Putting together encouragement packs for the homeless
“Exercising My Faith,” the Day Away–North of 55 held at Northwest Chapel Grace Brethren Church in Dublin, Ohio, began with a beehive buzz of greetings and conversations as 50 participants used the first half hour for refreshments, reunions, and new acquaintances. Read more and see pictures…
The Friday, October 16, 2015, morning started with a beautiful sunrise, and the sunshine radiated throughout the day as Ed Lewis, Kip Shults, Knute Larson and “Magic Mike” Cantanzarito led a theme of active faith and faithfulness – the strong foundation for being and staying ON MISSION throughout life.
Ed Lewis started with an enthusiastic welcome and some humorous stories before he took the piano to accompany a hymn sing led by Randy Maxson, who also provided the background stories of faith from the lives of the hymn writers.
The first morning session wrapped up with Ed giving testimony about the ongoing Urban Hope work in Philadelphia before trumpeter Kip Shults played stirring renditions of “Be Thou My Vision” “Near to the Heart of God/Children of the Heavenly Father.” Kip’s personal testimony of discovering and working through cancer and treatment concluded with a dynamic arrangement of “Jesus Paid It All.”
The second session began with a series of choruses, with Ed at the piano, and flowed into the morning teaching segment by Knute Larson, who spoke on “The God Who is Far Away” – a look at “the Transcendence and Omnipresence of God.” Taking the Apostle Paul’s core message at Mars Hill, Knute examined truths about our Creator who is both above us (transcendent) and near us (omnipresent), and who calls us to faith and life in Christ.
A delightful box lunch fueled the participants for their afternoon and some group singing, additional trumpet ministry from Kip Shults, and a hilarious and mystifying program by “Magic Mike” Cantanzarito. “Magic Mike” involved many members of the audience in the fun and amazement of illusions, sleight-of-hand routines, and mesmerizing comedy sketches.
A quick break and another favorite hymn reset the afternoon teaching time with Knute Larson and the theme, “The God Who is Near.” Knute focused attention on 2 Timothy 2:8 in which Paul called his son in the faith to “Remember Jesus Christ.” Knute underscored the realities of Jesus Christ as the God-Man: fully God and fully Man. “This is our Gospel,” Pastor Larson reminded us, “and it is very, very, very good. It is Good News because it deals with all the bad news.”
As a final activity to the Day Away, the participants gathered in smaller groups to package special gift bags for the homeless near Urban Hope and to pray for God to touch the life of the homeless person who might receive the gift bag. Each bag held personal care items and a New Testament in which words of encouragement and marked verses could speak to an aching heart that often asks if anyone ever cares.
“Exercising My Faith” at Dublin, Ohio, answered with a resounding, “Yes, we care, and we are ON MISSION to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ed Lewis and Knute Larson greet people as they come.
Playing a get-to-know-you game at the beginning
Part of the crowd that gathered
Randy Maxson led singing
Kip Shults played trumpet
Illusionist Mike Catanzarito entertained
Knute Larson spoke from the Word.
See more pictures on the CE National Facebook page.