This Week in PNEC --- June 7, 2018 - June 15, 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



Guatemala Volcano

     The Volcano de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) erupted in Guatemala on June 3. There were five "states" affected by the lava and ash; Guatemala, Chimaltenango, Antigua, Sacatepequez, and Esquitla. Many, many families have been displaced by this. Many are dead.
     We received word from our friends in Guatemala that all of their families are safe. They are affected by the ash residue but their homes are fine, too.
The Conecjo Ecumenical Council, our partners, will let us know how we can help. Right now we need to pray for the families who have lost loved ones and those who need to find a place to live.
     According to the disaster response team of Guatemala, 1,700,000+ people have been affected. Ashes are still falling on areas around the volcano.
     They also recorded an earthquake of 4.9 magnitude on Monday. and a second eruption of the volcano on Tuesday June 5.
     Our hope is that the government of Guatemala will step up and give aid to these people.


The Penn Northeast Conference Resource Center has ceased to exist over the last few years.  There are many resources at the Conference Office that are free for the taking.  If you would like to come and browse, please let us know, or if you are at the Office for a meeting, feel free to fill a box or two!!

Joint Conference Vision & Development Team Summer Zoom Discussions


The JCVDT is inviting YOU to scheduled Zoom discussions on three separate dates with three separate questions to inform our work to create a new Conference.  The dates are Monday, June 18; Tuesday, July 17; Wednesday, August 28.  Click to view the flyer/registration form/instructions for Zoom

The information is also available on our website


Phoebe Richland, a premier Continuing Care Community providing skilled nursing, personal care and short-term rehab is seeking a per diem Chaplain to work approximately 16 hours/week to support the spiritual needs of our residents, family members and staff at our Richlandtown campus.

For further details, contact Rev. Scott Brooks-Cope at

PNEC Spiritual Renewal Partners Spring Retreat
June 23
9AM to 3PM at Jordan UCC, Allentown
No matter how strong our faith is there 
is so much happening in the world today that sometimes it can give us a sense of discouragement. Join the PNEC Spiritual Renewal Partners on June 23, 2018 for a day long retreat: Rooted and Grounded in Love: Nothing Can Separate us from the Love of God which will strive to turn whatever despair or discouragement you might be feeling into a renewed sense of hope. It is time to be uplifted! Discover your "roots" again in Christ. Because we are rooted and grounded in love. Be strengthened by the scriptures, quiet times of reflection and prayer, small group discussions and fellowship. The day begins at 9:00am and will close with Holy Communion by 3:00pm.   Bring your own bag lunch and a snack to share if you wish. Beverages will be provided. Location: Jordan United Church of Christ,1837 Church Road, Allentown. Click for Registration Flyer

           MARK YOUR CALENDAR       calendar-grey-header.jpg


PNEC Ministry Day

is scheduled for

Saturday, October 13, 2018

              Speaker, Place & Time to be announced

The Justice and Advocacy Committee 
will be co-sponsoring a
"Healing Communities Training" 
and we hope you can attend!
June 23 (Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm)
Unitarian Universalist Church
424 Center St., Bethlehem
Cost: $40 per person, $105 for 3 from the same congregation; cost includes training materials.
Healing Communities is a national model created by the Annie E Casey Foundation and faith leaders from across the theological spectrum, to engage congregations in the restoration and healing of people who have been impacted by crime and the criminal justice system.
The training covers:
-- Essential information and perspectives on the criminal justice system, current issues, and the impact of crime on victims, survivors, offenders and families
-- Relevant questions for reflection and discussion within congregations
-- Ideas and resources for pastors and faith leaders to engage congregants
-- Tools, information and resources for congregation members
-- Resources and dedicated time to develop customized a congregational action plan suited to the culture, demographics and core beliefs of each congregation.
[for additional details and registration, see
(submitted on behalf of the Lehigh Conference of Churches)

June 14 Drug & Alcohol Training for Faith Leaders

    As you are aware, Pennsylvania is facing a drug epidemic, unlike anything we have seen before. Entire communities are suffering from the devastating effects while our local authorities try to find solutions to the issue Substance use does not discriminate based on faith, sex, status or belief. 


     The County of Lehigh is offering a training opportunity for our community's Faith-Based Leaders.  The purpose of the training is to bring insight into the epidemic, discuss cause/effect and to provide practical resources for you to bring back to your places of worship.  My request is that not only will you attend but that you will distribute this flyer to other groups that you are affiliated with or those who may be interested in attending. 
Out of the Darkness and Into the Light -
Strategies, & Tools for Facing the Drug Epidemic for Faith Leaders
June 14, 2018 (from 9:00-3:30)
Faith Church, 6528 Hamilton Blvd., Allentown PA
Cost: Free!
    As vital and practical as this training will be, the unified statement of having Faith-Based leaders united under one roof will send a clear message of unification on the topic of addiction.  The most practical way of reaching our communities is through each of you.

Update from the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team (JCVDT)

Putting the T in LGBTQ Ministries
This 1-hour conversation will focus on the importance of an intentionally trans inclusive, trans justice perspective for participating in pride and engaging in ministries of welcome, inclusion and justice.
Co-HostsRev. Mike Schuenemeyer, Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy, United Church of Christ & Louis Mitchell, Executive Director, Transfaith
Featured Guest:  Carmarian Anderson, Founder and CEO of Black Trans Women & Rj Robles, Trans Activist and Community Organizer
Wednesday June 13, 2018 at  2:00 pm ET
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Join from Telephone: 1-669-900-6833 or 1-646-876-9223 enter Meeting ID: 480 325 0383

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 info

Services of Interest
June 24 - 10AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Karen
Moeschberger from St John's Allentown
June 24 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Rebekah Thomas
Emmanuel, Allentown
July 29 - 10:15AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Kevin
Fruchtl - Ebenezer, New Tripoli
August 19 - 9:30AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Joel Risser -
First, Hellertown
Rev. Sterling Schnell, retired PNEC pastor is in Genesis Rehab Center, Mifflin Center Home, Shillington, PA.  Sterling needed blood transfusions and plasma.  His recovery is slow but he is doing well.  Will probably be in rehab. until early July.
Rev. Karen Moeschberger, Pastor of St. John's, UCC, Allentown, was the recipient of the 2018 Ecumenical Service Award by the Lehigh Conference of Churches at their Annual Meeting held on June 1.  Karen has served on the Lehigh Conference of Churches Ecumenism Committee for 9.5 years and also on the Conference's Justice and Advocacy Committee.

Rev. Jennifer Bannerman's last Sunday as pastor of Zion, Lehighton was on May 20, 2018.

Rev. Don Esslinger is not doing well.  He is in the health center at Moravian Village, Bethlehem.  Don is a former PNEC Moderator and Pastor Emeritus of Bethany UCC, Bethlehem

Rev. John Stowell  was in St. Luke's Hospital (Anderson campus) Route 33 and Freemansburg Avenue.  He has been transferred to a rehab facility nearby.

Rev. Rebekah Thomas will start as pastor of Lower Saucon UCC, Hellertown on July 1.  She also served as pastor at Emmanuel UCC, Allentown 
Children's Sermon
for June 10 (based on Mark 3:20-35)
Items needed: pinwheel, electric fan.  Ask kids what you have-- a pinwheel.  Point out how the top part is made to spin around.  Explain there are different ways to make the pinwheel spin.  I can spin it with my finger (do so)  I can spin it by me blowing on it (do so)  Or I can make the pinwheel go by putting it out in the wind (Bring out fan, turn on, and hold pinwheel in front of fan so it spins.)  See, there are different ways to make the pinwheel go.  In today's Bible reading, Jesus is kind of like this pinwheel--people are wondering what makes Jesus "go."  Some say He is crazy, some are even saying that it's the devil that is making Jesus "go." But we know (hold pinwheel in front of fan) that it is  really the Spirit of God, the wind of God, that makes Jesus go and love people, both long ago and today.
- Rev. David Quinn
Invitation to participate in a doctoral research
project on hydrid, online ministries
     Greetings,  I am Rev. Harold Thompson, an ordained minister in the UCC, and I am finishing up my Doctorate in Ministry at South University. I am recruiting participants for a capstone research project entitled, "Determining Interest in Creating an Online Ministry for Religiously Unaffiliated Individuals Within a Mainline Denomination." This project is based on the hypothesis that hybrid, or dual belonging, churches are necessary, to meet the spiritual needs of people who are disconnected from the church.  
      First off, current and former members of the UCC are most welcome to participate. It is important to represent the UCC experience.
     Secondly, I am seeking participants that are inactive members of any church and or non-members that identify as spiritual but not religious, atheists, agnostics, doubters, and/or spiritual seekers. Those who are skeptical and disillusioned are also invited to participate. During the two-week ministry project, participants will be encouraged to share their insights and stories of faith. Participants will take part in four brief, online seminars and share their opinions about the requirements for a new model of worship. The interactive sessions will be held online, using Zoom video conferencing on June 19, 21, 26, and 28 at 7 pm. Make-up sessions will be available for those with scheduling conflicts. 
      If you would like additional information, please send an email to or call  (336) 420-3814
      With gratitude,  Harold Thompson
10 - 2PM - Allentown Mutual Ministry Meeting - St. James, Allentown
10 - 3:30-5pm - Regional Youth Event - Pre-gathering of youth, chaperones and leaders - Union UCC, Neffs
11 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
11 - 3PM - Investment Committee - Conf. Office
11 - 4PM - Constitution & By-Laws Committee - Conf. Office
12 - 9AM - 2PM - Oversight Working Group - Conference Office
13 - 9:30AM - Faith Formers - City View Diner, Whitehall
13 - 3:30PM - 2018 PNEC Annual Youth Retreat Evaluation meeting - St. John's, Fullerton
13 - 5:30PM Dinner - 6 to 8PM Board of Directors - Conference Office (Orientation for newly elected Board members)
14 - 9:30-11AM - Licensed/Commissioned Mentor Group - Conf. Office
14 - 6PM (supper) - Search & Call Team - Conf. Office
18 - 10AM - Authorization Working Group - Conf. Office
18 - 7-7:30PM - JCVDT Summer Zoom Discussion #1
19 - 11:45AM - Blue Mountain AMC Clergy -DiFiore's Pizzaria & Italian Restaurant, 5608 Rte 873, Neffs
20-23 - Leading Edge - Hershey, PA
23 - 9AM-3PM - Spiritual Renewal Partners - "Rooted & Grounded in Love" - Jordan UCC, Allentown
24 - 10AM - Service of Farewell - Rev. Karen Moeschberger - St. John's UCC, Allentown
24 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Rebekah Thomas - Emmanuel UCC, Allentown
25 - 2PM - Staff & Personnel Committee - Conf. Office
26 - July 5 - Vacation - Conference Minister Bonnie Bates
28 - 12Noon - Clergy Convocation Evaluation Meeting - Carriage House, East Greenville
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 
"Mary, Disciple of the Lord: Suffering"
July 26-28, 2018
Please register by July 6
Misericordia University, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA
Introducing the Global Ministries
It's happening during the month of June on various online platforms. Throughout the Festival of Stories, you'll learn about how individuals and churches are supporting Global Ministries and international partners in unique ways. You'll also have opportunities to share stories about how you and/or your congregation, region/conference are involved, too!
Stories will be shared in the following ways:
* Through the Global Ministries website where there are already some great stories from people like you.
* Through Facebook and Twitter with special opportunities to share YOUR stories.
* Through Instagram (@globalministries) and Snapchat (globalminuccdoc) with opportunities to hear from Global Ministries supporters from all over the USA and Canada.
We are excited to see what stories we will tell together over the next month!

Young People Making Peace

Summer Day Camp

July 23-27, 2018 from 9AM to Noon

First Presb. Church, Allentown

For children ages 5-14

who have completed kindergarten to 8th grade

Five mornings of stories, songs, games, crafts and learning activities related to the broad topic of peace and justice.  **Peace Training for those who have completed 7th & 8th grade.  Sliding-Scale fee:  $10 to $40 per child for the week.  Sponsored by Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern for more information or to register, call 610-691-8730.  Space is limited.


THIS IS IT !!!!!


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:
- The Oversight Working Group 

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.
For those registered for the Eastern Regional Youth Event at California State Universtiy (if you haven't there's still time) there will be a Pre-gathering of Youth, chaperones and leaders on June 10th at Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs from 3:30-5PM.  All necessary details will be discussed and it's a chance to meet the other youth who will be attending! We'll have some snacks and fun time, too!
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!

For those registered for the Eastern Regional Youth Event at California State University (if you haven't there's still time) there will be a Pre-gathering of Youth, chaperones and leaders on June 10th at Neff's Church 3:30PM-5PM.  All necessary details will be discussed and it's a chance to meet the other youth who will be attending! We'll have some snacks and fun time, too!

Looking for an Interesting Series?


Consider exploring UCC Polity - for congregations, new members, committees & more...

     Enrich Your UCC Identity - simply press "play" on the vimeo site to learn from diverse UCC leaders about our faith and our governance, our beginnings and our future, our worship and our witness.

     Make the UCC Story YOUR Story - How do you experience God in this denomination that proclaims a stillspeaking God?  Download easy-to-use discussion guides for conversation.

     Choose Your Own Polity Path - use this adaptable curriculum with your small group, conference board, new member calls, confirmation program and more.


Each learning session includes a facilitator guide, video, resources, and activities to help folks explore the unique history, governance structure, and theological commitments of the UCC.  You can access all the lessons and resources by clicking here, as well as download any files you need.  The complete facilitator guide is available for purchase.

- Holly Millershank, MESA


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, October 23 - St. Paul's Lutheran, Dallas

   Wednesday, October 24 - Christ Hamilton United,
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