John Dale Gardner  Combat Devotions“Combat Devotions” is now available to encourage your family or friends who are serving in the military. The author is John Dale Gardner (right), a member of Jerusalem Chapel UB church (Churchville, Va.). Gardner served in the US Marine Corps from 1999-2005. He wrote this inspirational book to encourage others who are going through similar demands and challenges in the military.

“Combat Devotions” is now available through Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Denny Sites, senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel, writes, “We commend you, John Dale, for continuing to serve your country in this manner and for remaining active in your Christian faith and witness of your Savior, Jesus Christ.”

A prayer time after the service was held for the teens and adults who would be attending the Acquire the Fire conference the following weekend.

A prayer time after the service was held for the teens and adults who would be attending the Acquire the Fire conference the following weekend.

Julia Vergon of Anchor presented a beautiful dance to the song "Once Again" during the Easter morning service.

Julia, a teen from Anchor presented a beautiful dance to the song “Once Again” during the Easter morning service.

The sanctuary of Anchor Community Church is not large, but it is packed on most Sundays. So for Easter, something had to give. The church leaders widely decided to hold two services just for that Sunday morning. The usual Easter sunrise service and breakfast were scrapped to make this possible.

It was a good move. The total attendance hit 170 (which may be a Sunday morning record for Anchor), divided evenly between the two services. A highlight of the service was a dance presentation by Julia, a talented young dancer, to the song “Once Again.” Associate pastor Matt Kennedy gave the message; senior pastor Tim Hallman has been on a four-month sabbatical since January 2013.

After the service, people gathered for a prayer time around the teens and adults who would be attending the Acquire the Fire conference the following weekend in Muncie, Ind. This conference has had a major impact on a number of Anchor youth over the years.

Ricky Hull (right), senior pastor, Mt. Hermon UB church (Pomeroy, Ohio)

We started off being challenged by Adam Will in our Sunrise service as he reminded us of the truth of Romans 8:31 that “if God is on our side, who can be against us?” and how God’s awesome power was seen in the resurrection and in our own lives. We then celebrated what God has been doing in our lives over the past year with a PowerPoint slideshow that was set to the worship song “One Thing Remains.” People in our church turned in praises that were put into the slideshow, and we celebrated all that God was accomplishing in our midst.

During our worship service, we continued to celebrate and remember all that God has accomplished for us through the eyes of witnesses to the resurrection. We looked at Mary Magdalene (and the skepticism she initially had), we looked at Thomas (and the doubts he originally had), and we looked at Peter (and the mistakes that he made). We considered how each of us were like them in some way,  how Jesus helped them overcome all those areas, and how he can help us overcome them too, if we are willing to receive it like they did. We had a number of moving musical specials that helped us celebrate the morning as well.

All in all it was a wonderful morning of celebration, where we left feeling both encouraged and excited about what Jesus accomplished on the cross and resurrection, and what he will continue to accomplish in our lives. We had 107 people join us for our morning worship service, which was about 40 people more than we had been averaging.

The Easter drama at Eagle Quest.

The Easter drama at Eagle Quest.

Christine Scroggs (right, with husband Tim), Eagle Quest UB church (Columbia City, Ind.)

God showed up in a mighty way this year at Eagle Quest! We almost doubled our usual attendance of 45, with many visitors.

For the first time in years, our church put on a Easter drama. This was a huge undertaking for our small congregation, requiring many hours of practice, sets, and sound effects. The play was awesomely done, mixing many different ages of people. One of our members, Don Hart, directed youth and adults together to portray the blessing Christ gave us through his sacrifice and resurrection! It was a great message that blessed many, and it was conveyed by great people.

We also had our worship leader, Janessa Janke, do special music. Her beautiful voice graced the service with Nicole C. Mullins’ “My Redeemer Lives.” The service was then capped off with a terrific message titled “Living a Resurrected Life,” delivered by Pastor Tim Scroggs, and ended with communion given individually in the “tomb.”

What a beautiful day. Praise God that we were able to share His message with so many people!

The Findlay Seder service (click to enlarge).

The Findlay Seder service (click to enlarge).

Darwin Dunten (right), senior pastor, Findlay First UB (Findlay, Ohio)

Findlay First UB held a Seder Observance on Maundy Thursday with 60 persons attending. The observance was led by Craig Kupferberg, a Messianic Jew who attends Findlay First.  Craig used videos from “The Prince of Egypt” to correspond with certain aspects of the Seder. A Jewish woman attended the service, and in the middle of the service, she blurted out, “Now I understand!”

On Easter Sunday, over 700 Easter eggs filled with candy were thrown onto the church lawn. Breakfast was held, and the church was packed. Visitors attended as a result of the men canvassing of the neighborhood the week before.

All in all, it was a great Sunday.

Greg Helman celebrates with the final delivery, which gave him a total of 800 points. He needed nine pins, and as you can see, only one is left standing. Greg's wife, Marty, secretly took this photo while hiding behind other team members.

Greg Helman celebrates with the final delivery, which gave him a total of 800 points. He needed nine pins, and as you can see, only one is left standing. Greg’s wife, Marty, secretly took this photo while hiding behind other team members.

Thursday, March 28, was quite a night for Greg Helman (right), senior pastor of Blue Rock UB church (Waynesboro, Pa.). Greg and his wife, Marty, participate in a bowling league. And Greg was on fire. He bowled a perfect game of 300 in the first game. Then he followed with a 266 game and finally a 234 game. That gave him a total of 800 for the series.

Greg wrote, “The picture is of me celebrating after throwing the last ball of my series. I needed 9 pins to reach 800, and that’s what I got leaving only a 10-pin. This was my first 300 game and 800 series since I started bowling at 12 years of age. Each of these accomplishments has earned me a ring from the USBC, which sanctions our league at ABC West in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Needless to say, I was very excited, and my wife, Marty, got the first hug.”

My wife took that picture without me knowing as she hid behind the other team waiting for me to complete my delivery.

Todd Agnew

Todd Agnew

Friday, June 28, will be a special day at the US National Conference. We’ll have workshops in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, everyone will travel down the road to Huntington University, where we’ll have the run of the campus. There will be tours of various buildings. An open house at the UB Historical Center. Inflatable games for kids. A picnic BBQ supper.

And a concluding worship concert with Todd Agnew.

Todd Agnew is a contemporary Christian musician and songwriter from Dallas, Texas. He is best known for writing the song “Grace Like Rain,” a version of the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Agnew has put out seven albums.

Agnew was born in Dallas, Texas, to a Native American mother, but was adopted at birth by a Caucasian couple. In 1999, Agnew began traveling to Memphis to help with a city-wide Bible study for college students and singles. During this time he began writing and introducing songs to the group which would later become songs on the record “Grace Like Rain.” He eventually move to Memphis to help plant a church, which developed through the Bible study into Highpoint Church. After a number of years touring out of Memphis, Agnew was married in 2008 and moved back to Texas. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Jenny, and two children.

We look forward to worshiping under Todd Agnew’s leadership on that Friday night.

Global Ministries is looking for someone to teach elementary school children in a creative access country during the coming school year. If you have teaching experience and/or a TESOL degree, we invite you to join God’s work in this way. This paid teaching position with housing is available for at least one year. If interested, contact Frank Y in Global Ministries.

Francis George, from the Church Emeric Young in Freetown, Sierra Leone, writes: “Easter was very exciting at our church. The good news is that 8 people accepted Christ as their Savior and were baptized on Easter Sunday morning. And a beautiful certificate was issued to each of them, signed and dated by our minister in charge.”