This Week in PNEC --- April 5, 2018 - April 13, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

610-826-3113; FAX 610-826-5464


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



Message for congregations about coaching:
     I am excited to share with you a new resource we are able to provide congregational groups or individuals. We have trained 8 individuals to serve as Trained Coaches to assist individuals and groups within congregations to support activities such as vision, mission, and core values development; governance structures, constitutions and bylaws revisions; vitality efforts; transitions and search and call; conflict and behavioral covenant development.
     Coaches may be assigned through the Conference Office based on the submission of an application, click here for application. If you are a contributor to OCWM over the last two years, your fee for coaching (other than search and call, which will be offered at no cost) will be $35 per hour. If your congregation has not donated to OCWM in the past two years, the fee will be $70 per hour. Once your congregation has committed to OCWM for two years, you will receive coaches at the reduced cost.
     Our coaches have been trained through the Strengthen the Church funds we retain. We would encourage you to continue support for this special offering in addition to OCWM. Our costs for COACH training allowed many of our coaches to attend the training at no personal cost. The hourly rate you provide for them will cover their administrative and transportation costs only. The higher rate, for those not contributing to OCWM, will help us recover our contributions to the training.
- Bonnie


The Penn Northeast Conference Annual Meeting Advance Reports are available

on the PNEC website under the News & Events tab and then click on Annual Meeting               

Safety Seminar

Presented by

Officer William Rohrbach

of the Upper Macungie Township Police Department


Trinity UCC

1990 Route 212, Pleasant Valley (Quakertown)

Next to Springfield Elementary


Free dinner at 5:45PM; Seminar begins at 6:30PM

Topics include:

- place of worship security

- active shooter

- how to react when interacting with police

Please RSVP by April 6

if you are joining us for dinner


Worldwide Website Launched on
Global Youth Justice Movement
Global Youth Justice Movement
1,800+ Communities -- 5 Continents
Global Youth Justice announces the launch of a new Worldwide Website on the World's most replicated Juvenile Justice and Youth Justice program called Youth/Teen/Peer/Student Court and Peer Jury. A record 1,800+ communities have established these volunteer-driven and youth-led diversion programs, with 100's more in development in Democracies around the Globe.
Global Youth Justice, Inc. announces the successful transition from a Private Social Justice Philanthropic Enterprise created by Scott Bernard Peterson in 2009, to an International 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation with 4 of the 15 founding board of directors appointed as of 2018, with the remaining to be appointed by 2020. Worldwide Website
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 the United Church of Christ
Week 1: May 29-June 1, 9:00-3:00
Week 2: June 4-8, 9:00-3:00
Caregiver College at Kirkland Village... 
The Fleming Memory Center Presents
"Caregiver College"
Affiliated with Lehigh Valley Health Network Geriatric Medicine.
A free 12-hour training program/ course that is delivered in 2-hour sessions over a 6-week period.
Wendy Scott MA, CDP - (Certified Dementia Practitioner)
Elder Life Specialist
"Let us provide you with the tools you need as a caregiver. We will provide you with good strategies, enabling you to develop a sense of control or mastery in caregiving."
Classes held at Kirkland Village, Bethlehem,
in the Eagle Room
Tuesday 10AM-12PM
May 1, May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29, June 5
RSVP to Diane Miranda at  or 691-4501. A minimum of 5 participates per class is required.
For question please contact Wendy Scott for questions at 610-969-2278.

     It is a headline we have seen too many times - on February 14th 17 teachers and students in Parkland, FL were killed by a former classmate, who was heavily armed. Despite the horror of recent mass shootings, and the less visible day-to-day toll taken by gun violence around the country, Congress has failed to enact any reasonable gun violence prevention legislation.
     It is time to say - Enough! As people of faith, we are called to heal our society's acceptance of violence and idolatrous fascination with weapons. Click on the link below for three things you can do:

Enjoy the Music of Bryan Sirchio
Progressive Christian Worship Music Workshop

     Attached are two fliers about these events that
New Goshenhoppen UCC in East Greenville, PA  (Pennsylvania Southeast Conference) wants to share with PNEC.  Folks may be familiar with Bryan from his participation in regional and national events, including youth events and synod.
     The concert on Sunday night is appropriate for all ages and is free; the Saturday workshop requires registration, which is being handled through the PSEC.  All info is on the fliers.
     The registration site for the 2018 National Gathering of The Regional Theological Education Consortium (RTEC), April 30 - May 2 at The Hotel at Oberlin (OH) is now open. You can register for "Six Dangerous Questions: A Formula for Ministry Excellence" at Participants are urged to register as soon as possible, but not later than April 6, to guarantee room availability at the venue.
     We will be introducing a new program assessment tool. We will also look more broadly at the value and importance of intentional assessment processes for not only making our existing educational programs stronger, but as a template for imagining and creating new programs -- and not just theological education programs. In fact, we believe the questions we will engage in our time together can activate excellence in many ways in our organizations. 
     Please Note:
  • This is a free event. The MESA Ministry Team & The BTS Center are event sponsors, and will provide lodging and most meals. Participants are asked to bear the cost of travel to the event in Oberlin, OH.
  • There are some funds available for those who may need help with travel expenses. Please contact Bob Grove-Markwood at The BTS Center to inquire about travel support: / 207-227-3507 (cell).
  • For all questions, please contact Tisha Brown, RTEC Steering Team chair, or 608-846-7880.

     We hope to see you at this year's meeting. Whether you are able to attend, or not, we hope you might share this information with others who could benefit from learning more about best practices for assessment.

Rev. Tisha Brown, Assoc.Conference Minister for Leadership Development, Wisconsin Conference, UCC
(608) 846-7880
"I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat.
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet."
    PNEC congregations are invited to submit a LOVE STORY FORM to Gary Barraco, PNEC 3GL Ambassador. Gary will submit these to the national church for inclusion in the web site  , but we will also select 5 stories to present at the PNEC Annual Meeting in April. Submissions can start now and will close April 1st.
     If you have questions, feel free to contact Gary at   or (732)241-6635.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Money & Ministry Workshop
The Penn Central Conference is extending an invitation to invite PNEC to their generosity workshop, Money and Ministry.  It will be held on April 28 in Lancaster.
Flyer,agenda, workshop details and bios are attached.  Here is the registration link. 
Stephanie Rader-Titzel
Communications and Generosity Director
 Penn Central Conference United Church of Christ
900 South Arlington Avenue - Room 227A - Harrisburg, PA 17109
717.652.1560, ext. 11 (office) or 717.557.4154 (wireless)

A Note from Jeffrey Mensendiek,  

Missionary to Japan &  

Planning a Mission Trip to Japan in May, 2018


      I would like to inform you about a mission trip to Japan this May to visit our partners at the Asian Rural Institute ARI

     My friend Ken Matsuyama has planned several trips like this before, and is open for people who might want to join. ARI is an exciting ministry for anybody interested in ecological issues and global peace.
Please click here for the full flyer and information if you might want to join the trip.  
Yours in Christ       Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek
Thank you

An Invitation from Pennsylvania Southeast Conference...Discipleship Workshop


Facilitator:  Rev. Cean James

Times:  10AM to 12 Noon

There is one more opportunities to attend this workshop:

April 14 @ Trinity UCC, Reading

There is NO charge for this workshop but please register by going to the PSEC website (, click on the Events & News tab, click Conference Events and find the workshop date you are interested in.



Rachel (Villareal) Minnick passed away on Sunday, April 1 in Collegeville, PA.  Rachel is the daughter of Rev. Antonio (Tony) & Betsy Villareal of Schwenksville, PA.  Tony served Christ UCC in Jim Thorpe (PNEC) before moving to Pennsylvania Southeast Conference to serve.

Children's Sermon
    for April 8 (based on John 20:19-31):  Items needed:  lamp with lampshade.   Beforehand, plug in lamp, take off lampshade, turn lamp on, then remove bulb (with lamp still on.)  When kids come up, show them the bulb and tell them it stands for Jesus.  Screw bulb in,  so it lights up---this is Easter, with Jesus shining again.  In today's Bible reading, the risen Jesus appears to His followers, just like you can see this light bulb shining now.  But Jesus also says in today's Bible reading that "those who don't see Jesus, with their own eyes, and yet believe in Jesus, are blessed."   You can see the light bulb now.  (Put lampshade back on lamp.)   Now you can't see the light bulb with your eyes anymore, so how do you  know it's still on?  (Can still see the light, through the lampshade.)  This  lampshade here stands for  the church.   Now we don't see the risen Jesus, the light bulb, with our own eyes, but we still k now that Jesus is shining because Jesus' light still shines through  the church.
- Rev. David Quinn

5 - 11:30AM-1PM - Southwest AMC (SWAMP) Clergy - St. John's, Emmaus
8 - 2PM - Allentown Mutual Ministry - St. John's (Mickleys), Whitehall
9 - 10AM - Licensing/Commissioning MID Committee - Conf. Office
9-11 - MAAUCE - Block & Hexter Retreat Center, Lakewood, PA
10 - 10AM - PA Council of Churches - Harrisburg, PA
11 - 10AM to Noon - Board of Directors - Conference Office
11 - 1PM - PNEC Disaster Response Meeting - Conf. Office
12 - 9:30-11AM - Licensed/Commissioned Mentor Group - Conf. Office


Call to the 56th Annual Meeting

of the Penn Northeast Conference

Saturday, April 14, 2018

8AM to 4PM


Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs


Theme:  Exploration!

Workshop Leader:  Rev. Michael Piazza,

Spiritual Visionary, Author, Social Justice Advocate, Currently serving as Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, NYC

Guest Preacher:  Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates,

Conference Minister, PNEC

Download a Registration form here

Also available for download from

Phoebe Institute on Aging 2018 Spring Conference
Building a Customer Driven Culture
Thursday, April 26, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
University Center at DeSales University
Presented by Cura Hospitality

 The cost for the full-day conference, which includes all programming, a continental breakfast, and a buffet lunch, is $25. Students and Phoebe employees are admitted free with a valid ID (which must be presented during morning check-in) and scholarships will be considered. Most CEUs are offered at an additional cost. Register by April 17, 2018. Please call 610-794-5150 with questions.
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,
God's Blessings,
Rev. Mary W. Gade, Associate of the Bishop
Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod/ELCA
610-266-5101 ;
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
PASTORAL CARE class on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven.  Retired UCC Pastor Rev. Stephen Engelhardt, who has extensive CPE, institutional, and parish experience will be teaching the class.  This session will consider both the theological underpinnings and the practical application of pastoral care, including hospital visitation, grief counseling, and crisis care.  This class is a required "advanced" course for Licensed preparation and a vital continuing education class for all parish ministers. Attached is a registration form with pre-class reading and writing assignments or you can go to our website to register at . The pre-class assignments will be on the student page under Pastoral Care.  Hope to see you there!    For registration form and class assignments, click here
  The Crossroads Lay Leadership Program at Moravian Theological Seminary is running a special session of Contextual Outreach this May and June.  This course is designed for individuals or church teams to explore their impact in the community around them and to develop a local ministry plan.  Congregations who have participated in this course in the past have reported that the process has helped them design activities which have helped them to impact their neighborhoods in a positive way for Jesus Christ.  The goal of this program is not to teach churches how to increase their membership but rather how to increase their impact.  
     This course is co-taught by the Rev. Dr. Riddick Weber, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Moravian Theological Seminary and Dr. Jill Peters, Missional Leadership Developer, Moravian Theological Seminary who also runs the Crossroads Lay Leadership Program.  
     Course content includes working with demographic data, Caleb community interviews and other ways to learn the real, felt needs and service gaps within their community.  Congregations define their target area of study which could be their neighborhood or an area close to their church's location.  Through classroom activities, teams embark on a process to analyze this data and start to structure possible activities to meet the needs of their neighbors.  Teams are coached on how to look at community ministry differently.
     The registration for this course is $220 per person.  Additional participants from the same church can register for $100 each.  Churches sending teams of at least three people will receive the MissionInsite demographic data for their location. 
     Classes are held at Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-9 pm.  (May 29, 30, June 5, 6, 12, 19, 27 and one additional time reserved for exploring your neighborhood.)  All Crossroads courses are also offered in a real time, distance learning format for those who live outside of our area.  
     For more information or team member registration, please contact Jill Peters at  Online registration for the first team member can be done at our website: 
Eastern Regional Youth Event 
     The Eastern Regional Youth Event website has been updated to include the band information and the workshops that will be available and what a variety of workshops there are! PNEC has formed a team to help you with any questions you may have. We have been working on any details for the churches in our conference. Have you received an email from the team? If not, please contact Marge Baltz ( We will continue to give updates as they are available! 
ONLINE UCC History, Theology and Polity Course
June/July 2018
     A UCC History, Theology and Polity Course that meets the requirements as set forth by the UCC Polity Teacher's Network will be offered online in June/July 2018. The instructor will be Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister of the New York Conference, UCC. Classes will begin at 9:30am and end at 3:30pm on the following dates: June 16, 23, 30 and 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
     This polity course is sponsored by the Oneida Association of the New York Conference. Payments should be sent no later than December 23rd 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!   Class size is limited to the first fifteen to register.  The course will be cancelled if we do not obtain seven registered students. A student is considered registered when full payment has been received. Students who cancel enrollment will receive reimbursements up until June13th. Please note the last three online classes reached maximum capacity
On-line Polity Classes
geared towards Ministerial Authorization
1.        Center for Progressive Renewal: (a link to contact the director of on-line learning is on this page)
2.        New York Conference:  contact Conference Minister Rev. David Gaewski at
4.        Chicago Theological Seminary:
Disaster Ministries Update
Just a little reminder that all churches are to drop off Church World Service kits (clean-up buckets, hygiene kits, and school kits) to the PNEC office in Palmerton.  Having everything dropped off at the Conference office is more convenient for the people who will be delivering to Maryland


April 6 - To BE Announced - watch for further details at



May 11 - Getting the "Other" Right: the Challenges of Doing History

Professor Robert Weiner, Jones Professor of History, Lafayette College

*Please Note - Location is Seegers Union 108-110

19th Global Youth Justice Training
World's Most Replicated Juvenile Justice Program
Historic Provincetown in Cape Cod, USA
Tuesday to Thursday -- June 12-14, 2018
Polity Curriculum for Local Churches

     MESA recently released a new UCC Polity Curriculum designed for local congregations: new member classes, confirmation classes, COM orientations, and congregations considering joining the UCC. The materials can be found online at:
Pennsylvania lay leader creates traveling road show around UCC's 3 Great Loves...A lay leader of the UCC Penn Northeast Conference is on a spiritual journey, spending his Sundays with several different congregations, and spreading the word about the 3 Great Loves (3GL) initiativeClick to see full article

3 Great Loves Wants to Come to
Your Congregation
The 3 Great Loves is the denomination's opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world. To move this initiative forward in the Penn Northeast Conference, we have recruited Gary Barraco from Forks UCC to be our '3 Great Loves Ambassador'. Gary has been working with the National representative and Regional Ambassador to prepare our Conference to learn more about the 3 Great Loves program. Gary and others want to come to your church and deliver the Sunday morning message or present to a large group. He has put together a full liturgy for a worship serve, including suggested hymns, so we can come in with a pre-packaged service. To learn more, contact Gary at


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
(PLEASE NOTE:  We love advertising the "happenings" in our churches, however the list is getting too long for this publication.)
"What's Happening in Our Churches"