Rev Call has responsibility for the administration of Penn Central Conference and the spiritual care of its pastors, churches, members and congregations.
Carrie served as our Transitional Conference Minister since August 2019 and was voted in as Settled Conference Minister one year later. She came to us from Lancaster Theological Seminary where she worked since October of 2016 as the Executive Director of Development and Communication. Prior to the Seminary she served the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ as an associate conference minister from 2012-2016. She also worked for 10 years at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, as an instructor in the departments of Psychology and Education and director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement. From 1992-97 she was pastor of Old First Church, Middletown, N.J.
Carrie holds three degrees from Cornell University: B.S. in Rural Sociology (1986), M.S. in Development Sociology (2000), and Ph.D. in Education (2004). She received a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Systematic Theology from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in 1990, and was ordained as a minister with full standing in the United Church of Christ in 1994. She currently serves the denomination in a variety of ways: On the United Church Board (where she is chair of the Task Force on Clergy Financial Wellness), on the UCC Historical Council; and a co-facilitator of the UCC History and Polity Teachers Network. She is author of Spiritually Healthy Divorce: Navigating Disruption with Insight & Hope (Skylight Paths Publishing, 2010). She lives in Lancaster with her husband Randall, who is Professor Emeritus of Reformation Studies at the University of Notre Dame as well as an adjunct faculty member in Church History at Lancaster Theological Seminary.
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).
Dr. Laviola provides conference wide ministry for churches and pastors through all the changes in the life of a church, including searching for and calling a new pastor. She also oversees the Congregational Empowerment Team that helps churches know vitality and growth at all stages of a church’s life.
Marisa joined the conference staff on June 1, 2020. She comes to us from the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ where she actively served in several different roles, including Pastor and Teacher for 11 years in Morrisville, and as Senior Interim Pastor in East Montpelier. During her time at Morrisville, she helped two congregations come together as one – a United Methodist congregation and a United Church of Christ congregation. She enabled them to discover their shared ministry of mission to their community and eventually join together as one congregation, where they have become a focal point of mission to their community. She has also served at the conference level as chair of the Conference-wide Committee on Ministry, as a speaker for church vitality, and as a vitality coach for churches who wish to grow their ministry.
Marisa holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Music History from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. She taught music at Asbury College in the 1980’s before transitioning to a career in clinical psychology. Prior to her ordination to ministry in 2009, she was a licensed psychologist in clinical practice for over 20 years. She has been published three times in the area of recovery from the sequelae of childhood abuse and neglect.
Marisa is thrilled to join our conference team and is looking forward to getting to know and work in partnership with churches and pastors in our conference. She has a passion for helping churches identify their mission for this day and time, no matter the size of the congregation or where they may be located. She brings a wealth of experience and love for the United Church of Christ.
She and her spouse Carol live in Harrisburg. They have two grown children, Kristyn and Kathryn. Kristyn is an assistant store manager for the Kohl’s corporation and lives in Vermont and Kathryn is completing her bachelor’s degree at Nazareth College in New York.
Paul’s primary duties include financial management, preparing the weekly eNews and other missives, organizing meetings and maintaining pastoral and church records. All address changes should be directed to him.
Paul Keller was born and raised in the greater Harrisburg area. After a very short tenure as a writer for a local magazine and blogger, he spent 14 years in Retail Management at Super Shoes stores before pivoting to church office work in 2018. He joined PCC after a stint as Church Administrator for Hummelstown UCC.
Paul is life-long active church member, serving in lay leadership roles since his teens. He has been a member of Metropolitan Community Church of the Spirit in Harrisburg since 2008, and board member at MCCS since 2020. Despite no higher theological education, he has lead Bible studies and given sermons there. He also regularly celebrates communion, sings in the choir and co-hosts their monthly Drag Bingo fundraisers.
Paul currently lives with his husband in Lemoyne. He is a homeschool graduate of 2002. When not at work, Paul enjoys music, reading, podcasts and baking.
Rev. Comfort-Butler coordinates a group of chaplains to assist clergy and their families in times of crisis and concern. Her and her team will provide confidential and pastoral support for any issues.
Ronnette is an ordain pastor at Maytown Reformed United Church of Christ since 2008. She is a graduate from Millersville University with a BSed. She is a graduate from Lancaster Theological Seminary with an MDiv in 2008 and a Doctorate in 2020. During her tenure at Maytown, she also served as the chaplain for the Lancaster Township Fire Department where she met with individuals, discussed issues with members and families to meet their spiritual needs whether in everyday occurrences or in special crisis circumstances. She provided emotional support, spiritual care, counseling, prayer and direct care to residents, family members and staff throughout her ten years as chaplain.
Ronnette also assisted in creating and implementing the Chaplaincy Program for the Susquehanna Regional Police Departments. During this time, she worked directly with the police officers to help them work through crisis situations. She helped train prospective chaplains and assisted in creating a program of chaplaincy for the police departments. She provided spiritual guidance, emotional support through listening and prayer, and visitation. She also applied knowledge regarding crisis intervention to assist in emergency situations to the police officers and family members.
Ronnette has been married to her husband for thirty-one years. She has two adult sons, Brett and Andrew. She resides in Lancaster.