Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| March 30, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples who was about to betray him said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” (John 12:4-5, 7-8 NRSV) 

As we approach Good Friday and Easter, we start to see some of the best and worst of human behavior. Judas, for example, bears the weight of our judgment as we look to him as the betrayer of Jesus. That happens in the passage from John quoted above in which Mary anoints Jesus’ feet at a meal in Bethany. Judas’ question is dismissed by the author of John quite easily by referring to Judas as a thief. The question Judas raises, however, is one worthy of investigation. And that he is discounted for asking it is also worthy of investigation.  

Judas’ question is, quite simply, “What about the poor?” Any of the disciples could have asked this question since Jesus had spoken to them about selling their possessions and giving the money to the poor. However, for the writer of John, Judas has a role to play, and he will be the one dismissed and berated by the narrator. This is somewhat odd since the question of “what about the poor?” is one that we are encouraged to ask. I would venture to say that dismissing Judas’ question out of hand masks the reality that we ask this question all the time. And we feel quite justified (even righteous) in asking it. Jesus’ response to Judas should give us pause, literally. Jesus explains that something is happening here (anointing for death) that is of greater immediate significance, and we should be focusing on this reality instead. His words turn my heart in a necessary yet uncomfortable direction.  

I feel myself called to account by this passage. I confess that my first response in certain situations is “wait, what about the poor/neglected/broken/oppressed?” I am adept at this question. And I know in the past we have asked “wait, what about…?” regarding many issues. At times the question is critical for the moment and will unmask all manner of injustice. Other times it can be used as a judgment and a demonstration of our own righteousness (“See? I am the one who noticed the emperor’s lack of clothes!”). 
I’ve also learned that asking the question constantly can shut down conversation and relationship in a barrage of judgment. It can demonstrate my own reluctance to see what else is happening in the immediate moment that may be deeply significant. Something to which Jesus is calling my attention. Maybe to hear the story behind the action to which I am reacting or maybe to simply listen and quiet my hyper-critical mind. To set my judgment and criticism aside for a moment. 

In my mind, Jesus’ response to Judas says, “your offense at the state of the poor will always be with you - but for right now, focus on me.” This is difficult for me since my experience of offense about the state of the world is high. Yet I will wrestle with it – because while I want to unmask injustice, I also want deep listening, authentic dialog, and meaningful relationships. We need to balance using our good questions to unmask evil and listening to Jesus to hear what more might be arising from the moment. May grace assist us. 


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference
Ways to Support the People of Ukraine
Dear Colleagues and friends – please see the two links below for some specific information about ways we can assist those in Ukraine. The Global Ministries staff at the national UCC setting has worked diligently to make connections with mission partners in the area and there are several opportunities for giving as well as joining in prayer.
If you missed the Pennsylvania By The Numbers presentation with Dr. Erica Dollhopf of CARDD last week, you can watch the video here. You can also find the slides presented here. And a link to the the Faith Community's Today report referenced in this presentation.
The PCC Virtual Choir has recorded a Ukrainian Kyrie for use in worship. It is just over a minute long and makes an excellent break between different parts of worship, or during communion, etc. Please feel free to use this piece as a witness to our hope for peace in Ukraine.
Scheduling notes:
March 26 - April 4 - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola on vacation
April 3 - Maytown Reformed UCC, Mayrown - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching
Save the Dates:
PCC's 60th Annual Meeting
Opening Plenary: 6:30PM, June 6, 2022
Workshops: 6:30PM, June 7-9, 2022
Business & Worship: 9:30AM, June 11, 2022
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. John's (Marklesville) UCC, Newport
Maytown Reformed UCC, Maytown
St. James UCC, Littlestown
St. Paul's UCC, McConnellsburg
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.
Outdoor Ministries

Watch for Rev. Nora Foust's emails on Thursdays 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.

Coming events:

* Summer Open House (April 10 from 2-4:30 p.m. at Kirchenwald & Nawakwa)
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
New this year: help design a T-Shirt for our HC Spirit Week!! Learn more in the brochure. (Deadline for entries is May 1, 2022.)

See the full brochure here for all the details! Brochure is printable, please share with your congregations or anyone interested in camp.

Register online here or mail your registration form to the PCC offices.
Have you always wanted to work at camp?
The Lutheran Camping Corporation is hiring a motivated, faithful, independent worker to join our community as the Maintenance Manager for Kirchenwald and the Wittel Farm. This person will be responsible for the care and appearance of grounds and facilities on both sites. This is a year round position with an estimated 30 hours per week from September through April and 40 hours per week May through August. Interested applicants should contact Zach Weiss at Start date- immediately. Watch the ad here or read the full job description here.
Local Church
Salem UCC Rohrerstown in Lancaster has 25 gently used green choir robes they no longer has need for.They would like to see them go to a good home. Call Eileen Shipe at 717-575-9966 and leave a message if you're interested.
St. Paul United Church of Christ Presents
 Troy D. Winemiller
“A Concert for Ukraine”
Soprano, Jeannine Webb
Hand Bell Soloist, Ron Bellamy
April 3, 2022 @ 3 P.M.
St. Paul United Church of Christ
161 S Main St, Shrewsbury, PA 17361
Love Offering to benefit the
people of Ukraine
Colonial Park UCC, 5000 Devonshire Road, Harrisburg (near the Best Buy on Rt. 22) is hosting an outdoor Flea Market on Saturday, May 7 from 8am - 1pm. Rain Date is may 14. Food for sale too! Call 545-3782 to reserve a spot or for more information. We look forward to having you to sell shop & eat!
Association Spring Meetings:
April 24 - 2:00PM - Northern Association
May 1 - 2:00PM - Central Association
May 1 - 2:30PM - Gettysburg Association
May 7 - 9:30AM - Harrisburg Association - St. Paul's UCC, Sacramento
May 15 - 3:00PM - Mercersburg Association
Rich Christensen's book, Learning to See: A Memoir of Southern Africa, has now been published by Wipf & Stock. To obtain a copy, you can find it on Amazon and on the publisher’s site.
Below is the back cover blurb.
Teaching in the southern African nation of Botswana in the early 1980’s, Richard Christensen faced a new world, one endlessly fascinating and challenging. Experiencing warm hospitality from many people, sharing both joyful celebrations and painful struggles with students, he and his family encountered a deeper sense of the true meaning of community. Travel in apartheid South Africa and war-weary Zimbabwe gave him a fuller understanding of the reality of oppression and how people of faith endured their plight and kept hope alive. In this experience, so surprising in many ways, he came to a deepened realization of the genuine freedom of the Gospel and the hope it affords us. He saw that relationships are what save us, that the salvation of God in Christ is not merely personal and individual, but communal, and that we are thus more dependent upon one another than we realize. Learning to see the world with new eyes, he discovered not only a more expansive vision of the Church and the world, but also a more honest and complete understanding of himself as a product of an affluent and segregated society.
Clergy Events
Take a Prayer Break
Every Thursday at noon during Lent join colleagues from the four PA UCC conferences for a short time of prayer on zoom. Each gathering will be led by a conference staff member and will include readings, reflection, and a time for intercessory prayer. All are welcome to join. Zoom information is below and is the same for every week. We begin March 3rd and will end on April 14th.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 841 7677 4603
Passcode: 260414
Small Churches in Penn Central Conference: Workshops in April and May
Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, ACM for Congregational Transitions, continues to offer Small
Church Vitality Workshops that will be offered on Saturdays in April and May for Lebanon/Lancaster, Central/Northern, and Gettysburg Associations. If you are in the Harrisburg/York Associations and missed the March 12 workshop, feel free to register for one of these.
These workshops are for any church that self-identifies as “small.” Small refers to size and not importance or robustness! Click here for more information and a list of dates
Building a Just Peace in an Unjust World:
Learning with and from Our Anabaptist Colleagues
Pastoral Colloquy 2022

Who?   Pastors from all the church bodies listed above
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

Learn more and register here.
Ministerial Excellence Forums
There are monthly MEFs specific Tuesdays that will be offered at both 10am and 6pm via zoom. (Some morning sessions may become in-person later in the spring, depending on virus status).

April: Our Facilitator for Clergy Care will present his article Planning for Developing Effective Self-Care and talk about the importance of ongoing self-care in this particular season of ministry on April 26th. (Qualifies as Boundary Training)

See the rest of the winter/spring educational opportunities here.
Return of the Lectionary Discussion Group!

Join other clergy to discuss the upcoming Sunday's lectionary text each week. Zoom Meeting link Meeting ID: 858 1593 0557 Passcode: LECTIONARY
Clergy Convocation 2022

Clergy are invited to register for the upcoming Clergy Convocation happening May 3rd-5th at the DoubleTree Hilton in Willow Street.

Our own Rev. Cindy Garis August will be leading the program! Her focus will be "Phoenix Faith: Catching up with the Spirit of God". We know the saying “like a phoenix rising from its ashes” - and we know that from the burn out of recent years, we are ready for an image of life anew. Our Christian faith recognizes the cycle of life, death, and new life. It is the transformation of the Holy Spirit. At least, that’s what we say. How do we encounter the Spirit of God? Is it elusive? Tangible? Nourishing? Challenging?

Come and join with colleagues from Penn Southeast and Penn Northeast and have your spirit refreshed! More information on the attached flyer. To register, go 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.

A Conversation with Calvin Synod UCC - March 31, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Make Visible - April 7, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

From our friends and partners
Clergy Wellness Boundaries Training
Lexington Theological Seminary (IB 582)
April 18-30, 2022
Register by March 9, 2022

This half-credit, two-week online course will help equip clergy for pastoral leadership across ministry settings by addressing issues pertaining to boundaries in the Church. The goal of the course is to facilitate authentic and healthy fellowship and communication with God’s people in congregational and denominational life. Students will grow in their identification and development of healthy boundaries. Contact admissions here.

Instructor: Dr. Yvonne Martinez Thorne 
Costs: $25 Registration Fee / $30 Tuition / $30 Tech Fee
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

The Future of Multivocational Ministries, April 21–May 17, instructor Darryl W. Stephens. For lay and clergy leaders seeking to understand the benefits and challenges of bivocational and multivocational ministry. Participants will receive a copy of the forthcoming ebook, Bivocational and Beyond. $125* (supported by a grant from the Walters Trust). Register by April 18.
Personal and Spiritual Development, May 24–June 28, Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. This Ministerial Institute class is taught by PCC Conference Minister Carrie Call. Participants will learn about spiritual disciplines, congregational systems, and vocational discernment. Appropriate for lay leaders, clergy, and MIDs. $325. Register by May 18.
Employment Opportunities
Position:     Music Director
Effective:   Immediately
As a part of the United Church of Christ denomination, we at Hamilton Park UCC seek to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and caring environment where people of all backgrounds and from all walks of life can experience the support of a community where they are valued and loved and where they can experience the love of God given by Christ.
General Responsibilities:
In support of the Pastor and the vision of Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, this year-round, part time, salaried position will coordinate the total music ministry program of HPUCC, to include playing instruments, such as piano, organ, guitar, etc. in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.
Primary Responsibilities:
The Music Director plans and oversees a diverse musical program that enhances the total worship programming of the church that includes worship services and special events.
If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603.
The Schuylkill Association of the PA Southeast Conference, UCC, has a ministry opportunity for a part-time chaplain at Locust Lake State Park near Tamaqua, PA. If you are a Christian (Clergy or lay) who can function in an unstructured situation and who has a love of God, God’s creation, and God’s people, then this might be the opportunity for you.

The chaplain represents the church as a Christian presence and quiet witness among those who camp at this beautiful state park. The responsibilities of the chaplain include:
·        Conduct campsite visitation weekly.
·        Provide informal, inspirational weekly worship services.
·        Provide availability to park/campground staff and campers for crisis situations.
·        Provide informal programs such as campfires, hymn sings, special musical events, and activities for children, as needed.

Training and ministry support and resources will be provided by the PA Council of Churches Chaplains in the Park program and the Locust Lake Committee.
You can learn more about this ministry opportunity, including compensation, at Or you can contact the Locust Lake Ministry chair, the Rev. Maureen Duffy-Guy at or cell (570) 952-5474. To apply for this position go to Make sure that you click the box for Locust Lake on the application. The application will be open until the position is filled.
St. Matthew’s UCC (Carlisle) is seeking a part-time
church administrative assistant. Starting pay 15.00 or higher
based on experience/credentials. 10-15hrs/week. Read full description here.
If interested, please contact Pastor Tim Dugan
Preferred contact phone number: 570-428-4290.
Preferred contact email:
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