This Week in PNEC --- August 2, 2018 - August 10, 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



Call to the Fall Annual Meeting of the Penn Northeast Conference

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Faith UCC, 22 Faith Drive, Hazleton, PA

Theme:  Transforming

Guest Preacher:  Rev. Bill Worley, Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Minister

Communion Celebrant:  Rev. Barbara Pence, Chair, Joint Conference Vision & Development Team

Workshop Leaders:  Ms. Amanda Sheldon & Rev. Karl Jones, UCC Disaster Response Ministries...and

Rev. Nora Foust, Penn Central Conference, Association Conference Minister

Registration Information & Form

Committee on Ministry Structure Changes
The Conference Board of the Penn Northeast Conference approved a restructuring of the PNEC Committee on Ministry to begin implementation this summer. Rather than four separate committees, there is now one Committee on Ministry (Chair - Rev. Jeff Brinks) with three working groups. This helps the Penn Northeast Conference to more easily implement the revisions of the Manual on Ministry. Thirty-nine individuals will make up the Committee on Ministry. The Committee will then, self-select based on skills, interest and experience, to serve on one of three working groups:
  1. Authorization (15 members) working on the authorization of ministers through discernment and ordination, dual standing and privilege of call. - Chair - Rev. Cecilia Baxter; Asst. Chair - Pastor Jim Stanley
  2. Oversight (15members) working on assuring authorized ministers meet their standing requirements as to training, continuing education, ethics, church membership, and the Marks of Faithful and Effective Ministry. - Co-Chairs - Rev. James Robison and Rev. Dr. Becky Beckwith
  3. Local Congregational Support (9 members) working to support congregations during times of conflict, transition, revitalization, and closure. - Co-Chairs - Jeff Carlton and Rev. Rich Teitsworth
These changes have begun to be implemented. As we move forward there will be increased support, clarity of expectations, opportunities for collegial partnership, and efficiency in the work of the conference with regards to authorized ministers and congregations. Please pray for these members of our conference who have undertaken this important work in and on behalf of our conference and the whole of the United Church of Christ.

Blessings,   Bonnie

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 last date is Wednesday, August 22. 
Updated Zoom information for the August 22 Zoom meeting. 
Time: Aug 22, 2018 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699006833,,369707764#  or +19294362866,,369707764#
  • Or Telephone:  Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 

US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 929 436 2866

  •     Meeting ID: 369 707 764
    International numbers available:

Stretch Out Your With
Sunday, August 19 - Noon to 6PM
Cedar Beach Park, Allentown
We will have a UCC booth at the event,
but need your help staffing one-hour shifts.
If you are interested, please email Gary Barraco @ 

PNEC Sleep Out for Homelessness

(For Youth Grades 7th -12th)

Forks UCC, 4500 Sullivan Trail, Stockertown, PA

Sept. 29 at 6PM through September 30 at 9AM

Click for flyer & registration

SUMMER ISSUE...65,000+ Subscribers
Record 1,800+ Diversion Programs
Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court
To read the articles or sign up for the newsletter...
From "Keeping You Posted:"

The Rev. Traci Blackmon takes a message of love, faith to a global gathering at the Carter Center Human Rights Forum. Learn more >>
The Rev. Jim Antal: "It's time for America to face up to the fact that human rights violations are not 'somebody else's problem.'" Read the commentary >>
To sign up to receive Keeping You Posted
Governance and Ministry
As the weeks have gone by, I am sure you have heard members of the conference board or ministry volunteers talking about our work on Governance and Ministry. Many conferences, local congregations, and in some ways the national setting of the UCC have been moving toward the model of Governance and Ministry as developed by Dan Hotchkiss. First introduced in 2009 and published by the Alban Institute, Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership has been used as a tool for aligning mission and purpose.  (Read More) 
In Christ's love, Bonnie Bates

PNEC Ministry Day

9AM to 4PM

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Faith UCC, 5992 Route 378, Center Valley

Watch for more details!

The UCC Disabilities Ministries,
in collaboration with the New York Conference ,
invites you to join us for the
2018 "Widening the Welcome Conference
Living, Learning, Leading"!
Niagara Falls, NY
at the Sheraton Niagara Falls, and the
Niagara Falls Convention Center.
November 1 though lunch on November 3, 2018. 
Also, a Mental Health First Aid class, November 1 
certificated course, with cont. ed. credit upon completion

Services of Interest...
August 19 - 9:30AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Joel Risser -
First, Hellertown
August 19 - 9AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Lamar
Handwerk - St. Peter's UCC (Seemsville), 8142 Valley View Rd., Northampton
August 26 - 10AM -  Service of Farewell for Rev. David
Grant - Zion, Ashland (light lunch after service)
September 2 - 10AM - Service of Farewell for Rev. Michael
Lonergan - Salem, Pocono Pines

September 9 - Join us for a reception to celebrate Gilberto
Garcia Rodriguez's 20th Ordination Anniversary. We will enjoy cake and other goodies during our "coffee hour" at 10am at New Creation UCC (3730 Nicholas St. Easton, PA 18045)
September 9 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Virginia
Schlegel, St. John's (Mickleys), Whitehall
September 16 - 9AM - Service of Farewell - Rev. David Ellis
 - Trinity (Great Swamp), Spinnerstown
Understanding Addiction & Older Adults
October 11, 2018 at DeSales University
Online registration will be available on Friday, September 7 at
Keynote address by Dr. Joseph Garbely
Children's Sermon
for August 5 (based on John 6:24-35) 
Items needed: potted plant, peanut butter sandwich, small container with dirt or official plant food.   (Keep sandwich out of sight.)    Show potted plant.  Tell kids that  plants, like people, need food to grow.  Because you want this plant to grow, you are now going to feed the plant.  Take out the sandwich, show it, then put it in the plant.  The kids may or may not get the joke, but ask them if anybody knows why this is silly----plants don't need sandwiches to grow, they need PLANT food (show small container, and pour contents into plant.)  People need people food, like this sandwich, and plants need  food especially for plants.  In today's Bible reading,  Jesus is saying that our bodies need food to grow, but also that our souls also need  food to grow.  To  feed our souls, we need  to receive and give love, like the love we can get from Jesus.    Sometimes, people try to use regular food, that you get out of a kitchen, to feed our soul-hunger for love.  That's like trying to feed this plant with a peanut butter sandwich!   Sandwiches are good for feeding our tummies; the love of Jesus is good for feeding our souls.
- Rev. David Quinn
2 - 3PM - Staff & Personnel Committee - Conf. Office
6 - 8:30AM - Phoebe Board - Phoebe Home, Allentown
6 - 6:30PM - Puerto Rico Mission Trip Discussion - St. John's (Mickleys), 2918 MacArthur Rd., Whitehall
9-18 - Joint PNEC/PSEC Ecumenical Relations Mission Team (ERMT) Germany Trip
19 - 9:30AM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Joel Risser - First UCC, 501 Northampton St., Hellertown
19 - Noon - 6PM - Pride in the Park - Cedar Park, Allentown
20 - 10AM - Authorization Working Group - Conf. Office
21 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
21- 5PM - Fall Annual Meeting Site Visit - Faith UCC,Hazleton
Save the Date!
Fall Disaster Ministries Webinar Series
launches August 21
Topic: UCC Disaster Ministries Grant  Opportunities and Understanding the UCC Disaster Ministries Structure
Time and Registration Link Coming Soon!
       $100K UMCOR Grant Boosts Harvey Recovery
The United Methodist Committee on Relief has awarded UCC Disaster Ministries $100,000 for construction materials and appliances for its work to restore 17 low-income rental units in Port Arthur, Texas. All suffered flood damage from Hurricane Harvey last August. The Affordable Housing Recovery Project is a partnership with the South East Texas Community Development Corporation (SETCDC), the local non-profit that owns and manages the apartments. Read more.
June-July Grants by UCC Disaster Ministries
*$50,000 more for Puerto Rico recovery, bringing its total to more than $262,000, not counting in-kind and volunteer labor. Work teams have restored 27 houses since June! Read more.
*$50,000 to Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster (VIND) for the continued employment of a construction supervisor. Read more.
*$40,000 to assist 910 Kenyan households (7,300 people) displaced by floods. Read more.
*$30,000 more for hurricane recovery in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more.
*$30,000 more for Hurricane Harvey recovery in Port Arthur, Texas. Read more.
*$5,500 to assist households affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala. Read more.
*$5,000 for Hurricane Irma long-term recovery in Palm Beach, Fla.
*$5000 to help ship medical equipment to Puerto Rico for Ryder Memorial Hospital.
*$3,000 toward flood relief for eight families who suffered significant damages and losses from flooding in April in Kauai, Hawai'i.
*$3,000 for the United Church of Christ in Japan as it responds to severe flooding and other damage from Typhoon Maria in July, and subsequent heat and dust.

Pastoral Leadership in Congregational Systems

Three Sessions of Learning to Improve

Pastoral Leadership

Who: Authorized Ministers

What: 3 days of Experiential Learning

When: October 10, 2018; February 27, 2018; May 1, 2019

            9AM to 5PM with a break for lunch

Where: Faith UCC, 5992 Route 378, Center Valley

Cost: $350 including lunch & breaks each day

deposit $100 due with registration; full payment by 10.1.18

More Details & Registration Form 


UCC Refugee Ministries


As of July 23 only 17,564 refugees have actually been allowed to come into the country to restart their lives.  If you and/or you congregation are interested in the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program there is a step-by-step guide for meeting with your Member of Congress next month to say #RefugeesWelcome.

We're Almost There!
     The PNEC Amigos de Guatemala team wants you to know we are close to completing our building project in Monte Margarita. The building is up and all that is left to be done is finish the interior and install a few necessary items such as a back-up electrical generator. However, we need more funds to finish this last phase of the project.
     If your congregation would like to learn how they can support us we have a slide presentation to show you and hand crafted items to sell as gifts.
     You can also donate online on the PNEC website. Click on the events Amigos. Or mail a check with Amigos in the memo line to PNEC, 431 Delaware Ave. Palmerton, Pa 18071
     The Amigos and our partners in Guatemala need your continued support. To learn more, please contact Roger & Karen Heim at or phone 610-481-9704.
Fall Crossroads Lay Leadership Program at
Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem
has an exciting line-up of courses. September and October Missional Leadership on Mondays and The Story of Christianity on Thursday nights.  In November on two nights each week, the Creative Worship class.  For more information go to  
to get dates, more course information and online registration.  All courses are offered in Zoom, a real time, distance learning format for those who can't get to Bethlehem for classes.  Email questions to Jill Peters at
Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
a 3-part educational series called
Consistory/Council 101
September 15th, October 6th and October 27th
10AM - 12 Noon
We are asking all Consistory/Council Presidents to place this educational opportunity on their upcoming agenda for consideration.  Download your Registration Form 
Greater Allentown CROP Hunger Walk
Sunday, Oct. 14 - 1:30 P
beginning and ending at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church, 140 S. Ott St., Allentown 
registration starting at 1 p.m.
     The CROP Hunger Walk is a great fellowship and service event for families, youth groups, adult groups, and congregations.  Twenty-five percent of the funds raised by the CROP Hunger Walk returns to the Lehigh Valley to support the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank and the Lehigh Conference of Churches Soup Kitchen. The remaining 75% is used by Church World Service for disaster relief (e.g., for communities in the United States and around the world devastated by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods) and development assistance (e.g., assisting poor families with clean drinking water, seeds, tools, and irrigation).
     For a sponsor form,
for further information about CROP or for making online donations.
Do YOU need Boundary Training in 2018???
2018 Boundaries Workshops
"Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders"
                      Sponsored by NE PA Synod 


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