Christian Unity

The Lehigh Conference of Churches facilitates cooperation among the diverse Christian traditions within the Lehigh Valley. Our ecumenical witness is grounded in service to and advocacy for those living in poverty and those facing mental challenges. The Conference’s work also includes enabling dialogue that encourages greater understanding, tolerance, and collaboration within the body of  Christ. Our committees and staff plan numerous events throughout the year that bring LCC members and the greater Christian community together through worship, education, fundraising, reflection, and discussion, and action.

Rev. Larry D. Pickens
Ecumenical Director Rev. Dr. Larry D. Pickens

Our ecumenical efforts include:

  • Building relationships with congregations and other organizations, through the work of Ecumenical Director Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens, to develop community ministries and networking opportunities.
  • Leading worship, mission opportunities, and adult and youth education classes/retreats.
  • Hosting tours and presentations for Confirmation and adult education classes that examine poverty in our area.
  • Scheduling the “Soup Kitchen Pastor of the Day,” coordinating the Church Code System for area hospitals, and serving as a contact for prison ministry.

Committees & Events

Each of the committees and events require leadership, planning, and participation. Make a difference in our community by joining in this meaningful work. Please contact Laura Rowe to learn more about membership, volunteering, and donation opportunities.

ECUMENISM

Members, who include both clergy and laypeople, work to create worship and educational experiences that foster Christian unity and dialogue. The committee plans annual events including the Robert K. Campbell Memorial Lectures on Christian Unity. For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens.

INTERFAITH IN ACTION

This committee provides opportunities to LCC members in raising awareness of, respect for, and knowledge of the diversity of the world’s religions represented in the Lehigh Valley. Through efforts including interfaith dialogue, education, social events, and prayer, the Interfaith in Action Committee is dedicated to ending religious ignorance, discrimination, and persecution. The committee is committed to inclusion and collaboration and encourage fellowship and vibrant exchange with people of other religions.

Letter writing for justice and advocacy

JUSTICE AND ADVOCACY

This committee is the advocacy and public policy arm of the Conference. J&AC engages advocates for justice in meaningful, theologically-based discussion that may lead to public statements or action. Through the Justice and Advocacy Network, the committee invites churches, church committees, and individuals to partner in addressing social justice issues of concern to the Lehigh Valley.

The focus areas are hunger, homelessness/housing, at-risk youth, and mental health. From time to time, J&AC organizes local workshops on justice issues, such as our annual food/hunger workshops in partnership with Bread for the World each spring and fall workshops on immigration reform; health care; homelessness; jobs, workers, and economics; the growing economic divide; affordable housing; and criminal justice/restorative practices.

For more information, visit the J&AC website or contact Robert Walden.

Robert K. Campbell Memorial Lectures on Christian Unity

Established by the Lehigh Conference of Churches in 1990 and held annually since 1993, the Campbell Lectures inform and educate member congregations, other Christian communities, and the wider public on the enduring importance of Christian unity and its potential for addressing problems facing society today. This endeavor has fostered cooperation among diverse Christian perspectives and dialogue about religious issues.

The series is held in memory of Bob Campbell, a former PPL executive and community leader who encouraged religious communities to work together to assist local people in need.

View the 2016 Campbell Lecture, “The Poor and the Theology of Pope Francis,” on the Conference’s YouTube channel. Transcripts of previous Campbell lectures are available in our Media Center.

CROP Hunger Walk

On the second Sunday of each October individuals, churches, and organizations participate in a CROP Hunger Walk to raise money to benefit local hunger relief efforts and to help communities in the United States and throughout the world when floods and other disasters strike, as well as with development and refugee resettlement efforts. The CROP Hunger Walk is the fundraising arm of Church World Service, an international development and disaster relief organization of the interdenominational National Council of Churches. As always, 25% of the funds raised locally remain in the community and are divided between the Conference’s Ecumenical Soup Kitchen and the Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank. Read More

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

In observance, the Conference holds an ecumenical service, typically in mid-January, with the participation of many of the communions that make up the Conference.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast

Also in mid-January, the Conference sponsors an interfaith prayer breakfast in order to bring together religious and civic leadership as we celebrate the life and ministry of Dr. King.

Christmas Peace Pilgrimage

For more than 50 years, during the Christmas season, people who believe in the importance of peace have been gathering in Nazareth to walk the 10 miles to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This pilgrimage, symbolic of the journey of Mary and Joseph, provides all of us with an opportunity to think about what Christmas really means. For more information, visit peacewalk.org.

Souper Bowl of Caring

This event equips and mobilizes congregations, schools, and businesses to address hunger by collecting money or food on or near Super Bowl weekend. All of the collections go directly to the food programs of the Conference.

Ecumenical Service Award recipients

Ecumenical Service Award

Since 1981, the Conference has recognized individuals in the community who have made outstanding contributions to Christian unity. The award is presented at the Conference’s annual meeting.

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Praise Band Showcase

This free annual event, begun in 2012, brings area praise bands together for a fun- and worship-filled concert. Sing, dance, and clap along! Donations benefit the Lehigh Conference of Churches.