This Week in PNEC --- March 1, 2018 - March 9, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig




Year Book Reporting
The deadline for YearBook Reporting on the is rapidly approaching!  There are two options to enter your church's data:   (1) directly on the UCC DataHub; or, (2) complete paper forms and mail them to the Conference Office.  All the forms and information on how to report were mailed at the end of January.  The deadline for submitting the information, either on the DataHub or by paper forms, is Wednesday, March 7, 2018.  Contact Barbara Jennings if you have any questions or concerns ( or 610-826-3113). 


ACT Now: Unite to End Racism!
     The National Council of Churches is sponsoring a rally and a call to action on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Multiple denominations, including the United Church of Christ, are sponsoring this event and participation in it.
ACT Now to:
-Awaken to the truth that racism is evil and hurts us all
-Confront racism through truth-telling and action to right the wrong
-Transform the hearts, minds, and behaviors of people and institutions
     ACT Now: Unite to End Racism in the areas of church life and practices, criminal, economic and social justice, civil and human rights, environmental justice, immigration, media, and education.
     Join in the clarion call to heal the soul of the nation as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination. Let's finish the work!
     Where: At sites across Washington, DC, including the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall
     When: April 3-5, 2018
  • Tuesday evening, April 3: Service of Worship in the Orthodox Tradition
  • Wednesday, April 4: Rally on the National Mall, 7:00am to 4:00pm
  • Thursday, April 5: a Day of Action in the Nation's Capital

We in PNEC are considering renting a van or bus for people who are interested in traveling to Washington DC on Tuesday arriving in time for the worship service and returning back to PNEC on Wednesday evening. Costs will depend on the number of participants attending. Hotels in the area run between $160 and $250 per night. We will evenly split the costs of the van or bus.

If you are interested in joining us, please indicate your interest by e-mailing Barbara Jennings at
Planning to be part of the March
24  event to end gun violence and prevent future shootings in our schools? Sign up for UCC updates on the D.C. March.
     Training given by Master Trooper Marc Allen of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop M, Bethlehem Barracks. 
 Program being used is called ALICE:  Alert - Lockdown - Inform - Counter - Escape 
     All are welcome to join us for this FREE training.  A pot luck luncheon will be held following the training.  If you would like to bring a covered dish please feel free to do so.  Please RSVP by March 14, by calling the church at 610-837-7426 or you may contact June Arnold at 610-262-5181.  Class will start following the service at 11:15 sharp, and will be held in the sanctuary.  
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.
Joint Conference
Visioning & Development Team (JCVDT)
     The following information is available on the PNEC website at  or by clicking on the links below:
4.  JCVDT Survey
6.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on FACEBOOK
7.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on Twitter
      I ask for your prayers for our process together that the Spirit can guide us and move us to be the Body of Christ together. Thank you!
Rev. Joanne Marchetto
"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

Berta Caceres

March 4, 1973 - March 3, 2016


Berta Caceres, a hero-for Indigenous Communities worldwide, was assassinated in 2016 by U.S. funded Honduran military or corporate hitmen.  She organized a successful campaign to stop the construction of a large dam in Honduras.


From 2010 to 2017, 124 environmental leaders were assassinated for defending the environment and Indigenous rights in Honduras.  The documentary Berta Didn't Die, She Multiplied is the story of those who refuse to surrender in the fight for the environment.  This poignant and heart wrenching account of the fearless leaders' legacy exposes the brutality of the fight to privatize Mother Earth.  But even in death, Berta could not be silenced.  Her struggle is universal and her murder ignited an international movement for justice that resounded around the world.  Currently Honduras is confronting its worst political crisis in a decade.  This timely film sheds light on the indomitable spirit of its people to prevail in the face of the most powerful interests on the planet.

Screening Options:  (On YOU TUBE)

- Berta Didn't Die, She Multiplied (10 minutes, also available in Spanish)

- Berta Didn't Die, She Multiplied (30 minutes, also available in Spanish)

- Rebeldia Inclaudicable (53 minutes)

LEPOCO Peace Center

610-691-8730  --

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)



     The Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD) is seeking your direct feedback and assistance on a new denomination-wide survey.
      The purpose of the UCC Planning and Evaluation Survey is to gather information about the various types of planning and evaluation tools, strategies, and processes utilized across settings of the church, as well as the prevalence and frequency of planning and evaluation initiatives. The results will guide CARD's work in assessing needs and creating/curating the most helpful resources for effective planning and evaluation for local churches, middle judicatories, and other settings.
      The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous, although we do ask for the name of your setting to reduce overlap in response. The results of the survey will be shared with various stakeholders across the United Church of Christ. Please complete the survey by Friday, March 16.
Survey link:
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback .
Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Ph.D. - Director
Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD)
United Church of Christ



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.

Register now for Clergy Convocation
     Join the Penn Northeast & Penn Southeast Conferences 
for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment.  Rev. Wanda D. Craner will be the Guest Speaker.  "The Spiritual Health of Clergy in Times of Dis-Ease".
  Clergy Convocation Flyer 2018
To register: click here.
     Phoebe Ministries will honor Bill Hacker and Eric Blew of Arbor Insurance with the Rev. Dr. Grant Harrity Award for Exemplary Service to the Aging at their annual Institute on Aging Benefit on Thursday, March 22 in University Center at DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. The cocktail attire event will feature dinner and dancing and begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. Music will be provided by The Craig Thatcher Band.  For full details and reservation information click here.
March 4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel at Jordan UCC, Allentown  (Snow Date:  March 11)

Prayer Request...Rev. Allen Richardson is in Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest.  Cards may be sent to Allen at his home: 4295 E. Texas Rd., Allentown, PA  18103.
Prayer Request...Rev. Jim Knappenberger is having serious health concerns.  Cards may be sent to Jim at:  2257 Skyline Dr., Slatington, PA  18080

On February 12, Kaye Lentz was approved to be a Licensed Minister of the Penn Northeast Conference.  Kaye is a member of St. John's UCC, Laurys Station.
Rev. Rebekah Thomas was called as pastor of Emmanuel UCC, Allentown effective April 9, 2018.
Rev. Joel Risser was called as pastor of First UCC, Hellertown and will begin on April 23, 2018.
Children's Sermon
for March 4 (based on John 2:13-22)
Items Needed:  empty picture frame, 2 bricks or blocks(to prop frame upright), some stuffed animals and toys, small table.  Show kids frame and tell them that we're going to pretend that this is a window.  Use blocks/bricks to prop frame upright on table.  See, we've made a window.  Ask what a window is for--to see through to somewhere beyond.  Now, I am going to set these stuffed animals on the table.  (Put them in front of frame so they completely block being able to see through the frame.)  Now these toys have gotten in the way, so we can't see through the window anymore.  In today's Bible reading, Jesus goes to a place called the Temple.  The Temple is kind of like a church.  A church, and  a Temple, is kind of like a window.  It's meant to be a place that you can look through, to see  God.  But in today's Bible reading, other things  have gotten in the way, just like these toys are blocking our "window."  Jesus cleared the other things away, because Jesus wants the Temple, and our church, to be a window where people can see God. 
- Rev. David Quinn

1 - 11:30AM-1PM - Southwest AMC (SWAMP) Clergy - St. John's, Coopersburg
2-3 - Joint PNEC Board & PSEC Consistory Retreat - Pocono Manor
4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel - Jordan UCC, Allentown (Snow Date: March 11)
6 - 12Noon - Easton AMC Clergy - New Creation UCC, Easton
8 - 9:30-11AM - Licensed/Commissioned Mentor Group - Conf. Office
12 - 4PM - PNEC Coach Meeting - Conf. Office
14 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
15 - 6:30-8PM - JCVDT Zoom meeting
17 - 9AM to Noon - Educational Day for all MID's and their Advisors - New Creation UCC, Easton
19 - 4PM - Executive Committee - Conf. Office
20 - 9:30AM - Licensed/Commissioned Ministry Committee
20 - 11:45AM - Blue Mountain AMC Clergy - Schleicher's Family Restaurant, 6937 Rte 309, New Tripoli
20 - 2PM - Staff & Personnel Committee - Conf. Office
21 - 9AM - Ordained Church & Ministry Committee - Conf. Office
22 - 10-11:30AM - Congregational Vitality Committee - Conf. Office
22 - 6PM - Search & Call Team - Conference Office
27 - 9-11:30AM - JCRT - NEPA Synod
28 - 4PM - Executive Committee - Conference Office
30 - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Good Friday

Act Now to End Racism
Join us on a transformational journey! The Lehigh Conference of Churches is sponsoring a bus departure from the Lehigh Valley to events taking place April 4 in Washington, DC, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Watch the video and visit for background on the event and sponsoring organizations, including the National Council of Churches.
Buses will depart at 4 a.m. from Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Emmaus. Events at the National Mall include an interfaith service and a rally. For more information and schedule details, visit
The cost is $60 per person, with meals on your own. We need 55 people registered by March 15 to make this possible.
Please contact me at 610-433-6421 or with any questions. We hope you can join us and take part in this remembrance and call to action! 
Rev. Larry Pickens, Ecumenical Director
The Lehigh Conference of Churches

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

A Pastoral Letter on Sexual Misconduct
"Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and the Lord will hear my voice." Psalm 55
      In recent months, there have been numerous stories of sexual misconduct by men of power in various settings of business, media, entertainment, and politics. In each case, it took the courage of one to name their experience of being sexually harassed or abused by someone more powerful than themselves in order for the sin of sexual abuse to finally be recognized.
     We confess that the United Church of Christ (UCC) is not immune to these sins of sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct. We repent when those in power at any setting of the UCC has acted inappropriately and violated others with their words, actions, or power. We, the Church, have sinned, and we ask for forgiveness from those, who have been violated.
     We recognize the stories of courageous women and men in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures who, when they were sexually assaulted by men of power, God provided them strength, courage, and love already within them because they were created in God's image. So, too, we honor that all are created in God's image and have the capacity for wholeness in the midst of sexual abuse and misconduct.
     We, the leaders of the United Church of Christ, are committed to providing safe space for all, where sexual harassment, abuse, or misconduct is not tolerated. Our Committees on Ministry along with MESA (Ministerial Excellence, Support, and Authorization) seek to ensure our churches, authorized ministers, and volunteers safe space from sexual misconduct of power.
     May God's Peace be with us as we seek to create a Just World for All, which starts with safe space for all.
Faithfully yours,
The National Officers of the UCC
- The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister & President
- The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister, Justice and
 Witness Ministries
- The Rev. James Moos, Executive Minister, Wider Church
The Council of Conference Ministers of the UCC
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
is proud to announce its
Church Leadership class
(formerly Church Administration)
to be offered March 10, 2018 from 9am to 4pm at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven.
While this class is an Advanced Level class for those seeking Licensed Ministry preparation, it is also a wonderful refresher for seasoned Clergy or laity leadership who are looking for new ways to beef up their administrative and leadership skills.  Click for the registration form or you can go to our website to register and pay online.  We hope to see you at this educational opportunity that is provided for all our churches.
we will be offering a course in CHURCH HISTORY on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 9am to 4pm at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven but you can also attend via LIVE BROADCAST. This class will focus on the history of the church beginning with the 1st century through the Crusades, Reformation, and today.  Dr. Randall Zachman will be teaching the course and he is a Professor Emeritus of Reformation Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he taught from 1991-2017, and is currently Adjunct Professor of Church History at Lancaster Theological Seminary.  He has published books on the theology of Luther and Calvin, and has also published articles and chapters on Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, and Barth, among others.  This is a basic class for our Licensing Prep curriculum and a wonderful refresher for all clergy & laity of our roots in the Church.  We hope you will join us for a fascinating and fast paced romp through Church History.  Attached is a registration form with the reading assignment for the class or you can register and pay online at our website:
Crossroads Spring Courses...
include Mapping the Route (Theology) with the Rev. Dr. Bill Falla on Monday nights beginning Mar 12 and Traditions (Denominations and World Religions) with the Rev. Dr. Walter Wagner on Thursday nights beginning Mar 8.  All courses are held at Moravian Seminary, Bethlehem PA.  Exact dates, course descriptions and registration info is at or contact Jill Peters at
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! 
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. 


March 2 - The Opiod Crisis as a Public Health Issue

Dr. Chrysan Cronin, Director, Public Health Program


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
  Politics of Religion-  Native Spirituality & Christian Practice
Friday, March 9, 2018 * 9:00am-Noon
For details and how to register click URL below
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
And Still We Rise
Transforming U.S. Policy Toward a Just Middle East Washington, D.C. | June 17 - 19, 2018
The Summit will highlight women peacemakers from the Middle East. Men and women are invited to hear from speakers who are all women! For full article, please click here


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"