This Week in PNEC --- January 11, 2018 - January 19, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

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


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



Update on Alan Miller, former PNEC Conference Minister...
Alan is home from the hospital. He has been diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis. His current memory extends little more than a few minutes. They are pursuing medical options with varying degrees of recovery promised.  Candy and Alan are in need of prayer. This is a challenging time for their family. 
To learn more about Alan's diagnosis/treatment/next steps, go to
If you desire to send Alan and Candy a card, their address is 4080 Saint Johns Street, High Point, NC  27265.
PNEC's 2017 Closing Date will be Friday, January 12, 2018
Please plan your closing so that your final 2017 remittance will be received in the Conference Office by Friday, January 12, 2018.  Receipts received after the 12th will be credited to 2018.  Do not include 2017 remittances with 2018 and make certain remittance slips are marked for either the year 2017 or 2018.  Thank you for your cooperation and support.
  In the fall of 2013, the UCC's national setting Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team initiated a process to reimagine the Manual on Ministry (MOM), which is an essential resource of the National Offices in service to and support of all covenant partners in the United Church of Christ. MESA has relied on a committee called the Habakkuk Group to review the Manual on Ministry and make recommendations to enhance the ministry of the United Church of Christ among authorized ministers, local church settings and middle judicatories of the United Church of Christ. One of the suggestions is the concept of Three and Four Way Covenants.
     The concept of Covenant has long been established as the basis for a call to ministry in the United Church of Christ. Based on this principal, the Three-Way Covenant was developed to review and affirm annually the covenant established between an authorized minister, the local church setting and the conference in which the authorized minister and local church is located. This way, all three parties are able to renew their relationships as ministers together on behalf of Jesus Christ and the United Church of Christ.
     A Four-Way Covenant is similar to the Three-Way Covenant except that it is between four entities: an authorized minister, a local church setting, a middle judicatory, and a place of employment other than a congregational setting (i.e. military, educational, hospital or residential chaplaincy, or seminary or other form of ministry).
     MESA highly suggests the use of Three- and Four- Way Covenants as part of the original call negotiations, but these should not be confused with contracts or hiring agreements. MESA's intent is to have the covenant as part of an annual discussion regarding one's ministry whether from the perspective of the authorized minister, the local church setting, the conference, or the place of employment and does not change the context of the original contract or call agreement. It is to be a reminder that the Covenant is not stagnant, but a living relationship holding all parties together through our Creator and our common commitment to serve in the name of Jesus Christ. These covenants are to strengthen, support and sustain the ministries of all the partners that share in the covenant; to encourage mutual participation and accountability of and for the life of each by the others; and to observe, nurture, celebrate, and call forth the ministry of the authorized minister.
     Though most congregational settings have already made decisions regarding compensation for authorized ministers in church settings, we encourage authorized ministers to begin the discussion now regarding Three-Way and Four-Way Covenants in preparation for further discussion over the course of the next year so that at the end of 2018, all authorized ministers will have a signed Three-Way with the local church setting as well as the agency or employer in the case of Four-Way Covenant. These conversations should include the Ministers Code of Conduct, the Church Code of Conduct, along with the PNEC Authorized Ministers Compensation Guidelines which are all available through PNEC.      
Please click on each to view:    Three Way Covenant                  Four Way Covenant         
You can also find this information on our website:
Bring Global Ministries to your Doorstep:  Host Missionary Jeffrey Mensendiek
   Jeff Mensendiek    Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek, Global Ministries missionary for 27 years with the Emmaus Center in Sendai, Japan, will be available to speak in churches during his time in PNEC.  The dates of his visit are February 20 through March 5.  (He has commitments for February 20, February 25, February 28, March 1, and March 4.)
     If you would like to schedule a program lead by Jeffrey or want additional information, please contact Barbara Jennings at 610-826-3113;


2018 Pre-Lenten Workshop Jewish Institute

Meals of Freedom for Life

A Congregational Learning Program

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

10AM to 2:30PM

Jordan UCC, 1837 Church Rd., Allentown

(off Walbert Ave. at Route 309)

Registration Fee:  $35 (includes lunch)

(NOTE:  Foods will contain gluten, nuts, and other allergens that may cause concern - if this is an issue for you, please bring your own lunch)

Presenter - Peter A. Pettit, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College

Please register by January 17.

For More Information call 484-664-3470 or email

"I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat.
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet."
   3 Great Loves is a denomination-wide story telling initiative. Over the span of two years, with the help of local Ambassadors, we will collect and lift up the stories of our local congregations and affiliates all around the nation. We want to hear about the knitting clubs, the food pantries, the community meals, protests, letter writing campaigns and anything else your church or organization may be doing to create a just world for all. NOTHING IS TOO SMALL.
   The work that is already being done is significant and greatly needed. Our hope is that this initiative, we will tell the story of how we are impacting and transforming the world as covenantal partners united in common purpose, vision, and mission.
   PNEC congregations are invited to submit a LOVE STORY FORM to Gary Barraco, PNEC 3GL Ambassador. Gary will submit these to the national church for inclusion in the web site   , but we will also select 5 stories to present at the PNEC Annual Meeting in April. Submissions can start now and will close April 1st.
     If you have questions, feel free to contact Gary at   or (732)241-6635.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

An Invitation from Pennsylvania Southeast Conference...Discipleship Workshop


Much emphasis is given today to churches reaching new people, and rightfully so.  The real area of untapped potential in any congregation and community are not the people outside of the church, but the people who are sitting in your pews every Sunday (or every other Sunday).  This workshop is designed to equip pastors and lay leaders with modern tools for doing an ancient work; making disciples out of those who are in our care.

Facilitator:  Rev. Cean James

Times:  10AM to 12 Noon

There are 3 opportunities to attend this workshop:

February 24 @ Armenian Martyrs' Congregational Church, Philadelphia

March 3 @ First UCC, Quakertown

April 14 @ Trinity UCC, Reading

There is NO charge for this workshop but please register by going to the PSEC website (, click on the Events & News tab, click Conference Events and find the workshop date you are interested in.

An invitation from the Diocese of Scranton...
In 2018, we joyfully commemorate the 54th anniversary of the promulgation of the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, which brought the Catholic Church into the modern ecumenical movement...
Ecumenical Celebration of God's Word
January 25, 2018 - 12:10PM
St. Peter's Cathedral, Scranton, PA
For more details, instructions, & reservations, please contact the Diocese of Scranton, 300 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA  18503 --  570) 346-8928
Register now for Clergy Convocation
     Join the Penn Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences 
for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment.  Rev. Wanda D. Craner will be the Guest Speaker. This year's presentation is "The Spiritual Health of Clergy in Times of Dis-Ease".

Clergy Convocation Flyer 2018
To register: click here.

Penn Central Conference

Mid-Winter Clergy Convocation

Proclaiming the Good News Today:

How We Embody Jesus to the World

January 30 - February 1, 2018

Keynote Speaker - Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

Registration Link

For a full flyer of this event.....Click Here


Revs. Cecilia & Jameson Baxter are
co-pastors at St. Luke's (Belfast), Nazareth effective December 1, 2017.  They also serve as co-pastors at New Creation UCC in Easton.

Rev. Cliff Herring, who served as the supply pastor of Emmanuel UCC, Allentown for the past three years, resigned as of December 31, 2017. Cliff will resume retirement life!

Get well wishes to David Berryman who is recuperating at home after gall bladder surgery.  Dave is an associate pastor at Zion UCC, Stroudsburg
Licensed Minister, Lynn Breedy, has resigned as an associate pastor of Zion UCC, Stroudsburg.  She be will be leaving her position January 31, 2018.
Rev. Dave Schnaars will be the "bridge pastor" at Dryland UCC, Nazareth, until they call an installed pastor.  Dave's last Sunday at the church he is currently serving, Salem UCC, Gilbert, will be January 14, 2018.

January 28 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Judy Brandon - UCC Greenawalds, Allentown
March 4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel at Jordan UCC, Allentown  (Snow Date:  March 11)
Children's Sermon
for Jan. 14(based on John 1:43-51) 
Item needed:  bag of candy.  Beforehand, hide the bag of candy somewhere in the sanctuary.   Beforehand, show or tell one child where the bag is, give them a piece of the candy, and ask them to keep the location secret.  When the kids come up, tell them there is a bag of candy somewhere in church today. If (name of child you gave candy to) said he/she knows where the candy is, would you believe she/he is telling the truth?  What if they showed you that they had a piece of candy(ask child to show his/her candy), would you be more likely to believe them.  Then ask that child to lead the others, and you, to the hidden bag of candy.   While everybody is getting a piece of candy out of the bag, tell them that this is like today's Bible reading.  In today's Bible reading,  Jesus gives hope to a person named Philip, which is kind of like giving someone a piece of candy.  Then Philip goes to his friend, Nathanael, and says I have found the person, Jesus, who gives hope, which is like (child's name) showing you where you could find the candy.   Since Jesus gives us hope, which is even better than candy, we can help lead others to Jesus, just like Philip led Nathanael to Jesus
- Rev. David Quinn

12 - PNEC'S 2017 CLOSING DATE - Please plan your closing so that your final 2017 remittance will be received in the Conference Office by Friday, January 12. Receipts received after the 12th will be credited to 2018.


Call to the 56th Annual Meeting

of the Penn Northeast Conference

Saturday, April 14, 2018

8AM to 4PM


Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs


Theme:  Exploration!

Workshop Leader:  Rev. Michael Piazza,

Spiritual Visionary, Author, Social Justice Advocate, Currently serving as Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, NYC

Guest Preacher:  Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates,

Conference Minister, PNEC

Download a Registration form here


Disaster Ministries Update

Click Here for the 1.11.18 Update 


Eastern Regional Youth Event
July 19-22, 2018 at California State University Pa. Check out the website! More information will be coming to your local church shortly. Any questions? Please contact Marge Baltz


If you have any youth interested, please get those registrations in!!


Penn Northeast Conference

            Presents ....

13th Annual Youth Retreat

all youth in grades 7th - 12th are invited!


May 4 - 6, 2018

Check-in Friday 6:30-7:00......Pick-up Sunday Noon

Spruce Lake

5389 Route 447, Canadensis


(includes meals Saturday & Sunday breakfast)

DEADLINE TO REGISTER February 12, 2018

We must have all registrations and $50 non-refundable deposit per person.



2018 MINICOURSE    Jewish Institute

Understanding Otherness Within

Religious Communities


January 25 - February 15, 2018

(Thursdays 7 to 9PM)


Presenters:  Pres. Suleyman Eris; Rabbi Dr. Elsa Stern; Dr. Randall Zachman

Seegers Union, GQ Annex

Muhlenberg College, Allentown

January 25: Orientation Questions & Otherness

within Islam - I

February 1:  Otherness within Islam II & Otherness within Judaism I

February 8:  Otherness with Judaism II & Otherness within Christianity I

February 15:  Otherness within Christianity II & Closing Questions and Discussion


Call or email to register:  484-664-3470 or

ACT Now: Unite to End Racism
Our First Act - Pray!
     We've already been praying, of course. Now let's step it up with a scheduled time when our hearts and souls can meet in the mind of God.
     From now till April 5 (at least!) let's agree to pray for the ACT Now: Unite to End Racism challenge every Thursday morning at 7AM your local time. It will be a rolling wave of prayer as 7AM dawns from time zone to time zone across the country and around the world.
     Let's pray that our country will:
A - Awaken to the truth that racism hurts us all
C - Confront the ways in which we have been complicit, complacent, or coerced

T - Transform - as stories are shared and truth is revealed, as we name the ways we can change and be transformed: as individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities of faith, and society as a whole
     Let's pray that we will UNITE to end racism!
     Let's pray for all those who are planning the April 3,4,5 launch - that it will be inspiring, motivating, challenging, equipping and safe - and that it will become part of a mighty current of healing and wholeness, justice and peace in our land.
     Let's pray every Thursday. 7AM Local Time. 
ACT Now: Unite to End Racism... Pray!
Shalom, The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President, UCC
Built to create a just world for all
Polity Curriculum for Local Churches

     MESA recently released a new UCC Polity Curriculum designed for local congregations: new member classes, confirmation classes, COM orientations, and congregations considering joining the UCC. The materials can be found online at:

     An introduction session to the materials will be offered to recipients of the MESA Memo on January 11th at 2pm EST. This session will be an orientation for ministry partners to explore the new resource and think creatively on how it may be used.
Or Phone:
        US: +1 408 638 0968  or +1 646 876 9923  or +1 669 900 6833               Meeting ID: 972 213 354
3 Great Loves Wants
to Come to
Your Congregation
The 3 Great Loves is the denomination's opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world. To move this initiative forward in the Penn Northeast Conference, we have recruited Gary Barraco from Forks UCC to be our '3 Great Loves Ambassador'. Gary has been working with the National representative and Regional Ambassador to prepare our Conference to learn more about the 3 Great Loves program. Gary and others want to come to your church and deliver the Sunday morning message or present to a large group. He has put together a full liturgy for a worship serve, including suggested hymns, so we can come in with a pre-packaged service. To learn more, contact Gary at
Lehigh Conference of Churches
MLK Jr. Day Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
January 15 - 9AM
Dubbs Memorial Community Center, Allentown
$20/person ...  Register Online


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"