About 55 people attended the regional meeting on May 15 in Sunfield, Mich.

About 55 people attended the regional meeting on May 15 in Sunfield, Mich.

Bishop Todd Fetters at the Sunfield regional meeting.

Bishop Todd Fetters at the Sunfield regional meeting.

L-r: Task force members Joni Michaud, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti.

L-r: Task force members Joni Michaud, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti.

About 55 people gathered on May 15 at Sunfield UB church in Sunfield, Mich. It was the first of four regional meetings being held as a prelude to this summer’s US National Conference. Most of the people at Sunfield came from UB churches in Michigan, but there were a few from Indiana and Ohio.

Bishop Todd Fetters shared some information about the US National Conference and its significance as our 250th anniversary.

Rocky Spear, chairperson of the Nominating Committee, shared the National Conference ballot for bishop and Executive Leadership Team.

Most of the meeting was devoted to the report of the Human Sexuality Task Force. Three members were present: Luke Fetters (chair), Joni Michaud, and Mark Vincenti. After an introduction of the report by Luke Fetters, the task force members answered questions from the attendees.

The next regional meeting will be held Wednesday, May 17, at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio. Next week, regional meetings will be held May 22 at Rhodes Grove Camp (Chambersburg, Pa.) and on May 23 at Lancaster UB church (Lancaster, Ohio). These meetings will follow the same format as the Sunfield meeting. Bishop Fetters, Luke Fetters, and Mark Vincenti will attend all three. Sign up here.

Todd H. Fetters, Bishop, US National Conference

With National Conference 2017 soon upon us, we will gather to celebrate our 250th Anniversary. Now, that’s an historic milestone as the first denomination born on American soil.

In anticipation of this historic US National Conference, four regional meetings will be held to promote the events of National Conference, review the ballot for bishop and Executive Leadership Team members, and review the proposals for Discipline revision.

Regional Meetings

The regional meetings will be held as follows:

  • Monday, May 15 – Sunfield UB (Sunfield, MI). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 8436 W Grand Ledge Highway, Sunfield, MI 48890
  • Wednesday, May 17. Praise Point (Willshire, OH). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 555 Decatur Rd, Willshire, OH 45898
  • Monday, May 22 – Rhodes Grove Camp & Conference Center (Greencastle, PA). 9:00 – 11:30 am. Address: 7693 Brown’s Mill Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202
  • Tuesday, May 23 – Lancaster UB (Lancaster, OH). 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Address: 1125 Pleasantville Rd, Lancaster, OH 43130

These regional meetings are designed to facilitate questions and answers, specifically about the Discipline revisions proposed by the Human Sexuality Task Force. (ub.org/ncreports). Dr. Luke Fetters, HSTF chair, will be at each meeting to talk about the report, answer questions, and receive feedback. Other members of the HSTF will attend meetings closer to their region.

If you haven’t registered for a regional meeting, you can do so here:
ub.org/2017-regional-meetings/

About the Human Sexuality Task Force Report

I want to thank Dr. Luke Fetters and the members of the task force. They have labored for nearly two years on their report. It represents deep biblical and theological thinking, energetic and humble discussion, and collaborative and unified decision-making. In April, the Executive Leadership Team received and reviewed the report, and greenlighted it for National Conference consideration.

You can download the HSTF report here: ub.org/ncreports

About the National Conference Business Session

The business for National Conference will focus exclusively on the proposals from the HSTF report. No other items of Discipline revision will be presented. Our business session will begin Thursday, July 13, with breakfast at 7:30 am. We will call the meeting to order promptly at 9:00 am and conclude at 12:00 pm. Business is limited to these three hours so that our afternoon is free for folks to enjoy tours to historic sites around Lancaster.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our regional meetings. Please pray that the Lord will continue to bless the ministry and movement of the United Brethren in Christ.

Let the Wind Blow! (John 3:8)

From Global Ministries

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken” (Acts 4:31a).

There are two opportunities in the coming weeks to support our UB missionaries in their spiritual battles. We will be gathering and having Scripture guide us in praying for Thailand and Sierra Leone. If you can’t join us physically, we invite you to do so right where you are. But if you can, come be a part of a powerful time of gathering!

If you’re interested in prayer resources and/or hosting similar future prayer gatherings for UB missionaries, let us know by sending an email to info@ubglobal.org.

Thailand: 7-8 pm on Thursday, May 11. Location: Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The event will be held in the Galatians Room. Address: 12222 Us Highway 24 W, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sierra Leone: 6:30 – 7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 17.
Location: Corunna UB Church in Corunna, Ind. Address: 315 South Bridge Street, Corunna, Ind.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

On Saturday morning, April 29, a small group of people met in the parking lot of the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind. They came to send off three men who were beginning the 640-mile bike ride to Myerstown, Pa.

The ride celebrated the relationship of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown with the United Brethren Church. Evangelical Seminary is a preferred partner when it comes to graduate education; a number of United Brethren ministers over the years have graduated from Evangelical, and three United Brethren ministers (all Huntington University grads) have served as president of Evangelical.

Dr. Anthony Blair, an ordained UB minister, is the current president. Blair came to Huntington for the send-off. Both he and Bishop Todd Fetters gave some remarks to the bicyclists, and then led a time of prayer for them. The bikers were:

  • Dr. Mark Draper, Executive Director of the Pense Learning Center and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Evangelical.
  • Kevin Henry, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Evangelical and National Director of the Evangelical Congregational Church.
  • Rev. Ralph Owens, a retired minister in the Evangelical Congregational Church.

Here are the remarks from Bishop Todd Fetters:

It’s my honor to be a part of this bike launch today. The United Brethren in Christ and Huntington University have a longstanding and significant bond with Evangelical Seminary.

Many of our pastors who received their undergraduate and graduate education from Huntington University went on to receive further graduate degrees from Evangelical Seminary in Bible, theology, or counseling (marriage and family studies).

Huntington University and the United Brethren in Christ have a strong leadership tie with Evangelical Seminary. We are proud that three of the last five Presidents at Evangelical received their education at Huntington University and were ordained United Brethren in Christ pastors – Dr. Ray Seilhamer, Dr. Kirby Keller, and now Dr. Tony Blair.

Tony and I think it is pretty significant that the current President and the current Bishop are graduates of both institutions. Our connection has helped to reenergize the relationship between Evangelical and the United Brethren in Christ.

I’m proud of the shared history that our denomination has with Evangelical Seminary and Huntington University. Since 1897, Huntington University has been our preferred partner for Christian liberal arts education. And, I am happy to call Evangelical a preferred partner for graduate training. Both the University and the Seminary have bold, creative leadership, and faculty that are scholarly and caring. It’s no wonder that students that emerge from both institutions have a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for His Church, and a commitment to share the Good News in their neighborhoods and among the nations.

May God continue to bless the purposes of these institutions as they help equip the Church to impact this world for Jesus Christ.

Also coming out in the early hours were Amos and Annalee Rawley, who serve the New Hope UB church in Huntington. Both are graduates of Evangelical Seminary.

Evangelical was using the event to raise $100,000 for our Annual Fund for Transformational Leadership.

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Registrations for the 2017 US National Conference–our 250th anniversary as a denomination–are approaching the 600 mark. That’s well ahead of previous years. Only a few rooms are left at the main conference hotel (we will have blocks of rooms reserved at other hotels in the area).

The conference opens on Wednesday evening, July 12. In the tradition of the Great Meetings of the 1700s, we will have multiple speakers each night. The opening-night speakers will be Dennis Miller, senior pastor of Emmanuel UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Jody Bowser, senior pastor of King Street Church (Chambersburg, Pa.). The conference schedule tells about the speakers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. The bishop elected during the Thursday business session will speak during the closing service on Saturday morning.

Much information about the conference, and about the many attractions in the Lancaster area, has already been posted on the conference website. Much more will be coming.

A lot of special things are planned for this conference. On Thursday and Friday afternoons, there will be tours to sites important to United Brethren history, including a trip to Long’s Barn, where it all started in 1767.

To register, go to the conference website.

A Ministry Couples Marriage Retreat will be held August 7-9, 2017, at Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center (Chambersburg, Pa.). The event is free to ministry couples. Full funding is being provided by the United Brethren National Office the United Brethren Association for Church Development, and Rhodes Grove Camp.

This three-day, two-night retreat enables you to separate yourselves from the needs of “everyday life” and invest in your marriage.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Robb Palmer, Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Pastoral Counseling at the Graduate School of Marriage and Family Studies, Evangelical Seminary (Myerstown, Pa.). He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America, and has served with the EFCA in senior pastor and other roles for over 30 years.

The retreat starts with dinner at 5 pm on Monday, August 7. The opening session begins at 6:30.

Registration deadline is July 28, 2017. To register, download this brochure.

CLW 50thDate: May 5-7, 2017

Over the last 50 years, we have been blessed to serve so many who have come to Camp Living Waters. We want to celebrate in honor of the past, present, and future of CLW!

Come and join us for fun activities, great food, wonderful worship and music, memories, laughter, and so much more!

We are excited that former directors Carlson Becker, Robert Kahly, and Chad Saxton plan to attend. Worship leaders Eric Cherry and Matt Moore are also planning to attend.

Also, in honor of our 50th, the camp is having a special fundraiser to raise $50,000 to retire our debt and look to the future.

We hope many will be able to join us on this special occasion.

Tentative Schedule for Saturday Celebration Day
8:30 Continental breakfast
10:30 Brunch
12:00 Games & Activities
4:00 50th Anniversary Celebration Service
6:00 Dinner

To register for the day or weekend or to give towards our $50,000 fundraiser, please go to www.camplivingwaters.org and see the many options available for the weekend.

L-r: Steve Shadle, Mitch Benedict, Jay Brown, Steve Flint, and Marc Webb.

L-r: Steve Shadle, Mitch Benedict, Jay Brown, Steve Flint, and Marc Webb.

The two-day United Brethren history course was held March 21-22, 2017, at King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. The instructor was Daryl Elliott, senior pastor of Fountain UB church (Keyser, W. Va.).

Five persons attended: Steve Shadle, Mitch Benedict, Jay Brown, Steve Flint, and Marc Webb. Webb is assistant pastor of Idaville UB church (Gardners, Pa.). The other four are all from King Street.

The United Brethren Association for Church Development is sponsoring its Pastoral Resource Day on Monday, March 27, at Rhode Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. The event is worth two CEUs for pastors.

Dr. Mike Dittman, Director of National Ministries for the denomination, will lead two sessions focused around the denomination’s strategic vision for starting and strengthening churches. This vision is based on the three kingdom dynamics that Jesus taught his disciples.

  • His Gospel, which made them spiritually alive in Christ.
  • His Unity, which made them relationally connected to one-another.
  • His Commission, which made them missionaly engaged in the world.

The first session will focus on understanding the vision for starting and strengthening churches. The second session will focus on understanding the strategy for starting and strengthening churches.

Between the two sessions there will be a 20-minute business meeting of the United Brethren Association for Church Development. It will include a few announcements and a vote on the proposed new Constitution.

To register, and for other information, go here.

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You can now register for the 2017 US National Conference, which will be held July 12-15 in Lancaster, Pa. This will be a historic gathering, as we celebrate our denomination’s 250th anniversary.

Meetings will be held at the Lancaster Convention Center in downtown Lancaster, a gorgeous facility completed in 2009. It is the largest and newest facility we have yet used for a national conference. Our hotel, the Marriott at Penn Square, is integrated into the convention center.

 

Registration Costs
Individual: $60
Family: $100

Hotel Costs
The hotel cost is $125 per room, per night. You can ONLY get that rate through the conference registration process.

Schedule

  • Registration begins at 3pm on Wednesday, July 12. The opening service starts at 6:30. Each evening service–Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday–starts at 6:30 and is followed by a reception.
  • The business meeting will be held 8am – Noon on Thursday, July 13. Among other business, a bishop will be elected.
  • The concluding service will be held Saturday morning at 9:00. The bishop elected on Thursday will speak.
  • Afternoons are being kept free for excursions to UB historical sites and visiting the numerous attractions in the Lancaster area.

Attractions

The Lancaster area is a great vacation spot. You’ll find a lot to do: amusement parks, outlet malls, live entertainment, craft shops, buggy rides, museums, art galleries, and much more.