•  THIS WEEK IN PNEC                  September 5, 2019
Penn Northeast Conference UCC, 431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071
www.pnec.org   610-826-3113; 610-826-5464 FAX
Conference Minister, Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates    bonnieb@pnec.org        
Rev. Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez    hispanicucc@rcn.com
Rev. Christian Creyer     christianc@pnec.org       
Barbara Jennings    barbaraj@pnec.org
Patty Rehrig    pattyr@pnec.org
   SEND ARTICLES TO BE INCLUDED TO   pattyr@pnec.org
YEA Fund Applications Deadline
YEA Fund applications , which are available on the PNEC website ( www.pnec.org ), need to be received in the Conference Office (431 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, PA 18071), by October 1, 2019
The  Youth & Empowerment Fund (YEA)  was created by the Penn Northeast Conference UCC Board of Directors during their January 2001 meeting for the purpose of providing financial assistance for youth and adult denominationally- related educational activities. 
My friends and colleagues,
    This morning, my friend Michael Piazza shared a story in his devotional:
    A duke and duchess went for a stroll one evening around their large and lavish estate. They noticed a man standing alone in their beautiful garden.
    "Who is that man?" the duchess asked. "He is always there, but I don't know who he is."
    "I've seen him, too," replied the duke, "but I have no idea. Let's find out."
    With that, they walked over and said to the fellow, "Excuse me, but who are you? Do you work for us? Are you part of our staff?"
    "Oh yes, my Lady," said the man. "I have been your faithful servant for almost 30 years."
    "Thirty years? Oh my! And what is your specific job?" she asked.
    "I was hired to walk your dog, my Lady," he replied.
    "Wait a minute!" exclaimed the duchess, "My dog died 27 years ago."
    To which the man replied, "Yes, my Lady, that is correct, and what would you like for me to do now?"
    As I reflect on this story, after the inevitable laughter, I think about the times I have waited on God’s directions – sometimes with purpose and sometimes with avoidance for a problem or issue I didn’t want to address. God prepare us, equips us, guides and instructs us through the actions, words, ministry and life of Jesus. Jesus did the world of God in the world – loving the stranger, caring for the least of the people, healing the broken, teaching about the relationship God wanted to have with us. Matthew 25 reminds us that what we do for those among us we do for Jesus.
    Are you waiting and discerning guidance and direction from God OR are you avoiding doing the things God has already called you to do? There are myriad ways to serve God – disaster response, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, visiting the prisoner, advocating for justice and peace in our communities, nation and the world. What will you do now with the instructions and guidance of God? How will you be God’s grace, blessing and love in the world? How will you bring joy and peace into relationships? My friends, don’t tarry. There is much to do in the world. Let’s get to it!
                                                                                                                    Blessings, Bonnie
Official message from the UCC Disaster Ministries about Hurricane Dorian

Dear Friends,
    No doubt you have been paying attention to Hurricane Dorian and have seen the devastating impacts in the Bahamas. Dorian’s destruction is still unfolding, ongoing and not yet fully quantified but I wanted to share what the UCC has been doing and planning as well as some suggestions for how to help. If you have questions or need to refer anyone who needs additional information please have them contact Amanda Sheldon sheldona@ucc.org  or Zach Wolgemuth
    *As a reminder, UCC Disaster Ministries focuses on Preparedness and Long-Term Recovery. Long-Term Recovery is the most protracted response and the costliest.

  • The UCC Disaster Ministries team continues to monitor the situation through multiple channels at the state, national and international levels. 
  • We have been in contact with our Conference Disaster Coordinators in the states which remain within the potential impact areas. The message has been ‘Be prepared, take evacuation orders seriously and respond accordingly’
  • Because there are no UCC Churches in the Bahamas we are exploring potential partnerships with other organizations that have a more direct connection and will be determining our response as emergency needs are met, damage assessments occur and recovery begins.
  • Financial donations are most effective, efficient and beneficial to survivors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=pzH-7k035sM

    As you receive inquiries from individuals wanting to ‘do something’ or support UCC Disaster Ministries, here are some suggestions.
  1. Pray for all who have been impacted and those that remain in harms way. ** note the prayer below offered by Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson
  2. Donate to support disaster recovery, families and communities impacted by disaster. Donations can be designated using the form. Donations for the Bahamas should be given to the Emergency USA Fund.  https://www.ucc.org/donate_to_disaster_relief
  3. Volunteer to help families and communities recover. https://www.ucc.org/disaster_disaster-volunteers
  4. Build relief kits using the UCC Disaster Ministries Matching grant. https://www.ucc.org/disaster_2018_matching_grants_for_cws_kits_home_page
Prepare your family and church so that you are able to respond locally if a disaster impacts your community. Resources: https://www.ucc.org/disaster_resources  
    ** "Holy God, you are an ever present help in times of trouble. We put our hope in you on behalf of those whose lives have been affected by tragedy in the Bahamas. We pray their peace and comfort, asking for help for those who have suffered loss. We pray calm for those who now wait anxiously. Grant your peace O God. Amen."
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations
Zach Wolgemuth  Executive, UCC Disaster Ministries , www.ucc.org/disaster/
Church leaders: Amazon’s fire must be addressed as an international crisis
A message from the World Conference of Churches.
     Fires in the Amazon region must be addressed as a national and international crisis, states general secretary of the World Council of Churches Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
    “It is a profound ecological, political and moral catastrophe if humanity cannot take care of these enormous assets for our common life on this planet”, said Tveit on August 27.
    “It is a matter of our accountability to God, our Creator, and therefore also a spiritual issue", he said. Tveit pointed out that situation in the Amazon rainforest is a concern of many churches and will be the topic of a Vatican synod in October.
    Brazil's Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of fires this year. The National Institute for Space Research said its satellite data showed an 84% increase during the same period in 2018.
    The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. It is also home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.
    Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairperson of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, expressed concern and sadness at the recent reports on the situation of the rainforest in Brazil.
    Describing the fires as “a mirror of a policy change towards a decrease of protection of the forests due to the economic interests of some”, Bedford-Strohm underlined that churches understood that the increasing deforestation in various countries is not only nationally relevant but has global effects.
    “I strongly appeal to those who carry political responsibility both in Brazil and globally to do everything in their power to stop the fires and to prevent new fires in the future”, he said. “Distribution of wealth and the care for the integrity of our earth are not competing goals but are both prerequisites for a fulfilled life. Christians should stand in the first row in the struggle for achieving both", added Bedford-Strohm.
    On August 22, ecumenical members of ACT Alliance in Brazil also expressed their concern with the Amazon, stating that part of the ecumenical commitment is “the protection of the socio-biodiversity of creation and the defense of civil society organizations and social movements that repudiate a political project of death", reads their message.
    The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 350 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 550 million Christians in over 120 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.
don't wait, register now
DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9...If less than 10 registered we will be cancelling.
  Lay Leader Worship Training
 September 14 - 9AM to 3PM
PNEC Office, 431 Delaware Ave
Palmerton, PA
Cost $15/person
$45 for three ore more
Click Here for detailed flyer

Safe Church...A Disaster Preparedness Workshop for Churches and Their Leaders
Saturday, September 28, 2019
9AM to 4PM
Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Road, Allentown
Cost: $15 per person
Authorized ministers will earn 6 hours of continuing ed.
To register:
Click Here for detailed flyer

  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
Who:  Authorized Ministers 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)
PNEC Sleep Out for Homelessness
Youth Grades 7 - 12
Saturday, September 28 at 6PM - Sunday, September 29 at 10AM
New Creation UCC, 3730 Nicholas St., Easton, PA 18045

presented by
PNEC & Financial Ministries UCC
  November 9 -- 9AM to Noon
PNEC Office, 431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton -- Cost: $10/person
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)
Church of the Good Shepherd
35 W. Philadelphia Ave., Boyertown
Cost: $25.00
For detailed flyer click here

Thursday, October 10
9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (Registration 8:30 AM)
St. John's UCC (Fullerton), 575 Grape St., Whitehall
5 Hours of Continuing Education
Keynote Speaker : Rev. Dr. Gregory Edwards, founder and Sr. Pastor of Resurrected Life Community Church UCC, Allentown
Our Call...Building Relationships
Cost : $15 (made payable to PNEC)
Deadline to Register: Monday, September 30
To register through tithe.ly go to   https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/884378
OR for the full flyer & registration form click here  

PNEC Faith Formation Ministry Team
Invites YOU to the 2nd Annual
Adventures in Advent Resource Day
October 5 from 9:30AM to 2PM
Union UCC, Neffs
(5550 PA Route 873)
Sunday School Superintendents, Christian Educators, Teachers, and Pastors are encouraged to attend.
Continuing Ed. hours available
worship, mission, and advent programming for all ages
Cost is $15 (includes lunch);  $50 if 4 or more from one congregation .
Register at...

UCC Webinar on Faith Communities and the Upcoming Climate Strike
The next UCC Creation Justice Webinar will focus on the upcoming global climate strike on September 20th. Already, the strike is shaping up to be one of the largest mobilizations in the history of the climate justice movement. The UCC Council for Climate Justice is a national co-sponsor of this strike which is taking place in over 265 locations across the United States. Learn more about the climate strike and how faith communities are getting involved from an interfaith panel of speakers. The webinar is on September 10th at 1 pm ET, but sign-up even if you cannot make it, so that the video recording can be sent to you. Register now !

(Hyperlink:)     http://bit.ly/FaithForFuture
2019 - 2020 Vitality Days with Michael Piazza
Four - 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.
Each session will run from 9AM to 4:30 PM - Registration at 8:30AM
Session 1 - Transformational Worship - October 26 - Good Shepherd UCC, 3940 Mt. Rd., Slatington
Session 2 - Structure & Stewardship - November 16 - Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown
Session 3 - Craft Church Evangelism - March 28 - Good Shepherd UCC, 3940 Mt. Rd., Slatington
Session 4 - Vintage Church Renewal - May 2 - Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown
Cost: $1,000 for all four days of training for church teams (up to 10 people from each congregation) and the monthly coaching sessions; $15 per person for drinks & lunch on training days
Click here for flyer & registration information. 
Click here for Questionnaire "Congregational Revitalization or Transition Model Assessment.
Chestnut Ridge at Rodale
Cultivated by Phoebe
A New Kind of Retirement Living is
Sprouting in Emmaus
Join Us!
Chestnut Ridge Blessing & Open House
    We invite local clergy members to join us on Monday, September 23 at 3:00 PM at our recently opened Sales Center on the Chestnut Ridge campus as we bless our new space and share our exciting vision. Enjoy refreshments and a presentation by Phoebe's President & CEO, and learn more about Chestnut Ridge at Rodale, Phoebe's newest independent living community sprouting in Emmaus!
Clergy Open House & Blessing
Chestnut Ridge Sales Center
1002 Pennsylvania Ave, Emmaus, PA 18049
3:00 PM- Light fare and refreshments
3:30 PM- Welcome and Blessing
4:00 PM- Walking Prayer (Optional)
4:30 PM-Tour of Chestnut Ridge Model Apt.
Click here to RSVP by September 18 or call Brandy Drago at 610-794-6586.
    We look forward to gathering clergy and sharing all the exciting news about this new senior living experience.

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Team
Have you heard of us?
      The PNEC Youth & Young Adult Ministry Team is passionate about equipping youth, young adults, and PNEC congregations to make disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of their world. We do this by encouraging best practices, sharing of ideas and resources, and providing excellent events and gatherings. We work to equip, connect, and transform youth and youth leaders throughout the PNEC conference. The team oversees or delegates the planning of PNEC events, including Annual Youth Retreat, Sleep-out for Homelessness, PNEC Mission Trips, Youth Leader Trainings, Coordination of PNEC participants for ERYE & NYE, and more.
Young Adults (21+) are invited to join us at Yergey’s Brewing, Emmaus on September 29 @ 1:30pm for a time of fellowship
    Want to be kept “in-the-know” or join our ministry team? Contact Rev. Kayli Freeman ( pastorkayli@unionucc.org )

The Office of Philanthropy, Identity, Technology, and Communication (OPTIC) is leading an effort to redevelop ucc.org.  
    The process includes surveys such as this one and convenings of focus groups & subject matter experts in order to gather input from throughout the church. OPTIC is committed to making the redevelopment process an inclusive one & as responsive as possible to the needs of everyone who relies on ucc.org for information.
    Right now we ask that you weigh in as we work our way through web development firm (vendor) selection, so that we can begin this process.  Your input will make sure that our choice is a good fit for all involved.
    Please answer these six brief questions by September 20, 2019  about your experience with ucc.org. The survey should take 5 minutes or less.     Thank you in advance.

Defend the Refugee Resettlement Program
The UCC Refugee and Asylum Ministries & UCC Disaster Ministries are encouraging businesses and other partners - to make their support for refugee resettlement clear, in addition to state and local elected leaders.
    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.
Disaster Ministries
    Does your church have space to store for a short time 20-30 of these buckets, as well as other kits?  CWS Kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to families and communities in need around the world – especially in the aftermath of disasters.
    There is a great need around the world for these kits. Many of our churches are assembling them.  What we need at this time is a church that will receive them and store them until we can deliver them to the CWS warehouse.
    You will not have to store them for long. The intention is that these supplies will be rushed to people who need our help. 
    To find out more, contact our Conference Disaster Coordinator, Karl Jones, at kjones275@comcast.net or 570-617-4018. For more information on the kits, so to https://cwskits.org/ .
What can you do right now to help !
1.   Pray for all who are now and will be in harms way during this current hurricane season.
2.  Donate to UCC Disaster Ministries:at  https://transactions.ucc.org/CampaignForm/UCChrist/emergency_usa
3.  Vounteer at a UCC Disaster Ministers recovery site:  https://www.ucc.org/disaster_disaster-volunteers

        National Preparedness Month
is held in September every year. It is a chance to prepare yourself, your family, and your church for whatever disasters will bring you. An opportunity to look forward and not live in the past. Embrace a changing world and prepare for whatever may come your way.  Use this National Preparedness Month toolkit to educate yourself and your church.  
    Make a National Preparedness Month resolution to check your food stocks and your insurance coverage. Resolve to start a disaster savings account, personally and at church.  Join a local CERT team or start a CERT team at church. Volunteer to help disaster victims at home or far away. Teach your kids or grandkids how to put together their very own go-kit. Don’t be afraid to change your habits, no matter how nostalgic the “old days” may feel.

You can always check the National UCC Disaster Ministries Web Page  

- 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 - read more
  ** Center for Humanistic Change is seeking individuals to lead health programs... read more
  ** 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... read flyer
-- September 21 - The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society welcomes all to a special
    celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Philip Schaff on Saturday, September 21. Keynote
    speaker is Elizabeth A Clark, Professor Emeritus of Religion at Duke University.   Click Here for a flier
    it will be held at the Hafer Center located at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, 555 West James
    St., Lancaster - 2nd floor above the Schaff Library. Everyone is invited to the presentation starting at
    2PM. G reat event for lay people to learn how the Reformed Church impacted America. It is also a 
   great event for clergy to add to their annual report for continued learning!   For more information or
   questions concerning the event please contact Alison Mallin at erhs@lancasterseminary.edu or call
-- Amigos de Guatemala Update: Monte Margarita clinic to open soon!  watch a 20 second video that
     takes you around the outside of the clinic: www.facebook.com/groups/177931352256175/  
    Would you like to be part of a medical team when the clinic is dedicated in October 2019? ...Would
    you like an Amigo team to speak at your church?... Would you like to contribute to cost of
    medications and medical travel? -- Contact Karen Heim at rksdheim@rcn.com
--CROP WALK, October 6 Schuylkill Haven - October 13 Lehigh Valley, Carbon County - more info
     at    www.crophungerwalk.org
--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!