May 1, 2014
Bishop Phil Whipple speaking to the group on Monday night.
Dan Kopp (left), pastor of NorthPointe UB church (Lewis Center, Ohio), with William and Mary Flamer, ordained ministers from Philadelphia, Pa.
The Pastors Summit attendees.
Drawings for prizes were a part of each session. Charles Milliken, pastor of the church in Franklintown, Pa., reads a name while Todd Fetters holds up the prize options.
Bishop Emeritus Ray Seilhamer, who now pastors New Hope UB church in Huntington, Ind., closed the Summit with a prayer time.
Steve Dennie, Communications Director
Four Pastors Summits will be held during 2014. The first was held earlier this week, Monday – Wednesday. It was for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an average attendance under 150.
A total of 44 persons attended, including 39 pastors and spouses from seven different states–Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas. Yes, Kansas. Michael Mattox, pastor of New Life UB church in Chanute, Kansas, came all the way out. Michael was assigned to that church at the end of 2013.
Todd Fetters, Director of National Ministries, spearheaded the event. Although he didn’t lead a session, he organized everything–the schedule, the coaching combinations, the music, etc.–and emceed the sessions. His wife, Lisa, led a session for pastors’ spouses–about a dozen of them–on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
The Pastors Summit opened with supper on Monday night, followed by the opening session. Mark Young, pastor of worship at Mount Pleasant UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.), led the group in worship.
Bishop Phil Whipple was the speaker for the three sessions. He opened on Monday night by telling about his journey as a minister, from his call to ministry through serving various churches both before and after joining the United Brethren denomination. It was fascinating stuff. On Tuesday he addressed principles he has learned along the way, and then spoke primarily about brokenness.
It was a rainy few days, so folks stuck pretty closely to the Miller Lodge, with its hotel-like accommodations. However, with Tuesday afternoon and evening free, some of the attendees ventured out to Gettysburg (45 minutes away), or simply to the mall or other local sites.
Coaching was a big part of the Pastors Summit. Pastors could sign up for a coaching session with one of the five trained coaches, all UB ministers: Dan Kopp, Greg Voight, Rocky Spear, Mike Brown, and Greg Helman. They had two sessions with their coach–an hour on Tuesday afternoon, and an hour Wednesday morning. These proved to be very helpful. Coaching is not counseling, and it’s not being told what you need to do. Rather, the person comes with an issue or situation, and the coach, through questions, helps the person come to a resolution of some kind–a way to deal with the situation. The coachees expressed much appreciation for what they gained from the sessions.
The Pastors Summit ended Wednesday morning with a group session during which pastors were invited to give a brief (no longer than 4 minutes) testimony which completed one of these statements:
- Because of Jesus….
- If it hadn’t been for Jesus….
The group was continuously in transition, since coaching sessions were going on at the same time; every hour, some ministers would leave and others would return. A fluid format was needed, and this proved to be just the thing.
All but two of the ministers presented something, a slice of testimony from their lives. It was most definitely a highlight of the event, as the ministers revealed interesting, occasionally surprising, and sometimes soul-baring parts of their lives, and explained how Jesus had worked in specific situations.
Another Pastors Summit, also for pastors of churches under 150 attendance, will be held next week at the Gull Lake conference center near Kalamazoo, Mich. The same number of people are signed up–about 45 total.
(Click on the photos below for a larger view.)