Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| January 29, 2020
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Message to the Conference
Dear Friends of Penn Central Conference -

Let us consider how to provoke one another to love…not neglecting to meet together…but encouraging one another .” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

This past week at the Clergy Sabbath I facilitated a discussion about why it is that we might resist engaging in practices that would build a greater sense of balance in our lives. We have all talked about personal-professional balance and how hard it can be, but we don’t often dig down into what actually makes it so difficult to achieve. It’s easy to say that a lack of balance in one’s life happens because “we don’t have enough time” or because “the demands of the job are too much.” However, we need to dig deeper.

One way to do this is to ask the question, “What are the voices in your head saying?” When I did this at the Sabbath event there was a tsunami of responses, all of which give some explanation as to why we push ourselves so hard. Consider these voices and how they affect our work ethic: “You’re not good enough”, “You have to prove yourself”, “You’re lazy”, “You need to put in more hours”, “You need to prove your holiness (or calling, or expertise, or perfection)”, or “You need more people in the pews” and, ultimately, “You need to prove your worth”.

When there are voices inside of us telling us that we are consistently on the edge of failure, we tend to push ourselves to prove that we are not failures, and thus the cycle continues. The striving may be reinforced when we meet with colleagues and we feel the slight edge of competition, or fear being judged, and we put our shop-window personas into place and refuse to be vulnerable with one another because it’s too dangerous. We may be terribly out of balance within and not a soul can see it on our faces. We may be broken and need of healing, but settle for limping spiritually in silence.

This hamster-wheel of striving grows with expectations that are placed on us by others and by ourselves. We can quote scripture to each other, but we may not internalize it. Our faith sustains us, but we are still not good enough. The truth is that for many clergy – and lay members – our deepest selves are hidden because we fear vulnerability more than just about anything.

The words of scripture do matter. We must remind each other that we are blessed and that Jesus is with us. We are indeed good enough and we do have new life in Christ. Yet the Clergy Sabbath reminded me that we also need places of spiritual refuge where we can share our insecurity and failures without fear. In an ideal world our congregations provide this kind of refuge for our members through dinner groups, fellowship circles, or formation classes. But how do clergy build these types of communities if they do not have a refuge themselves?

In the next few months I plan to initiate conversations with clergy about how we might facilitate small gatherings of refuge and renewal. These may take a variety of forms (Short retreats? Dinner groups? Writing circles?), and I welcome your engagement and ideas. In order to build the beloved community in our congregations, we must also build it among our leaders.


Preaching Around the Conference

February 9 - Faith UCC, State College - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - 9:00AM

February 16 - Trinity UCC, Centre Hall - Rev. Nora Foust - 10:45AM
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, Cashtown
Trinity UCC, Centre Hall
Saint John's UCC, Chambersburg
Solomon's UCC, Chambersburg
UNITE! Perdue University
July 22-25, 2020
Who’s headed to NYE this summer? I remember my first NYE at UT Knoxville where I realized just exactly what this Church I am a part of was all about. I remember how so many of the conferences sat together and had matching t-shirts and cheers as we would transition from one stage event to the next. Singing, praying, and worshiping with so many gave me glimpses of a different way to be church. Workshops with youth and leaders from across the country helped me get outside the box of the “way I had always done it.” Hopefully, your church youth are already fundraising for this exciting time! If you are planning to join the more than 3000 youth at Perdue University, please contact Rev. Nora Foust so we can UNITE! our Penn Central presence!
Climate Justice

From the Pollinator:

As we continue our special 10-week series devoted to the Kairos Call to Action from the UCC Council for Climate Justice and its call for churches to engage in an all-out mobilization to address climate and inequality, I am reminded of something the famous organizer Saul Alinsky once wrote. In the work of seeking change, he stressed making sure that people are “having a ball doing it.” Finding joy in the doing of justice was essential. I thought of this in reading this week’s suggested kairos action. The focus is on one of the greatest untapped resources of many churches: their land. This land can be used for serious matters like pulling carbon out of the air, but at the same time, it can be used for producing enjoyable, delicious food! If there is one thing we can always count on in a church, it is that people like food. Any effective mobilization strategy needs this key ingredient to success.

With gratitude for your ministry,

Read the introduction to " A Kairos Call to Action ."
Read about the first suggested action : Enter a Period of Study and Immersion.
Read now about the third suggested action : Know Your Environmental Justice History and Become a Zero Waste Church .

Yearbook 2020
Pledge Forms
We are grateful for the monthly OCWM gifts and appreciate those churches that added OCWM as a line item in their 2020 annual budget. Please let us know what you have pledged to OCWM in the coming year by completing and submitting this  online pledge form  or by sending this paper form  into Paul via email or mail.

Church Officer Reporting

In addition to your online Yearbook reporting via the Data Hub, PCC will still be collecting the voluntary Church Officer reporting. Please complete this form and email to Paul at the PCC office.
Has your church starting filling out your yearbook information? The Data Hub is now open! All the links are below.

If you need assistance - reach out to the conference office and we will be glad to assist.

Salem's Closet located at Salem UCC, 231 Chestnut St., Harrisburg, Pa. will be open on February 15th from 10AM to Noon.
The Closet is in need of blankets, pillows and socks, but it is in desperate need of Children's clothing. We give clothing not only to those who come on open days but also to various shelters such as the one for Abused Women. Many children are at these shelters and some only have the clothing on their back. If you have anything to donate please call Sandy Sgrignoli at 717-635-0569.
Association Events
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & Ordinations

February 2 - Installation of Rev. DiAnn Baxley at First UCC, Middleburg - 3:00PM (Rev. Carrie Call attending) Snow date - February 23
February 9 - Installation of Pastor Ron Heagy at Trinity Roth’s UCC, Spring Grove - 3:00PM Clergy are invited to wear a favorite stole.
February 22 - Ordination of Amy Fishburn at Grace UCC, Lancaster - 2:00PM
February 23 - Installation of Craig Munnel at Trinity UCC, Lewistown - 3:00PM
June 7 - Ordination of Gary Nottis at St. John's UCC, Lewisburg - 3:00PM
Association Meetings and Ministeriums

February 3 - York Association Ministerium Pre-Lenten Retreat w/Scott Watts - Trinity (Roth’s) UCC,Spring Grove - 9-12:30 pm The theme for the retreat is “Exploration of Exercise of Power in Pastoral Ministry”
February 15 - Ministerial Gathering, hosted by the Executive Committee of Central Associatio n - Silver Moon Banquet Hall, Lewisburg, PA - 8:15AM
March 9 - Mercersburg Ministerium–Spiritual Care in the Congregation with Rev. Nora Foust - 9:00am
Association Special Events

February 3 - Harrisburg Association Town Hall w/ Rev. Carrie Call - Chapel Hill UCC, Camp Hill - 6:00PM   

April 18 - York Association Earth Day Anniversary Weekend w/ Jim Antal - Mt. Zion UCC, York - 9:00AM
Outdoor Ministry Retreats at Hartman Center
Marriage in the Later Years of Life with Dave & Anne Bushnell- March 2 - 4
Countdown To Opening Day (Fishing, of course!) with Dave Bushnell & Friends - March 16 - 18
Confirmation Retreat - March 27 - 29
What is Good Leadership? with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call - April 14 - 15
Learning to See - A Photography Retreat with Nelson Dodson - April 27 - 29
Pride Retreat for LGBTQ Folks & Allies - May 29-31 (details to come)

Early bird pricing for those who pay in full before March 31, 2020.
Clergy Events
 Boundary Training & MEFS
February 19 - MEF: Ministry in an Election Year with Rev. Carrie Call - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
March 3 - Crossing Boundaries, Tending Boundaries: Collective Wisdom for Best Pastoral Practices with Rev. Ed Dickel - Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg - 6:30-8:30pm
March 18 - MEF: Civility, Empathy and Well Being in Community with Therapist Judith Kennedy, MS, MA, NCC, LPC at St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-3:30pm
April 22 MEF: Recognizing and Responding to Disruption in Community or Life Together: Its Challenges and Rewards with Scott Watts - St. Thomas UCC, Harrisburg - 12:30-1:30pm
May 7 - Retired and Supply Boundary Awarenes s with Rev. Sally Dries and Rev. Nora Foust - PCC Office, Harrisburg - 10:00am-1:00pm
May 13 - Ordinary Team Worship Planning - Colonial Park UCC - More info to come
From our Local Churches
Mended Heart Lenten Concert/Potluck - Salem UCC, Elizabethville - March 15 - 3:00pm *Location corrected*

DVD Lending Library - St. John's UCC, Chambersburg

Free Choir Robes - Emmanuel UCC, Hanover
Emmanuel UCC has 36 choir robes (made in the US by E.R. Moore.) They are green, in a traditional style, gathered yoke, front zip with stoles. (See picture here.) Call Emmanuel UCC at 717-632-8281 for details.

Looking for Bells - Church of the Apostles, Waynesboro
Narda Druckenmiller is looking for a 2 Octave set of Handbells that another church may not be using or willing to sell. Contact Narda at 717-994-4614

Looking to borrow - A congregational set of "Unbinding Your Heart" by Martha Grace Reese. If your church has a set to lend, contac t Hamilton Park UCC, Lancaster
Open & Affirming
February 22 - ONA Winter Gathering at Colonial Park UCC, Harrisburg PA - 9:30AM-3:00PM

KEYNOTE SPEAKER : The Rev Dr. Beverly Dale - an ordained minister, a playwright/performer/author, sex educator, teacher, educator, and spiritual director.  

BREAKOUT GROUP PRESENTERS : Rev. Kim Kendrick - Chaplain of Bethany Children’s Home on O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives)

Steven Roush, Penn Central Conference’s ONA Consultant and Bethany Sweger, ONA Team Member on ONA 101A
From PCC Partners & Friends
Clark Forum for Contemporary Issues: How To Be Anti-Racist - Dickinson College, Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium - February 6, 7:00PM

Stony the Road: A Musical Journey Celebrating African American History with Kellie Turner - Lancaster Theological Seminary, Santee Chapel - February 16, 4:00PM

Beyond Bullet-Points: Preaching with Screens workshops - Parish Resource Center - Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12 and Feb 19, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop - Palm Lutheran Church, Palmyra - March 14, 9:00AM - 1:00PM

Tuesday Topics - Women Who Speak for God: Females Among the Prophets - Dr. Julia O'Brian - Lancaster Theological Seminary - March 24, 10:00AM

2020 UCC History & Polity Class - Lancaster Theological Seminary - February 21 through April 3

Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) 2020 Annual Conference Holistic Faith Formation: Engaging Our Whole Selves - Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center, Mt Bethel, PA - April 27 through April 29, 2020 - register online by March 1st here
Planning Ahead
Annual Meeting - June 12-13, 2020

Event with Bishop Robert Schnase & Recognition Dinner - September 19, 2020 (info to come!)
The more you know...
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Rev. Sally Dries

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. John Fureman

Staff Directory
Rev. Carrie Call, PhD
Transitional Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
Scott Watts
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
Laura Dalton
Administrative Assistant/Search & Call Assistant
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 10
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560