This Week in PNEC --- April 19, 2018 - April 27, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



Message for congregations about coaching:
     I am excited to share with you a new resource we are able to provide congregational groups or individuals. We have trained 8 individuals to serve as Trained Coaches to assist individuals and groups within congregations to support activities such as vision, mission, and core values development; governance structures, constitutions and bylaws revisions; vitality efforts; transitions and search and call; conflict and behavioral covenant development.
     Coaches may be assigned through the Conference Office based on the submission of an application, click here for application. If you are a contributor to OCWM over the last two years, your fee for coaching (other than search and call, which will be offered at no cost) will be $35 per hour. If your congregation has not donated to OCWM in the past two years, the fee will be $70 per hour. Once your congregation has committed to OCWM for two years, you will receive coaches at the reduced cost.
     Our coaches have been trained through the Strengthen the Church funds we retain. We would encourage you to continue support for this special offering in addition to OCWM. Our costs for COACH training allowed many of our coaches to attend the training at no personal cost. The hourly rate you provide for them will cover their administrative and transportation costs only. The higher rate, for those not contributing to OCWM, will help us recover our contributions to the training.
- Bonnie
The 2018 PNEC Annual Meeting was held on April 14
at Union UCC, Neffs.
     Total Registration as of 4/13/18 was 203...   4 PNEC Staff...86 Authorized Ministers...45 Lay Delegates...6 Youth Delegates, Alternates, Youth Visitors/Advisors...51 Alternate Delegates & Visitors... 2 Child Care/Children's Program...  72 Churches Represented.
     The offering at Annual Meeting was $1,984.83.  This will be equally divided between Global Missions and New Church Development
UCAN National Conversation on HIV
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 2.00 pm, Eastern Time
     Everyone has a status - The church and HIV Testing
On May 8, UCAN launches the first in a series of online national conversations on HIV with a focus on HIV testing. A popular HIV testing slogan is, "Everyone has a status, do you know yours?" In preparation for National Testing Day, Wednesday, June 27, Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer will moderate this conversation via Zoom  about the importance of everyone knowing their HIV status and the status of the church in promoting and facilitating HIV testing.
     Special Guest:  Rev. John Ryan Mendoza - he  is a member of the World Council of Churches - Ecumenical HIV AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA) and spearheaded the Clergy Testing Campaign with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. The Clergy Testing Campaign has now gone global, is a great way to promote HIV testing and was part of the HIV testing at UCC's General Synod meeting last year in Baltimore.
For more information contact:
  - Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer,
Email:         Phone: 216.736.3217   
The Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN
does outstanding research on the resiliency needed
for youth to resist negative behaviors like addiction and school issues. You might find one or more of these workshops helpful. Their work on the 40 Developmental Assets is one of the leading research tools for prevention programs.
     The cost of attending or sponsoring a Search Institute workshop varies, depending upon the location, the length, and the facilitator. For more information about our workshops, please fill out the workshop information request form or call Mary at 800-888-7828, Ext. 526. 
     These workshops give you a hands-on approach to learning what our researchers are learning, along with what's tried and true-all without the expense and hassle of traveling to another location. We give you the tools to start applying what you learn the minute you leave the workshop.  Choose from the workshops below, or create a customized event to meet your own unique needs:
CLICK HERE for list of Workshops

"We value and welcome all people into our diverse congregation. We are an Open and Affirming church, believing that each of us is created in God's image. We celebrate the life of each person as a unique individual created by God, including people of all ages, races, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, family configurations, economic circumstances, physical, cognitive or emotional abilities, education, or spiritual and religious traditions."
1st International Conference
on Decreasing Recidivism
June 17-19, 2018
Hilton, Baltimore, MD
Exploring Sustainable Strategies for Decreasing  Recidivism Through Interdisciplinary Research
Registration opened on March 1st, 2018
Early Bird Special rate ($150) started
March 1st through May 15th
Late registration from May 16th ($200)

     The purpose of the 2018 International Conference on Decreasing Recidivism is to explore the root causes and various dimensions - political, economic, social, spiritual, and cultural - that must be taken into consideration while devising concrete strategies to tackle recidivism effectively.
     The conference will bring together scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplines (economics, sociology, public administration, political science, public policy, criminal justice, social work, business, anthropology, law, psychology, psychiatry, information technology, journalism, education, public/mental health, etc.) to collectively explore the multiple facets of the problems and emerging opportunities of decreasing recidivism locally and around the world
     For detailed information and registration, please
The 26th Annual New England Summer Institute, 2018
United Church of Christ History, Theology, and Polity
Camp Calumet, Freedom, NH
Sponsored by the six New England Conferences of UCC
Week 1: May 29-June 1, 9:00-3:00
Week 2: June 4-8, 9:00-3:00
Caregiver College at Kirkland Village... 
The Fleming Memory Center Presents
"Caregiver College"
Affiliated with Lehigh Valley Health Network Geriatric Medicine.
A free 12-hour training program/ course that is delivered in 2-hour sessions over a 6-week period.
Wendy Scott MA, CDP - (Certified Dementia Practitioner)
Elder Life Specialist
"Let us provide you with the tools you need as a caregiver. We will provide you with good strategies, enabling you to develop a sense of control or mastery in caregiving."
Classes held at Kirkland Village, Bethlehem,
in the Eagle Room
Tuesday 10AM-12PM
May 1, May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29, June 5
RSVP to Diane Miranda at  or 691-4501. A minimum of 5 participates per class is required.
For question please contact Wendy Scott for questions at 610-969-2278.
Enjoy the Music of Bryan Sirchio &
Progressive Christian Worship Music Workshop

       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.
For an UPDATE on Rev. Alan Miller
Children's Sermon
    for  April 22 (based on John 10:11-18) 
Item needed: box of birthday candles.  Beforehand, take one of the candles and burn it down halfway.  When kids come up, show them some of the unburned candles and ask what they are.  Then show them  the burned-down candle.  Why is this one smaller than the others---because it has already been lit, and when a candle burns for a while, it gets smaller because it gets used up, burned up, to give light.  In today's Bible reading, Jesus talks about giving his life for the people He loves.  That's like a candle, that gives light, by burning itself up.  Jesus gave His own light, His own love, His own life, so that we could have Jesus' light and  life in our lives.  That's why we call Jesus the Good Shepherd--- He gives His life, for us. 
- Rev. David Quinn

20-23 - Ecumenical Advocacy Days - Washington DC
23 - 10AM - Gwilym T Williams Committee - Conf. Office
24 - 9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conf. Office
25 - 9AM - Bethlehem AMC Clergy - Church of the Manger, Bethlehem
25 - 9:15AM - Boehm AMC Clergy - Paulie's Family Restaurant, Ruch & Chestnut Sts., Coplay
25 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
26 - 6PM (Supper) - Search & Call Team
27-28 - Board of Directors Retreat - St. Francis Retreat House, Easton

Dear Authorized Ministers of PNEC,
     Changes have been suggested through MESA and the Habakkuk Group regarding the structure of Committees on Ministry. We as the Ordained Church and Ministry Committee are responsible to oversee those who have been authorized for ministry for and on behalf of the United Church of Christ. We as the Ordained Church and Ministry Committee are called to ensure that all criteria for maintaining authorized ministers' covenant with the United Church of Christ and Penn Northeast Conference are complete.
     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 United Church of Christ when we accepted God's call to ministry. It is not meant to be an inconvenience along one's spiritual journey, but a way to remember we are not alone, as well as to protect ourselves and those we serve from abuse and misuse of our positions that have been entrusted to us.
     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 are currently reviewing how periodic support consultations are conducted. In the past we have triennially had peers meet with one another in groups of three to discuss their ministries and "sign-off" for one another. We are hoping to change this model with an interview process with authorized ministers meeting with a member of the Ordained Church and Ministry Committee to discuss the authorized minister's concerns for their local setting as well as other concerns that the authorized minister might have.
      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:
Please respond by May 1, 2018. 
- The PNEC Ordained Church & Ministry Committee
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
PASTORAL CARE class on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven.  Retired UCC Pastor Rev. Stephen Engelhardt, who has extensive CPE, institutional, and parish experience will be teaching the class.  This session will consider both the theological underpinnings and the practical application of pastoral care, including hospital visitation, grief counseling, and crisis care.  This class is a required "advanced" course for Licensed preparation and a vital continuing education class for all parish ministers. Attached is a registration form with pre-class reading and writing assignments or you can go to our website to register at . The pre-class assignments will be on the student page under Pastoral Care.  Hope to see you there!    For registration form and class assignments, click here
  The Crossroads Lay Leadership Program at Moravian Theological Seminary is running a special session of Contextual Outreach this May and June.  This course is designed for individuals or church teams to explore their impact in the community around them and to develop a local ministry plan.  Congregations who have participated in this course in the past have reported that the process has helped them design activities which have helped them to impact their neighborhoods in a positive way for Jesus Christ.  The goal of this program is not to teach churches how to increase their membership but rather how to increase their impact.  
     The registration for this course is $220 per person.  Additional participants from the same church can register for $100 each.  Churches sending teams of at least three people will receive the MissionInsite demographic data for their location. 
     Classes are held at Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-9 pm.  (May 29, 30, June 5, 6, 12, 19, 27 and one additional time reserved for exploring your neighborhood.)  All Crossroads courses are also offered in a real time, distance learning format for those who live outside of our area.  
     For more information or team member registration, please contact Jill Peters at  Online registration for the first team member can be done at our website: 
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! 
ONLINE UCC History, Theology and Polity Course
June/July 2018
     A UCC History, Theology and Polity Course that meets the requirements as set forth by the UCC Polity Teacher's Network will be offered online in June/July 2018. The instructor will be Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister of the New York Conference, UCC. Classes will begin at 9:30am and end at 3:30pm on the following dates: June 16, 23, 30 and 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
     This polity course is sponsored by the Oneida Association of the New York Conference. 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 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: 
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



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"