Staff Directory

Monica Dawkins Smith

Rev. Dr. Monica Dawkins-Smith

Conference Minister and President

Our Conference Minister is pastor, spiritual leader as well as the chief executive and administrative officer. The Conference Minister also represents the Conference and its vision to various constituencies including the national setting of the United Church of Christ as well as the ecumenical church and judicatories in this region.

Betsy Bruaw

Rev. Betsy Bruaw

Designated Associate Conference Minister for Congregational Discernment

Rev. Bruaw’s primary responsibility is to work with local churches in times of transition, helping them through a discernment process to bring clarity to the type of pastoral leadership needed for the congregation.

As Conference Associate Minster for Congregational Discernment, Rev. Betsy E Martin Bruaw’s primary responsibility is to work with local churches in times of transition, helping them through a discernment process to bring clarity to the type of pastoral leadership needed for the congregation to fulfill its vision where the courageous love of Christ is passionately declared and demonstrated.

Rev. Bruaw was pastor of Church of the Redeemer United Church of Christ, Hershey, PA from February 1994 – June 2016. A native of Shamokin, PA, Betsy is a graduate of Shamokin Area High School, Class of 1983, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, Class of 1987 and Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, Class of 1990. She has participated in the Leadership Renewal and Doctor of Ministry programs at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Betsy was ordained in the United Church of Christ at St. John’s UCC, Shamokin, PA on July 1, 1990. She began her ministry as pastor of the Tri Penn Charge UCC in Centre County, PA from 1990-1994.

At Church of the Redeemer, Pastor Betsy enjoyed sharing in the creation of imaginative worship and multi-media ministry, liturgical art and innovative education programs. A highlight of her time in Hershey is the creation of the Garden Labyrinth on the grounds of Church of the Redeemer. In the Hershey community, she is an advocate for survivors of bullying and an LGBT ally. She has represented the Hershey Ministerium in the Derry Township School District in a variety of ways.

Prior to coming on as Penn Central Conference staff, she served the Conference and the wider church, as director of Counselor-in- Training camp at Hartman Center and as a member of the Transition Team; as a Board Member of Penn Central Conference and chair of its Personnel Committee; as a delegate to two General Synods; as co-chair of the Conference’s Disaster Readiness and Response Team; as a member of the Convocation Planning Team; as a member of the Board of Directors of United Church of Christ Homes corporation and chair of its Spiritual Life Committee; as a member of the United Church Board for World Ministries and the General Synod Nominating Committee; as an officer of the Harrisburg Association and current member of the Committee on Ministry as well as the Penn Central Conference Commission on Ministry.

Betsy married William H. Bruaw in 1987, and they have two children; Joshua, a music educator, and Laura, a junior at Bloomsburg University. Bill is employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Waiver Capacity Manager for the Central Region Office of Developmental Programs. Betsy enjoys genealogy, music and crafts; she is an avid reader of history, biography and historical fiction.

Nora Foust

Rev. Nora Driver Foust

Associate Conference Minister for Congregational and Ministerial Excellence

Rev. Foust provides conference wide leadership focusing on preparation, formation and continuing education for ministry in and on behalf of the United Church of Christ for authorized ministers and the ministry settings in the Penn Central Conference.

Nora is a cradle-UCCer. At the heart of her call is a passion for teaching and helping others live into the call of God on their lives, individually and in community. She has served the local church in several roles along this journey: deacon, youth leader, Sunday School teacher, liturgist, lay preacher, associate pastor and judicatory staff. Nora explored many avenues of lay leadership in the church while pursuing a career first in education and then in college athletics administration, before attending seminary and seeking ordination in Christian ministry. Along the way, she served in wider church ministry on the executive committees of the boards of the Eastern North Carolina Association, Johns River Valley Camp and Blowing Rock Conference Center. There is a great love for outdoor ministry expressed through service for years as a program director at Johns River Valley Camp and through work with the Southern Regional Winter Youth Retreat at Blowing Rock Conference Center. This past summer, she began her relationship with Hartman Center serving as a Big Splash participant and as a chaplain for one of the camp weeks.

One focus of Rev. Foust’s ministry in Penn Central Conference is staffing the Committees on Ministry as they work with already authorized ministers as well as those seeking ordination to pursue excellence in that work. Helping to interpret the draft Manual on Ministry working toward more consistent processes across Penn Central Association Committees, Nora brings administrative gifts with an eye toward detail and consistency. Additionally, she has envisioned more relevant boundary training awareness for authorized ministers that invites them to see healthy boundaries as an everyday habit in ministry rather than a 6-hour workshop that has to be attended every 3 years. The topical, two-hour sessions, including one designed especially for retired clergy, occur several times a year so that ministers can choose topics that are relevant to their ministry and keep on the 6-hours every three years cycle. Part of bring relevancy into this training has included the development of trainings for local church leaders as well.

Another area of focus for Nora is leadership development and training. Servant recruitment is only effective if those being recruited are trained for the ministry they are called to in the local church. From the ministry of the sexton and the Sunday School volunteer, all the way across the spectrum of the church to the ministry of the pastor, Rev. Foust seeks to encourage continued practical and spiritual development and growth so that all members of the Church might live fully into being the body of Christ that celebrates the differing gifts of its many members. Nora is a graduate of Elon University (’98) with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She earned her teaching license and taught high school social studies and worked as an athletic trainer for four years prior to returning to Elon to work as the Assistant Athletics Business Manager and Ticket Manager. Nora also holds a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School (’07). She was ordained at First Reformed UCC in Burlington, NC and served as Associate Pastor there prior to being called into ministry with the Southern Conference in 2012 and then to Penn Central Conference in 2016. She continues to envision her call through a teaching lens and strives to help others seek excellence in their ministry, both lay and clergy. She lives in Harrisburg with her husband, Mike and their two children, Mckenzie (20) and Joshua (8).

Patricia Dodds

Rev. Patricia Dodds

Coordinator of Camps/Retreats/Youth Ministry

Rev. Dodds provides oversight of the weeks of summer camp as well as conference sponsored events at Hartman Center throughout the year.

Wendy Hepler

Wendy Hepler

Office Manager

Wendy provides secretarial services for the Conference Minister and our Associate Ministers. She also works with the remittances from our congregations. All address changes should be directed to Wendy.

Janice Mountain

Janice Mountain

Profile Secretary/Receptionist

Janice is responsible for scheduling meetings for our ministry groups and keeping our master calendar updated. She also is our profile secretary and receives clergy and church profiles and works on search and call along with supporting the Associate Conference Ministers.

Stephanie Rader Titzel

Stephanie Rader-Titzel

Director of Communications and Generosity

Stephanie is responsible for strategies and activities that advance the overall mission of the Conference, which include fundraising and donor development, communication, special events and volunteer management.

Stephanie Rader-Titzel is the newest staff member of Penn Central Conference. She started here in April, 2017 as Director of Communications and Generosity. Prior to coming to Penn Central Conference, she was an adjunct communications professor at Messiah College and held varying positions at Sprint, over a 20 year career, in communications, public relations, sales, marketing and corporate real estate. Her non-profit experience includes a tenure at the Girl Scouts where she served as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer here in Harrisburg.

Stephanie holds a masters of arts in public communication from American University, with a specialization in public relations and a bachelor of science in mass communication with minors in advertising and journalism from Towson University. She is a 1991 graduate of Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland.

Stephanie married her husband, John, in 2007 and they have one child, Drew, an enthusiastic eight year old son along with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Toby. Stephanie loves basketball (coaching, cheering or playing), water of any and every kind and being a mom.