On January 13-14 (Monday and Tuesday), 22 cluster leaders met in Huntington, Ind., for the annual Cluster Leader Training. Todd Fetters, Director of National Ministries, organized and led the event. Bishop Phil Whipple was also involved in leading the meetings.
The meeting began Monday evening with a banquet sponsored by Huntington University. Also attending were various denominational officials and spouses, plus all four of the former bishops–Ron Ramsey, Paul Hirschy, Ray Seilhamer, and C. Ray Miller. After the meal, the new president of HU, Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, spoke to the cluster leaders and guests about the work and mission of the college.
Then came a time of recognition for the cluster leaders.
Cluster leaders oversee a group of 6-10 senior pastors. Todd Fetters had asked cluster members to write a note of affirmation and appreciation for their cluster leader, and many did. The comments were then compiled and presented in a nice folder to the cluster leaders.
At the Monday night gathering, one by one each cluster leader stood and was handed a folder by administrative assistant Cathy Reich. Then Todd and Lisa Fetters alternated reading one comment for each cluster leader. There was applause, and then it was the next cluster leader’s turn.
The evening ended with a prayer time. Bishop Phil Whipple and the four bishops emeriti stood in the middle, with the cluster leaders circled around them, and other persons forming an outer ring. The five bishops then took turns praying for the cluster leaders, their ministers, and the work of the United Brethren church in general.
Tuesday morning was spent in training. Mike Dittman, who heads up a ministry called Haven for the Heart, was the keynote speaker. He addressed “How to Cultivate a Transformational Cluster.” It was an information-packed morning. After a noon meal together, the event concluded.
On the UB Facebook page you’ll find a gallery of 75 photos from the event.