David Kline with the newborn Aiden.

Congratulations to David and Melissa Kline on the birth of Aiden James, their third child. Aiden was born in Hong Kong on Monday afternoon, May 9 (Hong Kong time). The Klines are Global Ministries staff in Macau.

Bishop Phil Whipple (left) with Joe Cilone during a visit in December 2010.

It’s rare for a pastor to stay at a church for 30 years, but that’s how long Joe and Kay Cilone have served the Pleasant Heights UB church  in East Liverpool, Ohio.

The congregation will be celebrating the occasion on May 21 and 22. Best wishes can be sent to the Cilones at: 1471 Lighthouse Court, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920. Or email them.

Supplies collected for tornado victims in Alabama.

Praying over the supplies on Mother's Day.

Greg Voight (right), Senior Pastor, Lancaster UB Church (Lancaster, Ohio)

On Mother’s Day, the Lancaster UB Church partnered with several area churches to help victims of the recent tornadoes in Alabama. Through our partnership with Victory Hill Church of God and several other area churches, Lancaster UB sent a carload of supplies bound for Alabama.

We have a unique partnership in Lancaster among several of our evangelical churches. I meet weekly for prayer and support with pastors from various denominations and non-denominational churches. We have an unofficial partnership that gives us opportunity to help each other out in the name of Jesus. There is just none of the competition among this group of pastors that unfortunately you see so often in ministerial gatherings.

One of my brothers, Pastor Tim Teague from Victory Hill Church of God, has a disaster response team. Since at least two of the Alabama churches are in his denomination, he felt God was leading them to send help. I called on our people to bring supplies, and with only three days to respond, we had an enormous outpouring of help. We had special prayer for the gift, the givers, and the relief workers, and sent it off to Alabama.”

What’s more…I think God has already returned the blessing. During our worship service, we had what I can only describe as a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Women began to stand and testify and give thanks about their experiences as mothers and grandmothers. Ladies who never had the opportunity to have children got up and praised God for the children that they had a chance to love in the name of Jesus. I never preached. God told me to sit down and shut up, that He’d take the service. And He did. God showed up and spoke a blessing into our lives, and I think it was in direct response to our obedience in sharing with those in need.

Huntington University is launching a new bachelor’s degree program in writing during the fall 2011 semester.

The program–a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in writing– will offer new stand-alone classes in poetry and fiction along with a writing capstone. These courses will add to the existing writing curriculum, which includes creative nonfiction as well as history and structure of the English language. Uniquely, students will also have the opportunity to learn journalism through courses offered in the communication department, including introduction to news writing and advanced reporting and news writing.

“This major addresses a growing interest in creative writing for English students while also pushing them to develop skills in written journalism,” said Dr. Todd Martin, professor of English. “The value of the program is that students will be exposed to a variety of types of writing that will enhance any career they decide to pursue.”

Michael Longfellow has resigned as senior pastor of New Life Church in Chanute, Kansas. He has been the pastor since 2001, growing the church’s attendance from 30 to 120. He has also been cluster leader for the UB churches in Kansas and Missouri. His last Sunday will be June 12, 2011.

Michael and Lori and family (six children) have felt led to move to Wyoming to pastor Rock Springs Christian Church, a small congregation of 30-35 people in the denomination in which Michael was ordained in 1999.

Carita Landes, right, senior class president, spoke during the May 9 groundbreaking. At left is Rob Hahn, student body president, and President G. Blair Dowden, center.

Huntington University seniors after the ground-breaking ceremony.
(click to enlarge)

President G. Blair Dowden breaks ground for the new outdoor basketball court.

Huntington University broke ground May 9, 2011, for a new outdoor basketball court–a gift from the senior class. The full-size court with two hoops will be located next to the Klopfenstein Tennis Courts on the southwest side of the Merillat Physical Education and Recreation Complex.

The cost came mostly from the senior class with the support of the Student Senate and the Student Activities Board. The remaining balance was raised through efforts of the Advancement Office and local businesses.

President G. Blair Dowden and Chris Dowden, first lady of the university, were present to accept the gift.

The project will be completed by Ironclad Excavating in Roanoke, Ind., with the help of a generous gift from Ironclad’s owners, Jenny and Junior Geiger. The basketball court will be finished this summer.

Each year, many UB churches raise money for missions through their summer children’s ministries, like Vacation Bible School, and channel that money to Global Ministries.

This year, Global Ministries will focus these funds on two medical needs:

  • Medicine to supply our medical team traveling to Honduras this summer.
  • AIDS medications for our Project Compassion children in India.

We created a short video and some activities for the children to use that focus attention on the needs and opportunity to share. The video and materials are available on DVD and in print. Or, you can simply visit our website and download either item.

The 40th annual Huntington University Forester Night was held May 3. This is when awards are given out for lots of things.

The Forester of the Year awards, voted on by the students, went to:

  • Male Forester of the Year: Philip Black, a senior theater performance major from Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Female Forester of the Year: Gloria Bonilla, a senior public relations major from La Ceiba, Honduras. (Gloria attended the United Brethren Bethel school in La Ceiba, but is not from a United Brethren church there.)

The 2011 Outstanding Scholar Award was given to Jared Grandlienard, a senior mathematics major from Bluffton, Ind.

Dr. David Alexander, assistant professor of philosophy, was named the 2011 Professor of the Year.

The 2011 Impact Initiative Scholarship was given to Chad Shellabarger, a sophomore nursing student from Rockford, Ohio. The award is presented by the Student Senate to a student who has had an impact on the university and the greater community. The student receives a $1000 scholarship for his or her junior and senior years.

Twenty seniors were also honored by their respective departments with Outstanding Senior Awards, which are voted on by faculty. You can read about all of those recipients, and see photos of them, on the Huntington University site.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

In early April, the Global Ministries Leadership Team met in Guelph, Ontario, to continue work on a number of strategic measures. These measures include:

  • Conduct a series of one-day regional training events in 2012, to provide a broad overview of what God is doing around the globe and how we can be involved.. These will be done in partnership with the US Center for World Mission.
  • Train and coach church planters in other countries to operate small business endeavors, which will provide funding for ministry and opportunity to penetrate Gospel-resistant areas. The first training event will take place in Sierra Leone in January 2012.
  • Continue collaborating with sister national conferences eager to send their own missionaries and participate in the broader world of United Brethren missions. Already, Honduras has participated in a short-term endeavor in Haiti, and Jamaica has received several offerings to benefit Haiti and the Philippines.
  • Develop a global prayer network to strengthen God’s hand to act among United Brethren ministries around the world through focused prayer. We’ll let you know more about this as plans develop.
  • Hire an additional associate director at the Global Ministries office. This person will focus primarily on all matters related to missionary personnel (recruitment, training, support, etc.), plus small business development and other areas.