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.


The Cornerstone Fund is a financial institution that serves the United Church of Christ. They offer short-term fixed rate investments to individuals and UCC churches and organizations, paying an established rate of interest depending on the term the investor selects. Then, they loan out the funds invested with us to established UCC churches and related organizations who are borrowing to make improvements to their building and grounds.

The Cornerstone Fund seeks to protect your investment by making sure our borrowers are well qualified, able to repay their loans on time and in full. We further protect our investors by taking the borrowing church’s property as collateral, much like a home is used as collateral for a mortgage—and we loan no more than 50% of the value of the borrower’s real estate.


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:


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: solutions/insurance board services.


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.


In 2021 a higher than usual number of campers enjoyed Pennsylvania’s state parks! The Schuylkill Association’s Locust Lake Campground Ministry provided a chaplain and a Sunday morning worship service for these campers.

Worship at Locust Lake is in a beautiful setting, among the trees, adjacent to the lake. Thanks to your donations, campers could conveniently enjoy in-person, outdoor worship.

The Chaplains in the Park program of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches is celebrating its 63rd year in 2022. The Chaplain in the Park program has a special activities agreement with the Bureau of State Parks. We are especially grateful for your financial support. Because of you, campers who come to Locust Lake to enjoy God’s outdoors can offer their praise to God. They can experience the special connection we feel as we worship in God’s creation!


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….


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

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.


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.


Phoebe Ministries is a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in healthcare, housing, and support services for seniors. Founded in 1903 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Phoebe Ministries offers a full continuum of care to suit the diverse needs of older adults. Located in seven Pennsylvania counties and serving thousands of seniors annually, Phoebe features four continuing care retirement communities, eight affordable housing facilities, and two pharmacies. For over a century Phoebe’s tradition of excellence and passion for caring have made us the leader in care for older adults and their family members.


Vanco has worked with UCC congregations since our founding 30 years ago. As a Ministry Partner, we serve over UCC congregations every day. We offer congregations everything they need to successfully connect with their worshipers, spread their message, grow giving and share their mission.

Vanco offers:

  • Storytelling: Vanco Online is the web tool UCC congregations use to share their story. Use your own words and your own photos to tell worshipers what your church is doing and what causes you’re supporting.
  • Engagement: Our free mobile app offers an easy way to stay in touch with your congregants, even if they can’t be together all the time. Online giving, communication and seating capacity management in our easy-to-use app.
  • True online church service: The way people worship has changed. Churches now need a way to make online worship as dynamic and inclusive as when everyone was in the sanctuary together. Vanco Live brings livestreamed services, giving, and member connection together.
  • Pricing: Discounted group rates available because of our conference’s partnership with Vanco.
  • Much more.

See why so many churches trust Vanco to foster stronger relationships with congregants and bring the warmth of their services online here.

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