Church safety has become an issue of increasing interest to pastors and laypersons. Where do you start? Brotherhood Mutual, which provides insurance to a large number of United Brethren churches, posted ten simple, “do it today” actions which churches can implement almost immediately. You can read them here. You’ll also find resources for going further to ensure a safe environment for your congregation, including their “Church Safety & Security Guidebook.”

Erika and Milton Pacheco after arriving in Thailand.

Erika and Milton Pacheco after arriving in Thailand.

As of April 29, the Thailand team is complete. After more than 50 hours of travel from Honduras to Thailand, Erika and Milton Pacheco arrived in Chiang Rai to begin their first term of missionary service. There they were greeted by the rest of the team–Julie, Lai, Paula, and the Glunt family. Despite the lengthy trip, Milton and Erika don’t look too bad in this selfie which they took after successfully passing through immigration in Bangkok.

The congregation at Litao Village in 2001.

The congregation at Litao Village in 2001.

On January 16, 1996, Bishop Ray Seilhamer dedicated the new United Brethren church in Litao Village, high in the mountains of northern Thailand. For three years, Hong Kong Conference had been supporting the ministry of Rev. H. M. Lee among the Akha, a tribal group with roots in China. The former military officer started the church and a school in Litao Village.

It was a Tuesday afternoon service on January 16. About 80 people gathered, many of them children, at the nice building which had been completed in November–a cement building with a wood superstructure holding up the tin roof. The dedication ceremony began outside. Bishop Seilhamer unlocked a padlock on the front door, and some words were spoken and translated. Then everyone moved inside and sat on the floor for the rest of the service. Before going in, people slipped off their footwear, mostly sandals and flip-flops, and left them around the entrance.

Bishop Seilhamer’s words went through a series of translations–from English to Cantonese to Mandarin to Akha. So that took considerable time, and you couldn’t be sure how much the bishop’s words matched what the people actually heard.

The church property covered several acres. For years, new Christians were expelled from their homes or no longer felt welcome by their neighbors. So, they built thatched homes on the church property. The land was expected to eventually become a separate enclave, a community of Christians on the edge of town. However, the persecution and alienation eventually stopped, as people saw the good things the church and Teacher Lee brought to the village.

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For January 2017, United Brethren Church Resources is offering a special on two books which are being recommended to cluster leaders. Both can be purchased, as hardbacks, for $20 each.

  • Dangerous Calling, by Paul Davis Tripp. It includes a free DVD.
  • A Work of the Heart, by Reggie McNeal.

To order, contact Jane Seely at the National Office.

Email: jane@ub.org
Toll-free: 888-622-3019

meadows_400On January 3, 1901, Clyde W. Meadows was born in Virginia. He would become the most influential United Brethren leader of the 1900s. For 33 years he pastored King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa., building it into the denomination’s largest church. Then he served as bishop for eight years.

Meadows was an innovator, a leader of leaders, a mentor to future bishops, a renowned songleader, and a man of boundless energy. He spoke to American troops in Vietnam, leaving the country just hours before the Tet Offensive began. He made six trips to meet clandestinely with Christians behind the Iron Curtain. He once finished an altar call for Billy Graham.

He was the first UB bishop to visit all of our mission fields. For a few years, he served simultaneously as bishop, president of the International Society of Christian Endeavor, and president of the World’s Christian Endeavor Union. In his 90s, he was still speaking up to 100 times a year.

Bishop Meadows passed away in 1999, having lived a fascinating life. His autobiography, “In the Service of the King,” is available from the National Office.

mugs-stack400For December, free shipping is available on coffee mugs with the United Brethren logo. They make good Christmas gifts for Sunday school teachers, board members, and others. Fill with candy for a real treat.

Cost: $6 each, or 4 for $20.

You can order from the United Brethren National Office.

To order, call toll-free 1-888-622-3019. Ask for Jane Seely. Or email Jane.

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The Grow in His Word materials, used by many United Brethren churches, can now be ordered directly from the Grow Ministries website. (They will no longer be available through the National Office.)

Grow is written by Dennis Miller, pastor of Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. Since the 1980s, Grow has been used by several dozen UB churches as a discipleship tool, taking students through the entire Bible. During the past year, the Grow booklets were completely redesigned. They can be used in various ways–discipleship groups, personal study, home-school curriculum, etc.

The Grow Ministries plan is an orderly study of the Bible to help you grasp not only what happened in Scripture, but in what order. Designed to follow specific themes through the Bible, Grow in His Word also provides hooks and memory tools to help students remember what they learn. Because of the acrostics that are used to designate time periods in the Old and New Testaments and the life of Christ, students can remember what they learn and, hopefully, where to find it.

The adult material is a four-book series with 52 lessons that take students through both the Old and New Testaments, as well as Church history. Each lesson includes application questions to stimulate discussion and some spiritual wrestling.

book-1-leader-front-cover__mediumA kids’ version, Grow for Kids, is also available. This two-book series consists of a 16-week study of the Old Testament and a 14-week study of the New Testament and Church history.

Leader’s guides are available with both the adult and children’s studies. The Grow Ministries website also includes thousands of photos of the Holy Land, taken from Pastor Miller’s numerous trips there, along with some teaching videos at biblical sites in Israel.

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

United Brethren churches need to know about Clear Elevation, a high quality design firm co-owned by Huntington University. They set up a page just for UB churches.

Need a new website? A professional logo? A nice brochure or bulletin? A church video? A Facebook page? Consider Clear Elevation. They are good–very good. They operate from a Christ-centered philosophy. And a cut of the profits goes to support Huntington University, our denomination’s college.

clearelevation600Clear Elevation began in 2013 as the first HU Venture, a for-profit subsidiary of Huntington University. The managing partners are Nate and Julie Reusser, both of whom attended Huntington University. They also head Reusser Design, a web development agency which has seen dramatic growth during its 10+ years in the industry.

With Clear Elevation, the Reussers are excited to help small business owners and nonprofits with their various creative needs–websites, social media, graphic design, illustration, etc. Clear Elevation strives to generate high-quality, quick-turnaround projects for lower costs.

You can see examples of their work on their website. Contact them for a quote. It may or may not fit your budget, but at least get them on your radar. Account exec Amy Mattox will be happy to talk to you about what they can do.

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Books 2 and 4 of the “Grow in His Word” materials are now available.

The Grow In His Word materials, used in discipleship by over 50 United Brethren churches, have been completely revised. Grow is written by Dennis Miller, pastor of Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. Grow is used in over 50 United Brethren churches, and over the years has been used to systematically take thousands of people through the entire Bible.

There are four books, each of which has its own leader’s guide and accompanying teaching slides.

  1. Old Testament: The People (Genesis through Esther)
  2. Old Testament: The Prophets (Job through Malachi) – available in November 2014
  3. New Testament: The Christ (Matthew through John)
  4. New Testament: The Church (Acts through the Revelation) – available in November 2014

What is Grow?

The Grow Ministries plan is a 52-week study which takes students through the Old and New Testaments in an orderly manner. Students grasp not only what happened, but in what order, with hooks and memory tools to help them remember what they learn. As believers learn about God’s Word, they gain confidence in their understanding and use of the Bible.

A student book, leader’s guide, PowerPoint and Keynote files, and audio files are all available.

How to Order

To order, call Resource Manager Jane Seely toll-free at 1-888-622-3019.