Mike Dittman speaking at the Cluster Leader Winter Gathering.

Dr. Sherilyn Emberton (center) with Revs. William and Mary Flamer.

Brooks Fetters (left) and Bishop Todd Fetters.

Matt and Emily Hann

The session for spouses.

Twenty-one (out of 24) cluster leaders attended the annual Cluster Leader Winter Gathering, held January 22-23 at Huntington University (Huntington, Ind.). Cluster leaders are UB ministers who oversee a group of about seven senior pastors. Most clusters consist of pastors located close to each other geographically.

The Winter Gathering began on Monday night, January 22, with a dinner for cluster leaders, spouses, and staff at the United Brethren National Office. Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University, gave some remarks. Matt and Emily Hann, from College Park UB church, provided music. Then Brooks Fetters, an ordained UB minister who is mayor of the city of Huntington, gave a message on leadership issues.

Bishop Todd Fetters started the Tuesday meeting with a devotional. Then Mike Dittman, director of National Ministries, led a couple hours of training. Meanwhile, Lisa Fetters and Pam Dittman led a track for spouses of cluster leaders.

For cluster leaders, the morning concluded with a discussion about a proposal to remove the requirement that UB ministers totally abstain from drinking alcohol (the prohibition for laypersons was removed in 2005). The issue will be discussed in cluster groups this year, and will probably be dealt with at the 2019 US National Conference.

The Cluster Leader Winter Gathering concluded with lunch on Tuesday.

Only senior pastors must attend cluster meetings. Clusters must meet at least six times per year. The typical schedule is September, October and November, take a break for the holidays, and resume February, March, and April. You can view all of the cluster groups here.

For staffpersons, we offer an Associate Staff Summit and a Youth Workers Summit (which is actually held every year). This is the year for all of these summits.

Rev. Armando Lopez was elected as the new superintendent of Nicaragua Conference. He replaces Rev. Juan Pavón, who has served in that role for over 12 years.

Born in 1949 in the city of Granada. His parents pastored a small church. Armando can’t recall when he made the decision to follow Jesus, but he distinctly remembers preaching the Gospel as a child in bus stations and marketplaces. When Armando graduated from high school at age 17, he was determined to become a minister. In fact, all of his siblings are serving as pastors today.

In 2004, Armando was introduced to the United Brethren and has served as pastor of the Camino de Fe church in Niquinohomo, where he has also served as the area cluster leader. Armando is passionate about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. It is his desire to lead our 30 Nicaraguan churches in multiplying themselves.

Randy Carpenter (right) was hired as a staff pastor at Colwood UB church (Caro, Mich.) effective January 1, 2018. He was previously senior pastor of Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.). Colwood is using a team approach, with three persons–Mike Whipple, Kelly Ball, and Carpenter–listed as teaching pastors. Each also carries other areas of responsibility. For Carpenter, the website lists assimilation and discipleship.

The Garnett UB church (Garnett, Kansas) closed as of December 31, 2017. The building is being sold to another church in town that needs a building. For 2016, the church reported an average attendance of just 6 persons, with 16 members.

Registration is now open for the UB Youth Workers Summit.

Date: April 23-27, 2018 (Monday-Friday)
Location: Best Western Aku Tiki Inn
2225 S Atlantic Ave
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

This is an annual event of encouragement and training for persons in youth ministry. It is available for the lead youth ministry workers (fulltime, part-time, or volunteer) in every United Brethren church. About 25 youth persons usually attend.

The Summit is a great time of networking with other youth leaders and being encouraged by others who are in the trenches of youth ministry. They enjoy the beach, the golf course, and incredibly beautiful weather, along with the chance to slow down and step away from the constant demands of youth ministry.

You can register here.

Cost

  • $25 remote attendee
  • $120 per person (will share room with another attendee)
  • $240 per couple staying in same room
  • $360 per person with private room

What’s Included

  • Hotel stay for 4 nights.
  • Daily hot breakfast buffet.
  • 3 hosted dinners and seminars with guest speakers.

What’s Not Included:

  • Transportation to and from Daytona
  • Lunches and one dinner
  • Excursions
  • Hotel incidentals
  • Spending money

Continuing Education
If you hold a UB ministerial license, by attending this summit, you will earn 20 contact hours, which satisfies your annual requirement.

For more information and to register: ubteens.org


Registration is now open for the Associate Staff Summit.

Date: May 7-11, 2018 (Monday-Friday)
Location: Best Western Aku Tiki Inn
2225 S Atlantic Ave
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

You can register here.

The Associate Staff Summit is held every two years. It is designed for persons in UB churches working in such staff roles as pastoral care, youth ministry, worship, assimilation, adult education, visitation, counseling, missions, discipleship, children’s ministry, etc. It is NOT for senior pastors.

Cost

  • $25 remote attendee
  • $140 per person (will share room with another attendee)
  • $280 per couple staying in same room
  • $375 per person with private room

What’s Included:

  • Hotel stay for four nights (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
  • Daily hot breakfast buffet
  • 2 hosted dinners
  • Resource book and seminars

What’s Not Included

  • Transportation to and from Daytona
  • Lunches and 2 dinners
  • Excursions
  • Hotel incidentals and extra days (before or after the summit).

For the schedule and other information: ubstaff.org

Kimberly Schock

Kimberly Schock, 60, passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. She was the wife of Rev. Richard Schock, pastor of Sabetha UB church (Sabetha, Kansas) since February 2016.

Memorial services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, January 13, at Westview Baptist church, 1325 S. Meridian, Wichita, Kansas.

Cards can be sent to:

Richard Allen Schock
512 Grant
Sabetha, KS 66534

Linda Carter, wife of Rev. Al Carter, passed away around 11 am on Friday, January 5, 2018. She was in hospice after a battle with cancer. Her husband has been pastor of First UB (Columbus, Ohio) since 2011. They previously served UB churches in St. Mary’s and Rockbridge, Ohio.

Visitation: 12:00-1:00 on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
Funeral: Following visitation
Location: First UB church, 496 S. Wheatland Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

Condolences can be sent to Pastor Carter at this address:

Rev. Alfred Carter
711 Westfall Court
Columbus, OH 43228

The 1833 General Conference provided for establishing a United Brethren publishing house. It took shape in May 1834 in Circleville, Ohio, under the sponsorship of Scioto Conference. William Rinehart, a United Brethren minister in Virginia Conference, had been publishing a paper on his own press called The Mountain Messenger. Scioto asked Rhinehart to move to Circleville to become editor of a United Brethren publication, and they even bought out his little paper.

On December 31, 1834, the first issue of The Religious Telescope was published. It was four pages long, 15-by-22 inches in size. It began as a bi-monthly publication, and started with about 1200 subscribers who paid $1.50 per year. We now had a denominational publication.

John Lawrence, who would become editor in 1852, wrote, “The paper was a very respectable sheet, well edited, yet not popular because of the extreme views which it advocated. It entered largely into the controversies of the times and earnestly and boldly, though not always prudently, marched in the front ranks of every reform.”

Most of the original United Brethren spoke German, and the German language predominated in United Brethren circles into the 1830s. Only two members of the 1821 General Conference were English. Others could preach in English, but German was their mother tongue. The 1821 Discipline was printed in both languages—German on the left, English on the right. It was an acknowledgement of what was coming.

The Germans, because of their unselfish missionary zeal, pretty much worked themselves out of a denomination. They so generously supported and promoted outreach to English people that by the 1830s, we had become (or were becoming) a predominantly English-speaking church. Most of the church’s expansion into the west–Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere–occurred among English-speaking people.

From the beginning, The Religious Telescope was published in English. However, because of protests from some German-speaking folks that scant attention was being given to the German constituency, we launched a German-language periodical called Die Geschaftige Martha (The Busy Martha). It started in 1840, but ceased after two years. English, even in Pennsylvania, was clearly the future.

In 1885, seeing The Religious Telescope dominated by liberal voices, Milton Wright and others launched an alternative paper. They considered calling it The United Brethren, but instead settled on The Christian Conservator. When Wright’s followers split off, The Christian Conservator became the official publication of the “radical” United Brethren denomination. Its name was changed to The United Brethren in 1954. The magazine was discontinued in 1993.

The Religious Telescope continued until 1946, when the “liberal” UBs merged with the Evangelical Association, which had its own publication called The Evangelical Messenger. The new denomination, called the Evangelical United Brethren Church, merged the two periodicals under the very uncreative name The Telscope-Messenger.