Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| September 15, 2021
Message to the Conference
Dear Colleagues,
This past Sunday was my installation as your Conference Minister. Words cannot do justice to the beauty, power, or joy of the day. Suffice to say, in humility, it was one of the best days of my life. Thank you to all who played a role.
For the epistle this week, I have excerpted a section of the sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Catherine Williams, Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship and the Director of Chapel Worship at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Her texts were from Proverbs and the Epistle of James. Her reflections regarding the need for wisdom “for the living of these days” were powerful and moving. You can find the entire text of the sermon here. Below she is quoted at some length, but I believe you will find it edifying and empowering.
The fear of God reminds us daily that God is God and we are not. It is an orientation to living where God is at the center and circumference of our lives, our Source, our Strength, our All in All…As a pastor, who provides spiritual leadership, the fear of God orients me to the Good Shepherd whose sheep I nurture. As an under-shepherd I am accountable to the Good Shepherd for how I take care of these people, who are not mine and for whom I am not called to give my life - someone else already did that. The fear of God is the place out of which authentic spiritual leadership emanates…
“For the living of these days” is a phrase taken from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s hymn which he wrote in 1930, “God of Grace and God of Glory.” The refrain begins each time, grant us wisdom, grant us courage…He wrote these words from his position of leadership of one of the most influential congregations of his day, the Riverside Church in NY city, Yet the fear of the Lord drew his gaze outward from the comfort of a wealthy pastorate to the plight of the urban poor for whom life had changed dramatically with the onset of the industrial revolution. “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the living of these days. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.” …
Fosdick’s petition for wisdom to live and lead in such unprecedented times is grounded in the epistle of James, who wrote to a disheartened religious minority of Jewish Christians in the first century, “If anyone lacks wisdom let them ask of God.” For James’ audience life had taken a sharp turn for which there was no road map. His letter was a mixture of exhortation and wise sayings intended to help his readers increase their skill in living during difficult times. For James, wisdom is holy (pure), disposed to peace, patient, willing to yield, compassionate, producing good conduct, impartial, and genuine. Why does any of this matter in 2021? Because it’s 2021, the year after 2020.
Wisdom matters because it is skill at living, especially when life goes off the rails.
Wisdom matters when leaders lead people who would rather die than be led wisely.
Wisdom matters when knowledge and information become so skewed people don’t know what to believe any more.
Wisdom matters when Christianity separates itself from the core values of God’s Reign to align itself with political propaganda.
Wisdom matters when church attendance is declining and the Church of Jesus Christ is poised to re-shape, re-define, and re-deploy itself.
Wisdom matters when natural disasters happen in such rapid sequence that our compassion reserves are depleted faster than we can keep up.
Wisdom matters when truth is under assault.
Wisdom matters when terror and revenge become diplomatic strategies.
Wisdom matters when racism and hate crimes shatter and splinter any sense of community we thought we had.
Wisdom matters when life makes no sense!
Wisdom matters, my God, when death makes no sense!
Wisdom matters because many of the skills we thought we had in living are now outdated; we are in the next level of the game now. Time for an upgrade!
And still there is hope. Because the kind of wisdom we need is not from below, as James writes. It is not the kind that comes from a humanist perspective. It comes from above, from God who gives liberally to all who ask for it.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Heading Here
Installation Service of Rev. Dr. Carrie Call as Conference Minister
If you missed this Sunday's Installation, it will be posted on our YouTube soon.
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
Septemeber 19 - First Reformed UCC, Sunbury - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
September 26 - Hill UCC, Lebanon - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola
September 26 - Church of the Redeemer UCC, Hershey - Rev. Nora Foust
October 3 - Rev.
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...

New Covenant UCC, Williamsport
Willow Street UCC, Willow Street
St. John's (Dry Valley) UCC, Winfield
Emmanuel UCC, York
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:

A church in PCC is looking for additional copies of The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration. They would like 30 to 50. If your church has some they were looking to sell or donate, please reach out to Paul and he will connect you!
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 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.
UCC Webinars

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

World Communion Sunday Worship - Sept. 29, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Copyright Concerns For Ministries:
During these challenging times, ministries rely heavily on the virtual environment and various electronic mediums to share the printed forms of inspiring poetry, quotes from prayer books and daily affirmations, as well as words from songs during worship and through other forms of ministry.
As a result, some ministries have been shocked to discover they are actually in violation of copyright infringement; join us as Heather Kimmel General Counsel, United Church of Christ, offers valuable information on how to help your ministry avoid this situation.
Join us on September 29th at 2:00 p.m. EST
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. October 8 & 9, 2021.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
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).
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.
From Our Partners and Friends
The Race and Unity Action Coalition of Christian Churches United invites you to the next Chat and Chew gathering via Zoom...
Date/Time: Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 6:30pm
Topic: We will be discussing Critical Race Theory, sorting through the facts and myths that have made this a polarizing topic in our communities.
The Race and Unity Action Coalition is a wonderfully diverse group of people from congregations on the East and West Shore interested in continuing the conversation on race and the local impact of racism. Follow:
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