Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| May 20, 2020
Message to the Conference
Dear friends of Penn Central Conference,
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)
I chose this little verse from one of the letters written by Paul to the church people of Corinth because I believe that we might just need to hear this, right now. We have been in isolation for several weeks. Isolated from the normalcies of life. Many of us are finding that we are experiencing that liminal space as many of us transition from red to yellow in Pennsylvania counties. We are wondering when we will be able to return to church. We are excited to have things return to normal. However, as we are contemplating this return to our places of worship, we also may be having some anxiety about how we are going to do this and do it safely.
There is no doubt that we are all ready to get out of isolation and back to our regular routines and schedules. However, when we find ourselves on the cusp of doing something quickly to fulfill our longing to return to “normal”, we also have to think about the repercussions of our actions. It is our responsibility as a church, and it is our responsibility as pastors to think things through from every angle when it comes to returning to church during the Covid 19 pandemic.
To be perfectly blunt, these decisions require a great amount of responsibility and may cause us to quickly resort to relying on our own devices to “make it happen and make it happen quickly.”
This is nothing new obviously for human beings and for churches because we see that Paul felt the need to remind the churches and their people in Corinth that they need to be on guard and to stand firm in the faith. This would require them and in extension us) to be courageous and to be strong because we are not in easy times. There are a number of particularly important decisions to be made. We can even say that result of our decisions could cost us dearly.
I bring this subject to the forefront because I know that it is on every pastor’s mind and also on the minds of our congregations. I also know that sometimes moving at a slow steady pace is not looked at as necessary, especially in Pennsylvania where community and gatherings are particularly important connections. Pennsylvania is also a place where we are expected to “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps” and get on with it. This is part of our DNA. And yet, even with this PA mentality, we need more than ever to hear the voice of Paul reminding us that we need to be on our guard and stand firm within our faith. Being on guard means being careful. This will take great courage and we will have to be strong. This is a practice that is valuable to all of us, especially right now when there is so much uncertainty and anxiety caused by the unknown.

Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
An additional note from the Transitional Conference Minister:

Dear Clergy Colleagues – Your Conference staff will continue to offer weekly opportunities to meet via zoom throughout the month of May. Please consider joining us, as the conversations have been fruitful and enriching. And it does us good to see one another’s faces! See our offerings here . Special-topic zoom meetings are in the works, including how to approach worship platforms moving forward, financial concerns and stability, and more. If you have a topic that you think would be of interest to a number of your colleagues, please let us know. We will do our best to make it happen.
"Poetry as Prayer"
A Weekly Gathering for Clergy
10:00 AM and 7:00 PM via Zoom
June 3 rd , 10 th , 17 th , 24 th
Registration Limited to 15 per group
Learn more here .
"In The Time of Pandemic" vlogs series

The staff of Penn Central Conference have put together a series of vlogs to walk us through this unusual season. Three are already available, and two more will arrive this week.

See the full series on Youtube here , or check them out on our Facebook page (and follow us if you haven't already!)
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...

Saint John's UCC, Lewisburg
Trinity UCC, Lewistown
Saint Luke's UCC, Lititz
Faith UCC, Littlestown
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.

Outdoor Ministries at Hartman Center

It is with a heavy heart that, due to the risks of Covid-19, we are cancelling all Conference in-person events at Hartman Center until September 1st.

Hartman Center Online!
Please encourage the campers (both youth and adult) in your life to join us online for events every week!

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!
You are invited to join with PSEC, PNEC and PCC clergy, lay leaders and friends on line to discuss Faith in a Time of Pandemic by Bruce G. Epperly Wednesday, May 20 th @ 3:00pm via Zoom.
The Coronavirus is changing our church and culture (and the culture of church). It’s provoked isolation and self-interested individualism. It also inspires kindness, generosity, patience, and compassion. Facing the pandemic with God as our companion deepens our sense of agency as well as peace. Bruce Epperly’s very short treatise provides a theological, pastoral, and spiritual pathway to help us find a way through the wilderness of the Coronavirus pandemic. Join the discussion!

(Join Zoom Meeting here . )

You can download or order the book here:
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

Aug 2 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
Clergy Events
 Boundary Training & Ministerial Excellence Forums

Boundary Training - POSTPONED new date TBA
For those who need boundary training in the meantime, Convergance offers an online course.
Women's Clergy Group

Serving as a spiritual leader can often be isolating, particularly during times of crisis like we’re in now. 
That’s why for the next two months, Samaritan’s Clergy and Congregation Care program is waiving the fee for women clergy to meet in an ecumenical, facilitated group. 
Sessions will be facilitated on Zoom by the Rev. Carolene Brubaker (retired) and provide opportunities to share joys, sorrows, ideas, challenges and encouragement with one another.

The group will be limited to 6 participants, who will collaboratively determine the frequency and tone of these sessions. After the initial free sessions, participants can elect to continue with the group for a monthly fee. Email the Rev. Carolene Brubaker and sign up for one of the 6 openings.
From our Local Churches
Pig-Roast and The Seger Family Concert - MYO Park in Millersburg (Pavilion #1) hosted by the Northern Cluster of UCC Churches - June 28, 5:00PM

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 .
Planning Ahead
Online Board Meeting - June 13, 2020

Annual Meeting - August 29, 2020

Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
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.
#143DayinPA - May 22, 2020

"Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person." - Mr. Rogers

Fred Rogers regularly used 143 as his special code for "I Love You" - based on the number of letters in each word. From today forward, the 143rd day of the year is #143DayinPA-a day when we encourage our residents to share the acts of kindness and good deeds they do for each other.

Check out the "act of kindness" generator and more here.
PCC Partners & friends
The Festival of Homiletics - May 18-22 - The World Needs Good Preaching…
Now More than Ever
The Festival of Homiletics is moving online! And because there’s no better time than our current crisis to learn how to “preach a new earth,” registration for the virtual conference is totally FREE!

at Lancaster Theological Seminary is offering fully online classes this year!

"Pastoring in a Time of Pandemic" - live, interactive webinar with Rev. Kelli Walker-Jones of Triangle Pastoral Counseling and Rev. Dr. Graham Standish of Samaritan Counseling Center - May 21 - 2PM to 3:30PM
Pheobe Ministries

Nearly 1,000 direct care workers at Phoebe are protecting our seniors, who are most at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. These heroes are the dedicated nurses, CNAs, Med-Techs, community life, dining servers, housekeepers, and other support staff who show up each day out of love for our residents.

$50,000 will help cover a portion of our unexpected costs like personal protective equipment or PPE, hazard pay, and specialized infection control.

Your gift can go twice as far if made by May 31, 2020 thanks to $25,000 in matching gifts from  Cura Hospitality and Citizens Bank! 

Would you connect your heart with ours by  giving today ? Visit
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 .
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Rev. Sally Dries

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. Richard Luciotti

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
phone: 717-719-1895
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