This Week in PNEC --- May 17, 2018 - May 25, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

610-826-3113; FAX 610-826-546


Bonnie Bates    Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez    Christian Creyer    Barbara Jennings    Patty Rehrig



Strengthen the Church
     Many of you are aware that there are four special offerings in the United Church of Christ, in addition to the primary offering through Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM). These special offering are: Neighbors in Need, the Christmas Fund, One Great Hour of Sharing and Strengthen the Church. The PNEC congregations continue to be generous with their giving, but by far the smallest donations come in for the Strengthen the Church offering usually gathered around Pentecost Sunday. It is this offering about which I am writing.
      As noted on the website, "The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of UCC local congregations." What you may not know is that one-half of the donations received in this offering stay in the Conference for our use. As we move into working on revitalization of churches through our Vitality Days training, the use of our Coaches, and leadership training for congregational leadership and consistory members, these monies become even more important to the conference.
      Pentecost this year falls on May 20, 2018. Perhaps your congregation will use the special worship materials provided by the national setting (find these at You will also find a video and Facebook and Twitter posts on this page. Perhaps, your congregation will honor its confirmation candidates through a special offering or special donations to this fund. Perhaps, you will tithe fund raising activities from the spring to this offering. Perhaps, individuals will want to make special gifts, either through the offering envelopes provided or directly to the conference. No matter how you and the congregation decide to contribute to this special offering, our conference appreciates your support. Together, we really can strengthen the church.    

 2018-2019 Vitality Days with Michael Piazza


What:  4 one-day training sessions with Michael Piazza of Agile Church

                 Monthly gatherings for church leaders with trained coaches to

                 assist them in maintaining positive momentum.

When:  Session 1 - Transformational Worship - September 22,2018

             Session 2 - Structure and Stewardship - November 10, 2018

             Session 3 - Craft Church Evangelism - March 23, 2019

             Session 4 - Vintage Church Renewal - May 18, 2019

     Each Session will run from 9AM - 4:30PM

     Locations to be determined based on applications.

Cost:  $1,000 - all four days of training for church teams (up to 10 people from each congregation) and the monthly

                          coaching session.

$15 per person for lunch on training days.         

1.  Complete a Congregational Assessment

2.  Complete the Application for the Vitality Days

3.  Once he application is accepted, process your payment

4.  Identify the members of your team and get ready o begin

Letter from Missionary Jeff Mensendiek
The latest mission letter which will
appear on the CGMB website soon is available.  Teruko, the lady I refer to in this tribute, was the woman who spearheaded the Bazaar Cafe of which I spoke about when I was with you at Palmerton in February. The people who gathered for the brown bag lunch to hear my talk all identified with the ministry of the Bazaar CafĂ©. 
The Bazaar Cafe was started in 1998 by Teruko, Martha Mensendiek and others as a ministry to the marginalized in the city of Kyoto. It is a project that has been supported by CGMB these past twenty years. Teruko was an ordained clergy, seminary teacher and social worker.

Webinar on Sex Offenders in Your Congregations:  Recommendations and Best Practices

sponsored and hosted by the Insurance Board

led by Heather Kimmel, General Counsel, UCC.

Wednesday, May 23 at 2pm Eastern

The webinar is directed to Local Church pastors and lay leaders.  It is open to anyone, including those who are not participants in the Insurance Board program.  Registration is required.  You can register by going to


The webinar will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend at that time
The UCC Insurance Board will review contracts for Local Churches that involve building and lot maintenance (for example, snow removal) and repair (for example, roof repair or replacement).  The IB can make recommendations as to the indemnification provisions in the contract and recommend appropriate levels of insurance that should be carried by the vendors/contractors, as well as make recommendations on limitations on liability.  A professional set of eyes on these types of contracts can really make a difference should a loss arise out of the contract.  Churches in the IB program should contact Loss Control at 800-437-8830 for information.
Update from the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team (JCVDT)

The ____ UCC Conference of Eastern Pennsylvania
Who We Are... We are the Conference of Local UCC Congregations and Affiliated Ministries in Eastern Pennsylvania. We serve as the liaison and covenant partner between the local congregations and ministries of the United Church of Christ and the national setting.
Our Purpose...Why we do this work -
Because people are created as communal beings, a conference provides a framework to live out our mission with accountability
Our Mission...What we do -
Building up the body of Christ
Our Vision...What the Conference will look like in the future -
Lives and communities transformed through love
Our Values...How we do our work together -
Guided by Jesus' commandments to love one another and a commitment to extravagant welcome, we will work together...
  • to serve God and our neighbors with compassion
  • to encourage and inspire one another with hope
  • to make bold and courageous choices with love
Reflection Questions
Reflecting on the new Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Core Values statements for the proposed new Eastern PA Conference, the work of the Conference is different from the work of the local church. Local churches are called to welcome, encourage, and nurture disciples of Jesus. The mission of the conference is to support local congregations to fulfill their calling. The conference is the wider community of congregations in relationship with one another to support the wider mission of the church.  
  • Do you believe a new Conference guided by these statements would integrate well with your church's work? 
  • How is your local congregation working to make disciples of Jesus?
  • How might the combined resources and reach of a new, larger Conference support your church in those efforts?
  • What specific support could a new, larger Conference provide that would help you expand those efforts?
The JCVDT continues to meet twice a month, and we hope to receive feedback from local congregations. Please share your reflections with us! You can email your responses to or
The Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN...
does outstanding research on the resiliency needed   
for youth to resist negative behaviors like addiction and school issues. You might find one or more of these workshops helpful. Their work on the 40 Developmental Assets is one of the leading research tools for prevention programs.
     For more information about our workshops, please fill out the workshop information request form or call Mary at 800-888-7828, Ext. 526. 
    CLICK HERE for list of Workshops

The PA Historical & Museum Commission  

& Boehm's UCC

cordially invite you to the dedication of an official State Historical Marker commemorating John Philip Boehm

1683 - 1749

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:30AM at Boehm's UCC

571 Penllyn Bell Pike, Blue Bell, PA

 Please visit for more information.

  1st International Conference on Decreasing Recidivism
 June 17-19, 2018 - Hilton, Baltimore, MD
Exploring Sustainable Strategies for Decreasing  Recidivism Through Interdisciplinary Researc
For detailed information and registration, please click here
The 26th Annual New England Summer Institute, 2018
United Church of Christ History, Theology, and Polity
Camp Calumet, Freedom, NH
Sponsored by the six New England Conferences of UCC
Week 1: May 29-June 1, 9:00-3:00
Week 2: June 4-8, 9:00-3:00
Services of Interest
May 27 - 9AM - Service of Farewell for Rev.
Debra Hess - Trinity, Bethlehem 
June 24 - Service of Farewell for Rev. Karen Moeschberger
from St John's Allentown
June 24 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Rebekah Thomas -
Emmanuel, Allentown
August 19 - 9:30AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Joel Risser -
First, Hellertown
Rev. Steven C. Hummel of Bloomsburg, pastor of Trinity Reformed YXX, was honored with an award from his alma mater, Lancaster Theological Seminary, on Friday, May 4.
The honor, The Allan S. Meck Award for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry, was conferred by Lancaster Seminary today at its annual spring alumni/ae day celebration.
Rev. Lorraine Sell had a left knee replacement on April 30.  She is at home recuperating.  Lorraine is the pastor of St. James, Allentown. 

UPDATE ON Alan Miller... MAY UPDATE - Caring Bridge Journal entry by Candy Miller May 16, 2018
      It has been a while since our last update. Alan was seen by his neurologist, Dr. Morganlander on 5/15/18.  He has had some confusion recently. It is not anything like he was at the height of his illness, butut, nonetheless, his neurologist wanted to see him. Dr. Morganlander said his confusion is either from the autoimmune encephalitis, or his cancer. His cancer, according to his last CT scan, is active again. This could be causing increased antibodies in the brain. He is scheduled for his next CT scan of the chest, 6/18/18. If the tumor has grown, he will need chemo. He is also having an infusion of Rituxin (an infusion given over 5 hours for the autoimmune encephalitis) on July 16. This has been a long haul for all of us. We could not have done it without each and every one of you. I will update all of you with the results of his CT scan.
Children's Sermon
for May 20 (based on Acts 2:1-21)
Items needed:  box of birthday candles, bowl of sand or dirt, lit candle.  
     Show kids box of candles and ask what they are.  Take out five or six candles and put them in the bowl of sand, upside down.  Take lit candle and try to light candles.  Why won't they light?  Turn candles right side up.  Can we light the candles now?   Jesus told His followers to wait for God's Spirit (show lit candle.)  While they waited, they prayed and prayed.  What prayer does is point our hearts up towards God, just like these candles are pointed up now.  Then on Pentecost, this is what happened (light all the candles in the bowl.)   Praying helps to point our hearts up towards God so we can be "lit" by God's Spirit.
- Rev. David Quinn

17 - 4PM - Executive Committee - Conf. Office
17 - 6:30PM - JCVDT Zoom Meeting
22 -9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conf. Office
23 - 9AM - Ordained Church & Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
23 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
24 - PNEC/PSEC Multi-Staff Church Pastors - Spinnerstown Hotel
27 - 9AM - Service of Farewell for Debra Hess - Trinity, Bethlehem
28 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Memorial Day
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
a 3-part educational series called
Consistory/Council 101
September 15th, October 6th and October 27th 10AM - 12 Noon
The 3 sessions are titled:  (Sept. 15th)-Making Our Church Meetings Effective, (Oct. 6th)-Pastor and People Working Together and finally (Oct. 27th)-Connecting Beyond Ourselves.  We are asking all Consistory/Council Presidents to place this educational opportunity on their upcoming agenda for consideration.  We are looking at presenting this course via LIVE STREAM to locations in EACH of the Penn Northeast, Penn Central and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences where groups of laity can join together in viewing the presentations and participate in discussion questions.  Download your Registration Form 
Chicago Theological Seminary's (CTS) Board of Trustees welcomed two alumni, with diverse professional experience, as the newest members of the Board; Matt Garretson (MA '17) and Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor (DMin '12).   download the PDF version of this press release
"Mary, Disciple of the Lord: Suffering"
July 26-28, 2018
Please register by July 6
Misericordia University, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Indiana University...School of Philanthropy
Executive Certificate  in Religious Fundraising
Below is an update of our open ECRF offerings with the dates, locations, and link to register. 
  July 23-26, 2018
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
Saint Meinrad Seminary,  St. Meinrad, IN
Princeton Theological Seminary,  Princeton, NJ
Massachusetts Council of Churches, Boston, MA
Duke Divinity School,  Durham, NC

VERY IMPORTANT...Please read...

Dear Authorized Ministers of PNEC,

     We have been informed that it is the responsibility of each authorized minister to assure that their professional portfolio is kept current which includes the following: an annual information form with the authorized minister's current address, telephone number, mobile number, email address, current place of ministry, Area Mission Council and/or other authorized collegial support groups you attend on a regular basis, any changes in continuing education and a copy of most recent boundary training certificate.
This is a gentle reminder of the covenant made when becoming authorized ministers in the UCC when we accepted God's call to ministry. 
You will also find a request to serve as a mentor to a newly authorized minister, or a collegial partner to an authorized minister just beginning in Penn Northeast Conference. Please prayerfully consider your willingness to take the time to walk with another and to share from your experiences and gifts.
We pray that you take the time to fill out the attached/enclosed documents (they can also be found on PNEC website at under the Ministry tab) and return them immediately by mail or email to:
Patty Jo Rehrig,  Conference Secretary
Penn Northeast Conference, 431 Delaware Ave, Palmerton, PA 18071
OR email to:
Please respond by May 31, 2018. 
- The PNEC Ordained Church & Ministry Committee 

Amigos de Guatemala want you to stay in the know!
We want to share our excitement and our hope. The roof is going on for the clinic and we are building lists of supplies we will need and of medical people who would like to go to Monte Margarita, starting in 2019.
If we have never been to your church, we have beautiful handicrafts to sell and an updated Power Point with lots of photos to share in your worship service or a small group. For more information contact Roger or Karen Heim at  or 610.481.9704 or the conference office.
A recent resignation has created a position opening on the Penn Central Conference staff for a part-time  Facilitator of Care for Clergy and Clergy Families  .  Interviews will begin after the May 18 deadline for applications. Please apply or refer someone who might serve well in this position. You can find job description and further information here
Registration for the Eastern Regional Youth Event at California State Universtiy is still open!
Have you registered? If not, click the link below!!
The PNEC planning team is discussing transportation to the event, paperwork needed and a pregathering!
Please contact Marge Baltz if you plan to attend so we can include you in the details!
New Special Spring Issue -- Global Youth Justice Newsletter:
2018 Boundaries Workshops
"Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders" 
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders training program is designed to enrich both our opportunity and responsibility as leaders for Christ's church.
2018 Workshops will be held: 

   Tuesday, May 22 - Bern Lutheran, Leesport

   Wednesday, May 23 - Faith Evang. Lutheran, Whitehall
   Tuesday, October 23 - St. Paul's Lutheran, Dallas
   Wednesday, October 24 - Christ Hamilton United,

The Southern California Nevada Conference will be, once again, offering the fully ONLINE UCC History and Polity Course

from May 26, 2018 through July 15, 2018 (8 weeks). I have attached a short syllabus. Registration is open as of tomorrow. Prospective students may register by visiting :

ONLINE UCC History, Theology and Polity Course
June/July 2018
      The instructor will be Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister of the New York Conference, UCC. Classes are from 9:30-3:30 on June 16, 23, 30 & July 7. The platform utilized will be Zoom Video Conferencing ( The tuition will be $475. For more information contact course administrator, Ms. Diana Pelletier, at
    Payments should be sent to: Diana Pelletier, 114 Munro Dr., Camillus, NY 13031. Make checks payable to Oneida Association UCC.
      A syllabus is available upon request.  Laity, Members in Discernment and Privilege of Call candidates are all invited!
On-line Polity Class geared towards Ministerial Authorization
Center for Progressive Renewal: (a link to contact the director of on-line learning is on this page


For the complete list of churches who are searching for organists, choir directors sextons, pianist, etc., etc., and also churches who are giving away items, please CLICK HERE

What's Happening in Our Churches
We love advertising the "happenings" in our churches Complete Listing of