NorthPointe Church (Lewis Center, Ohio) baptized six persons in a member’s pool last Saturday. Pastor Dan Kopp tells about some of them:

  • One is seeing victory over addiction and is reaching out to others in a VERY exciting way.
  • Another couple’s marriage was for all intents and purposes over, and they’ve come to Christ and were both baptized (and would have been joined by their son had he not had a conflict with the date).
  • One is the son of a former atheist whose whole family has come to Christ.
  • A daughter who makes the fourth and final member of the family to come to Christ and be baptized at NorthPointe.

Exciting stuff.

Huntington University will welcome new and returning students on Friday, August 22, for Move-In Day.

The first-time freshman class and the overall new student group, including freshmen and transfer students, are both expected to be 10 percent larger than previous record levels. The university anticipates that the new student group will break the 300 mark for the first time in Huntington’s history.

Also on Friday, Livingston Hall officially will open to students. The modern student residence is designed to house 150 undergraduates, primarily freshmen and sophomores. Construction began in the summer of 2007.

Move-In Day will kick off a three-day orientation weekend for new students, including the Huntington University Plunge, small group sessions and social activities. The plunge, sponsored by the university’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service, involves groups of new students as well as faculty and staff volunteering at various locations in the Huntington community.

Huntington University works on a governance system. If we have an issue with the university, we don’t go to a staff person, but to Dr. Dowden. He’s responsible to the board of trustees. The trustees establish the guiding principles and boundary principles for the University, but they let Dr. Dowden and his staff handle day-to-day things. 

In a church, the governance board operates the same way. The pastor is given authority to lead, but the board sets certain boundaries (such as, he can’t spend more than one percent of the budget at a time without getting permission). The staff work under the direction of the pastor and are accountable to him, not to the board. The board then holds the pastor accountable. 

A governance board doesn’t need more than 3-5 people. Some churches have made their elders group their board. Some call it the Executive Leadership Team or Church Leadership Council. Whatever the name, this group focuses on two things:

  • Make sure the big boundaries are being followed.
  • Monitor how goals are accomplished. 

Darrel Bosworth, Pastor, Kilpatrick UB Church (Woodland, Mich.)
I’m a member of the West Michigan LEAD team, which is focused on supporting the Imagine This church plant in Grand Ledge, Mich. Mike Caley, another member of that LEAD team, wrote about it previously.

My church, Kilpatrick, has been speaking and talking a lot in the last two years about getting beyond ourselves. We ask, “Who are you talking to about Christ in your workplace?”

We’re in the LEAD team to try to build some of that missional DNA about birthing churches into our congregation. We’re not in a position to plant a church on our own, but through the LEAD team, we can partner with other churches to do it.

As a LEAD team, our purposes are:

  • To launch a new church every two years. That probably won’t happen for us in this first stage, but that’s our hope.
  • To gain a win for Imagine This. We talk about birthing a church every two years, but we decided we’re not going to abandon ship until we know they’re up and going, even if it means continuing support for more than two years.
  • To support Imagine This by giving money and, when applicable, people (some churches are located too far away).
  • To meet six times a year to encourage and pray for the planter, Gordon Kettel.
  • To be a pilot for future LEAD teams. A second LEAD team is forming in southern Michigan.
  • To help churches understand that birthing a church is a natural part of the reproduction process of a healthy church.

We’ve begun considering where to plant the next church. In Michigan, a number of United Brethren churches are located on the I-96 corridor from Fowlerville to Grand Rapids. We’re looking at some places there.

I keep a lot of CDs in my car. I mostly listen to Christian stuff, but I also have a lot of bluegrass. I enjoy listening to the Gaither Vocal Band. I became aware of Linda Randall on one of the Gaither Homecoming videos, and bought her CD. Her songs really speak to me. 

God on the Mountain. I love that song. I’ll put it in and keep repeating it for 30 miles, because it really touches me. The gist is that the God you meet on the mountaintop is the same God who will be with you in the valley. You have pain and hurt in the valley, but it’s the same God.  I’ve been through a lot of valley experiences in my life, with health issues, and that song has meant a lot to me. 

I have some Ray Charles music, a lot of stuff from Hank Williams, Sr., and some music by Cowboy Copas, my cousin, who was a star on the Grand Ole Oprey. Then I have some tapes that trace the history of country music.

I do listen to some talk radio when I travel, but only until it makes me mad. Then I turn it off and put in a tape. 

What kind of music do you listen to in the car?

The amount of construction occurring in Hong Kong and Macau is amazing. All you hear is pile drivers. It’s like walking around Manhattan…except better. 

I got a tour of the Venetian, the world’s largest casino. Located on the island of Taipa in Macau, it was built in just three years. The Venetian used to be part of the South China Sea. In those three years, they not only erected the buildings, but filled in the sea in order to create land for the casino.

The casino follows the Venice theme, with gondolas, canals, street actors and musicians, and opera singers serenading shoppers.

Our tour lasted three-and-a-half hours, and we never even went into the gaming area. It’s an enormous complex. Now they are working on Phase Two of the Venetian. And that’s only the first of many mega-casinos under construction in Macau on the Cotai Strip.

You can watch a time-lapse video showing the Venetian’s construction on YouTube.

Archie Kent, 94, a retired UB minister from Rugby UB church (Hope, Ind.) passed away on Wednesday, August 14. He served United Brethren churches in Anderson, Alexandria, Rugby, Huntington, Warren, New Castle and Williamsport, Ind., and Sherkston, Canada. He also had been an accountant with Canadian Fairbanks-Morris Co. in Canada.The arrangements are:

Visitation: Saturday, August 16, 4-8 p.m.
Location: Norman Funeral Home, Hope, Ind. The funeral home is located on State Road 9 on the west side of the town square.
Funeral: Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m. Visitation will occur 1-2 prior to the service.
Location: Ruby UB church.
Burial: Hawcreek Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian, whom he married in 1938. There are also six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

The ladies of the Rugby church plan to serve a dinner following the burial service. Memorial contributions may be given to Rugby UB church.

Marty Wilt has been named pastor of the Underwood UB church (Oakland, Md.). Marty holds a local conference license at Underwood. Marshall Woods, the previous pastor, resigned so he could give more time to the Mill Chapel congregation (Reedsville, W. Va.), which he also pastors.

On Thursday, July 31, we had a BBQ cookout on the front campus at Huntington University. We treated all of the staff working during the summer, and gave them the rest of the afternoon off, with pay. It was a well-deserved break and a great way to recognize our staff for the terrific work they do all year and throughout the summer months.

Summers at the University are always busy. Students may be away for a few months, but here on campus, everyone is engaged with preparing for the coming year. I thought I’d give you some glimpses of what happens here during the summer.

Much work is done to prepare for our students’ return in the fall:

  • Registration Weekend is the third week of June. Students and their families arrive, register for classes, and begin to sample the “Huntington experience.” This year, we had a record number of participants, and we are looking forward to strong enrollment this fall.
  • The Student Development staff stays busy making room assignments for resident students.
  • Staff members in the financial aid and registrar’s offices help students with course registrations, scholarships, grants, and loans.
  • The Maintenance team works hard to prepare campus for the fall. This summer, we’re finishing the new Livingston Hall, preparing it to open for the fall semester.
  • Representatives from the Advancement Office meet with donors and friends of the University, raising funds for scholarships. They also support the summer tour of Godspell.
  • HU faculty and staff also host camps, including a theatre camp and a basketball camp. In addition, we host many outside groups that use our campus for retreats and conferences.

It has been a busy summer for me, as well. In the past few weeks:

  • I met with the senior administrative team on several occasions to review last year’s accomplishments and to develop goals for the upcoming year.
  • I traveled extensively on behalf of the University and participated in a conference for leaders in Christian higher education.
  • I prepared a chapel sermon for the first week of the school year.
  • I began work on my State of the University address, which I will present to faculty and staff in September.
  • And, of course, we enjoyed some vacation time. This summer, Chris and I were privileged to participate in my mom’s 90th birthday celebration in New Jersey.

It has been a rich and full summer, and now we are all eager for the school year to begin.

As pastor of Mainstreet Church, I told the staff that we needed to take the lead in reaching non-Christians. We needed to look for redemptive opportunities.

I started going to the same barber every two weeks. He wasn’t a believer, which is why I went there. He didn’t come to faith, but I always felt he was getting close. I went to the same gas station, same coffee shop.

Our youth pastor got involved in sports leaves run by the community. Rather than fight them, let’s get involved with them. He would go to soccer games, meet people who didn’t know Christ, and try to reach them.

What are you doing to intentionally create relationships with non-Christians? Post a comment.