A record 25 people, including four men from Jamaica, attended the September 28-29 UB History course. The course, which is a requirement for ministerial licensing, was taught via Zoom. Bob Bruce, formerly a fulltime staffer at Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), led the course. Cathy Reich, administrative assistant to the bishop, tended to the technical and administrative aspects of the event.

The Covid crisis has led to some unexpected discoveries. One is that face-to-face meetings are not always necessary. Various denominational groups, including the Executive Leadership Team and the UB Global board, have been holding meetings online. In the process, money is saved on travel, food and lodging, and members don’t spend many hours traveling back and forth.

The UB History Course is another example. The in-person course scheduled last spring was hastily converted to a Zoom course, and it went surprisingly well. So when another session was scheduled for September, it was designed from the start as a Zoom class.

Of the 25 students, all but two were taking the course for licensing. They included one person from Canada, four from Jamaica, and 20 from the United States. The latter included persons participating from Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. There were 7 women and 18 men.

The format also allowed for guests to pop in and talk about an aspect of the denomination. They included Bishop Todd Fetters, Frank Y (acting director of UB Global), Jim Bolich (director of Ministerial Licensing), Steve Dennie (Communications director), Dr. Sherilyn Emberton (president of Huntington University), and Dr. Anthony Blair (president of Evangelical Seminary).

It may be the Year of Covid, but Huntington University has set a new enrollment record: 1,402 students, up from 1,393 the previous year. That includes students at the two Indiana campuses (Huntington and Fort Wayne) and at the campus in Peoria, Ariz. Enrollment hit 1300 back in 2016.

For the 8th consecutive year, the number of ethnic minorities from the United States has increased. They now make up 16% of the Huntington University population.

Also, for the fifth consecutive year, the number of states represented has increased. HU students now come from 34 different states.

Says HU President Sherilyn Emberton, “Our entire campus community, at all three geographic locations, worked diligently through the pandemic recess to offer the residential educational experience for our students in the fall of 2020.”

Easter Offering Update

We are so thankful for many churches and individuals that, in spite of not having in-person church, gave generously towards the generator fund for the Easter offering. The generator will contribute to the longevity of the hospital solar grid and increase income from community sales that go to pay hospital salaries. Thank you!

Posted by UB Global on Monday, August 24, 2020

The Easter Offering raised $17,100, which will go toward buying and installing a generator at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone. Here is more from David Kline, associate director of UB Global. This will greatly increase the efficiency and lifespan of the solar power grid.

Since installing this grid, the level of care has changed at the hospital. They now have the ability to depend on oxygen machines that sustain life. Care is much easier when lights are on while preforming medical procedures. And in the sweltering African heat, air conditioning in the operating room provides a cleaner, more controlled environment for both the patient and surgeon.

Above is a thank-you message from David Kline, associate director of UB Global.

Ruth A. Merillat, 99, passed away Wednesday, August 19, in East Jordan, Mich. She and her husband, Orville Merillat, who died in 1999, were members of Trenton Hills UB church in Adrian, Mich. In 1946, they founded what became Merillat Industries, the nation’s largest maker of kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

After retiring from active leadership in the company, they devoted themselves to philanthropy through the Merillat Christian Family Foundation. Among other things, they gave tens of millions of dollars to Huntington University, to United Brethren church building projects, to UB missions and camps, and to other UB-related causes. In 1988, the National Association of Evangelicals recognized them jointly as NAE Laypersons of the Year.

A private funeral service is being held on Tuesday, August 25. It will be streamed live at 2:00 pm via the Lenawee Christian School Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Huntington University is preparing to reopen the campus for the fall semester. All campus activities were suspended in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But they’ve been working hard to prepare for a resumption of campus life, which is so important to the HU experience. Students are returning to campus, and classes will start August 31. The plan is to hold in-person classes until Thanksgiving, and then go online for the rest of the semester and January Term. Many other colleges are following the same plan.

In March 2020, Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, President of Huntington University, appointed a Covid-19 Task Force to examine HU’s response to the pandemic. Work groups have been studying the various aspects of college life, with the goal of maintaining a quality academic experience while practicing the highest level of healthy best practices. Many campus protocols and procedures have been put in place. You can read them here.

The University is diligently trying to cover all of the bases…and there are many.

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended using outdoor venues. With that in mind, Huntington University has raised six tents located throughout the campus to provide additional classroom space and social gathering space. These tents will provide safer venues for students, faculty, and staff to still enjoy the HU experience.

The United Brethren church made the tents possible. President Sherilyn Emberton partnered with the UB National Office and denominational churches, and UB people came through to fund the tents. The response was overwhelming.

Although classes don’t start until August 31, a number of student leaders, athletes, and others are already on campus. They began returning August 13. All of the fall sports (soccer, cross country, tennis, golf, and volleyball) are proceeding as scheduled, with competition set to begin in early September. The rest of the students will arrive next week.

In addition to creating more outdoor spaces, the college has posted clear signage in buildings throughout the campus to provide direction for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Operational guidelines and protocols were developed, and physical preparations were completed. Those include dividers in lab spaces, personal protective equipment supplied to students and employees, classroom capacities limited, and furniture rearranged to ensure distancing.

Keeping Covid-19 out will require a lot of vigilance, but a small school like Huntington has a fighting chance of making it happen. Let’s pray toward that end.

Pastor Mark Ralph (right) has been appointed Interim Senior Pastor at Findlay First UB church (Findlay, Ohio). He will assists the congregation in preparing for their next senior pastor, who will be appointed within the coming six months.

Mrs. Wardena Waldfogel passed away Saturday, August 1, 2020. She was 95 years old. She was the wife of Bishop Emeritus Raymond Waldfogel, with whom she served 50-some years in United Brethren ministry. They were married in 1945 and had five children.The family is using Myers Funeral Home in Huntington, Ind., but no public services are scheduled at this time.

Dr. Raymond and Wardena Waldfogel began their pastoral experience in 1950 in the former North Ohio Conference (northern Indiana and northwest Ohio), starting in 1950. He was fulltime conference superintendent for six years, and in 1969 was elected to the first of three terms as bishop, serving 1969-1981. They then returned to pastoral ministry. Bishop Waldfogel passed away in 2011.

Prince Street Church of the United Brethren in Christ in Shippensburg, Pa., is an intergenerational congregation in a state university town on the I-81 corridor in south-central Pennsylvania. We are looking for a senior pastor who will encourage and support the congregation in producing healthy, growing, reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ.

Our next senior pastor will lead with a servant’s heart, build relationships within the congregation and community, and enable people to work together to solve problems. Effective preaching/communication skills and the ability to help people relate faith to everyday life are essential. Experience in developing collaborative vision will be a benefit. It is also expected that this individual will maintain professional ministerial credentials with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.

Prince Street Church is a congregation of approximately 200 people. Our youth ministry and updated facilities position us to reach younger families. Our people are willing and ready workers who are committed to outreach locally, regionally, and globally. We are financially stable and have the facilities necessary to engage our rapidly growing region.

If this sounds like something for which God has been preparing you, please send a copy of your resume, a cover letter, and a current photo to bishop@ub.org.


The UB women’s conference is on for September 25-26, 2020. Because of the pandemic, it will be entirely online. However, we’re determined to make it fun and inspiring.

We believe that God is doing a new thing! So please join us as we connect “Together” in a different way.

For complete information and to register, go here.


Here’s What Will Happen

  • We will gather online on Friday evening (September 25) and Saturday (September 26).
  • Our speaker, Lissa Litka, will lead us through our theme of “Together.”
  • We’ll have online opportunities for interaction, and ways for you to discuss, worship, and pray.
  • You may choose to tune in on your own or with a few friends in your home. We encourage ministry leaders to organize viewing parties of any size based on your unique circumstances and state’s regulations. If you are free to gather in a group, consider having a mini retreat!
  • We’ll be putting information on our Facebook page as we develop the plan.

Our Speaker: Lissa Litka

Lissa Litka is an author and speaker, and director of Beauty Will Rise Ministries. She is a staff pastor and counselor at Morning Star UB church in Kokomo, Ind.

Lissa has spoken at many events for women and teens. She has a God-given desire to help women see that their true identity comes from an intimate relationship with Christ, not from society’s standards. She transparently shares her life-lessons learned through storytelling, showing how to avoid toxic relationships and survive in the midst of our fast-paced, chaotic lives. She loves taking Bible characters, such as Rahab, and bringing them to life and helping her audiences relate to them on a personal level.


Registration

Individual registration: $10. You will receive a conference packet in the mail prior to the conference. It will include discussion guides and themed gifts. Closer to the date of the conference, you will receive the livestream link.

Host Site: $30. You will receive a conference packet for yourself. In addition, you will receive door prizes so that you can interact with the give-away portion of the conference. In order for each individual attending your “watch party” to receive a conference packet, they must also register as an individual. Closer to the date of the conference, you will receive the livestream link.

Go here to register.


Suggestions for Watch Parties

  • Share a meal
  • Use a large monitor or screen for showing the livestream.
  • Hold your own “silent auction” and give proceeds to a local charity.
  • Bring games or crafts for before and/or after the sessions.
  • Create your own watch party “theme” poster – there just might be a contest for the best use of theme!

Basic Schedule

Friday, September 25
7:00-9:00 pm: Live Streaming Session #1

Saturday, September 26
9:00-10:15 am: Live Streaming Session #2
10:30-11:30 am: Live Streaming Session #3
1:00-2:00 pm: Live Streaming Session #4