The Anchor worship team leading the music part of the service. (click to enlarge)

The Anchor worship team leading the music part of the service. (click to enlarge)

On Palm Sunday, 4pm in the afternoon, Anchor Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.) did a service on the campus of St. Francis University, about a mile down the road from the church. Several churches in the 46808 zip code took turns conducting a service, one service a month, as a way to introduce St. Francis students to some of the nearby churches. Palm Sunday was Anchor’s turn.

Associate Pastor Kevin Whitacre gave the sermon, starting off with a drama in which he put himself in the position of one of the thieves crucified with Jesus. The Anchor worship team led the music.

Roxie Stahl

Roxie Stahl

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

Roxie Stahl, 88, passed away March 18, 2013, at a retirement community in North Manchester, Ind. She spent 26 years working for Huntington University, 1964-1990, serving as editor, publications director, and public relations director.

Like many former Huntington University students, not to mention the numerous faculty and staff who worked alongside her, I have very fond memories of Roxie.

First of all, Roxie was clearly a highly talented writer and graphic artist. She was a book illustrator and graphic artist before joining the college staff, and did chalk presentations for churches and organizations across the Midwest. At Huntington University, she juggled many responsibilities in what was basically, in those years, a one-person communications shop. She could wear all of the necessary hats, cranking out quality material in whatever genre was needed.

But I also remember, with gratitude, the interest she took in me as a student. Sure, it helped that I liked to write and that she knew my parents (Dad worked with her at the college for a couple of years). But she just enjoyed students, and thrived in the college environment. I always found her pleasant, personable…and Christ-like.

In my case, Roxie took a special interest in developing my writing ability. She found great pleasure in sending some of my campus writings to Huntington and Fort Wayne newspapers, and was absolutely thrilled–more thrilled than I was, I think–when something appeared with my byline. She, along with the amazing Edwina Patton, continually encouraged me and nudged me toward a career in writing.

After I graduated and began working in the United Brethren denominational office as editor, I worked with Roxie on a professional basis for ten years. She continually supplied me with quality articles to use in our publications, and with whatever else I needed to tell the story of the college. And the encouragement never let up. When I landed articles in other Christian publications, I would want to tell Roxie, because I knew she would be both interested and proud.

Roxie, as I think about it, was somewhat of a mentor to me, though I never thought of her that way until just now.

A memorial service will be held April 13 at 2pm at Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral home in Wabash, Ind.

Bob and Lois Conway, Regent College of the Caribbean, Jamaica

Bob and Lois Conway (right) have served at Regent College of the Caribbean (formerly Jamaica Bible College) since 2008. Bob is a teacher. Bob, an ordained United Brethren minister and a former UB pastor in Pennsylvania, is a Lecturer in the School of Bible & Theology. Many of the UB pastors in Jamaica are trained at this school. Here are excerpts from their March 2013 newsletter, which was sent by email on Wednesday, March 27, the first day of their spring break.

We have 37 Bible students. The first year students are older, ranging in age from 25-58. Most work at least 8-40 hours a week besides coming to college. Thirteen are married and have 1-5 children. Their dedication to learning God’s Word is admirable.

We rejoice at the way God has been blessing students that Bob has taught over the years. Kensworth is presently the associate pastor in a church of over 500 in Kingston. In September, he is being sent to pastor a smaller church, which is struggling. His wife, Rosemarie, is a graduate of our Business School and teaches school. They are expecting their first child in April.

During March, three other American couples from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ were on campus. Harold and MaryAnn Hancock have been here since September 2012 and will return to the states at the end of May, but plan to return in September. Harold teaches welding and agriculture, and MaryAnn helps in the library.

Dwight and Patty Kuntz came in January and returned to USA a week ago. Dwight has been supervising the building projects at Malvern Camp and the dining complex on our campus. They plan to return when sufficient funds are raised to continue work on both projects.

Jason and Donna Hollopeter were here for the 62nd Annual Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Donna is the associate director of Global Ministries.

Twice a month, Lois has been doing Teacher Training Classes on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Approximately 25-30 have been attending. She continues to teach Boys Club at the Salem United Brethren church and Good News Club at Frankfield. Salem was recognized for its outstanding achievements for the past year. One of the many things was the church partnered with Jarred, a mission group from London, to supply used school furniture and many other items to 64 schools. There were a number of outreach programs.

We would be thrilled if more churches in the USA would support the building of the Dining Complex by sending financial help and work teams. Jamaica is a wonderful place in the winter to employ your skills and talents for the Lord.

Crystal Carpenter at work in Qatar.

Crystal Carpenter at work in Qatar.

Crystal Carpenter is nearing the end of her 11-month National Guard deployment to Qatar. She is the wife of Randy Carpenter, senior pastor of Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.).

Bridger Fetters concluded his three-year term of service with Global Ministries in mid-February 2013. He plans to pursue his secondary teacher’s license.

It has been an honor for Global Ministries to have Bridger Fetters serve with our team in Macau these last three years. He provided valuable ministry teaching in the English Language Program and working with the Living Water and Living Stones churches in Macau. We wish him well as he pursues a future as a high school English teacher here in the United States.

Constable Jennifer Kovach.

Constable Jennifer Kovach.

Over 5000 police offers participated in the funeral procession.

Over 5000 police offers participated in the funeral procession.

Police officers carry the casket to the front of the packed arena for the funeral.

Police officers carry the casket to the front of the packed arena for the funeral.

Bishop Brian Magnus on the platform during the service.

Bishop Brian Magnus on the platform during the service.

The Ontario city of Guelph experienced a major loss on March 14 when Constable Jennifer Kovach, 26, was killed while on duty. She was responding to a call for assistance from another officer when, amidst the snow and poor road conditions, her cruiser crossed the center line and hit a transit bus head on. The bus had no passengers at the time. Firefighters extracted her from the vehicle and she was taken to a hospital, but she died of her injuries.

Constable Kovach was the first Guelph policeman to die in the line of duty since 1964, and only the third in the city’s history.

Over 5000 policeman from across Canada and the northern United States attended the funeral on Thursday, March 21, in the packed municipal arena. They formed a huge procession marching through the streets–police officers on foot, on horseback, and on motorcycles, including over 30 police dogs. Flags flew at half mast, and all city buses changed their signs to read, “R.I.P # 72,” which was Kovach’s badge number.

Brian Magnus (right), bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada and pastor of the Parkwood Gardens UB church in Guelph, was heavily involved in the funeral. After days of grief counseling and four sessions of visitation–11 hours on March 19 and 10 hours on March 20–he conducted the funeral before over 6000 people in the Sleeman Centre. The funeral was broadcast across Canada on national TV. In attendance were many members of parliament, federal and provincial leaders, the Premier of Ontario, the Lieutenant Governor (the Queen’s representative), and others.

For Bishop Magnus, there was a very personal connection. She was a personal friend.

“We lived next door to the Kovach family for ten years,” he wrote. “Jennifer and our daughter, Heather, were friends since Jennifer was two years old. She was at our house for sleepovers, birthday parties, youth events, etc. The funeral was as moving an event as I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been stopped by many people while in the store, walking the dog, etc., to talk. It’s opened up opportunities to share Christ!”

Ethan Cox, grandson of UB minister Devon Strine, is at Cleveland Clinic. He will undergo surgery to remove a lesion on his brain. Ethan has been experiencing epileptic seizures for the past three years. Please keep Ethan in your prayers.

L-r: Abby Farmer, Sarah Bonner, and Jessica Hollopeter.

L-r: Abby Farmer, Sarah Bonner, and Jessica Hollopeter.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “missionary?” Someone living in a remote country, preaching to natives wearing grass skirts? But global missions also occurs in our own back yard. Additionally, Paul’s words about the many parts of the Body of Christ apply to world evangelism. Overseas church planters are not the whole of global missions.

Global Ministries has a number of staff working in North America. Unfortunately, missionaries working in North America and/or in support roles often have difficulty raising support, despite the importance of their work. These three Global Ministries staff are currently in serious financial need, and could use your support.

  • Sarah Bonner is an endorsed staff working with One Mission Society in Indianapolis. Her role as the administrative assistant to the International Director enables the success of various key training events and leadership meetings for OMS church planters.
  • Abigail Farmer is an endorsed staff working with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Mississippi. She assists the translation work on the Choctaw Bible, and helps to contextualize Christian music and art among that tribe.
  • Jessica Hollopeter is a sojourn staff working with One Mission Society, and she also contributes regularly to Global Ministries work. Jessica works in the communications department, allowing foreign missionaries to communicate well with their supporters, and assisting OMS’s social media efforts. She may begin new work coordinating church planting training materials.

These young women would greatly appreciate your financial support. If you would like to support Sarah, Abby, or Jessica, please send a check, with a note indicating which person it is for, to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750

Dr. Tom Bergler (right), professor of Ministry and Missions at Huntington University, will present a special lecture titled “Reversing the Juvenilization of American Christianity: Fostering Spiritual Maturity in Congregations.”

Date: 7 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Location: Zurcher Auditorium, Merillat Centre for the Arts, Huntington University

Dr. Bergler is the author of The Juvenilization of American Christianity (Eerdmans, 2012). His book was featured in a cover story in Christianity Today, won an Award of Merit in the Church and Pastoral Leadership category from Christianity Today, and was named one of “10 Books Every Preacher Should Read” by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an article in Preaching magazine.

Because of juvenilization, Bergler says, many Americans are not sure they want to grow up. Many Christians are not sure that spiritual maturity is either attainable or desirable. This presentation will explain how juvenilization works and suggest ways that congregation members and their leaders can work together with God’s help to create a powerful congruence of teaching, modeling, and ministry structures that foster an attractive spiritual maturity.

This event is free and open to the public.