Wes and Jean Bell write about Easter in Brazil. “Here in Brazil, Good Friday is considered a Catholic holiday and is not celebrated in many Protestant circles. Traditional Easter hymns are not sung unless there is strong missionary influence. Some churches are adopting the early morning breakfast, but not a sunrise service. The church we attend did a play along with choreography of two modern music pieces. Chocolate eggs are highly commercialized, but the general atmosphere does not seem nearly as festive as at New Year’s.”

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.

Martin Magnus, a retired minister and former conference superintendent in Ontario, is undergoing major surgery this week to remove a brain tumor. One surgery is occurring this morning (Tuesday). Martin will then undergo an all-day surgery on Thursday, May 8, to remove the tumor. The tumor was discovered after Martin began experiencing little “seizures” that appeared as absent spells; pressure from the growing tumor was the cause. The tumor is not malignant.

Martin’s son Brian (President of the UB Church in Canada, and pastor of the UB church in Guelph), writes, “They’ll do an embolism at the meningal artery that’s feeding this tumor. I believe they’ll do an angiogram beforehand. He’ll wait at the hospital until Thursday, when they’ll begin at 8 a.m. the all-day ‘intercranial surgery’ to remove the tumor. Dad will probably remain in the hospital to recover for about five days….

“The tumor is under the right sideburn, 2 inches in diameter–larger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball. There are many small vessels leading to the tumour. Since it is so vascular it is thought to be a Meningioma. It is growing off the Meninges (brain lining), not the base of the skull.

“Mom and Dad (and all of us) really appreciate your prayers!”

Gary Reed, lay leader at Eden UB (Reedsville, Ohio), is filling the pulpit until a new pastor can be found. Bill Duty, the previous pastor, resigned as of April 13.

Peter Martindale is pastor of Mount Hermon UB (Pomeroy, Ohio) effective May 4.