Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

We have a new Superintendent in Honduras. Juanita Chavez was elected on January 9 during the annual conference. It was a privilege for me to kneel with her at the altar and pray for God’s blessing as she assumes this responsibility.

During the conference a strategic plan was presented and approved that focuses on a number of significant outcomes and indications of church health. Juanita Chavez had a major part in the formation of the plan as a member of the leadership team and so it will be exciting to see her implement it in the coming years.

The conference is very excited to be named host for the 2010 General Conference and some very gifted people have already made themselves available to assist in the planning and preparation.

  • Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites, Jr., came home from the hospital on Sunday. 
  • Harold Wust, a former UB missionary and former associate director of Missions, has been diagnosed with leukemia. He and his wife live in Huntington, Ind. Today, he begins aggressive treatment in the oncology center at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’ll be there for an extended time. 
  • Gary Reiber, pastor of Union Chapel (Fort Wayne, Ind.), remains in Fort Wayne’s Parkview Hospital after a serious bout with Toxic Shock Syndrome. On Friday, doctors operated on his knee to remove bad tissue and some infection. He’ll be on an IV with antibiotics for three weeks. The knee will need to be reopened today or tomorrow. 

Found on the internet, in an obituary: “They are consistent members of the United Brethren church and he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.”

It’s always amusing when stuff like this surfaces.

Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites, Jr., has improved greatly since Wednesday. He was suffering from congestive heart failure which is now being managed and is under control, and he is headed the right direction. The other complication was an upper respiratory infection (rather than the suspected double pneumonia). The family
greatly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers at this time, as well as the graciousness of God in Wilber’s life.

Honduras Conference is meeting right now, and they’ll be electing a new superintendent–possibly today. Francisco Raudales has served in that role since 1996. 

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries, is attending the conference. He’ll be presenting a plaque of recognition and appreciation to Francisco. 

MaryAnn Hancock of New Hope Church (Camden, Mich.) sent the following:
For the past three years we have given the teachers at Camden-Frontier school (next door to the church) construction paper Christmas ornaments. The teachers write items that they need for their classroom. We hang them on a tree in the church and attendees pick one and purchase the items requested.

Gifts are presented to classrooms along with a candy cane for each child just before Christmas break. We enjoy thanking our teachers for the contribution they make to our community. An added blessing is the thank you notes received from the teachers and many times the children.

Every two years, United Brethren churches are required to sign the National Conference Covenant, which includes your affirmation of six statements.

The unsigned covenant was mailed to your church in December. When Bishop Ramsey receives the signed covenant, he’ll sign it and return it to your church. The deadline for returning the covenant: March 15.

By signing the covenant, your church is affirming these six statements:
You are committed to the United Brethren Confession of Faith.

  • You agree with the core values of the United Brethren in Christ, International.
  • You agree to abide by the Constitution and Discipline of the US National Conference.
  • You are passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission through our local church.
  • You will support the ministry and mission of the United Brethren Church, USA, through the annual partnership fee.
  • You will participate in a cluster.

The covenant is discussed in chapter 15 of the UB Discipline.

Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites has been hospitalized with double pneumonia. About 11:00 Wednesday morning, he checked into the Chambersburg Hospital (Chambersburg, Pa.).

Wilber Sites served as bishop 1977-1989. He is the father of Denny Sites, senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel UB in Churchville, Va.

Please keep Bishop Sites and his wife, Mossie, in your prayers.