Familia de Dios, a Latino congregation in Flanders, New York, signed a “partnering agreement” with Mid-Atlantic Conference in January. They are the first congregation to enter into this informal, relationship-building arrangement. Should that relationship be formalized, they will become the first Hispanic congregation in Mid-Atlantic Conference. The conference already includes West African, Jamaican, and Haitian congregations.

GraceNow! Ministries, a church plant of Mid-Atlantic Conference, has united with two non-UB churches for joint worship experiences. Each group will maintain its own identity and ministry focus, but they will worship and work together for strategic ministry in the greater Harrisburg area. GraceNow! has been following the house church model. Both the joint worship service and GraceNow!’s weekly cell meeting take place in Middletown, Pa.

The Ladies Aid of McGuire Bend UB (Dayton, Iowa) reorganized and is meeting monthly. Most have reread the New Testament since January or plan to complete it by March, at three chapters a day. The pastor at McGuire Bend is Kent Kasler, a United Methodist minister who also served four Methodist churches.

Pastor Ron Gonzales of Open Bible Fellowship (Safford, Ariz.) writes, “We held a three-day City Conquest outreach that is part of a ministry we started this year called Master’s Commission. We held five school assemblies for seven student bodies, with a total attendance of about 3000. Then on Wednesday evening, we moved our midweek service to our local junior college and held a rally for the students. The 305-seat auditorium was filled beyond capacity, and over 170 people came forward for the altar call. There were children, students, and even some Mormon families that came forward.

“This team went to Guaymas, Mexico, in November and 188 people were saved. The first two persons saved were prostitutes standing on a dark corner waiting for some business. We stopped, ministered to them for about a half hour, and they both prayed with us. They were crying when we left and hugged us, thanking us for stopping to love them, not use them. The local missionaries are following up with them.”

The congregation anticipates moving into new property in April. It is two buildings with 15,000 square feet. The sanctuary will seat 400-450.

Pleasant Valley UB (Lake Odessa, Mich.) will host a concert by the Huntington College Choir on Sunday, April 27, at 6:00 pm. Come support the students and enjoy an evening of fine music. The church is located on highway M-50 eight miles west of Lake Odessa.

Every February, Prince Street UB (Shippensburg, Pa.) holds a banquet as a money-raiser to help families in need. A Sunday school class pays the expenses–food, decorations, etc. This year’s theme was “Under the Sea.” The fellowship hall was adorned appropriately–lobster traps, fish shells, a giant whale, and a shipwrecked boat built by two members of the class.

Pastor Ed Calhoun provided the entertainment, performing a magic show through which he presented the gospel. This year’s event, held February 1, raised $1,450, which was divided between two families.

Associate pastor Craig Mickey started a men’s ministry. They held Wild Game Nights in January and February, with about 80 men each time. Each man was to prepare his favorite dish from the past hunting season. Non-hunters were encouraged to bring a dessert and help in other ways. In February, a state wildlife conservation officer brought updates on new laws affecting hunters.

Whenever school is canceled for a scheduled holiday, the church holds a Kids’ Day Out. This event was started by Cherie Finkey, chairperson of the Christian Education Commission. Children sign up ahead of time. The church doors open at 7 a.m., with breakfast at 7:30. During the morning, games and activities are held in the fellowship hall. The afternoon usually features a field trip.

Children in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited. The event is a help to working parents, who know the children are enjoying supervised activities in a safe environment with caring people. The day usually ends at 4:30.

In January, 44 people from Calvary UB (Saginaw, Mich.) went on a ski trip in Cadillac. The trip was hosted by the church’s Bible quiz team.

A new outreach ministry brings food and clothing to needy people in the Saginaw area. A local business let them use their parking lot every Saturday to hand out these items.

Ten people from the Idaville, Franklintown, and Salem UB churches in Pennsylvania will go to Honduras February 2-14. They will work on the Mt. Hebron housing project outside of La Ceiba.

On Sunday, January 12, Living Water UB (Clarksburg, W. Va.) celebrated its second anniversary. The guest of honor was Bishop Paul Hirschy, who delivered the morning message. More than 90 people attended the service. A luncheon was provided in the school auditorium where the church worships.

During the morning service, two elementary students were presented with “Ten Verse” certificates as progress markers in their Sunday school’s “100 Verse Challenge.” Living Water averaged 84 in worship attendance in its second year of ministry.

Central Conference is promoting January 26 as a Day of Prayer for Church Planting. Says Superintendent Tom Brodbeck, “We’re seeking the movement of the Lord on the hearts of our healthiest churches to catch a vision for reproducing ministry. We pray that God will launch several churches through this format in the next several years.”