Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| December 15, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear Members and Friends of Penn Central Conference,
 
On the news this morning I watched a woman from Kentucky. She had a prominent black eye from the bathroom sink, which landed on her as her house collapsed during the recent tornado. She spoke of how she had her 1-year-old son in one arm and her 3-year-old son in the other as everything fell in on them. Her younger child cried, and then stopped. She couldn’t turn her head to see her children, could see nothing in the dark, and so she held them fearing both had died. When she was rescued, her younger child was unscathed. The older child had died. The slack-eyed reality of deep trauma and shock were obvious on her face. This is one story among thousands. Not just this week, but in years and decades past when natural disasters have ravaged our landscapes and hearts.
 
We affirm God as our Creator and we know that all weather, alongside the seas, hills, trees, and birds come from God’s hand. When aspects of creation result in immense suffering we are challenged and sometimes we stand mute in confusion and even despair. I know I do.
 
Into this whirlwind of grief I hear the words of a Methodist pastor from Mayfield, Kentucky who almost lost his life alongside his wife as their church sanctuary collapsed. He stated, “Faith is forged in the crucible of suffering.” I trust his words because he spoke from the center of devastation. His congregation stood within the ruins of their church and worshiped on Sunday. I see in their presence a testimony to the power and reality of faith – a testimony that points to the mystery of a good Creator alongside suffering within that creation.
 
And I trust – somehow – the words of St. Paul that “…suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given us.” (Romans 5:3b-5 NRSV)
 
Here are a few organizations that are helping:
 
One Great Hour of Sharing

Remember that our church gifts to OGHS join with the gifts from other believers across the country to respond to disaster. You can give on-line or via text message.

Church World Service

 
American Red Cross

Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999.

Kentucky Counseling Center

The organization is collecting donations that counselors and social workers in Graves County will distribute to affected families. Donate at kentuckycounselingcenter.com/mayfield-fund/

Peace,
Carrie
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister, Penn Central Conference
Scheduling notes:

December 25 - Jan 2: Office Closed
January 9 - Hayshire UCC, York - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola 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. John's Center UCC, East Earl
Trinity UCC, East Petersburg
Christ UCC, Elizabethtown
Salem UCC, Elizabethville
This month's UCC Volunteer of the Month is Jaye Herrick from PCC's own Faith UCC in State College! We are so proud to have a rich tradition of volunteerism in our conference. Read all about Jaye and her passion for volunteering here.
The Virtual Choir is back! 
The Virtual Choir season debuts with G. F. Handel's "And the Glory of the Lord." The piece is the first chorus in Handel's masterwork, Messiah. The text, Isaiah 40:5, promises the presence of God's glory to all of humanity, and is a great option for either Advent or Christmas.
 
You can stream the music from the Penn Central Conference's YouTube Channel. The direct link is https://youtu.be/kA2-DnCDtu0
 
You can download from Google Drive at :
 
Our next song will be Mendelssohn's "How Lovely Are the Messengers."  If you are interested in joining us, contact Julie Holm at bvfofmusic@gmail.com. Don't worry if you don't know the technology; Julie will help everyone be part of this project! 
Outdoor Ministries Winter Events

4th ANNUAL ADVENT/CHRISTMAS IN THE BARN
December 19 @ The Wittel Farm (7-8:30 p.m.)
Come gather around the outdoor fire and have cookies and cocoa in the barn. There will be inspiring lights and seasonal decorations!

For more information & to register, go to: 

"[Every]Body Of Christ" Youth/Confirmation Retreat
March 18-20 at Camp Nawakwa, located near Gettysburg. The weekend will begin at 7:00 on Friday evening and end with a closing program at 10:00 on Sunday morning. Cost is $100 for 2 nights of lodging and 4 meals (3 on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday) Learn more here. Registration link coming soon!
Clergy Events
Penn Central Conference Lectionary Discussion Group - Lectionary group will be on hiatus until Lent. Watch for a zoom link and announcement then!
Advent Prayer Group
Pastors are you weary? Is the yoke of pastoring in this extended season of COVID heavy? Share your burdens and joys as we pray together on Thursdays at Noon during the season of Advent! A brief period of facilitated check-in will be followed by curated poems, prayers, and silence. Light a candle and feed your spirit this Advent by gathering in prayer with colleagues from Penn Central, Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conference and prepare for the inbreaking of Emmanuel once again!

Join us December 2, 9, 16 and 23 at noon https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88299554125?pwd=cU90LzZhS2lOU05qVFo5QWhjK2p3UT09. We will end promptly at 1pm each week.
 
Zoom #882 9955 4125, passcode Pray
"History & Polity of the UCC" Class for Spring 2022
This annual course is being taught by Carrie Call and Penn Central Conference staff with special guests. Join with students from all over the UCC to learn more about who we are and where we came from as a denomination!

Classes will take place Fridays at 2:00PM starting February 11, 2022 through April 01, 2022. Register by January 30th. Registration is limited. Classes are online via Zoom. Register here.
UCC Webinars

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

The State of Rural Churches & Communities - December 14, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Blue Christmas Service - December 16, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Hymn Sing! - December 21, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application (20-22)
 
Requirements
- Grant Application will be awarded to churches that have submitted a completed Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application.
- Grant Applications for 2021 will be received through January 28, 2022. 
- Congregations that raise $250 or more (monetary or in-kind supplies) for Church World Service Kits are eligible to apply for a $250 matching grant from UCC Global H.O.P.E.
- Grant Applications must be accompanied by a completed W-9 form at http://uccfiles.com/pdf/W-9-Form.pdf
- 100% of Matching Grant funds must be used for purchasing supplies for the assembly of the CWS Kits or for processing costs ($3/Clean Up Bucket, $2/School or Hygiene Kit).
From our friends and partners
NEW online classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry:

Introduction to Pastoral Care, Jan. 6 – Feb. 10, 2022. This class provides an introduction to pastoral care with attention to trauma histories, healthy boundaries, self-care, and social justice. You will be introduced to pastoral care practices in a variety of settings, including organizing caring ministries within the congregation, and attend to particular circumstances of ministry, such as loss and grief, illness, marriage, and family. Learning activities include use of role play and analysis of case studies.

Fundraising Fundamentals: Churches and Other Non-Profits, Feb. 22 – March 29, 2022. This class provides essential fundraising tools for lay leaders, pastors, and other ministerial leaders. Whether working in a congregation or not-for-profit, all ministerial leaders need to be able to raise money. Taught by an experienced fundraising consultant, this class helps participants hone their skills in developing the fundraising “ask,” writing letters for fundraising, and leveraging networks to grow your ministry.
Each six-week class is offered online. 2.5 CEUs. $325. Deadline to register for Pastoral Care is December 21. https://www.lancasterseminary.edu/programs/pennsylvania-academy-of-ministry/
Employment Opportunities
UCC Homes is seeking an Accounts Payable/General Accounting Clerk for a full-time position working 75 hours in a two week pay period. This position requires previous general office experience, basic computer skills and attention to detail. Subject to reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position. Excellent wages and benefits, including retirement plan. EEOE
 
Interested persons should please mail, fax or e-mail resume and letter of interest to UCC Homes, Attn: Human Resources, 30 North 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011; (717) 303-1607 FAX or corpjobs@ucc-homes.org by
December 20, 2021. 
Zion UCC, Arendtsville job openings

The Choir Director directs a 15-member choir to prepare music for regular Sunday morning services. The choir director also works with the minister and the organist to plan special services. Duties include preparing music, scheduling choir practices, identifying soloists, and developing special music presentations. Salary compensation is negotiable.
The organist/pianist accompanies a 15-member choir at regularly scheduled Sunday morning services. Applicants must have the ability to play both the piano and the organ, and be prepared for weekly choir rehearsals. Duties include following the direction of the choir director and minister in planning musical services. This includes Sunday worship and special services. He/she must attend regularly scheduled and special choir rehearsals. Salary compensation negotiable.
Position available: Church Musician

This 9 to 12 month position includes playing for weekly adult choir rehearsals, a scheduled single Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service and occasional evening/special services. Proficiency with piano is required. We have two Yamaha studio upright pianos that are well maintained via regular tuning/maintenance. We also have the historic 1868 Durner tracker pipe organ that was restored in 1998 and is well maintained via regular tuning/servicing. Candidates will work with church/choir leaders in rehearsing and planning musical material appropriate to the liturgical calendar. Candidates should send a letter of introduction and resume to joyousucc@comcast.net or mail to St. John's UCC, PO Box 88, Boalsburg, PA 16827
Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster has two positions open:

Director of Children & Family Ministry: Authentic, Out-going, Creative, Enthusiastic and have a passion for sharing the love of Christ with children and their families? Raise your hand if that is you! Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is looking for someone like you to become our Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM). Join the commitment leaders and members of HPUCC in finding new, innovative ways to share and experience the love of Christ within the church and the community. Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information: admin@hpucc.org

Worship Accompanist: Like to lift a joyful noise? Do you love playing a wide variety of music among an enthusiastic congregation? Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is searching for someone to bring their gifts to their Sunday morning worship service where we appreciate both piano and organ music as well as a blend of contemporary and traditional pieces. The successful candidate will provide piano and organ music during one Sunday worship service as well as accompany one weekly rehearsal throughout the choir season.
 
Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information: admin@hpucc.org Read more here.
Directory
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-433-2587

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3564

Rev. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-433-6306
 
Anne Rankin
Outdoor Ministries Liaison
phone: 717-945-4585
 
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: pkeller@pccucc.org | phone: 717-652-1560