A record 25 people, including four men from Jamaica, attended the September 28-29 UB History course. The course, which is a requirement for ministerial licensing, was taught via Zoom. Bob Bruce, formerly a fulltime staffer at Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), led the course. Cathy Reich, administrative assistant to the bishop, tended to the technical and administrative aspects of the event.

The Covid crisis has led to some unexpected discoveries. One is that face-to-face meetings are not always necessary. Various denominational groups, including the Executive Leadership Team and the UB Global board, have been holding meetings online. In the process, money is saved on travel, food and lodging, and members don’t spend many hours traveling back and forth.

The UB History Course is another example. The in-person course scheduled last spring was hastily converted to a Zoom course, and it went surprisingly well. So when another session was scheduled for September, it was designed from the start as a Zoom class.

Of the 25 students, all but two were taking the course for licensing. They included one person from Canada, four from Jamaica, and 20 from the United States. The latter included persons participating from Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. There were 7 women and 18 men.

The format also allowed for guests to pop in and talk about an aspect of the denomination. They included Bishop Todd Fetters, Frank Y (acting director of UB Global), Jim Bolich (director of Ministerial Licensing), Steve Dennie (Communications director), Dr. Sherilyn Emberton (president of Huntington University), and Dr. Anthony Blair (president of Evangelical Seminary).

The UB women’s conference is on for September 25-26, 2020. Because of the pandemic, it will be entirely online. However, we’re determined to make it fun and inspiring.

We believe that God is doing a new thing! So please join us as we connect “Together” in a different way.

For complete information and to register, go here.

Here’s What Will Happen

  • We will gather online on Friday evening (September 25) and Saturday (September 26).
  • Our speaker, Lissa Litka, will lead us through our theme of “Together.”
  • We’ll have online opportunities for interaction, and ways for you to discuss, worship, and pray.
  • You may choose to tune in on your own or with a few friends in your home. We encourage ministry leaders to organize viewing parties of any size based on your unique circumstances and state’s regulations. If you are free to gather in a group, consider having a mini retreat!
  • We’ll be putting information on our Facebook page as we develop the plan.

Our Speaker: Lissa Litka

Lissa Litka is an author and speaker, and director of Beauty Will Rise Ministries. She is a staff pastor and counselor at Morning Star UB church in Kokomo, Ind.

Lissa has spoken at many events for women and teens. She has a God-given desire to help women see that their true identity comes from an intimate relationship with Christ, not from society’s standards. She transparently shares her life-lessons learned through storytelling, showing how to avoid toxic relationships and survive in the midst of our fast-paced, chaotic lives. She loves taking Bible characters, such as Rahab, and bringing them to life and helping her audiences relate to them on a personal level.


Individual registration: $10. You will receive a conference packet in the mail prior to the conference. It will include discussion guides and themed gifts. Closer to the date of the conference, you will receive the livestream link.

Host Site: $30. You will receive a conference packet for yourself. In addition, you will receive door prizes so that you can interact with the give-away portion of the conference. In order for each individual attending your “watch party” to receive a conference packet, they must also register as an individual. Closer to the date of the conference, you will receive the livestream link.

Go here to register.

Suggestions for Watch Parties

  • Share a meal
  • Use a large monitor or screen for showing the livestream.
  • Hold your own “silent auction” and give proceeds to a local charity.
  • Bring games or crafts for before and/or after the sessions.
  • Create your own watch party “theme” poster – there just might be a contest for the best use of theme!

Basic Schedule

Friday, September 25
7:00-9:00 pm: Live Streaming Session #1

Saturday, September 26
9:00-10:15 am: Live Streaming Session #2
10:30-11:30 am: Live Streaming Session #3
1:00-2:00 pm: Live Streaming Session #4

A date has been set for the next UB History Course:

Date: September 28-29, 2020 (Monday and Tuesday).
Time: 9 am to 4 pm both days.
Instructor: Rev. Bob Bruce.

The course will be held online via Zoom.

About the Course

The UB History Course is held periodically, either online or in regional locations. This course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination, and qualifies for 12 credit hours.

However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are welcome to take the course. Laypersons, especially local church leaders (board chairpersons and members, lay delegates, etc.), are encouraged to attend. It’s valuable to have an understanding about United Brethren history.

The cost is $200, if you are seeking a ministerial license. There is a $50 discount if you pay fully in advance of the class, making your cost just $150. Three books are also required.

For everyone else, the cost is $100.

For full information, go here.

To register, go here.

This Easter Season was unlike anything our world has experienced. We’d like to capture stories from United Brethren churches about what Holy Week looked like. Other UB churches in the US and around the world will be interested.

While the past week is fresh in your mind, please take a few minutes to write a couple paragraphs about the Easter Season at your churches, and particularly your Holy Week observances. You can send an email to news@ub.org, or use the form on the Covid-19 response page.

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.


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.