Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| November 09, 2022

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Message to the Conference

Greetings, Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

By happy coincidences, this is my first conference-wide writing since my sabbatical this summer. It was a wonderful 2 months away with family and I appreciate the generosity of the conference in offering this time to me. I encourage churches to offer this time away to pastors regularly, especially following the past few years in ministry.

I have looked forward to this writing to share a bit of my focus while I was away. I read a few memoirs by people with very different lives than my own in a quest for deeper empathy and greater understanding of humility as practice, a spiritual practice. I visited, and deeply listened to, people from long-past in my life that were very important formative voices in my call. And I began a year long program with CHHSM on personal leadership development that has invited me to look deeper at myself and the ministry to which God has called me. (CHHSM is the Council for Health and Human Services Ministries of the United Church of Christ. Their work will be a feature for another week.)

I wanted to spend some time digging in on humility as a practice. We practice things so that we can get better. Athletes practice their sport regularly, even professional athletes. Musicians practice to improve their craft. A former church organist used to always say, “perfect practice makes perfect,” as she shut down the organ each day or finished up with students rehearing for recital. I practice centering prayer because I am truly terrible at sitting still and focusing on nothing but God. I practice so that I can get incrementally better at that Mary moments of sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Humility is something often spoken of, but more elusive when it comes to actual practice. A quick internet search will yield definitions like: a modest view of one’s own self-importance, freedom from pride or arrogance (not assertive); reflecting, expressing, acting, offering, with a sense of deference. Most of these feel a little counter-cultural in mainstream America, even in mainstream Christianity.

This summer’s reading of memoirs was sitting still moments of practice. It was practicing one way of honoring different experiences and recognizing those perspectives as truth. Not necessarily prioritizing another’s story but seeing and hearing it as equally valid truth even if very different from my own. This would also help in developing empathy as connecting with the emotions of the person even if the experience is different from my own.

Reading stories from Black women’s perspectives, and from that of a transgender woman, alongside vignettes from a variety of Black voices in exploring the enneagram really opened me to the still space of listening, receiving a full story all on its own as valid truth and not try to place it in relation to my own.

I used the memoir reading to help me practice humility and empathy, and using the emotional connection to hold other truths and my own in equity. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ takes practice. What are your daily practices to help improve your walk with Christ and your daily witness?

My sabbatical reading list:

·      Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford

·      This Body I Wore: A Memoir by Diana Goetsch

·      Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World -- And How to Repair it All by Lisa Sharon Harper

·      Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir by Joan Chittister

·      How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery and Race in America by Clint Smith

·      The Enneagram for Black Liberation: Return to Who You are Beneath the Armor You Carry by Chichi Agorrom

·      Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred by Victoria Loorz

·      Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown

·      Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone, Patron, and Heen




Rev. Dr. Nora Foust

Associate Conference Minister

Penn Central Conference

Penn Central Conference Virtual Choir has a new video on the PCC YouTube channel. They perform Scott Soper's "Who will Stand Up."  It is inspired by Jazz and Gospel music. It is a lively call to social justice, and reminds us much work remains to be done in the reign of God.  It works well in Lent, and also during an election season, as we are currently in, but is appropriate any time the theme of the day tends toward justice issues.

PCC Virtual Choir: Who Will Stand Up

Scheduling notes:

November 13 - St. John's UCC, Shamokin, Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching

November 13 - Grace UCC, Spring Mills - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

November 20 - Trinity UCC, East Petersburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call 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...

Trinity UCC, Glen Rock

St. Paul's (Gowen City) UCC, Shamokin

Faith UCC, Grantville

Grace UCC, Greencastle

Local Church

Available Free, May Be Picked Up At Trinity UCC, 2340 State St., East Petersburg, PA:

32 Used Blue Children and Youth Choir Robes, some white yokes to go with them and assorted metal crosses

34 Used Cranberry Adult Choir Robes plus one with a broken zipper, some Cranberry and White Stoles (stoles mostly badly stained)

Trinity UCC

2340 State St.

East Petersburg, PA 17520

Contact Michael or Dina Slechta

[email protected]

Association Events

November 13 - Installation Service of Rev. Dr. Tom Blair - St. John's UCC, Boalsburg - 3:00PM

November 27 - Ordination Service for Allyssa Boyer - St. Paul's UCC, Mechanicsburg - 3:00PM

December 4 - Ecclesiastical Council for Julia Brown - 3:00PM

Outdoor Ministries

ADVENT DAY APART at The Wittel Farm

December 3

We don’t like to wait for anything, and especially Christmas. With all its secular attraction, this holiday is often a focus on over-indulgence, and too often neglected is the best gift of all… one worth our waiting. You are invited to The Wittel Farm for a day apart from the busyness of life for prayer and contemplation as we journey toward the celebration of Christmas. $15 registration includes lunch.

More Information -

Clergy Events

Fall MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom)

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

January 17 - "Grief and Loss" with Rev. Dr. Joel Hummel

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom Only - register here

Boundary Training - POSTPONED

November 30 (new date) - "The Ministerial Code: A Way of Being" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom - register here

UCC National Setting

UCC Webinars

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

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

NOV 10, 2022 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Becoming a Creation Justice Church

NOV 17, 2022 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Celebration of Harvest and Ministry in Yunnan Province, China

NOV 30, 2022 | 8:00PM - 9:00PM

The UCC "Climate Hope Cards" art contest is still open through November 29th! Eight PCC churches have already participated but there is still time for your congregation to join in. Learn more about the program here.

"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.

From our friends and partners

Abuse Prevention Considerations: Keeping Your Ministry Safe

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 @ 2pm EST

Featuring: Christy Schiller – Vice President of Account Services, Praesidium.

Failure to discover a sex offender can affect those in your care, your reputation, financial stability, and trust within the community. Join us on November 30th at 2 p.m. EST to learn about targeted solutions that will strengthen your ministry’s abuse prevention efforts. Register here

Volunteers Needed to Help Working Families with Tax Preparation


Volunteers are needed to offer free tax preparation to help working families receive the federal and state tax credits they are eligible for.


The service is offered through the Money in Your Pocket (MIYP) program, a community partnership led by United Way of the Capital Region that is committed to the economic stability of local families. Since the program began, more than 65,600 federal returns have been filed bringing more than $71 million back into the community. An additional $9.85 million has been saved in tax preparation fees.


No previous experience is required and training is provided. Volunteers are also needed to serve as greeters (no tax preparing required for this position). Scheduling is flexible with daytime, evening and Saturday opportunities available at sites throughout Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties.


For those interested in learning more, several informational sessions will be held throughout the Capital Region during October and November. For more information, contact Heidi Neuhaus at 717.724.4055 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

Beginning January 2023:

Jews and the American Civil Rights Movement, January 11–February 15, 2023. Wednesdays, 7–8:30pm via Zoom. Instructor, Rabbi Jack Paskoff. Ideal for lay and clergy leaders.


Church History To the Reformation, Jan 10–Feb 14, 2023. Weeknights via Zoom. Instructor, the Rev. Matt Deal. Ideal for lay and clergy leaders.


Information and Registration: 

Eden Seminary Events

Beyond Don’t Sleep with the Sheep: Boundary Training for Clergy

Course Description:

As clergy folks or people who want to be, it is essential that we are attentive to the power and positional authority— as well historical impact— our roles have. How we show up in our congregations, our community and our commitments is reflective of our calling. Attend this 5-hour Boundary Training Certificate class to think critically about who you are in the work, and who you want to be. Come prepared to learn about power and oppression, clergy ethics and ministerial boundaries: online, in the public square, and in the congregation. Participants will leave with a personal code of ethics based on ministerial codes.


This event is available for church and community organization leaders. Check with your authorization body to be sure this event meets criteria set by your organization.

NEXT Steps: Re-imagining Your Elderhood

NEXT Steps introduces participants to theological, philosophical, and psychological concepts of vocation and aging. The Spring 2023 semester is set to be a clergy only cohort. It is a gathering for adults contemplating or entering retirement, and for those who are recently retired.

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, Rev. Steve Lawler, and Jill Schantz would like to invite you to an optional brief orientation to the course and introduction to the instructors on January 10, 2023, at 5:30 CST/6:30 EST. 

Employment Opportunities

Starview United Church of Christ has a Director of Music position open. This position involves 1 Sunday morning worship service, special liturgical services throughout the year, and direction of the church choirs. The estimated time per week is a 6 hours, which naturally, will vary depending on the church season and number of services planned. Compensation is negotiable. Resumes may be emailed to: [email protected] or mailed to 4832 N. Sherman St. Ext., Mount Wolf, PA 17347.

For additional contact information to address specific questions with the Worship Committee Chairperson or the pastor, please call 717-266-4248.

Starview United Church of Christ is located approximately 6 miles off of I-83 at Exit 24 and 6 miles north of the Galleria Mall on Rt. 24 (Mt. Zion Exit off of Rt. 30).

UCC National Positions:

Global Ministries

Area Executive, Southern Asia Office Extended Search: Open Until Filled

OPTIC - Philanthropy

Generosity Officer (Southern Region) Close date: 11/30/22

Generosity Officer (Western Region) Close date: 11/30/22

Generosity Officer (Middle Atlantic) Close date: 11/30/22

Generosity Officer (West Central) Close date: 11/30/22

Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC Executive Director

The ED position implements the strategic goals and objectives of the Coalition and provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s mission and vision. Reporting to the Leadership Team (the Board of Directors), the ED manages the Coalition staff and provides effective and impactful leadership to this national non-profit. The Executive Director will vision and implement a movement that is energized, provides a full spectrum of advocacy and care, and promotes the mission and vision of the Coalition. The ED should have experience in working with diverse populations and lead the mission of the coalition with a commitment to intersectionality, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn more and apply here.

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: [email protected]. If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603

Hospice & Community Care

Chaplain- Home Hospice/Inpatient Unit

Per Diem (as needed)


Works in collaboration with the Home Hospice team and Palliative Medicine Consultants assessing and addressing spiritual care needs of patients and caregivers. Qualifications include board certification w/APC or NACC (or ability to be certified within 5 years of hire). M.Div. or equivalent from an accredited theological institution. Accredited training and a minimum of 4 units of CPE required. Must be able to complete 6-8 weeks of a FT, day shift orientation.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.

Conference Minister

email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Dr. Nora Driver Foust

Associate Conference Minister 

email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-433-2587

Rev. Rick Luciotti

Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families

email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-433-6306


C. Paul Keller

Office Manager

email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-652-1560

If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: [email protected] | phone: 717-652-1560
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