Gaylon Overmyer, a laymen from Bethel UB of Elmore, Ohio, called the national office Monday morning. He said their pastor, Norm Pickett, suffered a heart attack on Thursday, May 12. We have since learned that he’s doing fairly well at this point. But you can still pray for the Pickett family and the Bethel congregation.

Update 4 pm Monday Afternoon

Rev. Pickett had a heart catheterization today. There was just one blockage, just past one of his bypasses. It was an 80% blockage and they were able to put in a stint. He will be kept overnight and then should be ready to come home. The family was quite relieved that this was all there was to report.

Bishop Phil Whipple (left) with Joe Cilone during a visit in December 2010.

It’s rare for a pastor to stay at a church for 30 years, but that’s how long Joe and Kay Cilone have served the Pleasant Heights UB church  in East Liverpool, Ohio.

The congregation will be celebrating the occasion on May 21 and 22. Best wishes can be sent to the Cilones at: 1471 Lighthouse Court, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920. Or email them.

Michael Longfellow has resigned as senior pastor of New Life Church in Chanute, Kansas. He has been the pastor since 2001, growing the church’s attendance from 30 to 120. He has also been cluster leader for the UB churches in Kansas and Missouri. His last Sunday will be June 12, 2011.

Michael and Lori and family (six children) have felt led to move to Wyoming to pastor Rock Springs Christian Church, a small congregation of 30-35 people in the denomination in which Michael was ordained in 1999.

On April 28 (Thursday), those of you who subscribe to Feedburner received an email saying that Wilmer Houck, pastor of the UB church in Coleta, Ill., would undergo brain surgery on May 4. That was wrong information–right family, wrong person. Actually, it is Juli Houck, Wilmer’s wife, who will have surgery. The error was quickly corrected on UBCentral, but not before the Feedburner emails went out (it’s done automatically). I apologize for the mistake. We do ask your prayers for Juli. — Steve Dennie

Donelle Raab passed away at approximately 7:30 am on Monday, May 2, 2011. She had been in hospice care throughout the weekend, and her condition was declining. We’ll post other details as we learn them. She and her husband, Richard, who passed away in January 2010, served UB churches in Michigan. Donelle held a Specialized Ministry license. You can read previous posts here and here.

Visitation: Thursday, May 5, 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm.
Visitation Location: Stroo Funeral Home, 1095 68th SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.

Funeral: 11 am Friday, May 6. Visitation 10-10:45 am
Funeral Location: Banner of Christ Church, 1111 68th St., Byron Center, MI 49315.

Richard Self, father of Eric Self, senior pastor of Mount Zion UB (Junction City, Ohio), underwent double-bypass surgery on April 27 in Columbus, Ohio. Annette Self, Eric’s wife, reports that he came through “with flying colors.”

Julie Houck, whose husband is pastor of the UB church in Coleta, Ill., will undergo brain surgery on Wednesday, May 4. The surgery will occur at St. Anthony’s hospital in Rockford, Ill.

Julie writes: “A trip to ER for stroke-like symptoms a week ago found a golfball-size tumor on the left side of my brain, growing daily. We are asking for the ‘regular’ things like peace and trust, and healing, maybe even a miracle, also that we have made the right decisions so far, and that God will intervene if we haven’t. We have heard that I have a great surgeon, but unsure where he stands with the Lord. I would love to be His tool to display Himself to this man, and will leave it in his hands. My encouragement is to keep enjoying every moment as it comes.”

Please remember Wilmer and Julie Houck and family in your prayers.

Donelle Raab is now in hospice care, as reported earlier. David Raab, her son, reports that she is not responding as hoped to steroids. “If tomorrow does not see the results (which would be day 5 of steroids) mom (we) decided that there would be no prodding of offering food or water. Hard to let her go, but praise and glory to God who is taking her home soon.”

Sunfield UB church has hired a new worship coordinator: Caleb Hugo from Dewitt, Mich. He and his wife, Liz, will begin serving in May 2011. Caleb is a graduate of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a Masters in Music Composition.

Steven Parish, 54, a former United Brethren pastor in Michigan, passed away unexpectedly on April 18, 2011. A memorial service was held April 21 at Nashville Baptist Church in Nashville, Mich. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and three daughters.