The 2017 US National Conference is just five weeks away. Registrations have now hit 760 (135 of them children), and we’ll soon hit 800. At this point, about 50 UB churches in the United States have not yet registered anybody for this historic 250th anniversary conference.

Although the conference hotel is filled up, we have secured a block of 25 rooms at the Heritage Hotel in Lancaster, about six miles away. The Heritage will honor our conference $125 (plus tax) rate. Please contact the Heritage Hotel directly to make reservations. Call 1-800-223-8963 extension 1580 for Resort Sales. Let them know you are registering as part of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (National Conference).

Many other hotels are located in the Lancaster area. You are free to make reservations anywhere you’d like. However, you’ll still need to register for the conference itself.

Registration

You can register using the links here. Costs:

  • Individual full conference: $75
  • Family full conference: $125
  • Day only: $40

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Jonah: Sight & Sound Theater

The National Office has purchased a block of tickets for the Saturday afternoon, July 15, performance of “Jonah” at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. The theater is located nine miles from the conference center.

Thus far, 42 people have signed up. We still have 28 tickets. You need to sign up by June 15.

The conference will conclude around 11:00 Saturday morning. The show starts at 3:00 pm.

Make plans to extend your visit to Lancaster by joining us for this fantastic production! All tickets are on a first-come, first-paid, first-serve basis. Adult tickets are $75 and children (ages 3-12) are $35.

 

Keynote Speakers
During the Great Meeting of 1767 at Long’s Barn, Martin Boehm was preaching inside the barn while another minister was preaching in the orchard outside. Somewhat in that tradition, we will have two speakers each night. They will each address an aspect of that night’s theme. The opening night speakers will be Dennis Miller, senior pastor of Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Jody Bowser, senior pastor of King Street UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).

All of the keynote speakers are from the United Brethren world.

Workshops
Friday morning will feature three rounds of workshops–some with a historical bent, some designed especially for women, plus workshops on a number of other subjects. You can read about the workshops here–the time slots, titles, and presenters.

A breakfast for retired ministers and spouses will also be held Friday morning.

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The National Office has purchased a block of tickets for the Saturday afternoon, July 15, performance of “Jonah” at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. The theater is located nine miles from the conference center.

Thus far, 42 people have signed up. We still have 28 tickets. You need to sign up by June 15.

The conference will conclude around 11:00 Saturday morning. The show starts at 3:00 pm.

Make plans to extend your visit to Lancaster by joining us for this fantastic production! All tickets are on a first-come, first-paid, first-serve basis. Adult tickets are $75 and children (ages 3-12) are $35.

 

Bishop Todd Fetters will lead an Online Regional Review meeting to discuss the upcoming US National Conference and review items of business which will come before the conference. This is especially designed for ministers and lay delegates who were unable to attend one of the regional meetings held during May in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Date: Monday, June 5, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm.

The meeting will cover the same ground that the three geographic meetings covered during May. Dr. Luke Fetters and Mark Vincenti will present the proposals from the Human Sexuality Task Force. Rocky Spear will present the report of the Nominating Committee.

The online meeting is open to the first 100 registrants. You can register here.

You will want to read or download the reports from the Human Sexuality Task Force and the Nominating Committee. They are available here.

For the meeting, you will need to submit questions ahead of time by email. Send your questions to Administrative Assistant Cathy Reich at: cathy@ub.org.

How to Connect to the Online Meeting

You can join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Start by going here.

You can also dial in using your phone and just listen to the audio.

United States: +1 (224) 501-3412
Access Code: 746-479-637

First GoToMeeting? Try a test session: https://care.citrixonline.com/g2m/getready

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left) and members of the Human Sexuality Task Force ( l-r): Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left) and members of the Human Sexuality Task Force ( l-r): Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

L-r: Task force members Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Task force members Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

The final Regional Meeting was held Monday, May 22, at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. A total of 77 persons showed up to hear information about the July 12-15 US National Conference.

Bishop Todd Fetters talked about various things which would be happening at the conference. Dennis Sites presented the report of the Nominating Committee. Then three members of the Human Sexuality Task Force–chairman Luke Fetters and members Anthony Blair and Mark Vincenti–discussed their report and fielded questions. The morning concluded with a prayer time.

A meeting had been scheduled for the evening of May 23 in Lancaster, Ohio, but was cancelled.

The meeting at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio, on June 17, 2017.

The meeting at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio, on June 17, 2017.

L-r: Bishop Todd Fetters, task force chairperson Luke Fetters, and task force member Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Bishop Todd Fetters, task force chairperson Luke Fetters, and task force member Mark Vincenti.

Rocky Spear, chairman of the Nominating Committee, rode his Harley down from Woodland, Mich., to speak to the Ohio group.

Rocky Spear, chairman of the Nominating Committee, rode his Harley down from Woodland, Mich., to speak to the Ohio group.

About 62 people attended the Regional Meeting held May 17 at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio. It followed the same basic format as the meeting Monday in Sunfield, Mich. Attendees spent much time interacting over the proposals from the Human Sexuality Task Force.

Two more meetings will be held: May 22 in Chambersburg, Pa., and May 23 in Lancaster, Ohio. People are asked to sign up using the online form.

About 55 people attended the regional meeting on May 15 in Sunfield, Mich.

About 55 people attended the regional meeting on May 15 in Sunfield, Mich.

Bishop Todd Fetters at the Sunfield regional meeting.

Bishop Todd Fetters at the Sunfield regional meeting.

L-r: Task force members Joni Michaud, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Task force members Joni Michaud, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti.

About 55 people gathered on May 15 at Sunfield UB church in Sunfield, Mich. It was the first of four regional meetings being held as a prelude to this summer’s US National Conference. Most of the people at Sunfield came from UB churches in Michigan, but there were a few from Indiana and Ohio.

Bishop Todd Fetters shared some information about the US National Conference and its significance as our 250th anniversary.

Rocky Spear, chairperson of the Nominating Committee, shared the National Conference ballot for bishop and Executive Leadership Team.

Most of the meeting was devoted to the report of the Human Sexuality Task Force. Three members were present: Luke Fetters (chair), Joni Michaud, and Mark Vincenti. After an introduction of the report by Luke Fetters, the task force members answered questions from the attendees.

The next regional meeting will be held Wednesday, May 17, at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio. Next week, regional meetings will be held May 22 at Rhodes Grove Camp (Chambersburg, Pa.) and on May 23 at Lancaster UB church (Lancaster, Ohio). These meetings will follow the same format as the Sunfield meeting. Bishop Fetters, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti will attend all three. Sign up here.

Todd H. Fetters, Bishop, US National Conference

With National Conference 2017 soon upon us, we will gather to celebrate our 250th Anniversary. Now, that’s an historic milestone as the first denomination born on American soil.

In anticipation of this historic US National Conference, four regional meetings will be held to promote the events of National Conference, review the ballot for bishop and Executive Leadership Team members, and review the proposals for Discipline revision.

Regional Meetings

The regional meetings will be held as follows:

  • Monday, May 15 – Sunfield UB (Sunfield, MI). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 8436 W Grand Ledge Highway, Sunfield, MI 48890
  • Wednesday, May 17. Praise Point (Willshire, OH). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 555 Decatur Rd, Willshire, OH 45898
  • Monday, May 22 – Rhodes Grove Camp & Conference Center (Greencastle, PA). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 7693 Brown’s Mill Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202
  • Tuesday, May 23 – Lancaster UB (Lancaster, OH). 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Address: 1125 Pleasantville Rd, Lancaster, OH 43130

These regional meetings are designed to facilitate questions and answers, specifically about the Discipline revisions proposed by the Human Sexuality Task Force. (ub.org/ncreports). Dr. Luke Fetters, HSTF chair, will be at each meeting to talk about the report, answer questions, and receive feedback. Other members of the HSTF will attend meetings closer to their region.

If you haven’t registered for a regional meeting, you can do so here:
ub.org/2017-regional-meetings/

About the Human Sexuality Task Force Report

I want to thank Dr. Luke Fetters and the members of the task force. They have labored for nearly two years on their report. It represents deep biblical and theological thinking, energetic and humble discussion, and collaborative and unified decision-making. In April, the Executive Leadership Team received and reviewed the report, and greenlighted it for National Conference consideration.

You can download the HSTF report here: ub.org/ncreports

About the National Conference Business Session

The business for National Conference will focus exclusively on the proposals from the HSTF report. No other items of Discipline revision will be presented. Our business session will begin Thursday, July 13, with breakfast at 7:30 am. We will call the meeting to order promptly at 9:00 am and conclude at 12:00 pm. Business is limited to these three hours so that our afternoon is free for folks to enjoy tours to historic sites around Lancaster.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our regional meetings. Please pray that the Lord will continue to bless the ministry and movement of the United Brethren in Christ.

Let the Wind Blow! (John 3:8)

From Global Ministries

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken” (Acts 4:31a).

There are two opportunities in the coming weeks to support our UB missionaries in their spiritual battles. We will be gathering and having Scripture guide us in praying for Thailand and Sierra Leone. If you can’t join us physically, we invite you to do so right where you are. But if you can, come be a part of a powerful time of gathering!

If you’re interested in prayer resources and/or hosting similar future prayer gatherings for UB missionaries, let us know by sending an email to info@ubglobal.org.

Thailand: 7-8 pm on Thursday, May 11. Location: Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The event will be held in the Galatians Room. Address: 12222 Us Highway 24 W, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sierra Leone: 6:30 – 7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 17.
Location: Corunna UB Church in Corunna, Ind. Address: 315 South Bridge Street, Corunna, Ind.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

On Saturday morning, April 29, a small group of people met in the parking lot of the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind. They came to send off three men who were beginning the 640-mile bike ride to Myerstown, Pa.

The ride celebrated the relationship of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown with the United Brethren Church. Evangelical Seminary is a preferred partner when it comes to graduate education; a number of United Brethren ministers over the years have graduated from Evangelical, and three United Brethren ministers (all Huntington University grads) have served as president of Evangelical.

Dr. Anthony Blair, an ordained UB minister, is the current president. Blair came to Huntington for the send-off. Both he and Bishop Todd Fetters gave some remarks to the bicyclists, and then led a time of prayer for them. The bikers were:

  • Dr. Mark Draper, Executive Director of the Pense Learning Center and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Evangelical.
  • Kevin Henry, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Evangelical and National Director of the Evangelical Congregational Church.
  • Rev. Ralph Owens, a retired minister in the Evangelical Congregational Church.

Here are the remarks from Bishop Todd Fetters:

It’s my honor to be a part of this bike launch today. The United Brethren in Christ and Huntington University have a longstanding and significant bond with Evangelical Seminary.

Many of our pastors who received their undergraduate and graduate education from Huntington University went on to receive further graduate degrees from Evangelical Seminary in Bible, theology, or counseling (marriage and family studies).

Huntington University and the United Brethren in Christ have a strong leadership tie with Evangelical Seminary. We are proud that three of the last five Presidents at Evangelical received their education at Huntington University and were ordained United Brethren in Christ pastors – Dr. Ray Seilhamer, Dr. Kirby Keller, and now Dr. Tony Blair.

Tony and I think it is pretty significant that the current President and the current Bishop are graduates of both institutions. Our connection has helped to reenergize the relationship between Evangelical and the United Brethren in Christ.

I’m proud of the shared history that our denomination has with Evangelical Seminary and Huntington University. Since 1897, Huntington University has been our preferred partner for Christian liberal arts education. And, I am happy to call Evangelical a preferred partner for graduate training. Both the University and the Seminary have bold, creative leadership, and faculty that are scholarly and caring. It’s no wonder that students that emerge from both institutions have a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for His Church, and a commitment to share the Good News in their neighborhoods and among the nations.

May God continue to bless the purposes of these institutions as they help equip the Church to impact this world for Jesus Christ.

Also coming out in the early hours were Amos and Annalee Rawley, who serve the New Hope UB church in Huntington. Both are graduates of Evangelical Seminary.

Evangelical was using the event to raise $100,000 for our Annual Fund for Transformational Leadership.

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Registrations for the 2017 US National Conference–our 250th anniversary as a denomination–are approaching the 600 mark. That’s well ahead of previous years. Only a few rooms are left at the main conference hotel (we will have blocks of rooms reserved at other hotels in the area).

The conference opens on Wednesday evening, July 12. In the tradition of the Great Meetings of the 1700s, we will have multiple speakers each night. The opening-night speakers will be Dennis Miller, senior pastor of Emmanuel UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Jody Bowser, senior pastor of King Street Church (Chambersburg, Pa.). The conference schedule tells about the speakers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. The bishop elected during the Thursday business session will speak during the closing service on Saturday morning.

Much information about the conference, and about the many attractions in the Lancaster area, has already been posted on the conference website. Much more will be coming.

A lot of special things are planned for this conference. On Thursday and Friday afternoons, there will be tours to sites important to United Brethren history, including a trip to Long’s Barn, where it all started in 1767.

To register, go to the conference website.