Care and Education for WellSpan Health." Learn more here .

DVD Lending Library - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

St John's UCC, New Columbia has closed and will have their buildings sold very soon. They have choir music they want to share. Contact is Marly Artley; Call/Text 570-412-5127; Email .
Planning Ahead
Online Board Meeting - June 13, 2020

Annual Meeting - August 29, 2020

Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
5 for 5
Is your church 5 for 5? The next Special Mission Offering is Strengthen The Church - which takes place on the Pentecost, May 31, 2020.

Re-imagines and builds the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. Its also provides support for existing church's new initiatives

For more information on the 5 for 5 offerings, click here.
PCC Partners & friends
The Festival of Homiletics - May 18-22 - The World Needs Good Preaching…
Now More than Ever
The Festival of Homiletics is moving online! And because there’s no better time than our current crisis to learn how to “preach a new earth,” registration for the virtual conference is totally FREE!
Pheobe Ministries

Nearly 1,000 direct care workers at Phoebe are protecting our seniors, who are most at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. These heroes are the dedicated nurses, CNAs, Med-Techs, community life, dining servers, housekeepers, and other support staff who show up each day out of love for our residents.

$50,000 will help cover a portion of our unexpected costs like personal protective equipment or PPE, hazard pay, and specialized infection control.

Your gift can go twice as far if made by May 31, 2020 thanks to $25,000 in matching gifts from  Cura Hospitality and Citizens Bank! 

Would you connect your heart with ours by  giving today ? Visit
Hiring News

The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society seeks applications for an executive director. This a two-year grant funded position. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and works with them to carry out the current mission of the ERHS, to collect, organize, preserve and make available for research the records of the Reformed Church and the Evangelical & Reformed Church. Resume, cover letter, and references should be submitted to by July 15, 2020. For questions about this position, please contact Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell at .

Learn more here and here .
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. 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
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560