Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| September 08, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear friends and members of Penn Central Conference,

For God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.” (Wisdom of Solomon 7:28)

Wisdom often seems in short supply. I do not mean only in the wider world (politics, pandemics, social issues), but also within my own life. I am convinced that wisdom is a word we assume we know the meaning of – only to be stymied when asked, what does it mean to be wise?

Wisdom in the Biblical sense is the universal creative power that emanates from God and brings order out of chaos. When Wisdom moves through the world, she expresses herself as order. (Wisdom is referred to in the feminine in the Old Testament.) She creates order that brings forth life and moves against the powers of chaos. The more we study, understand, and bear witness to this “right ordering” of the world and live within it, the more wisdom we gain personally. And the further we move away from chaos.

But human wisdom is slippery. To be a wise person does not equate with being well-educated, well-read, pious, experienced, or old in years. Human wisdom has more to do with humility and recognition of limits. Human wisdom implies critical self-reflection, an awareness of how much we do not know, a teachable spirit, and a release of the need to control others. When we live with wisdom we are in a type of congruence, an ordering of our spirit and our passions. We see the ordering of creation brought by Wisdom and seek the same in our own lives.  

Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear in this case is awe – a complete awareness of our own finitude, limits and abilities. That awareness leads to humility. True humility does not denigrate our own importance. Instead it creates an “I am everything. I am nothing” certainty – a mistrust of our own confidence and importance and yet an affirmation of the infinite worth of our creation.

In today’s cacophonous town square, wisdom is hard for me to find. Instead of wisdom we are regaled by opinions, claims and counter-claims, frothy self-righteousness, and judgment wielded as a blunt object. The seeker of wisdom must prevail against all the noise. The lectionary lessons for this coming Sunday include several passages that are considered “wisdom literature.” Read and reflect. Listen for the call of Wisdom. She can be elusive and counter-intuitive. Yet the Wisdom of God offers insight and order, temperance and fortitude, courage and liberation for those who seek her. This is a life-long journey of discovery leading us to the heart of God’s created order.  


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Installation Service of Rev. Dr. Carrie Call as Conference Minister
Sunday September 12, 2021 at 3:00PM
Please plan to join us on-line for the event and share the information with your congregations as you see fit. It will be streamed via Facebook Live and you can use this link.
Summaries of General Synod Resolutions:

Becoming a Church of Contemplatives in Action – Resolution Summary
By Sterling Fritz & Charlotte Pinette Read here...

Declare and Respond to Racism as a Public Health Crisis – Resolution Summary
By Shirley Keith Knox Read here...

A Resolution to recognize the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) - Resolution Summary
by Terry McGarry Read here...

The Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ Request to be Recognized as a Formal Group - Resolution Summary
by Shirley Keith Knox Read here...

Resolution to Ban the Practice of Conversion Therapy - Resolution Summary
by Alice Rauch Read here...

Declaration For a Just Peace Between Israel and Palestine - Resolution Summary
by Kathy Brown
The resolution again calls for a just peace between Israel and Palestine. The writers have heard the cry of anguish from the Palestinian people and call on Israel to end the unjust system of laws that oppress the Palestinians. Read more here...
Scheduling notes:

September 19 - Emmanuel UCC, Abbottstown - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
September 19 - First Reformed UCC, Sunbury - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
September 26 - Hill UCC, Lebanon - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola
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...

Trinity UCC, Waynesboro
Mazeppa Union UCC, Lewisburg
St. Paul's UCC, West Milton
St. Peter's UCC, New Columbia
COVID-19 Resources

Penn Central Conference has added a special section on our website for COVID-19 resources, including the times and links for Zoom meetings. Find them here:
Penn Central Conference is once again accepting applications for the PCC Innovation Grants which is for PCC churches who are looking for funding for a bold & innovative approach to ministry. Application can be found here, please email completed forms to Paul.
Local Church News:
Outdoor Ministries Fall Events

Volunteer for The Growing Project through October at The Wittel Farm! This project reclaims a portion of the acreage for farming. The crops harvested are donated to assist those in need in Lancaster County. To volunteer as an individual, or a multi-generational group, youth group or family, contact Pastor Matt Lenahan at
For more information about this project, visit:
October 3; 3-5:30 p.m. @ Kirchenwald [Free]
Review your camp map, paint your face, and practice your cone zone celebration dance! Invite your friends and family – of all ages! - to join you in this Capture the Flag event. Campfire worship to follow.
October 5-7 @ Nawakwa [$150/person]
All meals (7) are included in the price and served at the Dining Hall. This mid-week retreat begins Tuesday morning and ends with lunch on Thursday. Lodging in Zinn-Tozer Lodge.

More events can be found here!
Clergy Events
Boundary Training – All Zooms unless otherwise noted, 2 credit hours
September 15 10am (Register) and 6pm (Register) – Power and the Pastoral Office with Rev. Nora Foust
This has been offered with some ministeriums this year so you may want to double-check before you register as you can only get credit once. Drawing from writings of Karen Lebacqz and Richard Gula, we will explore some of the aspects of the professional power that comes with the pastoral office. The power that pastors have is often understated and misunderstood. Some of you may remember this example from FaithTrust Institute and Margaret Atwood.
  • She unlocks her office door, then locks it behind her to disguise the fact that she’s in there. It’s not her office hours but the students take advantage. They can smell her out, like sniffer dogs; they’ll seize any opportunity to suck up to her or whine, or attempt to impress her, or foist upon her their version of sulky defiance. I’m just a human being, Tony wants to say to them. But of course she isn’t. She’s a human being with power. There isn’t much of it, but its power all the same.” Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood
Like that of a professor and student, the pastoral relationship is one of unequal power between minister and congregant. Unequal power does not necessarily indicate abuse, but it is something for us to consider with some regularity and intentionality.

More Boundary Trainings: (read full descriptions here.)
September 29 10am-1pm LIVE at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Pepper Theo Café – Retired and Supply Boundaries and Departures (with LUNCH at Pepper Theo) $10 (register and pay)
October 13 6pm (Register) – A Boundary Refresher for All Stages of Ministry with Rev. Nora Foust
October 25 10am (Register) – A Boundary Refresher for All Stages of Ministry with Rev. Nora Foust
October 28 10am-1pm LIVE St. John’s in Lewisburg Retired and Supply Boundaries and Departures (with LUNCH) $10 (register and pay)
Fall 2021 Education Forums
Third Tuesdays at 10am LIVE ONLY at St. Thomas, Linglestown and 6pm ZOOM ONLY

September 21 with Pastor Mark Harris – As a sexual abuse survivor and pastor, Mark will talk with us about trauma informed pastoral care. Check out this information from Mark in preparation for our time together at (2 hours Boundary Training Credit)
10am Live at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)
Pastor Mark writes, “From the ages of 11 to 15, I was progressively groomed and led into a network of pedophile and child pornography by a charismatic man who was well known to my family. He was the director of an Outward Bound type school that worked primarily with adjudicated youth. Through progressive stages, I encountered a dozen men who sexually abused me, and made me the subject of child pornography. In the course of extensive therapy as a young adult, I took part in the prosecution of some of these men. My recovery from trauma took place over the next two decades, although I would hesitate to say that it is ever over. Recently, I graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and I am well on my way to being ordained in the United Church of Christ. For now, I am a working Pastor, leading a small church as an authorized minister. I am working on a book about my experiences and see my path in ministry as including working with survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as survivors of other trauma. I feel strongly that the story of Jesus offers much to those who are recovering from traumatic experiences.”
Pastor Mark Harris is the pastor at Salem UCC in Columbia.

More Education Forums: (read full descriptions here.)
October 19 with Rev. India Garnett
10am LIVE at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)

November 16 with Rev. Nora FoustChallenges of Living in Covenant
10am LIVE at St. Thomas UCC, Linglestown (Register); 6pm Zoom (Register)
Penn Central Conference Lectionary Discussion Group - This group is open to all clergy, meets weekly on Tuesdays at 1:00PM to discuss upcoming lectionary passages. Us this Zoom link here.
“Don’t Join the Cloister” is the theme for the 2021 Old Zion Reformed Church Anniversary Service to be held on Sunday, September 12th at 4:00 p.m. The theme is taken from the religious controversy in the 1730’s with the establishment of the Cloister in Ephrata. The Old Zion Anniversary Service will reenact how the churches might have responded to this controversy. Our guest preacher will be Rev. Bruce Farrell, pastor of Zion Goshert’s Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, in Mt. Zion, PA. Read more about it here.
Hamilton Park Church
Sunday, September 12th (1-7 p.m,) 
Fun and learning for the whole family. (In case of rain all activities will be in the church.)
Why have a Climate Fair? By looking at the large challenge of climate change together, we can find new ways of acting together that can make a difference. The future for our children and grandchildren’s generations deserve no less! Read more 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.

September 11, 2021, 5:00PM-6:00PM

September 14, 2021, 3:30PM-4:30PM
The Valarie Russell Lecture during General Synod featured a keynote address from international scholar, lecturers, and author Dr. Joy DeGruy on the socio-political impact of racism in our society. The lecture was so well received we are offering a 2 day BE THE HEALING course with Dr. DeGruy featuring her Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome Work as well as her healing work to an anti-racist world on Frontline Faith. The registration link is below:
If your local congregation wants to send contributions to the national offices, the best way to do so is via the conference. However, if you are sending any directly, please send to the updated address:

United Church of Christ
PO BOX 71957
Cleveland, Ohio 44194
Stewardship resources:

Congregational Economic Evaluation Tool – The survey helps leaders compare their stewardship and financial practices to other faith communities and to identify best practices they can implement. Survey available at
Cultivating Generous Congregations Seminar – The seminar offers pastors and leaders an opportunity to explore faithful, practical, and tested ways to promote generosity. Information and registration is available at
“Don't Beg - Rethinking the Stewardship Sermon” - A Bible Study for pastors as we think through options for sermons on stewardship for a fall pledge campaign. Henri Nouwen’s observation will guide us, “Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring, ‘We have a vision that is amazing and exciting.’” Oct. 6, 5pm Eastern Time. Register at
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry

Money and Ministry: A Theology for Congregational Leaders, Thursday, October 14, 7–8:30pm and Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm, Oct 19–Nov 16, 2021, via Zoom. Instructor: Mike Little, Director of Faith and Money Network. 2.5 CEUs. $325. Register by October 5.
Employment Opportunities
Phoebe Berks (Wernersville, PA)
Part time and full time
Resident Care Assistants (no exp. necessary)
Dining Services positions

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.
POSITION OPENINGS: The Quentin UCC (Quentin, PA) is seeking a person to fill the position of choir director (approximately 15-20 persons). We are also looking to hire a church organist. If you’d like a copy of the job descriptions, please email the church office at Or you can send your resume directly to QUCC, P.O. Box 1138, Quentin, PA 17083
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
Anne Rankin
Outdoor Ministries Liaison
phone: 717-945-4585
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560