Joint Conference Vision and Development Team

Meet the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team

The Conferences of Penn Northeast and Southeast have entered a time of discernment around the question, “What might we accomplish together that we could not do separately?” Delegates from both Conferences, now know as the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team, at their Spring Annual 2017 Meetings, authorized representatives to engage in a dialogue that would both answer this question and draft a potential plan for coming together as one Conference. Those selected representatives are below.
They have committed an exceptional amount of time, talent and treasure to this process. Each has considerable skills for discernment, listening, learning and communicating and we are blessed that they said “yes” to this monumental and historic task.
Please pray for them and please contact them with ANY concerns, comments, revelations, ideas and questions that would help them so that (consolidated or not)
‘we all might be one.’

Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Members

Mr. Ed Bibic   BIO:  Born in Sellersville, PA, I grew up in St. Paul’s U.C.C.  I am currently a member of Zwingli U.C.C. in Souderton, PA, serving as Moderator.  I served in several ministries at both Trinity U.C.C. in Telford and at Zwingli.  I am a past Spring Meeting delegate and twenty –year volunteer for Keystone Opportunity Center.  I graduated from Kutztown University, going on to teach in the Pennridge School District, retiring in 2007. I then became a warehouse manager for Altek Business Systems, retiring in June.  My reason for joining the team: “We have the opportunity to bring the folks of eastern Pennsylvania together for a stronger, more vibrant U.C.C.”

Rev. Michael Bush   BIO: I am the Pastor of the United Church of Christ at Valley Forge.  I  have served on church staff for over 25 years, primarily as Senior Pastor, in a variety of UCC Conferences: Indiana-Kentucky, Pacific Northwest, Michigan, Connecticut, and now Pennsylvania Southeast. In the wider UCC  I have been a delegate to National Youth Event, General Synod, and worked on a Conference Education, Youth, and Outdoor Ministries Committee as well as a Committee on Ministry for an Association.    My work with local churches has primarily focused on spiritual transformation and the ongoing work of discerning our identity, ministry and mission and then living into that call.  This has required letting go of (dying to old life, as Jesus teaches) some of our ways of doing and being church, and living into new life (resurrection) with greater vitality, depth, and outreach in the world.  I chose to be part of this Joint Conference Vision and Development Team as I believe this season provides a great opportunity to let go of whatever no longer is life-giving in our Conference ministries and structures, and discern together how God is still speaking to lead us into birthing a new Conference that can help us live and share life in the Spirit that brings justice, hospitality, healing, and hope into the world.

Rev. John Dawson   BIO: I am a retired UCC pastor, serving Schwarzwald UCC in Jacksonwald, PA, as a less-than-full-time Interim, as I have for the past 15-years. I have previously served on the conference sessions planning team, and as secretary-treasurer of the former Reading Association. As a former United Methodist pastor, I served on and was the coordinator for the 11-congregation 3-C’s Cooperative located between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. I lead a 7-member pastoral team composed of both fully ordained, lay and licensed pastors. For 6-years my work included helping divergent groups and individuals find ways to work together as coordinated wholes.  I was part of one of the three associations that recently banded together to form the new Covenant Association. I have always been in favor of working together rather than trying to minister as “The Lone Ranger.”   While the Pennsylvania Northeast and Pennsylvania Southeast Conferences may appear to be very divergent in their demographics and geography, we are all part of the same Church of Jesus Christ and all called to minister in His name, not our own. Therefore, while the specific fields and forms of ministry we are called to perform may be different, it is still the same Lord we are called to represent, each in our own unique way.   In my cooperative parish work I learn that wherever I am weak or lack skills, there is always someone else who is strong and well-gifted in that very area of ministry, and that where they are weak or lack skills, may be the very place I am strong and well-prepared to serve. By working together we can accomplish greater things in Jesus’ name than we ever can alone.   I see the potential for even greater work within a Pennsylvania East Conference than if we were to remain separate and each struggling on alone.

Moderator Rev. Barbara Pence, Co-chair    BIO:  I am pastor of Peace in Zion UCC in Zieglerville, PA.  Peace in Zion UCC is a part of the Ursinus Association.  Currently, I am serving as Moderator of the PSEC.  In the past, I served as Moderator of the Ursinus Association and served on the Ursinus Committee on Ministry.  I am pleased to serve on this team to explore the possibilities God has envisioned for us to be a new Conference and serve as a liaison between this team and the PSE Consistory and Conference.    I am excited to build new relationships and for the work we are called to be about.

Rev. Cydney Van Dyke   BIO: To follow.


Rev. Shawn Van Dyke   BIO: I am the pastor at the First United Church of Christ in Schuylkill Haven, in the Schuylkill Association of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference.  I was ordained into Christian ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and I am an ordained ministerial partner in the United Church of Christ.  Ecumenical and cooperative ministries are important to me: Iparticipate in the Council of Churches of Schuylkill Haven and Vicinity; serve in the Schuylkill Association on the Committee on Ministry, Mission Committee, and Executive Committee; and serve in the PSEC on the Church and Ministry Council.  Exploring new ways to be the church in the world is a priority for me.

Ms. Beth Walker   BIO: I live in Philadelphia and am an attorney by profession.  I am a member of Old First Reformed UCC in Philadelphia where I sing in the choir and serve on the Administrative Standing Leadership Group.  I have served in leadership capacities within my home congregation, the Philadelphia Association and the National Church. Currently, I am chair of the Nominating Committee for the Philadelphia Association, a member of the PSE Conference Justice & Witness Team, and Secretary of the UCC Cornerstone Fund.  I have worked for Zurich Insurance Company representing their insured in all kinds of disputes with a specialty in employment discrimination claims for over 20 years.  In my spare time I enjoy grilling by the pool, traveling and reading biographies and history.  I have a passion for addressing and dismantling the systemic racism in our criminal justice system in Pennsylvania and believe it is a place where we who call ourselves Followers of Christ need to be involved.

PSEC Conference Minister Rev. William Worley   BIO:  As Conference Minister, I have responsibility for the administration of the Conference and the spiritual care of our 337 pastors who work in various ministry settings, including the Conference’s 166 congregations. I represent Conference concerns to the National Church and work currently on the UCC Manual on Ministry re-write team. I am a Gettysburg College and Lancaster Theological Seminary graduate. I was ordained in 1994 while engaged in ministry as Associate Pastor of Union Congregational Church in Montclair, New Jersey. For the last fourteen years, I enjoyed working in urban ministry, congregational vitality, and transformational ministry with the folks at First Reformed in Lancaster, PA. From 1999-2013, I was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve assigned to the Marine Corps where, as Chaplain of Marines, I was twice decorated. I am a veteran of the Iraq War and helped found “Homebase,” a Lancaster-area Iraq/Afghan Veterans Group. My hobbies include weightlifting, kayaking, theater/concert going, camping, skiing, gardening, and hunting. I am the proud father of two college-age sons, Zack and Justin.







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