Paid for by your OCWM Contributions| November 11, 2020
Message to the Conference
Our Epistle on this Veteran’s Day comes from Rev. Bill Worley, Conference Minister of the Penn Southeast Conference. Rev. Worley grew up in Penn Central (at Church of the Apostles in Lancaster), attended Lancaster Seminary, and served as pastor of First Reformed in Lancaster. He has been Conference Minster in Penn Southeast for six years.
Members and friends of Penn Central Conference-

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
Veterans Day is not an observance day in the life of the church but it is a significant day for church people and their families who have, in times of war, given to our county the greatest love they could offer. Those who wear the fabric of the nation’s military do so with a deep awareness of our highest values. But in moments of dying and killing those values are superseded by a profound love forged between and among those serving together in terrifying circumstances.
Veterans Day for me is a time to remember the Marines that did not come home from Iraq in 2007 with the unit in which I was deployed as a Navy Chaplain; of funerals before sand-bag struck rifles, hanging dog tags and empty combat boots. I think often of their parents and siblings and wonder how they have gotten on with their lives. I lament that more soldiers and civilians continue to die from our inability to find a way to live together. And I try to keep faith with the promises I made to live in a manner worthy of the lives given on all sides of the war I witnessed.
Veteran’s Day has a quiet side too; about the sacrifices taken as well as those offered. “I killed a lot of people and I wonder when I get to the gates of heaven, will God let me in?” This World War II veteran’s question, put to me years ago, has chased me relentlessly around the theological and pastoral hallways of my mind. Killing is a soul rending experience that drives servicemen and women far from the presence of anything holy—in themselves or in the world. It finds no comfort in the medals or titles bestowed for heroism or bravery. For them, solace does not come with time or in a “thank you for your service” -- as genuine as that may be. In some cases, ending another’s life leads to the spiritual and emotional loss of one’s own.
As disciples of Christ, we have something very important to say to our veterans, something in addition to patriotic platitudes of gratitude. And that is that even the most righteous of wars makes causalities of everyone but no one is beyond God’s redemptive healing; that holiness may be a place we leave but God’s holiness never leaves us; and that the ultimate homing-coming is not to an appreciative nation but to a loving God. Find the veterans in your church or community this week thank them and let them know they are home.
Rev. Bill Worley
PSEC Conference Minister
(Formerly, Battalion Chaplain, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines, Al Anbar, Iraq)
Scheduling Notes:

November 15: Mt. Zion UCC. Herdon - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

November 15: St. Paul UCC, Urban - Rev Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching

November 15: Starview UCC, Mt. Wolf - Rev. Nora Foust preaching

November 22: St. John's UCC, Boalsburg - Rev. Dr. Carrie Call preaching

November 22 Trinity UCC, Palmyra - Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola preaching
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...

Faith UCC, York
Hayshire UCC, York
Heidelberg UCC, York
Locust Grove UCC, York
Join to Pray for Unity and Peace
These are difficult days. Tension on the streets, fires in the west, flooding in the south, and political rhetoric all around us. Many feel anxiety, anger, frustration and fear. In response to this and looking ahead to a Thanksgiving and Advent season unlike any we've experienced, the Conference invites you to join us in prayer. During the month of November, every Wednesday evening you are invited to join together for prayer at 7:00 PM for 30 minutes. The zoom prayer time will be devoted to prayers for peace and unity.
This prayer time is open to all clergy and members of UCC congregations within the Conference. We ask you to register only so that we may send you a password directly for the zoom calls. There is no pressure to attend – but this way we can make sure these gatherings remain peaceful and prayerful. Register here.
From the PCC Creation Justice Ministry Team
Advocacy! Have you ever wanted to write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper about an issue that you are passionate about or that your church is passionate about? Writing an LTE helps to get the word out about important issues and inspires conversation and learning in the community. Gail Landers from New Covenant UCC, Williamsport, wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Sun Gazette, her hometown paper, which was published in July 2020. Gail has has been passionately involved with the recycling movement for 40+ years in her own life, her church life and in the City of Williamsport. The Article is entitled "What Does Going Green Really Mean?" Please take the time to read this Letter to the Editor. It is a great example of a public statement that we could all create... individually or as a church. What issues have "fired you up"? What issues have "fired your church up"? Can you, your family, or a group from your church share your ideas with your community and research how to submit a Letter To The Editor to your local newspaper? Let's let our voices be heard.
You may find these resources helpful:  
From Our Local Churches

St. Matthew's UCC, Carlisle just installed an electronic sign. They have a complete set of 4 inch, black, changeable letters, numbers, and punctuation that they’d love to donate to a church that could use them.
Interested parties should call the church at 717-243-1537, that’s St. Matthew’s UCC office number.
PCC Virtual Cantata

The director is hard at work, the singers and instrumentalists have been briefed and are receiving their scores, the narrator is practicing, and more than 65 people are hard at work creating a transcendent Christmas piece for your church to use in worship.

You can sign up to receive the Penn Central Conference Advent Cantata at:

We will begin distributing the files by November 22, in case you wish to use them for the first Sunday of Advent.
If you have any questions, contact Julie Holm at
COVID-19 Resources

Penn Central Conference has added a special section on our website for COVID-19 resources, including the times and links for Zoom meetings. Keep checking regularly for updates.

Prayers For When You Feel Anxious Coloring Pages from Illustrated Ministry NEW!

UCC Webinars

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

Reset for Renewal,Thursday, November 12, 2:00 PM

New Music for #2020 Advent and Beyond, Thursday, November 12, 3:30 PM

Prophets and Power: Compelling Congress to Act Wednesday, November 18, 1:00 PM

Jennifer Knapp in Concert! Thursday, November 19, 3:30PM
Weekly Book Reviews
A new weekly feature!
November's reviews by Rev. Sue Fritz
Theme: Effects of Climate Change
We are blessed to live in within a few short miles of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Several islands that are homes to residents dot the Chesapeake Bay: Smith Island, a village of 200 residents; and, Tangier Island, known as the “softshell crab capital of the world.”
Swift decided to spend a year living on Tangier Island amongst crabbers and housewives-turned-tourist-guides to discover the beauty of the island for himself. Since 1850, the community has lost two-thirds of its land, the shoreline continues to sink by fifteen feet a year, and without future intervention - Tangier will be eventually disappear into the bay.
At times, the beauty of maritime scenes takes your breath away; yet, there are sobering moments when you learn that gravestones are now being washed and erased from memory due to rising tides. The book is a poignant, intimate look at the effects of climate change on a community that helps feed us, that has a unique charm unlike any other community in the world, and whose future is quite tenuous.
Association Events
November 15 - Gettysburg Association 2:00PM (includes Town Hall with Rev. Dr. Carrie Call)
Clergy Events
Upcoming Boundary Training Online

Boundaries in Seasons of Crisis (2 hours)
Join with your colleagues on Tuesday, November 17th at 10am for discussion of a variety of topics including: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Self-Care and Allyship in an Activist Age. Rev. Nora Foust will lead this discussion.
Register for the 10am-12pm Zoom session here

For online boundary training options, Convergance offers an online course.
Attention Chaplains! We see you in this challenging season of ministry and invite you to a time of self-care, boundary awareness and continuing education with UCC Minister for Ministers in Specialized Settings, Rev. Stephen Boyd. Rev. Boyd has 2 zoom sessions planned on Nov 12th and 13th from 1pm-3pm both days. We hope that you can join us for this special connection and education time for chaplains. Registration is required for this free event.
Insurance Board: Securing Your House of Worship Webcast

November 19th, 2020 - 2:00PM
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is committed to helping houses of worship navigate security concerns such as civil unrest, active intruder, cybersecurity, and so much more. Learn more here.
Looking Ahead:

General Synod "Rooted in Love: Special Edition"
General Synod 33 will take place Sunday July 11, 2021 – Sunday July 18, 2021. Pre-Synod events will occur on July 7-10, 2021. Learn more here
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at LTS

Nondegree classes are ideal for:
  • Lay Ministers already pastoring churches
  • Pastoral Leaders in part-time or bi-vocational ministries
  • Individuals in discernment
  • Laity serving Christian denominations and independent churches

Theology II: “Leadership and Community,” Jan 9–Feb 18, 2021. The Rev. Holly MillerShank offers a six-week online class through the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary. The class provides an introduction to Christian theology, focusing on the human condition, Christian hope, the church, ministry, and mission. Students may take this class without having taken Theology I. This 2.5 CEU class starts Saturday, Jan 9, followed by five weeks of asynchronous online instruction. Cost $325. Apply online at
Employment Opportunities

Volunteer engagement, disaster response positions open at UCC
United Church of Christ National Ministries has two open positions on the Global H.O.P.E. (Humanitarian. Opportunities. Progress. Empowerment.) team of Wider Church Ministries - Minister for Volunteer Engagement and Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery. The application close date for both positions is November 20, 2020. Learn more now.

The Center for Spiritual Formation is seeking applicants for the position of Center Director beginning July 1, 2021. For more information or for an application, contact the center office at
Search & Call Associates
Mercersburg, York and Gettysburg Association Churches
Rev. Richard Gordon

Northern and Central Association Churches
Carolyn Herman
H: 570-538-9704
C: 570-220-8589

Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon Association Churches
Rev. Richard Luciotti

Staff Directory
Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, Ph.D.
Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 12

Rev. Nora Driver Foust
Associate Conference Minister 
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex.13

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.
Associate Conference Minister
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 15

Rev. Dr. Ronnette Comfort-Butler
Facilitator of Care to Clergy & Clergy Families
phone: 717-719-1895
Zoë D'heedene
Coordinator of Camps/Retreats
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 16
C. Paul Keller
Office Manager
Phone: 717-652-1560 ex. 14
If you have future eNews stories, please send them to C. Paul Keller
Contact information: C. Paul Keller | email: | phone: 717-652-1560