On Saturday, April 5, 35 children attended an Easter Egg Hunt at Prince Street UB (Shippensburg, Pa.). The children hunted for 600 hidden eggs. The children also viewed a puppet show entitled The Soldier and the Centurion. The Legend of the Easter Egg was read to them, followed by crafts and food.

California Annual Conference was held earlier this month. We have three Hispanic churches with Latin American Ministries in the Los Angeles area. Those three churches are now part of California Conference. The conference took in a total of five new Hispanic churches–the three with LAM, plus two new churches from its own church planting efforts.

Bishop Paul Hirschy reports, “California Conference is trying to develop a structure that gives the English-speaking churches and the Spanish-speaking churches a fair representation in the affairs of the conference. The conference superintendent, Rev. Sam Quinn, recommended appointing an English director and a Spanish director to the conference, which was approved. The English director is Rev. Jim Clayton, and the Spanish director is Rev. Edwin Recinos.”

Central Conference Superintendent Tom Brodbeck provides this update on the new Hispanic church plant in Columbus.

“The church has 56 different people who are active in the ministry, averaging around 40. Pastor Volfi Valenzuela reports that 13 people have been saved and five others have rededicated their lives. The need continues for Hispanic Bibles and other Spanish literature. The church will be participating in a Columbus, Ohio, Latin festival June 20-21. Over 300,000 people attend this event each year. The church continues to worship on Sunday afternoons at the Columbus First UB church facility.”

At Pleasant Hill UB (Greencastle, Pa.), the junior church and Good News Club decided to support Child Evangelism Fellowship as their mission project for September through December. Each week the Good News children were encouraged to support the project through their offerings. The junior church and Sunday school children received donations for memorizing Bible verses.

The children turned in their money at the end of November. It came to $757. A check for that amount was presented, on Mission Sunday in December, to Lois Anderson of CEF.

Good Shepherd UB (Huntington, Ind.) has a new missions team under the direction of Matt and Eva Webb. All seven of them attended the Perspectives class held at Huntington College this winter, and they have developed a great vision for getting the church more missions-oriented. A team will to go Haiti this spring, and another will go to our Laurel Mission in Kentucky in July. The new team includes one college student and two high school students.

One of Good Shepherd’s worship teams will hold a praise and worship concert the evening of March 2. A photo and poster were put up all over the community, inviting people to come. Proceeds will help with building improvements.

The church renovated the stage and sound booth areas of the sanctuary. One parishioner, who was laid off from his construction work this winter, did the work. The congregation gave his family a “pounding” in appreciation, and bought him a nailgun as a thank-you for his month of hard work.

Atlantic Avenue UB (Franklin, Pa.) holds a breakfast every Sunday between services, with people actually cooking three out of the four Sundays per months. Nancy Robison writes, “We started cooking for 60 people and now we cook for over 200! That’s a lot of eggs! We have guys who set up tables and make toast and even help with the clean up. A Sunday school class cleans up the kitchen so the cooks can attend the second service.

The breakfasts are free. The menu includes eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, bagels, donuts, juices, and chocolate milk. “This has become an evangelistic tool. Some children have told us that our breakfast is the only good one they get all week! Nothing is better than getting a hug from a child and see them eat a good breakfast, and having them get powdered sugar all over you! A couple of times we have gone to service with our aprons on, but I don’t think God cares!”

Pastor Brad Riddle conducts evangelism classes twice a week for anyone interested. Members of the new Evangelism Team must attend the class. The team has washed all of the windows on both sides of Liberty Street in the town of Franklin. Pastor Riddle was teaching fifth grade in Franklin when God called him into the ministry less than two years ago. He is also taking courses at Huntington College.

Atlantic Avenue’s Christmas dinner theater was full all three nights. It was free to the public. The church performed the play “What Would You Do?”, written by their own Carole Rugh. The first night, the coat rack bent in half from the weight of all the coats.

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.