Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| April 13, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not be disbelieving but believing.” (John 20:27, author’s translation)
Certain narratives in the Gospel of John grab a hold of me and won’t let go. The post-Easter narrative about Thomas is one of them. What makes it beguiling to me is what Thomas demands of Jesus. He wants to see Jesus’ wounds. Now why is that important? Wouldn’t just seeing Jesus be enough?
Jesus is the resurrected Savior – as such we might expect him to be healed of all wounds, all deformities, all the things that mark a human body through life. We might expect that when God raised Jesus, the marks of his crucifixion would be gone. Indeed, when the church talks of the resurrection of the dead at the end times, it is always as a perfected body without blemish or mark. But here we have the resurrected Lord who still bears the signs of his torture and means of execution. The presence of Jesus’ wounds is foundational for Christianity.
Nicolaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf (early Bishop of the Moravian Church and founder of the town of Lititz, PA) often focused on the wounds of Christ. Zinzendorf shares a wonderful story from St. Martin of Tours (d. 397 CE). In it, St. Martin tells his congregation that the devil himself appeared to him in the guise of Jesus wearing a royal robe encrusted with gold, gems and wearing a golden crown. He told Martin he was a beloved disciple and to adore him. Martin immediately saw the mistake the devil had made and asked, "Where are the marks of the nails? Where the piercing of the spear? Where the crown of thorns? When I see the marks of the Passion I shall adore my Lord."
This is a mystery of our faith – that God comes to us as one who suffers. Not only is Thomas told to touch Jesus’ pierced hands, but also to put his hand in his side, to reach into the reality of his suffering. Jesus is wounded but also transformed. This Jesus is one who carries transformed wounds. Christ shows us that God suffers with us, and that God can transform our own woundedness.
This should be liberating. However, for some reason the idea of the suffering of Jesus is troublesome to us. Even John Calvin wrote that while the wounds on the resurrected Christ were there to convince the first disciples, surely, they later healed up and disappeared! Zinzendorf asked, in 1742 on a trip to Lancaster, why it is that the church does not preach about the sufferings of Jesus? 
I understand why Zinzendorf is asking. When I read of the intimacy of Jesus asking Thomas to put his hand into his side, I shy away. I feel the discomfort. Why? Perhaps because I don’t really want Jesus to see or reach into my own wounds. After all, our wounds – especially emotional and spiritual - are held closely. We might hold on to them for all sorts of reasons. Yet our wounded Teacher, Savior, and Lord is the one who can transform them – and us. He is the one who will stand with us in the midst of the pain, fear, and trauma. He has been there himself.
The Easter message offers new life. Part of that message includes the healing of grievous wounds through love. Not the elimination of woundedness, but its transformation. In this Easter season may we allow the light of Christ’s love deep into our own wounds without fear. And may we hear him speak to each of us, saying peace be with you.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference

Doubting Thomas, c. 1340 Austrian stained glass panel, courtesy The Met Cloisters
The Virtual Choir invites you to join us for a virtual anthem for the Penn Central Conference annual meeting. We'll be singing the Podd Brothers' arrangement of More Love, Somewhere, which was actually arranged for Virtual Choir. You don't have to be a regular member of the choir to join us for this piece. If you want to sing at the annual meeting, email Julie Holm,, or call her at (814) 349-5515.
Scheduling notes:
May 15 - Salem UCC, Dover - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call 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...

Zion UCC, Newburg
St. John's (New Chester) UCC, New Oxford
St. Paul's UCC, New Oxford
Incarnation UCC, New Berlin
The call to the Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ will convene via Zoom
"Mission In Focus"
"See, the former things have come to pass and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them." - Isaiah 42:9
June 6 - 11, 2022

Your Penn Central Conference Creation Justice Team is in the process of preparing a guidebook for local congregations regarding Creation Justice activities in local churches. We are seeking samples of Investment Policies that attempt to take Creation Justice issues into consideration when making investment choices.  
Does your congregation have an investment policy that takes Creation Justice into consideration when making investment decisions?  If yes, would your congregation be willing to share that policy with other congregations who are interested in creating similar policy for their church? If yes, a copy of your congregational investment policy can be sent as an email attachment to Bill Wealand at or mailed to Rev. Bill Wealand, 250 Parkview Heights Road, Apt. 229 Ephrata, PA 17522.  Thank you for your help in aiding congregations who wish to take Creation Justice into consideration when investing church funds.
Outdoor Ministries

Watch for Rev. Nora Foust's emails on Thursdays for links to register 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:

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

See the full brochure here for all the details!
Register online here or mail your registration form to the PCC offices.
Local Church
Christ Church UCC, 200 S White Oak St, Annville, (on 934) is hosting an outdoor Flea Market on Saturday, June 18 from 8am - 2pm. Rain or Shine - Food for sale too! Call 717-867-1641 to reserve a spot ($10) or for more information. We look forward to having you to sell, shop & eat!
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 Events:
May 1 - 3:00PM - Central Association Spring Meeting
May 1 - 2:30PM - Gettysburg Association Spring Meeting
May 7 - 9:30AM - Harrisburg Association Spring Meeting - St. Paul's UCC, Sacramento
May 15 - 3:00PM - Mercersburg Association Spring Meeting

May 1 - 3:00PM - Ecclesiastical Council for Allyssa Boyer - St. Paul's UCC, Mechanicsburg with a Zoom option
May 1 - 3:00PM - Installation Service for Christina Fidenza - Redeemer UCC, Hershey
Clergy Events
PCC has launched a new monthly email just for clergy, with news, events and clergy transitions. If you did not get this month's email on Tuesday, please let Paul know.

We will be including some items in the eNews (see below), but please check out the full email here for more events and news!
Small Church Vitality Workshop
Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola's next Small Church Vitality Workshops is April 30th for Lancaster and Lebanon Associations (but open to anyone.) These workshops are for any church that self-identifies as “small.” The focus of the workshops is to celebrate the small church as a sacred part of the future of God’s church, including validating lay leadership to supplement parttime pastorate and identifying the mission of each church as beacons of light to their greater community. Each church is asked to bring pastor plus at least two laity and be prepared to share joys and trials with other churches present. Contact Marisa for more information.
Building a Just Peace in an Unjust World:
Learning with and from Our Anabaptist Colleagues
Pastoral Colloquy 2022
Sunday, 24 July, through Friday, 29 July, 2022 - Learn more and register here.
Ministerial Excellence Forums

May 18 10am - Retired Boundary Training (Contact Nora if in person is needed)

See the rest of the winter/spring educational opportunities 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.

Love Your Neighbor: Get Them Internet - May 5, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

From our friends and partners
Cousins: Connected Through Slavery
Saturday, May 7
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$8-$26 adults
Free for youth under 18
This extraordinary evening of storytelling will feature an African American woman, Dr. Betty Kilby Baldwin, and a European American woman, Phoebe Kilby, whose ancestors enslaved Betty’s. Their relationship began when Phoebe contacted Betty, saying she suspected they were connected through slavery. Betty responded, “Hello, Cousin.” Betty, a life-long advocate and trail-blazer, found an activist partner in Phoebe. Together they have committed to a path of honesty, reconciliation, and reparations.

Betty and Phoebe – “a two-woman racial reconciliation juggernaut” (Baltimore Sun) – have been telling their story on BBC News, at Virginia Tech, and in a Netflix documentary. Now they're bringing their powerful story of reconciliation to Lancaster.

PRC has compiled resources to help groups lead studies around Cousins, reconciliation, and reparations. Each ticket purchased includes a free book, which can be picked up early at the PRC office to facilitate your group study prior to the event. To view study resources or to register, visit or call 717-299-1113.
Children’s Disaster Services Volunteer Workshop on May 13 - 14, 2022.
The Church of the Brethren Disaster Services (a VOAD partner with the UCC) will present an in-person Children’s Disaster Services Volunteer Workshop on May 13 - 14, 2022. The event will begin on Friday at 4:30 PM ET and conclude at 5:30 PM on Saturday. The event will be held at the Lititz Church of the Brethren, 300 Orange St., Lititz, PA 17543. The CDS Volunteer Workshop is a comprehensive 25 - hour workshop that uses applied, experiential activities to help the participants integrate their learning. The workshop will train you to understand and respond to children who have experienced a disaster. Participants will experience a simulated shelter, sleeping on cots and eating simple meals. Once the training is completed, participants have the opportunity to become a certified Children’s Disaster Services volunteer. Learn more on the attached flyer. Register.
Buddhism and Christianity via St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster - May 19 - June 23

Dr. Randall Zachman (Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame) will be teaching the second round of the Mercy Seminar’s study of Buddhism. In this round, we’ll examine how Buddha discovered, and then taught, the way by which human beings could free themselves from the realm of suffering by living according to his teaching. Those who did so sought enlightenment for themselves, so that they might escape the realm of rebirth, suffering and death and attain Nibbana.

In these new sessions of the Mercy Seminar (available live on Zoom or recorded) we start again with “beginners mind” to explore the elements of the life of the Buddha and his teaching about mercy and compassion. In each of the six evening sessions we’ll study short texts from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, and we’ll also have periods of reflection and discussion to help us discern insights and gain understanding. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary to participate.

"As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world," says the Buddha.

Join us this spring as we study The Way of the Bodhisattva, so that we can come to a deeper understanding of the vision of wisdom and compassion in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. All are welcome!
Sessions are entirely on Zoom. Participants also have access to every Zoom session recording. Register here.
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)
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
Accompanist Position Available
We are searching for an Accompanist to bring their gifts to our church where we appreciate a blend of contemporary and traditional music.

General Responsibilities:
In support of the vision of the church, this year-round, part time, salaried position will provide music for worship and other events in a manner that enhances the spirit of worship and enriches the congregation's appreciation of music.

The current music ministry of HPUCC consists of one volunteer choir, as well as instrumental and vocal soloists.

For more information, please call the church at 717-397-9791 or email: If interested, please mail or email resume to: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, Attn: Search, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Audio/Visual System Operators Needed
Church of the Apostles, United Church of Christ in Wayne Heights is looking for two people to operate our Audio/Visual system during Sunday morning worship services at 10:45 am (summer worship at 10 am, beginning the first Sunday in June and ending with Labor Day weekend). Other services would include weddings, funerals, Lenten services and Christmas Eve. These are part-time, independent contractor positions; paid per service. Responsible teenagers will be considered. Training will be provided. Read the full description here.
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
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