The US National Conference, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, is just one week away. The conference opens on Wednesday, July 12, and continues until Saturday morning, July 15. Currently, 842 people are registered.
The evening sessions will feature not one, but two different speakers, both of whom will address aspects of that night’s theme. The bishop-elect will speak on Saturday morning.
We are meeting in Lancaster, Pa. That’s where the United Brethren church began. There are several sites of historical interest, including Long’s Barn, where founders William Otterbein and Martin Boehm first met. There will be free excursions, by shuttle bus, to these locations on Thursday afternoon, and on Friday morning and afternoon.
A lot of other great things are planned for this historic conference.
Business Session Reports Available
The business session begins with a 7:30 breakfast, which delegates and advisory members are required to attend. It is sponsored by UB Global. The breakfast transitions into the business session, which begins at 8:30. The election of bishop and members of the Executive Leadership Team will occur very early in the meeting.
Anyone can attend the business session. Only delegates can speak and vote, and they must sit within the designated area.
Most of the reports for the business session are now available online. You can download all of them as PDF files, and most can be viewed online.
Participants may also want to download the UB Discipline.
Nineteen international guests are joining us for our national conference. They represent United Brethren national conferences and mission districts from around the world–Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Hong Kong, Germany, Liberia, Jamaica, India, China, Sierra Leone, Macau, and Canada. They will then go to Chambersburg, Pa., for the international General Conference meeting on Sunday and Monday.
Global Ministries invites attendees to spend time with these international delegates over a lunch or dinner, or otherwise get acquainted. You are welcome to make arrangements with them during conference, or you can set up a meal with them by contacting Jeff Bleijerveld at email@example.com. This is a great opportunity to learn about United Brethren ministry in other parts of the world.
Afternoon Historical Excursions
Twelve historical tours are scheduled on Thursday and Friday. Charter buses will provide transportation. The tours are free, but you must get a ticket at the conference registration table.
There are 11 opportunities to take a two-hour tour of Boehm’s Chapel and Isaac Long’s Barn.
- Thursday: 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm.
- Friday: 10:00 am, 10:15 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, 1:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 3:45 pm.
One four-hour tour, at 1:00 Friday afternoon, also includes Byerland Mennonite Church (Boehm’s home church), and First Reformed Church (which Otterbein pastored).
Buses load ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure time and will leave on time.
Thursday: Just for Women
Women who aren’t involved in the business session are invited to take part in a breakfast/devotional, followed by one of three different excursions.
An optional breakfast, with speaker Christy Cabe, starts at 8 am. Breakfast tickets can be purchased for $5.
Three different excursions begin at 9:00 or 10:00.
- Go shopping at the Tanger Outlet mall. Shuttles leave at 9 am.
- Visit the Biblical Tabernacle Reproduction, a full-size version of Moses’ tabernacle in the Wilderness. Shuttles leave at 10 am. Cost: $7.50.
- Take the Historic Lancaster Walking Tour, a 90-minute tour of over 30 locations in downtown Lancaster. Meet at 10 am in the hotel lobby. Cost: $6.
- Huntington University will sponsor a Pizza Outing for high schoolers after the Wednesday service.
- Youth will spend Thursday at Hershey Park. The bus leaves at 9 am and returns at 6 pm. UB youth workers will chaperone for junior high. Huntington University will chaperone for senior high, and pay their entrance fee.
- HU will host workshops for youth on Friday morning in the Exhibit hall.
Nursery & Children
Childcare will be provided up through grade 5 during all worship services, and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. The conference childcare director is Rebecca Hann from King Street Church. The age breakdowns are: 0-2 (infants), ages 3-5, grades 1-3, and grades 4-5.
- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 6:15 – 8 pm (services).
- Thursday: 7:15 am – noon (business, women’s track).
- Friday: 8:45 am – noon (workshops).
- Saturday: 8:45 – 11 am (closing service).
People can bring their children 15 minutes before the event starts, and must retrieve their children immediately after the event.
Onsite Options for Meals
A continental breakfast will be served 6:30-8:30 am Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the Exhibit hall. The per-day cost is $5 cash. A ticket is required.
On Thursday, participants can take their breakfast to the observation tables in the Business session or to the Women’s Devotional.
Registration begins at 2 pm on Wednesday, July 12. The first event of the conference is the evening service, which begins at 6:30. All three evening services begin at 6:30.