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ABOUT US

Linfield Church can be traced as far back as 1862 with the gift of land from Jefferson March. This was the seed of our growth. The actual building of the chapel took place during the summer of 1878 under the name Limerick Station Union Chapel. Then, on July 6, 1891, the church was incorporated as the Linfield Reformed Church, reflecting the change in name of the town. We remained the Reformed Church until June 1934, when the Reformed and Evangelical churches merged. This union remained in effect for 23 years until, in June of 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Church to become what is now known as the United Church of Christ. The church building has grown to accommodate an expanding congregation. These changes included a church school extension in 1940 to house a growing Sunday School. In 1958 the sanctuary was expanded, and Christian Education rooms were added. The illuminated steeple and large stained-glass window were part of this expansion project. In 1969 a two-story addition was completed to provide additional educational space, replacing the "church house" which was torn down. We take pride in maintaining the church property with improvement projects on a yearly basis.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR

There is much that I wish to share with you this month, so please bear with me-I will try to make it as short as possible.

            It is with great joy and excitement that I share with you the experiences and insights from the Spring Pennsylvania Southeast Conference (PSEC) meeting and the Joint Pa UCC Conference meeting that took place from June 7th to 9th at Penn State. Gathering with nearly 500 UCC Christians was an amazing and uplifting experience, filled with fellowship, the forging of new connections, and worshiping together as one united body of faith. You will be excited and maybe not so surprised to learn that you currently employ the youngest ordained UCC clergy in Pa!

            The central focus and purpose of our joint conference meeting was to discuss the potential formation of the Keystone Conference. To provide some context, the UCC is structured in different settings: the local church (t

hat’s us), followed by the association (ours is the Ursinus Association), then all the associations in a geographical area make up a conference(our conference is the PSEC), and the largest setting is the National UCC. In Pennsylvania, there are currently four conferences who are exploring the possibility of merging into one unified Pennsylvania conference to be known as the Keystone Conference.

            Our weekend began with a collaborative session where the Consistories/Boards of each conference gathered to share our experiences as leaders: if you were not aware, I serve on the PSEC Consistory as the Secretary. We discussed our respective conference initiatives, structures, and how a potential merger could embody the principle that “Together We Are Stronger”. In the afternoon we held our first joint meeting, where participants at each table expressed both excitement and concerns about a merged conference. The shared joys included the potential for shared resources, increased possibilities within larger groups, a stronger collective voice on national issues, enhanced youth engagement across the state, and much more. However, concerns were also voiced, such as the logistics of staff integration, communication challenges for non-technical churches, the distances involved for meetings, and the costs associated with merging.

            On the second day we began our individual conference meetings. For PSEC, much of our discussion centered on finances. At the PSEC Fall meeting the conference had voted to pass a deficit budget of $79,000, hoping this would be a one-time occurrence. Looking ahead to the 2024 Fall meeting, the PSEC Budget and Finance Committee presented potential 2025 budgets, all projecting larger deficits. Our treasurer’s presentation offered a sobering look into our financial future: with the 3% annual decrease in OCWM donations and a 3% annual increase in expenses, PSEC is likely to exhaust all unrestricted funds by 2029-just 5 years from now. This stark reality is compounded by the fact that more than half of PSEC is also running deficit budgets, contributing to the decline in OCWM donations. Despite these challenges, our time together was not without its bright spots. We celebrated the contributions of individuals whose terms on committees had ended and elected new officers to lead us forward.

            After lunch, the discussion about the Keystone Conference continued with all four conferences examining the details of what a merged conference might look like. A significant portion of this discussion focused on finances and staffing. We explored various staffing models for the Keystone Conference, all ranging around 10 full and part-time staff members.            I will bore you no longer, but please know that if you would like more information on the Keystone Conference or details about the PSEC meeting, please feel free to speak with me. I have many handouts and would be delighted to sit down and have a conversation with you. There is much to consider before the November 9th PSEC meeting, where we will vote on whether to become a merged conference or not.

            I would like to end with a final reminder that as a church in covenantal relationship with PSEC, it is our duty to send two representatives to these meetings to ensure our church’s interests are represented. If you are interested in becoming a delegate for our church, please speak to me. Your participation is vital to our collective decision-making and the future of our community.

            Blessing and gratitude,

            Pastor Caroline

OUR FAITH

Drawn together by the Holy Spirit, we are a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church, joining faith and action. In covenant with the church in all its settings, we serve God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world as made manifest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

OUR COMMUNITY

We are a small faith community with BIG hearts. Our welcoming and faithful congregation has embarked on a journey to minister within the community and ourselves.  The members of Linfield UCC are a community of followers of Jesus Christ.  We seek growth in our faith through worship, mission, education, fellowship, and loving service to others.

"That they may all be one."

John 17:21

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