The Together Student Life group at Mount Zion UB (Wayne, Ohio) raised $2,818 through a 30-hour famine. The money was sent to Global Ministries to benefit the children of Haiti and to help with rebuilding from Haiti’s earthquake last January.

Global Ministries is sponsoring two mission trips during the summer of 2011:

June 17-25: Honduras Medical Trip. This trip is open to medical personnel and a limited number of support personnel. It will be led by Robert and Fonda Cassidy, who are from the Mt. Olivet UB church of Mt. Solon, Va. Cost: $600 plus the cost of airfare.

June 24 – July 5: Poland English/Sports Camp. This trip is open to high-school aged students through adults. Participants will work with Polish teens in a camp atmosphere to improve their conversational English skills. There will also be time for informal teaching of basic sports skills. Cost: $700 plus the cost of airfare.

Bishop Wilber L. Sites, Jr.

The funeral for Bishop Wilber L. Sites, Jr., was held Friday, December 31, at Salem UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. Bishop Phil Whipple attended the funeral. Wilber Sites served as bishop for 12 years, 1977-1989.

The website of the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper published an article “Friends Recall Bishop Sites’ Grace, Kindness,” which consisted mostly of interviews with Paul B. Baker, former pastor of King Street UB church, and Garry Culler, associate pastor of Mount Pleasant UB church.

Here is the official obituary published on the website of the Waynesboro Record Herald.

Bishop Wilber L. Sites Jr., 84, of 2719 Fillmore Drive, Chambersburg, Pa., died at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010, in his home. He had been in failing health for the past month and critically ill for the past week.

Born Oct. 1, 1926, in Chambersburg, he was the son of the late Wilber L. Sites Sr. and Della L. (Stewart) Sites. He lived most of his life in the Chambersburg area.

He graduated from Chambersburg High School with the Class of 1944. He later received his bachelor of arts degree from Huntington College; his master of divinity at Huntington College Seminary; his doctor of ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and his doctor of divinity from Huntington College.

The Rev. Sites served with the United States Army during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater at both the Philippine Islands and Korea.

He and his wife of more than 64 years, Mossie M. (Baker) Sites, were married on Nov. 29, 1946, in Hagerstown, Md. They moved to their present residence in 1989.

In his early life, the Rev. Sites was employed at Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, as a clerk in the parts department and later as a supervisor. He served various churches as pastor in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He served locally as pastor of Penn Mar United Brethren Church; associate pastor at King Street United Brethren Church; pastor at Mount Pleasant United Brethren Church; senior and associate pastor of Otterbein United Brethren Church, Waynesboro; and prior to retiring on Dec. 31, 1998, he served as bishop of the United Brethren in Christ Church for 12 years. He also served as a volunteer teacher at Jamaica Bible College in Mandeville for more than six years.

He enjoyed spending time with his family.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Judy A. Baker of Hagerstown, Md., and Linda S. Etter of Chambersburg; one son, the Rev. Dennis A. Sites of Churchville, Va.; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Florence M. Burkholder of Fayetteville, Pa., Delores I. Hargleroad of Culbertson, Pa., and J. Marie Hawk of Chambersburg; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Velva B. Cormany.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, in Salem United Brethren Church, 4349 Letterkenny Road, Chambersburg, with his son, the Rev. Dennis A. Sites, and Pastor Jason Bakker officiating. Burial will follow in Fetterhoff Chapel Cemetery, Guilford Township, Pa., where military graveside honors will be conducted by the honor guard of Charles Nitterhouse VFW Post 1599, Chambersburg.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening in Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, 50 S. Broad St., Waynesboro, and one hour prior to the services Friday morning in the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Jamaica Bible College, in care of Salem United Brethren Church, 4349 Letterkenny Road, Chambersburg, Pa. 17201.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Ten-year-old Dylan Culler, standing with his dad at the bus stop one morning, remarked about how lucky they were to have coats, since many people didn’t.

“Coats for folks,” said his father, Bobby Culler, who is associate pastor of Mount Pleasant Church in Chambersburg, Pa.

An thus began a campaign to collect “gently-used” coats for the Salvation Army and local homeless shelters.

Dylan got permission from his schoolteacher to solicit coats at Falling Spring Elementary School. Soon, “Coats for Folks” fliers were being distributed throughout the school, and an email was sent to parents.

Bobby Culler also solicited coats at Mount Pleasant UB. One area shelter told him they could use as many coats as they could get.

Ultimately, 111 coats were donated. Bobby picked them up and delivered them to shelters.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

In early October, I traveled to Turkey with Kurt Uhen, a member of Emmanuel and a member of the Global Ministries Leadership Team. We were investigating opportunities for United Brethren involvement. I previously explained why we were looking at Turkey, and about I.N. Network, an organization which provided entrée to the country.

We spent the majority of our time in Eastern Turkey, which isn’t an area most ministries focus on, though IN Network does. We found some unique opportunities.

If you’re a Christian in the east, it seems that people notice. We found that among many of the Muslims we met. They would tell us stories like this: “When I was a little boy, my dad sent me to town to get farm implements. He told me to go to the Christian down the street, because he wouldn’t cheat us.”

One pastor in the east, whose congregation has its own building—it’s very important to have a physical presence—told us Muslims regularly come to the door. First, they want Bibles. Second, they want to know if any Christians at the church need a job, because Christians are trustworthy and don’t tell lies.

Moving a Turkish couple into a new community to start a church and set up a business might be a great opportunity. They could support themselves. Being able to do business with integrity in the community might be one of the most meaningful ways to have a witness and impact the community.

We received an invitation from a community leader who had been in prison numerous times over the years, a Muslim of Kurdish background. He threw the doors wide open to us. In a public gathering with press coverage, he said, “These people with us today are Christians, and they are good people. We need to make room in our community for them to work here.” We were surprised by the openness.

Interestingly, we heard reports that many Kurds are fed up with Islam. They complain, “What has Islam ever done for us? We’ve been repressed and persecuted, and Islam has held us backward in so many ways—socially, economically, globally.” They’re ready to throw it off, and many are interested in knowing about Christianity. It’s not like huge numbers of Kurds are coming to Christ, but there is increased receptivity.