This is what's showing on monitors throughout the Grand Wayne convention center.

This is what’s showing on monitors throughout the Grand Wayne convention center.

The main ballroom, where services will be held. About 1150 chairs are set up.

The main ballroom, where services will be held. About 1150 chairs are set up.

Cathy Reich (foreground) getting all the workers on the same page.

Cathy Reich (foreground) getting all the workers on the same page.

Bishop Phil Whipple (right) and Frank Y unload the Huntington University trailer.

Bishop Phil Whipple (right) and Frank Y unload the Huntington University trailer.

Todd Fetters and Jane Seely on the goody bad assembly line.

Todd Fetters and Jane Seely on the goody bag assembly line.

Tuesday was set-up day for the 2013 US National Conference. A crew from Emmanuel Community Church spent much of the day getting the main ballroom ready for the evening worship services, which begin at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 26.

Meanwhile, most of the national office staff, along with a few spouses and other volunteers, worked on filling goody bags and registration packets, and various other things . The workers ate an evening meal together, and then had a short pow-wow during which Cathy Reich, administrative assistant to Bishop Phil Whipple and the true brains behind the conference, talked through a number of issues to get everybody on the same page.

Set-up will continue on Wednesday morning. Then registration starts at noon, with people will be arriving all afternoon. It’ll be a grand day!

Photo galleries will be posted on the United Brethren Facebook page. Here’s the first one–38 photos from Tuesday.

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Here are some further notes for persons attending the US National Conference this week in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Arriving at the Grand Wayne
The Grand Wayne Center is located in the heart of Fort Wayne, Ind., at 120 W Jefferson Blvd. Two one-way streets go through the center of town–Jefferson (going east) and Washington (going west). The Grand Wayne Center borders both of those streets. There is a parking garage off of W. Jefferson, next to the Hilton Hotel (where many attendees are staying). Calhoun Street runs between the parking garage and the Hilton, and a Skybridge connects the two. The entrance to the parking garage is on Jefferson. Once inside, you’ll see signs pointing you to the registration area.

Many others are staying at the Courtyard by Marriott, which is across the street from the Grand Wayne Center. It has its own parking garage.

Morning Prayer
Across the street from the Grand Wayne Center is Parkview Field, considered one of the best minor-league ballfields in the country. There’s a great walking track all the way around the field, and it’s open to the public every day. So if you’re a walker, this is the place to get some exercise.

In right field is the Huntington University Picnic Pavilion. We’ll have a morning prayer time there each morning at 7am, with various people in charge. It’s a great way to start the day right.

Prayer Labyrinth
One room has been designed as the Prayer Labyrinth. The Youth Ministry Team is providing this creative prayer exercise. The room will be open throughout the conference so you can go in and spend time with God in some unique, directed ways. It is totally self-guided. The Prayer Labyrinth can be found in the Foster Room in the Hilton (the same level as the Nursery and Children’s Ministry rooms). We encourage you to take advantage of it.

Hospitality Room
Snacks, drinks, and other goodies will be available in the Hospitality Room. It’ll be a great place to kick back and relax. It’s on the 9th floor of the Hilton. Take the elevator and follow the sign. Check at the registration desk for hospitality hours.

Photos of Pastors and Spouses
We’re once again taking photos of pastors and spouses. A room for this purpose will be set up outside the main ballrooms. The hours will be limited, so when you see somebody there taking photos, take advantage of the opportunity.

People in Orange Shirts
When you arrive, you’ll see a lot of people wearing bright orange T-shirts with the conference logo. If you have questions about anything, ask these people. They are there to help.

It’s only a few days away–the 2013 US National Conference. Registrations now stand at 834 (147 of them children and youth). Preparations are in high gear. We’re looking forward to a wonderful time together in fellowship, learning, fun, and worship.

Here is some information registrants will be interested in.

Reports for Delegates
All business reports have now been posted on the conference website. Most can be viewed online. All can be downloaded in PDF format. Make sure your church’s delegates have copies of the reports for the business sessions. You can download them from the conference website, and print out enough copies for your ministerial and lay delegate(s).

It will be especially important to have a copy of Report 31, “Discipline Revision Proposals.” Much of the business will revolve around this report. Without it to refer to, you’ll be a bit lost. You can also print a copy of the Discipline, which might be helpful, too.

We were going to mail packets of reports to persons who lack internet access, but circumstances prevented this from happening. However, those delegates will be able to request a packet of reports when they register at conference.

You’ll also find ballots and biographical information regarding candidates for the two elections that will be held on Thursday: for bishop, and for the 2013-2015 Executive Leadership Team.

The business session will be preceded by a breakfast at 8am. Anyone can attend the breakfast (not just delegates).

Networking Reception
We’re trying something new on Thursday night–a “Networking Reception.” It’ll be a way to meet fellow UBs who share the same interests or life experiences. Each table in the room will have a theme of some kind–bikers, youth workers, NASCAR fans, movie buffs, guitarists, military vets, schoolteachers, “The Voice” fans, children’s workers, drummers…about 50 in all. If you have something you want to showcase–a ministry or something else–we welcome you to set-up at an unused table.

Friday Afternoon in Huntington
Everyone heads to Huntington on Friday afternoon. Figure on 2:30 or later. Much is happening at the Huntington University campus–tours in the afternoon, a picnic at 4:30, the Todd Agnew concert at 7pm, and balloon rides after the concert.

You’ll also be able to tour the UB National Office, located adjacent to the university at 302 Lake Street.

The three UB churches in Huntington will also be open for tours 2:30 – 4 pm.

  • College Park church is just two blocks from the campus (1936 College Avenue).
  • Check out the new family life center at New Hope Church, where Bishop Emeritus Ray Seilhamer is the pastor (2001 Engle St).
  • Check on the progress at The Well’s new location at 1883 Old US 24. They plan to begin holding services there in August.

Don’t want to drive to Huntington? We’ll have a signup at registration for shuttles back and forth. More information will be available at registration.

Visit Local UB Churches on Sunday
Some delegates will no doubt stay Saturday night and attend church in the Fort Wayne area. There are several excellent choices:

  • Anchor UB church is just two miles from the Grand Wayne Center. Address: 1529 Third Street, Fort Wayne IN 46808.
  • Emmanuel UB church is 11 miles to the west. Address: 12222 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46814.
  • Union Chapel is 10 miles to the north. Address: 12628 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

In addition, we have several churches in nearby towns:

  • South Scipio: 23 miles to the northeast (24990 Antwerp Rd, Harlan, IN 46743).
  • Zanesville: 17 miles to the south (3092 Broadway St, Zanesville, IN 46799).
  • Hopewell: 20 miles to the north (6852 County Road 35, Auburn, IN 46706).

Several churches are located in Huntington, about 26 miles away: College Park, The Well, and New Hope.

So if you’re sticking around, check out one of the local UB churches. They’ll appreciate seeing you.

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Registrations for the US National Conference have surged well past the 800 mark, with 822 persons registered as of Monday, June 17. Of those, 151 are children and youth.

Registration starts at noon. The first conference event is the Wednesday evening (June 26) evening service, which starts at 6:30 pm.

Reports for Delegates

Make sure your church’s delegates have copies of the reports for the business sessions. You can download them from the conference website, and print out enough copies for your ministerial and lay delegate(s).

It’s especially important to have a copy of the “Discipline Revision Proposals” report. Much of the business session will focus on those proposals. Without it to refer to, you’ll be a bit lost. So make sure all of your delegates have a copy. You can also print a copy of the Discipline, which might be helpful, too.

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Registrations have now climbed to 658, including 120 children and youth.

Some new information is available on the conference website (UB2013.org). It includes:

  • Schedule. The schedule has been updated with youth activities and other events. One addition: a luncheon on Friday for retired UB ministers, spouses, and widows.
  • Teen Track. We currently have 34 teens signed up for the teen track, which Huntington University will lead. It includes a pizza party on the opening night, a full day of fun on Thursday, and two workshops on Friday morning.
  • Floorplan. The floorplan of the Grand Wayne Center has been published, with the locations for various events mapped out–workshops, children and nursery, women’s track, youth room, exhibits, business and main sessions, etc.
  • Workshops. Nearly all of the Friday morning workshops have been posted.

hyattplaceThe two main hotels for this summer’s US National Conference, the Hilton and Courtyard by Marriott, are mostly filled up. But we just (as of May 16) secured a block of rooms at the Hyatt Place. It’s nice hotel located 4.6 miles (13 minutes) from the Grand Wayne Center, our meeting place.

Cost: $102 per night.

This rate is good for June 26-30, 2013.

You can register in two ways:

Call 800-833-1516. Mention the code “G-CHUR”
Go online at: fortwayne.place.hyatt.com. In the box “corporate/group #,” type “G-CHUR”

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Registrations for this summer’s US National Conference have surged past the 600 mark. Of those, 110 are children and teens.

The schedule has been updated on the website, with a variety of additions.

Workshops are still being finalized. A number of them are now listed on the website.

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We’re almost to 600 registration for this summer’s US National Conference. And three weeks remain before the June 1 early-registration deadline.

Our keynote speaker this year (Wednesday and Thursday nights), is Dave Engbrecht. Dave has been the senior pastor of Nappanee Missionary Church (Nappanee, Ind.) since 1979. A gifted communicator, Dave’s humor, personable style, passion for developing fully committed disciples, and commitment to world missions is well reflected in his messages. Dave has been the featured speaker in venues across the nation and around the world.

The 26 proposals for revising the UB Discipline have been finalized. You can download them from the National Conference website. Other reports will soon be added to that page.