The US National Conference made over 20 changes to the United Brethren Discipline, including two changes to the Constitution.
The revised Discipline is now ready. You can view it online, or download a PDF copy. The only way to get a printed copy is to download the PDF and print it out yourself. Since the national conference now meets every two years, instead of every four years, the Discipline’s shelf-life has been cut in half. It’s just not worthwhile to print up copies for that short period of time.
But the PDF is good. Plus, in the extraordinary event that an error is discovered, it can be easily corrected.
The other major document is the Pastoral Ministry Handbook, which gives information about our various ministerial licenses, our assignment procedures, etc. That document is updated regularly by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team. You can download the latest version as a PDF file.
Randy Carpenter, from Walbridge, Ohio, is leading a trip to Israel November 1-13, 2009. Currently, 14 people are signed up, but there is space for others who may be interested in going. The cost is $3200 per person (not including taxes and tip to tour guides). The trip is using Bible Lands & Reformatin Group Travel. If interested, contact Randy at: (419) 708-7994. Or email him. (Itinerary in a MS Word file)
If you search for it, you can find a lot of United Brethren stuff on YouTube. Here are some videos which show the worship team of Mainstreet Church in Walbridge, Ohio. This team provided music during Thursday and Friday nights at the 2009 US National Conference. It also shows the platform setup for Mainstreet’s new facility. These videos were uploaded by John Authenreith, the worship pastor at Mainstreet.
Donna Delik, UB missionary in Kutno, Poland, with Operation Mobilization, sent this note, upon the arrival of 18 UBs in Poland:
It’s time for our annual English workshop again! The UB team from America arrived safely and sound this morning. We are very thankful that all their luggage arrived, it is the very first time without missing luggage! One more team member will arrive tomorrow, so please pray for safe travelling.
This weekend the team will work together to do the final preparation and then we will launch our English workshop on Monday, June 22.
We will appreciate your prayer for us as a team in the coming 2 weeks:
Some of you may remember Phyllis Lahr, who was executive secretary for nearly 20 years to bishops C. Ray Miller, Wilber L. Sites, Clarence Kopp, and Ray Seilhamer. Phyllis’s husband, Mert, passed away June 8, and the funeral was held last Friday. They had been married since 1963.
Mert had been in a nursing home in Markle, Ind., but Phyllis wasn’t content with the care he was receiving. So she sold their home in Markle, bought a place in Fort Wayne, and moved Mert into this new home where she could take care of him herself. That’s what she did for the past several years.
Two denominational mission teams are beginning their trips.
The Center Hill UB church (Mt. Carroll, Ill.) held its closing celebration service on Sunday, June 14. Bishop Ron Ramsey attended this final service. He writes, “It went well, with about 50 persons attending. There were only 10 members still listed, and many of them had not contacted the church in years. Only 3 members attended regularly. There were about 10 or so others who were not members who attended. The congregation voted to sell the building to another ministry. June 14 was the last UB service at the church.”
Bishop Ramsey is working with a lawyer to transfer property ownership to the new ministry, and hopes to complete the transfer before he leaves office in August. He notes that some funds from Center Hill will be coming to both Global Ministries and Huntington University.
On May 6, we noted that Dave Datema had been named to succeed Dr. Ralph Winter as General Director of Frontier Mission Fellowship, the umbrella organization for the US Center for World Mission and the William Carey International University. Dave officially assumed that role on May 5.
Dr. Winter passed away on Wednesday, May 20. In their newsletter, Dave and Cathie wrote:
Dave had spent Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday on a retreat with the Frontier Mission Fellowship executive team. After fasting for three days, going through 16 hours of meetings on the retreat, and then coming back to find that Dr. Winter had passed away 30 minutes after we returned, Dave was physically and emotionally spent. Yet God’s goodness and grace were very evident in the meetings and in the circumstances surrounding Dr. Winter’s death.
For all of us on staff, we have lost our leader, the one whose vision drew us here, for many of us a journey of thousands of miles away from home and family. These are somber but hope-filled days. Dr. Winter leaves a rich legacy behind.
Dave has discovered the “tyranny of the inbox” as he begins his new role. Within the next couple weeks, he will move his office to a different building on campus. Between now and our Staff Conference in July, Dave plans to meet face to face with the bulk of our members, part of which will involve a trip to one of our regional offices in Philadelphia. Much time will also be spent coming to grips with the policies and practices of the FMF’s multiple projects. Pray for Dave! Also, remember Cathie and our children as Dave will be out of town for 12 days in June.
Dave Datema is an ordained United Brethren minister, and a member of the Global Ministries Leadership Team. As a UB missionary kid, he spent a good chunk of his childhood in both Sierra Leone and Jamaica. He attended the recent US National Conference in Huron, Ohio.