Tom Julien Presented With The CE National Wall of Honor Award

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The highest award bestowed upon an individual by CE National is inclusion in its Wall of Honor. CE National is pleased to announce Tom Julien as the recipient of the 2014 Wall of Honor award.

Presented at the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church last Sunday (Aug 24), Julien was recognized before that congregation as a man who has lived his life ON MISSION.  TK, director of church relations, presented the award and shared this video.

Ed Lewis wrote the following that was shared that morning with Tom, his family, and the church body:

“Tom is one of the most godly men I know.  He loves the Lord and the local church. He has demonstrated his love for God by giving his life to international missionary service and then returning to the United States to develop leadership in the local church.

He is gracious, professional, loving, and wise…and this love for the local church is contagious.  He is a major influencer in setting positive direction in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.

“We are so pleased to present to him CE National’s highest award—the Wall of Honor—for his commitment to leadership development and his heart for the local church.”

On behalf of the entire CE National staff, and its board of directors, congratulations, Tom! Thank you for living your life to the glory of God and for continuing to live ON MISSION for Him.

40 Days Devotionals From CE National

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2014_8_22_40DaysIf it takes forty days to form a habit, then here is a habit worth investing in for 40 days. These personal growth journals (devotionals) give practical Bible truths on self growth that helps you read, observe, apply, respond, reflect and pray. Can be used as a group exercise or an individual devotional. Includes excellent suggestions for sharing your faith with unsaved friends. Find out more and order…

Are You Impacting One Person for Christ?

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2014_8_22_oneONE is about every believer impacting one person for Christ. Each believer should be focusing on developing a relationship with one person, reaching that person, teaching that person, and releasing that person to multiply his/her efforts into the lives of others by making disciples.

Hear Ed Lewis talk more about ONE, find resources to help, read testimonies, and let CE National know about your commitment to join the initiative on the ONE website at one.cenational.org.

Studies in Urban Ministries Major Starts This Fall

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StudiesinUrbanMinistriesCE National has joined with Grace College to train college students in urban ministry. The new major prepares students for effective ministry in an urbanized world. The majority of the world now lives in the city and there is an increasing need for workers to be trained to effectively lead ministries and social agencies in urban areas. The capstone of the Urban Ministry Studies program is a nine month field experience the Urban Hope Training Center in inner-city Philadelphia. The field experiences provide students with real-world classroom experience as the cities of the Northeast become the “classroom” for these nine months.

Find out specifics (PDF) about the program.

And The School Year Has begun!

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Students enjoy the food during The National Institute kick-off dinner.

Students enjoy the food during The National Institute kick-off dinner.

At the beginning of each fall semester, The National Institute, the youth ministry major of Grace College, starts with a kick-off dinner for all involved in the program.  Returning students, incoming freshmen, and transfers all have  dinner together to get to know one another and enjoy some good food! Last evening, the president of Grace College, Dr. Bill Katip, and his wife Debbie, joined in on the festivities.

The largest group ever is enrolled to take the introductory youth ministry course called Foundations and Philosophy of Youth Ministry. Joining TK (Timothy Kurtaneck, director of TNI) for the next eight weeks are 39 students. These students will participate in lectures, group assignments, group presentations and the opportunity to visit various church ministries. In the second eight weeks of the semester, 50 are enrolled to take the course Evangelism and Discipleship.

We thank God for the opportunity to teach and coach those who will serve the next generation in the name of Jesus!

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TK talks to the group.picture2
Dr. Bill Katip, and his wife Debbie (left) enjoy eating with students.

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Students get to know each other during dinner.
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In Remembrance: Christianna Ringler

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2014_8_22_christiannaOn August 15, 2014, Christianna “Christi” Ringler passed away as a result of a tragic car accident. Christi had attended Momentum 2014 and since then, people had seen marked changes in her. Attending with Ashland Grace Brethen Church from Ashland, OH, Christi was one of the group’s students who stood to make a decision for Christ while at Momentum.

In a letter to our Momentum staff, an Ashland GBC staff member wrote that after Momentum, “she (Christi) began making serious changes in her life (who she was hanging out with, music she would listen to, the words she would use, her time commitments, etc.) She was making stands for Christ and taking all kinds of persecution for it. She wanted to be a student leader in our youth group, and became very close with our students over the last couple of months.”

According to Ashland GBC staff, “God used Momentum to convict and radically change her life. She was making stands for Christ, and sharing Him with her friends and family any chance she could get. All she wanted was for her friends to know Jesus and have eternal life. Through this accident, and her tragic death, all of her friends have and will continue to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a youth staff we spent many long hours at the hospital, the family’s home, and in prayer and counseling times with students. Many of her friends came to our church youth service this past Sunday, including the driver of the car. We are hurting badly, and so sad to lose her, but her testimony remains as this (according to one of her peers):

“During our final conversation, she shared with me that she had recently went to a youth conference called “Momentum” and that it had completely changed her life. She explained that she was truly letting God take control of her life, and that she could feel the Holy Spirit giving her guidance and direction. She said that she hoped to go into the military. When we finally said goodbye, I don’t think she knew it then, and I wish more than anything that she did, but her kind, encouraging words, her passion for Christ, and her excitement for the future left me completely moved and amazed by her. God knew in that moment when I ran out to stop her, that it would be our final conversation. But little did I know that just two short weeks later, my sweet friend would go home to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While my heart aches and is completely and utterly broken by this horrible tragedy, I will forever be thankful for that last conversation, the deep care and compassion she shared with others, our close friendship, as well as the beautiful memories she left me with. And though I struggle to make sense of this, I find great joy in knowing that she is now in the arms of God, singing with the angels in heaven, and that on one glorious day, we will meet again. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4”

May Christianna’s sudden passing be a reminder to us that we are not promised tomorrow, this week, or another year. As this is the second year in a row that a Momentum student has passed away following conference, it is always a stark wake-up call to think that some of us won’t be here come the next Momentum. The Bible says that our life is like a vapor – here today and gone tomorrow. Please pray with the Momentum staff that through this tragic accident, many will hear the good news of the Gospel and will find the hope and peace that only the Gospel can bring. Please also pray with us for the family and friends who are so deeply affected by this event. We are celebrating that Christianna is with Jesus and that her life and death are bringing glory to Him.

Elizabeth Shirk Named 2014 Olszewski Award Recipient

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CE National is pleased to announce the 2014 Olszewski Award recipient is Elizabeth Shirk, daughter of John and Amy Shirk, from Chicago, Illinois.

2014_8_15_elizabethWalter and Pearl Olszewski were servants. Mr. and Mrs. O were daily volunteers at CE National doing anything that needed done to help others with their work. At the time of their home-going, their family established a fund to encourage this “putting others first” mentality by establishing an annual award to the Operation Barnabas student who most exemplifies a lifestyle of servanthood.

CE National is pleased to announce the 2014 Olszewski Award recipient is Elizabeth Shirk (pictured on OB), daughter of John and Amy Shirk, from Chicago, Illinois. Along with this recognition, Elizabeth receives $100 for ministry opportunities.

Elizabeth’s OB administrative leader, Amy Kendrick, says, “Elizabeth was a great example of what it means to have a servant’s heart. Anytime I needed to find Elizabeth this summer, I could always find her taking out the trash, doing dishes, picking up trash, or helping her team out in some way. She is a great example of what it looks like to serve like Jesus!”

Congratulations, Elizabeth, and thank you for modeling what it means to serve Christ and others!

Bible Quizzing Improves and Changes Lives

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2014_8_15_quizzingMike Tabor, lead pastor of The Happy Church in Jackson, Kentucky, along with his wife, Connie, have been involved with Bible Quizzing for around 20 years. They have seen the lives of students changed because the students put time and effort into memorizing God’s Word. Here Mike talks about the structure of the team and the spiritual impact it has.

“Our team is focused on improving a culture through Christ. Being in the most impoverished region in the U.S., we see the hopelessness and despair written in the faces of teenagers and young adults. As a result of upbringing, socioeconomic status, and the absence of Christ in many homes, this group considers themselves incapable of obtaining the ‘American Dream,’ and ever succeeding in college, career, or life.

“Bible quizzing shows all age groups that they are capable, that God’s definition of success is the only one that matters, and that with Christ all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).

“Our BQ program is focused not only on instilling the concepts of hard work, but also those of delayed gratification through rewards. Being a Bible quizzer requires dedication and hard work, but the outcome is well worth the time. We reward our students with special benefits. One benefit allows a quizzer to earn “Happy Cash” for each verse memorized. Once a month we set up our Hidden Treasures Thrift Store for Happy Cash day. The quizzer with the most Happy Cash goes first. When a quizzer earns the right to go to a quizzing event, we have a special reward involving Jump Zone, Ice Skating, etc.

“God is using BQ in mighty ways! We have seen more/higher academic achievements, an increase in self-determination and self-esteem, and more importantly, increased reliance on Christ. As these students learn more about the Bible and Christ, they get excited and want to spread that information to not only church staff, but also unsaved family and friends. A long-time Bible quizzer has told our team that she does a lot of counseling and witnessing in college because she is able to bring up Scripture she has memorized in times past that correctly addresses or helps the situation. Her friends call her a walking Bible. Praise God!

“The concept of delayed gratification for the faithful is fully realized when we receive the fullness of God’s promises in scripture, through Christ, in heaven.

“Bible Quizzing improves and changes lives.”

If you would like to find out more about Bible quizzing, visit cenational.org/quizinfo.

Antioch School–Training Leaders

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antiochGain biblical knowledge, character, and ministry skills through the Antioch School.

The Antioch School allows development for emerging and established leaders in the context of their own churches and within their own church networks. Programs focus on character, ministry skills, and biblical knowledge through a curriculum based on doing biblical theology in culture. This is an innovative, degree-granting school, with a truly church-based, theological education. You may also contact Steve Galegor, Jr. at sgalegor@gmail.com as he is providing support for the Antioch School within the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.

So Thankful and Grateful For God’s Grace – Logan Conley

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Logan (far right) with the group ministering in Washington D.C.

Logan (far right) with the group ministering in Washington D.C.

Logan Conley is an associate staff member at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

“If you would have asked me one year ago if I thought God would provide full support for me to be a missionary in the States, I would have said no way! I am so thankful and grateful for God’s grace and mercy even when I fail to trust Him at times…” Read more from Logan on his blog.

Knute Larson’s ABF Book Available at CE National

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knuteLarsonWe have all heard the phrase, “a church within a church” and know that even in small churches there are smaller groups of people that care for each other and hold each other accountable. These are often randomly formed groups and often grow out of similar circumstances in life.

The idea of an Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) is born from the concept that there needs to be smaller groups within a church that do the “one another” things that Scripture talks about. The groups where more intimate conversations happen and more in-depth prayer requests are shared. It is where the heart of the church lies when it comes to building up each other, bearing one another’s burdens, and rejoicing together.

Pastor Knute Larson has addressed the “whys” and the “hows” of Adult Bible Fellowships in his book, The ABF Book, Effective Adult Sunday School Classes for Growing Churches. In this book Knute gives a structure that allows members to take ownership of the class. This structure builds leadership and gives opportunities for people to use their spiritual and natural gifts. He provides descriptions for the “jobs” in each class.

Having been involved in a church for a long time (pastor for over 25 years in Akron, Ohio), Knute knows the value of this type of structure within a church. He has also heard many of the questions that come from the establishment of this type of class and has given attention to those frequently asked questions in the book.

If you are looking for a way to stir up the “one anothering” in your church, you might want to look at this easy-read book and get an idea of how ABFs might help. The ABF Book is available through CE National by calling 574.267.6622. The cost is $5 plus shipping. You may want to get a few so that you can share them with key elders and/or Sunday school teachers/leaders.

Knute Larson is a graduate of both Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary. He received his D. Min. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Since his retirement from The Chapel he has been coaching churches and pastors. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Grace Theological Seminary, Trinity, and Moody. He has written five books and before going to The Chapel he pastored at the Ashland Grace Brethren Church for 15 years. He is married to Jeanine and they have two grown and married daughters and three grandchildren. Read more from Knute at knutelarson.wordpress.com

Heartfelt Thanks – Dr. Dave Guiles, Encompass World Partners

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2014_8_15_offeringStudents and adults at Momentum Youth Conference gave sacrificially to help others in need. Part of the offering went to help our brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic. Here, Dr. Dave Guiles, executive director of Encompass World Partners, gives his thanks.

“The suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic goes beyond our ability to describe and even empathize. Yet we are able to pray and to send material support. The sacrificial gifts from youth and adults from Momentum Youth Conference will be a great physical blessing, and we trust that these folks will also continue to pray, resulting in great spiritual blessing. Please communicate our heartfelt thanks to them!”

CE National Honors Eric Lane for Reaching Neglected People

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2014_8_15_ericEric Lane (pictured) is the executive director of Fellowship Missions located in Warsaw, Indiana. Eric has been the one who has been overseeing the drive to provide assistance to homeless and needy individuals in the community. In the past year, Eric has spearheaded the efforts to purchase and completely remodel a facility for assisting these needy adults and children in the greater Kosciusko Count area. Eric also has served for the last 2 years as a part of the ON MISSION planning team working to provide ministry and outreach opportunities for the students at the Momentum Youth Conference.

Eric is married to Tammy and they have two children, Brayden and Brooke.

TK, Church Relations director at CE National says, “Eric is a servant. He loves and cares for people. He is hardworking, joyful, kind and a great example of what it means to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus. We are blessed in our local community by his work with those whom many forget and CE National is blessed by his diligence in helping develop and coordinate the ministry opportunities for over 2000 people at Momentum each summer.”