Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| March 2, 2022
Message to the Conference
Dear Friends and Members of Penn Central Conference,

You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Liturgy of the Ashes)
Yesterday on Fat Tuesday I ate an enormous salted-caramel crème-filled donut from Beiler’s as a nod to the tastes and joys of this life. Today, my focus is different. Ash Wednesday is a day when we are forced to face our own finitude. This is a day about death. And that focus has power for the embracing of life.
In earlier days people carried various memento mori (Latin for “remember that you die”) - an item or image that reminded them of the inevitability of death. The idea arose from the philosophy of stoicism and showed up in many places. While in Colonial Williamsburg I saw examples that had been uncovered in the archeological dig. They were small silver coins with images of skulls and the words ‘memento mori’. I have seen others as antique wall tiles that sailors could buy while in port in Sunderland, England, saying “Prepare to meet thy God.” And of course, there is the human skull that shows up in images of medieval desks in fine art. These may seem anachronistic to us these days, especially in a culture in which we avoid talk of and words about death as much as possible.
Yet the focus on death during the Ash Wednesday liturgy can be a place of unexpected liberation and peace. We are reminded that all of us are dust and no matter who we are or what our status in life, we all go to the same end. And in that end, we are gathered to God and remembered by God. The realization of that unity and equality in death puts our earthly strivings in a different light. It offers us the chance to pause and reconsider our lives. For what am I striving? Where is God within my one and only life? In what ways do I need to turn back to God and render my heart? Today I want to claim Ash Wednesday as a reminder of the end - and the opportunity for a beginning. Lent can be a time of deep inward reflection and a time of listening. It offers the soul a framework for considering where it rests, listening to what God might be saying about our lives, and what might need to change. Lent allows us to embrace repentance – not as something that pushes our face into the dirt, but rather as a way of taking our finitude and our limits seriously. Repentance cleanses our hearts and forgiveness from God can slake a very thirsty soul. Seeing the world with newly refreshed eyes we can move toward our eventual end while also embracing anew the gift of life while we have it.
Both life and death come from our Creator. This is the day to remember both. To hear again of our inevitable end. And then to choose anew repentance, humility, forgiveness, and the blessings of a life lived to God.


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.
Scheduling notes:
March 6 - St. Johns UCC, Fredricksburg - Rev. Rick Luciotti preaching
March 13 - St. Johns UCC, Jonestown - Rev. Nora Foust 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.
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. Mark's UCC, Lebanon
St. Paul's UCC, Lemasters
Dreisbach UCC, Lewisburg
St. John's UCC, Lewisburg
Outdoor Ministries Winter Events

Lenten Day Apart (March 12 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at The Wittel Farm)

Women's Spring Quilting Retreat (March 18-20 at Kirchenwald)

Check out a full slate of winter and spring Outdoor Ministries events here!
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.
Local Church Events
Northern Cluster of Churches – Lenten Concert at Salem UCC
The Northern Cluster of UCC Churches will host a special Lenten Concert on Sunday, March 27, 3pm, at Salem UCC. Jeremy Goodling, a Christian singer from McAlisterville, will share wonderful gospel music with us. Please join us for a wonderful afternoon of music and fellowship. Read more here.
Calling all Small Churches in Penn Central Conference

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, ACM for Congregational Transitions, is planning Small
Church Vitality Workshops that will be offered on four (4) Saturdays across the
conference. These workshops are for any church that self-identifies as “small.”
Small refers to size and not importance or robustness! Typically, small churches
are less than 100 members and/or cannot afford a fulltime minister. Click here for more information and a list of dates.

***For information or to register, contact Dr. Laviola:***
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
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).

March: On March 15th Nora will discuss Covenant Keeping in the World Today in a 6pm only session. (Qualifies as Boundary Training)

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

Starting March 1st, join other clergy to discuss the upcoming Sunday's lectionary text each week. Zoom Meeting link Meeting ID: 858 1593 0557 Passcode: LECTIONARY
Travel with Pastor Julie: Presentations on Julie Holm’s Sabbatical

Zoom on Mondays (recordings available after)
● March 14: Greece: A Lagniappe, Journeys with Paul, and the Orthodox Church.

For Zoom information, please email Zoom capability provided via the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ.
UCC Webinars

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

UCC Rural Voices of Worship and Praise - March 3, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Midwifing Grief - March 10, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

From our friends and partners
Hope Rising: A Time of Healing & Inspiration
MA-AUCE Hybrid Conference 2022
When: March 28-30, 2022
Where: Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center
Mt. Bethel, PA
Cost:     In-Person - $300 (single room, meals & programming included)
AUCE/APCE Member Discounted Rate - $275
Commuter (Tuesday Only) - $75
Online Only - $50 (Monday & Tuesday evenings, & Wednesday morning)
The Mid-Atlantic Association for United Church Educators (MA-AUCE) is inviting all Pastors, Faith Formers, and Ministry Leaders to share in a time of healing and inspiration. Ministry and faith formation can take a lot out of us during “normal” years, and the past 2 years have been anything BUT “normal.”
Come join ministry leaders and faith formers from New York to Virginia as we gather to share stories, reflect on what has been working for us in ministry, brainstorm what could work in the future,  and take some time to refresh ourselves as we prepare to lead our ministries into new areas. Learn more here.
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
Explore Buddhism via the Mercy Seminar
Christian spirituality has adopted many Buddhist ideas and practices such as mindfulness and meditation. However, one of the major purposes of these practices for Buddhists is the development of mercy and compassion for all sentient beings, as one can see in this exhortation to universal love: 
"Just as a mother would protect her only child even at the risk of her own life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings. Let one's thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world--above, below, and across--without any obstruction, without any hatred, without any enmity. Whether one stands, walks, sits or lies down, as long as one is awake, one should maintain this mindfulness" (Metta Sutta).
Join us this term, beginning on March 3, as we explore the role of mercy and compassion in the Buddhist tradition, by means of a close and contemplative reading of short selections from Buddhist scriptures.

All classes are on zoom and are only $75 (for the series). To learn more, check out the fuller description on this link.
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry UPCOMING Classes
The Future of Multivocational Ministries, April 21–May 17, instructor Darryl W. Stephens. A Financial Basics class for lay and clergy leaders.
Personal and Spiritual Development, May 24–June 28, instructor Carrie Call. Tuesdays, 7–8:30pm. A Ministerial Institute class on spiritual disciplines, congregational systems, and vocational discernment.
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