GET TO KNOW RBCC
Churches in Ministry Together
The mission of Reading Berks Conference of Churches is to connect, equip and mobilize in the name of Jesus.
to explore our history & community ministries
CHURCHES IN MINISTRY TOGETHER
Expressing Faith, Unity and Service
within the Body of Christ since 1947
Reading Berks Conference of Churches serves the cooperative interests of the Body of Christ in Berks County. As a unifying organization for the Christian churches of the county, we engage in activities to connect, learn, and minister to the community, giving witness to the value of what can be accomplished when churches are united in one spirit and working together.
“Why?” is a simple, yet powerful question that can drive an idea to reality or stop it in its tracks. An idea in the mid 1940s was to bring together the Christian churches of Greater Reading. Why? Throughout the history of the Church there has been a holy struggle to actively respond to the prayer of Jesus, that we, as His followers would be one. Not simply one like a sports team, or a group with a common goal. One, as Jesus and God the Father are one. This is given account in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17, verses 20-26. Jesus prayed, “I do not pray for these alone (the first disciples), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You; that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it. That the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
This is the true foundation of the establishment of Reading Berks Conference of Churches, founded as Greater Reading Council of Churches. It is this “why” that has driven generations to continue the mission. Our work has been a testimony to the dedication and Holy Spirit-filled drive of united individuals, allowing God to carry out miracles in Reading and Berks County. You see, in a world of large personalities filled with human drive and agendas, it is a miracle when we lay down our own thoughts and ideas at the foot of the cross of Christ. When we seek to be one around this same Jesus, we display God in an attractive way to the world around us through our actions and interactions. Simple, yet complicated by human nature; thus, revealing the miracle that occurs when we truly act as one. We invite you to seek to find yourself in the story that is the history of the Body of Christ at work.
1947 - 1973
In 1947, the nation was rebounding from WWII. The City of Reading had over 100,000 residents. Some of these residents, along with others from around Berks County, representing members of several churches of various denominations, purposed to band together as the united Body of Christ for a stronger community.
On January 28, 1947, the Greater Reading Council of Churches was born.
The organization was inspired through the Albright College School of Theology. Its first executive director was Rev. Mervin Heller, who served for 27 years, from 1947 to 1974. He is referred to and acknowledged as executive director, but his title at that time was actually executive secretary. Rev. Heller formed many valuable relationships within the faith community of Reading and Berks County. Through these relationships, a number of initiatives were carried out during his tenure.
In the 1948 annual report of the organization, Dr. J.A. Heck, the first board president, issued this challenge, “Persons in the churches often ask, somewhat skeptically, What are we getting out of the Council? This is an irrelevant way of putting this question. This Council is organized to “get something out of the churches.” I have no reference to money. We are saying to the Protestant Churches of Reading, one and all, let’s get together and give to this community and its citizens the spiritual values of our common Christian heritage. We must give, each to the other, to strengthen our own life experiences. We must multiply our power by working together. We must give everything possible to this community, to make our community more Christian and to reach the unreached majority of our citizens for Christ and His Church and the ever-coming Kingdom of our God.” Dr. Heck emphasized the commitment to the foundation of the establishment of the Council. He served as Council President for two years, passing the baton to Rev. Horace S. Mann in 1949.
The Council worked to further the cause of Christ through unity and service in a variety of areas. The ministries of the Council at this time were carried out through commissions. The commissions included Sunday School, Weekday Church School, Vacation Church Schools, Leadership Education, Youth Work, Evangelism, Social Action and Public Relations.
The establishment of “Church School” on weekdays at 3:45pm for students of grades 4, 5, and 6 was a primary focus, and major initiative, at the establishment of the Council. At its peak, over 1,600 students learned about God and the Bible through 27 churches led by over 50 volunteer teachers. Vacation Bible School was also coordinated and led by Greater Reading Council of Churches. In 1950, 2000 children attended VBS through 22 church locations. One year later, 2500 students attended through 25 host churches. The Council also launched “Operation Concern” to boost enrollment in church Sunday School programs. This was a friendly contest among the Churches of Reading and Berks County. Many congregations increased their Sunday School attendance significantly. The oneness of these efforts attracted people to participate.
Youth were also a key focus of the Council. Yearly youth rallies were held at Bynden Wood Day Camp. In 1957 the theme of the rally was “Consider Your Call”. 300 youth attended!
The Commission on Evangelism brought people together in a variety of ways. A yearly showing of the movie “King of Kings” was coordinated during Holy Week. This continued for many years. For a number of years, five simultaneous prayer gatherings were held in Reading near the start of the year. These were hosted by a variety of Christian churches. In 1952, chaplaincy was established at Berks Heim, which included the coordination of weekly church services at the facility. Chaplaincy at Berks Heim continues to this day through Reading Berks Conference of Churches. A Christian Rally coordinated by the Commission on Evangelism was held in September of 1954 and attended by 2000 people.
Social Action was the focus of another Commission established in 1947. Housing, Unemployment, Alcohol & Narcotics, Crime, Broken Homes and Racial & Cultural Understanding were areas addressed by this Commission. One key relationship was with the Reading & Vicinity Ministerial Association (RVMA), which is also still very strong today. RVMA brings together the African American pastors and church leaders of Greater Reading. Their longstanding history has continually crossed paths with Reading Berks Conference of Churches.
Public Relations was also the focus of a commission. Religious newscasts were regularly held on local radio stations, WEEU and WHUM. As many as 90 broadcasts each year shared the gospel. This commission also aided and publicized the longstanding Easter Dawn Service atop Mt. Penn. This yearly service, is the second longest standing Easter Dawn Service in the country. Only Mount Rubidoux in Riverside, California is older, established in 1909. The Rev. J. Franklin Cropp, a pastor at Reading’s First Baptist Church in 1914 who formerly served in California, came up with the idea to do something similar on Mount Penn. Since 1914 this has been a tradition in Reading. RBCC has played an active role in planning and advertising this service throughout our history.
Rev. Heller participated in many community activities as a representative of Greater Reading Council of Churches. One of these was the “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign throughout the 1950’s. The More Reverent Observance Committee of Reading and Berks County and Montgomery County led the charge to promote the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, keeping Jesus as the central figure of Christmas.
In the early 1960’s, Reading was notorious for illegal gambling. Rev. Heller met regularly with Mayor John Kubacki as the Council joined the effort to chase organized crime out of the City. In this courageous stand, Rev. Heller and the Council consistently supported police and called for racketeers to leave Reading. The Council’s active stand against illegal gambling is documented within the pages of “When the Rackets Reigned”, a book written by Ed Taggert. Ed was hired by the Reading Times in 1956 and was assigned to the police beat. His witness of the crime in Reading at this time ultimately inspired his book.
Greater Reading Council of Churches was very active in ministry during the turbulent 1960’s, coordinating a civil rights prayer service. The Council, under Rev. Heller’s leadership was at the forefront of civil rights. They truly lived out “love your neighbor” and being one as the Body of Christ. In 1963, the Council established an Interreligious Committee on Race, providing an effective medium for communication among the races of our community. This committee helped to either correct or create conditions conducive to racial understanding and justice by bringing together leadership of almost every segment of our community, including business, labor, industry, education, major religious faiths, government along with representatives of minority racial groups.
In the heat of the civil rights movement in the 60’s Rev. Heller held great friendships with the African American community of Reading. One example of this was his friendship with Rev. James J. McCracken, pastor of St. James Chapel. As the congregation of St. James Chapel acquired a new building for their congregation in February of 1966, they all marched from the old building to the new, down 9th Street in Reading. Rev. Heller marched right beside his friend and the congregation, present to support and welcome them to their new building.
Relationships of the Greater Reading Council of Churches have continually extended to other faith communities. When the Jewish Temple, Oheb Sholom, was bombed in 1969, the Council joined other groups to condemn the action in an open letter to the community, shared in the Reading newspaper. The letter urged the immediate commitment to stamp out the sickness in our community and bring about the necessary changes to live out the human values we profess.
Many wonderful volunteer leaders supported the Council during Rev. Heller’s time of leadership. Stepping into roles of leadership is an act of faith. Rev. Harold D. Flood spoke to this in his 1963 President’s report. “At first I hesitated to accept the nomination for the presidency, for, while I realized that it would be a privilege to serve in this office, I knew also that it would be a great responsibility. But I accepted – not because of any self-confidence on my part, but because I knew that I could depend on many other dedicated churchmen who would stand with me and would help me carry on this work. I accepted, also, because I knew that whenever we undertake any task of Christian service we can be confident of the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we do our best to fulfill that task.”
1963 was the year the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was established. The name was changed to the RBCC Prayer Breakfast in 2014.
Surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit has been key in the successes of the Council/Conference of Churches. In August of 1974, as Rev. Mervin Heller resigned his position, the Board of Directors sought this guidance in selecting the next Executive Director of the organization. Rev. Heller continued to work in the community until his death in June of 1989.
1974 - 1985
Rev Earl W. Allen, Executive Director
In Rev. Allen’s first annual Executive Director’s message, only four months into his leadership position, he shared a couple observations, “It is abundantly clear that this is a strong Council with a widely diversified ministry. This strength stands as a testimony to Dr. Mervin A. Heller whose devotion to ecumenical work is widely recognized and honored. We shall be grateful to him for the foundation on which we now build. The first four months have been exciting, The year ahead promises to be even more so. Let us approach it with Paul’s faith: We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
A new logo was introduced the beginning of 1975. A cross on a crest of waves surrounded by concentric circles symbolizing Christ and His mission involved in the sea of life that is defined by local congregations cooperating.
The commissions and committees in operation as Rev. Allen took leadership were: Sunday School, Leadership Education, Institutional Ministry, Evangelism, Youth, Public Relations, Church Women United, Migrant Ministry, Religion and Health, Scouting, Social Action, Long Range Planning, Church World Service, Police Chaplaincy and Ecumenical Relations. The Council continued to work out of the Central YMCA at Reed and Washington Streets.
Rev. Allen re-grouped the work of the Council into five departments. Administration, Communication, Community Relations, Religious Unity, and Institutional Ministries were formed in 1975. The Commissions and committees continued, as the departments focused on the forward vision of the overall organization.
1975 was a banner year for clothing collection for Church World Service. 8300 pounds of clothes were collected!
A School of Religion was formed out of the Department of Religious Unity. The school began in fall of 1975, with classes meeting at Albright College. The first three courses offered were: “Face-Lifting the Faith in Times of Crisis” (A Study of Ezekiel), Strengthening Christian Family Life” and “Methods and Resources for Working with Life”. Dr. Francis H. Williamson was the first dean of the School of Religion. 103 students participated in the first sessions. The Community School of Religion ran until 1983, when it was canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
October of 1977 brought the first Reading Hospital Chaplain. After a 14 month search, Rev. Kenneth Feinour was selected for the position. Reading Hospital chaplaincy was established in partnership with Greater Reading Council of Churches and the hospital. The Council sponsored funding of and provided oversight for the position. In the area of chaplaincy, a chaplain was also hosted at French Creek State Park for the main camping season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this time, the Council also provided chaplains at Hawk Mountain Scout Camp and a chaplain that ministered to migrant workers in Berks County.
1977 also brought the founding of a Furniture Bank. This was established by the Council and was first housed at St. Luke’s UCC in Kenhorst. The concept behind this project was simple, to collect donations of furniture items in good condition for distribution to those in need. Years later, The Salvation Army of Reading partnered with the Council to take over operation of the Furniture Bank.
Many remember the Annual Hymn Sing in Gring’s Mill Park. It was first held on August 20, 1978. Miss Velma VanLiew (DeTemple) opened the event with a half hour organ prelude of the hymns of faith. Velma was also a faithful organist at the Easter Dawn service for decades. Singing commenced accompanied by the Reading Philharmonic Band, with 30 musicians! The Annual Hymn sing continued until 2011.
Ministry in the Berks County Jail began in 1979. Rev. William H. Sunderland was the first chaplain. Ministry in the jail was expanded through Yoke Fellowship Prison Ministry in 1983. Rev. John Rush led this volunteer effort.
In 1981 the mission of the organization was presented as: The Purpose of the Council shall be to:
- Foster Christian Unity and cooperation among the churches of Reading and Berks County
- Encourage dialogue with all segments of the religious community
- Provide prophetic and informative Christian witness
- Promote efforts for community betterment and service
- Assist the churches to fulfill their individual and cooperative mission
The Easter Dawn Service brought a great crowd in 1981, with over 1200 people assembling on Mt. Penn, to celebrate Christ!
After many years of collecting clothing in support of Church World Service, A Reading Area Crop Walk was established in October of 1982 to combat hunger locally and worldwide. This has been an on-going event each year since, organized by the Council/Conference until 2012. The West Berks Mission District of the Lutheran Church community took over organizing the event in 2013. The lifetime fundraising of this walk went over one million dollars raised in 2016. Local support is given to Greater Berks Food Bank (25% of contributions), with the remainder combating hunger, worldwide, through the efforts of Church World Service.
Later in October of 1982 a religious fair was held at Berkshire Mall. This was planned in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of the chartering of Pennsylvania and the beginning of religious freedom. It gave area church congregations the opportunity to share information about their faith, work and opportunities of service. Nearly 50 congregations participated along with 18 musical or dramatic groups.
In the history of a cross being illuminated on the Fire Tower on Mt. Penn, there have been a couple times that people have fought to have it removed. The first demand to cease hanging the lighted cross on the Fire Tower during lent was in 1982, issued by the ACLU. The Council board voted 9-2 against the request. The city sided with the Council and kept the cross lit. Interestingly, the Jewish community, felt similarly to the Council. Another demand to remove the cross came in around 2011. Again, the city held its ground with support from many in the community, including RBCC.
The Council/Conference had a TV Show on BCTV for many years. It started in 1983 and continued through 2012. The show was called “Good News People” and interviewed countless people over the years. Many lived out their faith in Jesus in tangible ways that impacted lived in the community in a positive way. You can still watch some episodes on the BCTV website.
SHARE, a program in partnership with The Salvation Army of Reading was established in 1983. SHARE, an acronym for Survival Helps/Assistance & Referral in Emergency, helped a great number of people with basic needs of food and shelter. This program gave an opportunity for church congregations to designate funds that could be used to help people with these basic needs. Over many years this program sought to assist people in gap areas of need. Prescription medication assistance became a focus later in the life of this program.
After 37 years of being housed at the Reading YMCA, the Council moved its office in late 1984 to 54 N. 8th Street in Reading.
A Historic Church Tour was organized and held in 1984. A bus brought the tour participants to various locations, with a lunch being held at one of the tour sites. The tour continued for a few years, with different locations toured each year. The churches toured the first year were Alsace Lutheran, Bethel AME, Bellemans Church, Christ Little Tulpehocken, Host Church, Reed Church and The Novitiate at Wernersville.
In 1984, Rev. Allen tendered his resignation. Only a couple months after resigning, he was diagnosed with cancer and passed on to be with our Lord on January 4, 1986.
During 1985, Dean A. Allen served as interim director.
1986 - 1991
Rev. Warren Wilfert was welcomed as the third Executive Director of Greater Reading Council of Churches in 1986.
Significant development in the area of chaplaincy was accomplished under Rev. Wilfert’s leadership. In 1987 a volunteer chaplaincy was established at Community General Hospital in Reading. 1990 and 1991 brought more development in the area of chaplaincy. A Chaplaincy Fellowship was formed, bringing together 18 chaplains from the areas of mental health, hospitals, nursing homes, prison, colleges, and migrant workers. The fellowship met to offer fellowship, support and accountability among a wide group of chaplains. October of 1990, Rev. Dr. Greggory Stoddard was brought on as head of the Department of Pastoral Care at Reading Hospital Chaplaincy. Rev. Stoddard went on to build a world-class Certified Pastoral Education program at reading Hospital that, today, is still a sought-after program for professionals desiring to work in chaplaincy. In 1991, A contract between Berks County Prison Board and the Council was established to provide paid chaplains at the jail. RBCC still maintains this contract with the County, which has allowed chaplaincy to thrive over the years. 3 paid chaplains coordinate over 200 religious volunteers yearly at Berks County Jail.
Related to chaplaincy, a “Shepherd of the Streets” position was established in 1990. Terry McClellan filled the role. The mission was to minister on the streets of Reading by walking in neighborhoods and building relationships. Conversation, prayer and resource sharing were all part of this role. It only was supported by the Council for two years, then was supported by a couple congregations in Reading for an extended period of time.
After about a Year and a half of planning and fundraising, in 1990 the Council helped to establish a Berks County Aids Hospice Care Home, called Rainbow Home. Well over $100,000 was raised to renovate space on the grounds of Wernersville State Hospital.
A great focus on churches working together continued under Rev. Wilfert. The organization promoted itself as a unifying agency receiving direction from member churches to help them fulfill their mission in Berks. The Council also presented a visible expression of oneness in thinking, planning, speaking and acting in the name of Christ.
Mid 1991 brought he resignation of Rev. Wilfert. He lived another 9 years, passing on to be with the Lord in March of 2000.
1991 - 1994
Rev. Larry Nalo became the Council’s fourth Executive Director in November of 1991. In a letter to the churches of Berks County he expressed the weight of the position. “Please keep me in prayer. I have never experienced a greater sense of opportunity in ministry that I have felt in these beginning weeks; nor have I ever felt more burden if the task before me. Yet, I am remembering the words of our Lord when He said, “My Yoke is easy (well suited, a worthy one) and my burden is light (not too heavy for you).” I will keep your personal and your church’s ministries in prayer, I promise it.”
Under the direction of Rev. Nalo, the Council reviewed all of its work and governing documents. Even though he only directed the Conference for a couple years, significant work was done to firm up the organizations constitution, by-laws, and mission. This work included an extensive review of the organizations name. The name was officially changed to Reading Berks Conference of Churches in 1993. Several reasons were expressed for the name change. (1) There was a growing support of the “Council” from county churches, far beyond Reading and vicinity. The new name embraced the full partnership of all member churches in Berks County. (2) The “Council” had always been an expression of the local churches of Berks County, unaffiliated with any nationally or ideologically oriented body. The Board of Directors believed “Conference” better reflected that reality in the 1990s. (3) An unspoken reason for the change, though the most problematic one, was to rectify the problem of finding the organizations number in the phone book, which was listed under “Greater…”
In 1992 RBCC developed a Reading Police chaplaincy. This allowed chaplains to travel with police officers and minister to them, as well as provide spiritual guidance in some of their interactions with citizens of Reading. Although it has had times of inactivity, police chaplaincy continues, through a number of dedicated chaplains.
The “Midnight Ministry” served food and shared the Gospel on the streets of Reading on Friday nights, often at 6th & Franklin, truly feeding body and soul for many struggling with darkness and despair.
Rev. Nalo resigned in July of 1994. Rev. Charles Fair took the reigns, as interim director through February of 1995.
1995 - 2010
Rev. Calvin Kurtz came aboard as executive director in March of 1995. Rev. Kurtz’s hear was expressed through the adopted statement of “churches in ministry together”.
A significant marriage conference was held in 1998. Marriage Savers with Mike McMannus was held for pastors and couples to equip them with the tools to establish and strengthen the holy and sacred covenant of marriage. Many attended and were blessed by this conference.
Migrant Workers ministry, established under Rev. Heller, was re-titled as International Services in 1998. Ministry to Berks County migrant workers continued under this new ministry heading.
In 1999 a statement on racism and hatred was adopted by the Conference. It read as follows:
The Reading Berks Conference of Churches is aware of and deeply concerned about the presence of racism and hatred in our community as reported by the national affiliate. We believe the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven, upon which the Church was formed to represent, was intended for all people. It is with sorrow that we acknowledge our failure to fulfill all that our founder, Jesus Christ, so passionately desired for His followers, to manifest love and compassion for each other and all people in a spirit of unity.
The Conference purposed to work to bring people together to explore the depth and reality of racism, to inform and educate the religious community to address racial and cultural needs, and to engage congregations in a healing ministry to victims and perpetrators of hatred.
In this same year, a Community Coordinator position was established at RBCC. Mr. Wayne Cockrell was hired to interact and coordinate action among schools, churches through working with school principals and pastors.
Much work was accomplished in bringing people together to work in the community.
Under Rev. Kurtz, government grant support was realized for the work of RBCC. Federal funding allowed the establishment of Marriage & Family Builders. This was a mentoring program that couples with children attended to be equipped as better spouses and parents. Specific resources for the families were shared, with the goal of helping them become more self-sufficient.
Additional grants from the state allowed development of youth resources. A Reading Youth Group was supported that met across from Reading High School. Additionally, special events for youth were held, along with networking between youth leaders. Initiatives related to youth were overseen by the first Associate Director of RBCC, Michael Kaucher, who was brought on staff in November of 2008.
2010 - 2013
Michael Kaucher was promoted to Executive Director in March of 2010. The first layperson to be director, Kaucher brought a new energy to RBCC. In May of 2010, shortly after his tenure began, a significant time of prayer happened on national Day of Prayer. Through a series of God connections, it was arranged with the US Hot Air Balloon Team for four hot air balloons to fly over Reading. Each balloon held a team of prayer intercessors. Each balloon also held a banner; one with “love”, one with “joy”, one with “faith” and one with “hope”. The balloon with the “hope” banner actually landed in the City of Reading. This was not planned and very much a miracle that it landed safely in an open lot. A new era of faith was entering through the Conference of Churches.
A shift was also made, during this time, in the structure of RBCC, moving the responsibility of day-to-day operations to the Board of Directors. This shift has allowed the Board to advance the mission of the organization with more ease. It was also during this time, specifically in 2012, the office was moved from 519 Elm Street to 1015 Windsor Street in Reading, where we rented space from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
The years of 2010 through 2013 were spent developing and rekindling relationships with pastors around Berks County. As many as 100 one-on-one meetings were conducted each year, along with 30-40 Sunday church visits throughout each year to share the work of RBCC, while getting to know congregations and their pastors. It was also during this time that RBCC conducted a survey of church congregations with the help of Leadership Berks. Michael, along with Associate Director Claire Young, and Board President Laurie Dawkins, met with a Leadership Berks team and developed a survey and plan to garner as many responses as possible from Berks County church congregations. Around 80 congregations participated, helping to guide development in the area of congregational support.
Part of the focus at this time, was to increase promoting opportunities to support church congregations and their ministries, along with community ministries. To improve on-going communications with pastors and church congregation members, our weekly email was developed. This email continues to share information on events and activities happening throughout Berks County at local churches, while also sharing the work of RBCC.
The other shift during this time was to develop workshops for church development. Claire Young helped lead this effort through the development of hospitality, discipleship and communication workshops for church congregations.
The yearly prayer breakfast continued to be a highlight of bringing together the diversity of the Body of Christ. With speakers, The Most Reverend John O. Barres, Catholic Bishop of the Allentown Diocese in 2010; Roger North & Matt Neff of Sight and Sound Theaters in 2011; professional football star Lenny Moore in 2012; and Rob Vaughn from WFMZ Channel 60 News in 2013. 400 to 600 people gathered each year at the breakfast.
In other events, with the last Hymn Sing at Grings Mill being held in 2011, a Joyful Weekend of Heavenly Music was held in July of 2013, bringing back a musical gathering for Christians around Berks County. This was the predecessor of the RBCC Music Fest.
At the end of 2013, Michael Kaucher left the Conference of Churches and Claire Young became Executive Director.
2014 - 2015
Claire Young, as director, continued to build relationships with church congregations through workshops in areas of evangelism, discipleship, and communication. With a passion and gifting to lead in this area, much investment was made in church congregations through these workshops.
The RBCC Music Fest was a lively event during this time, with a week of various live music concerts hosted in church locations around Berks County.
The yearly Prayer Breakfast was moved to Stokesay Castle in 2014 and 2015, with four speakers in 2014: Chris Kraras. Lt. Lionel Carter, Michael Rivera and Phyllis McLaughlin. In 2015 Rev. Dr. William Shillady came home to Reading to speak at the breakfast.
Near the end of 2015, Claire left RBCC to pursue a pastoral calling and continue to do workshops as a consultant.
2016 - Present
In March of 2016, Michael Kaucher was welcomed back as Executive Director. After a two year absence, Michael brought the many relationships he has built over the years with him. A continued effort on building bridges with the diversity of the Body of Christ has been an emphasis. A look at new and exciting partnerships has also been an emphasis, knowing the potential of the Body of Christ working together.
In 2017, a longtime goal of hosting pastoral retreats was realized. These, now quarterly retreats, bring a diverse group of pastors together for fellowship and care for one another.
During the Reading Berks Conference of Churches 70th anniversary year of 2017, “Connecting, equipping, and mobilizing in the name of Jesus” became the mission emphasis of the organization. We appreciate your continued support, and prayers. We give thanks to God for His continued faithfulness throughout our history, and we pray for His continued blessing and guidance as we plan the future, uniting in ministry for a stronger community and glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ together!
What We Do
The vision of Reading Berks Conference of Churches is to see unity in the Body of Christ in Reading and Berks County come to fullness through growing relationships and consistent visible action.
There is great strength in our unity. It can change our neighborhoods, cities, county, state, country and even the world! We invite you to live the potential of Jesus’ prayer of unity, right here in Berks County! Contact us to find out how you can make a difference and take an active role in working together.