Dan Paternoster (right), a member of the Executive Leadership Team who was hit by a car on August 28 while riding his bike, continues to heal. He has returned home, and is undergoing outpatient therapy. Dan’s wife, Nancy, posted this update on Sunday, November 11.

We’ve had a busy past week with Dan going to outpatient therapy and me starting back at school on Friday with the Title I program at Smith Elementary.

As you continue to pray for us, here are a few areas we would appreciate your prayers on our behalf.

  • Continued healing of Dan’s brain injury.
  • Healing of the nerve in his left eye.
  • That we would both remain healthy, especially now that I’ll be back at school daily.
  • That our appointment with the urologist would go well and we’d have a plan to deal with the bladder cancer.

We thank God for those that have offered to drive Dan to therapy. And the meals that have been brought to our home have been great!

On November 10, the Merillat Complex gymnasium at Huntington University got a new name: Platt Arena. The christening honors Steve Platt, a Forester basketball legend.

After a storied career at 79-student Union Township school outside of Huntington, Platt took five years off to focus on farming and raising his young family, playing hoops only in industrial and church leagues. But then Huntington University coach Keith Spahr persuaded the 6-foot-5 Platt to give college ball a try.

Highlights from Platt’s basketball career:

  • Platt was a four-time All-District Player of the Year.
  • He led the entire nation in scoring two years in a row: in 1973 (36 points per game) and in 1974 (38 points per game)
  • He and was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine (the article describes our denomination as the “United Brethren of Christ”).
  • He was an NAIA All-American, and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • He remains Indiana’s all-time collegiate leader in scoring, with a career total of 3700 points, placing him seventh on the all-time list of collegiate scorers at any level (including NCAA Division I).
  • He was drafted by the NBA’s Washington Bullets during the Elvin Hayes era, and was the last person cut from the team in the fall of 1974 (Washington reached the NBA finals 3 of the next 5 years).
  • Platt was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.
  • He was recognized by Fort Wayne’s News-Sentinel newspaper as one of Northeast Indiana’s Top 50 Athletes of the Century.

Platt later returned to coach the men’s basketball team, leading the Foresters to 329 wins, including a runner-up finish at the 2006 NAIA Division II National Tournament.

Betty L. Schwenk passed away Monday, November 5, 2012. She was the mother of Pat Schwenk, senior pastor of New Hope Community Church (Bryan, Ohio). The funeral was held Saturday, November 10, at Lakewood Park Baptist Church in Auburn, Ind.

Cards and condolences can be sent to:

Rev. Pat and Ruth Schwenk and family
823 Cardinal Drive
Bryan, Ohio 43506

Thirteen persons are registered for the Governance class, which will meet this Thursday (November 15, 2012) at the Healthy Ministry Resources office in Huntington, Ind. Eight will attend in person. Two persons will attend by video from Cochranton, Pa., two from Greencastle, Pa., and one from Pomeroy, Ohio.

Dennis Miller, senior pastor of Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.) will teach the class. This course is a requirement for ordination in the United Brethren church.

Bishop Phil Whipple (left) present an ordination certificate to Stephen Smith, as Pam Smith looks on.

Stephen Smith, senior pastor of Lake View UB church (Camden, Mich.) was ordained by Bishop Philip Whipple on Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Rev. Smith has served in ministry since 1977, and came to the United Brethren church in 1986 as program director of Camp Michindoh (Hillsdale, Mich.), a role he held for three years. In 1989 he became an associate pastor at Hillsdale UB church, and in 1998 became senior pastor of South Scipio UB church in Harlan, Ind. He has pastored Lake View since 2003.

Steve and his wife, Pam, were married in 1976 and have three children.

Children from Shiloh UB church with boxes for Samaritan’s Purse.

Shiloh UB church (Tiverton, Ontario), a church of about 30 people, packed 528 boxes for the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas shoebox ministry. That came to 22 cartons of 24 boxes each. for Samaritan’s Purse Shoe box ministry.

Steve with the Wright Brothers’ photos at the Air and Space Museum (but not quite in tune with the serious expressions required in photography back then).

(Sorry for the glare)

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

In October, Pam and I enjoyed a few days of vacation in Washington, DC. One of those days was spent mostly at the Air and Space Museum.

In the Wright Brothers exhibit, I was surprised, but delighted, to find the name “Church of the United Brethren in Christ” printed at least three times in connection with Wilbur and Orville and their father, Milton, who was a United Brethren bishop. I snapped some photos as proof. There was also a photo of the 1900 General Conference, with Bishop Wright standing front and center.

So, church and state–or at least our church–are not entirely separated at the Smithsonian.

Ricky Hull was appointed senior pastor of Mt. Hermon UB church (Pomeroy, Ohio) effective November 1, 2012. He holds a certificate in Biblical Survey/Pastoral Foundations from the Pastoral Leadership Institute (Missionary Church), and plans to graduate in 2014 from Winebrenner Theological Seminary (Findlay, Ohio) with a Master of Divinity.

The Huntington University men’s and women’s bowlings teams. Front row, l-r: Cassandra Griffith, Ayla Yeiter; middle row: Tiffany Walther, Stephanie Misamore, Elieni Newsome, Emily O’Leary. Back row, l-r: Bryan Myers, Connor Brown, Kris Kasson, Tyler Neff, Derik Heinold, Addison Trump, Coach Jim Bischoff. (click to enlarge)

Bowling is a new sport at Huntington University. And in mid-October, the men’s and women’s bowling teams competed in their first bowling tournament, the Storm Western Shootout at Western Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind.

The six-person women’s team, all freshmen, finished 11th out of 26 teams, competing against a field of 173 bowlers from around the Midwest. Four members of the team finished in the top 50 personally (the highest, Emily O’Leary, finished 32nd with a 169.5 average, and Stephanie Misamore finished 34th with a 169.1 average).

Robert Morris College won the tournament. Other participants included Notre Dame, Ball State, Ohio State, Morehead State, and Eastern Michigan.

The HU men’s team–a senior, a sophomore, and four freshmen–finished 33rd out of 37 teams (a total of 233 bowlers). HU’s Connor Brown, one of the freshmen, finished 21st overall, with a 195.3 average and a game-high of 233. Fellow freshman Kris Kasson placed 52nd, with a 180.6 average.

Coach Jim Bischoff commented, “Overall it was a great first outing for both teams and I’m very proud of them. All of them did a great job of representing Huntington University. They couldn’t wait to bowl, compete, and make history.”

Donna Hollopeter (foreground) at the UB church in Jerusalem located just outside of Port Au Prince. It consists of displaced earthquake victims who are building a church and a school, and evangelizing this newly created community without any outside assistance.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

On August 29 – September 2, I visited Haiti with Global Ministries associate director Donna Hollopeter and Kyle Bushre, pastor of Outreach and Missions at King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. We visited a number of our churches in Haiti. Here are some notes and observations about those churches.

The Gonaives church has been able to purchase land with help from Canada and Global Ministries. The church laid footings, foundations and floor, and Canada blocked up the first story. Now they would like to lay the second floor to close in the structure and move from the current church location, which they rent. Services are running 300 in attendance. There are 100 students in the school they host.

The Archaie church, under the leadership of Pastor Jacques Marcion, has an attendance of 200 and a schol of 100 meeting in a rented space. They are working to raise the $16,000 needed to buy a property near the coastal highway.

We traveled to Canaan, which is a resettlement location for those who lost their homes in the earthquake. Once a vast and rocky hillside, it now is home to more than 20,000 families. Here we visited a new church plant, led by Pastor Wilber (also the pastor of Croix du Bouquet), and saw the “tent” church attended by more than 100 and the footings they have already laid for a school. A water filtration project located there is the result of a micro-loan through CH Global using UB funding.

We visited two churches in Cite Soliel.
 The earthquake heavily damaged both 
churches in this area, and both needed to be rebuilt.

First we visited with Cite Soliel #1. Pastor Baptistin is still working to obtain land title to the original property and two adjacent properties they have purchased. So far no reconstruction has taken place, and the building consists of nothing more than a tarp suspended between two neighboring walls. They currently have 150 in attendance and hope to expand their school program. Pastor Richard is going to look into the inability of the pastor to gain access to the mayor’s office.

We then visited Cite Soliel #2, led by Pastor Supreme. There the proper documentation was obtained and the church was able to not only rebuild, but to also expand their facilities.

We visited with the Sibert UB church led by Pastor Israel. The church has about 60 members and some 100 children in school. Many of the children in this school are sponsored, and we were able to meet with one member who had benefitted from a micro-loan in order to buy a sewing machine. We have 33 micro-loan projects in Haiti through CH Global. According to Elsa Hilaire, to date we have 100% return on all loan payments even at 7% interest.

There is still discussion taking place about opening a bread-baking operation at Sibert, but we were told more research is needed to assure there would be enough demand.

Jerusalem UB (Canaan) is led by Pastor Adrienne. Church members purchased land, started a church 2 years ago that meets in a tent, and purchased materials for a permanent structure–all without outside funding. Sixty-five currently attend, and a school is being started this year. We asked them how we might pray for their ministry. They asked us to pray for their impact on their community, employment, and physical strength. They made no mention of any need for funds.

On Sunday morning, I spoke at Delmas 33 on the parable of the sower from Mark 4:3-9. The church consists of a more urban demographic than many of the other churches in Haiti. The building can hold approximately 500, and the bottom floor was fairly full on Sunday morning. This is also the location of the national assembly which took place recently for the second year in a row.