•  THIS WEEK IN PNEC                  January 23, 2020
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
Last Reminder to All Authorized Ministers

Your Continuing Education Reports for 2019 are due by January 31, 2020. When reporting, please remember that if you participated in a Community of Practice, you need to list that as 12.5 hours of face to face contact. This can all be done through the breeze database. Thank you!
Conference-Wide Book Study
     This week we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. We commemorated his work with worship services, sermons, breakfast and lunch gatherings, films, educational opportunities and mission activities. My questions to us is, “Where do we go from here?” As many of you know, I visited Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham with my conference minister colleagues last fall. One of the sites of our visit was the Legacy Museum and National Monument for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Often referred to as the lynching museum, the National Monument for Peace and Justice reminds us of the 4400 men, women and children killed, lynched, in the United States from 1877 to 1950. Standing amidst the towering steel monuments, naming each location, date and individual, it was hard to stand, to walk, to imagine the horror and pain my tribe, my white tribe, perpetuated.
    And the horror has not ended. Lynching may have ended, depending on how you define the word, but we have moved from slavery, to Jim Crow, to Red Lining neighborhoods, to economic racism, to mass incarceration. We, as a majority population, still have much to change – and the change needs to begin with us – not with others. We need to look at the systemic racism of our culture and our nation, and advocate for positive changes which will serve all the people, and especially the people of color, who have been denied justice for so long. You may not know but whiteness as a cultural phenomenon did not date from colonial times. Rather whiteness developed and was used by the economic elites in the United States, to create conflict between the poor whites and the poor people of color. When we fight among ourselves, there is less energy to question the status quo.
    When I first came home from my trip to Alabama, I wrote this in response to a Theodore Roosevelt quote (This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in, unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.),
    “Having been in Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham this week - touring the civil rights and legacy museums, Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Avenue Baptist Church, and a variety of other important sites, I could not agree more. It is time to get over our white fragility, and stand up as we say, "It is my people who have committed the atrocities of the modern age - the genocide of the indigenous peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the murdering of millions of Jews, the caging of immigrant men, women and children. I carry the shame, but also the responsibility to speak out about the continuing legacy of white power and supremacy that is so very prevalent in our culture. I quote MLK Jr, "How long, Oh God? How long?” But in my case, it is how long will my tribe, my race deny their complicity, systems, and actions of hatred, bigotry, and indifference that have hampered and eliminated the potential of so many of God's children simple based on their race?”
    As we move into Lent, as we move into 2020, I urge us, each and all, to work together to understand the racism in our midst and then to dismantle the racist systems and practices in our churches, communities, and nation. None of us is truly free until all of us are truly free. As a first step forward, we begin our conference-wide study of the book, “White Fragility” in March . Please join us, either with your small group, your congregation, your area mission council, or with the conference on Zoom. Information about the conversations can be found in This Week in PNEC. --Bonnie
Zoom Conversations
Dear Friends,
    This spring, as a part of our growth and understanding, the Penn Northeast Conference is inviting people to be a part of an all-conference book study. We will be reading and discussing the book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo . This New York Times bestselling book examines the emotions and behaviors which impact our ability, as Caucasian or Euro-American individuals, to talk about issues of race.
    The Conference will be sponsoring 6 Zoom conversations about the book . (Please see the attached flyer for dates, times and Zoom links.)
    You are welcome to join us as individuals, congregational groups, or Area Mission Councils. We welcome your active participation. For authorized ministers, attending all 6 sessions will qualify as the completion of the triennial anti-racism training requirement.
    You may certainly opt to discuss this book in small groups within your congregations or Area Mission Councils. I hope you will take the time to read and examine this important book as we walk this journey of faith and justice together.
                                                            Blessings, Bonnie
The Penn Northeast Conference Presents.....
the 15th Annual Youth Retreat
"Faith & Foodies!"
ALL youth in grades 7th-12th are invited
May 15-17, 2020
Spruce Lake, 5389 Route 447, Canadensis, PA 18235
Cost $135/person - includes meals Saturday and Sunday
*Limited space - first 40 participants with paid deposit only
One adult chaperone per church
Registration Deadline is March 1, 2020 - please send non-refundable $50 deposit with registration flyer.
CLICK HERE FOR the Registration Flyer and More Details.
Healing the Earth – Our Common Home
A Call to Action – Celebrating the 50 th Anniversary of Earth Day
St. Francis Center for Renewal, 395 Bridle Path Rd., Bethlehem
Energy efficiency, sustainability, single-use plastics, stormwater runoff, water quality. Legitimate concerns or fear mongering? With limited time, staff, and funds are there benefits for your faith community in addressing these topics? Yes, for you, your faith community, and, as it turns out, for Earth and its poor and vulnerable communities.
This workshop will dive into practical and cost-effective solutions for everyone. Have you heard about regulations requiring your place of worship to address stormwater runoff from your buildings and communities? Many municipalities are initiating stormwater fees and non-profits are not exempt. Leaky and drafty buildings can affect your heating and cooling budgets and contribute to greenhouse gases. Reducing waste from your daily activities, worship services, and special events saves money and resources . Free programs such as Project Learning Tree address some of these concerns and are available for students in your schools.
Millennials, teens, and school-age children are knowledgeable about the above issues and are involved in solutions for their homes and schools. This is an opportunity to bring that knowledge and energy to your faith community and encourage them to be active members in initiating solutions.
The workshop will be offered twice on April 20, 2020; 9:30 – 11:30am OR 7:00 – 9:00pm and is for pastors, faith leaders, advisory council members, teachers, school administrators, teen leaders, and interested members of your community. Attendees can choose the time that works best for them. Contact the St. Francis Center for Renewal at 610 867-8890 to register. Contact Marie North, Laudato Si’ Animator, CSBA (Certified Sustainable Building Advisor) at mnorcsba@ptd.net or 610 769-0780 with questions about the workshop sessions. Freewill offerings gratefully accepted.
 
“The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity, always keeping in mind that “realities are greater than ideas.” Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of The Holy Father Francis On Care for Our Common Home, Chapter 5, Lines of Approach and Action, pg. 145, #201
Dear Friends,
This spring, as a part of our growth and understanding, the Penn Northeast Conference is inviting people to be a part of an all-conference book study. We will be reading and discussing the book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo. This New York Times bestselling book examines the emotions and behaviors which impact our ability, as Caucasian or Euro-American individuals, to talk about issues of race.
 The Conference will be sponsoring 6 Zoom conversations about the book. ( Please click here for the flyer for dates, times and Zoom links.)
 You are welcome to join us as individuals, congregational groups, or Area Mission Councils. We welcome your active participation. For authorized ministers, attending all 6 sessions will qualify as the completion of the triennial anti-racism training requirement.
 You may certainly opt to discuss this book in small groups within your congregations or Area Mission Councils. I hope you will take the time to read and examine this important book as we walk this journey of faith and justice together.
Blessings, Bonnie
2020 Spring Conference Meeting
April 24 and 25
The Chateau at Camelback, 475 Camelback Rd., Tannersville, PA
The meeting will be one overnight, dinner on Friday evening, breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
Starts at 4PM on Friday and concludes at 4PM on Saturday.
Please Note:
If Authorized Ministers attend the entire meeting it will qualify for your Cultural Competency Training.
This year the Scranton chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light - an interfaith organization that "inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change" - is one of three hosts (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the other two) in the state's annual conference on February 9th . You can find more information here:  http://paipl.us/what-do-we-do/annual-meeting/  and in the attached flyer .
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PNEC Communities of Practice
Are accepting participants for 2020. Cost is $250 for the year. Counts for ½ of your continuing education hours. You can apply to the Longsdorf Fund for continuing education funds.  click here for a list of the Communities of Practice and their openings. If interested... click here for application.
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Mid-Atlantic Association of United Church Educators (MA-AUCE)
2020 Annual Conference
Holistic Faith Formation:Engaging Our Whole Selves
(This event is for "full time or part time
clergy or lay, paid or volunteer.")
April 27 - April 29, 2020
Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center
3300 River Rd., Mt. Bethel, PA
Click Here for Detailed Flyer & Registration
Deadline to Register is March 1.
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National Youth Event 2020
What are the Foundations of NYE 2020? Leading up to NYE 2020, the planning team has built upon the original pillars of faith, leadership, service and social justice. Adding community building so that youth might be sustained in their faith beyond NYE and expanding justice to include encounter and reflection, ensures our work comes from a place of solidarity and does not reinforce systems of power and privilege. Read More...
Who's Going to Be There? (Speakers & Artists)
Registration opens February 1. Mark your calendar, set a reminder, and sign up to receive more information here
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Changing Systems Changing Ourselves
(anti-racist practice for sanctuary, accompaniment, and resistance)
e-course starting January 28
a free e-course to support allies in working for social change while following the leadership of those most impacted by injustice. The e-course begins Jan. 28 and will take place every fourth Tuesday evening through May. More information and registration, click here
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Care for the Caregiver
A Workshop For Faith Based
Caregivers!
An opportunity to share stories and receive information.
MARCH 12, 2020 - 10: A.M. to 12:00 P.M. 
Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Road, Allentown
click for registration and detailed flyer
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As we prepare to head to India, Rev. Dr. David Charles Smith shares these reflections: read more...
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The Climate Crisis: Let Your Voice
Be Heard
Rev. Karl Jones has been involved with something called The Clergy Letter Project which is concerned with bringing science, philosophy, and theology together, particularly around the subject of climate change. Over the past several weeks he has been a part of a writing team working on a sign-on letter for clergy You can read the result of our work at  http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/Climate_Letter/ClimateLtr.html
--Karl Jones, Disaster Response Coordinator
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2020 Boundary Training
offered by Lehigh Presbytery
(3 different sessions)
Click here for the flyer for three sessions of Boundary Training Offered by the Lehigh Presbytery in 2020. These sessions will be led by David Olsen.
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Clergy Convocation 2020
with Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath
May 5-7, 2020
Double Tree by Hilton, 2400 Willow St. Pike, Lancaster - (qualifies for 10 contact hours)
Click here for full flyer, schedule, and how to register - Deadline April 1, 2020
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New Year
New Opportunities & Growth
Courageous Faith Summit - launching in March (March 9-18, 2020)
provides a critical look at what we are now and how we get to a more sustainable and equitable future. Amazing presenters will be paired with innovative ideas and you will come away inspired!
Other courses available at FaithLead.org
(many of these courses are free of charge and will go a long way in challenging the way you lead and grow this year.)
From The Center for Progressive Renewal
ITEMS OF INTEREST...
--February 12 - I NTERFAITH DIALOGUE FACILITATOR TRAINING - 9Am to 4PM - Interfaith Philadelphia, 100 W. Oxford St., Philadelphia, PA 19122 - Learn more and register today - registrations are due January 29.
-- July 22-25, 2020 -- NYE 2020 -- Here’s the link   http://www.uccpages.org/nye2020/ --
**If your church plans on attending, please contact Kayli Freeman pastorkayli@unionucc.org or Tracy Whitehead twhitehead@IU1 o rg
DISASTER MINISTRIES UCC

Read PA Monthly for January... click to read
Disaster Ministries - Puerto Rico... read more
Hurrican Michael Recovery in Florida Panhandle ... read more
2020 Workshop opportunities from Brethren Disaster Ministries... more
Revision of the drop off sites for CWS buckets and kits.. read more .
You can find more information & updates at UCC Disaster Ministries: www.ucc.org/disaster