Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| December 2, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beg you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1&3, NRSV)

Today I am thinking about the church in relation to a conversation I had with a UCC pastor who asked me if there was a place for him in the UCC. It sounds absurd since he is ordained in the denomination. Yet I’ve had that question posed to me multiple times by a variety of people. In one case it may be a theologically liberal woman (was she too liberal? too universal?) and in another it could be a theologically conservative man (was he too conservative? too narrow?). I confess that the question, when it comes from some of our own clergy, causes my heart to ache. My spirit is also deeply troubled when I hear some say, when a church leaves the UCC, “Good riddance.” How did we reach a point that we might celebrate this instead of grieving?

Perhaps this is a curse of being a teacher of UCC history and polity. I want to point to the rich, complicated, wide-ranging, challenging, liberating, and sometimes-terrible theology of all our predecessor bodies and remind people of our broad and beautiful theological tent. All of these streams of theological life joined together in 1957 because, according to the Basis of Union written in 1948, “we” had a devotion to God, a belief that denominations only exist in that they serve the church, and because in “confronting the divisions and hostilities of our world” we hear with a “deepened sense of responsibility the prayer of our Lord ‘That they all may be one’.” I confess that I marvel at this.
Now again we are living amid divisions and hostilities. Those divisions and hostilities have crept over us, infecting our churches in a way we have not seen since pre-civil war. I am not saying anything new. But I have been reminded lately of how seriously we are to take our role in preserving unity in the bond of peace as the body of Christ. We begin by modeling places of authentic acceptance and mutual respect. This might be some of the most difficult work we take on as churches. This does not mean that we tolerate abuse or destruction in the name of unity. But it does mean that we begin with ourselves, look deeply, and encounter our inner sinner, before we exclude, judge or reject others.

The UCC has been a broad theological tent since its formation. At local church settings it remains such. Visit the churches of Penn Central and you will see that our theological beliefs, perspectives, practices, and questions are wide-ranging. We do not all agree. We wrangle and argue and reconcile and argue again. Yet I am convinced that we remain one body. Our founding documents testify to the belief that our role was to aid in overcoming hostilities and divisions, not adding to them. May we all receive the grace to be voices and bodies joined in committed unity.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
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 6 - Grace UCC, Spring Mills - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
February 6 - Zion Goshert’s UCC, Lebanon - Rev Rick Luciotti preaching
February 11 - 13 - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola on retreat
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.
Virtual Choir

The latest Virtual Choir anthem, How Lovely are the Messengers, by Felix Mendelssohn, is available on the PCC YouTube Channel - watch here!
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...

Church of the Redeemer UCC, Hershey
Emmanuel UCC, Howard
Hummelstown UCC, Hummelstown
Faith United UCC, Ickesburg
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
Creation Justice

The next Creation Justice Webinar is entitled "When Disaster Strikes: Faith Communities Responding with Equity and Justice." We will be looking specifically at climate-related disasters. Our panelists will include Marcus Coleman, Jr., from FEMA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Marcie Roth from the World Institute on Disability, and the Rev. Fred Meade from the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, February 9th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording.
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, located near Gettysburg. The weekend will begin at 7:00 on Friday evening and end with a closing program at 10:00 on Sunday morning. Cost is $100 for 2 nights of lodging and 4 meals (3 on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday) Learn more here. Registration link:

For more information and to register, visit:

Check out a full slate of winter and spring Outdoor Ministries events here!
Clergy Events
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).
February: Our own Conference Minister, Rev. Dr. Carrie Call will lead our February 15th session on God and the Problem of Evil in Today’s World. How has the theological world talked about and made sense of evil in the world? Join us for a lively theological discussion.

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.
Upcoming Book Study:
Thirteen Turns: A Theology Resurrected From the Gallows of Jim Crow Christianity – facilitated by the author Larry Covin Jr. and co-lead by David Bushnell

Tuesdays 6:30 to 7:30 PM February 15, 22, March 1, 8, 2022
 “It is remarkable that African Americans, the descendants of slaves, embrace Christianity at all. The imagination that is necessary to parse biblical text and find within it a theology that speaks to their context is a testimony to their will to survive in a hostile land.” (from Dr. Covin’s book cover) More information and registration is available at The book study is limited to 15. Contact Rev. David Bushnell with questions.
Travel with Pastor Julie: Presentations on Julie Holm’s Sabbatical

Zoom on Mondays (recordings available after)
● February 7: Italy and Switzerland: The Great Church, the Saints, and the Swiss Reformation.
● 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
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
NEW online classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry:

Fundraising Fundamentals: Churches and Other Non-Profits, Feb. 22 – March 29, 2022. This class provides essential fundraising tools for lay leaders, pastors, and other ministerial leaders. Whether working in a congregation or not-for-profit, all ministerial leaders need to be able to raise money. Taught by an experienced fundraising consultant, this class helps participants hone their skills in developing the fundraising “ask,” writing letters for fundraising, and leveraging networks to grow your ministry.
Each six-week class is offered online. 2.5 CEUs. $325. Deadline to register for Pastoral Care is December 21.
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.
Employment Opportunities
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. 
Zion UCC, Arendtsville job openings

The Choir Director directs a 15-member choir to prepare music for regular Sunday morning services. The choir director also works with the minister and the organist to plan special services. Duties include preparing music, scheduling choir practices, identifying soloists, and developing special music presentations. Salary compensation is negotiable.
The organist/pianist accompanies a 15-member choir at regularly scheduled Sunday morning services. Applicants must have the ability to play both the piano and the organ, and be prepared for weekly choir rehearsals. Duties include following the direction of the choir director and minister in planning musical services. This includes Sunday worship and special services. He/she must attend regularly scheduled and special choir rehearsals. Salary compensation negotiable.
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