February 25, 2015
Important News from the Penn Northeast Conference Board of
At a special
February 19, 2015, meeting of the Penn Northeast Conference
Board of Directors the Board was faced with making some very
congregations contributions to Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM)
in 2014 were over $87,000 less than in 2013, leaving the
Conference's mission and ministries in a very precarious
position. In early December, churches were notified that
Conference finances were not good. However, we did not expect
the shortfall to be this large.
After a very lengthy
discussion, the Board reluctantly voted to eliminate the
position of Associate Conference Minister. Nancy Azar currently
serves in this position. The elimination of this position, along
with some reductions in our contributions to national OCWM (the
amount will not go below our full tithe to national), our
contribution to the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, our
expenditure for IT services, and the amount of funds we spend on
staff travel will reduce the Budget by over $88,000.
This will leave the
Conference with three full-time employees funded by OCWM:
Alan C. Miller, Conference Minister
Barbara Jennings, Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Patty Rehrig, Administrative Assistant
The Conference Staff
also includes the Rev. Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez. Gilberto
serves in a very part-time position in the area of Church
Development. Gilberto's position is funded by a special gift to
the Conference's Church Development Fund.
We will miss Nancy
Azar along with her skills and talents on the Conference Staff.
For six years Nancy has served us with commitment and skill.
Nancy's call, as most calls, allows for a 90 day notification of
termination of employment by both parties. This 90 day period
will officially begin March1, 2015. However, to say 'thank
you" for her years of service and to help Nancy as she seeks new
employment, there is no expectation that she be in the Office
nor accept new assignments during this time period. Nancy will
be in the Office periodically to wrap up some current projects
and to compile notes and files that are important to the
Conference. The remaining time she will devote to discerning and
finding her next setting of service on her journey.
As we find our way
through these changing times, the Board has made a renewed
commitment to leading and serving the Conference including
assembling an active Discernment Team to help us each step of
the way. In addition, we will be relying on our many elected and
volunteer members of our Conference to lead and serve as we seek
to live out our mission and ministries.
congregations, we ask you to lift up our Conference in prayer
and to revisit your financial support of (OCWM) the wider
mission of the United Church of Christ.
behalf of the PNEC Board of Directors
Jeffrey Bauer, Moderator
Alan Miller, Conference Minister