The start of my time as your Transitional Conference Minister was marked by excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to serve you. But I confess that I also felt sadness and frustration at the news from El Paso and Dayton. I know that I am not alone in feeling heart-broken or angry or hopeless. In the face of such senseless violence our call remains the same: to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to live into the gospel's message of healing, reconciliation, and transformation. That call is neither easy nor always straight-forward. Following the call requires prayer, practice, patience (with self and others) and humility. More than ever we are called to be instruments of peace. In our own communities that may include reaching out to people who are isolated while also paying attention to signs of brokenness and impending violence. We are to be instruments of reconciliation and speakers of love - and now more than ever it is important for us to practice our discipleship together here in Pennsylvania.
I know that many of you are troubled not only by national events, but regional ones also - including events within our Conference. Stephanie Rader-Titzel's departure is a loss to the Conference. Her laughter and expertise will be greatly missed. I want you to know that much of the communications aspect of Stephanie's work - including this newsletter - will be taken on by Paul Keller. (Paul started this summer as Wendy Hepler moved into retirement.) Paul is an efficient and intuitive worker and I have full confidence in his capacity to handle these additional tasks. If you haven't had the chance to know Paul yet, please take an opportunity to welcome him and share some words of encouragement!
One of my primary tasks as your Transitional Conference Minister is to work with the Staffing Task Force to carefully consider the staffing priorities as well as configurations for the Conference. Stephanie's departure gives an added sense of urgency to this work. The Staffing Task Force has been busy doing the necessary research to assist with making decisions about positions and structure. I expect that some of the staffing questions will be answered by the time of the Board of Directors meeting on October 5th. Some may be answered sooner. You can have full confidence in our current staff as we continue to move forward. I pledge transparency in this process and will share updates as they become available.
Finally, thank you. I thank God for the opportunity to serve as your Transitional Conference Minister and I thank all of you - the good people of Penn Central Conference - for your hospitality and kindness as I begin this new position. Thank you also to Ann Graves for holding down the fort until my arrival. I am profoundly grateful for all of you and for the challenging and rewarding work we have to do together.
As you already know, there is much work to be done. I am confident in our ability to tackle the challenges as long as we draw on our faith in Jesus Christ and remain in covenant with one another.
Rev. Carrie Call, PhD
Transitional Conference Minister
Thank you for your generosity!!
Thank you for your continued generosity!!
We just reached $6,165 of the $7,000 needed for the Craft Shop.
That means just over $800 left! Any funds raised in excess of the Craft Shop project will be used for renovations of Michaux Lodge.
No contribution is too small. Make checks payable to Penn Central Conference and send them to Penn Central Conference, 900 S. Arlington Ave. Rm. 227A, Harrisburg, PA 17109.
We expect renovations to made this summer and early fall with a special dedication to occur at the Hartman Center Fall Festival, October 12, 2019.
Come join us for a fun and meaningful weekend as we worship, explore our faith, relax, and enjoy nature, good food, and each other's company at our conference's beautiful camp and retreat center. More details to come.
Cost will be under $100 for adults and about $60 for youth 6-11 years old, younger ones free for two nights lodging and 4 meals. We'll need at least 12 people to keep our reservations, so if you'd like to come please sign up by Friday August 9
th. A deposit of $35 for each adult and $20 for each child will be due after you sign up. The full amount will be due by Sept 29th.
For questions or to sign up, please contact Darcy Decker
email@example.com. Make checks payable to Shiloh UCC and write "retreat" on the memo line.
Lifelong Learning and Womens'/Men's Retreats - NEW
Labor Day Weekend Fishing
Friday, August 30, 2019 beginning at 7 p.m. - Monday, September 2 ending at 9 a.m. register online.
Forgiveness: A Path for Healing
Monday, September 23, 2019 at 2 p.m. - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 3 p.m.register online.
A Marriage Enrichment Weekend - "It's a Wonderful Life"
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7 p.m. - Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 3 p.m. register online.
COMING IN NOVEMBER:
The FALL WOMEN'S RETREAT is planned for Nov. 15-17. (Friday the 15
th at 7 p.m. to Sunday the 17
th at 11 a.m.) Leaders will be Sue D'heedene and Winnie Kowalik.
COMING IN JANUARY 2020:
The FIRST ANNUAL MEN'S RETREATJanuary 17-19 Planned by pastors and laymen of the Conference. Possible theme: Seasons of a Man's Life. Watch for details this fall.
Previous research has shed light on women's funds and foundations, on giving to women and girls, and on the impact of high-net-worth donors. This report addresses the intersection of these three factors to ask:
What unique role do high-net-worth donors to women's funds and foundations play in catalyzing support for women's and girls' causes?
"Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission."-Henri Nouwen
PCC Churches in the News
Many thanks to Rev. David Jones (Board member and pastor) for reaching out to a community member via Facebook to ensure a 'dying man's wish came true.'
So when a pastor contacted Nagel-Pete, 36, out of the blue that Sunday night asking if she wanted him to officiate a wedding at the hospital in Lebanon, she said yes. They scheduled the ceremony for 5 p.m. the next day - leaving Nagel-Pete with less than 24 hours to get everything ready." Read more...
Puerto Rico Disaster Relief - NEW
In Puerto Rico's long recovery from
Hurricane Maria, a congregation serving food to homeless people, undocumented immigrants, young mothers and elderly folks may soon become a center of multifaceted outreach to an entire section of the island, with help, in part, from the United Church of Christ.
In Santurce, a poverty-stricken neighborhood of San Juan, UCC Disaster Ministries this month approved a $10,000 grant toward efforts to rebuild four rooms and create a Mission Center in the hurricane-damaged Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico de Santurce. It is part of the Ministries' commitment to supporting community-led recovery efforts that address systemic issues. Read the full UCC News story.
This summer Hartman Center offerings were split between the camp ministries and Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico. Thanks to the generosity of campers,
$889.85 was raised for ministries like the one above!
From September 20th to the 27th, there will be a Global Climate Strike led by youth. In the United States, the 17-year-old Jamie Margolin has been at the forefront of the youth climate movement. She led the call for last year's youth climate march, and she is a co-founder of the youth organization Zero Hour.
She will be our guest presenter for this edition of Creation Justice Webinars as we prepare for ourselves for the climate strike by focusing on the moral power and perspective that youth bring to the movement.
The United Church of Christ is saying farewell to a valued member of the national staff who has done much to create relationships and programs around volunteerism, leadership and sustainable development, refugee ministry and disaster response. The Rev. Mary Schaller Blaufuss, team leader of UCC's Humanitarian and Development Ministries, has resigned her position to accept a new role at Eden Theological Seminary.
With 5 General Synod Resolutions at General Synod, there is no time like the present to learn more about Environmental Justice and Greening the Church! These short classes are open to lay members and clergy alike online via Pathways Theological Program in the UCC's Southeast Conference.
Your congregation is invited to join a group of churches for the annual Northern Cluster hymn sing. Join us Sunday, August 25 (rain or shine) at St. Peter's (Hoffman's) Church on the South Crossroads. We will gather at 5:00 PM in the church pavilion. The Joyful Noise Handbell Choir from St. Paul's UCC (Sacramento) will share their music.
Homemade ice cream and other goodies will be provided, and you are welcome to bring something of your own to share as well.
Please share this information with your congregation, and we hope you can join us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord! For planning purposes, please RSVP by August 20 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-452-0050. Thanks!
Tea with MOM
August 25th: How Shall We Approve Individuals for Ministry?
3:00-4:30 PM at Lancaster Theological Seminary Dietz Hall Refectory (Gypsy Kitchen)
Join us for a facilitated discussion about how the preparation for authorization might be changing in light of the new Manual on Ministry. We will explore the possibilities of multiple paths and how they work. We will also discuss the potential new assessment committee to be formed at the Conference setting for assessment of all Members in Discernment.
We promise great food from the Gypsy Kitchen and stimulating dialog with colleagues! Please register in advance and we look forward to hearing your reflections on this critical topic for the church.
Advent Planning for Clergy and Music Directors
Clergy and Music Directors, please join us for time with colleagues,reflection and collaborative exploration. We will be envisioning worship, dedicating time to plan for the seasons as well as spend time pooling our resources and thoughts.
And for those filling up their 2020 calendars, please save January 8 (Worship Planning at Colonial Park), February 19 (MEF at St. Thomas), March 18 (MEF at St. Thomas), April 22 (MEF at St. Thomas) and May 13 (Worship Planning at Colonial Park)
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils and Ordinations
September 22- Installation of Rev. Tony Fields, Sr. at Christ Church UCC, Annville - 3:00 PM