Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| July 20, 2022
Message to the Conference
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,
So, I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (Luke 11:9 NRSV)

Luke’s rendition of the Lord’s Prayer in chapter 11 is beautiful. (I encourage you to re-read it since Luke’s version is different than what we say on Sunday.)

I have said the prayer more often in the past 2 years than ever. While the prayer is simple enough in language, the spiritual posture behind it is not. The opening words push me to remember that God is God, and I am a creature. God’s sacredness is both imminent and transcendent, yet also completely mysterious. Immediately I am in a posture of humility and must acknowledge that I am not in control. Despite my desire to sway the world in my own preferred direction, the opening words remind me of my dependence and (very) limited control.

The same happens when I pray for God’s kingdom to come. The Greek verb is in the imperative tense, so I am, in essence, demanding that the kingdom come. I can only do that from a position of humility since it reinforces the nature of the kingdom as being God’s and not my own. I have my own ideas of what the kingdom looks like, or should look like, but the kingdom is God’s and once again I am encouraged to release my own desire to control the outcome and trust God.  

Then I am in a posture to ask for bread. I think of bread as “that which I need” or “that which feeds me”. But again, I am challenged to ask myself exactly what that is – and is not. Food, yes, and water certainly. What else is truly needful? Light, breath, relationship, shelter? Clothing, cars, books? The focus on bread encourages me to meditate on my most basic needs that God meets.

The next part is the real challenge. Asking God’s forgiveness can be difficult. But how much more difficult to forgive those who are indebted to me? That means they owe me something. I am rightfully angry or hurt or withholding because they have damaged me. Yet Jesus is clear that forgiveness of me by God is tied directly to my forgiveness of others. If I have gotten this far in the prayer, then I hope I can speak this line truthfully – that I can be in a posture of humility before God having truly forgiven others.

And finally, the plea to be saved from the time of trial. What irony for Jesus to speak these words. We ask for this and yet there is no guarantee that we will be protected from trial. In our day, as in the time of Jesus, the time of trial is now for many of us. From daily pain of disease or illness to broken and frayed relationships, to acts of violence and times of fear.

Our time of trial is why I have been thinking of the Lord’s Prayer as more of a circle than a linear piece. By the time I reach the request for protection, I need to start again to remind myself of God’s mystery, design, and providence. I need the hope of the holy God as the one who broods over the creation and who ultimately, sweeps us up into God’s life, despite our trials in all their forms.

Jesus’ words, “For everyone who asks, receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” grant the hope we need. May our asking, receiving, and searching bring us to unexpected places where God waits, with bread.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
To all in the Penn Central Conference and Central Association,

 I would like to take this time to say thank – you! Thank - you to all who reached out to myself and my family after the unexpected lost of my father. Thank - you for your love and support. From the cards, flowers, food, and memorial donations, to all who attended the funeral. To all who provided a listening ear, shoulder to cry on and sent supportive text messages or messages through Facebook. Your love and support meant and means so much!

Today, I give thanks for my wider church family! Dad loved and always made his family come first. My family and I are grateful to each of you as you lifted us in prayer, had us in your thoughts and love!

I would also like to say thank you to Rev. Rick Luciotti and Rev. Amelia Price for their love and support for supporting me and my family through this time. You both were a blessing to me! But, also to my family!

Thank you all for being a ray of sunshine in such a dark time in our lives,
Peace and Blessings to you all,

Greatly appreciated with love,
Rev. Tammy Gessner and her family
Scheduling notes:
July 1 - October 1 - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust on sabbatical
July 24 - St. John's UCC, Shamokin - 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...

Apostles UCC, Waynesboro
Trinity UCC, Waynesboro
Mazappa Union UCC, Lewisburg
St. Paul's UCC, West Milton
Local Church
On Saturday, Bethel of Spring Grove held a "Ukrainian Folk Festival" with live music led by our church musician Molly Morgan McDyer to raise money for Direct Relief's Ukrainian Fund which provides access to healthcare to Ukrainian refugees.
We heard beautiful music, learned "The Hopka" (a Ukrainian folk dance), sang and prayed in Ukrainian. We had great food and a basket raffle and connected with our community in a very special way. However, most importantly, our "small but mighty" congregation raised over $1000 for this wonderful cause.
We're doing amazing things here in Penn Central! If you'd like to hear more about what's going on at our "little church on the hill" please check out our website and find us on Facebook.
With love,
Pastor Zoë D'heedene
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.
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 on the registration page
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

NEW REGISTRATION OPTION: The conference planners are working diligently to create hybrid option for attendees. If you would like to attend on-line, register for the "commuter rate." Please be aware that only the primary sessions (plenaries) would be available to view. See full schedule here.

Are you looking for a fresh way to present the Advent/Christmas and Lenten/Easter stories, so that they come to life for your congregation in a new, fresh, and engaging manner? This collection of first-person sermons, where one is invited to take on the persona of a character within the biblical narrative and tell a piece of the story through their eyes, may be just what you're looking for! Present them as is ... use what I have written as a launching off point for creating your own materials ... and to my female colleagues - use what I have written as a starting point for bringing light to the many female voices from the biblical narrative that need to be heard. - Rev. Curt Miner

Order here.
Shaping Generations: Queer Justice and Love in the UCC
2022 National ONA Gathering
Join us Aug. 5-7 for our first National ONA Gathering since 2019! Our virtual event will celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the ONA Coalition and Bill Johnson’s ordination as the first openly gay man authorized to serve an historic Christian church as a minister of word and sacrament.
Leaders include the Rev. Rhina Ramos (worship leader), Bishop Yvette Flunder (closing address and charge), the Rev. Bill Johnson and the Rev. Anne Holmes, and the Rev. Andy Lang (State of the ONA Movement).
To register, click 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.

Witnesses with the World’s Workers - July 20, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Building an Endowment - July 27, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Faithful Abortion Access: Then And Now - August 4, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

"Making All Things New"
General Synod 2023
Making All Things New” will be the theme of the 34th biennial General Synod of the United Church of Christ, scheduled for June 30–July 4, 2023, in Indianapolis.
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ will get back to business a year from now. And it will do so in person.
After an all-virtual experience in 2021, the UCC’s biennial national meeting will require all voting delegates to be in Indianapolis in 2023. That’s according to the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, the associate general minister who serves as Synod administrator.
Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.
For the full press release, click here.
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. 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.
Eden Theological Seminary

August 15th - Oct 7th – UCC History and Polity Course
Eden is offering UCC History and Polity as an asynchronous 8-week intensive course for the Fall 2022 semester. All the material from a full-semester course will be covered, and all coursework will be completed in an asynchronous online forum. This class is appropriate for Members In Discernment and those on an alternative path to authorized ministry. It is also open to those seeking Dual Standing or Privilege of Call in the UCC, if your Committee on Ministry requires you to take a full-semester course.
If you've been looking for a UCC History and Polity class to fit around your schedule, you've found it. Class meets Aug. 15 - Oct. 7, 2022. Contact the Eden Admissions Office to register:, 314-918-2642.
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
Director of Social Services: Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home is seeking a Director of Social Services for a full time-exempt position. Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or related human services field and one year in long-term care experience is required. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. 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.  Interested persons should please mail, fax or email resume and letter of interest to Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home, Attn: Erin Jayman, 1000 West South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013; (717) 245-9733 FAX; or to EEOE.
UCC National Positions:

Gender & Sexuality Ministry
Close Date: July 22, 2022

Global Ministries
Close Date: August 19, 2022

Close Date: August 29, 2022
Shiloh UCC, York
Family and Children Ministry Coordinator

Part-time Position Summary: Nurture and develop a caring Christian community where children and youth have a meaningful and fun relationship with other youth and adults; have an opportunity to grow in God’s grace; develop the spiritual and personal resources necessary for life’s journey and develop a loving relationship with God, themselves and others. Learn more here.
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.
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