Urban Hope’s Fall Fest is Tomorrow (October 31)

Posted in: Featured

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Urban Hope
‘s Fall Fest is a cultivating event where people are trained to be friendly and invite visitors to church. There are a number time when testimonies are given. Salt & Light, Urban Hope’s kid’s outreach group, will be performing a puppet show, video testimonies will be running through the day, and gospel tracks and invites to a free lunch after church on Sunday will be handed out.

The service on Sunday will feature topics on spiritual warfare and it will focus especially on Santaria which is prevalent in the community around the church. Santaria is a type of ancestral worship where animals are sacrificed.

Pray for the members of the Urban Hope church as they introduce Jesus to the Kensington community through this fall festival.

Western Pennsylvania Area Day Away Coming November 20

Posted in: Featured

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Pastor Dan Allen is the main speaker at the Western Pennsylvania Day Away at the Leamersville Community Center, 14 Brethren Lane, Duncansville, Pennsylvania. Tina Walter and a male quartet will share in song and Holly Allen, a cancer survivor, will give her testimony.
Magic Mike Cantanzarito will entertain with magic. There will also be a hands-on project to put together packets for homeless people in Philadelphia.

CE National respects those who are “north of 55” and encourages them to continue in ministry long into their retirement years. The North of 55 ministry exists to initiate and stimulate Bible-centered, mature adult ministries in the local church. CE National endorses local, day-long conferences called Day Away-North of 55.

Find out more about this Day Away and others by visiting cenational.org/dayaway.

Dedication of Urban Hope’s Balmer Building

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urbanHopeGrace College and CE National are partnering together to present a nine-month inter-cultural field experience internship, based in urban Philadelphia. Real world, every day ministry becomes the classroom as students journey through various cities throughout the northeast region during the program.

For the past several months, a building adjacent to Urban Hope has been purchased and renovated to house students during their stay at Urban Hope.
On November 15th, the building will be dedicated and named the Balmer Building in honor of Ken and Ruth Balmer. The Balmers love the Lord and are long-time supporters of Urban Hope and CE National. Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College and Seminary, will be one of the guest speakers during the ceremony.

Over 200 Meals Given so Far for the Urban Hope Thanksgiving Dinners

Posted in: Featured

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In the Kensington section of inner-city Philadelphia live people who do not have the means to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. While the greatest need is spiritual, we also believe that Jesus cares for the physical needs of people. Through your support we are able to provide 300 meals to families who need help this holiday season. Because of your generosity, families can pay $5 for their entire meal so that we can give them a “hand-up” and not simply a “hand-out.” Through this outreach, a few jobs are also provided for people in the local church and community who are currently unemployed.

By giving a gift of $50 per family or $10 per individual, you are not only providing a great Thanksgiving dinner, you are also providing employment for people who desperately need the extra help as well as providing each family the opportunity to hear the gospel.

If you want to give or just want more information, visit cenational.org/thanksgivingmeals.

Pastorpedia Live With Dr. Jeff Arthurs

Posted in: Featured

Dr. Jeff Arthurs

Dr. Jeff Arthurs

The next Pastorpedia Live will be November 4 and features Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs, professor of preaching and communication at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Arthurs will be speaking on creativity and freshness in preaching.

This Monday at noon (November 2) registrations will close. Visit mypastorpedia.com to find out more and to register.

Orange Letter Campaign–Encourage Families of the Martyred

Posted in: Featured

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On February 15, 2015, ISIS released a video of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits being martyred on a Libyan beach. Christians started wearing the color orange as a sign of solidarity with brothers and sisters experiencing persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere. This is a wonderful way to raise awareness, but there are many who still want to do more.

It is from that desire that American Family Association, EngageMagazine.net, and E3 Partners have come together to offer Christians across the world an opportunity to bless the families whose tragedy was made viral. Read how on the American Family Association Website.

What is ONE?

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One bracelets only $5 each. includes shipping. Call CE National at 574.267.6622 to order.

ONE is about every Christian impacting one person for Christ. Each believer should be focusing on developing a relationship with one person by:

  • praying for them daily.
  • making contact through text, phone, email, etc. weekly.
  • meeting together at least once a month.

The idea is to spend a year reaching, teaching, and releasing your one person to multiply his/her efforts into the lives of others. Read more…

Shari Jones Receives Impacting the Rising Generation Award

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Donna Yost, CE National board member, presents Shari with the award

Donna Yost, CE National board member, presents Shari with the award

CE National has honored Shari Jones, director of children’s ministry at Grace Church of Greater Akron, Norton, Ohio, with the Impacting the Rising Generation Award. One visit to the children’s ministry at Grace church and you will see that God is using Shari and her staff in the lives of children and their families!

Exercising My Faith at the Dublin Day Away

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Putting together encouragement packs for the homeless

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.”

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Ed Lewis and Knute Larson greet people as they come.

 

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Playing a get-to-know-you game at the beginning

 

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Part of the crowd that gathered

 

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Randy Maxson led singing

 

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Kip Shults played trumpet

 

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Illusionist Mike Catanzarito entertained

 

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Knute Larson spoke from the Word.

 

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Enjoying singing

See more pictures on the CE National Facebook page.

Resources in the CE National Lending Library

Posted in: Featured

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All the Places to Go… How Will You Know? by John Ortberg
God has placed before you an open door. What will you do?

In All the Places to Go… How Will You Know?, bestselling author John Ortberg opens our eyes to the countless doors God places before us every day, teaches us how to recognize them, and gives us the encouragement to step out in faith and embrace all of the extraordinary opportunities that await.

Faith is Not a Feeling: Choosing to Take God at His Word by Ney Bailey

God’s Word is truer than anything you feel. God’s Word is truer than anything you experience. God’s Word is truer than any circumstances you’ll ever face. This book has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to choose to believe God’s promises over their own personal feelings. Now you, too, can discover the secret that will allow you to face painful experiences with a measure of objectivity, use your feelings to take you to God, and experience true peace in the midst of failure and trials. Best of all, you will learn how to obediently and confidently take God at His word as you never have before.

Happiness by Randy Alcorn

Think God doesn’t want you to be happy? Think again. While Christians shouldn’t deny or ignore suffering, we should be so energized by contagious joy and radiate such inner happiness, peace, and contentment that others are attracted to what we have in Christ.

Visit cenational.org/library to check out these and other resources.

Jeff Bogue’s Pastorpedia Live Videos Now Online

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Jeff Bogue speaking during Pastorpedia Live

Jeff Bogue speaking during Pastorpedia Live

Dr. Jeff Bogue, senior pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, spoke during the April 15 Pastorpedia Live. Jeff’s passion for the local church came through as he talked with the pastors and lay leaders in attendance about how to develop and communicate a proper vision to their congregation.

Watch videos of his sessions here.

Churches from Altoona and Leamersville, Pennsylvania, Visit Urban Hope

Posted in: Featured

Hailey Welsh shares her Urban Hope testimony

Hailey Welsh shares her Urban Hope testimony

Grace Brethren Churches in Altoona and Leamersville, Pennsylvania, recently sent 21 individuals to the Urban Hope Training Center. The ages of the team members ranged from middle school through adult. Despite their age differences and backgrounds, the group learned much about working together as a team. They loved reaching out to the homeless people in Center City and doing a kids’ park program in South Philadelphia at Mifflin Park.

Here are some written testimonies from the group:

Brad Dobson: “I need to pray for people continually when I’m with them and to talk to anyone who walks in my path.”

Cindy Eicher: “I need to get out of my comfort zone and have the desire to relate to others. I need to be happy and willing to serve and to help meet peoples’ needs.”

Rebecca Dobson: “I learned that people are more willing to hear what you have to say about Christ. I have more strength in the hope that I can offer to people through Christ Jesus. Also, I shouldn’t fear the rejection of sharing it.”

Watch Hailey Welsh from the Altoona, Pennsylvania, Grace Brethren Church, share her Urban Hope testimony.

Visit urbanhope.net to find out how you can bring your group to Urban Hope.

CE Leadership Summit (CELS) Goes on the Road

Posted in: Featured

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The CE Leadership Summit for Youth Workers and Children’s Workers will be in Philadelphia and New York City. Some of the sessions will combine children’s and youth workers. Other sessions will be separate.

The theme is “Catching a Vision for the Unreached: Reaching the Unchurched Children and Youth.”

The summit will be an incredible whirlwind experience to help church workers see the need to reach and disciple the young to follow Jesus.

The dates are March 21-23, 2016. The cost is $199 for one or two people. Yes, the second person who signs up with you from the same church or organization comes free. The only other cost is lunch on Tuesday on the way to New York City. Registration includes free housing at Urban Hope.

Speakers include:

  • Jon Rauch, children’s pastor Grace Community Church, Goshen, Indiana
  • Jason Holt, director Urban Hope Training Center
  • Amber Besson, children’s director at Urban Hope Training Center
  • Timothy Kurtaneck. CE National director and director of The National Institute
    (TNI)—the youth major at Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana
  • Ed Lewis, executive director of CE National and Urban Hope
  • Ed Short, CE National’s coach and consultant for pastors and church
    leaders
  • Logan Conley, youth director at Urban Hope Training Center
  • Craig Cerrito and The Rock Ministry, a boxing ministry of Calvary
    Chapels
  • Dr. Ruben Ortiz, Barrio Youth Institute at Esperanza College, in
    cooperation with Eastern College
  • Jael Chamber, Young Life director for Philadelphia
  • Luis Acosta, Training Center instructor

You’ll also experience riding the buses to pick up kids for Metro Ministries Sidewalk Sunday Schools,
a Brooklyn Tabernacle prayer meeting, and round table discussions for youth workers and for children’s workers.

This will be a hands-on experience you won’t forget.

Online registration is coming soon.

Pastorpedia Live With Dr. Jeff Arthurs

Posted in: Featured

Dr. Jeff Arthurs

Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs

The next Pastorpedia Live will be November 4 and features Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs, professor of preaching and communication at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Arthurs will be speaking on creativity and freshness in preaching. Visit mypastorpedia.com to find out more and to register.

Please Continue to Pray for the Release of Saeed Abedini

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Naghmeh Abedini talks to Momentum Youth Conference about her faith during her husband's imprisonment

Naghmeh Abedini talks to Momentum Youth Conference about her faith during her husband’s imprisonment

Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini, spoke by video to the students at Momentum Youth Conference 2015.

Pastor Abedini is being held in an Iranian prison. The pastor’s plight “remains urgent as he faces physical torture, undernourishment, death threats and psychological abuse at the hands of the Iranian regime and fellow inmates, including those affiliated with the Islamic State.”

Abedini was imprisoned in September 2012 after traveling to Iran to work on a children’s orphanage. He was then sentenced to eight years in prison for threatening national security, according to Iranian authorities.

Several international campaigns have rallied behind Naghmeh and the couple’s two young children in their fight to see Abedini released.

Please continue to pray for his release and reuniting with his wife and children.

CE National Faithfulness Award – Ruth Metcalf

Posted in: Featured

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Ruth Metcalf

Each year CE National honors faithful servants for the cause of Christ. We’ll be introducing the winners over the next several weeks. Thanks to these who have served others so faithfully in the name of Jesus!

Ruth Metcalf from Woodville Grace Brethren Church, Mansfield, Ohio.

Working with AWANA, SMM, and serving as a leader at her local church with Women of Grace, Ruth has also faithfully served in the finance area of the church for over 50 years. Watch her video here.

Every Bag Offers Hope – The Urban Hope Thanksgiving Offering

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Every Bag Offers Hope - The Urban Hope Thanksgiving Offering

In the Kensington section of inner-city Philadelphia live people who do not have the means to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. While the greatest need is spiritual, we also believe that Jesus cares for the physical needs of people. Through your support we are able to provide 300 meals to families who need help this holiday season. Because of your generosity, families can pay $5 for their entire meal so that we can give them a “hand-up” and not simply a “hand-out.” Through this outreach, a few jobs are also provided for people in the local church and community who are currently unemployed.

By giving a gift of $50 per family or $10 per individual, you are not only providing a great Thanksgiving dinner, you are also providing employment for people who desperately need the extra help as well as providing each family the opportunity to hear the gospel.

If you want to give or just want more information, visit cenational.org/thanksgivingmeals.

Pastorpedia Live With Jeff Arthurs

Posted in: Featured

Jeffrey Arthurs

Jeffrey Arthurs

The next Pastorpedia Live will be November 4 and features Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs, professor of preaching and communication at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Arthurs will be speaking on creativity and freshness in preaching. Visit mypastorpedia.com to find out more and to register.

Check Out the Latest from OnTrack Devotions

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2015_oct_16_otdIn his letter to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul dives deep into doctrine… an interesting approach, since he hadn’t yet been to Rome to connect personally with the believers there. Romans is a rich treatise on the gospel, not just salvation, but including the transformation that is a life lived free from the bondage of sin. Order here…