BEAR CREEK CAMP
Bear Creek Camp is a ministry of the Southeastern and Northeastern Pennsylvania Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Located on nearly 3,000 acres in the beauty of the Pocono Mountains, Bear Creek Camp offers year-round opportunities, including summer residential youth camp, nature day camp, environmental education programs, weekend camp retreats and outside group rentals. To learn more, visit: bearcreekcamp.org.
BETHANY CHILDREN’S HOME
Today, Bethany Children’s Home is a regional ministry serving over 300 youth and their families, every year, in eastern Pennsylvania. However, it began in 1862 as one man’s dream. On a trip home from Norfolk to Philadelphia, Rev. Emmanuel Boehringer passed through the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, where 25,000 men lay scattered across the countryside dead or wounded. As he stopped to help bandage their wounds, many of the men asked: “What will become of my children?”
On that battlefield in Maryland, Rev. Boehringer’s dream for an orphans home was born. Upon returning to Philadelphia, he began taking orphans into his own home at 702 Morris Street. On September 21, 1863, the home’s first resident, six year-old Caroline Engel, arrived at the Boehringer home. Originally called “The Orphans Home of the Shepherd of the Lambs,” the organization began to grow and by 1867 it had found a new home in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, where the name was officially changed to Bethany Children’s Home.
HARTMAN RETREAT CENTER
If you are looking for a place to have your church retreat, consider the Hartman Center, the Outdoor Ministries facility owned and operated by the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ. Programming includes retreats, conferences, workshops, dinner meetings, summer camps, and other events which, while designed for particular age levels and interests, are open to all persons. The Hartman Center is located in the “Seven Mountains” are of central PA and is comprised of 192 acres of open and wooded areas, with easy access to nearby streams, hiking trails, and state parks. It is located on Old US Highway 322, 10 miles north of Lewistown (70 miles from the Conference Center in Harrisburg) and about 20 miles southeast of State College. To learn more, visit: hartmancenter.com
INTERFAITH CENTER OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA
Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i, Sikh and others… the Interfaith Center is governed by a Board of Directors and a professional team whose members reflect a broad spectrum of religious, ethnic and racial communities. These leaders advance the agency’s mission by drawing on their collective experience in interfaith relations and diversity work conducted in civic, governmental, community and educational areas.
The Center’s holistic approach to learning engages the head, the heart, and the hands through teaching, dialogue, and service. Formal projects, or Signature Initiatives have the same goal, which is to create communities of hope and reconciliation throughout our region—in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods. We bring together religious leaders, congregants, and youth to get to know each other as people and to learn how to value and respect the “other” while maintaining (and often strengthening) their own religious identities.
Our tagline, Dare to Understand, is both a statement of fact and a call to action, encapsulating so much of what makes our work unique. It conveys a sense of the courage required to participate and engage in interfaith work, the fear of the religious “other” felt by so many, and the need to overcome such fears. It challenges us to be bold in learning about one another, to dare to listen sincerely to the crying needs of our time, and to work together to contribute to the good of our region. Not only is our tagline a call for a deeper understanding of the religious “other,” but it is also an invitation to continued discovery within one’s own self, heritage, and unique perspective.
The Insurance Board is a nonprofit corporation established by the participating Conferences of the United Church of Christ. They administer a property and liability insurance program serving churches and related entities within three denominations: United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Presbyterian Church (USA). The coverages are unsurpassed in the marketplace and the IB is considered a model not-for-profit entity.
More than 3600 churches participate in the program representing greater than $9.6 billion dollars in property value. A board of 20 directors governs the IB. The Board is comprised of United Church of Christ Conference Ministers, Disciples of Christ Regional Ministers, and Presbyterian Church Executives, and lay leaders with experience relevant to our mission. They are proud to be represented by this highly qualified group of church and lay leaders. Their goal is to provide resources that protect our churches’ two most valued assets: people and property. Services include subsidized background checking, and electrical inspection by TEGG, and Property Appraisdal. There are free training programs, webinars, workshops and more. To learn more about the Insurance Board services, visit: insuranceboard.org/safety solutions/insurance board services.
Kirkwood Camp is a ministry of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, Presbyterian Church (USA). Nestled in the Pocono Mountains in Stroudsburg, PA, Kirkwood has 290 acres of forest and meadow where traditional residential and day camp programs happen, and retreats take place. Kirkwood’s Mission is to live the Word of Jesus Christ by providing a safe, nurturing caring Christian community that energizes and transforms children and adults in a tranquil, natural setting. To learn more, visit: kirkwoodcamp.org/.
LAY MINISTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Lay Ministry in the 21st Century provides a variety of opportunities “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12
ENRICHING DISCIPLESHIP – This path is designed for persons seeking to be authorized as a commissioned minister in a specific area of ministry, this program involves completing five Friday evening/Saturday sessions and five specialized sessions over two year beyond the basic enrichment program described above. Working in cooperation with Association and Conference Committees of Ministry, additional requirements may include psychological/vocational testing, Association/Conference in-care status, and spiritual direction.
LICENSED MINISTRY – This path is designed for persons seeking to be authorized as a licensed UCC pastor, this program involves completing ten Friday evening/ Saturday sessions over two years beyond the basic enrichment program described above. Working in cooperation with Association and Conference Committees of Ministry, additional requirements may include psychological/ vocational testing, Association/ Conference in-care status, spiritual direction and internships in local ministry setting.
TIME FOR DISCERNMENT – As we continue to discern God’s call in our lives, it is important to claim time to listen. Each year a discernment retreat is held to provide an opportunity for personal reflection, spiritual direction, and conversations with others on a similar journey.
COMMISSIONED MINISTRY – Saturday sessions on a variety of topics given to enhance our knowledge and skill in living out our discipleship within the church and within the world. There are fifteen opportunities over three years for individuals and groups. Complete all fifteen and receive a Certificate of Church Leadership.
CONTINUING EDUCATION – Each year an educational event is held to provide an opportunity for continued growth in the enrichment of our call to ministry and in the developing of new ministry skills. This event is open to alums of the program and any interested laypersons.
MARIAWALD RENEWAL CENTER
In addition to providing hospitality for groups, we are always happy to welcome individuals who desire personal times of renewal. Like a Bed & Breakfast for the Soul, the mission of Mariawald Renewal Center is to provide nourishment, rest, and guidance for your life journey. Whether you just need refreshment and rest in order to continue your journey or find yourself lost along the way and in need of a quiet place to stop and seek a new direction. Through our programs, spiritual direction,and maintaining an environment conducive to quiet reflection; we keep a candle burning to shine on your path….
MissionInsite launched their new public website and prepared a new How to Register document for PSEC churches. Please follow these new instructions because previous registration documents are no longer valid. For assistance, contact the MissionInsite Team at MIsupport@missioninsite.com or 877-230-3212, ext. 1011.
MissionInsite was createdby Denominational Leaders for Denominational Leaders. It was co-founded by Mike Regele, Chuck Salter and Peter Wernett. Together, they bring over 75 years of experience in the fields of church development, strategic planning and mission context analysis. With a shared passion for the church and its faithful missional engagement of North American culture, they offer the next generation of mission context analysis tools for the church. They support the mission of the church around the world by providing denominational agencies and congregations a cost-effective, innovative system that includes: high quality demographic research, real-time congregant analysis, and easy to use web-based discovery tools.
New Goshenhoppen Church would like to make available its’ facilities to other Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Churches. We have a beautiful Park and church campus to hold retreats, meditation walks, meetings, etc. There is information on our website, www.newgoshucc.org, under the home page. Click on facility use and then you can take an on-line tour of our facility—it provides photos, seating capacity, etc. The rental agreements are also available on the website for both the church facilities and the New Goshenhoppen Park.
PENNSYLVANIA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
The Pennsylvania Council of Churches, rooted in an understanding of conciliar ecumenism in which its member church bodies “…seek to manifest their fellowship (koinonia) with one another, to engage in common ministries of witness and service, and to advance towards the goal of visible unity,” sought through its programs and ministries to express those commitments.
Through its Commission on Public Witness and its public advocacy ministry, the Council witnessed on behalf of social justice and for the common good. Information about these activities, as well as significant information on current concerns, can be found at pachurchesadvocacy.org.
The Commission on Unity and Relationships is planning a forum, scheduled for November 10, 2014 to explore how judicatories and congregations are implementing agreements of full communion among denominations. The Very Rev. Thomas Ferguson, dean of Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary and former ecumenical and interreligious officer for The Episcopal Church, will be the keynote speaker.
PENSION BOARDS – UCC
The Pension Boards–United Church of Christ, Inc. (PBUCC) administers a comprehensive benefits programs for the active and retired clergy and lay employees of the UCC that provide the highest standards of service, access and options. PBUCC assists those who serve the church achieve health and economic security through:
The Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ is a professionally-managed 403(b) pension plan with eight investment fund options for members in their active years of employment in retirement, members can annuitize all monies in their accumulation accounts or invest Tax-Sheltered Annuity contributions, rollovers and up to 20% of employer contributions in PBUCC investment funds.
The UCC Medical and Dental Benefits Plan provides comprehensive medical coverage including wellness and preventive care, pharmacy and mental health benefits, and optional dental and vision benefits.
The UCC Life Insurance and Disability Income Benefit Plan provides financial peace of mind to survivors in the event of a participant’s death, as well short- and long-term disability income benefits.
The Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries is a tax-advantaged means of setting aside money, through salary reduction agreement, for anticipated medical and dependent care expenses.
Long-Term Care Insurance is available to UCC employees at favorable group rates and with relaxed health screening through LTC Partners.
The United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance is a subsidiary corporation affiliated with PBUCC that provides annual visitation, pension supplementation, health premium supplementation and Christmas gift checks to lower-income retired clergy and lay employees, as well as emergency assistance to active and retired employees facing unforeseen financial crisis; sponsor of Target 2030, a next-generation leadership initiative for UCC clergy in their 20s and 30s.
The IB provides Member Education provides seminars, conference calls and webinars for participants at all stages in their careers that offer financial education and information on a variety of employee benefits topics.