• THIS WEEK IN PNEC                  July 25, 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
My friends and colleagues in ministry,

    As you may know, I have been married to the love of my life, Steve, for nearly 40 years. Steve is twenty-years older than I am and has been in increasingly failing health over the past five years. For the past three years, Steve has been in kidney failure and on dialysis. He has also been battling debilitating diabetes and neuropathy, congestive heart failure, and increasing minor memory issues. As a result, it has been difficult to leave him alone for the long hours I dedicate to my call as conference minister or to undertake the travel my position requires. I worry about him constantly and as his health declines, this will continue to be a serious issue for him and for me.
    While on family vacation this July, our son and daughter-in-law invited Steve to come and live with them. This would help them with an additional set of adult eyes as they care for their three children, would provide Steve with family interactions and someone to be with him on a daily basis, and will allow him to avoid the Pennsylvania winters. This will be the sixth time during our married life that we have been a bi-locational couple. While we will miss each other, we will be in contact daily and I will spend vacation time with him and the family in North Carolina.
    So what does this mean for my call as your conference minister? For me it means that I can continue to dedicate myself to fulfilling my call to serve the Penn Northeast Conference without worrying about the time I will need to leave Steve alone. It means that I can continue to dedicate myself to being the spiritual leader and chief administrator for the conference. It means I will have less personal worry as I fulfill my call and covenant with you.
    I believe God is calling me to remain in PNEC and look forward to being called as your Conference Minister in November. We will continue the progress we have begun together. I understand that you may have questions about how Steve’s re-location may impact my tenure with you. Please be assured that I have no intentions of moving or retiring for some time. I have committed to respond to God’s call to PNEC and to fulfill that call with you.
    This relocation is a way to provide ongoing care for Steve. It enables me to continue focusing on my call and covenant with you. I hope you feel that we have built positive relationships within the conference and see this as a way for us to continue. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns you might have.
    During these days, I ask that you pray for us: Steve, our children, and me, as we move into this transition. As you know transitions result in all kinds of emotions: a little fear, a sense of loss, and yet, an opportunity to hope in God’s leading us forward. God has been and continues to be a partner in Steve’s and my marriage. I feel God’s presence in this transition and these decisions.
    I trust we, within the conference, can continue to uphold each other now and in the days to come, focusing on the gifts we have received from God as we live out our mutual ministry and faith
    Warmly,   Bonnie
Dear friends,
         You may be aware that our colleague and friend. Rev. Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez had a house fire last week. Everyone in the family is fine, but they will not be in their home for the next three months while repairs are being made.
         Folks have been asking how they might help the family during this challenging time. Please hold Gilberto and his family in prayer. Additionally, if you would like to provide financial support to the family you may send contributions to the PNEC office attn.: Conference Minister’s Discretionary Fund, (address is 431 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, PA 18071) with a note for Gilberto’s fund. We will issue checks and/or purchase gift cards as they need them.
         It is likely that additional support may be needed as they return to their home in three months, and we will keep you informed. Thank you in advance for your support, prayers and love.
Blessings, Bonnie
PNEC Sleep Out for Homelessness
Youth Grades 7 - 12
Saturday, September 28 at 6PM - Sunday, September 29 at 10AM
New Creation UCC, 3730 Nicholas St., Easton, PA 18045
Join us for an incredible night of learning and sharing our faith. We will discover what homelessness is, how we can respond, meet new people, play games, worship together and sleep outside! On Sunday, participants will be a part of a special worship service centered around the Sleep Out. The event ends at the conclusion of that service.
Sleep Out supports Third Street Alliance for Women and Children

  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
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 )

Add your voice to the second annual Global Ministries Festival of Stories
What innovative ways have you or your congregation supported or engaged in God’s global mission? Your story could be an inspiration for others to get involved.  Click to
read a few examples.
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

July 31 at 11M
To join, Please register here:   https://forms.gle/4aFTGKovXH9WaJbo7.  Webinar log-in information will be sent when you register.
For all that is happening with Disaster Ministries... read more here! 

And/or you can always check the National UCC Disaster Ministries Web Page

Community Evening: Divine Exchange Wisdom School
July 30, 7:00-8:30-pm
Saal, Bahnson Center • FREE
RSVP to: Marcella Kraybill-Greggo @ kraybill-greggom@moravian .edu  


20+ Social Media Platforms Launched on Global Youth Justice Movement. Click on the link      https://www.globalyouthjustice.org/

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