A recent Church-Based Theological Education seminar that took place in La Cieba, Honduras.

Juanita Chavez (right), superintendent of Honduras Conference, recently attended COICOM–the Confederation Iberoamerican of Communicators, Media, Pastors and Christian Leaders. She was joined by several other UBs from Honduras. There were more than 5000 participants, domestic and foreign, in attendance during the five days of the conference.

The conference also continues its program of continuing studies ETBIL (Local Church-Based Theological Education). They just came through an intensive week of studies from 7 am to 8 pm each day. This has become a model for the theological education and training of both pastors and lay leaders throughout the conference and is proving to be quite successful.

Although a specific date has not been set for their annual conference in January, they are planning to conduct 100 hours of prayer throughout their churches prior to the event.

Hermmy watched a DVD of the August convention at the Delmas 33 church in Haiti. She sang along and (right) looked at a French Bible as a speaker addressed the crowd. (click to enlarge)

Hermmy watched a DVD of the August convention at the Delmas 33 church in Haiti. She sang along and (right) looked at a French Bible as a speaker addressed the crowd. (click to enlarge)

Audrey Fiederlein showed Hermmy how to knit...only to discover that Hermmy already knew how to do this quite well.

Audrey Fiederlein showed Hermmy how to knit…only to discover that Hermmy already knew how to do this quite well.

Joan Sider sent this update on Hermmy on October 17. Hermmy, a Haitian girl, was brought to Canada by the UB churches of Canada so that she could undergo an operation to repair a hole in her heart. That operation occurred October 10, and she came “home” to Joan’s place on Monday, October 15.

Joan Sider (right), New Hope Church, Toronto, Ontario

Hermmy has all her bandages off, and her wounds are healing nicely. She is eating well, and we’ve been able to cut her medicines down.

She fills her days with watching Barbie movies and playing games on the iPad, watching other DVDs, and watching TV’s treehouse and toon channels. We fit walking in there, too.

Hermmy had a happy time talking to her family on the phone last night. Her face was like a lightbulb the whole time. I believe she was speaking to all her family members–dad, mom, and sisters. Since she was using my phone, I didn’t get a pic of this delightful time.

Audrey Fiederlein was here today and she brought many meals for Hermmy and myself. Audrey also brought a DVD of the August convention at the Delmas 33 church in Haiti. Hermmy enjoyed singing along and listening to something from home. I enjoyed seeing people that I’ve met while there. Audrey brought some more cards from the ladies in New Dundee–each were able to write something in French for Hermmy to read. We have a jigsaw puzzle out on the dining room table, so hopefully we’ll be able to do some work on that–if I can keep my cats from scattering the pieces.

Note: Cards can be sent to Hermmy at this address:

Joan Sider
#405-15 La Rose Avenue
Weston, ON  M9P 1A7

Bishop Phil Whipple, in his October 2012 report to the Executive Leadership Team, noted that three churches have withdrawn from the denomination during 2012:

  • Lighthouse Community Church in Williamston, Mich. This was a church plant, spearheaded by the Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.), which started in 1998. Their most recent annual report, from 2010, showed an average attendance of 81.
  • Rugby UB church in Hope, Ind. This church, the southern-most UB church in Indiana (south of Indianapolis), was founded in 1896. The most recent annual report they submitted, in 2008, showed an attendance of 16 people.
  • NorthPointe Church in Toledo, Ohio. This congregation is a continuation of the former Harvest Lane UB church, which began in 1954. The most recent annual report this church submitted, back in 2008, showed an attendance of 500, but the current number may be around 300.

Mill Chapel (Reedsville, W. Va.) recently baptized an additional four people in a hot tub. Prior to that, they had baptized 12 people. Pastor Marshall Woods (right) and associate pastor Mike Charlton performed most of the baptisms. In another case, John Wyatt baptized his two sons.

Also, Mill Chapel promoted “National Back to Church Sunday” on September 16. Though they average 170 in attendance, that day the attendance hit 240.

In October 2011, Matt McKeown (right), associate pastor of First UB in Holly Hill, Fla., wrote a song for the city of Palm Coast for their marketing campaign called “Discover Palm Coast: Find your Florida.” The campaign was launched in February 2012, and the song was put with an accompanying video showing life in Palm Coast.

Since then, Matt’s song has won six national awards. Most recently, it received three awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). Here are the awards:

  • First place: NATOA Promotion of a City/County
  • First place: NATOA Visual Arts (Operating Budget Under $300,000)
  • Second place: NATOA Public Service Announcement (Operating Budget Under $200,000)
  • Bronze Telly Award: “Find Your Florida” (Non-broadcast production/Direct Marketing)
  • Bronze Telly Award: “Find Your Florida” (Branded Content/Promotional Branding)
  • Silver Communicator Award of Distinction: “Find Your Florida” (Promotional Branding)

The ROCKtoberfest Tent (click to enlarge)

The ROCKtoberfest Tent (click to enlarge)

Inside the ROCKtoberfest Tent

Inside the ROCKtoberfest Tent (click to enlarge)

Teddy Fairchild (right), senior pastor, The Rock (Findlay, Ohio)

The tent went up, the bouncy house went up, the food tables quickly found themselves piled high with goodies of every kind, but the temperatures just kept going down!

October 6 was a chilly night, but that did not stop the Rock Church from hosting its first fall festival. ROCKtoberfest kicked off with food, fun, and fellowship while the bands took their places for a night of entertaining and uplifting music. The lineup included:

  • The Rock worship team.
  • The bluegrass gospel band Living Water.
  • Solo artists Jennie Walter, Elijah Cunningham, and Molly Pickett.

For a small little church with an average attendance of 60, we were excited to see God bring in 134 people to join the celebration! We are already looking forward to next year’s festival, but may change the name to get some warmer weather for the outdoor event! Mark your calendars for ROCKtember!

Right: By the time she met her surgeon, Hermmy's smile had returned. Dr. Honjo was surprised, too, that she was going home. Left: Hermmy back at Joan's place, on the couch with one of her prayer blankets.

Right: By the time she met her surgeon, Hermmy’s smile had returned. Dr. Honjo was surprised, too, that she was going home. Left: Hermmy back at Joan’s place, on the couch with one of her prayer blankets.

Joan Sider (right), New Hope church (Toronto, Ontario)

Hermmy, a girl from Haiti, was brought to Canada by UBs there to have surgery to repair a hole in her heart. Here’s the original post. She is staying with Joan Sider. Here is an October 15 update from Joan.

Hermmy is home at my house! That has to be some kind of miracle in itself, eh?.

When I arrived at the hospital this morning, expecting to do the day and overnight shifts, I was greeted with the news that Hermmy was being discharged. She required an “echo” and the two remaining drainage tubes removed. Hermmy was pretty happy–until the tube removal time–then she was traumatized. It only took 5 minutes to do, but she needed about 30-40 minutes to recover, so upset was she. It took a while for that winning smile to appear–but it came.

Hermmy has had her first meds at home, and I have my alarm set for the 4-hour and 6-hour doses. This will happen for a couple days, and then we’ll be able to slacken off. I know she is not going to be happy when I remove one of the bandages over a drainage spot tomorrow and then the last two on Wednesday–but we’ll manage, and she’ll be okay and glad to have them off. It is the anticipated pain that starts the ball rolling.

Poor kid–she had no idea what was involved in having her heart fixed! But she already has noticed that she isn’t tired while walking or having to stop and rest while eating.

Her first post-op appointment back at Sick Kids is Monday, October 22–1 week from today.

Scott and Tanya Hardaway

Scott and Tanya Hardaway

Tanya Hardaway, 38, was diagnosed last week with a uterine sarcoma, which is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Tanya is the wife of Scott Hardaway, senior pastor since 2001 of Pathway Community Church in Jackson, Mich.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic are working to identify the exact cell type of the cancer, and their findings will determine what kind of chemotherapy Tanya will receive. Pray that these results will come back quickly, that chemo can start soon, and that she will respond well to the treatment.

Scott and Tanya have two sons–Jared, 6, and Caleb, 2.

Cards can be sent to:

Tanya Hardaway
5225 Clinton Road
Jackson, MI 49201

In January 2010, we reported about Ethan Conley, an eight-year-old who came very close to dying. Ethan, the grandson of Chet Conley (right), associate pastor of First UB (Findlay, Ohio), Ethan, had developed Viral Myositis with Rhabdomyolysis, a virus that attacks the muscles.

Darwin Dunten, pastor of First UB, gave this update on October 15, 2012:

“We called the churches to pray for Ethan. God healed him. He is the only person in the world to have been healed of this disease after it had reached this severity.

Ethan Conley (left) with his father, Seth.

Ethan Conley (left) with his uncle, Seth.

“Today, Ethan is playing football. He has been featured in the Journal of American Medicine. And now, on Friday, October 26, my associate pastor’s grandson will be featured on the Animal Planet’s  “Monster Inside Me.”

“He is a walking miracle. The prayers of our church and many others were part of this miracle. The Conley family only agreed to this show if they could give honor and glory to the Lord. I share this with you to let you know that miracles happen today.”

You can view a preview of the Discovery network show.

Pastor Dan VanArsdalen takes a pie in the face from a young parishioner.

That appears to have been fun.

Dan VanArsdalen, pastor, Alvordton UB church (Alvordton, Ohio)

Our Fall tradition has been reawakened. Last year we offered some special music from a men’s quartet, and we were able to have 54 people in attendance. For us at Alvordton, this was a great accomplishment. So this year I challenged the church to Pack A Pew. Invite enough folks to fill your pew or two.

We invited the Buehrer Family Singers, who were fantastic in their singing and meaningful worship. And then I said if 54 people were there, I would take a pie to the face. And, If 64 or more would be there, we would make it two.

The Church came alive. Every week, people were telling me of people they had invited. Let me simply say that when people put their minds together and pray, God does move.

We ended up with 103 people with us on Sunday, October 14, and then celebrated with a wonderful carry-in dinner. God is so good, folks. All the time. And yes, I took the 2 pies to the face.