• THIS WEEK IN PNEC                  July 18, 2019        
This Week in PNEC
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
    “You can disagree without being disagreeable” (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Recent communications shared in the media, brought to the forefront concerns about how we function in the US, how we engage in civil discourse, and how we address people with whom we disagree. Additionally, I have been deeply concerned about the level of racist, sexist and homophobic communication in our culture, government and even, in our church. How do we act as siblings in the family of God, when the atmosphere of our nation is to denigrate the very essence of who an individual is; when American citizens are subjected to racial hate-speak? How do we in the church respond?
    The issue for me is not who is speaking the words; although for some that is a key issue. My issue is leading the church in these days, and encouraging people to speak with kindness, compassion, and love. Even when Jesus was at his most angry with the leaders and the powerful of his time, he encouraged people to come together – to listen to the stories of their lives and their faith and to hold people to the standards of the covenants they had made with and through God. Our call is to love God and to love our neighbor – all our neighbors – no matter their race, gender, language, birthplace, citizenship, sexual orientation or identity. Our call is to treat with respect all God’s children, the whole family of God.
    When we do not speak out when racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynist comments are made, we tacitly agree with the words that are shared. Is that who we are and what we think? Are those the words we would say to Jesus? Jesus is clear in the gospels that however we treat the least among us, is how we treat Him.
    We are called to stand with Jesus. We are called to be the light and salt in the world. We are called to speak truth in love, to act with compassion, to encounter one another with kindness. Elie Weisel, who recently died, is quoted as saying, “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” We need to stand with the tormented, the injured, the oppressed, the alone. We need to speak out in the hopes that all people will be seen as people of God, children of God, worthy and unique individuals created in the image of God.
    I urge you to respond with love, but with truth-telling. I urge you to stand for those being tormented and attacked. I urge you to speak out when you encounter racist, sexist, homophobic hate-speech. Be the light that speaks to the world of love and care. Please God may we change the dialogue among and between us. As the largest of faith communities in the United States, the Christian Church must make its voice known and heard – and that voice must be the voice of love.  Blessings, Bonnie
A Second Term...A letter to the wider church from the UCC General Minister and President John Dorhauer ---  click here to read his letter of July 16, 2019.
  Attention ALL Authorized Ministers & Lay Volunteers:
The Penn Northeast Conference is starting an exciting new Database that we will be using to house your portfolio information. As all of our Authorized Ministers already know, each year the Conference asks you to update your portfolio information with any changes in address, phone number, email, etc. Starting this year, Authorized Ministers are also required to provide information on training seminars/classes and special trainings that you have attended. Breeze , our new online portal to house this information, went live on June 30. What this means is that each of you, Authorized Ministers and lay leaders alike who receive the invitation, will be receiving an email from the Conference and Breeze with login information. What we ask is that you attend one of the training sessions to learn how to do the tasks that will be required to be updated each year and as trainings are completed. Please plan to attend this last session: Saturday, July 27 at 10 AM at the Conference Office. We strongly urge you to attend one of the sessions in person and log on with your computer (if you have a laptop to do so) or at home on July 15. These are informal training sessions to introduce you to the web portal and how to work with the areas that you will need to update. We look forward to seeing you at a training session! 
 Thanks, Christian Creyer, Treasurer & Search and Call Associate/PNEC
PLEASE NOTE: Several pastors have noted that their invitation to these training sessions (via email) have ended up in their "SPAM" or "JUNK" email folders, so please beware and check.
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
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
Each session will run from 9AM to 4:30 PM - Registration at 8:30AM
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.
Cultivating Generous Congregations
How do YOU inspire Generosity?
PNEC and Lake Institute on Faith & Giving invite you and your ministry teams to participate in a seminar experience that could change the way you and your congregation approach giving and generosity.
Saturday-October 19 & Sunday-October 20
9AM to 4PM
(Registration at 8:30AM on October 19)
Christ UCC (Schoenersville)
5050 Airport Rd., Allentown
Click Here for flyer and registration

  Information Regarding the 2020 National Youth Event
     The National Youth Event website is now available . Visit nye.uccpages.org for the agenda and also a list of the scheduled speakers. 
    (NYE 2020) is scheduled to be held at:
Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana July 22-25, 2020 --- (for ages 12 - 22)
4 day event is celebrated as the UCC's largest gathering, bringing in 4,000 participants. Time together is centered on faith, leadership, service & social justice to empower our youth & young adults .

PNEC Fall Conference Meeting - Saturday, November 2, 2019
St. John's UCC, 22 Atlas Road, Northampton
Keynote Speaker: Tod Bolsinger, PhD
Author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory
(for bulletin insert click here )
Amigos de Guatemala Update:
Monte Margarita clinic to open soon!
Click Here to see pictures & other important info
Click on this link to watch a 20 second video
that takes you around the outside of the clinic:
Please consider:   
Would you like to be part of a medical team that would be there when the clinic is dedicated in October 2019?
  Would you like an Amigo team to speak at your church about the project
Would you like to contribute to the cost of medications and medical travel?
Contact Karen Heim at rksdheim@rcn.com

The manual was unveiled June 22 at a UCC General Synod workshop.

UCC Match Grants for CWS Kits Deadline Now Dec. 31 ... Read more

For all that is happening with Disaster Ministries... read more here! 

And/or you can always check the National UCC Disaster Ministries Web Page
Ministerial Institute of the PA Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary
New, ecumenical part-time program of theological ed. for local church leaders. Designed for lay ministers, those in discernment, & other church leaders.  Focuses on leadership in the local cong.
-- October 10 - Ministry Day - 8:30AM to 3:30PM at St. John's UCC (Fullerton), 575 Grape Street,
             Whitehall... Watch for details

-- 20+ Social Media Platforms Launched on Global Youth Justice Movement. Click on the link below