Brandon O’Brien, editor-at-large for Leadership Journal, will present a seminar at the US National Conference based on his book, “The Strategically Small Church. The book shows how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today’s culture.

He explains, “A ‘strategically small’ church is one that has learned to recognize and leverage the inherent strengths of being small. Being strategically small means that instead of trying to overcome your congregation’s size, you have learned to use it to strategic ministry advantage…. I’m hoping that by telling the stories of some truly innovative and effective small churches, other small congregations will stop viewing their size and limited resources as liabilities and begin thinking about them as advantages.”

On April 28 (Thursday), those of you who subscribe to Feedburner received an email saying that Wilmer Houck, pastor of the UB church in Coleta, Ill., would undergo brain surgery on May 4. That was wrong information–right family, wrong person. Actually, it is Juli Houck, Wilmer’s wife, who will have surgery. The error was quickly corrected on UBCentral, but not before the Feedburner emails went out (it’s done automatically). I apologize for the mistake. We do ask your prayers for Juli. — Steve Dennie

Donelle Raab passed away at approximately 7:30 am on Monday, May 2, 2011. She had been in hospice care throughout the weekend, and her condition was declining. We’ll post other details as we learn them. She and her husband, Richard, who passed away in January 2010, served UB churches in Michigan. Donelle held a Specialized Ministry license. You can read previous posts here and here.

Visitation: Thursday, May 5, 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm.
Visitation Location: Stroo Funeral Home, 1095 68th SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.

Funeral: 11 am Friday, May 6. Visitation 10-10:45 am
Funeral Location: Banner of Christ Church, 1111 68th St., Byron Center, MI 49315.

Anita Fleming, from Victory Chapel UB church ni Celina, Ohio, sent this note at 8:15 Monday morning (May 2):

“A tornado ripped through the Celina (Mercer County) area at 11:40 p.m. April 20, 2011. Our pastor, Kenneth Whetstone, lives on a few acres northeast of Celina. The storm took down two huge barns, ripped up all their fruit trees, and did some damage to their house, but praise the Lord, they were not hurt. There has been a massive clean-up going on since then even in the rain. The cluster pastors decided to forego the monthly meeting last Saturday and they came and helped clear debris.”