The National Association of Evangelicals, its member denominations (which include the United Brethren in Christ USA), and other groups have joined to designate Good Friday, April 10, as a Day of Prayer & Fasting. We invite you to participate. Perhaps your church will want to include this as part of your Good Friday observances, in whatever form they may take.

Last summer, during our US National Conference, we focused on the theme “Let’s Pray.” Our world certainly needs prayer during this coronavirus pandemic.

Whether or not this fits with what your church has planned for Good Friday, perhaps you can find ways to use the following Suggested Prayers, which touch on many aspects of the crisis.

Suggested Prayers

  1. Pray that God, in His power and mercy, would end the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Pray that all of our government leaders will be protected from the virus, and that they will have the patience, wisdom, civility, and compassion to deal with the many problems facing our country in this perilous time.
  3. Pray for the safety of all members of the medical community, and pray that they will be able to care for the sick with wisdom, kindness, and stamina.
  4. Pray that the sick will be healed and restored, and that the elderly will be protected.
  5. Pray that the medical community will have the medical supplies, drugs, testing kits, protective equipment, ventilators, and hospital and ICU beds needed to take care of the ill.
  6. Pray for those who are grieving for lost friends and family.
  7. Pray for the poor and all those who have been hurt by the economic downturn: employees, the self-employed, small business owners, big businesses, churches, and charities.
  8. Pray that all those who have lost jobs will be able to return to work soon.
  9. Pray to restore the economy.
  10. Pray that in these difficult times, hurting people will not turn to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and domestic abuse.
  11. Pray for those confined by quarantine, those who are sheltered in place, and those practicing social distancing, that they might not despair in loneliness and isolation.
  12. Pray for our education system at every level that has broken down under the threat of disease.

Suggested Scriptures

  • Jeremiah 29:5-13
  • Isaiah 53
  • Isaiah 60
  • John 19
  • Romans 5:6-10
  • 1 Peter 2:11-25

Due to the CDC’s mandate prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 at any one event for the next 8 weeks, we have cancelled the four “summits” planned for April and May. All were to be held in Daytona, Fla. They include:

  • The three Pastor & Spouse summits: April 20-23, April 27-30, and May 4-7.
  • The Ministry Leaders Summit: May 4-7.

In addition, three other events have been cancelled:

  • March 21: the UB Global Ignite Conference scheduled at Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.).
  • March 21: the UB Association workshop at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa.
  • March 30: the Idea to Action Symposium at Huntington University.

I was registered for a Pastor Summit. What do I need to do?

1. Notify the UB National Office that you have received this information. If within the next 48 hours we have not heard from you, we will call you to assure you have this news. Contact Cathy Reich in the Bishop’s office by email at cathy@ub.org, or call Cathy at 888-622-3019.

2. Cancel any flight arrangements you made. Some airlines are granting reimbursements, others are granting a one-year credit for the cost of the ticket. Most airlines are waiving change fees. (NOTE: If your travel is after April 30, however, you may need to wait until this is in effect for May travel. As of March 17, the cutoff date is April 30.)

3. Don’t worry about any hotel reservations we made on your behalf. They’ve all been cancelled. There will be no charge to you or the bishop’s budget.

4. Continue to pray for Bishop Fetters as together we are navigating unprecedented waters. Pray for each other, as you are all on the frontlines, doing ministry, shepherding your flock. We pray in the coming days that you will be granted all the wisdom, strength and health needed to lead well and lead strong.

5. Plan to attend the Pastor & Spouse Summits in 2022. Stay tuned for dates.

I was registered for the Ministry Leaders Summit. What do I need to do?

1. Notify the UB National Office that you received this information. If within the next 48 hours we have not heard from you, we will call you to assure you have this news. Contact Cathy Reich in the Bishop’s office by email at cathy@ub.org, or call Cathy at 888-622-3019.

2. Cancel any flight arrangements once the airlines extend into May. As of March 17, the cutoff is April 30. With the day-to-day changes, it shouldn’t be long for them to honor May cancellations. Cathy Reich will keep in touch with you on this one.

3. Don’t worry about any hotel reservations we made on your behalf. They’ve all been cancelled. There will be no charge to you or the summit budget.

4. If you are a youth worker: plan on attending the youth summit in 2021. Stay tuned for dates. For everyone else: plan on attending the next Ministry Leaders Summit in 2022. Stay tuned for dates.

5. Continue to pray for Bobby Culler and Craig Mickey as with the Bishop they are navigating unprecedented waters.

As a result of CDC directives against group meetings of 50+ people, we have two cancellations to report:

  • March 21: the UB Association workshop at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. Cancelled.
  • March 30: the Idea to Action Symposium at Huntington University. Cancelled.

On Tuesday, the United Brethren National Office sent out information about the General Conference meeting. It was to begin this coming Sunday in Jamaica.

Well, things can change quickly. The event has been put off until March of 2021. The following message was sent to General Conference delegates and attendees:

“In light of concerns regarding the coronavirus and the declining number of travelers able to attend our General Conference, we regret to inform you that we will not proceed with our General Conference as planned. We have decided that we will postpone the conference until March 13-18, 2021. It will still take place in Jamaica.”

UB Global is working on refunding airline tickets.

On Tuesday, Jamaica announced their first case of the coronavirus–a Jamaican woman who had recently returned from a trip to Great Britain. Our Jamaican churches had planned big services for this coming weekend as part of their annual national conference meeting, but they have now cancelled those services.

We also mentioned that Honduras, where we have 110 churches, hadn’t yet confirmed a case of the coronavirus. Well, on Wednesday Honduras confirmed two cases, both involving Honduran women–one of whom returned from a trip to Spain, the other from a trip to Switzerland.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

The UB Association will sponsor a three-hour workshop on Saturday, March 21. The topic:

“A Sure Foundation: How to Take a Stand o Shifting Social Issues Based on the Sure Foundation of Scripture.”

Date: March 21, 2020
Time: 9:00 am to noon
Location: Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center, 7693 Brown’s Mill Road, Chambersburg, Pa.

This workshop is a “how-to” on developing personal convictions and group positions on controversial issues. It will cover such areas as:

  • How do we reconcile scientific evidence and Bible truth?
  • How do we embody compassion and understanding?
  • How do we use the bible as our guide?
  • How do we preserve our unity when others are dividing?

Hear an academic dean, a Christian attorney, and a seminary resident share their experience of leading their denomination through controversies in a way that resulted in a business session that ended with a spontaneous standing ovation.

The facilitators are:

  • Dr. Luke Fetters, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Huntington University, Huntington, Ind. Dr. Fetters is an ordained UB minister, and a former UB missionary and pastor.
  • Joni Michaud is an attorney in Michigan. She is a member of Pleasant Valley UB church in Lake Odessa, Mich., and is a member of the denominational Executive Leadership Team.
  • Dr. Anthony L. Blair is president of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, Pa. He is an ordained UB minister.

This three-hour workshop is free of charge, but seating is limited, and registration is required. To register, telephone 717-375-4162 or e-mail ubassociation@rhodesgrove.com

For more information, a bulletin insert and online registration, visit www.ubassociation.org

Optional Lunch $12.00: make check payable to Rhodes Grove Camp

May 4-8, 2020 (Monday – Friday)
Daytona Beach, Fla.

The Ministry Leaders Summit is for United Brethren persons serving in staff positions in United Brethren churches. This includes such roles as pastoral care, youth, worship, assimilation, adult education, visitation, counseling, missions, discipleship, children, etc. It is NOT for senior pastors.

The summit begins with dinner at 6:00 pm on Monday, and concludes with hotel checkout on Friday morning. It occurs at the same time as the third Pastor & Spouse summit to accommodate shared travel of staff and pastor.

Previously, two separate events were held–the annual Youth Workers Summit, and an Associate Summit for other persons in staff roles. This year, we are combining the two events at a beachfront hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla.

For registration questions and updates, contact Cathy Reich at cathy@ub.org or 260-356-2312, ext. 311.

Every two years, we hold summits for senior pastors and spouses of churches of all sizes. In the past, the denomination has covered all costs except for transportation and a few meals. The 2020 summits will be held at a beachfront hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla. Here are the dates.

April 20-23, 2020 (Monday – Thursday)
Summit for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance above 300.

April 27-30, 2020 (Monday – Thursday)
Summit for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance of 150-300.

May 4-7, 2020 (Monday – Thursday)
Summit for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance less than 150. This will occur at the same time as the Ministry Leaders Summit.

Summit details and registration links will be sent to each pastor for the summit(s) they are invited to attend. For registration questions and updates, contact Cathy Reich at cathy@ub.org or 260-356-2312, ext. 311.

The UB History Course is held periodically in regional locations. Two classes are scheduled for March 2020. Both will be held in conjunction with the Idea to Action Symposium.

Date and Time

In both locations, the course will be held 3-6 pm Monday, March 30, and 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Tuesday, March 31

Huntington, Ind.

Location: UB National Office in Huntington, Ind.
Instructor: Rev. Robert Bruce

Harrisburg, Pa.

Location: Devonshire UB church, Harrisburg, Pa.
Instructor: Dr. Daryl Elliott

The United Brethren History Course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination. The cost is $200 for persons seeking a ministerial license, $100 for everyone else.

Go here for full information and to register.

The October 15 night CNN Democratic debate was held at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. That was the very first United Brethren college, started back in 1847 and named after founding bishop William Otterbein.

From the start, Otterbein University admitted women and people of color, which was a bit revolutionary for the time. It was also co-educational, with men and women taking the same classes (not a watered-down track for women). Of the first 81 students, 29 were women, and women served on the faculty. So we were quite progressive for the time.

Lewis Davis became president in 1850 and served in that role for 21 years before departing to start the first United Brethren seminary (now United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio). He’s the namesake for Davis Hall at Huntington University.

An event called “UB Connected” will be held for the fourth consecutive year on November 3-4, 2019, at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. It is sponsored by the United Brethren Association.

The event begins at 6:00 PM, Sunday, November 3, with a brief UB Association business meeting. We will be voting in 2020 board members. (If you are a member and will not be able to attend the event, please e-mail Christi, ubassociation@rhodesgrove.com, to request an absentee ballot. Especially important for those more than 2 hours away) At 6:30 PM we will begin our evening service with worship followed by a message from Bishop Todd Fetters. The service will conclude with Holy Communion.

On Monday morning, beginning at 9:00 AM we will have a concert of prayer. We will be praying for 5 topics: Our Global Family, Our Present Pastors and Future Leaders, Rhodes Grove Camp, The Ministry Needs of our Congregations and Our Pastors’ Marriages and Children. The event concludes with a noon meal.

There is no cost to attend sessions. However, there are fees for meals and lodging.

You can register online here: https://ubassociation.wufoo.com/forms/z1q82uri0o49sei/