Faith United Church of Christ

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In the Spot Light?
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Faith Proudly Supports

Spot Light

telescope Join us in welcoming Rev. Jessica (Jes) Kast as our Settled Pastor!

Pastor Jes was called by unanimous votes of the Search Committee, the Consistory, and the Congregation; she will begin January 1st.

Rev. Jes has a strong and vibrant online presence.

We invite you to explore her work and faithful involvement and service!


Margaret Hammond
Committee Chair

We appreciate your continued prayers for our work on this search.

jes kast November 1, 2018
The Reverend Jes Kast

Dear Faith UCC,

It is with great joy that I write to you as I anticipate meeting you on November 10th and 11th! I want to introduce who I am, some of my ministry experience, and what has inspired me to follow God’s call to ministry in seeking to be the Settled Pastor for the people of God at Faith UCC.

My name is Pastor Jes Kast and my call to pastoral ministry began soon after the waters of baptism were placed on my infant head. When I was a young girl I would assemble my stuffed animals into little pews and would gather grape juice and bread from my kitchen to lead this pretend congregation in worship. Helping people have meaningful encounters with the living God in Jesus Christ through the Spirit is what I have been called to do for the entirety of my life.

The Midwest raised me and the Big City formed me. I was formally educated in Michigan where I went to Western Theological Seminary and was first ordained by the Reformed Church in America (RCA). At the time I felt called to be part of the broader conversations the RCA was having as they discerned the role of faith in modern Christianity. Over the course of several years I discerned that I was being called to transfer my ordination to the United Church of Christ as this family of believers acknowledges the generous vision of the reign of God in Christ that has always informed my faith. Put simply, I preach the Sacred Scripture that sings of a strengthened soul into modern faith with warm pastoral sensitivity and joyful worship.

It was on a Christian and Muslim peacemaking trip to Oman that directed me to New York City. It was also in Oman that my understanding of modern Christianity and Jesus’ commandment “to love your neighbor as yourself” meant that the concerns of our interfaith neighbors were also the concerns of Christians. Since Oman, President Obama’s Interfaith Education Initiative invited me to the White House; I have led interfaith dialogues and prayer gatherings in New York City; and most recently have served on The Governor of New York’s Interfaith Advisory Council. Working together to foster a Spirit of generosity and care is something I am passionate about in our congregations and the wider community.

In 2010 I began my ministry at West End Collegiate Church and the shape of that ministry has grown from a Pastoral Intern, to an Associate, to most recently the Interim Head of Staff. After many years, I was surprised to discern that New York City was no longer where I was called. I believe before I even knew you Faith UCC, that God was calling me to Pennsylvania to a vibrantly progressive and deeply faithful community. My wife is a professor at Bloomsburg University and we believe that for our family, a permanent move to Pennsylvania is best for us.

While at West End Collegiate Church, one of the highlights of our shared ministry was the revitalization of our soup kitchen ministry, which we transformed into a worshipping community that we named A Taste of Heaven. You can read more about this ministry and the collective work we did together as a church at Duke Divinity’s Faith and Leadership blog here ( Immediately upon seeing your church profile I was excited by Faith’s testimony and witness in ministry. I am even more convinced of that now after my time with the incredible Search Committee and beginning to envision what new ministry empowered by the Holy Spirit at Faith UCC could look like.

My wife and I are drawn to State College for its cultural diversity, thoughtful conversations, and the location of the beautiful backdrop of the rolling mountains situated in Happy Valley. I feel called to be the Pastor of Faith UCC and am drawn to your warm hospitable witness of God’s love in Jesus Christ. The location inspires me as we minister together to each other and the borough in the energy of the surrounding area. Your light of God is evident and I believe together we will shine even brighter as we serve each other and the community by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Faith UCC, I am thrilled to meet you and have heard amazing things about you and your dynamic faith from your Search Committee, the Penn Central Conference, and my UCC colleagues in New York City! I have to tell you, when I was touring your sanctuary, your beautiful worship space and stained glass windows stunned me. Standing in that sacred space, it was immediately clear to me that I was called to be part of the journey and witness of faith of this community of saints. A community who has the Beatitudes etched into the DNA of your sanctuary and is the heartbeat of your community. Blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the merciful…blessed are YOU Faith UCC! It was at that moment that I prayed “Oh God, I think you are about to do a new and good thing with us together!”

My prayers are with each of you. I look forward to meeting you and to begin to hear your stories and know you more. I believe God is doing a new good thing in us together!

With much joy and peace from God our Creator,
The Reverend Jes Kast

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This Month

transgender remembrance At least 27 transgender Americans were killed this year, most of them women of color.

Many Open and Affirming congregations this Sunday (the Sunday before TDOR) will honor the dead and renew their commitment to welcome and advocate for their transgender and non-binary neighbors.
This year, the attack on transgender and non-binary Americans is not only physical, but also political.
The current Administration has already rolled back federal protections for transgender people, attempted to expel transgender recruits and career officers from the armed forces, and proposed laws that would erase non-conforming gender identities from federal programs, including health care. Standing with our transgender and non-binary neighbors as their rights, dignity and lives are under attack is an obligation for every ONA congregation.

One way churches can honor the memory of the victims of transphobia is to name them during the time for prayers at the service, reading each name to the ringing of a bell. The current list of Americans killed is at along with photos. A much longer list naming all of the known victims around the world is at

We also urge ONA congregations to toll your church bell 27 times at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and at that time gather to pray wherever you may be.

The ONA Coalition calls on all churches whose ONA covenants do not yet embrace people of all "gender identities and expressions" to begin a time of study, dialogue and prayer leading to an amended covenant that is trans-inclusive. You'll find resources at

Interfaith Power and Light This week for many of us the time change happened and our nights fall earlier.

It's a cozy time when our friends and family gather around the table. All our faith traditions find times throughout the year to celebrate with our loved ones around food.

Today more and more people are concerned about where our food comes from and how eating meat affects the climate. For some people that means becoming vegetarian but for many others it is about making conscious choices about when meat is eaten and where it comes from. They don’t give it up completely but choose to eat a little less meat. And there are many options for choosing local, organic, and humanely raised foods.

Download this report to learn more about how your holiday food choices can benefit the climate.

Factory farms have been shown to be a huge impact on our environment and our climate. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The methane releases from billions of animals on factory farms are 70 times more damaging per ton to the earth’s atmosphere than CO2.

The good thing is now we have many alternatives with a wide range of socially responsible, small-scale farms that produce locally. This alternative produces high-quality food, and supports farmers who produce healthy meat, eggs and dairy products using humane methods. You can also choose to add more plant-based items to your meals.

The FAO also reports that currently one third of the food we produce is either lost or wasted. The global costs of food wastage is in the range of $2.6 trillion a year, including $700 billion of environmental costs & $900 billion of social costs. Whether we over shop for the meal or never get around to finishing our leftovers many Americans end up having food go bad.

You can learn more about how to reduce your food waste in this kit.

I hope in this holiday season you have many opportunities to gather with those most important to you. You can all honor the bounty of our Earth by adding climate friendly food choices to your festivities.

Blessed be,

Kari Chinn
IPL Community Engagement and Programs Manager

women's guild The Women's Guild will meet at noon November 26 at the home of Jane Childs.

405 S Patterson St Bring your lunch!

SERRV Our Holiday SERRV Craft Shop opens November 30, and you can still help with planning and preparations.

We’ll need lots of help with unpacking and set-up as the time draws nearer; if you’re able to help, keep these windows of opportunity in mind:

November 27-29 SET-UP
November 30 – December 17 STAFF THE SALE, Thurs- Sat 11:00-3:00, Sun. after worship
December 18-19 PACK-UP

And, as always, consider doing your own shopping with fair trade in mind!

SERRV Begin this month!

Now is the time to come browse the handmade goods and finish Christmas shopping early!

The SERRV Sale doors will be open on these dates, and into December (see Next Month for more):

  • Nov 29, 11-3
  • Nov 30, 11-3
  • Penn Central conference, United Church of Christ Here's what's happening:

  • 16-18: Youth Retreat at Hartman Center. Escape Room! Grades 7-12 $95. See your pastor for registration info.
  • 16-18: Women’s Retreat at Hartman Center. Tie-dyed Faith – Revealing Your God Colors Room! $125 includes all materials. See your pastor for registration info.

  • Christmas Cards Faith Church photo Christmas cards are available in the Gathering Space.

    These cards feature a photo of Faith church on the front and blank inside.

    Limited Quantities! Get yours now!

    church directory Directories are available in the Gathering Space.

    Contact Jeff in the office for accessing the online directory.

    Updated covers are available (with the new Mission and Vision statements). Contact the office to have yours printed.

    boy at microphone Choir Rehearsals are Thursday Evenings @ 7pm
    November 1, 8, 15, & 29 (off Thanksgiving!)

    3rd Way Collective It’s finally Thanksgiving Break! Thank you for your support so far this semester. We will be back to work after the holidays.

    Consider attending the weekly Standing at the Gates for Justice vigil every Monday at 4pm.

    Campus Pastor Ben Wideman

    We continue to look beyond University Mennonite Church to support the work of 3rd Way Collective in this coming 2018-19 school year. Individuals or organizations can pledge at

    For our full schedule and to find out how to support this ministry please visit or contact

    A reflection is posted each month at

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    Next Month

    SERRV Ongoing this month!

    Now is the time to come browse the handmade goods and finish Christmas shopping early!

    The SERRV Sale doors will be open on these dates:

  • Dec 1, 11-3
  • Dec 2, after service
  • Dec 6, 11-3
  • Dec 7, 11-3
  • Dec 8, 11-3
  • Dec 9, after service
  • Dec 13, 11-3
  • Dec 14, 11-3
  • Dec 15, 11-3
  • Dec 15, after service--Last Day!
  • Christmas Eve Service Faith Church's Annual Christmas Eve service is Monday, December 23, at 7 PM.

    Join us for about an hour of carol singing and Christmas stories!

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    On Going

    martin luther statue The Forum group is using the Great Books series on the History of Christianity.

    Join us at 9:30 on Sunday mornings in the Library (on the second floor) for a short DVD presentation followed by discussion on what we have seen.

    This is a good place to get to know those who join you In worship and to enjoy a lively discussion while you learn about our heritage.

    Penn State Lion Shrine at night Faith UCC welcomes college students to join us in worship and fellowhip, and we would love to be your church away from home!

    Our church is conveniently located directly across from the Penn State campus, and our weekly Sunday worship services are at 10:45 AM during fall and spring semesters. Come as you are, and please join us for refreshments immediately following the service.

    We are a long-established, Open and Affirming, inclusive faith community. Students are welcome to join us in other church activities such as: the church choir, participating in and teaching Sunday School classes, food and fellowship, annual CROP and AIDS walks, mission trips, and service projects.

    The Sacrament of Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of each month as well as on special days of the church year. All Christians are invited to share the bread and the cup from our Lord's table.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email at

    figure with puzzle piece If you would like to become a member of Faith UCC, or you simply want to learn more about our UCC identity, please let Pastor Bret know of your interest so that a two-session class may be started at times you may attend. You may email him, or call (814) 237-3904.

    Hurricane from orbit Hurricane Florence has directly devastated a large swath of both the Carolinas and has caused extensive flooding along the Eastern US. Even here in PA: water levels broke the records set in the wake of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 all across the state.

    Thank you to all who have expressed great compassion in wanting to provide relief aid.

    Here are a few ways you can help:

    PRAY - Please keep the victims, families, leaders and responders in your prayers.

    MAKE A DONATION - As always, our UCC response has been quick and will be on-going.
    There are no administrative fees -- 100% of funds designated for disaster relief to the United Church of Christ are used for disaster relief and rehabilitation programming.

    This link is to the UCC donation page.

    VOLUNTEER - A list of volunteer opportunities can be found here.

    PURCHASE CLEAN UP KITS- You can assist hurricane and other disaster relief efforts by pre-assembling various kits that are warehoused by CWS, ready to be shipped at a moment's notice when the need arises. There are still matching grants available!

    Thank you for your abundant generosity!

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    Faith Church Proudly Supports:

    Centre Safe

    For over 40 years, we’ve been the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

    However our mission is to eliminate domestic, relationship, and sexual violence for everyone – women, children, men, and people of all gender identities and diverse backgrounds.
    Our mission remains the same: Empowering survivors, so they may live lives free of violence.

    So we are becoming Centre Safe: Empowering Survivors, Eliminating Violence as we envision a safe Centre County.

    You are not alone; help is available for women, men, and children who have experienced dating & domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Call toll free at 1-877-234-5050
    All of our services are professional, confidential, and free.
    Inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

    For more information, see our website: 24-HOUR HOTLINE: 814-234-5050 | TOLL FREE: 1-877-234-5050 | TTY: 814-272-0660

    MidPenn Legal services

    MidPenn Legal Services is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to providing equal access to justice and high quality civil legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence in 18 counties in Central Pennsylvania.

    For more information, see their website:

    Hoffman Homes for Youth

    Hoffman Homes for Youth is committed to promoting the personal growth and achievement of the children and families we serve through continuous quality improvement, education, staff development, and the use of evidence-based practices.

    Our team of caregivers is devoted to creating a culture of healing that enables our children to recover and thrive, and to realize brighter, healthier futures. We do this by following the seven commitments of the Sanctuary Model and adhereing to our Core Values & Guiding Principles:

    • Honesty & Integrity
    • Safety & Well-being
    • Dignity & Respect
    • Commitment to Excellence

    Hoffman Homes for Youth • 815 Orphanage Road • Littlestown, PA 17340
    Phone: (717) 359-7148 • Fax: (717) 359-2600

    For more information, see their website:

    hartman center

    HARTMAN CENTER is the Outdoor Ministries facility owned by Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ since 1964.

    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 without regard to race, creed, or ethnic origin, and who accept the guidelines and philosophy of the Center.

    For more information, see their website:

    Out of the Cold, Centre County

    Out of the Cold: Centre County is an emergency shelter open from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night from mid-October to early May.

    During the 2017-2018 season, fourteen congregations helped to provide overnight shelter for 118 guests, filling 2473 cots and serving almost 5,000 meals!

    Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, the host site rotates every two weeks.
    Each evening our guests are welcomed warmly, served a hot meal, given a cot, warm blankets, and a place to sleep.
    Breakfast is served and in the morning and before leaving guests can register to return that evening.

    Basic case management is available for guests wanting assistance acquiring housing.

    Out of the Cold: Centre County is a grassroots effort and is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

    If you would like to help as a volunteer or through other means of support, please send us an e-mail at: For more information, see their website:

    Bethany Children's Home

    The mission of Bethany Children’s Home is to continue a Christian ministry, begun in 1863, to serve children and families within our care.
    We strive to provide a safe place of nurture, protection, and supportive care to aid our residents in their self-understanding, growth, and healing toward a brighter, healthier future.

    Our vision is of a community where all youth and staff are safe in their environment and feel safe within themselves.
    To bring this vision into reality, we provide the resources needed to children and families to work through their losses, enabling them to have a brighter future.

    For more information, visit their website:

    Park Forest Preschool

    The Park Forest Preschool is a nonprofit, tuition-free school for two, three, and four-year-old children from low-income families.

    We offer a comprehensive program that includes education, social skills, and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a friendly, safe environment.
    In each classroom there are one to three teacher aides, providing additional attention.

    Classes meet from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. from September to December and from January to May.
    The two year-old class meets Tuesday through Thursday while the other classes meet Monday through Friday.
    Check out our online calendar for a details on class schedules and school events. Nutritious breakfasts and lunches are provided daily.

    The school also provides the following services to students and their families:

  • Health screenings–medical, dental, vision, developmental and speech
  • Clothing bank for the children
  • Holiday food and gift boxes
  • Emergency funds
  • Weekly parenting classes
  • For more information, see their website:

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    Penn State Beaver Stadium

  • Wisconsin, Nov 10, Time TBA
  • Maryland, Nov 24, Time TBA
  • open bible Here are links to daily readings from:

    the UCC online Devotional,

    and the Revised Common Lectionary

    At the Annual Meeting, the vote on the Plastic Foam Resolution was adopted. The resolution on plastic foam states,

    "Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ encourages all congregations to avoid the used of plastic foam in food packaging and other activities within their church facilities. Be it further resolved that congregations educate their members about plastic foam and that they encourage them to use alternatives such as paper products of better yet, ceramic or other dishwasher safe products."

    UCC Disabilities Ministry

    The newly reorganized Disabilities Ministries Team is proud to share that we have received a $1,000 grant from UCC Disabilities Ministries Board (UCCDM) to help us expand our work of disability justice and inclusion within Penn Central Conference. Stay tuned for information on a series of workshops throughout the conference on the national Accessible 2 All (A2A) Designation and the background of the work of disabilities ministries.

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