Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| April 29, 2020
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:38-39

I feel so separated lately. 

Yes, we have been a creative people and nary has a day passed that I do not have visitors by Zoom, phone, email or text. But it's not just people that seem distant, it's EVERYTHING! 

Yet, scripture is constant and serves as a daily reminder that nothing, NOTHING, can separate any of us from the love of God. I find affirmation in this as there are moments when it feels impossible for God to be in the spaces of sadness and grief and loss and loneliness that I find myself mired in. How about you?

It is through my daily practices -- things like walking or stretching, deep breathing or coloring, that reconnect me to so many of the timeless truths that even this pandemic cannot take away. Truths like NOTHING separates me from God, and that God is doing a new thing in this season. A reminder that God sets before me life should I choose it. By the time my picture is done or my rapid heartbeat settled, Truth has set me free to be fully present in the moment that time finds me. 

Friends, here we are in the midst of a global pandemic. 

We are encouraged to care for one another by staying away from each other, by covering our faces when we must go out, by leaving our buildings empty and striving to find ways to fill our hearts and celebrate God among us in myriad ways. We have family-game nights and hospital visits mediated by technology. Phone trees are alive and well. We have found more worship settings than we might have imagined: Zoom, Facebook live, streaming on YouTube, conference calls and good old-fashioned, hand-written letters. 

These are all born out of necessity. All grounded in timeless truths like humanity's desire for connection and God's steadfast love.

These are the moments that I have to dig deep into my practices that connect me to these timeless truths of scripture. What practices do you have that connect you? That grounds you when the Earth shifts beneath your feet? 

The link below is a short vlog about some spiritual practices. Perhaps a new one or an adaptation of a familiar one or something tried and true - but each one of us needs to be doing something to stay connected to the One from whom nothing, not even a global pandemic, can separate us.
For our pastors and chaplains, there are a few additional vlogs to feed their spirits that will be released over the next several days on the Penn Central Facebook page and our YouTube channel.


Book Group
Clergy are invited to join with colleagues to read and discuss How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going by Susan Beaumont. Daytime group is full but there is still room for participants in the evening group. More info here.
What to Consider Upon Reopening Your Church
Zoom calls are planned by association, please check here for more info.

Search & Call Zoom - April 29 th at 7:00 PM
This is for anyone in search and call in churches, regardless of whether you are at the very beginning or end of the your process. (For churches in search and call, not pastors.) Click here for more.
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...

First Reformed Church, Lancaster
Grace UCC, Lancaster
Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster
Wisdom's Table at St. Peter's UCC, Lancaster
Connect With Us

Penn Central Conference desires to stay connected during these uncertain times. We have set up multiple weekly Zoom Video Conferences and are sharing daily Prayer Pauses with PNEC and PSEC. Join us for any and all of these. This week's can be found here.

Prayer Pauses continue throughout May 15, learn more here. Please note that there is now a new link and a password.
COVID-19 Resources

Penn Central Conference has added a special section on our website for COVID-19 resources, including the times and links for Zoom meetings. Keep checking regularly for updates.

The South Central PA Task Force, in collaboration with the Parish Resource Center of Lancaster, will be presenting a 1 hour Webinar on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 11 AM  "Houses of Worship- Transitioning to Normalcy" . Register here.
Can your organization or business help feed or shelter Pennsylvanians in need?
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is collecting information on capabilities commonwealth wide so that we can match people in need with available resources. Please take this survey to share your information and disseminate the link widely.
Thursday May 7, 2020 1:00 – 3:00
Leaders: Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Rev. Nora Foust, Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates, Rev. Sharon Morris
What does a healthy church look like? How would we ever measure heath or faithfulness when it comes to UCC congregations?
Join us on May 7 th and explore some answers!

In 2018 four UCC regional women leaders (Including Carrie Call and Nora Foust) worked to create a document entitled The Marks of Faithful Expression of a Healthy Local Church (‘Marks for Churches’). This congregational self-assessment was built off the Marks of Effective Authorized UCC Ministers and offers congregations a way to reflect on their own practices, identity, skills, engagement, theological reflection, and more. The Assessment has been shared with the national church and is an excellent tool for use in a variety of church settings.
We will share the document in advance and spend our time on the MEF Zoom moving through the various sections. We guarantee excellent and robust discussion! Hope to see you on the 7 th .
Outdoor Ministries at Hartman Center
It is with a heavy heart that, due to the risks of Covid-19, we are cancelling all Conference events at Hartman Center until September 1st.

Hartman Center Online!

Join PCC's Outdoor Ministries for online meetups:
Mondays at 3:30 - Time for the Young at Heart on Facebook Live
Mondays at 4:00 - Bible Study on Zoom -
Wednesdays at 6:00 - Devotional & Hangout time on Zoom - 9124829107
Plans are being made for ways we can stay connected as a Hartman Center family through the summer of 2020. Stay tuned for programming announcements coming May 15th!
The Perfect Blend: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
A day with author Bishop Robert Schnase
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Lancaster Theological Seminary, Santee Chapel

Come spend a day in conversation around how these practices can help your church live out the Gospel and be a missional presence in your community.
We will hear 3 presentations from Bishop Schnase and have a few guided, small group discussions along the way. See a full flyer here. Seating is limited, so registration is required. $25 per person, or a discounted rate of $100 for groups of 5 people. Register here!
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

May 17 - Laura Ramsey’s installation at Emmanuel UCC, York, service at Hayshire UCC, York - 3:00pm
Aug 2 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
Clergy Events
May 13 - Ordinary Time Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - register here
July 26 - 31 - CORRECTION: No decision to cancel has been made at this time! UEK Pastoral Colloquy 2020 - Elizabethtown College; register here
 Boundary Training & MEFS

May 7 - Special Zoom MEF: Congregational Evaluation with Rev. Carrie Call and Rev. Nora Foust - via Zoom - 1:00PM-3:00PM
May 7 - Boundary Training - POSTPONED new date TBA
For those who need boundary training in the meantime, Convergance offers an online course.
May 20 - 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 DATE CHANGE
From our Local Churches
"The Spirituality of Grief in the time of COVID" - May 13, 7:30 PM - Mt. Zion UCC, York via Zoom

"We hope you will join us for this opportunity to be in conversation about the grief and tenderness that this time of COVID as wrought. Join us on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:30 PM for a zoom presentation and conversation with Rev. Dr. Ted Trout Landen, Mt. Zion member and retired Director of Spiritual Care and Education for WellSpan Health." Learn more here .

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

St John's UCC, New Columbia has closed and will have their buildings sold very soon. They have choir music they want to share. Contact is Marly Artley; Call/Text 570-412-5127; Email .

Margaret Wise shares the following: Pastor Bob McKinney from a local church here in East Berlin is moving from his small local church to Kentucky and has 60 " church chairs to sell" (Padded and in good condition) and a " baby grand piano in very good condition" and perhaps some other instruments to sell. He'd like to sell before he and his wife leave this area. His phone number is 717-617-4138.
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - August 29, 2020

Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
Servant Keeper Discount

Servant Keeper Church Software has reached out to us and offered our churches an incredible discount for the month of April to help you get set up with amazing cloud church management software apps in addition to online giving. They reached out to us because we use them here in the office. Read more here...
Hiring News

The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society seeks applications for an executive director. This a two-year grant funded position. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and works with them to carry out the current mission of the ERHS, to collect, organize, preserve and make available for research the records of the Reformed Church and the Evangelical & Reformed Church. Resume, cover letter, and references should be submitted to by July 15, 2020. For questions about this position, please contact Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell at .

Learn more here and here .
5 for 5
Is your church 5 for 5? The next Special Mission Offering is Strengthen The Church - which takes place on the Pentecost, May 31, 2020.

Re-imagines and builds the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. Its also provides support for existing church's new initiatives

For more information on the 5 for 5 offerings, click here.
The more you know...
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Luciotti

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

Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560