roushes.jpgPolly Roush passed away early Sundy morning, July 12, at age 86. Her husband, J. Edward Roush, served as a US Representative for 16 years; he passed away in 2004 at age 83.

Polly was well-known in the Huntington University community, and as a member of College Park Church in Huntington, Ind.

In 1940, Polly was certified as a singing evangelist by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. The same year, she enrolled at Huntington College, and graduated in 1946 with a Biology degree; she later earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.). Much of her career was spent as a public schoolteacher. She was also an energetic campaigner for her husband’s political campaigns.

Huntington University’s site has a lengthy article about Polly Roush.

Dan KoppA few days ago I received this note from Dan Kopp (right), senior pastor and church planter of NorthPointe Community Church in Lewis Center, Ohio, on the outskirts of Columbus.

Just thought you would be encouraged by a note from one of our core gals, Michelle. She and her husband, Craig (along with her mother, sister, and his parents), were both brought to Christ and baptized at NorthPointe Community Church and have risen to quite faithful leadership. Craig had attended church maybe a half-dozen times in his life.Michelle directs a flourishing women’s group, made up of mostly new believers, and helps coordinate our children’s ministries.

Michelle wrote:

“I sense that there is a bubbling up of something exciting happening. Many folks are currently seeking God and looking to be part of the solution. I find it very interesting that within the last week, at least three times I heard folks refer to the current state of our church body in comparison to Gideon’s army. We may be small, but if we all trust God, He can make us strong! I’m excited to be part of the solution and to see what God has in store!!”

About ten people came forward during and extended worship/seeking/invitation time Sunday. They also had a surprise “roast” for their now half-century elderly pastor following the service, during which they raised nearly $1000 for a vitally needed laptop for him. Now if he can just see the screen….

Todd Fetters, Devonshire Church, Harrisburg, Pa.
At a recent funeral, I heard the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.” The familiar second line of the first stanza has since stuck in my mind: “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”

While it is true that Christ saved me when I was a mere seven years old, it is also true that Christ is still saving me. And because of God’s amazing grace in the last 12 months, I could easily amend the second line to read, “I was stuck, but I’m progressing, was discouraged, but now am hopeful.”

Okay, so my amended lyrics don’t flow as well. My point is this: God’s grace is always amazing. We make a huge mistaken when we think God’s grace is amazing only in relation to our moment of salvation. God’s grace has got to be amazing to you right now…in the past week…in the past month…in the past year.

I’ll bet you can point to ways in which God’s continuing transformational grace has recently touched and transformed some aspect of your life. You could amend the lyrics to “Amazing Grace” just like I did. Here are a few other edits that I think would be relevant to Christians today:

  • Last year I was stingy with my time, abilities and money, but now am generous.
  • A week ago I was addicted (to gambling, alcohol, sleep, entertainment, pornography), but now I’m free.
  • Last month I was distrusting, but now I’m trusting.
  • I once was discontent, but now I’m satisfied.
  • Yesterday I was scared, but now I’m at peace.
  • A month ago I was angry, but now I’m loving.
  • Two years ago I was overly competitive, but now am compassionate.
  • Five years ago I was depressed, but now I’m filled with joy.
  • Six months ago I was disobedient, but now I’m walking in obedience.
  • I once was bitter, but now I’m forgiving.

What lyrics would you choose to describe your most recent encounter with God’s amazing grace?

This Sunday, Josh Kessler will preach his first message as the new senior pastor of Good Shepherd UB church in Huntington, Ind. After the service, the church is holding a community hog roast to welcome Josh and Molly to the church. The Kesslers are moving into their new home today. The church has been without a pastor since last September.

Huntington University registered 229 first-time freshmen during Registration Weekend, topping the previous record set in 2006 by 28 students.

In addition, 38 more freshmen indicated to the registrar’s office that they intend to register in the near future.

Registration Weekend, held June 20-21, is an orientation to Huntington University for students and parents. Both attend seminars introducing them to faculty, staff, and current students. Students can take placement tests, sign up for housing, have their student identification photo taken, and learn about the university’s wireless computer network. A highlight of the weekend is the HU Olympics, hosted by current students.





This year’s Poland group, with 26 members, returned to the States on July 2 after spending two weeks in Poland.

They left on June 19, flying into Warsaw, where they met UB endorsed missionaries Donna and Arek Delik. After a 3.5-hour bus ride, they arrived in Kutno, where the Deliks serve with Operation Mobilization. They stayed at a boarding school, which also served as the location for the English language camp. A group of four Christians from Scotland joined them.

The schedule followed pretty much the same format as previous years. The English camp (70 teens were signed up) was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with different classes designed to help Polish teens develop their conversational skills. Then from 4-6 p.m., teens could come back for an informal time of board games, basketball, and maybe to work on music skills. Quite often in the afternoon, Polish students would invite team members to their homes to meet the families.

A concluding gathering was held on Saturday, June 28, with family members invited and certificates given for participation in the camp. This event always includes singing songs learned during the camp, skits, refreshments, and a time for taking photos.

On Sunday, June 29, the group visited the Auschwitz and Berkenau concentration camps and spent some time in Krakow. They then flew back to the States on Monday.

Darwin and Polly DuntenPolly Dunten will undergo surgery July 28 to remove a non-malignant tumor from her brain. Polly is the wife of Darwin Dunten (that’s them on the right), senior pastor of First UB church in Findlay, Ohio.

The Duntens traveled to the Cleveland Clinic on July 3, where they learned the following:

  • The tumor is larger than they thought.
  • It is in a more difficult location and is causing more damage than they thought.
  • Polly has lost eye functions and hearing on her left side.
  • The tumor is pressing on the brain stem, and is grown into a part of the ear canal.

The tumor must be removed. Darwen reports: “Cleveland’s surgeon will not take all of the tumor, but most of it. He stated that once the surgery is complete, he will reevaluate (at a later date) the tumor to determine if radiation is needed. Currently, radiation is not an option because of the size of the tumor. It would require such a large dose that it would certainly damage the nerve and possibility the brain.  With most of the tumor out, a much smaller dose would be needed.”

Darwin added in a July 3 note, “Please continue to pray as the pain is returning even with the medication. She will be starting a new medication tonight on top of the other meds and its side effect.”

The surgery on July 28 will take 4-5 hours, and Polly will be hospitalized for at least three days. If you want to send a note or card to Polly, you can use this address:

Polly Dunten
701 Cynthia Court
Findlay, OH 45840

I love getting emails that describe the movement of God in our churches. I received one this past week that warmed my heart. It came from Todd Fetters (right), pastor of Devonshire Church in Harrisburg, Pa. The email arrived July 3, and told about a wonderful service they had the Sunday before.

Our One Prayer emphasis ended Sunday with a climactic altar experience. The prayer I preached on was, “Lord, Make Us Thirsty.” Nearly 20 people came and knelt at the altar for an anointing service. Some came for physical healing. Others came for emotional and relational healing. Two couples came forward to have our four “elders” lay hands on them and pray for them to become “one.” When I invited others from the congregation to come up around those kneeling to support them in their anointing, those who came stood 3-4 deep.

Most dramatic was the man who came forward for physical healing. Before he would let me anoint him, he was adamant saying, “Before you anoint me, I must ask my brother ‘Milton’ (not his real name) to forgive me for my angry words and feelings towards him over the past several years.” And, then he looked at “Milton” who was beside me. There I was, on my knees, intertwined with these two men as they were on their knees embracing and speaking words of authentic sin-admission and eager forgiveness. I could actually feel their reconciliation. WOW!

When you have good stories to tell, please send them to me. I’m always thrilled to hear what God is doing in our churches.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck are UB endorsed missionaries serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Though based in La Ceiba, Honduras, they have been spending considerable time the last few years working with translation projects in West Africa. Here is part of a report received on July 8.

We are now two-thirds through our time here in Africa. The Lord has been so good to us, revealing Himself to us in so many ways and helping us through many situations that we know we couldn’t have done through our own strength.
Our first assignment was the two-week Balanta Scripture Use Workshop. The 13 participants worked hard and learned tons. They left with lots of ideas and tools to promote the use of Scriptures in their mother tongue, Balanta.
Then we changed hats for our second assignment–hosting a group of missionary kids from North Carolina. They participated in a variety of activities–

  • helping out at an orphanage.
  • a mini VBS for the local children.
  • activities for youth.
  • a one day woman’s retreat.

Materials produced at the Balanta workshop were used with the children, youth, and women. This experience has helped several of the American teenagers to consider dedicating their lives to missionary service.

We came back to Senegal to see them off and are now on our way back to Guinea Bissau for the third assignment. Over the remaining weeks, Roger will be training and checking the translation of two different language groups. Marilyn will work on a video project. We leave for home on August 2.