Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| August 17, 2022
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

“…but instead, let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:4b)

This morning I heard the story of a man who left a blank journal at his favorite coffee shop and encouraged customers to write a line or two about those things for which they were thankful. This simple gesture expanded into a nationwide project that provides journals to all sorts of places – including schools – to encourage reflection on gratitude.

Gratitude is powerful. We know this from Jesus, who often expressed thanksgiving. Luke relates the story of the 10 lepers (v.11-19) who were cleansed and, of the ten, only one turned back to thank Jesus. Jesus seems incredulous when he asks, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?” He is intuitively aware that – for some reason – we scrimp on thanksgiving.

This is a strange reality. Humans seem better able to count their losses than their gratitude. I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of churches, how easy it is for us to lament. There is lament for what we have lost and for what we may be losing. There is also lament for things over which we do not have control. Lament is necessary - make no mistake. Our grief is real, and we grieve over those things which were precious to us and are no more. A strange truth emerges as well if we are open to it: Gratitude lessens grief.
All of life involves loss. Yet gratitude can lift us – can change the way our brains work – to bring new perspectives, peace, and emotional freedom. I was reminded of this last Saturday as I joined Rev. Patty Dodds in leading the funeral service for Rev. David Stewart, MD. David’s passing was untimely and heartbreaking. Yet David’s son Drew spoke to how it is a miracle to “be anything at all” in this world. Drew spoke of gratitude for his father in the cosmic context of the miracle of simply having lived. His words shifted my perspective from one of loss to one of gratitude. And those words brought peace.

There are various aspects to the recent interest in the “Gratitude Project”. You can google them for ways to become more mindful about offering thanksgiving – not just on Sundays, but every day. Daily, detailed thanksgiving is the easiest way to change the way we see the world; to gain greater inner peace; to release lament over things we cannot control; to develop resilience; and to become more forgiving and compassionate. Gratitude is also the very best way to gently release our grip on those people, animals, places, and things we have lost and to focus more on what we have gained. Thanks be to God!


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Save the date:
September 10, 2022, 10:00AM-1:00PM
Open House to celebrate ACM Marisa Laviola's final month with PCC before moving on to her new position as Conference Minister in the Maine Conference. Refreshments will be served and a presentation will happen at noon. At Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg. More details coming next week!
Disaster Update, How to Help
Event: Major Flooding and Severe Weather from Missouri to Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia
Join the Willing to Respond Network of Churches: Willing to Respond Preparedness Network
Donate Emergency Funds-Designate to Emergency USA: Donate Now - United Church of Christ (
Volunteer Opportunities: UCC Ministry Opportunities
Scheduling notes:
July 1 - Sept 1 - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust on sabbatical
August 4 - 18 - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola on vacation
August 21 - Salem UCC, Harrisburg - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
August 21 - Grace UCC, Lebanon - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
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...

Trinity UCC, York
Zion UCC, York
St. Jacobs UCC, York New Salem
St. Peters UCC, Aaronsburg
Local Church News
August 22, 6:30PM
Trinity UCC, East Petersburg

Rev. Dr. Rich Christensen, author of "Learning to See: Memoir of Southern Africa" shares the highlights of his experiences teaching in the African nation of Botswana. Experience new freedom as he shares how his time in Africa opened his eyes to what is doing in His church despite difficult circumstances. He saw that relationships are what save us, that the salvation of God in Christ is not merely personal and individual, but communal, and that we are thus more dependent upon one another than we realize. Don't miss out, come and join us!
Congregation Granting, Scholarship and Leadership Development on the faith INFO team of Justice and Local Church Ministries has launched their common application for congregational grants for 2022. They are ready to receive applications. The common application allows grantees to apply for four different funding sources offered through Justice and Local Church Ministries: Neighbors in Need, Operational Support, CASA: New and Rebirthing Churches and the Pension Board New Church Start.
Below please find a link to the informational video that goes over frequently asked questions and walks through the grant application key aspects. Additionally, you will find the link for the application beneath it. Thank you for your assistance!
Grant Informational Video Link
Save the date
Hybrid Hope
Church of the Future for Churches with a Future
Rev. Dr. Michael Piazza Workshop

Saturday October 1 from 9:00-2:00
Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ
1850 Marietta Ave. Lancaster, PA – (717)392-5718
More Information and How to Register to Come
Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg is offering a free 5' x 10' conference table with 10 chairs. Table folds in half for storage or transport. Contact them at 717-545-3782
Association Events
Kayak Vespers (on Land and Lake) at Lake Redman in Jacobus
Fellow members of the York Association!!
Please join fellow boaters for a 30-minute Vesper Service around 5 pm on September 25 at Lake Redman in Jacobus. Meet at the Muskie Pavilion; then gather for vespers on land or sea. Please bring a snack to share! Volunteers are needed to plan vespers and read. Boats may be available to rent, if ordered in advance. Please contact Pastor Martha Boyer, St Paul Church at 717 858-2991 for questions or more information! We will be including in prayer those in York County who are continuing to suffer hardship due to damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021.
This event will be live-streamed on the St. Paul Shrewsbury Facebook Page and available later on YouTube!
Clergy Events
PCC has launched a new monthly email just for clergy, with news, events and clergy transitions. If you did not get this month's email on Tuesday, please let Paul know.

We will be including some items in the eNews (see below), but please check out the full email here for more events and news!
The Mercersburg Study Group (a monthly gathering focused on Mercersburg theology) extends an invitation to all clergy and interested persons in Penn Central Conference to participate in a special study of church renewal beginning Thursday, September 8th, and extending monthly on the second Thursday of the month through December.

Among the topics to be discussed are: the context of ministry today, the essence of the gospel including an appraisal of justification by faith, the center of Protestantism in contrast to liberal and conservative faith, and worship as reclaiming Christ through proclamation, presence, and joy. Dr. Peter Schmiechen will be the group facilitator. Dr. Schmiechen’s forth coming book titled, Tradition in Crisis: The Case for Centric Protestants, will be a resource for the study. The study group meets at Trinity UCC in East Petersburg from 10:00 to noon on the second Thursday of each month. The environment is casual; coffee and donuts are available.

Indication of attendance through the provided link is appreciated but not required. Further information is available by emailing Tom Lush, pastor of St. Paul’s UCC in New Oxford:
Church Vitality Workshop
Sponsored by the Congregational Empowerment Team of the Penn Central Conference
The “nuts and bolts” of how to be Alive and Thrive as God’s 21st Century Church!
Saturday, September 24 - 9am to 3pm
In person Colonial Park United Church of Christ, Harrisburg or online through ZOOM
Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola

Workshops on church vitality this past year have focused on the what and why of becoming alive and thriving for all churches of all sizes.
This workshop will take the topic further by asking the questions:
·      How do we come alive and thrive?
·      How do we change our culture to be forward looking rather than wishing for the past?
·      How do we reach out into our community?
·      How do we welcome new folks to our family of faith?
·      How do we discern if we need to come together with another church: eg share pastors, consolidate buildings?
·      What is workable for our church?
·      How do we plan the next steps for our church?
Have you participated in workshops with Marisa? Come and learn the “how to” steps toward vitality with a coach to guide you.
First time participating in a workshop with Marisa? Come and learn with a coach to guide you.
COST?             $300 for workshop and coaching sessions.
Scholarships are available
INCLUDES: Three Coaching sessions to follow with experienced coach
For Questions and to Register no later than SEPTEMBER 2,
Contact: Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola (
Fall MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom) - now with registration links

September 20 - "Contemplatives in Action" with Janeen Adil
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM Zoom only - register here

October 18 - "Humility as Spiritual Practice" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM Zoom only - register here

November 15 - "Just War, Just Peace - A 21st Century Discussion" with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PN Zoom only - register here
Boundary Training - now with registration links

September 29 - "Bi-Vocational Boundaries and Ethics" with Darryl Stephens
6PM via Zoom - Register here

October - dates and topics to be announced

November 9 - "The Ministerial Code: A Way of Being" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust
10:00AM hybrid - register here
6:00PM 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.

Annual Campaigns 101 - August 24, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Moving Through Life With Embodied Grace - August 25, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
"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.
The Space Between: The Emerging Church in a Post-Pandemic World
September 19, 2022 – September 21, 2022

Join us to reflect on what we've moved through as church experiencing pandemic, to recognize the innovative ways we have survived and in some ways thrived: What did we learn when faced with the need to pivot quickly and still be effectively present as church? Where do we need to stretch ourselves? What and how do we need to build capacity to resource how we're evolving as church? What might we each offer to help us become? These and other questions will be contemplated as we lean in to lessons learned about adapting with agility, and unpack potential possibility. Learn more and register here.
From our friends and partners
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)
Upcoming Classes:

Ministerial Ethics and Professional Development, Aug 23–Sept 27, Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. Instructor Jessica Young Brown. A Ministerial Institute class. An in-depth look at ethics in ministry, including confidentiality, fiduciary duty, healthy boundaries, and self-care. 2.5 CEUs. $325.
Church Finances, Oct 11–Nov 15. Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. Instructor, Lovett Weems. Practical skills for creating and presenting budgets grounded in the church’s mission, expanding means of giving and sources of income, presenting accurate tracking and reporting of giving, proper financial administration of funds, and exploring new options for funding ministry. For pastors and lay leaders. 2.5 CEUs. $125.
Eden Theological Seminary

August 15th - Oct 7th – UCC History and Polity Course
Eden is offering UCC History and Polity as an asynchronous 8-week intensive course for the Fall 2022 semester. All the material from a full-semester course will be covered, and all coursework will be completed in an asynchronous online forum. This class is appropriate for Members In Discernment and those on an alternative path to authorized ministry. It is also open to those seeking Dual Standing or Privilege of Call in the UCC, if your Committee on Ministry requires you to take a full-semester course.
If you've been looking for a UCC History and Polity class to fit around your schedule, you've found it. Class meets Aug. 15 - Oct. 7, 2022. Contact the Eden Admissions Office to register:, 314-918-2642.
2022 Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness Conference
September 22, 2022

This workshop is designed to improve the knowledge in the business continuity planning areas related to an armed intruder incident. It is intended for professionals from the public and private sectors as well as faith-based organizations responsible for business continuity planning and emergency planning. This workshop is free of charge courtesy of the South Central PA Task Force, Millersville University and grants from US DHS! Seating is limited so register soon.
Employment Opportunities
Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg
(Available Immediately)
Full-Time: 52 weeks per year
37.5 Hours per week
The purpose of this position is to provide administrative support for the pastor, staff, Council, and committees. This person is appointed and dismissed by CPUCC Council and reports to Senior Pastor. Read full description here.
The communities of United Church of Christ Homes are seeking to fill several positions for Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Dining Service Assistants. If you or someone you know is looking for a new employment opportunity, please visit the UCC Homes Employment Opportunities page on our website at for more details. Our communities include The Lebanon Valley Home in Annville, Thornwald Home and Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home in Carlisle, Ephrata Manor in Ephrata and Kindred Place at Annville and Kindred Place at Harrisburg.  

These highlighted employment opportunities are also available:
Information Technology Specialist: UCC Homes is seeking an Information Technology Specialist for a full-time position for an experienced individual to install, troubleshoot, and maintain computer software, hardware, and accessories, as well as network hardware and accessories for a multi-site healthcare organization. 
Benefits include: Insurance coverage beginning the first of the month after hire! Employee Health Insurance for $40/month! $20 Doctor Office Visits with Prescription coverage; Free Dental Insurance with no deductible for preventive services! Two Vision Coverage Options to choose from! Free Life Insurance equal to your annual salary! AMAZING company-paid retirement plan! Pet insurance plan available! Other voluntary insurances available! Subject to reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position. Please mail or email resume and letter of interest to: United Church of Christ Homes, 30 North 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011;
Director of Nursing: Ephrata Manor is seeking a Director of Nursing. This is an exempt full-time position for a caring individual with exceptional organization, communication, and multi-tasking skills and a focus on quality resident care. The successful candidate will be a PA Licensed RN or BSN (in good standing) with three years of management experience in senior living care. Must have a thorough knowledge of Pennsylvania State and Federal regulations, MDS 3.0, CMI, UMR, QM, Care Planning Process. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. Please mail or fax resume and letter of interest to: Heather Brand, Executive Director, Ephrata Manor, 99 Bethany Road, Ephrata, PA 17522; 717-738-7478 FAX by August 19, 2022. 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.
Social Worker: Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home is seeking a Social Worker for a regular full-time position. Bachelor's Degree in Social Work is required. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. 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.  Interested persons should please mail, e-mail or fax resume and letter of interest to Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, Attn: Erin Jayman, 1000 West South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013;; (717) 245-9733.
Director of Social Services: Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home is seeking a Director of Social Services for a full time-exempt position. Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or related human services field and one year in long-term care experience is required. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. 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.  Interested persons should please mail, fax or email resume and letter of interest to Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, Attn: Erin Jayman, 1000 West South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013; (717) 245-9733 FAX; or to EEOE.
UCC National Positions:

Gender & Sexuality Ministry
Close Date: July 22, 2022

Global Ministries
Close Date: August 19, 2022

Close Date: August 29, 2022
Shiloh UCC, York
Family and Children Ministry Coordinator

Part-time Position Summary: Nurture and develop a caring Christian community where children and youth have a meaningful and fun relationship with other youth and adults; have an opportunity to grow in God’s grace; develop the spiritual and personal resources necessary for life’s journey and develop a loving relationship with God, themselves and others. Learn more here.
Accompanist Position Available
We are searching for an Accompanist to bring their gifts to our church where we appreciate a blend of contemporary and traditional music.

General Responsibilities:
In support of the vision of the church, this year-round, part time, salaried position will provide music for worship and other events in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.

The current music ministry of HPUCC consists of one volunteer choir, as well as instrumental and vocal soloists.

For more information, please call the church at 717-397-9791 or email: If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Dr. 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
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: | phone: 717-652-1560