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.


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

A date has been set for the next UB History Course:

Date: September 28-29, 2020 (Monday and Tuesday).
Time: 9 am to 4 pm both days.
Instructor: Rev. Bob Bruce.

The course will be held online via Zoom.

About the Course

The UB History Course is held periodically, either online or in regional locations. This course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination, and qualifies for 12 credit hours.

However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are welcome to take the course. Laypersons, especially local church leaders (board chairpersons and members, lay delegates, etc.), are encouraged to attend. It’s valuable to have an understanding about United Brethren history.

The cost is $200, if you are seeking a ministerial license. There is a $50 discount if you pay fully in advance of the class, making your cost just $150. Three books are also required.

For everyone else, the cost is $100.

For full information, go here.

To register, go here.

Gail D. Miller (right), 89, passed away July 1, 2020, in Montpelier, Ohio. She and her husband, Rev. Robert Miller, served in the United Brethren pastorate for over 40 years. She was actively involved in children’s ministry in the church and summer camp.

Visitation: 10am on Friday, July 3, 2020.
Funeral: 11:30 am immediately following the visitation.
Location: Stryker United Brethren Church, Stryker, Ohio. Rev. Nick Woodall will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Stryker United Brethren Church. Online condolences may be offered to the family at the Grisier Funeral Home website.

Dan Paternoster (left) and UB minister Charlie Milliken greeting people at the 2011 US National Conference.

Dan Paternoster, a longtime member of Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.), passed away around 6:30 Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020. He was a member of the denominational Executive Leadership Team for 14 years, from 2001-2015. Dan worked as a veterinarian. He has regularly attended the US National Conference meetings every two years, and will be missed.

For the 2013 US National Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., a video was done about Dan and a terrible accident he was in while bike riding. It’s an inspiring story. You can watch it here.

Rev. Tom Datema (left) has been assigned as senior pastor of Gaines UB church (Caledonia, Mich.). He and his wife, Kim, moved to Caledonia on June 21. Tom had been senior pastor since 1998 of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.), and was ordained in 1999.

Dr. Ray Seilhamer (right) has been named senior pastor of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.) effective July 1, 2020. He has been a United Brethren minister since 1961, and served as bishop 1993-2001. His most recent pastorate was at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.