Dan Paternoster, serving as a greeter at the 2011 US National Conference.

Dan Paternoster, serving as a greeter at the 2011 US National Conference.

We’ve not updated you on Dan Paternoster in a while. Dan, a veterinarian from Fowlerville, Mich., was hit by a car on August 28 while he was riding his bike. He has been a member of the Executive Leadership Team since 2001. The ELT met earlier this week, and missed his presence and valued input.

Here are a few updates from this week from Dan’s wife, Nancy. They include the troubling news that Dan, on top of his serious physical injuries, may also have cancer.

Monday, October 8. Dan continues to amaze the therapists with how well he is doing with walking. Today’s challenge was to walk toe-heel, which really tests your balance, especially when you can’t look down due to your neck brace. Speech is coming along too, but still much slower than the physical progress.

Wednesday, October 10. Just talked to the surgeon who removed a tumor from the lining of Dan’s bladder. It hadn’t spread to any other part of his body yet, for which we are grateful. Dan says he hopes the doctor got all of it. He’s in a lot of pain right now after surgery.

Thursday, October 11. Dan’s feeling better today–not as much pain as yesterday. Thanks for your prayers. I’ll attempt to fill in some of the blanks that I created yesterday with my message.

The surgeon doesn’t know how long the tumor was there, but didn’t think it was there more than a few months. Was it a result of the accident? Only God knows. He also said that he was 85% sure that it was cancerous, so Dan was given a chemotherapy treatment right after the surgery. Evidently that is what caused much of the pain yesterday. We were told that Dan would feel more pain today, but that is not the case. He’s feeling tired, but good other than that.

We’re to the point now where Dan is realizing what is going on and how far he still has to go. What he doesn’t realize is how far he’s come already! We were informed today that his medical team feels he could benefit from 3-4 more weeks of rehabilitation here. That will take us to the end of October/beginning of November.

It’s hard to live apart like this. Dan asks me every night who is at the house where I’m staying and offers to come home with me. He’s also concerned about getting to the point where he can work at a job so that we can go out to eat and he can pay for it. These are all signs of Dan returning to normal.

The Executive Leadership Team, during its October 8-9 meeting, approved the Pastoral Compensation guidelines for 2013. Many UB churches use this formula to set salaries and budgets for the coming year.

The minimum fulltime salary (called Standard Base Salary) for senior pastors was set at $37,233 for 2013. This is an increase of 1% over the 2012 figure.

The Standard Base Salary is only the starting point. Other factors–such as experience, education, church attendance, staff size–add to the base salary.

Benefits such as parsonage, utilities, SECA, insurance, and pension round out the total compensation package.

To be a fulltime pastor, the compensation package must meet all of these criteria in full. If a church cannot meet these guidelines, a pastor may pursue supplemental employment to achieve the compensation level.

You can read the current compensation recommendation on the UB website.

A smile for Mommy Joan as Hermmy is prepped for surgery on October 10.

A smile for Mommy Joan as Hermmy is prepped for surgery on October 10.

Hermmy on her way to the ER--still smiling.

Hermmy on her way to the ER–still smiling.


Joan Sider, New Hope Community Church, Toronto, Ontario

We reported earlier about Hermmy Alexis, a 12-year-old Haitian girl who needed surgery to repair a hole i her heart. The UBs of Canada brought her to Canada for the procedure. She is staying with Joan Sider, who has made numerous trips to Haiti as part of work teams. The surgery occurred on Wednesday afternoon, October 10.

Six-hour surgery is complete. A great success! PTL!

We saw Hermmy for a few minutes, and she looks just like what you would expect. She is ventilated, has three chest drainage tubes. We could see they were doing their work. Obviously, she didn’t know we were there.

Her night nurse is a French-speaking Christian, and we’ve been most impressed with the care she is receiving–not only from Beth tonight, but each one who has been in the Cardiac Care Unit.

They will remove the breathing tube Thursday morning sometime. I’ve indicated to them that I want to be present when she is coming around so that when she opens her eyes she sees familiar faces.

How long will Hermmy be in the hospital? Good question. We’re not sure, but it will likely be two weeks.

It really helped as we were waiting to go see Hermmy, to watch several Youtubes to find out what the doctor had done. When he came out to speak with us, we had a picture up on the screen so he could point out what had taken place.

Hermmy’s fingernails are pink for the first time in her 13 years. Her oxygen level is 100–first time in life. She has been living with this level anywhere from 30 to 70 most likely.

Before her surgery, I told Hermmy that after she was well, she would play–run and skip–and her face lit up like a lightbulb. It was fun to see.

Keep praying for a good recovery.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Honduras

On Sunday we eagerly watched the presidential elections in Venezuela. A few months ago we had little interest in that country but, since last May when we helped at the first One Story workshop, the Lord has laid this South American country on our hearts. We are consultant/trainers for two of the five One Story projects there.

During this past week we have feverishly worked on Spanish stories for the next One Story workshop. We leave on Wednesday, October 11, again for Venezuela. Our time will be divided between two activities. We fly together to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, and the next day leave separately to two different areas of the country. Marilyn will travel to a Karina village, and Roger will travel to the Amazonas to visit a Curripaco village area. We will be observing One Story projects among these ethnic groups. We will then travel to a retreat center near the city of Valencia for a one week workshop. There will be 5 different language groups represented.

La Ceiba One Story Workshop. This was truly an exercise in flexibility. The particular group of participants, the date (finally settled on September 17-27), and the focus of the workshop kept changing. Finally, plans came together and then things changed again. We were to have 3 participants from Venezuela, one from Mexico, 2 from Honduras, and one from Nicaragua. Then the day they were to arrive, 3 were not able to fly (passport and yellow fever vaccine problems). We regrouped and came up with new workshop topics and schedule. The participants included Braulio from Venezuela; Jotam, a Mayagna Indian from Nicaragua; and two Misquito men from Honduras. Praise the Lord that in spite of many difficulties, the goals were achieved.

The end of October, Roger will leave for Texas and be in the US until the middle of December. His pain level has remained high while here in Honduras, and we have chosen that he not be here during the months of the worst rains. We pray that being in a different weather situation will help relieve his pain. He continues to wear the boot and prosthesis on his left leg.

Sharon Woods

Sharon Woods

Dr. G. Blair Dowden, President of Huntington University

Huntington University today is mourning the loss of Sharon Woods, at age 50. Sharon has served as the university’s director of financial aid since 1987. She was a proud 1986 graduate of Huntington with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreational management. She later went on to earn a master’s degree in student personnel administration higher education from Ball State University in 1987.

Despite her many years of battling Hodgkin’s Disease and most recently breast cancer, Sharon was resilient in her fight. She was unwavering in her faith, and her strength through all of her trials was an inspiration to us all. She will truly be missed by the many colleagues, students, and families that she encouraged and touched with her tender heart and fervent spirit.

Our prayers are with her husband Kipp and her children Courtney, a senior at HU; Breanna, a freshman at Geneva College; and Adam, a sophomore at Huntington North High School.

Front Line Foresters (l-r): Will Stauffer, James Parker, Stephanie Morin, Jake Essig, Lance Wood, Brian Menzie, Kyle Geiss, Becca Berhai, Antonio Castillo (click to enlarge).

Huntington University has launched a student ambassador program to represent the student body to alumni, family, and friends of HU.

Nine students will serve as Front Line Foresters this year. They will host Foundation Breakfasts, participate in Prayer Ministry luncheons, host Homecoming & Family Weekend events, welcome the Board of Trustees to meetings, and show appreciation to donors with thank-you calls and letters.

Through these interactions, the student ambassadors will develop leadership skills and gain a basic knowledge of philanthropy and the workings of the Advancement Office at HU.

“Since beginning my role in advancement more than a year ago, I’ve had a strong desire to engage with and involve students in a more significant way in donor relations,” said Vince Haupert, vice president for advancement. “We asked our esteemed faculty to recommend students who are spiritually grounded, academically successful, and display a professional demeanor. We certainly didn’t lack for qualified students.”

The new track at Huntington University.

Huntington University dedicated two significant renovation projects during Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 5-6.

In 2010, Huntington made renovations to Becker Hall (the Administration Building) to update the building and to create space to house the digital media arts program. The biggest renovations were to Davis Hall, on the third floor. It now supports a film studio with a greenscreen, a stadium-seat theater, faculty offices, editing rooms, and an equipment cage.

The DMA department named the Martin Center for Digital Media Arts in honor of Jerry and Elsie Martin and their support of the recent capital campaign. The ceremony was held on the third floor of Becker Hall.

Over the summer, the university renovated and resurfaced the track and field stadium. The stadium was named the King Track and Field Stadium in honor of longtime HU coach Tom King (right).

King first came to Huntington in 1970 as the dean of men. Over the next four decades, he coached more than 94 All-America Scholar Athletes. His athletes have earned more than 53 All-America honors, including four-time national shotput champion Jim Arnett, two-time national champion John Ngure, and national runners-up Danielle Vohs and Jenny Keil. Teams and individuals coached by King have competed at the national level many times. He has also been named MCC Coach of the Year in 32 of the past 44 years.

Silas

Sam and Sarah Ward are mourning the death of their two-year-old son, Silas. Silas passed away Friday, October 5, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. Sam is pastor of Creative Worship & Drama at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne. For those of you who attended the 2011 US National Conference, Sam was the worship leader throughout the conference.

Viewing: Monday, October 8, 2012, 3-5 and 6-8 pm.
Viewing location: D.O. McComb’s Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Rd., Fort Wayne, Ind.
Funeral: 11 am Tuesday, October 9. Viewing one hour beforehand.
Funeral location: Emmanuel Community Church, 12222 U.S. Highway 24 W., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Many people have left notes on Sam’s Facebook page. Cards can be sent to the Wards via the church address:

Sam and Sarah Ward
12222 W Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Bishop Phil Whipple (right) with Keith and Nicole Elliott.

On September 30, 2012, Bishop Phil Whipple conducted the ordination of Keith Elliott, senior pastor of Criders UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

Jim Woodward received the "Outstanding Service Award" in 2010.

Jim Woodward of First UB church (Findlay, Ohio) received the “Outstanding Service Award” in 2010.

Ryan Dunn, reporter for The Courier newspaper (Findlay, Ohio)

Before Jim Woodward asked the dozen jail inmates to join him for an opening prayer, he acknowledged change will not be easy for the prisoners.

“I think we all need patience,” Woodward told them. “I know I do.”

Each Thursday night, a Hancock County jail recreation room becomes a makeshift church, complete with pastors preaching growth through Scripture. The congregation is detained men and women. Some have been convicted of crimes, others are waiting while their cases inch forward in court.

Inmates can attend one of three 45-minute sessions, two for men and one for women, often discussing responsibility and opportunity after making poor decisions.

Woodward, who organizes the program and owns The Razor’s Edge barbershop in Findlay, said the meetings grew from a monthly guest speaker to weekly Bible study. “We felt if we did it once a month, they’d fall back through the cracks before we got back there,” Woodward said.

Despite strict searches by corrections officers, inmates consistently visit the service. “Would you go to church if you were patted down before and strip-searched after?” Woodward said.

They meet in a large room that makes tackling heavy topics difficult. Voices echo loudly off the cinder block walls and several air vents hum, but few inmates break eye contact.

The Revs. Darwin Dunten (right) and Teddy Fairchild, of Findlay’s First United Brethren and The Rock churches, respectively, routinely cite Bible passages that speak of strength through God. Both pastors said they deliver the same sermon, with additional explanation, as they do during regular church service. “What I preach on Sunday morning is what I bring here, literally,” Fairchild said.

After a year and a half of chaplain work, guiding both inmates and corrections officers, the jail has become a “second church” for Fairchild (right).

There are remarkable moments when inmates connect deeply to a reading, but Fairchild said his group aims more for long-term growth.

“I don’t think there’s ever really a success mark,” he said. “Our goal is to plant the seed for change.”

The jail church can guide that change, he said, through rehabilitation programs and job searches. If inmates prove to be committed to improving their lives after incarceration, Fairchild vouches for that progress.

Dunten said they try to encourage inmates, and hope they will later join a church. “When they come in, we’re not condemning them,” Dunten said. “A lot of these people have never been encouraged.”

Though some argue against jail programs working to inspire inmates, Dunten said Scripture clearly states the importance of doing so. “I understand the frustration, but it does not take away the responsibility the church has,” he said.

The personal approach is what draws inmates, such as James Waller, each week. He said he always wanted to attend church, but struggled to find the right fit. The program highlights relevant Bible messages that are applicable to everyday life, he said. “Every time I go to these, when somebody talks, it relates to me,” he said. Waller said he plans to visit Fairchild’s church after leaving jail.

A recent session hosted incoming County Commissioner Brian Robertson. He asked the inmates to share the burdens that continue haunting them. Some spoke of their past, ongoing temptations, and pressures to provide for a family. “It’s very, very easy to be a wayward son, but it’s hard to find a path to the straight and narrow,” Robertson told them.

More than 30 people attended Bible study that night, about a third of the jail’s inmates.

Word has spread quickly because the problems discussed, such as curbing drug use and maintaining relationships, are ones that matter, said Lt. Ryan Kidwell, jail administrator. “What I think makes (Woodward’s) program different is he tries to address real-life problems for the incarcerated,” Kidwell said. “He doesn’t put on any type of front.”

The team of volunteers improves jail life, he said, as inmates act with more respect toward corrections officers thanks to the program. After leaving jail, many inmates visit Woodward’s barbershop. He “sees them for who they are and not what they’ve done,” Kidwell said.

During sermons, Woodward passes a spiral notebook to the inmates. He asks them to detail any topic for him to pray over. Woodward holds on to those books, which are filled with personal messages. Most ask to stay dedicated to change, or be more accountable toward loved ones, he said.

“There’s always some who come to get out of their cells, no question,” Woodward said. “But they trust us.”