Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 22, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

At the end of the year and the beginning of a New Year, it is only natural for us to become reflective about past events. We may also hold within our hearts some hopes for the coming year. At these times, it can be helpful to take some time to examine our attitude toward life. Many of us tend to think of ourselves as being optimistic or pessimistic about the future. What is your attitude?

I am reminded of a story I heard about parents who had two young boys. One boy was optimistic and always saw the bright side of whatever was going on around him. The other son was pessimistic and continually saw the shortcomings and faults of nearly everything in his life. Well, during Christmas, the parents decided that they would try an experiment to see if they could influence the boys' attitudes. On Christmas morning, as was the family tradition, each boy had all of his presents placed in one corner of the room, one to the right and the other to the left. When the pessimistic boy came downstairs he saw a huge pile of toys reaching nearly to the ceiling in his corner of the room. When he saw them, he complained, “Ah, they will all only be broken in three weeks anyway.” When the other son came downstairs he looked at his corner of the room and saw a huge pile of horse manure and he started jumping up and down, raising his arms in glee, smiling, and yelling, “Yippee, Yippee!”

Needless to say the parents were puzzled and asked the boy why he was so happy. He looked at them and said, “With all that horse manure, there must be a pony around here somewhere!” 

I think this story illustrates just how powerful the attitude we carry through life influences how we view the events and persons in our lives. As the old saying goes, “We cannot prevent the birds and moths of misfortune from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from making a nest in our hair”, or nesting in our minds. 

The optimistic boy on Christmas morning is more than a simple Pollyanna who self-consciously employs positive thinking. This optimism is able to reframe what occurs in life in ways that leads to seeing more possibilities than may be readily apparent. This optimism affirms the overall goodness of life, which thankfully cherishes the gifts of life gracefully provided by God. This optimism emerges from a faith that stands on the promise expressed by St. Paul in his letter to the Romans: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

When the birds and moths of misfortune fly over our heads, let us pray that God will renew faith and hope in us that we not lose sight of the purpose to which we are called as God’s sons and daughters.

Scott M. Watts, M.S., M.Div., LPC, NCC
Penn Central Conference
Facilitator of Care to Clergy and Clergy Families
Climate Justice

From the Pollinator:

This week we continue with our third installment of actions for churches seeking to embody an all-out mobilization to address the twin crises of climate and inequality. The actions flow out the " Kairos Call to Action ," which was issued by the UCC Council for Climate Justice at the start of this year. As I read today's suggested actions for addressing waste, a simultaneous sense of crisis and hope hit me. On the one hand, it reminded me of recent research that highlights how the expansion of plastics threatens to wipe out gains in other areas. Over the next five years, it is projected that the increase in plastic and chemical production will be central to driving an increase in oil and gas plants in the United States as well as an increase in drilling. As Courtney Bernhardt from the Environmental Integrity Project noted in a recent article in The Guardian, such expansion would erase 75% of the advances made in the power sector since 2012. Just when you think things can't get any worse!

Yet, the suggested actions put forth today offer hope. There is the tangible hope of a church in Raleigh, North Carolina that has shown how to become a zero-waste church. There is also the hope of history. The environmental justice movement began with those who took action in addressing the problem of what we do with our waste.

Read now about the hope-giving actions for this third week of the year: Know Your Environmental Justice History and Become a Zero Waste Church .

Read the introduction to " A Kairos Call to Action ."
Read about the first suggested action: Enter a Period of Study and Immersion.

From Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson 
Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations 
Co-Executive for Global Ministries

In the past weeks we have seen the fires raging in Australia and the damages caused by the earthquakes in Puerto Rico. The UCC issued an appeal for Puerto Rico. Give the limited resources of the country and the lack of support from the US government, the island will need outside assistance for recovery. We will partner with Iglesia Evangelical Unida de Puerto Rico on these efforts have we have done with hurricane Maria. We sent $20,000 to assist with providing food, shelter and hygiene kits as well as other supplies for those displaced from their homes. 
We have received inquiries about Australia and support for the fires. Here too we see tremendous loss. We have no partners in Australia and Australia is a country with resources. However, while we will not issue an appeal, we will respond through the international community when the opportunity arises. 
We are also sending support to assist with the earthquakes and typhoon in the Philippines. While on a small scale, these disasters have caused challenges for the Philippines.
Preaching Around the Conference

January 26 - Hill Chur c h, Cleona - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:00AM

February 9 - Faith UCC, State College - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 9:00AM

February 16 - Trinity UCC, Centre Hall - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:45AM
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...

Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill
First UCC, Carlisle
St. Matthew's UCC, Carlisle
Salem UCC, Carlisle
Updated Clergy Compensation Guidelines

As we start a new year, new clergy compensation guidelines go into effect. One piece of the guidelines to be aware of is the changes to Supply Preaching. T he recommended pay for a supply pastor is $175-$200 per Sunday (multiple services may be higher) plus the IRS mileage reimbursement. The IRS mileage has been dropped a half cent from 2019, to 57.5 cents per mile.
Yearbook 2020
Pledge Forms
We are grateful for the monthly OCWM gifts and appreciate those churches that added OCWM as a line item in their 2020 annual budget. Please let us know what you have pledged to OCWM in the coming year by completing and submitting this  online pledge form  or by sending this paper form  into Paul via email or mail.

Church Officer Reporting

In addition to your online Yearbook reporting via the Data Hub, PCC will still be collecting the voluntary Church Officer reporting. Please complete this form and email to Paul at the PCC office.
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below.

If you need assistance - reach out to the conference office and we will be glad to assist.

Salem's Closet located at Salem UCC, 231 Chestnut St., Harrisburg, Pa. will be open on February 15th from 10AM to Noon. (DATE CORRECTED)
The Closet is in need of blankets, pillows and socks, but it is in desperate need of Children's clothing. We give clothing not only to those who come on open days but also to various shelters such as the one for Abused Women. Many children are at these shelters and some only have the clothing on their back. If you have anything to donate please call Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

January 26 - Installation of Rev. Betsy Bruaw at Peace Church, Swartzville - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust)
February 2 - Installation of Rev. DiAnn Baxley at First UCC, Middleburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Carrie Call attending) Snow date - February 23
February 22 - Ordination of Amy Fishburn at Grace UCC, Lancaster - 2:00PM
February 23 - Installation of Craig Munnel at Trinity UCC, Lewistown - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

January 28 - Lebanon Ministerium w/ Darryl Stephens - Salem UCC, Campbelltown - 10:30AM
February 15 - Ministerial Gathering, hosted by the Executive Committee of Central Associatio n - Silver Moon Banquet Hall, Lewisburg, PA - 8:15AM
March 9 - Mercersburg Ministerium–Spiritual Care in the Congregation with Rev. Nora Foust - 9:00am
Association Special Events

February 3 - Harrisburg Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill - 6:00PM   

April 18 - York Association Earth Day Anniversary Weekend w/ Jim Antal - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 9:00AM

Hartman Center Retreats - NEW RETREATS LISTED
Marriage in the Later Years of Life with Dave & Anne Bushnell- March 2 - 4
Countdown To Opening Day (Fishing, of course!) with Dave Bushnell & Friends - March 16 - 18
Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29
What is Good Leadership? with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - April 14 - 15
Learning to See - A Photography Retreat with Nelson Dodson - April 27 - 29
Pride Retreat for LGBTQ Folks & Allies - May 29-31 (details to come)

Early bird pricing for those who pay in full before March 31, 2020.
Clergy Events
 Boundary Training & MEFS
February 19 - MEF: Ministry in an Election Year with Rev. Carrie Call - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
March 3 - Crossing Boundaries, Tending Boundaries: Collective Wisdom for Best Pastoral Practices with Rev. Ed Dickel - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - 6:30-8:30pm
March 18 - MEF: Civility, Empathy and Well Being in Community with Therapist Judith Kennedy, MS, MA, NCC, LPC at St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
April 22 MEF: Recognizing and Responding to Disruption in Community or Life Together: Its Challenges and Rewards with Scott Watts - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-1:30pm
May 7 - Retired and Supply Boundary Awareness with Rev. Sally Dries and Rev. Nora Foust - PCC Office, Harrisburg - 10:00am-1:00pm
May 13 - Ordinary Team Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - More info to come
From our Local Churches
Mended Heart Lenten Concert/Potluck - Salem UCC, Elizabethtown - March 15 - 3:00pm

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

Free Choir Robes - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover
Emmanual UCC has 36 choir robes (made in the US by E.R. Moore.) They are green, in a traditional style, gathered yoke, front zip with stoles. (See picture here.) Call Emmanual UCC at 717-632-8281 for details.

Looking for Bells - Church of the Apostles, Waynesboro
Narda Druckenmiller is looking for a 2 Octave set of Handbells that another church may not be using or willing to sell. Contact Narda at 717-994-4614
Open & Affirming
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Rev Dr. Beverly Dale - an ordained minister, a playwright/performer/author, sex educator, teacher, educator, and spiritual director.  
From PCC Partners & Friends
"True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality" presented by ACLU-PA South Central - Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse, Lancaster - January 27, 7:30PM - rsvp via email to

Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

2020 UCC History & Polity Class - Lancaster Theological Seminary - February 21 through April 3

Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) 2020 Annual Conference Holistic Faith Formation: Engaging Our Whole Selves - Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center, Mt Bethel, PA - April 27 through April 29, 2020 - register online by March 1st here
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase & Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
The more you know...
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. John Fureman

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
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
Scott Watts
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Laura Dalton
Administrative Assistant/Search & Call Assistant
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 10
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560