Bridget Ho, a UB endorsed missionary, is serving in Myanmar. Hong Kong Conference reports, “She is teaching English in Myanmar and visiting the orphans. She will perform in a drama and lead hymn-singing. She will also be responsible for the music part in the English class party. She will return to HK in later January to report on her mission work.” Bridge previously served short-term with Operation Mobilization in Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Harvest Community UB church (Toledo, Ohio) merged with another congregation in August, and in October the name was changed to NorthPoint Church to be reflective of the new congregation.

Pastor Brad Wotring writes, “Currently our church is running about 450 people in our two Sunday morning services. That is up from the 30-40 attenders when I came here three years ago. We now have 4 fulltime pastors on staff, 16 small groups up and running, about 60 kids in children’s ministry, and 75 junior and senior high kids in student ministry.

“In November we hosted our third annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Concert where we feed over 600 people from our church and their family and friends for free. During our most recent outreach, in December, we gave away over 200 Christmas trees to people in the community.”

Oak Harbor UB (Oak Harbor, Ohio) has taken steps to relocate. Pastor Randy Carpenter reports, “We are in the process of working with an architect and are attempting to find land to buy. The current building has been outgrown, even with the addition of multiple services.”

West Windsor UB (Dimondale, Mich.) paid off its mortgage. The church averages about 60 people in attendance. With extra offerings and collections, they paid more than $13,000 in one year.

Carlson Becker, pastor of Northland UB church (Traverse City, Mich.), reports, “Northland Church is taking an 11-person work team to El Tablon, Ecuador, near Quito. We will help build a church for the congregation to use. The church was started by Ruth and Doug Weber and now has a national serving as pastor. Naomi and I visited the church a year ago last summer. The team is made up of Northland members and Ron Beaver from Huntington, Ind.

“We leave on February 12 and return on February 26. College Park UB in Huntington is sending a team to finish the building next summer. We will start it and get as far as we can in February.”

Northland UB is seeking a pastor. Carlson has been serving as interim pastor since last July.

Giving toward denominational finances was very good in 2004. We received 96.8% of the general benevolence needs. Bishop Hirschy notes, “In light of the financial pressures created by rising insurance costs and the uncertainty surrounding the discussion about the Missionary Church, I view 96.8% as a very positive show of support from the local churches and the annual conferences for the US National Conference benevolence. I certainly want to express my thanks.”

Michigan Mid-Year Council convenes on January 29 at the Colwood UB church in Caro. The keynote speaker will be Dwight Smith, president of Saturation Church Planting International and co-author of Invading Secular Space. He will challenge the conference on their church planting vision.

  • Jenna Zirbel is the new pastor of McGuire Bend UB church in Dayton, Iowa.
  • Michigan Conference has stationed Scott Hardaway at the Gethsemane UB church in Jackson, starting in February. He previously served as associate pastor of the UB church in Hillsdale, Mich.

As of the end of December, we had received $85,951 for the three hurricane relief funds.

  • $38,397 for Florida.
  • $34,284 for Jamaica.
  • $13, 269 for Haiti.

Persons who want to contribute toward tsunami relief are encouraged to give through World Relief, the relief organization of the National Association of Evangelicals. Or, people can designate money for relief work by our couple in India, who have been helping some victims of the tsunami.