Retired minister, Jim Sturgeon, has discontinued dialysis as of last Wednesday, the family reports. Hospice care has begun and he is ready to go be with the Lord. Please hold Jim and his family up in prayer during this time of transition.

You can send cards to:

507 W. Market St.
Rockford, OH 45882

A group of 12 persons from Canada, plus one from Honduras, spent nearly two weeks in Haiti earlier this month working at the Delmas church in Port au Prince. Team member Joan Sider wrote about the trip each day and took photos.

The 2010 Mid-Atlantic Pastoral Resource Day will be held November 7-8 at Rhodes Grove Camop and Conference Center in Chambersburg, Pa. The speakers will be:

  • Phil Whipple, UB bishop.
  • Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries.
  • Gary Gates, UB Director of Ministerial Licensing.

The Huntington University Board of Trustees chose new officers and some new members during its meeting on October 15.

Kelly Savage (right) is the new chair of the Board of Trustees. She is the first woman to serve in that post in the university’s 113-year history. She replaces Ed Souers, chairman for the past six years.

Savage is the vice president for global human resources at Amway Corp. in Ada, Mich. She is a 1983 graduate of Huntington University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and she also holds an MBA from Colorado State University. She has served on the HU board since 2001 and as the vice chair since 2004.

Dr. Herb Schumm (right) of Spencerville, Ohio, was elected vice chair. Schumm, a 1982 HU alumnus, is a medical doctor and vice president for media affairs at St. Rita’s Hospital in Lima, Ohio.

Nancy Hull, a 1974 graduate and the 2010 Alumnus of the Year, was elected secretary of the HU Board of Trustees. She is assistant professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Three new board members were also elected at the October meeting:

  • Larry New, who previously served on the board 1996-2008, is president of Heritage Medical Group and owner of CrownPointe Communities. As a 1971 graduate of the university, he was named Alumnus of the Year in 1982.
  • Robin Wright, a 1982 HU graduate from Columbia City, Ind., is the executive vice president of STAR Financial Bank. He previously served on the board from 2009 to 2010.
  • Molly Deuberry, a 2001 HU graduate from Chesterton, Ind., is the director of communications for the Indianapolis Department of Works. She was officially named the alumni board president in May.

The opening of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization

A South African choir during the opening service of Cape Town 2010.

Jeff Bleijerveld is in Cape Town, South Africa, representing the United Brethren Church as one of 4000 participants selected from 200 countries.

Cape Town 2010, also known as Lausanne III, opened Sunday night, October 17, amid much fanfare. The opening session was hosted by Doug Birdsall, the Lausanne Director, who declared this Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization  officially “open.”

With more than 4000 participants and more than a thousand observers from the media, the Vatican, Orthodox and other religious groups, the Congress is one of the largest gatherings of Christian workers in the history of the evangelical Church. Wonderfully “missional” musical pieces were prepared and performed by a multi-national orchestra and a 120-voice South African choir.

All participants meet around tables of six from various regions of the world. The room we are in has more than 800 tables. My table is represented by delegates from Malta, Bangladesh, Slovakia, and Myanmar.

This morning (Monday), we began dealing with the question of truth and specifically making the case for the truth of Christ in a pluralistic, globalized world. Having read papers on the subject in advance and hearing follow-up lectures from various speakers, we began to deal with the challenges and opportunities faced in each of the countries we represent. It was a great time of sharing, learning, and praying for one another.

All senior pastor and churches are required to participate in a cluster, which is generally a group of senior pastors from 6-8 churches. During the past year, Dennis Miller (right), senior pastor of Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), has been working one day a week as Director of Clusters. In that role he oversees the cluster system.

The cluster strategy was reorganized this year, with four types of clusters:

  1. Geographical Clusters. Pastors that serve in a certain geographical area (which is true of most of the clusters).
  2. Affinity Clusters. Pastors who have the same focus, church size, ministry philosophy, whatever.
  3. Social Clusters. A cluster that has fellowship as its primary purpose.
  4. CECL. A cluster using training from the Center for Excellence in Congregational Leadership.

Here are some items from Denny Miller’s written and oral report to the Executive Leadership Team on October 12.

  • There are 28 clusters. Two meet for fellowship only, one uses the CECL training, and one cluster hasn’t been meeting. The other 24 clusters use a common video curriculum we developed for cluster meetings.
  • A training event for cluster leaders was held in January, with most of the leaders attending.
  • On January 10, 2011, another training event for cluster leaders will be held in Huntington, Ind., with a focus on coaching. Each cluster leader will be asked to coach one person from his cluster in the coming year.
  • The curriculum for 2011 will focus on church systems.
  • We will offer two new clusters–one for pastors leading churches with over 200 people, and one for pastors leading churches with fewer than 200 people.
  • A system was devised whereby Bishop Whipple, Jeff Bleijerveld, and Denny Miller will each meet with one-third of the clusters during the year, thereby giving each cluster a personal contact.
  • Former bishops Ron Ramsey and C. Ray Miller each call and encourage half of the cluster leaders each month.

Information about the cluster system and the constituents of the various groups is given on the UB website.

Three changes have occurred at Laurel Mission in Big Laurel, Kent., all within the Boggs family.

  • Titus Boggs is on medical leave as director of Laurel Mission, but continues as senior pastor of Little Laurel Bible Church.
  • Nathan Boggs, his son, who has been issued a local conference license, is serving as executive director of Laurel Mission, effective October 8, 2010.
  • Debbie Boggs, wife of Titus Boggs, is the new associate director of Laurel Mission.

Billy Simbo, bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, sent this report about his wife, Mamei, who has been hospitalized for about six weeks in Abington, Pa.

As I write this today, we have experienced a setback in Mamei’s care and recovery.

On Wednesday, October 12, we were all excited and rejoicing as they moved Mamei from the Cardiac Surgical Unit to a new unit dubbed “The Penthouse” by the staff because it is in the newest building at the hospital and on the fifth floor. I had her settled in and stayed with her until after 10:00 Wednesday night.

But Thursday afternoon, she was having trouble breathing and they had to sedate her and put her back on the ventilator. She had a very high temperature. So Thursday night  they brought her back to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. She is currently under sedation and on the ventilator. She had dialysis done Friday morning and we are awaiting test results to see if there is an infection that is causing her high temperatures. She does have some kind of pneumonia that is causing a build-up in her lungs, so they have put her on massive doses of antibiotics again.

I have to be honest and admit that this is a setback and a disappointing one, because we had seen so much progress. But we will continue to trust and not give up.

Please pray and intercede for the current situation.

  1. That she would be weaned off the ventilator and be able to breathe on her own again.
  2. That they would find the cause of the high temperatures.
  3. That the plan to insert the feeding tube directly into her stomach instead of down her throat would be followed. Mamei needs nourishment to rebuild her strength.