On Saturday, May 15, Huntington College honored 206 graduates of the Class of 2004. HC’s 106th commencement services took place at 3 p.m. on the front lawn of campus. Dr. KunMo Chung, a licensed nuclear engineer and experienced science administrator from South Korea, delivered the commencement address.

Preeminence, a group of talented student musicians from Huntington College (see photo above), is touring the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions this summer. They will present about 60 performances between May 29 and August 14 in churches, camps, and conferences.

On May 25, Bishop Paul Hirschy had his fifth of six chemotherapy treatments. He also learned that cat-scans gave him a clear report, showing no swelling in the lymph nodes. He will only need one more chemo treatment, which will occur in three weeks. Bishop Hirschy is grateful for everyone’s prayer support.

Mid-Atlantic and Michindoh Conferences met during May. Michindoh re-elected George Kreger as conference superintendent. Mid-Atlantic elected two new superintendents to replace Pat Jones and Rick Fischl. The two continuing superintendents, Anthony Blair and Michael Mudge, took on new areas of responsibility. Here is the new Mid-Atlantic line-up:

* Anthony Blair: Administration.
* Michael Mudge: Pastoral Development.
* Billy Simbo: Church Multiplication and Urban Ministry.
* Jim Bolich: Church Growth and Renewal.

Rev. Alfred “Bud” Price passed away Tuesday evening, May 25. He pastored the Blissfield UB church (Blissfield, Mich.) for over 30 years (1952-1986), and also served as fulltime superintendent of Michindoh Conference. The funeral will be held at 11 am on Saturday, May 29, at the Central UB church in Montpelier, Ohio. Viewing will be on Friday, May 28, at the Wilson-Geesey Funeral Home in Montpelier.

Huntington College has approved several new programs.

Master of Education. HC plans to begin offering the Master of Education degree in 2005. Master of Education concentrations will be available in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary Reading, Early Adolescent Education, and Adolescent and Young Adult Education.

Business: Economics and Finance. Starting next fall, HC will offer a new bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. The program will prepare students for employment in fields such as financial services, banking, insurance, risk management and real estate. Since 1997, business program enrollment has grown 37 percent. Over that same time period, enrollment in the economics track has grown over 300 percent. The new Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance is designed to meet this demand and serve greater numbers of students.

Digital Media Arts. In the fall of 2004, the Communication Department will launch a new Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Media Arts. It will prepare students for careers in web design and publishing, disc authoring, television production, film making, photography and image editing, illustration, 2D and 3D animation, advertising, and design.

Political Studies. Also beginning this is a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies program. It will prepare students for careers in public administration, the legal professions, teaching, public service, and political research and writing.

Social Work. Huntington College will launch a bachelor’s degree in social work in the fall semester of 2005.

Sports Ministry. A bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Sports Ministry will begin this fall. It will meet the needs of recreation and sports ministries in the local church, youth organizations, and other related agencies.

Worship Leadership (fall 2005). A Bachelor of Science degree in Worship Leadership will offer students a unique combination of ministry leadership preparation and specialized skill development in such fields as music, multimedia, and theater.

In addition to the seven new academic programs to be launched in 2004 and 2005, Huntington College is currently studying the feasibility of developing a new undergraduate degree in nursing.

HC held its annual appreciation dinner for faculty and staff May 11. Randy Neuman was recognized as Staff Member of the Year. Neuman, the College’s associate director of library services and director of the United Brethren Historical Center, was chosen by faculty and staff members. He has served the College for 22 years.

Congratulations to Scott and Lydia Stover, proud parents of new daughter Kimber Lee Ann, born April 29. This is their first baby. Scott and Lydia are key participants in our NorthPointe Church and Scott is also working on his MDiv at Ashland Seminary in preparation for ministry.

Also: congratulations to and prayers for Ryan and Becky Clark. Their son Michael was born on April 27. Michael has had some complications and is currently a patient at Dayton’s Childrens Hospital. Ryan began his tenure as pastor of the Van Wert UB Church (Van Wert, Ohio) on April 18. This is their third child.

Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites and his wife, Mossie, will return to teach at Jamaica Bible College this fall. They will be there for two terms, stretching from September 7 to late March. Mossie will teach Practical Christian Education to second-year students, and also volunteer at the New Hope Orphanage, which has 25 children under the age of 5. She has also been invited to teach at a Women’s Ministry center, where young women, most with babies, learn a skill so they can provide for the baby and for themselves.

Wilber will teach Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Romans, and Administrative Leadership. They will also lead a small group on Thursdays during chapel, speak several times in chapel, assist with the annual fundraiser in November, and speak in various churches on Sundays.

David Leraaen, associate pastor of of Homefront UB, sent this report:

“As a brand new church (we began having regular Sunday Services in September, 2003), we wanted our first Easter together to be something truly memorable. We wanted to invite our congregation and our community to celebrate the resurrection of Christ with us. So we hosted an art exhibit!

“We invited local artist John Katerberg to exhibit eleven of his original oil paintings depicting the life of Christ. The exhibit opened to the public on the two Fridays and Saturdays preceding Easter Sunday, complete with tour guides, refreshments, interactive children’s activities on Saturday, and an opportunity to meet with the artist as he worked on a new painting. Especially featured were the three paintings that comprise the artist’s Passion Series, which graphically depict the crucifixion of Christ. Though conceived and painted long before its release, the images in these three paintings are reminiscent of scenes from Mel Gibson’s film, ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ With the paintings still adorning our entry way and main hall, we hosted two Easter Sunday morning services, with 329 people on hand to celebrate the joy of the resurrection.

“This Mother’s Day will mark the first anniversary of our “Sneak Preview” service at Homefront Church. Now less than eight months after beginning regular Sunday services, an average of 170 people attend each week, and most call Homefront home.”

David and Melissa Kline arrived in Macau at the beginning of April. David sent this report on April 23.

“Things have been going real well here. We are so busy with setting up our apartment, studying Cantonese, getting together with old friends, getting to know our new jobs, and spending time with the other staff.

“First, we have a three-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a 24-floor building. It has lots of windows that make it bright during the day and beautiful at night because of the lights from buildings around us. We have received our washing machine and bed and are still waiting on furniture, a desk, and a futon for anyone that is brave enough to stay with us. To get an idea of the size of everything, the kitchen is the size of a normal American bathroom, even though this kitchen is nice because it has cabinets. The bathrooms are small and tile from head to toe. The one thing really different about these bathrooms is the water heater takes a shower with you. I mean, the water heater heats the water as you use it and it hangs in the shower on the front wall. The bedrooms are small but very adequate and for Macau standards have tons of built-in storage–what a blessing!

“The next thing that has been taking a lot of time is language study. We have been focusing on sounds and tones. Cantonese is made up of 7 tones for each sound in the language. As you can imagine, tone-deaf Americans struggle a little with this language. We have been doing pretty well, since Melissa knows quite a bit from her previous year-and-a-half in Macau, and from my three short trips, I survive. To give you an example of what can happen, consider two words written with English phonics, touh ngo and touh ngo. As you can see, the sounds are exactly alike but in the first word the tone for the second part of the word is low. This means hungry. In the second word, the second part’s tone is high and this means diarrhea. You can imagine the fun that the people here have listening to us try to speak.

“This weekend we are heading for Hong Kong for two days for a staff retreat/building time. Russ and Nellie Birdsall will be leading two sessions and time set aside to fellowship with each other. Then when we return, we have a couple of days before a short-term team comes from the states. We will be taking them around Macau to show them the sites and make sure they see what we do in our daily ministry.”