Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 05, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you. (Philippians 1:3-4 NRSV)

Happy New Year and Happy Epiphany to all. I chose the scripture verses above because I want to say a heart-filled thank you for your prayers, cards, and messages to me around my recent back surgery. I am still in recovery mode (e.g. not driving) but I am making progress. Due to the damage of my nerves, it will take time for all pain to dissipate. So, as I have said to several people, I am perpetually practicing patience! Your love and prayers felt very real to me as a comfort surrounding me. Thank you, thank you. I look forward to resuming my yoga and hiking as soon as possible!


Once again, we enter a new year with various hopes, fears, expectations, and wonderings. January is named after the Roman God Janus, who resided over doorways and beginnings. I have never thought of January as a doorway, per se, but I admit I like the image. All around me I have friends and family who are walking through the doors of new habits or promises or resolutions. I used to be one of them, a great maker-of-resolutions who marched into the new year thrusting a list in front of me of all that would be accomplished. Now I approach the new year as someone who peeks around the doorway with trepidation, not quite sure what will be on the other side.

My wariness at the threshold comes from two years of anxiety and the yo-yo Covid experience of safe-not-safe-sortof-safe. My wariness, however, has grown thin. I am tired of the push and pull of anxiety and grief. I do not want my life defined by grief, anxiety, or fear – and yet it seems to be. I confess that I struggle with this.

However, these past two years have also made an unexpected impression on my theological life. I have come to think and pray about God’s providence more than at any other time in my life. Chapter six of Matthew holds words that bear repeating in these days of anxious existence: “And which of you, by being anxious can add a single hour to your span of life?” When I pray this question, “And how can I, by being anxious, add a single hour to my life?”  I find some relief. I am reminded that my anxiety does not actually create new life. It is born out of fear, which closes off life-giving energy. It can only be countered with love.

At this doorway of 2022, I choose to invite love into my spiritual house to dwell. Anxiety and grief are already in the room with me. They will remain. Love, however, needs more space. I can open that space with prayer. When I actively pray to be reminded that God oversees all, I can find the wherewithal to come out of the corner and cross over the various thresholds and walk through the various doorways that appear.

I will never be one of those who can abolish anxiety by means of my faith. And I will not allow that truth to stoke spiritual guilt. Instead, I will remind myself that God owns the house in which I live, along with all the doorways I may ever approach. That practice of remembering God’s providence diminishes fear and allows more room for love. It also grants me the strength to live alongside of anxiety and grief while not allowing them to claim ownership. 


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Poetry Corner

Some words at the threshold of a new year…
Turn away from the body slams of the culture wars.
Turn off the fear porn.
Turn off the endless anxiety loops that sell one thing or another.
Find peace in the dark.
Find comfort in what you can’t yet see.
Relish what little light you find.
Set your compass by it.
Move slowly when you can’t see.
Trust your feet to know the way home.
Correct your course often, without judgement.
Don’t impede your progress by picking up last straws.
Spend time traveling with trees.
Don’t worry about walking in circles.
Every circle encompasses what is here.
Be the one you’ve been waiting for.
Inhabit your own life wherever you are.
Trust Love.
Trust God.
Reach out for one another.
Keep walking.
(Glenn Mitchell, Senior Fellow at Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development)
Scheduling notes:

January 9 - Hayshire UCC, York - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
January 9 - Christ UCC, Annville - Rev. Rick Luciotti preaching
January 9 - St. John’s UCC, Fredericksburg - Rev. Rick Luciotti preaching
January 16 - Myerstown UCC, Myerstown - 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 (Gowen City) UCC, Shamokin
Faith UCC, Grantville
Grace UCC, Greencastle
Emmanuel UCC, Hanover
The Virtual Choir is back! 
The Virtual Choir season debuts with G. F. Handel's "And the Glory of the Lord." The piece is the first chorus in Handel's masterwork, Messiah. The text, Isaiah 40:5, promises the presence of God's glory to all of humanity, and is a great option for either Advent or Christmas.
You can stream the music from the Penn Central Conference's YouTube Channel. The direct link is
You can download from Google Drive at :
Our next song will be Mendelssohn's "How Lovely Are the Messengers."  If you are interested in joining us, contact Julie Holm at Don't worry if you don't know the technology; Julie will help everyone be part of this project! 
Outdoor Ministries Winter Events

"[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:

Sunday, January 16 from Noon-2:00 p.m.
Spend a Sunday at camp with a delicious home-made chicken and waffles meal. Bring your sleds if there’s snow! There is no cost for this meal, but a free will offering will be taken. 
For more information and to register, visit:
WINTER FUN DAYS at Kirchenwald
Sundays, January 16 and 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:
January 16 Event
February 20 Event
In-Person Meeting at Kirchenwald and Nawakwa: Jan 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Zoom Meeting: January 18 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Online training is available from January 16-31, 2022 at
Calling all CampPersons and people who would like to be a CampPerson for your church! The Lutheran Camping Corporation is an extension of your ministry in the local congregation. As a CampPerson, you will help inform those in your congregation about events and opportunities at the different sites: Kirchenwald, Nawakwa, and The Wittel Farm. [Basically, you will take the information I send in emails like this one and make sure it gets passed on to your pastor, secretaries, and members in your church!] *Added Bonus* Every summer camper from a congregation with a CampPerson receives a $20 discount on their week long registration!
For more information and to register, visit:
Clergy Events
Coffee With Your Conference Staff
Thursday, January 6, 2022
10:00 – 11:00am
Monthly on the first Thursday via Zoom
Join us to hear some updates from the Conference and hear reflections on a particular topic for the day from your clergy colleagues in the PCC. Zoom link:
"History & Polity of the UCC" Class for Spring 2022
This annual course is being taught by Carrie Call and Penn Central Conference staff with special guests. Join with students from all over the UCC to learn more about who we are and where we came from as a denomination!

Classes will take place Fridays at 2:00PM starting February 11, 2022 through April 01, 2022. Register by January 30th. Registration is limited. Classes are online via Zoom. Register here.
An Online Mini-Colloquy
Offered by the PCC-UEK Partnership Ministry Team
The interrelated issues of racism and white privilege continue to plague society both in the United States and in Germany, as well as in many other parts of the world. Our partnership between Penn Central Conference and the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia has begun to address these issues together through several online colloquies, most recently with the Rev. Traci Blackmon in July. We invite you to continue this conversation with us on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST. 

Our keynote speaker for this event will be Mr. Sami Omar ( Sami Omar is a speaker, author, and frequent moderator of political and cultural events throughout Germany. He works in both print and digital media on topics of migration, integration, racism, and discrimination. He also offers consultation and training on issues involving racism. “Antiracism is primarily a grappling of white people with their privileges, and a solidarity that arises out of this awareness.”

The PCC-UEK Partnership Ministry Team invites—and encourages—you to be a part of this conversation, which will again take place by way of Zoom. This event is being prepared primarily by our partners in Germany, and a special focus will be on the church’s role in dealing with white privilege and its role in confronting racism. Register here. On receipt of your registration, you will receive the Zoom link for the event.
UCC Webinars

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

Grace Emerged Visible January 6, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Frederick Douglass once said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand."

The next Creation Justice Webinar will focus on the art and craft of making a demand. Specifically, we will focus on how people of faith can best organize themselves to place pressure on Congress to act in 2022. For insight and guidance, we will turn to three panelists with local and national experience as organizers: the Rev. A. Kazimir Brown from the Poor People's Campaign, the Rev. Chibuzo Nimmo Petty from For Our Future, and Kim McMurray from Indivisible. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, January 12th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording.
Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application (20-22)
- Grant Application will be awarded to churches that have submitted a completed Global H.O.P.E. Kit Matching Grant Application.
- Grant Applications for 2021 will be received through January 28, 2022. 
- Congregations that raise $250 or more (monetary or in-kind supplies) for Church World Service Kits are eligible to apply for a $250 matching grant from UCC Global H.O.P.E.
- Grant Applications must be accompanied by a completed W-9 form at
- 100% of Matching Grant funds must be used for purchasing supplies for the assembly of the CWS Kits or for processing costs ($3/Clean Up Bucket, $2/School or Hygiene Kit).
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