Rick and Ann Runyan and family are investigating whether God is calling them to fulltime mission service. They are now in Honduras and will be there for the entire month of February, spending time with US work teams and getting acquainted with ministry in Honduras Conference. The Runyans are from the Idaville UB church (Idaville, Pa.), and their pastor is Dirk Small. Please pray for them this month as they take this step of faith.

During its mid-year meeting on January 31, Michigan Conference chose Rev. Roger Burk as the new fulltime superintendent. Roger is currently pastor of Mount Hope UB in Carson City, Mich. He will take office August 1, replacing Rev. David Burkett.

Many UB churches are planning evangelistic efforts around Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” which opens February 25. For instance, NorthPointe UB in the Columbus, Ohio, area is renting out an entire theater. They are buying screen advertising that will run 14 weeks, and will do a mailing to 7000 homes in their zip code, plus to all new residents in the country during the past year.

At the beginning of the year, Darlene Burkett began serving fulltime as Administrative Assistant in Global Ministries. When you call Global Ministries with questions or requests, there’s a good chance you’ll talk to Darlene. Darlene actually started working part-time in the department during the fall. Darlene and her husband, Phil, are one of the two founding couples of the Macau mission work. Phil now serves as Minister of Music and Missions at College Park UB in Huntington.

As of February 1, Sherry Rupert is the new Executive Secretary to Bishop Paul Hirschy. She is from College Park UB in Huntington, Ind. Sherry replaces Susan Hoopingarner, who served in that role for six years. On February 1, Susan started a new job on the staff of Youth for Christ in Fort Wayne, Ind. We wish her well in that role.

A number of information meetings have been held about the proposed joining of the United Brethren church with the Missionary Church. Some have been held in local churches, some in regional settings. Michigan’s Mid-Year Conference, which met January 31, spent considerable time discussing the idea, mostly in a question-and-answer format. Three representatives from the Missionary Church’s Michigan District were on hand for that event.

Here are some upcoming meetings currently on the schedule:

  • Feb 6-7: Southeast Annual Conference, Daytona UB, Holly Hill, Fla.
  • Feb 16: Arizona Annual Conference, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
  • Feb 17: Midwest Conference meeting at Southwest Community UB, Wichita, Kans. (6 pm).
  • Feb 17: Midwest Conference meeting at Leavenworth UB, Leavenworth, Kans. (6 pm).
  • Feb 20-21: Mid-Atlantic meeting in Chambersburg, Pa.
  • Feb 22: Jerusalem Chapel UB, Churchville, Va.
  • Feb 22: Fort Wayne Muncie Districts of Central Conference, College Park UB, Huntington, Ind. (7 pm).
  • Feb 28: Sandusky Conference Leadership Day, Richfield, Ohio.
  • Feb 29: Lake View UB, Camden, Mich. (5:30 pm).
  • Mar 6:Rock River Church Extension District, Manlius, Ill.
  • Mar 7: Van Wert District of Central Conference, New Horizons UB, Rockford, Ohio.
  • Mar 14: Hopewell UB, Auburn, Ind. (6:30 pm).

A UB work group from Canada traveled to Haiti on January 30, and will be there until February 10. There was initially a great deal of concern, because both the United States and Canadian governments had travel advisories out for Haiti. In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of unrest in Haiti. However, the group decided to go, and thus far, they have not had any troubles. You can be in prayer for them,though. They are working with construction, medical, children’s, and medical ministries.

Karis Vong, pastor of Living Water Church, is due with her first baby on February 26. Please pray for a safe delivery and for a smooth transition to parenthood for her and her husband, Lawrence. Pray also for the church members of Living Water as they take more leadership during this time.

Pastor H.M. Lee, who heads up the UB work in Thailand, organized a special Christmas celebration gathering and invited many non-Christians to lunch and games. An evangelistic gathering was held in the evening and it was attended by 500 people.

Here are several items from Hong Kong Conference:

  • Arek and Donna Delik, UB missionaries serving in Poland, are currently in Hong Kong for a month. They arrived January 21, and will return to Poland on February 16. Donna is originally from Hong Kong. While there, they will share their mission work in several Hong Kong UB churches.
  • Ms M.F. Ngai, a member of St. Luke’s UB church in Hong Kong, has been accepted by the conference missions committee as a missionary to Macau. Pray that God will help her raise the required expenses and financial support.
  • Bridget Ho, an endorsed UB missionary from Hong Kong Conference, began serving in Sri Lanka last year. She has now transferred to Nepal, and is still working with Operation Mobilization. Please pray for her adaptation as she is moving from a hot country to a cold one.

Saddleback Community Church offers the “40 Days of Purpose” program for $750. However, you can get it for $500 by ordering through the United Brethren denomination. However, registration at this rate ends January 19.

The PurposeDriven website has much information about 40 Days of Purpose. Here is an excerpt: “Over 8,000 churches from all 50 states and 19 countries have now participated in 40 Days of Purpose. Many of these churches have reported that it was the most transforming event in their congregation’s history. Hundreds of pastors have written or called saying, “Our church will never be the same” and ‘This is the greatest thing that has ever happened in our church.’ One pastor wrote, ‘I’ve seen more growth in our members and our church in 40 days than in the previous 13 years.’

“Through 40 Days of Purpose, thousands of people have come to Christ, been baptized, welcomed into membership, connected to a small group or Sunday School class for fellowship, taught the meaning of real worship, equipped for personal ministry, and commissioned to fulfill their mission in the world.”
January 13, 2004