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.