We continually increase the number of people who receive UB information electronically. Here are the latest numbers.

Facebook: 446 people now “Like” the United Brethren page. We add new persons every week. Last March, the number was 230, so we’ve just about doubled in a year. Go to: facebook.com/unitedbrethren

Feedburner: 204 subscribers. Feedburner is the best way to keep current with UB news, since the news comes to your email every day. People who subscribe to Feedburner love it. Subscribe here.

Connect Email: 1100 subscribers, including people from most of the countries where we minister. Connect is an occasional, as-needed email (the last one was sent out March11, 2011). It would be great if you collected subscriptions from others in your church. We don’t use this list for anything else. Subscribe here.

WAVES: 277 subscribers. This is a fairly new quarterly email from the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team. It’s designed as a resource for women. Two editions have gone out so far. Subscribe here.

Registrations for the 2011 US National Conference are arriving at a very strong clip. As of March 11, we have 141 people registered. And we’re still four months away.


Date: July 6-9, 2011
Location: Saw Mill Creek Resort, Huron, Ohio

If you haven’t made hotel reservations, you need to do that as soon as possible. Especially if you want to stay at Saw Mill Creek, where the meetings will be held. It’ll be filling up before long. (But there are lots of other hotels in the area.)

G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University, will be speaking on Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. regarding new regulations for higher education institutions. He has been invited as an expert witness to testify in front of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training’s hearing on “Education Regulations: Federal Overreach into Academic Affairs.” His testimony will be streamed live at http://edworkforce.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=227134.

More information is available at this release: http://www.huntington.edu/news/1011/capitol-hill.htm. A transcript of his oral testimony is included below.


Bernie Hull

Bernard Hull passed away the morning of Thursday, March 10, 2011.

Over the years, Bernie served in a variety of United Brethren leadership roles–General Conference delegate, member of the Executive Leadership Team, member of the Higher Education Leadership Team, and other leadership roles at the conference level.

Bernie had been a member of the Huntington University Board of Trustees since 1965, and served six years as board chairman. In 2004, Huntington awarded him an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. HU President G. Blair Dowden wrote, “He had a profound influence on the direction and growth of the University. He was a valued friend, wise counselor, and beloved Christian brother.”

Bernie enlisted in the Navy in 1945, serving for three years. During the Korean Conflict, he served two years with the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Hull earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business and mathematics in 1947 from Western Michigan University, and went on to a career as a building contractor in the Grand Rapids area. He served two terms as president of the Michigan State Home Builders Association.

Bernie is survived by his wife, Peggy, and four children. Funeral arrangements are pending.


Saturday, March 12, 2011, 4-7 pm
Sunday, March 13, 2011, 2-5 pm
Reyers North Valley Chapel
2815 Fuller Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505
Phone: 616-363-7755

Funeral Service
Monday, March 14, 2011, 11 am
Gaines United Brethren In Christ Church
1612 92nd St., Caledonia, Michigan 49316
Phone: 616-698-8252

Here is the link to the funeral home information.

G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University, has been invited to Washington, D.C. to provide expert testimony on Capitol Hill on Friday, March 11, 2011, regarding new regulations for higher education institutions.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. and will be streamed live at http://edworkforce.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=227134.

Dowden will be one of four witnesses at the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training’s hearing on “Education Regulations: Federal Overreach into Academic Affairs.” His testimony will center on a new federal definition of a credit hour and increased requirements for state authorization of colleges and universities, including faith-based institutions. These regulations are set to go into effect in July.

“As a president of a private college, I am concerned about many specific facets of these regulations, but I am also concerned generally about the wide-sweeping regulatory overreach that these regulations signal,” Dowden said. “The American higher education system is the best in the world largely because of its independence, innovation, and creativity. I believe that these regulations work to undermine those characteristics.”

Dowden will testify alongside:

  • Ralph Wolff, president of Western Association of Schools and Colleges in Alameda, Calif.
  • John Ebersole, president of Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y.
  • The Honorable Kathleen Tighe, inspector general for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Peggy Sell (left) and Darlene Burkett.

We want to welcome Peggy Sell to the Global Ministries staff. She’s actually been here a couple weeks now, most of that time being trained by Darlene Burkett, her predecessor as administrative assistant. But now she’s on her own.

Peggy is originally from Huntington and has lived here (or in nearby Fort Wayne) all her life. She has participated in a UB work trip to Jamaica, and for many years served as president of the Women’s Missionary Association at Good Shepherd UB church in Huntington. For a while she owned Harris Guest House, a bed & breakfast and reception center.

Peggy and her husband, Mark, a chiropractor, live in Huntington, Ind., and attend College Park UB church. They have six children, and over the weekend welcomed their sixth grandchild.

Meanwhile, Phil and Darlene Burkett are getting settled into their new home in Cass City, Mich. Phil is now senior pastor of the Missionary Church congregation in Cass City. They loaded up the moving van last Thursday (March 3) and headed to Michigan the next day. We wish them well in this new venture.

Arek and Donna Delik (right), UB missionaries in Poland working with Operation Mobilization, sent an update on their building project. Last fall, their church bought a building which they plan to use not only for church services and other meetings, but as a rehabilitation center for helping people with addictions (especially alcohol) and as a teen center.

We originally reported on the new building on December 3. Here, Donna gives an update.

Since the beginning of January, Arek and our guys have worked very hard on our new building. We had finished most of the demolition work and decided to take a break as freezing weather hit Poland again.

God has amazed us and blessed us many times since this project launched. We have received a donation just in time to cover the expense for those five weeks of work. Our church members have worked very hard at the building site, and we have received great support from friends, who lent us tools for the work. One person cleared up the rubble with his truck for the cost of petrol only. All these helped to cut down the cost enormously. We know that we still have a long way to go, but so far we are very encouraged.

The next phase is waiting for the roof. After considering different options, we finally decided to build a new roof, since the old one is beyond repairing. We have met with the engineer as well as some other people who have given us very valuable opinions. We are aiming to return to working on the building during the second half of March to finish everything before building the new roof. We are hoping to do this by the end of April if funding is available.

We have received a lot of encouraging email from friends since sending out our building project news, and we feel really blessed as so many brothers and sisters are standing with us in prayer for this project. Without such prayer support, we will be unable to take up this enormous task. So we will appreciate your unceasing prayer to lift us up during this whole process.

Attaboy’s tour is sponsored by Huntington University

This would make a great outing for your youth group.

Christian pop-rock group Attaboy, sponsored by Huntington University, is launching its “The Everything Matters Tour.” During March and April, they will perform at churches and other venues in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and a few other states.

The tour, which also features fellow pop-rock group News From Verona, kicks off on March 16 in Greenwood, Ind. Each night, the bands will present service opportunities through Compassion International, an international child sponsorship program, and Love Can’t Be Baht, an organization that brings awareness to human trafficking. They will also invite local service agencies to present at each venue.

“The whole goal is for students to be aware of different opportunities where they can serve,” said Attaboy guitarist and HU graduate Jeff Edgel. “If nothing else, we want to get exposure to these different opportunities.”

The lyrics to the tour’s title song help explain the purpose for the tour:

Every person that you meet
Promises you break or keep
What you watch on your TV
How you treat the least of these
Every phone call, every prayer
The hearts we break and don’t repair
Every secret that we share
Every person, everywhere
It goes on and on and on and on and on

I want to live like everything matters
I want to love like people last forever
Every word we speak
Every breath we breathe
Everything matters
Everything matters.

“Our hope is to encourage people through song and opportunity that everything we do and every choice we make really does have a lasting impact,” said HU graduate and vocalist Matt Siewert. “At the very least, if we get to the end of this tour and have people re-evaluating how they relate to others or allocate their resources or spend their time, then I think we will have accomplished something valuable.”

Attaboy got its start in the halls of Huntington University, playing chapels and Spring Break concerts, but soon after, the band exploded with three CD releases, five tours, and a song on the Billboard’s Christian CHR Top 30 chart.

During Spring Break, 14 Huntington University students will volunteer in Honduras and New Orleans March 12-19.

The Joe Mertz Center, a campus organization dedicated to service and volunteering, is sponsoring both trips.

While in Honduras, three students and one staff member will participate in medical brigades at an area church through World Gospel Outreach. The organization offers doctor and dentist appointments to local residents. After four days of helping with the medical brigades, the team will visit local orphanages and do a little sightseeing.

Eleven students will travel to New Orleans to help clean the city after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. They partnered with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. The CRWRC asked for the skill sets of each participant so the organization could place the students in areas that best suit their strengths. The team will work on dry-walling, rebuilding homes, and cleaning up debris.

“We’re not just rebuilding houses, we’re helping to rebuild lives,” says senior Casey Overpeck, who organized the trip. “I hope we can show the people of New Orleans that other people do still care about them and that God still loves them.”