Jana sent the following on November 13.

  • Our part-time secretary, Wing, has decided to join our staff full-time. This will be a big help to us. Thank the Lord for bringing Wing to our center. She’s very creative and a lot of fun to be with.
  • On Saturday, November 20, we’ll hold a Thanksgiving party for Kids’ Klub. We’ll be giving a gospel invitation. Pray that God will be working in the hearts of the children this week to prepare them for responding to the gospel. Pray for Michael and I as we counsel children who respond to the invitation.
  • On Sunday, November 21, we’re holding a Thanksgiving Pie Social for everyone who attends our English Bible Studies. We’ll be giving a gospel invitation at this event, as well. Several of these adults have been studying the Bible with us for over a year. Pray that their hearts will be touched and that they’ll take the step of faith for salvation. Pray for Michael, Jennifer, and Airy as they prepare to share testimonies of how God has worked in their lives. Pray for Michael, Jennifer, David, Melissa, and I as we counsel with those in our small groups.

Jennifer Blandin, missionary to Macau, will return to the United States for a time of furlough beginning in January of 2005. During that time, Jennifer will continue working on her graduate degree at Winebrenner University in Findlay, Ohio.

Russ Neterer is known to many people in the denomination through his involvement at College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind., his role as a founding member of Emmanuel Community UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind., his service as a lay delegate to General Conference, and his 25-year tenure on the Huntington College Board of Trustees.

Russ, 92, passed away early Wednesday morning, November 17, at Parkview Huntington Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Thelma, and two children.

  • Visitation: November 19 (Friday) from 1-4 pm and 6-8 pm at Emmanuel Community Church (12222 W. US-24, Fort Wayne, Ind.).
  • Funeral: November 20 (Saturday), 10 a.m., at Emmanuel Community Church. Rev. Dennis Miller will officiate. Burial will be in Wakarusa, Ind.

Edward E. Souers has been elected chairman of the Huntington College Board of Trustees. He is managing partner of Christen Souers LLC, an accounting firm in Fort Wayne, Ind. Ed is a 1977 HC graduate, and is a member of South Scipio UB church in Harlan, Ind.

Kelly Savage (Class of 1983) was elected Vice Chair of the Board. Savage is the chief information officer for Alticor, the parent company of Amway, Quixtar and Access Business Group. David Tinkey (1980), a commercial banking finance manager for Bank One in Indianapolis, Ind., was elected Secretary of the Board.

David and Melissa Kline continue to await word from Macau governmental authorities concerning their status for long-term service in Macau. With the new regulations, one of the sticking points is getting permission from the Education Department, the Labor Department, as well as the Immigration Department to be an “English teacher.” We continue to seek your prayer for God’s sovereign hand over this process.

The Klines are not alone. In a changing world, many mission agencies in many countries are facing the increased challenge of getting immigration visas for missionaries, as well as work permits. Wes and Jean Bell, Wycliffe missionaries to Brazil (also UB endorsed missionaries), are struggling with Brazilian immigration as they seek to recruit needed missionary teachers to their school.

Throughout October 2004, United Brethren members in the United States voted on these matters:Next

  • Electing clergy and lay delegates to the 2005 national Conference.
  • Voting “yes” or “no” on three referendum items, including the referendum to unite the UB churches in the United States with the Missionary Church USA.

The voting ended on October 31. Here are the next steps in the timeline, as stated in chapter 33 of the UB Discipline:

  • November 15. The results from each church must be sent to the conference board of tellers, postmarked no later than November 15.
  • December 1. The conference board of tellers will tally the results from the various churches, producing conference totals. Persons elected as delegates must be notified by December 1.
  • December 15. The conference results must be sent, by December 15, to these persons: Bishop Paul Hirschy, the superintendent(s) of that conference, and each senior pastor in the conference.
  • February 15. The bishop will publish the results of the election by this date. It allows time for any appeals or recounts.

Most likely, the results of the voting will be announced in late December. The results will be announced in the same way they were published in 1993, the last time we had a referendum. The referendum results from each conference will be posted, with three pieces of information for each referendum: the number of Yes votes, the number of No votes, and the percentage of Yes votes. The names of the delegates elected from each conference will also be posted.

If a referendum receives a simple majority of all votes cast in the United States churches, it can be passed along to the National Conference in 2005. The 65 delegates to the National Conference can, with a two-thirds vote, make a referendum official.

Information about the voting, as well as other information related to the 2005 US National Conference, can be found at this address.

Bob Lust is no longer pastor of First UB in Columbus. The pastoral staff at Franklin Church in New Albany, Ohio, will provide pastoral oversight for this congregation during the transition.