Greg Helman has been named senior pastor of Blue Rock UB (Waynesboro, Pa.) effective May 16.
Gary Small, pastor of Atlantic Avenue UB church in Franklin, Pa., will undergo back surgery on May 9. Your prayers are appreciated.
The new BishopBlog has several purposes:
We’ve needed a forum.
But good interaction can occur via the Internet. That’s what we want here.
The BishopBlog is your one-stop United Brethren browser bookmark. The UB Grand Central Station of information. Come here, and we’ll point you to what’s happening in the UB world.
The United Brethren church has a large web presence.
So how do you keep track of what’s happening?
No. Just come here. As a shortcut, Bishopblog.org will get you here, too.
Most of the cluster leaders, plus several Healthy Ministry Resources staff, are attending the Hit the Bullseye Conference in Lima, Ohio. It started yesterday and ends today. We registered 35 people through our office, mostly cluster leaders, and some other UBs came on their own. So the UB church has a good representation here.
Altogether, there are probably 350-400 people attending the conference.
This conference is led by Dr. Paul Borden, from whom we have learned the consultation process. Pat Jones has conducted six consultations thus far, with several other UB ministers–sometimes cluster leaders–helping him as part of each consultation team.
On Tuesday night, after the evening workshops, Pat, Steve Dennie, and I met with the cluster leaders for about 90 minutes. Pat and I went over several issues relating to the work of cluster leaders, particularly the process for stationing ministers, and Steve gave a brief presentation about the Healthy Ministry Resources branding.
It’s all about the local church. It’s not about the denominational headquarters.
I work out of the national office in Huntington, along with ten other people. Our only reason to exist is to support our churches as they carry out the Great Commission.
Healthy Ministry Resources is the new name of the United Brethren national office. That’s how we will answer the phone when you call. That’s what this website is about. The name reflects our focus on serving and resourcing our churches.
The church is the only institution established by Jesus. That’s the sharp end of the spear, the place where ministry occurs. The place where we continue carrying out the mission of Jesus.
Denominations are organized hierarchically, with the man-made part at the top and the Jesus-made part–the local church–at the bottom. We are switching that around, focusing everything we do on the Jesus-made part.
We can’t avoid all of the ecclesiastical functions of the national office or the role of the bishop. As a group of churches, we’ve agreed to submit to accountability and various standards, and to give the bishop authority.
But mostly, Healthy Ministry Resources is here for this mission: “To effectively resource pastors and congregations of the US National Conference to fulfill the Great Commission.”
I’m glad you made it to the new BishopBlog on the new HealthyMinistryResources.com
site. The BishopBlog will be the centerpiece of United Brethren communications.
We’ll talk about a wide range of issues here. This is also the place to learn what’s happening in other parts of the UB internet world.
When I took office, I intended to create a “brand” for the national office in Huntington. It would do the following:
Some things to keep in mind:
Healthy Ministry Resources is focused on serving local churches. It’s why we exist. I pray that our heart for churches, and for fulfilling the Great Commission, comes through strong and clear.
Three members of the United Brethren missions family will receive honorary doctorates from Huntington University during the May 17 Commencement exercises.
Rev. Russ and Nellie Birdsall will be recognized for their service in missions, education, and other ministries. Russ will receive a Doctor of Divinity and Nellie a Doctor of Humane Letters.
Rev. Owen Gordon, president of Jamaica Bible College, will also receive a Doctor of Divinity.
Russ and Nellie Birdsall (right) graduated from Huntington College in 1953, both with Bachelor of Science degrees in education. Nellie taught school for three years in Huntington while Russ completed seminary. Then, in 1957, they headed to Sierra Leone as missionaries. Russ served as education secretary and business manager, while Nellie became the mission house hostess and was involved in women’s and children’s ministries.
The Birdsalls concluded their missionary service in 1968, when Russ became Dean of Students at Huntington College and, later, Director of Church Services and Alumni. Meanwhile, Nellie resumed teaching elementary students in the Huntington public school system. She also taught GED courses at the Huntington County Jail.