L-r: Grace, Jim, and Heidi Olinger.

Jim and Heidi Olinger have been accepted as the newest UB Global endorsed missionaries. The Olingers are members of the Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich.

Jim recently became president of the Nicaragua Christian Education Foundation (NiCE), based in Highland, Ill. The foundation serves churches and Christian schools through student sponsorships, meal packing projects, and short-term mission teams. Their goal is to come alongside and equip local believers to reach their country for Christ.

Jim will oversee all operations of the foundation in the US and Nicaragua. He brings 22 years of pastoral experience and nine years of cooperation with the foundation.

Jim and Heidi have been married for 23 years, and will be experiencing an empty nest this fall as Grace enters her freshman year at Huntington University.

“Let’s Pray” is the theme for this summer’s US National Conference. Bishop Todd Fetters addresses the subject in the short video above.

An e-letter is being published every two weeks in the lead-up to the conference. The second edition will go out later this week. If you’d like to subscribe, or if you’d like to download the video above to show to the congregation, go here.

Registrations are coming in for the US National Conference, which will be held July 17-20 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Go here for info and to register.

Registration is open for the 2019 US National Conference, which will be held July 17-20 in Bowling Green, Ohio. You can register here.

We will basically be taking over the wonderful student union building at Bowling Green State University. The campus environment will be something new for our national conferences. Everything–services, workshops, women’s track, childcare–will be held in the student union. The dining hall is right next door.

There are three parts to the registration link:

  1. Registering for the conference itself.
  2. Reserving lodging, either on the campus or at local hotels.
  3. Purchasing meal tickets for the dining hall.

Registration costs:

  • Individual: $75 ($90 after June 1, 2019)
  • Family: $115 ($140 after June 1, 2019)
  • Individual Day Pass: $40

Steve and Amanda Henry and children.

Amanda Henry provided this update about her husband, Steve, who had heart surgery on Wednesday, February 27. Steve Henry is pastor of Victory Heights UB church in Franklin, Pa.

“Praise the Lord!!!! Steve is out of surgery! Everything went well. The surgeon decided to do a newer procedure to bypass Steve’s arch altogether. He made a couple of connections now, and in another month or so they will do a stint and finish the bypass then. That should be a small procedure. Right now we are waiting to see him. Thank you for all your prayers and support. This is still a long road to recovery after open heart.”

Says Bishop Todd Fetters, “Let’s keep on praying for Steve, Amanda, and the Henry family.”

Steve has suffered from Marfan Syndrome all his life, and has undergone five other major surgeries. He recently published a book, “Custom Scars,” which tells his story. It is available on Amazon. You can read more about the book, and his testimony, on this web page.

Rev. Ralph Faber

Ralph Faber, 83, passed away February 9, 2019, in Princeton, Ill. He graduated from Huntington College in 1968 with a degree in Bible and Religion, and in 1992 earned a Master of Christian Ministry from the HC School of Christian Ministry.

Ralph pastored non-UB churches 1965-1970, and then spent the next 35 years, 1970-2005, pastoring United Brethren churches in Illinois and Kansas. They included the Illilnois churches in Manlius, Quincy, Rockford, Leaf River, and Claytonville; and the UB church in Abiliene, Kansas.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, with whom he shared 64 years of marriage; and three sons.

Visitation: 5-7 pm February 15, 2019.
Visitation location: Grant-Johnson Funeral Home, Princeton, Ill.
Funeral: 10 am Saturday, February 16, 2019.
Funeral location: First United Methodist Church, Princeton, Ill. Rev. Steven Barber, an ordained United Brethren minister, will officiate.

Salem UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) is searching for a Director of Worship. This is a part-time salaried position requiring 20-25 hours per week, and the church anticipates that it will transition into a fulltime position.

Salem re-evaluated the needs of their worship ministry in light of their plan to relocate in about a year to the NorthPointe Business Center, about 1.5 miles from the current location. The position will include these tasks:

  • Single-handedly lead contemporary worship on lead instrument and with vocals when other musicians are not available
  • Work closely with the pastor to develop the vision of Salem’s worship ministry
  • With pastoral collaboration, plan weekly traditional and contemporary worship experiences using creative elements and spoken bridges to draw congregational worship into a time of purposeful attention toward God
  • Work with Salem’s musicians where they are at and coach them both in skill improvement and the ability to worship God while singing or playing their instrument
  • Recruit musicians for worship team from within the church and, if necessary, work with worship directors from area churches to identify under-utilized talent and use them at Salem to supplement the team of Salem’s musicians
  • Develop worship team musicians into competent worship leaders (when possible) through skill coaching and personal example
  • Select worship songs for the weekly contemporary service and provide the music to worship team musicians
  • Conduct weekly worship team rehearsals
  • Create slides of song lyrics for both worship services each week
  • Collaborate with the pastor to plan special worship services for holidays
  • Evaluate musicians and select appropriate ones to provide special music pieces for use in worship
  • Work with the director of Salem’s Audio/Visual ministry to provide appropriate audio-visual support for worship services
  • Pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth via training workshops, seminars, etc. Costs will be covered by the church upon prior approval of the event or program
  • Work with Salem’s finance director to set and stay within the yearly worship ministry budget
  • If available and willing, may also assist with establishing a team of teen musicians to lead worship in youth group settings

Download this PDF for the complete job description, including qualifications.

Persons interested in this position should email a cover letter and resume (PDF format preferred) to Senior Pastor Jason Bakker at jason@salemub.org by March 15, 2019.

(Posted February 14, 2019)

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Here are two “Top Ten” lists regarding giving to UB Global during 2018. The first list shows the Top Ten UB churches in terms of giving per attendee. The second shows the Top Ten in total giving, regardless of size.

Top Ten Per Capita Giving (Amount Given Per Attendee)
$207: Bethany House of the Lord (Cumberland, Md.)
$173: Kilburn Avenue (Rockford, Ill.)
$146: Mount Carmel (Fulk’s Run, Va.)
$137: The Village Church (Stevensville, Ontario)
$122: Liberty (Stockport, Ohio)
$120: Countryside (Breckenridge, Mich.)
$115: New Hope Community (Toronto, Ontario)
$109: Pleasant Valley (Lake Odessa, Mich.)
$100: Crellin (Crellin, Md.)
$99: Grace (Sherkston, Ontario)

Top Ten Giving (Total Given from the Church)
$88,394: Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
$38,671: King Street (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$24,268: College Park (Huntington, Ind.)
$19,476: Salem (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$17,364: Mount Pleasant (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$17,309: Parkwood Gardens (Guelph, Ontario)
$13,258: Prince Street (Shippensburg, Pa.)
$12,731: Mount Carmel (Fulk’s Run, Va.)
$11,967: Otterbein (Greencastle, Pa.)
$11,420: Heart O’ the Lakes (Brooklyn, Mich.)

Mark Wallace (right), Executive Director of CH Global, and chairperson of the UB Global board, provided the following report on the growing unrest in Haiti. A team from Canada, scheduled to visit Haiti this month, may need to postpone their trip. We have about 28 UB churches in Haiti, and Pastor Oliam Richard is the superintendent.

Protests have been building in the major centers and highways around the country. For the past 5 days, it has not been possible for the CH Global staff or Pastor Richard to travel more than a block form their homes due to roadblocks in the street. As you can imagine, this is very difficult for everyone. Pastor Richard could not go to church on Sunday. People cannot get out to buy cooking fuel and food.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in Haiti, and our brothers and sisters are accustomed to having disruptions in their lives. Often it blows over after one or two days, and things clear up quickly. This time it hasn’t.

I have exchanged messages with Pastor Richard and the CH Haiti team, and they all tell me that it would be impossible to host the team unless things improve dramatically. The Canadian Government also updated its travel advisory for Haiti today to “Avoid Unnecessary Travel.”

The US State Department issued this travel alert on February 12. It warns of unpredictable and sporadic demonstration. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince airport.

Restrictions and other measures have been taken to protect US Embassy personnel. Family members of Embassy personnel under age 18 have been ordered the leave the country.

The medical team.

Fonda Cassidy with a Honduran child.

Robert and Fonda Cassidy traveled January 18-27 to Honduras to hold medical clinics in United Brethren churches.

Robert and Fonda are from the Mt. Solon UB church in Mt. Solon, Va. Since 1987, they have participated in over 40 short-term mission trips, and have led 12 team trips. Over the years, they have led a number of UB medical teams to Honduras and Nicaragua. They now lead their own nonprofit medical mission organization, called Mission of Harmony.

For this trip, they were joined by a team of 3 doctors, 5 nurses, a pharmacist, and 5 assistants who helped with the pharmacy, intake, triage, and other needs. They were joined by Honduran interpreters and their in-country coordinator, who was also from Honduras.

They mostly worked in Santa Rosa de Copán, a beautiful area in western Honduras. They conducted four clinics at four United Brethren churches–at Santa Rosa Copan with pastor Jorge Pesquera; at Rios de Aqua Viva; at Roca de Salvacion with pastor Jose Geovany Dubon; and at Vida Nueva with pastor Erick Villeda.

Fonda writes, “IfF you are a medical person, or would like to experience working with a medical team–feel free to contact us, or visit our website. Our next medical team will be June 21-28 to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.”

Registration is now open for the 2019 US National Conference. This is a four-day family-oriented conference held every two years. It’s a time of spiritual refreshment, fellowship, encouragement, worship, fun, and learning. You’ll become acquainted with United Brethren people from churches across the country.

Date: July 17-20, 2019
Location: Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, Ohio

We’ve held national conferences at hotels, convention centers, and a church, but never at a university. We’re excited about what Bowling Green State University has to offer. The small-town setting and campus atmosphere will make the conference very special.

All of our meetings—services, workshops, etc.—will be held in the Bowen Thompson Student Union building. Right next door is The Oaks dining facility where most folks will no doubt choose to eat. And lodging is available in a nearby residence hall, for those who wish to stay on campus.


Registration

The registration page has several parts. You MUST register for the conference itself, but it’s your choice what you do about food and lodging.

1. Register for the conference. (Required)

Individual: $75 ($90 after June 1, 2019)
Family: $115 ($140 after June 1, 2019)
Individual Day Pass: $40

2. Reserve accommodations—either in campus residence halls, or at local hotels. (Optional)

You are welcome to stay in Founders Hall, a campus residence hall. All of the beds are single (twin) beds, and there are no TVs in any rooms. It won’t be as comfy as a motel room, but it’s convenient and inexpensive. A set of linens and breakfast vouchers for the dining hall will be provided. Read more here.

The Registration page has links to four hotels in Bowling Green which are giving us a special conference rate. All four are located within a half-mile of the campus. Many other hotels are located 10-14 miles away on the outskirts of Toledo.

3. Purchase meal tickets for the campus dining hall. (Optional)

The Oaks has an excellent variety of food. You can purchase lunch and dinner meals.

Adults: $10 per meal.
Youth (age 8-12): $6.75 per meal.
Children (4-7): $5.25 per meal.
Kids under 3 eat free with a purchased adult meal.


Business Session

The Business session will be held Thursday morning, July 18. Every UB church can send at least one layperson as a voting delegate, and most actively-serving UB ministers also have voting status. The requirements are spelled out in ¶503 of the UB Discipline.

Lay Delegates. The formula is based on average attendance–one lay delegate for the first 150 persons, and an additional delegate for each 100 persons after that.

Clergy Delegates. Ministers are eligible if they hold a Specialized Minister or National Conference license, and are employed by a United Brethren church in the US National Conference. That covers most ministers. A few other situations are spelled out in ¶503.1.


Proposals and Regional Meetings

United Brethren constituents are invited to submit proposals for consideration during the Business session. The deadline is March 1, 2019. Complete details about the process and schedule for submitting proposals were publicized in November 2018.

In May, Bishop Todd Fetters will lead a series of regional meetings to review the proposals. The time in each location is 9:00 – 11:30 am.

  • May 6: Chambersburg, Pa.
  • May 8: Willshire, Ohio.
  • May 13: Sunfield, Mich.
  • May 15: Virtual meeting via Zoom.

Ministers and lay delegates are strongly encouraged to participate in one of these meetings. Complete information can be found here. Please register using the link.


Basic Schedule

Childcare will be available during the evening services and at selected other times. Go here for the full schedule.

Wednesday (July 17)
2:00 Registration
6:30 Opening session / reception

Thursday (July 18)
7:30 Breakfast for delegates and advisory members (not spouses).
8:30 – Noon Business session.
Noon Lunch and afternoon on your own
6:30 Evening session / reception

Friday (July 19)
8:00- 9:30 Breakfast for retired ministers and spouses
9:00 – Noon Workshops
Noon – 6:30 Lunch and afternoon on your own
6:30 Evening session / reception

Saturday (July 20)
9:00 – 11:00 Concluding service
Communion, ordinations
Message from Bishop Todd Fetters
Dismissal

Links about the 2019 US National Conference