Bishop Todd Fetters speaking at the Sunfield meeting.

The meeting at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

The meeting at Praise Point UB church in Willshire, Ohio.

Steve Dennie explaining the Discipline revision proposals at the Willshire meeting.

The Sunfield crowd.

Prayer time at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

Prayer time at Sunfield.

Worship time at Sunfield.

During the past two weeks, four Regional Meetings have been held as a prelude to the US National Conference this summer. Bishop Todd Fetters used the meetings to inform people about what will happen at National Conference and review the proposals for revising the United Brethren Discipline.

Last week, meetings were held in Chambersburg, Pa. (May 6) and Willshire, Ohio (May 8).

This week, over 60 people attended the May 13 meeting at Sunfield UB church in Sunfield, Mich. Two days later, about 20 people attended an online edition, with participants from the East Coast to California.

Mount Olivet United Brethren Church in Chambersburg, Pa., is a congregation with a rural feel within close proximity to the I-81 corridor in south-central Pennsylvania. We are looking for a pastor who will enable us to impact our community through reaching, teaching, and spiritual growth while pursuing meaningful relationships with God and others. We are looking for a senior pastor who will encourage and enhance the giftedness of our staff and God’s people in collaborative ministry.

Our next senior pastor will be an effective communicator who possesses a shepherd’s heart. The ability to collaborate with teams of volunteers and develop leaders is essential. Skill and experience in strategic planning and conflict resolution 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.

Mount Olivet is an inter-generational congregation of about 120 devoted, hard-working people in a rapidly growing region. We are financially stable and have modernized facilities which will enable us to accommodate growth at our location.

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 Bishop Todd Fetters at bishop@ub.org.

The Executive Leadership Team meeting April 29-30.

The Executive Leadership Team met this past Monday and Tuesday, April 29-30, at Huntington University (Huntington, Ind.). Among other things, they reviewed the proposals which will go before the US National Conference during the business session on July 18, 2019.

Proposals
There are just six proposals for revising the Discipline, along with five editorial changes. Bishop Todd Fetters will go over these during the regional meetings, which start this coming Monday (May 6) at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

The most significant proposal regards beverage alcohol. In 1849, we began requiring all UB members to totally abstain from drinking alcohol. In 2005, we removed that restriction for laypersons, but kept it for United Brethren ministers. A proposal to remove the restriction for ministers, and only urge abstention rather than require it–same as with laypersons–went before the 2015 US National Conference, but was tabled. The same basic proposal will be considered this year.

Another proposal involves major revisions to the “Connections” chapter, which deals with the cluster system. This chapter was new in 2005, when the US National Conference eliminated the annual conference system and instituted the cluster system. The chapter needs to be updated to reflect how the cluster system functions today.

Two PDF documents can be downloaded on the UB website. One contains all of the Discipline revision proposals. The other summarizes UB history as it relates to our stands regarding alcohol.

Regional Meetings

The National Conference business meeting will be held Thursday, July 18. UB ministers and lay delegates are strongly encouraged to attend a regional meeting. The dates and locations are:

  • Monday, May 6: Mt. Pleasant UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.)
  • Wednesday, May 8: Praise Point UB church (Willshire, Ohio)
  • Monday, May 13: Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.)
  • Wednesday, May 15: Virtual meeting via Zoom software.

The meeting time for each event is 9:00 – 11:30 am.

At the regional meetings, Bishop Fetters will invite feedback about all of the proposals, and tweaks may be made. A final version of the proposals will be published in June.

Please register for a regional meeting, if you plan to attend.

Executive Leadership Team

This was the last meeting for this version of the Executive Leadership Team. For eight of the 12 members, their term ends this summer. Half of the eight elected members are chosen by the US National Conference every two years. The bishop also appoints four members every two years. The four members whose terms don’t end until 2021 are Dennis Sites, Tyler Bates, Matt McConnell, and Gary Dilley. The UB website shows the current ELT members and when their terms end.

ELT officers (l-r): Bishop Todd Fetters (chairperson), Gary Dilley (vice chairperson), and Tomi Cardin (secretary).

Three regional meetings will be held in May 2019 as a prelude to the US National Conference. In this video, Bishop Todd Fetters talks about these meetings and how people can pray for them. “Let’s Pray” is the theme for the conference.

Bishop Fetters will use these regional meetings to explain and invite feedback about the proposals which will come before the conference business meeting on July 18. Ministers and lay delegates are strongly encouraged to participate in one of these regional meetings. For persons who can’t attend in person, Bishop Fetters will hold an online version on May 15.

All four meetings will be held 9:00 – 11:30 am. Here are the dates and locations.

  • May 6: Mt. Pleasant UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.)
  • May 8: Praise Point UB church (Willshire, Ohio).
  • May 13: Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.).
  • May 15: Virtual meeting via Zoom.

You can register for any of these meetings here.

Beau and Melinda Graf with children Oliver and Adeline.

Beau Graf began his new job this week as executive director of Camp Living Waters in Luther, Mich. Beau has served many years in Christian camping and is very excited to lead the staff and ministry at CLW.

Beau and his wife, Melinda, have two children: Oliver (5) and Adeline (3).

The Grafs are looking forward to riding their mountain bikes over the many miles of trails that surround CLW and enjoying the legendary tranquility and big night skies that characterize Camp Living Waters. Also, they are very excited to be about the work of serving and loving others so that they may know and grow in Jesus Christ.

The United Brethren Association’s Annual Ministry Leadership Resource Day is coming up. The deadline for registering is May 3.

There is no cost to attend the seminar. Fees associated with lunch and Sunday night lodging are on this downloadable PDF brochure.

Date: Saturday, May 11
Time: 9 am – 3 pm
Location: Rhodes Grove Camp & Conference Center.
Address: 7693 Browns Mill Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202

This year we are welcoming Brotherhood Mutual who will guide the presentation.

Morning Session Topics

  • Top Legal Trends Facing Churches Today
  • Safety & Security
  • Medical Preparation and Response
  • Human Resource Concerns

Afternoon Session Topics

  • Protecting Ministry Assets
  • Cyber Security
  • Public Relations
  • Government Scrutiny
  • Religious Liberty

Expect to receive lots of great information applicable to leaders in all areas of ministry. Anyone in any leadership position at your church is invited to attend. Please help us spread the word!

Register online here.

The Buchanan church, with walls going up around the existing church.

The walls going up at the Buchanan church.

Earlier this month, the Liberia Missions District conducted a seven-day pastoral leadership training event in which 35 pastors and lay leaders participated. Bishop Moses Somah was thrilled with the number of participants. The mission district, which is under the supervision of Sierra Leone National Conference, currently has nine churches.

Also in Liberia, reconstruction of the Buchanan United Brethren Church is underway. As you can see in the photos, the congregation continues meeting in the old building, while the walls for the new building are going up around it. Buchanan is the second-largest city inf Liberia.

Michael Mudge, pastor of Bethany House of the Lord, a United Brethren congregation in Cumberland, Md., wrote about the Buchanan project on March 27.

“The building was destroyed a year ago in a windstorm and replaced with a make-shift replacement. Last fall, during the U.B. Connected event at Rhodes Grove Camp, churches of the United Brethren in Christ were challenged to raise funds to build a new sanctuary.

“The last check from pledges made in November was received at UB Global last week. Total raised for this project from UB churches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia exceeded $14,600! Total giving during the event exceeds $32,000!”

L-r: Connie Bonner, Luke Fetters, Jerry Davis, Kay Schwob.

Huntington University announced these personnel changes during the past few months.

Connie Bonner was promoted to Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, effective March 1. She was the Controller for the university 1991-1998, and in 2013 returned to HU as Controller and Director of Financial Services.

Dr. Luke Fetters was named Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. He had served as interim dean since 2018. He is an HU alumn, an ordained UB minister, and a former UB missionary in Macau. He has filled a variety of roles at HU–teaching undergraduate classes in the ministry and missions department, teacher and curriculum writer for the EXCEL and professional programs, professor of graduate ministry courses, and founding director of HU’s Institute for TESOL Studies. More recently, he used his expertise in intercultural communication and ministry to develop HU’s Global Studies office.

Dr. Jerry Davis returned to the faculty as Director of Clinical Experience. He taught in the graduate counseling program 2007-2017, and has spent the past two years as clinical programs manager at Parkview Behavior Health in Fort Wayne, Ind. He is looking forward to sharing with students the new clinical insights and experiences he has gained.

Kay Schwob was named Director of Development. She has worked at Huntington University for 18 years, including the past two years in the Advancement Office as senior director of advancement operations, and most recently as interim director of advancement.

Dr. Robert Hale

Dr. Robert E. Hale, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died March 27, 2019, at age 90. Dr. Hale served Huntington University for 37 years beginning in 1961. Well loved by students and faculty, he was voted Professor of the Year twice.

Hillsdale United Brethren church, a vibrant, medium sized church in Hillsdale, Mich., is hiring a Worship Pastor to mature our congregation as worshipers of our High King. Our Worship Pastor will do so by developing a vision for our growth in music and creative arts, and will work directly with our Lead Pastor to create weekly services and with our volunteers to develop them as musicians, artists, and leaders. In addition, our Worship Pastor will also lead our Connections Ministry in helping new attendees get to know our church, its mission, and its people; and in facilitating the spiritual growth and maturity of our adults through discipleship opportunities beyond the Sunday worship service.

Responsibilities
The Worship Pastor will be responsible for overseeing the following.

  • Develop overall vision and strategy for developing our Worship and Creative arts ministry.
  • Recruitment and scheduling of all worship team members and technicians.
  • Work with the Lead Pastor to oversee worship and creative elements for weekend services and special events.
  • Oversee all sound, lighting, and stage design.

In addition to oversight of Worship Ministries, this position will give leadership to our Connections Ministries by providing the following:

  • Develop a strategy to help people become an active participant in the life of The HUB.
  • Direction and guidance for the assimilation of new attendees.
  • Development and promotion of discipling strategies for adults.
  • Recruitment and training of small group leaders

The Hillsdale Community
Hillsdale is a community of about 8300 residents, equidistant from Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Home to Hillsdale College, the city offers a unique blend of midwest, hometown, and college town feel with plenty of community and college events, athletics, and arts.

Hillsdale county boasts some of the best outdoor sports in all of southern Michigan with its numerous lakes, trail system, and agricultural areas. Hunting, fishing, biking, and boating are all common activities for residents.

If interested, please contact our Lead Pastor, Josh Good at josh@hillsdaleub.org.