Mt. Victory UB officially lit a new church sign on April 16 during a church picnic and hotdog roast. The new sign is the latest in a series of property improvements. Within the past four years, the church has installed new siding, replaced the roof of the sanctuary, put up a new steeple, and completely remodeled the church basement into three classrooms and two utility rooms. The next step will be mounting the church bell on a stand near the front doors of the church. The bell had been in the original church steeple for over 100 years. Ed Gebert is the pastor.

Idaville UB (Idaville, Pa.) presented the musical drama “Fish Tales” on Palm Sunday. The program was performed by the “Praise Kids,” 13 children in grades 1-6….On Easter Sunday, Pastor Dirk Small was pleased to have 203 people attending. Several persons made decisions to accept Christ….April 27 was Rally Day. The group “The Praisin Puppets” presented a program to the children’s department.

Criders UB (Chambersburg, Pa.) dedicated its new Family Life Center on May 4. The facility adds classrooms, a nursery, gymnasium, stage, and kitchen. Bishop Paul Hirschy was the guest speaker.

East Washington UB (Ashley, Mich.) dedicated its new facility on April 13; they moved into it last October on their 100th anniversary. Bishop Paul Hirschy delivered a message which challenged them to be a praying church.

On Good Friday, East Washington participated with three other churches in a community service. The service included personal confession at a cross. Persons attending symbolized their personal confession by driving a nail into the cross and then taking the Lord’s Supper.

On Easter Sunday, Hillsdale UB (Hillsdale, Mich.) presented a procla-drama called “Crises and Cross Roads” which set an attendance record for the church of over 700. Procla-drama is a creative ministry tool for proclaiming the gospel. Live drama, video, special effects, and solos were interspersed at various points during the resurrection sermon of Pastor Les Smith. The Easter attendance was two-thirds larger than last year.

On March 28, eleven people from Gaines UB (Caledonia, Mich.) traveled to Slovakia with The International Needs Network. Pastor Mark Beers writes, “We worked on the third floor of a community center at the church in Lucenec, Slovakia. The center will be used as an outreach for the church.

The 11 people stayed with families from the church and had several opportunities to speak in local churches. The highlight was being able to take communion with the people of the Ruzemberok church. Communion in that culture was taken from a common cup and was real wine. Both were a surprise to all, but what a great way to proclaim our oneness in Christ. The team returned to Grand Rapids on the evening of April 13 with a team of senior high youth waiting at the airport to welcome us home.”

A Mini-Missions Conference for kids K-12 will be held Saturday, June 21, at the Lake View UB church in Camden, Mich. It is being sponsored by the Michindoh Missions Commission. There will be crafts, games, food, and a focus on missions around the world. Kids will be taught a new game called Soccette, which is a combination of soccer and basketball. A missionary invented the game, and he and his family use it to create a bridge to share the gospel in Northern Africa.

There will also be a picnic lunch, plus a variety of activities for kids. The kids will also fill shoeboxes with such things as crayons, coloring books, markers, hand towels, hygiene products, small games and toys, and gospel tracts. These shoeboxes will then be distributed in places like Laurel Mission or to inner city ministries. Actual missionaries will be on hand for the kids to meet.

On Saturday, April 5, 35 children attended an Easter Egg Hunt at Prince Street UB (Shippensburg, Pa.). The children hunted for 600 hidden eggs. The children also viewed a puppet show entitled The Soldier and the Centurion. The Legend of the Easter Egg was read to them, followed by crafts and food.

California Annual Conference was held earlier this month. We have three Hispanic churches with Latin American Ministries in the Los Angeles area. Those three churches are now part of California Conference. The conference took in a total of five new Hispanic churches–the three with LAM, plus two new churches from its own church planting efforts.

Bishop Paul Hirschy reports, “California Conference is trying to develop a structure that gives the English-speaking churches and the Spanish-speaking churches a fair representation in the affairs of the conference. The conference superintendent, Rev. Sam Quinn, recommended appointing an English director and a Spanish director to the conference, which was approved. The English director is Rev. Jim Clayton, and the Spanish director is Rev. Edwin Recinos.”