A team of three staff members, one alumnus, and ten students from Huntington University left for a 24-day mission trip to Uganda on May 16.
While there, the group will worship with communities, show “The Jesus Film,” do construction work, and facilitate vacation Bible schools. In addition, the team will meet with representatives from Uganda Christian University, Samaritan’s Purse, the U.S. Embassy, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. 
The course description is as follows: “The purpose of this course is to expose students to the issues of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and mission strategies in Uganda, Africa. They will be called upon to integrate academic thought and practical experience in order to shape a Christian worldview. From May 14-June 5, 2006, students will work with Food for the Hungry’s various ministry sites. These include the Child Development Program for HIV/AIDS orphans; Bringing Hope, the HIV/AIDS medical ministry and abstinence program; and the local churches’ clean water initiatives. In addition to ministry experience, students will have the opportunity to hear local leaders discuss the issues and trends in medicine, social ills and church leadership.” 


A pastor again recounts how efforts at change are met with strong resistance, despite the fact that few if any people have been saved through his church’s ministry in the past decade. A lay leader expresses frustration at the lack of purposeful leadership by his pastor. A minor church split is reported. Annual reports reveal losses on various fronts. The pastor of a dying church claims that he is a victim. Emails of blame and outrage arrive in the Bishop’s inbox.

This has been the United Brethren Church.

A story of decisive change that leads to new converts is communicated to us. A pastor shares a story of confronting sin in the life of a congregant that was destroying unity. There is repentance and strengthening of the bond. A fresh vision is birthed for a cluster to provide full support for a new missionary. Brothers separated in the past by deep rifts extend forgiveness and work together. The restart of an older, established, dying congregation leads to a hundred new people coming to check out the Gospel. It all happens so quickly that the church isn’t sure what to do and it seeks further training.

This is the new United Brethren Church.

We tend to focus on the negative and the positive gets overshadowed.

One observation I have made in this first yearis that this is a systemic issue. It is about us. It still permeates the church. And changing it will change the church for the better.

Observation: There has been little “God-focus” and a lot of “me-focus” in our church. The shorter catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. In our home, glorify God. In our relationships, glorify God. In our worship, glorify God. In our giving, glorify God. In our programming, glorify God.

It seems that we have become so need-oriented, so “my preference” oriented, so satisfaction-oriented that we have forgotten that our chief end is to glorify God. Church has not been about God, but about us. And it certainly reflects it.

When people humble themselves, get on their faces before God, and ask His agenda for their church, amazing things happen. Look at Acts. Such a church saw powerful answers to prayer. Such a church received grace and strength in the face of persecution. Such a church had lay people who were preaching Jesus to the culture while the Apostles were stuck back in Jerusalem. Such a church dealt with problems in a God-honoring way, kept the church on track and yet met the needs of people.

The new United Brethren Church must shift its focus back to glorifying God and not continue a culture of selfishness and self-centeredness. God calls that carnality.

More stories of God’s grace are yet to be experienced and written. Let’s allow them to be increasingly heard while carnality falls by the wayside and is no longer tolerated.

Hey FamilyTitus Boggs, director of Laurel Mission in Kentucky, reports on the departure of Burt and Tana Hey (right), who have served there for the past year, and the return of Titus’s son, Nathan. Titus writes:
“After serving nearly a year here at Laurel Mission, our dear friends, Burt and Tana Hey, feel the call of God to minister in a youth camp in Ohio. They were sent to us ‘for such a time as this,’ and have been a great help and blessing to Laurel Mission. We will miss them. Their leaving at the beginning of the busy season reminds me of the Olympic runner whose shoe came off at the starting line and he sang out the Kenny Rogers song, ‘You picked a fine time to leave me loose heel.’ How can we face the busy summer camp schedule without our support staff?

“In steps my right-hand man, Nathan Alvin Boggs!

“Nathan is a 22-year-old senior at Kentucky Mountain Bible College, majoring in missions. He had several employment opportunities for the summer months, but said, ‘Dad, do you need me to help you this summer?’ Of course my answer was, ‘Nathan, we would love to have you help us, but we need to pray about it and make sure this is God’s will.’ We did pray, and God has given his blessing.”
Since the mission lacks funds to pay for support staff, Titus is inviting churches and individuals to help support Nathan for the summer. Any checks should be made payable to Laurel Mission and sent to: Laurel Mission, 77 Cedar Chapel Road, Big Laurel, KY 40808-7611.

Huntington University unveiled a new strategic plan which includes doubling the enrollment to 2000 students by the year 2016. The plan resulted from a year-long effort by the University Innovation Task Force, a 24-member group of faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees.
Other goals include doubling the endowment (currently valued at $21 million), raising the five-year graduation rate to 75 percent, strengthening the academic ethos of the campus, and reaching competitive compensation targets for faculty and staff (with salaries in the top 25 percent for the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities).


Burt Lange.jpg

Pennsylvania minister Burton Lange (right) with new UB endorsed missionaries
Jamie Fiedler (left) and Anna Geivett, both of whom will serve with Food for the Hungry.

The first of two “Day of Missions” events was held May 6 at the Salem UB church just outside of Chambersburg, Pa.

Alan and Gary.jpgSeveral missionaries spoke during the day. Alan MacDonald (right, with Global Ministries Director Gary Dilley) gave some insights regarding the changing world missions scene and the roles people play in world evangelization. In the afternoon, the participants heard from the five newest UB endorsed missionaries:

  • Mike and Jenny Burtnett (right), who are joining Wycliffe/Jaars. They are from the Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich.
  • Anna Geivett, who will serve with Food for the Hungry in Lima, Peru. Anna is from Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Jamie Fiedler, who will serve with Food for the Hungry initially at the US Headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz. Jamie is from College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind.

The day concluded with a brief memorial service for Dr. Richard Prabhakar, who passed away last fall. Everyone had the privilege of watching a video from the funeral service, which was very moving and showed the tremendous influence of Dr. Prabhakar and the high respect he held from the Indian people.
Gary Dilley, director of Global Ministries, and Donna Hollopeter, associate director of Global Ministries, also spoke. The Salem church provided lunch for everyone.


Mike and Jenny Burnett.

Braeded Cord

Doris MacDonald (left) and Sharon Dennis,
“The Braeded Chord,” provided music for the day.

The morning and afternoon sessions began with music by The Braeded Chord, a two-some consisting of Sharon Dennis and Doris Au MacDonald. Doris is the wife of Alan MacDonald, and a granddaughter of Y. T. Chiu, who was a leader in establishing our mission work in China. Doris and Sharon have a music ministry which has now resulted in three albums of original work.
A second “Day of Missions” will be held May 20 at the PraisePoint UB church in Willshire, Ohio. People can register online.

Pam and I have been on a two and a half week journey. We left home two weeks ago yesterday and will not return home until Tuesday. During most of this time, we have not had internet connection, and I have been unable to keep up with email or communicate through this tremendous medium. I have gotten so used to being connected, that this has made me feel extremely disconnected.

This reminds me that there are some who find themselves in positions of becoming disconnected from the Lord after being extremely connected. Some, like my feelings toward the internet, could not wait to get connected again. I was uncomfortable and rather anxious about being disconnected. I was not able to fulfill my purpose and responsibilities in that disconnected state. That is true of believers who become disconnected. They can’t fulfill the purposes God has for them. The unfortunate thing is that some never reconnect. They remain out there somewhere — lost, roaming, out of touch.

People and churches are the same in this sense. Some are connected and working well. Some remain disconnected and floundering. Some function somewhere in between. Our goal needs to be to help all people (and churches) become and remain connected to the Lord in a humble attitude, serving Him and His agenda.

Some of the workers. Pastor Tim Hallman of Anchor is third from the right, and Pastor Bob Bruce (Emmanuel) is second from the left.

On Saturday, April 22, landscaping trucks and equipment and about 30 workers descended on Third Street in Fort Wayne, where they relandscaped five homes. This was a joint project between two United Brethren churches: Anchor Community Church, which is located on Third Street, and Emmanuel Community Church. The crew cleaned up yards, laid lots of fresh mulch, put in new plants, raked up leaves, and generally left the homes looking great.
Pastor Tim Hallman of Anchor and Chris Moore, an associate staffperson at Emmanuel, initiated the project. But Tom Clounie, an elder at Emmanuel who owns a large landscaping company, Clounie Landscaping, then made it happen. Hallman identified five homes along Third Street and talked to the owners for permission to relandscape their yards. Tom then brought in the equipment and organized the work. They started early that Saturday morning and finished by noon.
About 15 people from Anchor participated. The others came from Emmanuel, with Tom Clounie adding a few of his regular employees.
Anchor Community Church started in 1998 with a core group of about 40 people from Emmanuel. The church had existed there since the 1930s as Third Street UB church. It was closed in May 1998 for five months, underwent extensive renovations, and then reopened with new leadership and a new vision in October 1998.
For more photos from the project, follow the link below.


The following churches are in need of senior pastors.

  • Monroe UB Church (Monroe, Ind.).
  • Living Word UB church(Columbus, Ohio).
  • Mongul UB Church (Shippensburg, Pa.).
  • Ebenezer UB Church (Greencastle, Pa.).
  • Mt. Olivet (Franklin County) UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).
  • Sabetha UB Church (Sabetha, Kansas).
  • Trenton Hills UB Church (Adrian, Mich.).
  • Fifth Street UB Church (Staunton, Va.).
  • Pleasant Valley UB Church (Lake Odessas, Mich.).

In addition, PraisePoint UB church in Willshire, Ohio, is looking for a part-time youth pastor to work 20 hours a week.
For any of these position, contact Bishop Ron Ramsey at:

United Brethren Offices
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750
Phone: 1-888-622-3019

burnett_mike.jpgAre you looking for a different kind of summer camp? This coming July the Huntington University Department of Theatre Arts will host its inaugural Huntington University Summer Theatre Youth Camp.  From June 26 to July 21, campers ages 6 to 15 will learn basic theatrical training from theatre professionals and perform a fully produced musical theatre production. This summer’s performance will be a junior version of the “Music Man” in which every camper will have a part.
The camp will run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Huntington University Merillat Centre for the Arts, with performances on July 22. There will be no camp session on July 3 or 4.