Central Conference is promoting January 26 as a Day of Prayer for Church Planting. Says Superintendent Tom Brodbeck, “We’re seeking the movement of the Lord on the hearts of our healthiest churches to catch a vision for reproducing ministry. We pray that God will launch several churches through this format in the next several years.”

During December, Anchor UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.) encourages its people to buy something for the church. A small Christmas tree in the foyer is adorned with tiny ornaments, each bearing the name of inexpensive, everyday items the church needs–cleaning supplies, lightbulbs, paper plates, colored paper, stapler, etc.–over 100 items in all.

People remove an ornament from the tree, buy the gift, wrap it up, and bring it back to the church. The gifts are then opened the Sunday before Christmas. This year–the third√ëchildren passed out the gifts to adults, who unwrapped the presents. The children then brought them back to the platform.

The LIFE Sunday school class of Prince Street UB (Shippensburg, Pa.) entered a 40-foot float in the city’s Dickens’ Day parade. They won first prize. The same class hosted a Christmas dinner to help a local pregnancy ministry. Several young women and families attended as guests. Persons attending from the church were asked to bring an unwrapped baby gift. The gifts were given to the ministry, to be distributed to mothers.

For Thanksgiving, Tana Hey asked children and adults from Prince Street UB’s Sunday school classes to write down things they were thankful for. She then wove the responses into a hymn using the tune “For the Beauty of the Earth.” This new hymn was included in the morning worship services the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Mt. Hope UB (Carson City, Mich.) just finished studying “Walk as Jesus Walked,” published by Sonlife. Associate Pastor Valerie Reynolds writes:

“This study has changed the way Mt. Hope does its ministry. Instead of being focused on the inside, we are now looking for ways to intentionally make friends and lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“One woman suggested that we make Christmas cookies, put them in a tin, and give them to unchurched people around us. Fifteen women packed the tins, and we delivered 25 tins to homes and 7 tins to area schools and public service agencies. The tins also included a small card in the tin saying, ‘From your friends at Mt. Hope.’

“We also have changed our mission statement to ‘Our mission at Mt. Hope church is to be a Lighthouse community, living a praying, caring, and sharing lifestyle.'”

Tara Roelofs, from Banner of Christ UB (Byron Center, Mich.), left January 8 to spend a year in France with a missionary family as their “nanny.” She will also be involved with Campus Crusade for Christ while there and will do some volunteer work in the local Christian school.

Sara Trovato, also from Banner of Christ left in early January to spend a year in Spain as a college exchange student. She is looking forward to doing “mission work” whenever opportunities arise.