Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| February 12, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

Today is Abe Lincoln’s birthday. I remember it every year because it is also my father’s birthday – whose middle name is Lincoln as a result. And Lincoln is a good person on whom to ground my thinking this week because I have been reflecting a great deal about power and the uses of power. I was intrigued by the quote from Lincoln because we often think that it is adversity that shows evidence of one’s character. However, when we are in positions of power the true shape and contours of our character become evident. Those around us can see how we manage power, how we use it to the betterment or detriment of others, and whether we share it. Our character is thereby revealed.

In my work with clergy I recognize that clergy have tremendous power – although some would disagree. Yes, we feel powerless at times, even undermined and thwarted. Yet in a general sense the role of clergy is a profoundly powerful one. For example, we speak works about spiritual truths and about how God acts in the world. We share insights into sin, grace, and redemption. For many of our church members, those are the only words they hear related to the spiritual realm. We also tend to see and stand beside people in their most vulnerable times. There are times when we hold the hearts of others in our hands. That is holy ground and deeply powerful.

The apostle Paul spoke of power in a variety of settings. Jesus did as well. And the words were always challenging, since they pressed up against the wider world’s examples of power. Our power is not that of armies, riches, fame, or political influence. Disciples are meant to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, but the focus of that power is healing, preaching good news, breaking the yokes that encumber, and building one another up in love. In his letter to the Philippians, chapter 2, Paul writes, “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” This brief reminder from Paul tells us that authentic and empowered followers of Jesus use their power to uphold and stand in solidarity with others. The power we wield flows out from us to empower and lift others. The misuse of power is known by its fruits: self-aggrandizement, division, finger-pointing, self-justification, and oppression.

Consider carefully your own gift of power. Lincoln used his to bring a divided nation together. He was not perfect by any means, and history is messy and complicated. Yet his character was evident in how he used his power. As disciples we have a responsibility to ask ourselves, what do people learn about our character by how we use our power? 


Preaching Around the Conference

February 16 - Trinity UCC, Centre Hall - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:45AM

February 23 - St. John's UCC, New Columbia - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 10:00AM

February 23 - St. John's UCC, Red Lion - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:00AM

March 1 - Heidelburg UCC, York - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 10:00AM
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...

St. Paul's UCC, Dallastown
Zion (Stone Valley) UCC, Dalmatia
Shiloh UCC, Danville
Saint James UCC, Danville
Pastoral Update
Penn Central Conference was saddened to report that Rev. Dennis Weidler passed away on Sunday. He was currently a member of St. Peter's Lischey’s UCC in Spring Grove and was very active in the York Association and the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ. He was serving as the chair of PCC's ACM Search Committee at the time of his passing.

A funeral service in celebration of his life will be held on Friday at 10:00AM at St. Peter Lischey’s United Church of Christ, 5671 Lischey’s Church Rd., Spring Grove with his pastor, Rev. Cathy Sherry officiating. Interment will follow at United Christian Cemetery in Campbelltown PA. Viewings will be held on Thursday from 5:00PM – 8:00PM at Beck Funeral Home & Cremation Service Inc., 175 N. Main St., Spring Grove 17362 and on Friday from 9:00AM-10:00AM at the church. Full Obituary can be found here.
UNITE! Purdue University
July 22-25, 2020
Who’s headed to NYE this summer? I remember my first NYE at UT Knoxville where I realized just exactly what this Church I am a part of was all about. I remember how so many of the conferences sat together and had matching t-shirts and cheers as we would transition from one stage event to the next. Singing, praying, and worshiping with so many gave me glimpses of a different way to be church. Workshops with youth and leaders from across the country helped me get outside the box of the “way I had always done it.” Hopefully, your church youth are already fundraising for this exciting time! If you are planning to join the more than 3000 youth at Purdue University, please contact Rev. Nora Foust so we can UNITE! our Penn Central presence!
Climate Justice

From the Pollinator:

On Sunday night, I fulfilled my eight-year-old daughter's fervent request that we watch the news report about Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil. Never before had I witnessed this adjective-defying slice of Americana. While my daughter was captivated by Phil's furry looks, I am still thinking about his prediction that we will have an early spring. For me, it has become a metaphor for the response I am witnessing in the UCC to the Kairos Call to Action , a call for churches to engage in an all-out mobilization to address climate and inequality. Green sprouts and leaves are starting to shoot out all across the country. In Denver, the members of Washington Park UCC voted unanimously at their annual meeting to say "YES!" to the Kairos Call to Action. In central Pennsylvania and southern California, kairos trainings are being organized to certify 40 or more people as leaders in mobilizing their congregations. In Wisconsin, the Rev. John Helt is preaching a "kairos stump sermon" that is receiving applause! Far more happenings are in development, but I don't want to jump the gun in announcing them too soon.

Let me know if you see signs of a kairos spring emerging where you reside. If you need inspiration to plant a few seeds, then read about the sixth suggested kairos action (which includes a link to the wise words of Desmond Tutu):

With gratitude for your ministry,

Read the introduction to " A Kairos Call to Action ."
Read about the first suggested action : Enter a Period of Study and Immersion.
Read now about the third suggested action : Know Your Environmental Justice History and Become a Zero Waste Church .

Keystone 10 Million Trees
Does your church or business own land? Do you want to improve Pennsylvania's communities, economy, and ecology by planting 10 million trees throughout
the Commonwealth? Learn more about Keystone 10 Million Trees here
Yearbook 2020
Ashley Martinage is the newly elected representative from the Mid-Atlantic Region to the National Board of Directors of the Association of United Church Educators (AUCE). AUCE is a membership organization for UCC Christian Educators and Clergy, which advocates for excellence in faith formation ministries. 
Ashley is Director of Faith Formation at Rock Spring Congregational UCC in Arlington, Virginia. In her new role, she will provide resources and networking opportunities for local church educators and clergy who are working to provide
faith formation. She will also advocate for faith formation within the MId-Atlantic
Region, which is made up of the Central Atlantic, New York, Penn Central, Penn
Northeast, Pennsylvania Southeast and Penn West Conferences of the UCC. For information on becoming a member of AUCE, go
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below.

If you need assistance - reach out to the conference office and we will be glad to assist.

Church Officer Reporting

In addition to your online Yearbook reporting via the Data Hub, PCC will still be collecting the voluntary Church Officer reporting. Please complete this form and email to Paul at the PCC office.
Salem’s Closet  at Salem UCC, Harrisburg was opened on February 1, 2020. We served 77 adults and 13 children, but we also were able to help 212 people from our various outreaches over the last two months. 
Next time open: April 4, 2020. Needed: blankets, pillows, socks. Questions and to
volunteer, please call Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569 or Judy and Bob Enders at 717-732-1474.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

February 22 - Ordination of Amy Fishburn at Grace UCC, Lancaster - 2:00PM (Rev. Carrie Call attending)
February 23 - Installation of Craig Munnel at Trinity UCC, Lewistown - 3:00PM (Rev. Nora Foust attending)
June 7 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

March 9 - Mercersburg Ministerium–Spiritual Care in the Congregation with Rev. Nora Foust - 9:00am
April 25 - Harrisburg Association Meeting (Rev. Carrie Call attending)
April 26 - Central Association Meeting with Rev. Nora Foust
April 26 - Gettysburg Association Meeting and Town Hall with Rev. Carrie Call
April 30 - York Ministerium with Rev. Nora Foust
May 3 - Lancaster Association Meeting (Rev. Carrie Call Attending)
May 11 - Mercersburg Ministerium (Rev. Carrie Call Attending)
May 14 - Gettysburg Ministerium with Rev. Nora Foust
Association Special Events

April 18 - York Association Earth Day Anniversary Weekend w/ Jim Antal - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 9:00AM
Outdoor Ministry Retreats at Hartman Center
Marriage in the Later Years of Life with Dave & Anne Bushnell- March 2 - 4
Countdown To Opening Day (Fishing, of course!) with Dave Bushnell & Friends - March 16 - 18
Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29
What is Good Leadership? with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - April 14 - 15
Learning to See - A Photography Retreat with Nelson Dodson - April 27 - 29
Pride Retreat for LGBTQ Folks & Allies - May 29-31 (details to come)

Early bird pricing for those who pay in full before March 31, 2020.
Clergy Events
May 13 - Ordinary Team Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - More info to come
July 26 - 31 - UEK Pastoral Colloquy 2020 - Elizabethtown College; register here
 Boundary Training & MEFS
February 19 - MEF: Ministry in an Election Year with Rev. Carrie Call - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
March 3 - Crossing Boundaries, Tending Boundaries: Collective Wisdom for Best Pastoral Practices with Rev. Ed Dickel - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - 6:30-8:30pm
March 18 - 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
April 22 MEF: Recognizing and Responding to Disruption in Community or Life Together: Its Challenges and Rewards with Scott Watts - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-1:30pm
May 7 - Retired and Supply Boundary Awarenes s with Rev. Sally Dries and Rev. Nora Foust - PCC Office, Harrisburg - 10:00am-1:00pm
From our Local Churches
Mended Heart Lenten Concert/Potluck - Salem UCC, Elizabethville - March 15 - 3:00pm

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

Free Choir Robes - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover
Emmanuel UCC has 36 choir robes (made in the US by E.R. Moore.) They are green, in a traditional style, gathered yoke, front zip with stoles. (See picture here.) Call Emmanuel UCC at 717-632-8281 for details.

Looking for Bells - Church of the Apostles, Waynesboro
Narda Druckenmiller is looking for a 2 Octave set of Handbells that another church may not be using or willing to sell. Contact Narda at 717-994-4614

Looking to borrow - A congregational set of "Unbinding Your Heart" by Martha Grace Reese. If your church has a set to lend, contac t Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster
Open & Affirming
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA - 9:30AM-3:00PM - register by emailing

KEYNOTE SPEAKER : The Rev Dr. Beverly Dale - an ordained minister, a playwright/performer/author, sex educator, teacher, educator, and spiritual director.  

BREAKOUT GROUP PRESENTERS : Rev. Kim Kendrick - Chaplain of Bethany Children’s Home on O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives)

Steven Roush, Penn Central Conference’s ONA Consultant and Bethany Sweger, ONA Team Member on ONA 101A
From PCC Partners & Friends
Stony the Road: A Musical Journey Celebrating African American History with Kellie Turner - Lancaster Theological Seminary, Santee Chapel - February 16, 4:00PM

Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop - Palm Lutheran Church, Palmyra - March 14, 9:00AM - 1:00PM

Tuesday Topics - Women Who Speak for God: Females Among the Prophets - Dr. Julia O'Brian - Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 24, 10:00AM

LTS Discovery Days - Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 28 & April 1

2020 UCC History & Polity Class - Lancaster Theological Seminary - February 21 through April 3

Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) 2020 Annual Conference Holistic Faith Formation: Engaging Our Whole Selves - Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center, Mt Bethel, PA - April 27 through April 29, 2020 - register online by March 1st here
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase & Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
The more you know...
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. 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
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
Scott Watts
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560