Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| July 13, 2022
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,
“When Jesus finished praying, a disciple said, ‘Lord teach us to pray…’ St. Luke 11:1

At the heart of the disciple’s request was a desire to attain what they witnessed as present within his being. Having experienced his demeanor, his command of situations, his confidence and assurance, the disciple expressed a desire for his followers to develop the same qualities. 

Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul counsels believers to ‘pray without ceasing’. His intent appears to be that we actively and constantly cultivate an attitude within our spirit to dialogue with God always. The Apostle is not suggesting that everyone retreat from the world and attach ourselves to a cloister, sit in a corner and spend our days in solitary meditation. In fact, Paul was fully engaged in life. He was an evangelist, tent maker, joining in community festivals and interacted with political and cultural leaders of his day. But in all these activities he actively communicated to, listened for and responded to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. And he counsels that we involve ourselves likewise. 

Jesus’ prayer life demonstrates, and Paul’s counsel advises practice, practice, practice. What we see in the public sphere of their ministries is but the tip of the iceberg. As with any worthwhile endeavor, accomplishment results not from luck, nor genetic superiority, but from repetition and reflection in order to achieve that which we seek to master. 
We might ponder whether prayer was always easy for Paul and the many saints of our faith. Truth is many times it was far from and effortless journey. Even a casual reading of their lives reveals the deep soul longing and spiritual hunger often confronted in their prayers. Any and every consolation stemming from prayer grew, for them, from a long and often challenging process of maturing through the practice of prayer. We can recall the passages from Mother Theresa wherein she confessed her times of doubt, fear and misgivings concerning God as she ministered to the poor in the slums of Calcutta. But she never abandoned the relationship, nor did she neglect investing the time and effort into dialogue with God. 

How then do we learn to pray? Jesus did not simply share a formula for prayer. His teaching to the disciples, and so to us, came as a result of their time and travels together. There had been much teaching, dialogue and relationship. From this journey he shared with them the words we refer to as the Lord’s prayer. Whether the words come easily, or we need the Spirit to intercede for us, remaining in God’s presence at all moments is how we learn and practice prayer. 

The Rev. Dr. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Clergy Care
To all in the Penn Central Conference and Central Association,

 I would like to take this time to say thank – you! Thank - you to all who reached out to myself and my family after the unexpected lost of my father. Thank - you for your love and support. From the cards, flowers, food, and memorial donations, to all who attended the funeral. To all who provided a listening ear, shoulder to cry on and sent supportive text messages or messages through Facebook. Your love and support meant and means so much!

Today, I give thanks for my wider church family! Dad loved and always made his family come first. My family and I are grateful to each of you as you lifted us in prayer, had us in your thoughts and love!

I would also like to say thank you to Rev. Rick Luciotti and Rev. Amelia Price for their love and support for supporting me and my family through this time. You both were a blessing to me! But, also to my family!

Thank you all for being a ray of sunshine in such a dark time in our lives,
Peace and Blessings to you all,

Greatly appreciated with love,
Rev. Tammy Gessner and her family
Scheduling notes:
July 1 - October 1 - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust on sabbatical
July 17 - Solomon's UCC, Chambersburg - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
July 24 - St. John's UCC, Shamokin - 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...

Emmanuel UCC, Centre Hall
St. John's UCC, Loganton
St. Paul's UCC, Selinsgrove
Trinity UCC, Watson
Local Church
On Saturday, Bethel of Spring Grove held a "Ukrainian Folk Festival" with live music led by our church musician Molly Morgan McDyer to raise money for Direct Relief's Ukrainian Fund which provides access to healthcare to Ukrainian refugees.
We heard beautiful music, learned "The Hopka" (a Ukrainian folk dance), sang and prayed in Ukrainian. We had great food and a basket raffle and connected with our community in a very special way. However, most importantly, our "small but mighty" congregation raised over $1000 for this wonderful cause.
We're doing amazing things here in Penn Central! If you'd like to hear more about what's going on at our "little church on the hill" please check out our website and find us on Facebook.
With love,
Pastor Zoë D'heedene
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.
The Lutheran Camping Corporation's 2021 annual report is now available here.
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 on the registration page
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

NEW REGISTRATION OPTION: The conference planners are working diligently to create hybrid option for attendees. If you would like to attend on-line, register for the "commuter rate." Please be aware that only the primary sessions (plenaries) would be available to view. See full schedule here.
Urgent! An additional host is needed to host one of our German Colleagues the weekend after the PCC-UEK Colloquy, July 29-August 1. The guest will be flying out of Philadelphia airport, so if it is possible to also provide, or provide guidance on transportation, it would be ideal.  For more information email Julie Holm at or call her at 814-349-5515.

Are you looking for a fresh way to present the Advent/Christmas and Lenten/Easter stories, so that they come to life for your congregation in a new, fresh, and engaging manner? This collection of first-person sermons, where one is invited to take on the persona of a character within the biblical narrative and tell a piece of the story through their eyes, may be just what you're looking for! Present them as is ... use what I have written as a launching off point for creating your own materials ... and to my female colleagues - use what I have written as a starting point for bringing light to the many female voices from the biblical narrative that need to be heard. - Rev. Curt Miner

Order 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 Flag in The Sanctuary - July 14, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Witnesses with the World’s Workers - July 20, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Building an Endowment - July 27, 7:30 pm - 8:30 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)
 It doesn't get any better than this:
1. Nuts and bolts classes on financial basics. Two upcoming classes: Personal Finances for Ministers (begins July 12) and Church Finances (begins Oct 11).
2. Nationally recognized instructor. Dr. Lovett Weems is Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Founding Director/Senior Consultant of the G. Douglass Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary.
3. Reduced price. PAM applied for and was awarded a grant from the Walters/Unitarian Universalist Church Trust of Lancaster to subsidize registration costs for these classes. Cost for each class is only $125.
4. Scholarships available. A generous seminary board member has provided funds for full scholarships for two new PAM participants for each class. Interested persons should complete the PAM application and indicate that they would like to be considered for the scholarship. Awards for the first class will be determined on July 5.
WE ARE LITERALLY GIVING IT AWAY! Who could pass up a chance to study with Dr. Weems at no cost!?

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.
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
UCC Homes is seeking a payroll administrator for the administrative office location in Camp Hill. This is a full-time position working 75 hours in a two week pay period.
This position is responsible for the preparation and processing of biweekly payroll for approximately 800 employees of United Church of Christ Homes. Duties include verification of data used to prepare paychecks and all required reporting. Also responsible for preparing tax withholding payments and reports to applicable taxing authorities as required; as well as year-end preparation and filing of W-2s to employees and tax authorities. Sales tax data collection, filing, and other accounting duties.
Microsoft Word and Excel experience is required. Knowledge of payroll processing is desired.
Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan.
 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 by
July 19, 2022 to:
United Church of Christ Homes
30 N. 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Team Leader and Minister of Gender & Sexuality Justice/Executive Director, United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network (aka UCAN)
The Team Leader will be responsible for oversight and coordination of United Church of Christ (UCC) strategies, programs and resources related gender, gender expression, and LGBTQI+ education, equity, and advocacy. This includes serving as the Executive Director of the United Church AIDS Network (aka UCAN), and assigned liaison to The Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC, United Church of Christ Wellness Ministries, and the Unitarian Universalist Association specifically regarding agreements related to Our Whole Lives Program. Please use the link below to view the full position description and to apply.  
The National Ministries endeavors to recruit employees from backgrounds that vary by race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and
expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, genetic information, past, present or future service in the uniformed services, religion, or any other legally protected characteristic under applicable federal, state or local law. The National Ministries is proud to be a multicultural, multiracial, open and affirming, accessible to all, Equal Opportunity Employer.
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
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.
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