Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, September 2019
Greetings from Japan.
I am writing to inquire whether you are interested in participating again this year in the Christmas Card Project with our partner churches in Japan. These churches have historical ties to our UCC/Disciples denominations, and have been facing unprecedented issues as a result of the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
If you decide to participate, I will be asking you 1) to send a Christmas card to one or two churches in early December, and 2) to lift these churches up in prayer sometime during the advent season. Once I have a firm count of US churches participating, I will send you the names and updated information pertaining to the churches to which you will be assigned. If you have participated in this project before I will try to match you with the same churches that you had before. Our partners in the Kyodan (the UCCJ) have asked that we continue this project, and I am encouraged to see how the Spirit is leading us as brothers and sisters in new patterns of partnership.
This is now the sixth year for this project. It is one way to reach out globally through prayer. Please discuss this with your congregation and
let me know by October 15th (TUE)
whether you will be participating. I will then send you the contacts and necessary information by November 12th (TUE). This will give you time to prepare the Christmas cards to send off by the beginning of December. Also, please let me know the name and contact address for the contact person from your congregation this year. If you need stories and current information on what is happening in Japan please go to my blog at (http://jeffreyfromjapan.blogspot.com/).
This March marked the closing of the post-disaster relief efforts at the Emmaus Center. These activities had continued for eight years, and with great support from our UCC and the Disciples churches. This means that the Japanese church has scaled down its activities to support tsunami survivors on a voluntary basis. The ministry of accompaniment and support for people suffering on account of the nuclear disaster is ongoing, and will continue for at least another five years.
The Christmas Card Project aims to connect partner churches across the ocean by reaching out globally through prayer each Advent. In the spirit of the mutuality of mission, I pray that this small gesture of solidarity will be a sign of hope for churches both in the US and Japan. When writing, please do not hesitate to mention your prayer concerns for what is happening in and around your congregation. In this way we share in the mutuality God’s mission.
Yours in Christ, Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek (Jeff is our PNEC missionary),
Global Mission co-worker, Tokyo, Japan
Ministry Blueprint Workshops
October 19 - Part One
November 23 - Part Two
How to generate and use the MissionInsite Reports
(MissionInsite is a demographic program that can help congregations and ministries know their neighborhood and mission field)
and connect them with community research in order to develop a ministry blueprint specific to your congregation and your context
Cost $45 includes both days
Dr. Jill Peters, Missional Leadership Developer, Moravian Theological Seminary
Cultivating Generous Congregations
How Do You Inspire Generosity?
The Penn Northeast Conference and the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC are joining together with the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving to invite you and your ministry teams to participate in a seminar experience that could change the way you and your congregation approach giving and generosity.
January 24-25, 2020 (Friday 8AM to 4PM/Saturday 8:30AM-4PM)
Church of the Good Shepherd, 35 W. Philadelphia Ave., Boyertown
Cost: $350 per church team (4-5 members made up of clergy, lay leaders, administration and/or stewardship committees)
The cost includes one booklet per team. If a team would like more than one book, there will be an additional cost of $50.
Deadline to register will be December 5, 2019.
UP-COMING EVENTS THAT YOU NEED TO REGISTER FOR...
don't wait, register now
Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic Day of Dialogue
Division in Society, Division in the Church: Healing & Hope for the 21st Century
Monday, October 28
Diocese of Harrisburg,
4800 Union Deposit Rd., Harrisburg
9AM and to 3PM - lunch provided
Cost - $30 single registrant;
$50 two from the same parish;
$20 each for 3 or more
Deadline October 18
Pastoral Leadership in Congregational Systems 101
3 Sessions of Learning-Improve Pastoral Leadership
Oct. 9, February 12, March 6
9AM to 5PM with a break for lunch
Faith UCC, 5992 Route 378, Center Valley
divided in cohorts of 10-12
-3 days of Experiential Learning about Congregational Systems
$350 / lunch and breaks each day
(deposit of $100 due with registration; full payment by October 1)
MONEY and MINISTRY
PNEC & Financial Ministries UCC
November 9 -- 9AM to 3PM
PNEC Office, 431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton --
Workshops Topics -
Trends in Giving: What Donors Want; Planned Giving: Utilizing an On-Line Tool to Get Started; Roundtable Discussion - Best Practice Sharing
to register, go to
or send names & check to PNEC
by Nov. 1
Part-Time is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clergy
with award-winning journalist and author Rev. G. Jeffrey MacDonald
October 12 from 9AM to Noon
(Registration @ 8:30AM)
Shenkel UCC, 1580 Shenkel Rd., Pottstown
(NOTE change in location)
Thursday, October 10
9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (Registration 8:30 AM)
St. John's UCC (Fullerton),
575 Grape St.,
5 Hours of Continuing Education
: Rev. Dr. Gregory Edwards, founder and Sr. Pastor of Resurrected Life Community Church UCC, Allentown
Our Call...Building Relationships
: $15 (made payable to PNEC)
Deadline to Register: Monday, September 30
for the full flyer & registration form
for Retired clergy, their spouses /partners & surviving spouses)
Wednesday, November 6
11AM to 2PM (Lunch at noon)
Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Road,
Special Guest: Rev. Wanda Craner
“Maintaining Your Spiritual Health”
Please RSVP by Monday, Oct. 28, to let us know if you will be attending by:calling the Conference Office (610-826-3113) or emailing Barbara at
Faith Formation Programs
Saturday October 5 - 9:30AM at Panera Bread, Tilghman Square, Allentown
Monday, October 7 - 9:30AM also at Panera
These conversations will be centered around Advent Resources but there will also be an opportunity to share general questions/concerns about Faith Formation in your curch.
The goal of the Faith Formation Ministry Team is support YOUR educational ministries. It can feel lonely out there on your own; why not join us??
Muhlenberg College - Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding
2019 Wallenberg Tribute Lecture
October 27 - 3:30PM
Special Pre-Wallenberg Lecture
October 24 - 7:30PM
by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
Special Post-Wallenberg Tribute Event
Passing the Word
October 28 from 10:30AM to 8PM
A Conference Observing the 25th Anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Declaration to the Jewish Community...
Our trained coaches will gladly support individuals and groups within congregations who are engaged in activities such as vision, mission, and core values development; governance structures, constitution and bylaws revisions; vitality efforts; transitions and search and call; conflict and behavioral covenant development.
Coaches will be assigned through the Conference Office based on the submission of the
Congregational Coaching application
to the Conference Office. Contributors to OCWM within the past two (2) years are eligible for coaching at $35 per hour (excluding services for the purpose of search and call.) For churches that have not contributed to OCWM the fee is $70 per hour. Once your congregation has contributed to OCWM for two (2) years, you will receive coaches at the reduced rate.
Preaching Like the Choir
How to prepare & present sermons with rhythm, melody and prose - with Rev. Cean James
October 17, 2019
9AM to 3PM (registration @ 8:30AM)
$12 (lunch included)
First UCC, 110 Route 61 South, Schuylkill Haven
General Synod Resolution Bulletin Insert....
Mental Health Education for Families
Four Part Series
(attendance at three of the four would qualify as Cultural Competency Training)
October 7, October 14, October 21, October 28
Diocese of Scranton Pastoral Center
6:30 to 8PM
ONA? NOT-YET ONA? WE'VE GOT A WEBINAR FOR YOU!
Our popular series of webinars for ONA and not-yet ONA churches is back! We kick off Thursday, Oct. 3, with "ONA and the BIBLE!" This in-depth exploration of scripture will help churches beginning their journey towards an ONA covenant, but it's also ideal for members of existing ONA churches when challenged about their congregation's ONA commitment!
Also coming this fall: ONA 101, 1-to-1 Conversations about ONA, Trans/Nonbinary 101, and Bisexuality/Pansexuality 101. And don't miss ONA 201 for existing ONA congregations: we'll teach the best practices we've learned from growing churches whose ONA covenant is helping them grow in numbers and spirit!
Led by ONA Coalition Executive Director Andy Lang, and ONA Program Minister Kimi Floyd Reisch, these learning experiences can transform your congregation! Write Kimi at
if you have any questions
Here is a resource for our churches that are looking for help to become safer and more secure and/or get involved in their community.
Clean-up Buckets needed by Church World Service ... UCC provides grants to help churches replenish CWS storm supplies
UCC Disaster Ministries is offering congregations matching grants of up to $250 as an incentive to assemble Church World Service kits —in particular, the CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets which are in short supply. The Disaster Ministries team is hoping the financial aid offered to congregations will kick start a church-wide effort to restock these much-needed supplies before they are needed for another event. To learn more about these kits and how to apply for the grant go to
Take your pictures and record your stories and send them to
, so we can inspire others with your story.
for a list of PSEC and PNEC congregations that have offered to be drop-off locations for the kits you assemble.
UCC Disaster Ministries Webinars
for full list of upcoming and past webinars that are available...
ITEMS of INTEREST..
--Turning Point of the L.V. - Annual Domestic Violence Vigil -
Wednesday, October 16 from 6:30-7:30PM - doors open at 6PM - Third Street Alliance, 41 N. 3rd St., Easton - please join us to remember those who have lost their lives, honor survivors, and give hope for the future - live music - survivor speakers - candlelight vigil -
Lehigh Conference Of Churches...**
Diakon is seeking help from caring families to foster young adults- Information sessions are on October 30 from 6 to 8PM at St.Peter's Lutheran Church, 474 Vine St., Bethlehem - Also at the Topton Office, One South Home Ave. on September 12, October 10, and
November 14 - register by contacting the Diakon York Office 717-795-0320 -
Center for Humanistic Change
is seeking individuals to lead health programs...
Fall Food Festival - benefits the ecumenical soup kitchen - September 28 from 11AM to 2PM at
Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley, 1988 Schadt Ave., Whitehall...
--CROP WALK, October 6 Schuylkill Haven - October 13 Lehigh Valley, Carbon County - more info
--January 24-25, 2020 -
Cultivating Generous Congregations - How do YOU inspire Generosity?
Church of the Good Shepherd, Boyertown.
Watch for new details and flyer coming soon!