What is a "Transitional Conference Minister?" That was the term used by Lee Albertson, the Conference Minister Search Coordinator for the United Church of Christ. He is the person from the national church who assists conferences in their search for conference leadership. He explained that basically, we have two kinds of searches for a Conference Minister: a Settled Conference Minister and a Transitional Conference Minister.
The Settled Conference Minister is a called position intended for a longer-term ministry elected by voting delegates at an annual meeting of the conference or a special meeting of the conference. A national search is required.
The Transitional Conference Minister may take the form of an Intentional Interim or a Designated Term. An Intentional Interim is a contractual position voted upon by the governing board of the Conference for a period of time (usually 18 months minimum and no longer than 36 months) to review with the Conference the five developmental interim tasks. This person is not eligible to become the Settled Conference Minister. A national search for a Settled Conference Minister would be conducted during the interim time.
A Designated Term is a contractual position voted upon by the governing board of the Conference for a specific time period to address specific tasks along with the usual duties and responsibilities of a Conference Minister. After an evaluation, the governing board may recommend this person to the voting delegates of the Conference to be elected and called as the Settled Conference Minister. No national search would be required.
This Designated Term is the type of transitional ministry sought by the Board of Directors at its March 9th meeting. The Board reasoned that a long Intentional Interim is not needed in our situation. We completed an extensive conference self-study in 2016. We have a Strategic Plan that has been in effect for a year and is being evaluated. At this point in time we need conference leadership to help carry it out. Therefore, the Board of Directors voted to seek a Transitional Conference Minister for a designated period of 12 months with options to continue after that. This person retains the ability to be considered for the position of our settled conference minister. A Staffing Task Force has been created to review current job descriptions during this transitional time and make recommendations to the Board for changes, taking into consideration the self-study priorities and financial parameters.
A Search Committee comprised of the officers of the Board of Directors and the chairs of standing Board of Director committees and has been organized. I serve as the chair. We have met and identified the areas of focus for the Transitional Conference Minister. The UCC Cleveland office has provided profiles of several qualified candidates from Pennsylvania and other sections of the country. We have reviewed them and have scheduled initial "Zoom" video interviews next week.
So what does all this mean? Hopefully, in a few months there will be a Transitional Conference Minister in place providing leadership for Penn Central Conference this year, and possibly for years to come.
Acting Conference Minister Ann Graves, members of The Board of Directors and I are doing our best to keep all of you in the Conference informed of our progress. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns. And, please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Penn Central Conference
A Lenten Message from Rev. Nora Foust - NEW
I have this one friend on Facebook that is always "feeling blessed." No matter what status she is posting, good day, bad day, death notice, birth notice and everything in between, she is "feeling blessed." God has done great things and she rejoices, constantly.
There is a lesson there. I love the movement of this psalm from a reminder about how God has acted in the past to a prayer for how God will act in the future. Even those who sow in tears will reap with joy, for God has done and will do great things for us.
Each Lenten season invites personal reflection and spiritual disciplines designed to draw one closer to God. This week think about all of your gifts and blessings. Reflect on your varied responses to those blessings. Spend time in prayers of thanksgiving for all that God has done in your life. Will your responses be overflowing with laughter and joy? In what ways can you declare and demonstrate God's great acts of love in your life?
And because of those steadfast acts of love by God, we should be overflowing with joy. Our mission in the Penn Central Conference is to be a place where congregations both declare and demonstrate the courageous love of Christ. If we are doing that, friends, it will be said among the nations, "God has done great things for them."
Thank you for your work on Yearbook
We finished with 73% of our churches submitting Yearbook Information. That was 133 of our 182 churches. Thank you for your work and effort on completing this important task!
3 Great Loves - Share Your Story This Lent
3 Great Loves: Celebrate and Lift Up Your Story
This Lenten Season, share you story with us! We are looking for 40 (or more!) stories where churches, congregations and people have shared in 3GL.
We want to hear from you so we can all celebrate and lift up the work throughout Penn Central Conference.
Please send your story to Stephanie and look for exciting stories from Penn Central Conference churches to celebrate each week. This week
What about you?!? What have you seen through your 3 Great Loves Googles - where does Penn Central Conference show their Love of Children, Love of Neighbor and Love of Creation?
A Taste of Heaven with Rev. Jes Kast - Come and experience A Taste of Heaven as we practice thy kin-dom come on earth as it is in heaven together. Many of us desire to lead our churches into greater outreach to our communities for justice and charity. In this workshop you will experience the revitalization and re-branding of outreach that West End Collegiate Church accomplished as we envisioned a new way of doing outreach for our neighborhood. Following the Benedictine Motto "All are to be welcomed as Christ" we practiced that literally among our volunteers and among the guests who found sanctuary in our "church within a church." In our time together we will partake in the worship so you can experience our methodology. After worship we will look at some of the opportunities that the church has as we imagine new models of outreach.
Is Change Really a Dirty Word? with Rev. Megan Malick - Have you heard folks in your community clamoring for changes only to find that when you go to make those changes the very people asking for the change resist it? In this workshop you will learn the stages of change as well as ways to assess how folks relate to change. Finally, you will learn specific questions to assist you in both assess readiness for change and questions to motivate folks to consider taking one small step forward.
New Creation Justice Church - Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown! - NEW
We are excited to report that Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown has received confirmation that their application to become a
UCC Creation Justice Church has been approved.
Congratulations to Christ Church UCC, E-town!
Caring for Creation
May 4 at 1:00 pm
Colonial Park United Church of Christ
500 Devonshire Road - Harrisburg, PA
Reverend Mitch Hescox, co-author (along with meteorologist, Paul Douglas) of the book entitled "Caring for Creation", will speak on the vital topic of climate change from a Christian perspective. Reverend Hescox leads the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), the largest evangelical group dedicated to caring for creation. He is a native of Pennsylvania with a strong family history of working in the coal industry.
Lancaster Association - April 7 - 3:00 PM at Hamilton Park
York Association - April 28 - 12:30 PM at Wyndham Garden Hotel, York
Harrisburg Association - May 4 - 9:00 AM
Gettysburg Association - May 5 - 3:00 PM at Homewood
Mercersburg Association - May 5 - 3:00 PM at Solomon's UCC, Chambersburg
Northern/Central Association - May 5 - 1:30 PM at Rebersburg UCC
Webinar: Facing Your Church's Uncertain Future - NEW
When your church's future is uncertain, it's time to have courageous conversations and make faithful decisions. Ministry in these congregations calls for faithful, honest (and often difficult) conversations that pastors and/or their congregations might sadly avoid.
Facing Your Church's Uncertain Futureis a NEW resource that offers good practices for discerning, discussing, and making decisions that concern a church's future. Pastors and congregational leaders are invited to join in this zoom webinar presenting theological, liturgical and helpful insights for congregations, including closure and legacy. Webinar presenters are: Rev. Quentin Chin, author of the
Worship Resources on Discernment, Decision-Making and Closure; and Rev. David Schoen, author of
Facing Your Church's Uncertain Future: Helpful Practices for Courageous Conversations & Faithful Decisions.
Register now for this online Webinar for Pastors and Congregational Leaders.
$10 Registration includes receiving the resource, Facing Your Church's Uncertain Future (digital download or print version). Register by April 18th to receive the resource before the webinar.
$5 Registration Webinar only
Pathways: UCC Polity Course
UCC History & Polity (May 1 - July 20) -
The purpose of this course is to explore the history, polity, theologies, and practices of the United Church of Christ and its predecessor denominations. Successful completion of this course will fulfill the history and polity requirement for authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ in many associations and conferences. ($595)
Lancaster Theological Seminary is launching the new Ministerial Institute of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry that will offer a new, non-degree program to prepare people for ministerial leadership.
The Ministerial Institute's three-year program includes online classes plus an on-campus summer session for one week each year. The Seminary is accepting applications for the first summer session to run from July 21 - 26. An associate degree or higher is required for admission. Tuition is $3,000 per year for the three-year program. Individual classes, ranging from one to three units each, cost $600 per unit.
For more information.
PCC Annual Meeting
Penn Central Conference Annual Meeting
June 7 and 8, 2019
Please refer to our
Web site for additional details.
Great News - Trinity, Waynesboro and Creation Justice's
resolution on Plastic Foam is headed to Synod! Thank you to Kathy Brown, Gail Landers, Bill Lochstet, Wendy Anderson, Tom Hocking and Libby Loser for all your work on this!
The United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries (UCCDM) has a tradition of presenting awards at the biennial General Synod. The UCCDM Awards recognize the contributions of congregations, other church settings, and individuals who have contributed to the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the church.
Nominations are now open for the UCCDM Awards which will be announced at the Health and Wholeness Luncheon at General Synod 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The lunch will take place on Sunday, June 23rd. Individuals, churches, and other settings of the church may nominate others or themselves. Awards may be given in the following categories:
● churches & organizations that have demonstrated leadership in accessibility & disability culture
● individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in disabilities ministries or advocacy and
● the Virginia Kreyer Award, a lifetime achievement award given to an individual who has made significant contribution to disabilities ministries in the larger church.
Nominations can be submitted online only, using this
Thank you for your financial support for the Penn Central Conference and Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM). Your support strengthens and sustains a movement of equipping and empowering congregations and clergy for the declaration and demonstration of the courageous love of Christ. Thank you.
We currently have a significant shortfall as we are 57% of our budget.
We appreciate your continued support and prayers.
Clergy Housing Allowance
The Seventh Circuit ruled today in a 3-0 decision that the clergy housing allowance is constitutional. This is terrific news for our clergy. It is likely not the end of the fight, but it is a reprieve. The housing allowance continues.
Clergy News and Information
Even if you are getting the eNews, we have a PCC Clergy distribution list as well.
Please sign up to get the latest news, events and information just for clergy.
Hartman Center Golf Outing
Hartman Center 12th Annual Golf Outing
May 11, 2019 1:30pm start
Fairview Golf Course, Quentin (Lebanon), PA 2399 Quentin Road, Lebanon, PA 17042 in memory of Rev. Lee Lawhead
Lots of people committed to many different opportunities to serve in many different ways. And the organization of such a group needs "called out". And so in 2019, we are announcing a Hartman Center Legion. For details...
Prayers for Penn Central Conference
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT): 18
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
This week, we pray for each other as we continue to live into God's calling...