Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| October 19, 2022

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Message to the Conference

Members and friends of Penn Central Conference,

‘Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but because he was small, he could not see over the crowd.’ Luke 19:3 

 As children many of us sang a familiar song in Sunday School. “Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he; he sat up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see.” When the story is told in this manner one can easily begin to feel a kindness toward this searcher for Jesus. But before we can express kindness toward him, we must make peace with the harsher reality that Zacchaeus was a mean spirited and loathsome character. He was not only short in physical stature, but spiritually as well. 

In an earlier Lukan passage, Jesus spoke of searching for lost sheep, lost inheritance, missing coins and of the prodigal son. Now he puts those parables into action. He declares that Zacchaeus had worth and a place in the community of faith despite his greed and of causing harm to members of that same community. If you recall the television series ‘Taxi’, then you recall the actor Danny DeVito playing the role of “Louie DePalma.’ Physically small, mean spirited and devious DePalma was also lonely and desperate for relationship. But again, his actions only further alienated himself from those with whom he longed to be in relationship. In him, we see a modern Zacchaeus. And to the real Zacchaeus Jesus risked much by recognizing him and going to the home of Zacchaeus for fellowship. 

It is easy to conclude from this passage that we are not to judge harshly or be condescending toward disaffected persons; but neither are we to simply overlook transgressions. Redemption is as much about changing behavior as it concerns forgiving previous actions. Nor are we to glibly give someone a pass but then ignore or avoid them. Too often persons such as Zacchaeus do not understand how to move beyond standing in the shadows, wishing for a closer look at Jesus. They need an active relationship with Christ through relationship with persons who are maturing in their faith journey. 

As Jesus demonstrates in the text, a maturing faith reaches out to others by offering to engage them freely and fully in a process of coming to grips with one’s reality. It is then that restoration of spirit to God’s loving intent and reconciliation with neighbor can begin. 

The story of Zacchaeus moves us to go beyond mere curiosity concerning Jesus, beyond simply believing, beyond viewing Sunday School as something to help keep the kids out of trouble and toward a maturing commitment to God and neighbor. Jesus helps us to see that we are each ‘wee little folk’ in need of redemption. Let us do more than climb up in the sycamore tree. May we accept the invitation to climb down and join in relationship. 

Rev. Rick Luciotti

Coordinator of Clergy Care

Penn Central Conference

Scheduling notes:

October 30 - Trinity UCC, Hanover - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

November 6 - St. Peter's (Lischey's) UCC, Spring Grove - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

November 13 - St. John's UCC, Shamokin, Rev. Dr. Nora Foust preaching

November 13 - Grace UCC, Spring Mills - 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...

Salem UCC, Elizabethville

Bethany UCC, Ephrata

St. John's UCC, Spring Mills

Trinity UCC, Fort Loudon

Local Church Events

TRUNK OR TREAT - October 29, 6-8 p.m. at Christ Church UCC in ElizabethtownMonster Mash cars and trucks, Halloween candy and games for kids in the church parking lot on Saturday before Halloween. Come dressed in your favorite costume!

Association Events

October 30 - Harrisburg Association Fall Meeting - Penbrook UCC, Harrisburg - 2:00PM

November 6 - Mercersburg Association Fall Zoom Meeting - 3:00PM

November 6 - Installation Service of Rev. Ruthann Seibert - Grace UCC, Lebanon - 10:15AM

November 13 - Installation Service of Rev. Dr. Tom Blair - St. John's UCC, Boalsburg - 3:00PM

November 27 - Ordination Service for Allyssa Boyer - St. Paul's UCC, Mechanicsburg - 3:00PM

December 4 - Ecclesiastical Council for Julia Brown - 3:00PM

Outdoor Ministries


November 11-13

Projects are provided AND you may bring your own to work on! Meals, lodging, and most supplies provided. Please register by November 1. Registration Fee: $160 (Arrive a day early for an additional $35, meals not included)

More Information -

ADVENT DAY APART at The Wittel Farm

December 3

We don’t like to wait for anything, and especially Christmas. With all its secular attraction, this holiday is often a focus on over-indulgence, and too often neglected is the best gift of all… one worth our waiting. You are invited to The Wittel Farm for a day apart from the busyness of life for prayer and contemplation as we journey toward the celebration of Christmas. $15 registration includes lunch.

More Information -

Clergy Events

Fall MEFs (10AM hybrid, 6PM Zoom)

November 15 - "Just War, Just Peace - A 21st Century Discussion" with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PN Zoom only - register here

Boundary Training

November 9 - "The Ministerial Code: A Way of Being" with Rev. Dr. Nora Foust

10:00AM hybrid - register here

6:00PM Zoom - register here

UCC National Setting

UCC Webinars

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

Planned Giving to Support Mission and Ministry

OCT 26, 2022 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM

How to Protect Your Digital Information: A Practical Discussion of Digital Privacy

OCT 27, 2022 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Sex on Wednesday with Martha Kempner

NOV 2, 2022 | 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Spirituality and Pop Culture

NOV 3, 2022 | 3:30PM - 4:30PM

"Making All Things New"

General Synod 2023


"Making All Things New” will be the theme of the 34th biennial General Synod of the United Church of Christ, scheduled for June 30–July 4, 2023, in Indianapolis.


Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.


For the full press release, click here.

From our friends and partners

Volunteers Needed to Help Working Families with Tax Preparation


Volunteers are needed to offer free tax preparation to help working families receive the federal and state tax credits they are eligible for.


The service is offered through the Money in Your Pocket (MIYP) program, a community partnership led by United Way of the Capital Region that is committed to the economic stability of local families. Since the program began, more than 65,600 federal returns have been filed bringing more than $71 million back into the community. An additional $9.85 million has been saved in tax preparation fees.


No previous experience is required and training is provided. Volunteers are also needed to serve as greeters (no tax preparing required for this position). Scheduling is flexible with daytime, evening and Saturday opportunities available at sites throughout Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties.


For those interested in learning more, several informational sessions will be held throughout the Capital Region during October and November. For more information, contact Heidi Neuhaus at 717.724.4055 or by e-mail at

Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry (PAM)

Beginning January 2023:

Jews and the American Civil Rights Movement, January 11–February 15, 2023. Wednesdays, 7–8:30pm via Zoom. Instructor, Rabbi Jack Paskoff. Ideal for lay and clergy leaders.


Church History To the Reformation, Jan 10–Feb 14, 2023. Weeknights via Zoom. Instructor, the Rev. Matt Deal. Ideal for lay and clergy leaders.


Information and Registration: 

Eden Seminary Events

LIFE at Eden: Enneagram

Online and in person!


Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 @ 9:00 AM -3:30 PM CST

12-12:30 PM Lunch break

Course Description:

“Glad you are offering this opportunity! I have used this tool both in individual mentoring and with groups. Good insights usually result!” ~Rev. Dr. Al Adams.

The enneagram is a typology for understanding personality that helps you recognize your spiritual gifts and calls you to be your best self. It can be a helpful tool for personal spiritual development. This brief introduction will focus on identifying your type, instinct and wing. We will explore how understanding the enneagram can enrich your LIFE and your professional and personal connections.

Beyond Don’t Sleep with the Sheep: Boundary Training for Clergy

Course Description:

As clergy folks or people who want to be, it is essential that we are attentive to the power and positional authority— as well historical impact— our roles have. How we show up in our congregations, our community and our commitments is reflective of our calling. Attend this 5-hour Boundary Training Certificate class to think critically about who you are in the work, and who you want to be. Come prepared to learn about power and oppression, clergy ethics and ministerial boundaries: online, in the public square, and in the congregation. Participants will leave with a personal code of ethics based on ministerial codes.


This event is available for church and community organization leaders. Check with your authorization body to be sure this event meets criteria set by your organization.

NEXT Steps: Re-imagining Your Elderhood

NEXT Steps introduces participants to theological, philosophical, and psychological concepts of vocation and aging. The Spring 2023 semester is set to be a clergy only cohort. It is a gathering for adults contemplating or entering retirement, and for those who are recently retired.

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, Rev. Steve Lawler, and Jill Schantz would like to invite you to an optional brief orientation to the course and introduction to the instructors on January 10, 2023, at 5:30 CST/6:30 EST. 

Employment Opportunities

The communities of United Church of Christ Homes are currently seeking candidates to fill several positions, including Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Dining Service Assistants. If you or someone you know is looking for a new employment opportunity, please visit UCC Homes Employment Opportunities page on our website at for more details or to fill out our Quick Application Form.


Position Highlight:

The Corporate Office of UCC Homes is seeking an Executive Assistant for a full-time position, working 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday. The Executive Assistant performs clerical services for the President/CEO including recording/transcribing meeting minutes, data processing, handling mail, maintaining files, answering phone calls, and overseeing office supplies and petty cash. The successful candidate will have exceptional hospitality skills, the ability to multi-task with ease, and exhibit poise under pressure. A High School diploma or GED is required. An Associate Degree and three years experience as an Administrative Assistant is preferred. Excellent wages and benefits including retirement plan. Interested persons should please mail, fax or email resume and letter of interest to UCC Homes, Attn: Beth McMaster, 30 N. 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011; (717) 303-1607 FAX or by September 23, 2022.

UCC National Positions:

Team Leader and Minister of Gender & Sexuality Justice/Executive Director

The Team Leader/Executive Director is responsible for oversight and coordination of United Church of Christ (UCC) strategies, programs and resources related gender, gender expression, and LGBTQI+ education, equity, and advocacy. This includes serving as the Executive Director of the United Church AIDS Network (aka UCAN), and assigned liaison to The Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC, United Church of Christ Wellness Ministries, and the Unitarian Universalist Association specifically regarding agreements related to Our Whole Lives Program. Please follow the link to view the full position description and to apply:

Shiloh UCC, York
Family and Children Ministry Coordinator

Part-time Position Summary: Nurture and develop a caring Christian community where children and youth have a meaningful and fun relationship with other youth and adults; have an opportunity to grow in God’s grace; develop the spiritual and personal resources necessary for life’s journey and develop a loving relationship with God, themselves and others. Learn more here.
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

Hospice & Community Care

Chaplain- Home Hospice/Inpatient Unit

Per Diem (as needed)


Works in collaboration with the Home Hospice team and Palliative Medicine Consultants assessing and addressing spiritual care needs of patients and caregivers. Qualifications include board certification w/APC or NACC (or ability to be certified within 5 years of hire). M.Div. or equivalent from an accredited theological institution. Accredited training and a minimum of 4 units of CPE required. Must be able to complete 6-8 weeks of a FT, day shift orientation.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.

Conference Minister


Phone: 717-433-3196

Rev. Dr. Nora Driver Foust

Associate Conference Minister 


Phone: 717-433-2587

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
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