It is back to school season and my Facebook feed is filled with all the beautiful pictures of my friends' children as they begin new adventures in education and life. My favorite back to school post was from a retirement care community that used a whiteboard to name the resident, their age, their class year and their advice for kids on the first day of a new year. It was touching to see the first day excitement span generations!
It's a first day season in the Church, too, as many of you are looking forward to Rally Days and Spirit Sundays to kick-off the start of new Faith Formation and Sunday School seasons, as well as quite a few churches spreading back out into multiple worship services after combining for the summer.
I love learning and relish in any moment dedicated to shining a spotlight on its importance. How might God be speaking through this current focus on back to school, back to faith formation, back to education and calling you to learn something new in your faith life? It may not mean back to anything, it may simply be tuning in to a new calling.
A few weeks ago, I was preaching about learning faith from the Isaiah 1:10-20 and Hebrews 11:13-16 passages in the lectionary. In my sermon I asked the congregation what they might be seeing in the distance that God was calling them to greet even from afar. And then I asked another question that has become a more personal,lengthy wrestling match kind of question: "what practices of your faith might God be testifying against and calling you out of?"
This is my learning right now: what new faith practices is God calling me to and conversely, what faith practices might God be calling me out of because I do them by rote even though they may not spiritually feed me any longer? What about you? What can you learn about yourself as our calendar calls everyone, across all generations to think about learning?
Thank you for your generosity!!
Thank you for your continued generosity!!
We just reached $6,720 of the $7,000 needed for the Craft Shop.
That means less than $300 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.
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?
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.
September 18 - Rev. Nora Foust, Changing Religious Landscape: Reflecting Nationally and in Penn Central Conference
This clergy cultural competency education training session is designed to raise awareness of the statistical realities of living in a pluralistic society, as well as discuss ministry needs of real church neighbors. We will look at potential neighbors and use local specific demographic data to study actual neighbors and how local church ministry might meet their ministry needs. (3 hours of Continuing Education in Cultural Competencies) To register,
October 16 - Scott Watts,
Tug of War
A life in ministry can be characterized as alternating between times of sheer joy and aching sorrow.
This workshop explores the dynamics that contribute to a tug of war that sometimes
occurs in ministry around the issue of power. The workshop invites us to explore the
dynamics and experience of power and its counterpart-powerlessness. How do we view, implement and respond to its exercise in our lives and churches? (3 hours of Boundary Training) To register,
November 20 - Rev. Donna Hale and Rev. Gloria McPherson,
The Opioid Crisis
It seems as though every corner of American life has been touched by the current Opioid Addiction Crisis, so much so that at General Synod this summer the
UCC urged every congregation to recognize it at a health epidemic. Revs. Donna Hale and Gloria McPherson have been working in their communities for some time now in various capacities. Gloria will be talking with us about the physical and personal realities of addiction, and Donna will follow with ways for churches to assist in the spiritual recovery as well as through community partnerships. They both highly recommend the book
In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids, by Travis Rieder, as a good read in preparation for our time together, however the reading is not required. (3 hours of Continuing Education) To register,
All forums are for clergy and will be held at
St. Thomas UCC - 6490 Linglestown Road - Harrisburg, PA 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Old Zion German Reformed Church Anniversary Service
Old Zion German Reformed Church
Sunday, September 8, 2019
The history of Old Zion German Reformed Church, Brickerville, is commemorated each year during its annual Anniversary Worship Service. The theme for this year's Anniversary Service will be Old Zion during the Civil War. The speaker will be Rev. William J. LaSalle. His message is entitled
"Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight." Rev. LaSalle will share some of his research on Old Zion members who served in the Union Army during the Civil War, the draft, and Christian responses to war and peace. Music will feature violinist Lily Moore and hymns from that time period accompanied by J. P. Welliver on Old Zion's pump organ. A Civil War reenactor will be present. Lemonade and cookies are served on the lawn following the service. The public is invited.
Old Zion German Reformed Church is an historic church whose active congregation ceased in 1948. From 1948 until 1952, the building and grounds deteriorated without a congregation. The Men's Brotherhood of St. Luke's UCC in Lititz initiated repairs and maintenance of the building and property. In 1958 an interdenominational board of directors of Old Zion was organized. Although Old Zion Church is no longer served by a congregation or a minister, the board of directors sponsors several events throughout the year including the Anniversary Worship Service, a Strawberry Social and Christmas Carol Sing. The church is also available for weddings, funerals, tours, and as a special meeting place for organizations or church congregations.
Old Zion is located at 187 Reifsnyder Rd, Lititz. More information can be found at Old Zion's website at www.oldzionchurch.org.Print out a flyer for your bulletin board here.
Penn Ketchum, author, ultra runner, and owner of Penn Cinema is launching his new book,
Psalm 23 (in other words), at an event hosted by the Parish Resource Center. Penn will reflect on Psalm 23, how to find mindfulness in daily life, and his journey in recovery.
All attendees will receive a free copy of his just-published book, Psalm 23 (in other words). Penn is both the illustrator and author of this brand new title.
Ketchum started rethinking familiar prayers as a form of meditation during long training runs. As he found new words, he also found new insights. Penn's book invites readers to look at this particular prayer differently-in his other words, and in their own words.
His journey with mindfulness and meditation was also dramatically affected by his involvement with a 12 Step program in the 1980s, as he worked toward sobriety.
Ketchum owns movie theaters in Lititz, PA, Huntingdon Valley, PA and Wilmington, DE and is known for his casual style, quick humor, and community service.
Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society Annual Meeting
September 21st: Join with us in celebrating the Bicentennial of the birth of Philip Schaff (1819-1893) - church historian, theologian, biblical scholar, author, ecumenist, professor
Hafer Center, second floor of Schaff Library Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA
Members Business Meeting: 1:00PM-1:30PM
Break for refreshments: 1:30PM-2:00PM
All Welcome to presentations: 2:00PM-3:30PM
Dr. Lee Barrett, Professor of Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary will present a sketch of the life of Philip Schaff which will set the context for this bicentennial celebration.
Keynote speaker Elizabeth A. Clark, Professor Emeritus of the John Carlisle Kilgo Professorship of Religion at Duke University, will present "Transatlantic Mentoring: Philip Schaff and Arthur Cushman McGiffert." Dr. Clark is the author of numerous articles and books on early Christian history, women and religion.
Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils and Ordinations
September 22- Installation of Rev. Tony Fields, Sr. at Christ Church UCC, Annville - 3:00 PM
Preaching Like the Choir
October 17th: How to prepare and present sermons with rhythm, melody and prose with Rev. Cean James.
Workshop 9 AM - 3 PM
(registration @ 8:30 AM)
Lunch included, Cost $12
First United Church of Christ,
110 Route 61 South,
Schuylkill Haven, PA
"A Howard H. and Marion A. Shaup Preaching Seminar/Symposium"
As the PSEC Associate Conference Minister of Congregational Development, the Rev. Cean James works with churches on renewal, vitality, growth, and planting new ministries. Rev. James also preach-es with vitality, in a way that renews his listeners, encouraging growth and outreach. The founding pas-tor of Grace Christian Fellowship UCC in Philadelphia, Rev. James is currently working on his doctorate through Lancaster Theological Seminary. He teaches a preaching course at Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia and looks forward to sharing his joy of preaching through this workshop.
Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ, Lancaster, is looking for a full-time Director of Music Ministries to help us continue our long-standing tradition of dedication to excellent music in worship. This position includes administration, performance and outreach to the community as we see our music program as an avenue for church growth. For a full description, click here.
Dreisbach United Church of Christ, Lewisburg, PA, seeks an enthusiastic individual to lead its music ministries. Responsibilities include accompanying worship services and leading the musical groups of the church. A multi-generational congregation, Dreisbach enjoys a diverse range of musical selections in its worship life. Our worship is a blended type with both contemporary and traditional elements, and the candidate must be proficient in playing a wide variety of sacred music. We worship at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings with an average attendance of 120. Musical groups of the church include an adult choir, bell choir, praise group, and inter-generational choir.
Qualified applicants should send resume, cover letter, and references to:
Dreisbach United Church of Christ
Attn: Diane Hackenberg
875 Dreisbach Church Road Lewisburg, PA 17837 Re: Director of Music Ministries or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org reference Director of Music Ministries in the subject line.