Bishop Phil Whipple sent this note late Saturday night, December 29.

“I received a phone call from Adam Will concerning his father-in-law, Rocky Layne (right). Rocky was in a 4-wheeler accident around noon today. He has had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He is still in critical condition. Rocky pastors West Pleasant Hill UB church in Rockbridge, Ohio, and is planting Eternal Water UB Church in Carroll, Ohio.”

Rocky, according to Adam, sustained serious injuries to his face and skull.

Jane Baker had double bypass surgery on Thursday, December 27. Her husband, Ron, reported that she came through the surgery fine, but was in a lot of pain and would remain in the hospital for about ten days.

Dr. Ron and Jane Baker served multiple terms at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone from 1974-1988, with Ron serving as Chief Medical Officer. Ron has remained involved on a short-term basis since then. Ron was planning to lead a medical team to Sierra Leone in January, but obviously plans have changed.

Holly Lundberg, McGuire Bend UB church (Dayton, Iowa)

Our Christmas program was held during the worship service on Sunday, December 9. We had a “super hero” Christmas. The children and one adult dressed up in super hero costumes. They gathered together to discuss the news that a new super hero was born that could save people. Being curious about this new super hero, they set off to find Him.

Meanwhile, the shepherds were watching their sheep in the fields and were vistited by an angel. The angel told them of the Savior’s birth. Then they too set off to find him.

The super heros and the shepherds found Mary and Joseph and the Child at the same time. They then understood that this Super Hero came to save the world in a much different way. He was the Savior.

During the skit the audience sang along with Christmas carols. It was a very wonderful and touching program.

Following the program, beefburgers were served along with side dishes. Candy bars were handed out to everyone, which is a long standing traditon at McGuire Bend.

Hermmy (middle, holding the baby) with her family in Haiti.

Hermmy (middle, holding the baby) with her family in Haiti.

Previous posts have told about Hermmy, a 12-year-old Haitian girl who was brought to Toronto by the Canadian UBs so she could have surgery to repair a hole in her heart. Beginning October 1, she lived with Joan Sider, a member of New Hope UB church in Toronto and a frequent visitor to Haiti. The operation was conducted on October 10, and was a big success.

Joan Sider and Hermmy returned to Haiti on December 4, and Hermmy was reunited with her family the next day.

We’ve been keeping you up-to-date on Dan Paternoster, a member of the Executive Leadership Team was was struck by a car in August 2012 while riding his bike. Amidst his recovery, it was discovered that he had bladder cancer. And then his wife, Nancy, was found to have breast cancer, and underwent surgery in December. The Paternosters are from the UB church in Fowlerville, Mich.

On December 26, Nancy wrote:

“Good news! My pathology report came back saying the tissue that was taken had “clear margins” (that’s what surgeons like) and no other cancer was seen. We meet with doctors in January to see what further treatment is recommended at this point. Dan had his last chemo treatment for his bladder cancer before Christmas. His doctor will check mid-January and make sure all of his cancer is gone. We ask you to continue praying that both of us will be declared cancer-free in 2013.

“Dan has been enjoying a return of some of the peripheral vision in his left eye the past few days. May God continue to restore his sight.”

Live nativity at Alvordton UB church.

Live nativity at Alvordton UB church.

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

This year we had an unreal turn-out for the “Live Nativity.” We added an extra stable and donkey, and the church handed out around 173 treats. We estimate roughly 300 people drove through and walk through this year. It was truly amazing.

Also, our church family helped nine families in the community enjoy a little nicer Christmas than perhaps their circumstances would allow. The joy and excitement we saw on all these faces was wonderful.

Art Page (right), senior pastor, Salem UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.)

At Salem, we decided to do something new before Christmas this year. We called it “Christmas on the Road.” We reduced our normal Sunday morning schedule from three services to one service for everyone–it was crowded. We had a message on how we are God’s current generation of missionaries to bring blessings into the world, and then we bundled up and went out.

We had twelve teams with from 8-19 people each go out from our church for about two hours–into neighborhoods, into nursing homes, out to where shut-ins live–to bless people near and far with what we hoped to be the aroma of Christ. We delivered 130 plates of cookies that had been handmade and decorated by our women’s ministry, along with invitations to and information about our church family.

We then returned to the Salem Community Center to share in a banquet of hot Italian food (we are not Italian, but we like it anyway!). There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by our Salem folks, and we heard testimonies of lives who were very deeply touched by our outreach. One lady said she had been living on her street for 22 years, and this was the first time anyone had come to her door to sing Christmas carols or give her anything!

Three regional meetings will be held in early 2013 in preparation for the 2013 US National Conference. These meetings are open to anyone. Ministers and lay delegates are especially encouraged to attend.

Monday, February 25: Praise Point Church (Willshire, Ohio)
Location address: 555 Decatur Rd North, Willshire, OH 45898

Monday, March 18: Pleasant Heights Church (East Liverpool, Ohio)
Location address: 848 Northside, East Liverpool, OH 43920

Monday, April 8: East Washington Church (Ashley, Mich.)
Location address: 8051 S Crapo Rd, Ashley, MI 48806

(In the east region, Bishop Whipple will use the January 27-28 Mid-Atlantic Foundation meeting in Chambersburg, Pa., to go over this material with attendees of that meeting.)

Each national conference includes a business meeting. However, we have been reserving major business for every other national conference. We had very brief business meetings in 2007 and 2011, and an extended business meeting in 2009. Now, we’re set for another extended one.

Over 20 proposals for revising the UB Discipline will come before the delegates in June 2013. Most are minor changes, but some will no doubt generate a good deal of discussion. These regional meetings will acquaint people with the proposals and the rationale for them. Hopefully, this introduction will help cut down the amount of time taken in floor discussion at national conference.

Bishop Phil Whipple, Jeff Bleijerveld (Global Ministries Director), Dennis Miller (Cluster Coordinator), and Gary Gates (Director of Ministerial Licenses) plan to attend all of these events.

Each meeting will go from 9:30 am through lunch. The host churches will provide lunch.

Please let us know now many people from your church will attend, so we can give the host church a headcount for lunch. The “Register” button on the right will take you to a form you can use.

Huntington University is saying, “Merry Christmas,” this year with its very only stop-motion animated tale. The 24-second video follows Huntington’s mascot, Norm the Forester, as he decorates the tree for Christmas.

Animators Curtis Wood and Chris Veil (2010 HU alums) created the video with the help of the digital media arts faculty and other friends from the department.

The process started with an idea and a storyboard. From there, the pattern for the Norm puppet was sculpted and the armature (the bone structure) was assembled. Once the mold was baked, the paint and the final touches were added.

The animation for the tree was made through replacement animation, which is done by creating multiple stages of an object moving or transforming rather than manually moving or transforming the object, Wood explained.

With the pieces complete, the animation began. Tests were conducted with lighting and camera placement before the final animation was finished.

“We ended up shooting the entire thing in a day, about 12 hours straight, with a few breaks,” Wood said.

You can read more about the video.

Global Ministries is offering two mission trips to Turkey in 2013. Both are in conjunction with IN Network, an organization with which we are partnering in Turkey. This is the United Brethren church’s first venture into the Muslim world. These trips will be a great opportunity for you to become acquainted with and involved in the task of taking the Gospel to Muslims.

Turkey: VBS
A group of 10 people will conduct a Vacation Bible School at a church attended by children from all over Istanbul. They would also spend one day at the IN Network camp in Yalova, and another day doing sightseeing in Istanbul. This trip is in partnership with IN Network, an organization with which we are partnering to minister to Muslims in Turkey.

Dates: June 22 – July 2, 2013
Cost: $650 per person, plus airfare

Turkey: Children’s Camp
A team of five persons will help with a children’s camp in the city of Yalova. They would mostly help with cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, and perhaps crafts or games. There would also be a day of sightseeing in Istanbul. This trip, like the previous VBS trips, is in partnership with IN Network

Dates: June 29 – July 8, 2013.
Cost: $550 per person, plus airfare.