Paid for by your OCWM Contributions | March 15, 2023

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Message to the Conference

Greetings members and friends of Penn Central Conference,


I love the hymn "Be Thou My Vision" for it makes clear that true sight is beyond what the eyes merely behold. John's Gospel account of the man born blind illustrates this point. Even with his eyes now opened the man still required the personal encounter with Jesus to fully under the source of his restoration and subsequent decision to follow our Lord. The leaders, though never having lost sight, were nonetheless blinded by many worldly concerns as to what constitutes a faith journey.


The hymn's first stanza concludes "Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light". Paul's account in Ephesians 5:8-14 declares "For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the in the Lord. Walk as children of light". In this our spirits are to be led by a deeper vision than what is simply visible to our eyes. Life presents so manty options for allegiance and many of those are presented as ultimate truth. In reality are only a pretense for self interest or blind obedience to some nefarious, evil substitute for true faith.


Along this line of thought I am aware that Jesus calls us to not focus on the speck in our neighbor's eyes as nearly as we have need to clear the larger obstacles from our own eyes. Blindness comes in many forms besides the physical. Assuming one's point of view is absolutely the only correct view covers an array of behaviors such as prejudice, greed, self-loathing and on and on we could go. The point being that only in opening ourselves to reading and challenging of the gospel to inform our journey through this life will we experience the true light for our pathways.


The leaders of the Temple assumed they held the key to truth. They embraced tradition without appreciating that their tradition ultimately called for a willingness to engage ever renewing opportunities to experience God's truth being revealed. We also have need to understand that how we perceive God's call and gifts to us must ever be open to new revelations, lest we develop spiritual blindness.


As the man, whose sight was restored, still did not see clearly until his further encounter with Jesus, also must accept that renewal or recommitment in our relationship is to be a daily occurrence. No matter how correct we think we may be on any given subject, we are always called to look more deeply and pray on matters more earnestly, as we listen more fully to other voices and then re-read the gospel so as to enlighten our awareness on any given subject.


In this Lenten season, let us be like the man willing to seek Jesus more fully and not simply receive the gift and then take it for granted.


Rick

Rev. Rick Luciotti

Clergy Care

Penn Central Conference

Scheduling notes:


March 12 - St. Paul's UCC, New Oxford - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching

March 19 - St. Luke's UCC, Lockhaven - Rev. Dr. Nora Foust 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. Peter's UCC, Paxinos

Salem UCC, Pillow

Trinity UCC, Dalmatia

Quentin UCC, Quentin

Creation Justice

LANCASTER COUNTY 2023 EARTH DAY CLIMATE SUMMIT

April 22, 2023 

A Lancaster County 2023 Earth Day Climate Summit will be held in downtown Lancaster on Saturday April 22, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Over 50 presentations, workshops, and exhibits will be held at multiple sites in Lancaster City (all walkable distances) including The Ware Center, Tellus 360, First Reformed UCC, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, St. James Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church.


Each site of the Summit will feature an important sector like Land, Food, Water, Buildings and Materials, Transportation, Public Health and Environmental Justice. There will also be a site for Faith Based Climate Action. Keynote speakers will include: President Pedro Rivera (Stevens College of Technology) and President Daniel Wubah (Millersville University). 


If you’d be willing to volunteer to help at the Summit contact Dave Bushnell (abushnell@aol.com). Dave is the Chair of the Planning Team. For more information go to https://regenall.org/2023climatesummit.  

Local Church

LAY LEADERS CONVOCATION


Who: For elders, deacons, church council members, and other leaders


What: A full day of worship, address, workshops, and fellowship


When: Saturday, April 15, 2023, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm


Where: Trinity and Zion U.C.C., Pottstown, Pennsylvania


Cost: $40 per person ($20 for persons coming for part of the program not eating lunch)


The event will include: Worship and Keynote address on

Empowering Lay Leadership

Workshops on some of the following topics:

Being effective as a post-Covid Church

Reviving the Sunday school

Stewardship of Financial Resources

Becoming Spiritual Leaders

Becoming an Environmentally Friendly Church

Church Meetings that get out on time

How does the U.C.C. work

Music ministry when the choir is shrinking

Worshiping when there is no pastor.


Register here


Sponsored by the Lay Leadership Education Team of Penn SE Conference, U.C.C.

Outdoor Ministries

Events with our partners at Lutheran Camping Corporation

QUILTING WEEKEND - Kirchenwald - March 17 - March 19, 2023

SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE - Kirchenwald -  March 19, 2023 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE - Nawakwa - March 19, 2023 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

WITTEL FARM GROWING PROJECT OPEN HOUSE - The Wittel Farm - March 19, 2023 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Summer Camp with Lutheran Camping Corporation - use code PENNCENTRAL2023 to use a 50% campership from PCC's Outdoor Ministries!


Hartman Center Homecoming week

July 31 through August 5, 2023


We will be returning to Hartman Center Campground in Milroy, PA as guests.

Camping experiences for all ages, including intergenerational camps.


2 night camps - Monday, July 31 at 4PM through Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM

Getting Started - Grades 1 and 2 ($125)

Intergenerational Camp ($125)

3 night camps - Wednesday, August 2 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Intergenerational Camp ($190)

Camp of the Heart ($250)

5 night camps - Monday, 31 at 4PM through Saturday, August 5 at 11AM

Elementary - Grades 3 - 5 ($300)

Junior High - Grades 6 - 8 ($300)

Senior High - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)

Leadership - Grades 9 - 12 plus ($300)


For more information, contact Rev. Alice Rauch alirauch07@gmail.com (director) 

or Rev. Amelia Price aashivers@gmail.com (registrar)

Register here and print a brochure here


Summer camp with St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

2023 Summer Camps 

Camp Galilee (9-12) June 18-23

Camp Kum Ba Yah (5-8) June 25-30

Camp Noah (K-4) June 26-30

Learn more here.

Clergy Events

Winter/Spring 2023 MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom)


March 21 - "Just War, Just Peace in Scripture" with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom Only - register here


No April MEF, staff will be on retreat


May 16 - "Starting Justice Conversations: Part 1" with Rev. Carla Christopher

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom Only - register here

Winter/Spring Boundary Training


Monday, March 20, 10:00AM & 6:00PM, Departure Ethics

via Zoom

Register 10am

Register 6pm


Thursday, April 13, 10:00AM & 6:00PM, Humility as Spiritual Practice

via Zoom

Register 10am

Register 6pm

Please join the Pension Boards for its upcoming two-day Planning for the Transition to Retirement seminar on March 29-30, 2023.


Whether you are planning to retire soon or are in the middle of your career, clergy or lay, this seminar is designed to help you transition to retirement. If you are an actively-contributing Pension Boards member, 45 years of age or older, we invite you to participate.

 

Here is what you can expect:


• On Day One of our presentation, we discuss some of the landmark issues along the journey to retirement and how we can best prepare to hit those milestones. We will then focus on the two largest financial sources for most of our members: Social Security and the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ.

 

• One Day Two of our presentation, we will dig a little deeper into some of the accompanying details of the retirement journey. We will look at how our investment choices should be informed by our current lives and future goals, and review additional benefits to help smooth our path. Finally, we will examine the way our lives will change and what we can do to continue leading purposeful, fulfilling lives in retirement.


Date: Day One: Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on EST 


Date: Day Two: Thursday, March 30, 2023

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on EST 


Register here by March 28, 2023. The Zoom credentials you receive upon registration are the credentials you will use to participate in both Day One and Day Two of the Planning for the Transition to Retirement seminar.


Suicide and Moral Injury Clergy Workshop

with Lebanon VA Chaplain Rev. Dean Luther


Full flyer here

Friday, March 24th 10-12 on Zoom

Register here

Friday May 19th 10-12 on Zoom

Register here

Welcome your new friends and colleagues from Penn West as they join together for the first time with Penn Central, Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment...Clergy Convocation 2023! May 2-4, 2023


Focus Texts: John 17: 20-23 and John 15: 1-5


Being One: Clergy Wellness, Clergy Wholeness


Our time together for Clergy Convocation will focus on connection - connecting with God, self and others. We will have times dedicated for worship, theological reflection, gatherings of affinity groups, connecting with folks from other Conferences, and free time. Our teaching focus on clergy wellness will take shape in four 90-minute sessions, each dedicated to one of the components of wellness every pastor needs: spiritual wellness, vocational wellness, financial wellness, and physical wellness. Pension Boards staff and outside facilitators will provide attendee with thoughtful and relevant content for those engaged in local church ministry.


For flyer, click here.

Though the proposed Retiree Convocation scheduled for May 9-11 has been postponed, work on redeveloping "Journey Into and Through Retirement" will continue. Please watch this space for announcement regarding a rescheduled date.

UCC National Setting

UCC Webinars


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


General Synod Frequency Town Hall 1/3

MAR 15, 2023, 2:00PM - 3:00PM


Changing Landscape of Giving: What we can learn from Millennial and Gen Z Donors

MAR 22, 2023 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM


How we gather: Where are future faith seekers finding access to their Sacred?

APR 5, 2023 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM

"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.

 

Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

 

For the full press release, click here.

Our Whole Lives training


In addition to an increasing number of in-person trainings across the country, Our Whole Lives trainings will continue to be offered online in 2023 for UCC and UUA members, at a cost of only $250 plus curriculum.


Registration applications will be accepted from Feb 21-Mar 6 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in April

Registration applications will be accepted from March 13 through March 27 for an Elementary (Grades K-1 and 4-6) Training in May

Registration applications will be accepted from April 17 through May 1 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in June

Registration applications will be accepted from July 17-July 31 for a Jr Sr High Level Training in September

Registration applications will be accepted from Aug 21-Sept 5 for an Elementary (Grades K-1 and 4-6) Training in October

Registration applications will be accepted from Sept 11-Sept 25 for an All Adult Levels Training in November


More information about these trainings, in addition to information about upcoming in-person trainings, can be found here.

From our friends and partners

This event will be held at

Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown.

Breakfast and lunch are included with the cost of your ticket.

To register you can email Barbara Jennings at barbaraj@pnec.org and send your check for $35 made payable to PNEC to the Conference Office (PNEC, 431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071)

OR

you can register and pay through tithe.ly at https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/6681834

Keynote; “Repenting of the unforgivable” Through the medium of storytelling, Rev JimBear Jacobs will share how the legacy of Indigenous residential boarding schools has left a stain upon the church. The sin of complicity in the boarding school has for far too long been ignored or rationalized away. It is time to face this sin head on and enter into a season of lament that can hopefully lead to repair. Workshop: “Beyond lament; Movement towards repair” In this workshop Rev. JimBear Jacobs will explore some tangible and challenging steps that churches might wrestle with as they consider reparations for the traumatic legacy of the boarding school system

Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

CHURCH HISTORY 2 - PROTESTANT REFORMATION: REFORMED AND REFORMING

April 11 - May 16, 2023

Online on Zoom

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00-8:30pm

 

Join Rev. Matthew Deal to identify historical roots and analogies for contemporary ecclesial issues. We'll study the basic sweep of Christian history, including key figures, movements, denominations, and turning points in their cultural contexts


 For clergy/pastors and lay leaders

 $325 for the series of six classes

2.5 CEUs


BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION 1

May 23 - June 27, 2023

 

BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION 2

July 11 - August 15, 2023

 

Tuesday evenings via Zoom.

Clergy and laity are invited to join instructor Kelsey Wallace for an introduction to the art and practice of biblical interpretation. We will consider issues of historical context, translation, literary analysis, and social location and the skills necessary to be a responsible public interpreter of scripture.


For clergy/pastors and lay leaders

$325 for each of the two series of six classes

2.5 CEUs may be earned for each series


Information and Registration: https://www.lancasterseminary.edu/programs/pennsylvania-academy-of-ministry/

2023 Festival of Biblical Storytelling

AUGUST 2,3, AND 4, 2023

At the Maritime Conference Center near BWI and Baltimore, MD

Save the date - REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 2!

Employment Opportunities

Current Openings - UCC National Setting

OPTIC – MarCom

Editorial Communications and News Strategist, Extended Close: Open Until Filled

Web and Digital SpecialistClose: 3/31/23 - new 

Faith UCC Grantville, PA seeks Director of Music, Choir Director, Organist, Pianist

Faith UCC Grantville, PA in the Harrisburg Association of the Penn Central Conference United Church of Christ, seeks a Director of Music-Choir Director-Organist-Pianist. Responsibilities may be assumed by one or two individuals. Responsibilities include:  

·     Collaborating with the Pastor to organize worship experiences

·     Choose seasonally appropriate anthems

·     Conducting Faith’s vocal choir

·     Playing organ and/or piano for choir accompaniment, leading congregational singing, prelude, postlude and special pieces, as able.

·     Organ is a Rodgers 2-manual with 5 ranks of pipes. Piano is relatively new 

This is (these are) part time position(s) in the range of 10-15 hours per week or time needed to prepare/practice 

About Faith UCC Grantville: Faith honors its historical roots with a traditional worship style in a relaxed atmosphere where fellowship is highly valued. 

Faith UCC is located in Grantville, a rural/commuter community in Central Pennsylvania, 7 miles north of Hershey, 15 miles east of Harrisburg, and 30 miles from Lancaster. We are easily accessed via Route 81.  

If you would like more information, please contact Pastor George Robertson at: faithgrantville@gmail.com 2/22/23

Peace United Church of Christ is seeking candidates for the position of Church Musician. Primary responsibility is to provide piano and/or organ music during one contemporary and one traditional worship service on Sunday mornings, with adult choir accompaniment September-May. Salary dependent upon experience. Resumes may be sent via email to: secretary@peaceunitedchurch.org, or mailed to: Peace UCC 37 E. Swartzville Road Denver, PA 17517 For additional information or questions, please contact Rev. Betsy Bruaw at 717-484-4400. 2/8/23

Job opening for Director of Music of Salem UCC, Campbelltown, PA     

 

The Salem UCC Director of Music will be responsible for performing the music used in worship services, including the congregational, choral and special group music throughout the church liturgical year, including Sundays and some holy days. Currently there is one traditional service at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. The candidate should be a person of faith, comfortable theologically with the United Church of Christ and a person who brings vitality and flexibility to the duties of this ministry. Musical ability on pipe organ or piano are required. The candidate should have the ability to play a variety of types of musical expressions; possess good communication and organizational skills; the ability to sight‑read would be a plus. Salem UCC is a congregation that highly values and encourages creativity and musical abilities of all ages within the congregation. The Director of Music will be encouraged to use creativity to help foster and nurture the music ministry within the church community in the years ahead. Employment at Salem UCC requires compliance with the Pennsylvania Child Protection Laws, with employees being subject to the required background checks and clearances.


Note: The congregation is open to this position being an accompanist only position, rather than a Director of Music with choir director responsibilities. See contact below for more information.


Details of Director of Music position:          

Quarter-time position (approximately 10 hours a week) includes:

 - preparing worship music

 - accompanying congregation singing in worship

 - selecting choir anthems, preparing and leading Wednesday evening choir rehearsals 2-3 times a month (12-15 adult choir members)

 - accompanying the choir during the regular Sunday worship service (2-3 times a month)  and occasional holy day evening services. Choir rehearsals and singing in worship usually occur September through May.

 - attending Worship & Music Committee evening meetings (3-4 times a year).


Salary - $9000 - $12000 per year (negotiable based on experience and skill level)

- paid twice a month

- additional income from occasional weddings and funerals is possible, based upon

  availability of the organist/accompanist.


Vacation - four paid vacation Sundays a year with the responsibility of arranging substitute organist/accompanist, substitute’s fee paid by the church.

           

Contact Rev. Dwight Hein, Pastor of Salem UCC, Campbelltown

pastor@salemucccampbelltown.org

717-838-4236 – office 2/8/23

Music Ministry Positions at Emmanuel UCC, Hanover PA

Emmanuel United Church of Christ is a forward-looking, Open and Affirming faith environment. These part-time positions offer competitive salary and vacation packages. For details, visit www.emmanuelucc.org. Submit your cover letter and resume to pastor@eucchanover.org.

Organist/Accompanist Needed

EUCC is excited to be searching for an Organist/Keyboardist for Sunday worship and special occasions. We’re open to you leading our Choirs and Handbells as well if you have the experience and savvy. Contact us soon before someone else slides into the bench before you! 

Choir/Handbell Director

EUCC is excited to be searching for a Choir and Handbell Director for Sunday worship and special occasions. We’re open to you playing our organ/keyboards as well if you have the experience and savvy. Contact us soon before someone else slides into the lead before you! 1/11/23

Directory

Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.

Conference Minister

email: ccall@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-433-3196


Rev. Dr. Nora Driver Foust

Associate Conference Minister 

email: nfoust@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-433-2587


Rev. Rick Luciotti

Coordinator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families

email: rluciotti@gmail.com

Phone: 717-433-6306

 

C. Paul Keller

Office Manager

email: pkeller@pccucc.org

Phone: 717-652-1560

Penn Central Conference Ministry Opportunities Page

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