Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| June 08, 2022
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

This question has been on my heart and my mind for many years, especially these past 2 years as we have emerged from the ravages of the pandemic. How shall our churches be alive and thrive now and into the 21st century? God needs us, the world needs us, even as we are recovering from our pains and struggles; even as we know pain and struggle. The world is filled with enmity and division, endless violence and war in our country and around the globe. Maybe another way to ask the questions is “How is God calling us NOW to be church? To whom is God calling us? Where is God calling us?”

If we are expecting church to return to how it has been in the past when our churches were teeming with people, including families and children, we will soon be disappointed. “Because we built it” no longer translates into “they will come.” During the last 60 years membership and attendance have decreased, fewer families are coming to church, and there is a rise in the unchurched who do not trust institutions, including the institution of the church.

In workshops with small churches, I suggest that God is calling us anew, in ways that we have not known before, in ways that are vital and relevant, in ways that bring the love of Jesus Christ in the flesh, through us to individuals and families, all ages and orientations; the hungry, the shunned and marginalized, and the oppressed, just as Jesus brought love to these folks. God is calling us to reach out beyond our four walls and meet and greet folks in our neighborhood. God is calling us to join with community partners to reach those most in need.

This past Monday evening our Annual Meeting began with a plenary in which our keynote speaker UCC's Associate General Minister of Global Engagement, the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, presented new ways we engage with mission partners around the world. Missionaries no longer impose their beliefs on those they are called to serve. In the 21st century they are partners who listen closely to the people, work in collaboration with them to discern their needs, and help them to heal and move forward, or cope in impossible situations. The main purpose of mission partners is to love with the love of Jesus, even as they are the hands and feet of Jesus.

And it makes me wonder: what about mission here? There is a mission field right here in our backyards. How do we find new ways to partner with our neighbors, with anyone who is seeking meaning and purpose, relief and comfort? If we consider Rev. Thompson’s model, we first listen closely: to the spiritual but not religious, beleaguered families too tired for Sunday morning, GenZ and millennials who don’t have any interest in the institutional church; the homeless, hungry, shunned and marginalized; the oppressed.  We reach out with one heart, honoring the diversity of experiences and let them know God and we care. Just as Rev. Thompson outlined a stance of listening carefully and partnering, right where the people live, we need to take the same stance. Listen carefully, get to know, develop relationships, work with partners in our greater communities to help folks to make lasting and life-giving decisions.

There is hope, there is vision for the future as we contemplate God’s words to us in Isaiah 19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” But, God, we may cry, what new thing are you doing? And the promise of God is as good as it always has been: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” 

Beloved, as you attend Annual Meeting workshops this week and attend the worship/business meeting on Saturday, listen for our still speaking God who is giving us a vision for the future. Wonder and discern together in your churches the new thing God has for you as Christ’s church of the 21st century. Seek to be of one mind and one heart in the love of Jesus, honoring your own diversity, and with God’s help and guidance, bringing the love of Jesus—the hands and feet of Jesus—to the people in our backyard of Penn Central Conference.

May God give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to know, and spirits that discern the wisdom and guidance of our God. And when we speak, may our words always be preceded by love.

May you know richly the love of God through Jesus Christ,


The Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Scheduling notes:
June 12 - Church of the Apostles UCC, Lancaster - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching
June 12 - Shiloh UCC, York - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
June 26 - Emmanuel (Freysville) UCC, Red Lion - 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...

Mt. Zion Congregational UCC, Shamokin
St. John's UCC, Shamokin
Salem UCC, Coal Township
Grace UCC, Shippensburg
The call to the Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ will convene via Zoom
"Mission In Focus"
"See, the former things have come to pass and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them." - Isaiah 42:9
June 6 - 11, 2022

Check out the full list of workshops on the registration page - hosted by conference staff, PCC clergy and our friend and partners on a variety of topics.

Documents have begun being uploaded to the Annual Meeting page on the PCC website - check back as more are uploaded each week.
Outdoor Ministries

Watch for Rev. Nora Foust's emails on Thursdays for links to register for Outdoor Ministries events and a taste of the summer camp curriculum. Read last week's here or on our Facebook page. If you aren't getting these emails, contact Paul to be added to the mailing list. And don't forget to use code PENNCENTRAL2022 for 50% off camp at both HC Spirit Week and Lutheran Camping Corporation camps
  • SUMMER CAMP programs from June-August To learn more about and to register for youth camp summer programs, visit here.
  • To learn more about and to register for family camp summer programs, visit here.

  • To learn more about and to register for elder camp, visit here.
HC Spirit Week - What's in a Name?
"Naming and Claiming Who God Made Us to Be"
Saturday, August 6
through Friday, August 12
Camp Mt. Luther

See the full brochure here for all the details!

Register online here or mail your registration form to the PCC offices.
HC Spirit Week tee shirt design contest has been extended to June 12th! Submit your 8.5"x11" designs to Rev. Alice Rauch - designs must include: "What's In A Name: Naming and Claiming Who God Made Us To B", "Penn Central Conference" and "HC Spirit Week 2022 (at Camp. Mt. Luther or CML)"
Local Church
Christ Church UCC, 200 S White Oak St, Annville, (on 934) is hosting an outdoor Flea Market on Saturday, June 18 from 8am - 2pm. Rain or Shine - Food for sale too! Call 717-867-1641 to reserve a spot ($10) or for more information. We look forward to having you to sell, shop & eat!
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!
Building a Just Peace in an Unjust World:
Learning with and from Our Anabaptist Colleagues
Pastoral Colloquy 2022
Sunday, 24 July, through Friday, 29 July, 2022 - Learn more and register here.

Who?   Pastors from all the church bodies listed above
What? A week of learning, discussion, and fellowship
Where? Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
When?  Sunday, 24 July, through Friday, 29 July, 2022
Weekend visits before and after the colloquy are available for our German guests.
Why?  “All we are saying is ‘Give peace a chance!’” ~ John Lennon, 1969
Election Year Reminder: Churches Can Be Political But Not Partisan

UCC General Counsel Heather Kimmel shares important information to consider as another election cycle heats up. Read her blog post 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.

Open and Affirming: the Power of Covenant - June 16, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Juneteenth: Revealing Hidden Histories - June 17, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Manual on Church Update - June 23 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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)

Learn more and register here!
  • Personal Finances for Ministers, July 12–Aug 16. Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. Instructor, Lovett Weems. Introduction to basics of personal financial management, including special considerations for religious professionals and congregations where they serve. Topics include budgeting, debt, compensation and taxes, insurance, investing, and estate planning. For pastors and lay leaders. 2.5 CEUs. $125
  • Ministerial Ethics and Professional Development, instructor Jessica Young Brown, Aug 23–Sept 27, 2022. A Ministerial Institute class. Confidentiality, fiduciary duty, healthy boundaries, and self-care in ministry. $325.
Evangelical & Reformed Heritage Sunday - June 12

As we prepare to celebrate Heritage Sunday in the coming weeks we should take a moment to reflect on our beginning, traditions, and memories as moments from the past are part of our story and that is a story that future generations will look back on and write the next chapter. The mission of the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society is to preserve the past, educate future generations and continue building a renewed interest in our legacy.

We are thankful for your generosity. Prepare for your Heritage Sunday Celebration with a renewed excitement for your faith. If you would like to make a gift online click here to support the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society.
Forty Days: A Pilgrimage of Peace
July 15 - August 25
Louisa, Virginia USA
For more information email Br. Stefan at
Songs of Desire: New Music for the Churches
Saturday July 9, 2:00Pm - Sunday July 10, 9:00PM
Suggested Donation: $50 including accommodation and meals.
For more information email Br. Stefan at
Employment Opportunities
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
Audio/Visual System Operators Needed
Church of the Apostles, United Church of Christ in Wayne Heights is looking for two people to operate our Audio/Visual system during Sunday morning worship services at 10:45 am (summer worship at 10 am, beginning the first Sunday in June and ending with Labor Day weekend). Other services would include weddings, funerals, Lenten services and Christmas Eve. These are part-time, independent contractor positions; paid per service. Responsible teenagers will be considered. Training will be provided. Read the full description here.
Position:     Music Director
Effective:   Immediately
As a part of the United Church of Christ denomination, we at Hamilton Park UCC seek to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and caring environment where people of all backgrounds and from all walks of life can experience the support of a community where they are valued and loved and where they can experience the love of God given by Christ.
General Responsibilities:
In support of the Pastor and the vision of Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, this year-round, part time, salaried position will coordinate the total music ministry program of HPUCC, to include playing instruments, such as piano, organ, guitar, etc. in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.
Primary Responsibilities:
The Music Director plans and oversees a diverse musical program that enhances the total worship programming of the church that includes worship services and special events.
If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603.
The Schuylkill Association of the PA Southeast Conference, UCC, has a ministry opportunity for a part-time chaplain at Locust Lake State Park near Tamaqua, PA. If you are a Christian (Clergy or lay) who can function in an unstructured situation and who has a love of God, God’s creation, and God’s people, then this might be the opportunity for you.

The chaplain represents the church as a Christian presence and quiet witness among those who camp at this beautiful state park. The responsibilities of the chaplain include:
·        Conduct campsite visitation weekly.
·        Provide informal, inspirational weekly worship services.
·        Provide availability to park/campground staff and campers for crisis situations.
·        Provide informal programs such as campfires, hymn sings, special musical events, and activities for children, as needed.

Training and ministry support and resources will be provided by the PA Council of Churches Chaplains in the Park program and the Locust Lake Committee.
You can learn more about this ministry opportunity, including compensation, at Or you can contact the Locust Lake Ministry chair, the Rev. Maureen Duffy-Guy at or cell (570) 952-5474. To apply for this position go to Make sure that you click the box for Locust Lake on the application. The application will be open until the position is filled.
St. Matthew’s UCC (Carlisle) is seeking a part-time
church administrative assistant. Starting pay 15.00 or higher
based on experience/credentials. 10-15hrs/week. Read full description here.
If interested, please contact Pastor Tim Dugan
Preferred contact phone number: 570-428-4290.
Preferred contact email:
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