Rhodes Grove Camp (Chambersburg, Pa.) is hosting a training seminar, “Preparing for an Active Shooter,” on August 14.

Date: Monday evening, August 14.
Time: 5:00 – 9:15 pm.
Location: Rhodes Grove Camp & Conference Center, 7693 Browns Mill Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202

This seminar is geared to equip your congregation to proactively respond to an active shooter event. This program is appropriate for your security teams, your trustee and facility committees, and anyone who would like to be equipped to respond most appropriately to an active shooter incident. The seminar is being facilitated by the Capozzi Group.

Detail can be found here.

Bishop Todd Fetters leading the Business session of the US National Conference.

Bishop Todd Fetters leading the Business session of the US National Conference.

A standing ovation as Todd Fetters is elected bishop of the US National Conference during the July 13 business meeting.

A standing ovation as Todd Fetters is elected bishop of the US National Conference during the July 13 business meeting.

Todd H. Fetters was elected to a four-year term, 2017-2021, as Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA. He was elected by unanimous ballot during the Business session of the US National Conference, meeting Thursday morning, July 13, in Lancaster, Pa.

Bishop Fetters’ ministerial career began in 1988 with seven years at Lake View UB church in Camden, Mich., followed by 18 years as senior pastor of Devonshire UB church in Harrisburg, Pa. He came to the National Office in 2013 as Director of National Ministries.

Four persons were elected to the Executive Leadership Team for 2017-2021.

  • Ty Bates, a layperson from Bethel UB church (Elmore, Ohio).
  • Matt McConnell, a layperson from Banner of Christ (Byron Center, Mich.).
  • Gary Dilley, pastor of College Park UB church (Huntington, Ind.).
  • Dennis Sites, pastor of Jerusalem Chapel (Churchville, Va.).

They join four persons elected in 2015 to four-year terms. These eight persons will then appoint four more persons to two-year terms.

The business session began at 8:45 am. There were a couple presentations, plus reports from Interim Bishop Todd Fetters and the various directors (UB Global, Higher Education, Communications, National Ministries, Finance, and Ministerial Licensing). Then came elections.

The delegates then tackled six proposals from the Human Sexuality Task Force, which began its work in early 2016. All six of their proposals passed, with only one or two amendments. They can be viewed here. They included:

  • New statements on Singleness, Sex and Gender Distinctions, and the Local Church and Human Sexuality.
  • Revisions to our existing statements on Marriage, Illicit Sexual Relations, and Pornography.

The meeting adjourned at 11:45.

A number of persons from our international fields will attend the US National Conference next week. This is their 250th anniversary, too. Delegates from Guatemala and Costa Rica, and one delegate from Nicaragua, were unable to get visas to the United States. However, all of these persons will attend.

National Conference Delegates

Sierra Leone: John Pessima (bishop) and Jolly Lavalie.
Canada: Brian Magnus (bishop) and Matt Robertshaw.
Nicaragua: Juan Pavon, general superintendent.
Honduras: Gonzalo Alas (bishop), and Moises and Benulda Saens.
Hong Kong: Kin Keung Yiu (superintendent) and Carol Chan.
Jamaica: Isaac Nugent (bishop) and Winston Smith.
United States: Todd Fetters and Jeff Bleijerveld.

Mission Districts

Germany: Alimamy Sesay and Adama Thorlie.
Haiti: Oliam Richard.
Liberia: Moses Somah.
India: Miriam Prabhakar.
China: Jana Hoobler.
Macau: Karis Vong.

The US National Conference concludes on Saturday, July 15. The international delegates, along with several persons from the United States, will then go to Chambersburg, Pa., for the General Conference meeting. King Street UB church will host the General Conference meeting on Sunday and Monday. The last General Conference was held in 2013 in Ontario.

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.

International Delegates
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 jeff@ub.org. 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.

  1. Go shopping at the Tanger Outlet mall. Shuttles leave at 9 am.
  2. Visit the Biblical Tabernacle Reproduction, a full-size version of Moses’ tabernacle in the Wilderness. Shuttles leave at 10 am. Cost: $7.50.
  3. 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.

Youth

  • 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.

Schedule
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.

Here is some information about the upcoming US National Conference, July 12-15 in Lancaster, Pa.

Women’s Missionary Fellowship Recognition
On Friday night, a ten minute video will be shown to recognize the role of the Women’s Missionary Fellowship throughout our history. The WMF is being discontinued as an official organization, but Global Ministries wants to honor it’s enormous contributions over the years to United Brethren missions.

Historical Tours
On Thursday and Friday (July 13 and 14), shuttle buses will take people to either two or four sites of historical significance to the United Brethren church. The tours are free, but you will need a ticket. Tickets will be available at the conference registration table.

  • Isaac Long’s Barn. This barn, built during the 1750s, is where it all began—the place where William Otterbein and Martin Boehm met and began working together.
  • Boehm’s Chapel. Martin Boehm built this church on his own property, overlooking the Boehm homestead. The gravesites of Martin and Eva Boehm are located here.
  • Byerland Mennonite Church. This is Martin Boehm’s home congregation.
  • First Reformed Church. This was William Otterbein’s charge when he started working with Boehm.

A morning option will accommodate local UB churches that want to send their constituents.

You will have 11 opportunities to take a two-hour tour of Boehm’s Chapel and Isaac Long’s Barn. Here are the departure times from the convention center:

  • 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.

On Friday afternoon, there will be a four-hour tour of all four sites—Long’s Barn, Boehm’s chapel, Byerland Mennonite Church, and First Reformed Church. It departs from the convention center at 1:00 p.m.

Charter buses will provide transportation. You may bring food or drink with you on the bus.

Thursday Delegate Breakfast
Churches have registered their ministerial and lay delegates. If you need to make a change regarding the personnel attending the business session, please contact Marci Hammel at marci@ub.org or (888-622-3019, ext. 308) as soon as possible.

All ministerial and lay delegates and advisory members are required to attend the breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 13. The breakfast is being sponsored by Global Ministries, which will be charged for the meal whether you attend or not. Please attend at 8:00 for the breakfast and presentation. We appreciateGlobal Ministries providing this meal as a start to the day’s Business session.

Friday Retiree Breakfast
A breakfast for retired ministers, spouses, and widows will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, July 13. This breakfast is by reservation only. A limited number of sets are still available. Contact Judy Dyer at judy@ub.org or by phone (888-622-3019, ext. 313).

Thursday Morning Women’s Excursions
Three excursions are planned for Thursday morning for women who are not participating in the Business session: the Tabernacle Reproduction, the Tanger Outlet Mall, and a Walking Tour of downtown Lancaster. Descriptions of the excursions are here.

The morning starts at 8:00 am. Women will meet for breakfast ($5 ticket required) and devotions by Christy Cabe. Buses leave for the Tabernacle Reproduction and Tanger Outlets excursions at 9:00 am, and the Walking Tour starts at 10:00 am.

The 2017 US National Conference is just five weeks away. Registrations have now hit 760 (135 of them children), and we’ll soon hit 800. At this point, about 50 UB churches in the United States have not yet registered anybody for this historic 250th anniversary conference.

Although the conference hotel is filled up, we have secured a block of 25 rooms at the Heritage Hotel in Lancaster, about six miles away. The Heritage will honor our conference $125 (plus tax) rate. Please contact the Heritage Hotel directly to make reservations. Call 1-800-223-8963 extension 1580 for Resort Sales. Let them know you are registering as part of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (National Conference).

Many other hotels are located in the Lancaster area. You are free to make reservations anywhere you’d like. However, you’ll still need to register for the conference itself.

Registration

You can register using the links here. Costs:

  • Individual full conference: $75
  • Family full conference: $125
  • Day only: $40

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Jonah: Sight & Sound Theater

The National Office has purchased a block of tickets for the Saturday afternoon, July 15, performance of “Jonah” at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. The theater is located nine miles from the conference center.

Thus far, 42 people have signed up. We still have 28 tickets. You need to sign up by June 15.

The conference will conclude around 11:00 Saturday morning. The show starts at 3:00 pm.

Make plans to extend your visit to Lancaster by joining us for this fantastic production! All tickets are on a first-come, first-paid, first-serve basis. Adult tickets are $75 and children (ages 3-12) are $35.

 

Keynote Speakers
During the Great Meeting of 1767 at Long’s Barn, Martin Boehm was preaching inside the barn while another minister was preaching in the orchard outside. Somewhat in that tradition, we will have two speakers each night. They will each address an aspect of that night’s theme. The opening night speakers will be Dennis Miller, senior pastor of Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Jody Bowser, senior pastor of King Street UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).

All of the keynote speakers are from the United Brethren world.

Workshops
Friday morning will feature three rounds of workshops–some with a historical bent, some designed especially for women, plus workshops on a number of other subjects. You can read about the workshops here–the time slots, titles, and presenters.

A breakfast for retired ministers and spouses will also be held Friday morning.

jonahtitle600
jonah-joppa600
theater600
The National Office has purchased a block of tickets for the Saturday afternoon, July 15, performance of “Jonah” at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. The theater is located nine miles from the conference center.

Thus far, 42 people have signed up. We still have 28 tickets. You need to sign up by June 15.

The conference will conclude around 11:00 Saturday morning. The show starts at 3:00 pm.

Make plans to extend your visit to Lancaster by joining us for this fantastic production! All tickets are on a first-come, first-paid, first-serve basis. Adult tickets are $75 and children (ages 3-12) are $35.

 

Bishop Todd Fetters will lead an Online Regional Review meeting to discuss the upcoming US National Conference and review items of business which will come before the conference. This is especially designed for ministers and lay delegates who were unable to attend one of the regional meetings held during May in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Date: Monday, June 5, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm.

The meeting will cover the same ground that the three geographic meetings covered during May. Dr. Luke Fetters and Mark Vincenti will present the proposals from the Human Sexuality Task Force. Rocky Spear will present the report of the Nominating Committee.

The online meeting is open to the first 100 registrants. You can register here.

You will want to read or download the reports from the Human Sexuality Task Force and the Nominating Committee. They are available here.

For the meeting, you will need to submit questions ahead of time by email. Send your questions to Administrative Assistant Cathy Reich at: cathy@ub.org.

How to Connect to the Online Meeting

You can join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Start by going here.

You can also dial in using your phone and just listen to the audio.

United States: +1 (224) 501-3412
Access Code: 746-479-637

First GoToMeeting? Try a test session: https://care.citrixonline.com/g2m/getready

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left) and members of the Human Sexuality Task Force ( l-r): Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left) and members of the Human Sexuality Task Force ( l-r): Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

The crowd at Rhodes Grove Camp.

L-r: Task force members Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Task force members Luke Fetters, Anthony Blair, and Mark Vincenti.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

Attendees praying to conclude the meeting.

The final Regional Meeting was held Monday, May 22, at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. A total of 77 persons showed up to hear information about the July 12-15 US National Conference.

Bishop Todd Fetters talked about various things which would be happening at the conference. Dennis Sites presented the report of the Nominating Committee. Then three members of the Human Sexuality Task Force–chairman Luke Fetters and members Anthony Blair and Mark Vincenti–discussed their report and fielded questions. The morning concluded with a prayer time.

A meeting had been scheduled for the evening of May 23 in Lancaster, Ohio, but was cancelled.

The meeting at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio, on June 17, 2017.

The meeting at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio, on June 17, 2017.

L-r: Bishop Todd Fetters, task force chairperson Luke Fetters, and task force member Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Bishop Todd Fetters, task force chairperson Luke Fetters, and task force member Mark Vincenti.

Rocky Spear, chairman of the Nominating Committee, rode his Harley down from Woodland, Mich., to speak to the Ohio group.

Rocky Spear, chairman of the Nominating Committee, rode his Harley down from Woodland, Mich., to speak to the Ohio group.

About 62 people attended the Regional Meeting held May 17 at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio. It followed the same basic format as the meeting Monday in Sunfield, Mich. Attendees spent much time interacting over the proposals from the Human Sexuality Task Force.

Two more meetings will be held: May 22 in Chambersburg, Pa., and May 23 in Lancaster, Ohio. People are asked to sign up using the online form.