Jana reported on March 23:

  • “At our Macau Association Annual Meeting last weekend, we voted to move ahead with planting a church on Taipa by naming the center “Living Stone Church.” Our target date for the first worship service is February 26, 2006. It’s so exciting to get to this point in the process! I’ve been blessed by seeing God bring all the pieces together bit by bit.
  • “Three of the women who study in the English Language Program (Cheong, Joanne, and Ah Sihn) have invited me to join them on a trip to England. I’ll be going from April 2-12. Many of you have prayed for these women over the past few years as they’ve attended Bible studies and become close friends. None of them have made decisions to accept Christ yet. Pray that I’ll have a strong life testimony to them as we travel together, and that God will guide our conversations. (We tend to talk non-stop when we’re together.) Also thank God for blessing me with this opportunity. I think I’m spoiled rotten!
  • “Michael Chan is starting on submitting paperwork for registering the church on Taipa. Pray that this process will go smoothly, providing a good administrative base for the future church. Pray for wisdom for Michael in the decisions that come up along the way.”

This summer Randy Fennig will lead a short-term mission trip to Guatemala where the United Brethren Church has a small presence of about seven churches. This will be an opportunity to assist them and help connect them to the global UB church. There are two church building projects that a team may be involved in. Construction skills are helpful but not required. There is a need for 5-8 more people. The trip will take place sometime from mid-July through mid-August for ten days to two weeks. The cost is as yet undetermined but should be between $1000 and $1400. Please contact Randy Fennig at rfennig@woh.rr.com or 937-631-1063 for more information.

Over the Christmas season, First UB of Findlay made 100 Christmas packages for the local inmates at the county jail. Packages containing socks, candy, Bibles, Christmas cards with a stamped envelope (so the prisoners could write their families) were placed in clear Ziploc bags and given to the jail warden to be passed out on Christmas morning.

On February ;13, a prisoner from the county jail showed up in the church’s worship service, wearing his prisoner’s uniform, to personally thank the church for their kindness and thoughtfulness. He was released for a short period of time and placed under the direct supervision of a First United Brethren’s church member who is a barber in the jail. He stated, “During a time of the year when we tend to be forgotten, it was nice to know that you thought of us.”

Pastor Chris Mullett reports that on January 29, Living Water Church in Bridgeport, W. Va., closed on its first piece of property, which consists of two-and-a-half acres with a small metal building on it in Bridgeport. “We are in the process of remodeling the building in the hope of worshiping there Easter Sunday. We are a church of but 50 people, but the Lord is doing wonderful things here. In 2004 we implemented Evangelism Explosion and saw the Lord draw 52 people to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Many were transients, some were inmates, and some were relatives of church members who live in other cities. A few have been able to be assimilated into our church. We are working to strengthen our discipleship ministries.”

A number of significant changes in the denominational structure will be voted on at this summer’s US National Conference. These include proposals to dissolve the current annual conferences so that the whole US is part of one conference, and the move to make the denomination a membership organization in which local churches would sign a covenant to continue participating in the denomination. The details of these proposals are still being worked out by two committees.

Central Conference is planning two regional meetings to inform members of the churches and give them opportunity for input. The locations haven’t been determined yet, but the dates are:

  • Columbus area: Sunday afternoon, May 15, 3:00 pm
  • Huntington area: Sunday afternoon, June 5, 3:00 pm.

Bill Pitts, pastor of the Lancaster UB church (Lancaster, Ohio) has resigned, surrendered his ministerial credentials, and re-connected with his former denomination to start another congregation in Lancaster. A large number of people who were a part of the Lancaster UB church have left and gone with him. The conference is working to provide an interim pastor for the Lancaster Church.

Everett Bleakney was part of a work crew that went to Jamaica in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. They worked on private homes damaged in the hurricane. They constructed a kitchen for one family, repaired and replaced roofing on another home, prepared and poured a foundation on the church extension, and did some interior work on another home. The work crew consisted of Brian Bleakney, James Bleakney, Marrianne Bleakney and Everett Bleakney. Everett is from Ellport chapel UB in Ellwood City, Pa.

The reroofing project at the Daytona Church in Florida is now complete. A total of 30,000 square feet of roofing was replaced on the church buildings. The reroofing project was the result of the damage done by last year’s three hurricanes that impacted the Daytona Beach area. The people of Daytona UB are grateful for everyone who helped on the project.