Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| February 16, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

Psalm 121 begins, "I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

The first time I stood atop Peak 8 in Breckenridge Colorado, I paused for quite a long period of time. It was not because I was somewhat short of breath, though I was at over 13,000 feet above sea level. Nor was it entirely because I was intimidated by the thought of skiing down the trail marked by a black diamond warning sign. Though at that moment I somewhat doubted my sanity. No, I was taken by a sight to the southwest. On the opposing mountain side, highlighted by the snow, was a clear zigzag pattern of a trail climbing that slope. The person I was skiing with that day informed me that it was an old miner’s pathway leading to a long-abandoned gold mine. The switch back pattern of the trail was the only safe way to lead mules up and down the mountain. 

I only pondered the scene briefly prior to heading down the slope. Later, I questioned what thoughts that old miner might have considered on those long, lonely stretches of time with no radio, TV, or other devices for diversion. His evenings would have provided much time to think, not having distractions such as we have in our era.  

There is a certain irony that back in previous eras, people only went into such remote and dangerous areas for work or to escape some danger. Today many travel to such locales for vacation and thrill seeking. Little wonder than that in the time of the Psalmist mountains were symbols of mystery and often considered the location of God. Inspiration deriving from time to think and meditate is a gift of God we all too rarely allow ourselves. We are busy and often dominated by schedules and cultural demands. Even attending church must be fit in when time allows many times. But in this Psalm, we are reminded that choosing to take the time to reflect, to think deeply and pray upon God’s word is an invitation to grow closer to our Creator. And, as the Psalmist makes clear, it is in such space and time we recall that God is our true help. 

The mountain of Transfiguration was such a place wherein the awe, mystery and majesty of God envelope the imagination. As we encounter the more mysterious and wondrous moments of our faith, such as the Transfiguration, an attitude of wonder and not attempted explanation opens our spirit to blessing. We do well to allow a sense of awe to swathe our spirit and inspire our voice to simply declare, “The Heavens are telling the glory of God.” 

Rev. Rick Luciotti
Coordinator of Clergy Care
Penn Central Conference
Calling all Small Churches in Penn Central Conference

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, ACM for Congregational Transitions, is planning Small
Church Vitality Workshops that will be offered on four (4) Saturdays across the
conference. These workshops are for any church that self-identifies as “small.”
Small refers to size and not importance or robustness! Typically, small churches
are less than 100 members and/or cannot afford a fulltime minister. Click here for list of dates.

The focus of the workshops is to celebrate the small church as a sacred part of the
future of God’s church, including validating lay leadership to supplement parttime
pastorate and identifying the vital mission opportunities of each church as
beacons of light to their greater community. Each church is asked to bring a
pastor plus two laity and be prepared to share joys and trials with other churches

***For information or to register, contact Dr. Laviola:***
Scheduling notes:
February 27 - Faith UCC, Lancaster - Rev. Nora Foust 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.
Save the Dates:
PCC's 60th Annual Meeting
Opening Plenary: 6:30PM, June 6, 2022
Workshops: 6:30PM, June 7-9, 2022
Business & Worship: 9:30AM, June 11, 2022
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 UCC, Lancaster
Grace UCC, Lancaster
Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster
St. Peters UCC, Lancaster
Outdoor Ministries Winter Events

WINTER FUN DAYS at Kirchenwald
February 20 from 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Bring your family or youth group and enjoy an afternoon on Kirchenwald’s award-winning toboggan run, ice-skating on the lake, or drinking hot chocolate in the lodge.
For more information and to register, visit:
February 20 Event
Lenten Day Apart (March 12 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at The Wittel Farm)

"[Every]Body Of Christ" Youth/Confirmation Retreat
March 18-20 at Camp Nawakwa,
Due to covid-related safety concerns about bringing groups together, the youth & confirmation retreat will be postponed. Those who have already registered should be receiving refunds soon.

Check out a full slate of winter and spring Outdoor Ministries events here!
Local Church Events
Corty Byron Celebrates Johnny Cash's 90th Birthday with a solo acoustic concert at Christ Church UCC Elizabethtown
Saturday, February 26th, 7pm
247 S Market St, Elizabethtown, PA 17022
(717) 367-1208
100% of donations collected at the door, will go to Christ Church UCC's ministry and mission to help those in need; locally and internationally. Attendees can expect to hear a career-spanning tribute to 'The Man In Black' from his early days at Sun Records to his many inspiring spiritual & gospel tunes to his final reflective years of recording with Rick Rubin. Learn more about Corty Byron here.
Clergy Events
Take a Prayer Break
Every Thursday at noon during Lent join colleagues from the four PA UCC conferences for a short time of prayer on zoom. Each gathering will be led by a conference staff member and will include readings, reflection, and a time for intercessory prayer. All are welcome to join. Zoom information is below and is the same for every week. We begin March 3rd and will end on April 14th.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 841 7677 4603
Passcode: 260414
Ministerial Excellence Forums
There are monthly MEFs specific Tuesdays that will be offered at both 10am and 6pm via zoom. (Some morning sessions may become in-person later in the spring, depending on virus status).

March: On March 15th Nora will discuss Covenant Keeping in the World Today in a 6pm only session. (Qualifies as Boundary Training)

See the rest of the winter/spring educational opportunities here.
Theological Roundtable: Kingdom of God
Winter/Spring 2022 - weekly starting Thursday, February 24 at 3pm
In this Roundtable we will explore and discuss various interpretations and definitions of the Kingdom of God. We will begin with Biblical references and move through historical theological approaches, including contemporary uses of Kin-dom as an alternative approach. The Kingdom of God is a theological concept (and spiritual reality) that is believed by many, without much discussion of its contents. What is included? Who is included? What did Jesus say it was? How does one come to live in this kingdom? We will reflect on these questions and much more.
Participants will be sent a short reading or selection of scripture each week in preparation for the gathering. These roundtables can be fun as well as intense and the group strives to reflect together as a community of diverse theological backgrounds. Therefore, enrollment is limited and commitment to attend all four sessions is important. Register here.
Travel with Pastor Julie: Presentations on Julie Holm’s Sabbatical

Zoom on Mondays (recordings available after)
● February 21: Germany, Family, Refugees, and Luther Land.
● March 7: Greece: A Lagniappe, Journeys with Paul, and the Orthodox Church.

For Zoom information, please email Zoom capability provided via the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ.
UCC Webinars

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

Becoming Abolitionists - February 17, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Confronting Bias in Search and Call - February 24, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Our Whole Lives for Older Adults - March 2, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
UCC Stewardship Webinars
with Andrew Warner

February 23 - Year-Around Stewardship
We hold stewardship campaigns for a few weeks but hope that people will make gifts throughout the year. This webinar focuses on practical steps to move from a few weeks of a campaign toward a year-around plan that continually engages and inspires donors. 6:30 to 7:30pm Central Time; 7:30 to 8:30PM Eastern Time
Register in advance for this meeting here
You’ve been thinking about new mission priorities, property improvements, new construction, technology enhancements, building an endowment or paying off debt. A capital campaign is a great way to raise funds for these projects!
Undertaking a capital campaign can be a daunting task, but a Church Building & Loan Fund Regional Mission Interpreter (RMI) can guide your church through the campaign process, providing resources and support necessary for a successful campaign.
It’s perfect timing to explore funding options for new and renewed ministry! Contact Jill White, Lead Regional Mission Interpreter, at or 216.736.3820 to discuss your church’s needs and learn more about CB&LF’s services.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT - United Church of Christ
Launched at the 2022 General Synod, the Movement toward Racial Justice is an invitation to demonstrate God’s love and to partner with others who are working for the transformation of racism in our world so that we might foster flourishing lives for all. Check out the website at

Every setting of the UCC, from local churches to global partners, has a role to play in expanding our practices of antiracism and strengthening our capacities as partners and participants in the burgeoning racial justice movements of our time. In this effort, story-sharing is a key component. Our stories show us not only who we are, but also inspire who we may become. Providing opportunities to encounter the antiracism journeys of others, Join the Movement will be a hub for churches within the United Church of Christ of story-sharing that draws others to participate and opens hearts to new possibilities and practices of racial justice.

The Christian church began as a movement towards a just world through the teachings of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we believe it is our mandate to work for and seek justice, love, and compassion, as we join with and become our own Spirit-led movements toward racial justice.

Go to the website to learn what churches are doing, find antiracism resources, and identify local and national practices that are unjust.
From our friends and partners
Clergy Wellness Boundaries Training
Lexington Theological Seminary (IB 582)
April 18-30, 2022
Register by March 9, 2022

This half-credit, two-week online course will help equip clergy for pastoral leadership across ministry settings by addressing issues pertaining to boundaries in the Church. The goal of the course is to facilitate authentic and healthy fellowship and communication with God’s people in congregational and denominational life. Students will grow in their identification and development of healthy boundaries. Contact admissions here.

Instructor: Dr. Yvonne Martinez Thorne 
Costs: $25 Registration Fee / $30 Tuition / $30 Tech Fee
Explore Buddhism via the Mercy Seminar
Are you interested in Buddhism in conversation with Christianity? Consider enrolling in the upcoming Mercy Seminar hosted by The Urban Well at St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA. In the past two years, the Mercy Seminar has explored themes that arise the Abrahamic faiths regarding Christian anti-Judaism, as well as repentance and forgiveness in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. This year the Mercy Seminar focuses on the Buddhist traditions, to explore the theme of mercy in traditions that do not focus on a merciful God. The purpose of the Mercy Seminar is to delve into each tradition while setting aside pre-conceived notions and ideas. The classes also include contemplative prayer and discussion. All classes are on zoom and are only $75 (for the series). To learn more, check out the fuller description on this link.
NEW online classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry:

The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry is pleased to announce a new program, Financial Basics for Church Leaders. The program consists of four, six-week PAM classes and a half-day conference, offering nuts and bolts classes for ministers, on topics such as how to read a budget. The four classes are:
  • Fundraising Fundamentals for Churches and Nonprofits, February 22–March 29, 2022
  • Understanding Multivocational Ministries, April 19–May 24, 2022
  • Personal Finances for Ministers, July 12–Aug 16, 2022
  • Budgets and Spreadsheets as Tools for Ministry, Oct 11–Nov 15, 2022
Best of all, PAM has obtained grant funding to subsidize the registration costs for participants. We are offering all four classes for the price of one. Along with the half-day conference on Multivocational Ministry on May 14, the entire program will cost only $350.00 per participant. Successful participants will earn 10.3 CEUs and a certificate of completion.
The first class begins February 22.
This project is sponsored in part by the Walters/Unitarian Universalist Church Trust, an endowment from Arthur and Selma Walters to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster in support of events that affirm the worth and dignity of all humans and that strive to increase the awareness of and respect for our environment.
South Central PA Task Force Presents 2022 Congregation Security Webinar
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022 Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location: Virtual

Who should attend: This workshop is geared for all faith-based organization leaders, administrators, ushers and safety/security team members by providing exposure to resources and references from subject matter experts in houses of worship security. The workshop will provide the participants an opportunity to: ▪ Receive an overview on the safety & security role of the Ushers ▪ Learn about the preparation, response and recovery for an active shooter incident ▪ Obtain security best practices for Houses of Worship ▪ Learn about government resources and assistance to the faith-based community

To register for this event, click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. There is no charge to attend this workshop as it is sponsored by the South Central PA Task Force and Millersville University.
Kairos Spiritual Direction Training (SDT) is a contemplative program that teaches the art and practice of spiritual direction – deep listening, walking alongside others, and recognizing God in your own life and the lives around you.
SDT is designed not only for spiritual directors, but for all those who offer spiritual care and companionship. Students are encouraged to practice spiritual kinship with those on the margins who may not normally have the opportunity or means to participate.
For more information and to apply, visit
Employment Opportunities
The Schuylkill Association of the PA Southeast Conference, UCC, has a ministry opportunity for a part-time chaplain at Locust Lake State Park near Tamaqua, PA. If you are a Christian (Clergy or lay) who can function in an unstructured situation and who has a love of God, God’s creation, and God’s people, then this might be the opportunity for you.

The chaplain represents the church as a Christian presence and quiet witness among those who camp at this beautiful state park. The responsibilities of the chaplain include:
·        Conduct campsite visitation weekly.
·        Provide informal, inspirational weekly worship services.
·        Provide availability to park/campground staff and campers for crisis situations.
·        Provide informal programs such as campfires, hymn sings, special musical events, and activities for children, as needed.

Training and ministry support and resources will be provided by the PA Council of Churches Chaplains in the Park program and the Locust Lake Committee.
You can learn more about this ministry opportunity, including compensation, at Or you can contact the Locust Lake Ministry chair, the Rev. Maureen Duffy-Guy at or cell (570) 952-5474. To apply for this position go to Make sure that you click the box for Locust Lake on the application. The application will be open until the position is filled.
UCC Homes is seeking an Accounts Payable/General Accounting Clerk for a full-time position working 75 hours in a two week pay period. This position requires previous general office experience, basic computer skills and attention to detail. Subject to reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment for this position. Excellent wages and benefits, including retirement plan. EEOE
Interested persons should please mail, fax or e-mail resume and letter of interest to UCC Homes, Attn: Human Resources, 30 North 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011; (717) 303-1607 FAX or by
December 20, 2021. 
Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster has two positions open:

Director of Children & Family Ministry: Authentic, Out-going, Creative, Enthusiastic and have a passion for sharing the love of Christ with children and their families? Raise your hand if that is you! Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is looking for someone like you to become our Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM). Join the commitment leaders and members of HPUCC in finding new, innovative ways to share and experience the love of Christ within the church and the community. Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information:

Worship Accompanist: Like to lift a joyful noise? Do you love playing a wide variety of music among an enthusiastic congregation? Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC) is searching for someone to bring their gifts to their Sunday morning worship service where we appreciate both piano and organ music as well as a blend of contemporary and traditional pieces. The successful candidate will provide piano and organ music during one Sunday worship service as well as accompany one weekly rehearsal throughout the choir season.
Contact the Administrator of the Church for more information: Read more here.
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. 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
Anne Rankin
Outdoor Ministries Liaison
phone: 717-945-4585
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