Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| June 22, 2022
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” (Gustav Mahler)

Yesterday I received an email from a colleague that contained an article from a 1949 issue of The Daily Item of Sunbury, PA. The article described how the Penn Central Synod was having a meeting and discussing the possible merger to form the United Church of Christ. The merger was discussed “with much favor” by the clergy present. I sat for some time thinking about how they must have felt at that meeting, hopeful and excited to see the birth of something new. Looking ahead to a church that would bring two very different groups of people together for the purpose of spreading the love of Christ further into the world.

The pastors at that meeting knew they were moving into something that would entail loss and grief. Traditions from their past would be lost, in some cases, and their approach to church governance would change. Yet the clergy (and many of the churches) were in favor of this move since they saw the potential for new life and doing more than they could before for the glory of God.

The quote from Mahler above is a favorite of mine. The words capture something ephemeral, but which we understand intuitively. The worship of ashes implies facing backward, focused on what burned, and praying for a phoenix to rise from those ashes. The preservation of fire implies moving forward, taking the flame from one campfire ring to the next one, lighting new signal fires that will blaze a path forward. The saying also implies that the flame is what matters. That we must eventually leave the ashes (which are now cold and empty) and turn toward the warmth and living dynamic of the future.
Our questions to discern are, what is ashes and what is fire? How do we know when a fire has gone out? Can something be rekindled? How do we take the fire while it is still burning and carry it forward to a new location? In church life this metaphor is powerful. And the answers require deep thought and conversation. I believe, however, that we can determine a few differences between what is ash and what is fire.

To me, something has become ashes when it no longer has the power to throw light around it, no one can find it in times of darkness, or find warmth by its side. The ashes we worship contain no living fire and instead are remnants of what was once valuable or precious. They cannot be followed or expanded as fire can be. There are any number of things that may qualify within our church life, and certainly the clergy at that meeting in 1949 knew there were ashes they were leaving behind.

Fire, in contrast, can be spread to the benefit of many people, who will draw close for its warmth. Fire cooks water and food and provides light in the darkness. Fire is meant to be shared and can be carried out into the world, as we do with the light of Christ every week at the close of worship.

When I think of the clergy gathered in 1949, I see them tending the fire of their Evangelical and Reformed faith lives. They knew what needed to be carried forward and they were eager to do so. I have no doubt the Holy Spirit guided them, as a flame. May that same Spirit guide us as we discern in each of our settings where the fire burns.

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Most videos from the workshops and business meeting on our YouTube channel are up now and the last few should be up in the coming days. Check them out and feel free to share with your congregation!
Scheduling notes:
June 26 - St. John's UCC, Red Lion - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
July 1 - October 1 - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust on sabbatical
July 3 - Hummelstown UCC, Hummelstown - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola 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.
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, Spring Grove
St. Peter's Lischey's UCC, Spring Grove
Trinity Roths UCC, Spring Grove
Grace UCC, Spring Mills
Outdoor Ministries

Watch for Rev. Nora Foust's emails on Thursdays for links to register for Outdoor Ministries events and a taste of the summer camp curriculum. Read last week's here or on our Facebook page. If you aren't getting these emails, contact Paul to be added to the mailing list. And don't forget to use code PENNCENTRAL2022 for 50% off camp at both HC Spirit Week and Lutheran Camping Corporation camps
  • SUMMER CAMP programs from June-August To learn more about and to register for youth camp summer programs, visit here.
  • To learn more about and to register for family camp summer programs, visit here.

  • To learn more about and to register for elder camp, visit here.
HC Spirit Week - What's in a Name?
"Naming and Claiming Who God Made Us to Be"
Saturday, August 6
through Friday, August 12
Camp Mt. Luther

See the full brochure here for all the details!

Register online here or mail your registration form to the PCC offices.
The Lutheran Camping Corporation's 2021 annual report is now available here.
Local Church
St. John’s UCC, Boalsburg is in the middle of a year-long celebration of our 200th anniversary. On May 31st, the actual birthday of our congregation, we gathered on the church lawn for cupcakes and ice cream and long-overdue fellowship. The party on the lawn was preceded by a brief recitation of the church’s history as our historic church bell was rung 10 times – once for each 20-year period – by a lifelong member of the congregation. Other highlights of our anniversary year have included an organ recital on our 150+ year-old Dürner organ, creation of our 200th anniversary quilt which now hangs opposite or 175th anniversary quilt in the sanctuary, and monthly history moments highlighting how our church buildings and our congregation have changed over the years. The celebration continues through October 2022. If you’re in the Boalsburg area, please celebrate with us!
Clergy Events
PCC has launched a new monthly email just for clergy, with news, events and clergy transitions. If you did not get this month's email on Tuesday, please let Paul know.

We will be including some items in the eNews (see below), but please check out the full email here for more events and news!
Building a Just Peace in an Unjust World:
Learning with and from Our Anabaptist Colleagues
Pastoral Colloquy 2022
Sunday, 24 July, through Friday, 29 July, 2022 - Learn more and register here.

Who?   Pastors from all the church bodies listed above
What? A week of learning, discussion, and fellowship
Where? Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
When?  Sunday, 24 July, through Friday, 29 July, 2022
Weekend visits before and after the colloquy are available for our German guests.
Why?  “All we are saying is ‘Give peace a chance!’” ~ John Lennon, 1969
Election Year Reminder: Churches Can Be Political But Not Partisan

UCC General Counsel Heather Kimmel shares important information to consider as another election cycle heats up. Read her blog post here.
UCC Webinars

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

Open and Affirming: the Power of Covenant - June 16, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Juneteenth: Revealing Hidden Histories - June 17, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Manual on Church Update - June 23 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Digital Ministry Summit - June 27 - July 1

The Space Between: The Emerging Church in a Post-Pandemic World
September 19, 2022 – September 21, 2022

Join us to reflect on what we've moved through as church experiencing pandemic, to recognize the innovative ways we have survived and in some ways thrived: What did we learn when faced with the need to pivot quickly and still be effectively present as church? Where do we need to stretch ourselves? What and how do we need to build capacity to resource how we're evolving as church? What might we each offer to help us become? These and other questions will be contemplated as we lean in to lessons learned about adapting with agility, and unpack potential possibility. Learn more and register here.
From our friends and partners
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)
 It doesn't get any better than this:
1. Nuts and bolts classes on financial basics. Two upcoming classes: Personal Finances for Ministers (begins July 12) and Church Finances (begins Oct 11).
2. Nationally recognized instructor. Dr. Lovett Weems is Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Founding Director/Senior Consultant of the G. Douglass Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary.
3. Reduced price. PAM applied for and was awarded a grant from the Walters/Unitarian Universalist Church Trust of Lancaster to subsidize registration costs for these classes. Cost for each class is only $125.
4. Scholarships available. A generous seminary board member has provided funds for full scholarships for two new PAM participants for each class. Interested persons should complete the PAM application and indicate that they would like to be considered for the scholarship. Awards for the first class will be determined on July 5.
WE ARE LITERALLY GIVING IT AWAY! Who could pass up a chance to study with Dr. Weems at no cost!?

Ministerial Ethics and Professional Development, instructor Jessica Young Brown, Aug 23–Sept 27, 2022. A Ministerial Institute class. Confidentiality, fiduciary duty, healthy boundaries, and self-care in ministry. $325.
Creating Safe & Affirming Spaces for Transgender Children
July 15-17, 2022
Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center; Bangor, PA

A hybrid (in person & online) community event for teachers, counselors, chaplains, faith leaders & families
This program is designed to create safe and affirming spaces for transgender or gender expansive children at home, school and faith communities. These are the 3 places children need to be affirming if they are to thrive. These are also the spaces that parents need support to become effective advocates for their transgender or gender expansive children.  

Register here:
Forty Days: A Pilgrimage of Peace
July 15 - August 25
Louisa, Virginia USA
For more information email Br. Stefan at
Songs of Desire: New Music for the Churches
Saturday July 9, 2:00Pm - Sunday July 10, 9:00PM
Suggested Donation: $50 including accommodation and meals.
For more information email Br. Stefan at
2022 Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness Conference
September 22, 2022

This workshop is designed to improve the knowledge in the business continuity planning areas related to an armed intruder incident. It is intended for professionals from the public and private sectors as well as faith-based organizations responsible for business continuity planning and emergency planning. This workshop is free of charge courtesy of the South Central PA Task Force, Millersville University and grants from US DHS! Seating is limited so register soon.
Employment Opportunities
Accompanist Position Available
We are searching for an Accompanist to bring their gifts to our church where we appreciate a blend of contemporary and traditional music.

General Responsibilities:
In support of the vision of the church, this year-round, part time, salaried position will provide music for worship and other events in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.

The current music ministry of HPUCC consists of one volunteer choir, as well as instrumental and vocal soloists.

For more information, please call the church at 717-397-9791 or email: If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Audio/Visual System Operators Needed
Church of the Apostles, United Church of Christ in Wayne Heights is looking for two people to operate our Audio/Visual system during Sunday morning worship services at 10:45 am (summer worship at 10 am, beginning the first Sunday in June and ending with Labor Day weekend). Other services would include weddings, funerals, Lenten services and Christmas Eve. These are part-time, independent contractor positions; paid per service. Responsible teenagers will be considered. Training will be provided. Read the full description here.
Position:     Music Director
Effective:   Immediately
As a part of the United Church of Christ denomination, we at Hamilton Park UCC seek to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and caring environment where people of all backgrounds and from all walks of life can experience the support of a community where they are valued and loved and where they can experience the love of God given by Christ.
General Responsibilities:
In support of the Pastor and the vision of Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, this year-round, part time, salaried position will coordinate the total music ministry program of HPUCC, to include playing instruments, such as piano, organ, guitar, etc. in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.
Primary Responsibilities:
The Music Director plans and oversees a diverse musical program that enhances the total worship programming of the church that includes worship services and special events.
If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603.
St. Matthew’s UCC (Carlisle) is seeking a part-time
church administrative assistant. Starting pay 15.00 or higher
based on experience/credentials. 10-15hrs/week. Read full description here.
If interested, please contact Pastor Tim Dugan
Preferred contact phone number: 570-428-4290.
Preferred contact email:
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Dr. 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
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