Music can be an instrument for peace and reconciliation. We have the opportunity to see this in action when The Ripple Effect choir comes to Pennsylvania after a performance at Carnegie Hall in December. The leader of the group, Sherry K., is the music director at Southside (Disciples of Christ) Church in South Bend, Indiana, where I attended for years. She is an extraordinarily gifted musician and what started as a local choir has gained prominence and reach. During a dispute over serving LGBTQ customers at a restaurant in a small town south of Indianapolis, the choir traveled there to sing and invite individuals (from all sides of the issue) to sing together. Theirs was a powerful testimony to reconciliation and bringing people together during a time of increasing polarization. I've never forgotten their witness. And I invite you to come and see it for yourself at one of our Penn Central Conference churches! Salem UCC in Rohrerstown (Lancaster) will host the Ripple Effect in December. Salem was also where one of the choir's members - Rev. Izzy Harbin - served during her time at Lancaster Seminary. Please join us for a time of reconciliation and inspiration.
If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me
Finding common ground at very special concert by The Ripple Effect
It seems everywhere we look, people are taking sides and calling names. How can we learn to find common ground? On December 4, Sherry K's groundbreaking vocal group The Ripple Effect Vocal Visionary Project presents "If You Knew Me, You'd Love Me" concert -- an evening of music and words designed to build understanding. Uplifting songs of unity and inspiration will be interwoven with speakers from the community who will share personal stories to help us understand how it feels to walk in their shoes. The event takes place at Salem UCC Rohrerstown,
and is the 3rd stop on the group's Carnegie Hall/If You Knew Me tour.
You'll hear a wide variety of great songs delivered by the choir with plenty of style-everything from electrifying gospel and Mark Hayes' Christmas selections from their Carnegie Hall concert to inspirational tapestries of musical color, including the unforgettable "A Million Dreams" from The Greatest Showman.
The program begins at 7p.m., with a free-will offering.
Salem UCC Rohrerstown is located at 2312 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603 Don't miss this powerful and moving event! Facebook event here. Printable flyer here.
November 20 - Rev. Donna Hale and Rev. Gloria McPherson,
The Opioid Crisis
It seems as though every corner of American life has been touched by the current Opioid Addiction Crisis, so much so that at General Synod this summer the
UCC urged every congregation to recognize it at a health epidemic. Revs. Donna Hale and Gloria McPherson have been working in their communities for some time now in various capacities. Gloria will be talking with us about the physical and personal realities of addiction, and Donna will follow with ways for churches to assist in the spiritual recovery as well as through community partnerships. They both highly recommend the book
In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids, by Travis Rieder, as a good read in preparation for our time together, however the reading is not required. (3 hours of Continuing Education) To register,
All forums are for clergy and will be held at
St. Thomas UCC - 6490 Linglestown Road - Harrisburg, PA 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Save The Date!
For those filling up their 2020 calendars, please save:
January 8 (Worship Planning at Colonial Park, snow date 1/9)
February 19 (MEF at St. Thomas)
March 18 (MEF at St. Thomas)
April 22 (MEF at St. Thomas)
May 13 (Worship Planning at Colonial Park)
More info to come!
DVD Lending Library
St John's UCC in Chambersburg
invites churches in the Penn Central Conference interested in using video-based adult studies to borrow materials from our church library. The listing of our collection is here. If you are interested in using these DVDs, please contact the church office via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (717) 263-8593.
Blessings in your ministry! -Rev. Caroline E. Saxton, pastor, SJUCC
2020 Vision Retreat
Friday December 6, 2:00PM - Sunday December 8, 2019 12:00PM register online
Men's Retreat:Seasons of a Man's Life - read more here
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7PM - Sunday January 19, 2020 at 1PM register online
Friday, March 27, 2020 - Sunday, March 29, 2020
2020 Vision Retreat
We can't wait until 2020 to make concrete plans for the New Year. The 2020 VISION RETREAT is for everyone willing to work for the future of Hartman Center to spend time together developing ACTION PLANS for 2020. Join us Friday December 6, 2:00PM through noon on December 8, 2019
If you are willing to come to the 2020 VISION RETREAT let us know SOON. The cost for two nights lodging (in A and B cabins) and five meals is $100 (a special UCCR offer.) Register online here. Or mail a check written to Penn Central Conference to the office (address at the end of this eNews.) Read more here.
Confirmation Retreat Planning Meeting
The Penn Central Conference Confirmation Retreat will be held March 27 - 29, 2020 at Hartman Center. This weekend is always a great opportunity for our confirmands to explore "Being The Church"
and to connect with other youth.
Planning for this retreat is done by the Pastors and/or youth leaders of the participating churches. We will gather for an initial planning meeting on Monday November 18 from 1 - 3 pm at the conference office, and Zoom will be avalable.
Please contact Pastor Patty Dodds as soon as possible if your church is interested in participating. 1-717-502-2246 or Program@HartmanCenter.com
For all the sacrifices that clergy and lay church workers have made in our congregations, over 100 years ago the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ created the
Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund, to help support them in retirement and during times of emergent need.
UCC National has informed us that supplies for the Christmas Fund have been mailed out. Keep an eye out for them to arrive any day!
If you need more supplies, or do not receive yours by end of next week, they can be ordered
Salem's Closet Christmas Toy Giveaway
Every year, on the 1st Saturday in December, Salem UCC, 231 Chestnut Street, Harrisburg, Pa. hosts a free toy giveaway with Mr. & Mrs. Santa. We also try to have small items available for the children, if they would like something for a parent or grandparent. Also last year the children asked if we could have the gifts wrapped so that they had something to open on Christmas Day. Last year 120 children attended. The only requirement Salem asks is that they preregister for the event so that we have an idea how many will show up.
We were wondering if any of the other Churches would be interested in helping giving monetary to Salem's/toy give away or donating new toys to this cause? Please make checks payable to: "Salem UCC" memo line "Salem's Closet/toy giveaway". Toys should be unwrapped. Deadline for monetary/toys is November 25th. We never turn a child away and the numbers keep growing. Please e-mail email@example.com or contact: Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569.
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils and Ordinations
November 17 - Ecclesiastical Council for Gary Nottis at Paradise UCC, Milton - 3:00PM (registration deadline November 1; meeting of Central Association, quorum required) (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
November 23 - Installation as Senior Pastor of Rev. Cindy Garis at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
Association Meetings & Ministeriums
November 19 - Lebanon Association Ministerium at Hill UCC, Cleona/Lebanon - 10:00AM (Rev. Nora Foust presenting)
Association Town Halls
You are invited to gather with others from your association (clergy and lay people alike) for fellowship and a light dinner of soup, sandwiches and dessert. (See dates, times and locations below)
Conversation with Rev. Carrie Call will follow our dinner. She will provide updates about Penn Central Conference, touching on topics such as new staffing, updated strategic planning, and the Hartman Center.
Please bring your questions and concerns as well as your enthusiasm and ideas for our Conference!
November 13 - Lebanon Association - Quentin UCC, Quentin - 6:00PM
Lancaster Theological Seminary is holding two Discover Days, open house events, on
Saturday, November 9 and
Wednesday, November 13. This is a wonderful opportunity for people who are considering a theological education to visit campus, sit in on a class, worship with our community, enjoy lunch and meet current students and faculty, and explore the programs, schedules, and costs. The events are free and registration is required. The details are on our website,
lancasterseminary.edu and by clicking this
Tuesday Talks at the Seminary
Seminary professors present free talks on current topics in Santee Chapel at 10:00 am on Nov. 19, Jan. 21andMarch 24. Attendees who buy lunch afterwards at the Gypsy Kitchen on campus receive a complimentary dessert.
Nov. 19 - The Future of Religion in America: The Situation 20 Years From Now
Who's in the pews? Join Dr. Lee Barrett, Professor of Systematic Theology, for a look at American worship in 2040.
Jan. 21 - Christianity and Immigration
Dr. Lee Barrett explores a prickly contemporary topic with deep, ancient roots.
March 24 - Women Who Speak for God: Females Among the Prophets
During Women's History Month, Dr. Julia M. O'Brien explores the stories of women called "prophets" in the Bible, and why they are important to our understanding of prophecy.
Download a printable flyer for your bulletin board or to share with a friend here.
Music Sundays at the Seminary
FREE MONTHLY CONCERTS IN SANTEE CHAPEL
Sunday afternoons at 4:00 pm.
Complimentary light refreshments will be served after each show.
Dec. 8- A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices
Get your Christmas spirit flowing and feet tapping with a heart-warming holiday program of music for voice, organ, piano and Celtic harp. Presented by Scott Siciliano, pastor, composer, musician and Seminary grad known for his angelic voice and musical versatility.
More performances in 2020 to be announced! Download a printable flyer for your bulletin board or to share with a friend
PCC Partners & Friends Events
Blue Christmas Retreat
Perhaps for YOU the thought of entering the holiday season does not feel so wonderful.
For many people who have experienced loss or trauma, the holiday season can be difficult.
The Blue Christmas Retreat is a time to honor your reality and prepare your heart, mind, and spirit through the healing practices of art making, reflection, engaging the wisdom in poetry and Sacred texts, sharing, praying, and playing.
Diane Brandt, the Liturgical Arts Minister from Wisdom's Table and Megan Malick, a clergy partner with Wisdom's Table and therapist at The Well Counseling and Consulting Services are hosting a Blue Christmas Retreat on
Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 10-2 at the Candy Factory in Lancaster, PA.
Help provide free tax preparation to low- and moderate-income families through United Way of
the Capital Region's Money in Your Pocket (MIYP) campaign. You'll help ensure working families in our community claim all available tax credits while saving them the cost of high tax preparation fees and refund anticipation loan interest rates. Learn more