Faithfulness Award – Dottie Sollenberger

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Dottie Sollenberger

Dottie Sollenberger

Each year CE National honors faithful servants for the cause of Christ. Thanks to these who have served others so faithfully in the name of Jesus!

Dottie Sollenberger, from Waynesboro Grace in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, received a Faithfulness Award. Her pastor, Timothy Clothier, talks about Dottie.

“Dottie went to be with the Lord this past Saturday morning (January 23). Not even 24 hours before she met Jesus Christ face-to-face I had the opportunity to show her this Faithfulness Award video from CE National. Dottie faithfully served the Lord for 71 years, teaching Sunday School to hundreds of children and leaving an incredible legacy. She also spent every Tuesday working with a local Christian organization helping school age children memorize Bible verses–during school.

On Wednesday mornings she faithfully attended our church’s prayer meeting to then scamper off to Child Evangelism Fellowship to help in their local office. Each Wednesday night Dottie could be found early at Grace helping set tables for our Free Community Meal.

As one of her pastors, I am simply amazed by this woman. Her devotion to the Lord was exemplary. As a father to one of her Sunday School “kids” I am incredibly grateful for the investment she made in our daughter’s life.

Momentum Youth Conference Registration Opens February 1

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Momentum Youth Conference
July 26-31, 2016, Momentum Youth Conference will be at Cedarville University in Ohio. Don’t miss this week that features amazing sessions with awesome speakers and worship!

Afternoons will be filled with fun options on campus like sports tournaments, Momentum’s Got Talent, free time, large group activities, missional projects in the community, and time with your friends!

Stay in the dorms on a college campus, encounter Jesus and grow spiritually like never before and have the #bestweekofsummer!

Momentum is for students 6th-12th grade. Registration opens February 1 at buildmomentum.org. Register and pay your $75 deposit before March 31 to get the best rate. Full payment balance is due by June 15.

Coming This Sunday: Southern California CE National Celebration

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CE National Celebration in Long Beach, California

January is the time of year when we look forward to the Southern California Celebration Sunday and seeing family and friends. Plans are unfolding for a wonderful time together on Sunday evening, January 31.

This will be a time of fun and fellowship as we come together and hear what God is doing in the lives of people through various ministries. We look forward to sharing how God has used CE National in this past year as well as the opportunities that lay ahead. This part of the evening will begin at about 7:30 p.m. Earlier that same evening, Community Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach is hosting a free concert with the Blackwood Legacy. Come early enough to enjoy the concert and look forward to having dessert with Ed Lewis, executive director of CE National, and Timothy Kurtaneck (TK).

Here are the details:

Host Church: Community Grace Brethren Church
Long Beach, California
Date/Time: Sunday, January 31 –
7:30 p.m.
Fellowship/Dessert time
(The Blackwood Legacy concert begins at 6 p.m.)

Cost: FREE…an opportunity to give a financial gift to support CE National ministries will be provided.

Assimilation and Groups in the Church – Knute Larson

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Knute Larson during Pastorpedia Live

Knute Larson during Pastorpedia Live

Knute Larson will be leading the next Pastorpedia Live, March 9. He’ll be talking about assimilation and groups in the church. Visit mypastorpedia.com to register. Watch Knute talk about the topic.

Knute will answer the questions:

  • Are electives worthwhile?
  • When is a home group not a small group?
  • Where does discipleship happen?
  • When are old-time Sunday school classes counter-productive?
  • Who really likes their group on Sundays?
  • Was the ABF model really used in the New Testament?
  • What does it mean to “push care” to the groups?
  • What keeps churches confused about groups?

Knute coaches pastors, one-on-one and in small groups. He also teaches at Moody College online, and Grace Seminary and Trinity Seminary’s D. Min. programs. Knute pastored 26 years at The Chapel in Akron after 15 years at Grace in Ashland. Knute was also Ed Lewis’ predecessor as CE National’s executive director. Read Knute’s blog at  knutelarson.wordpress.com

Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Visits Urban Hope

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urbanHope
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy visited Urban Hope January 4 – 8 for their second annual mission’s trip. The 6 students and 2 adult leaders had an incredible week where they grew together and were challenged in many ways.

During the week the group was trained in how to share their faith, went on prayer walks, worked with Rock Ministry under the elevated train, went into homes in the neighborhood and installed smoke detectors, shared Christ with people while giving out hot chocolate and much more. It was exciting to see them not only sharing Christ here, but desiring to take up the challenge and share Christ with overlooked people in their own school and communities!

Maggie Risma: My experience at Urban Hope has allowed me to see God work in the hearts of people by stepping up and talking with them. It allowed me to see the endless opportunities that God gives us to love on people – God can use us and He wants to use us!

Olivia Ottman: I loved being challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. It made me rely on God and put my full trust in Him.

Luke Mares: I came in without a lot of information and left with a new respect for the city and its people. This helped me get out of my comfort zone and talk to people that were complete strangers. My experience has made me want to do this for the rest of my life.

Iran Frees Pastor Saeed Abedini After Three Years in Prison

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2016_jan_22_saeed_freed
After 3 years in an Iranian prison, Pastor Saeed Abedini is home with his family.

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

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.

Visit the Christianity Today website to read more.

TNI’s Youth Emphasis Week at Grace College

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Kurt Johnston teaches one of the National Institute classes

Kurt Johnston teaches one of the National Institute classes

Each school year, The National Institute for the Development of Ministries to Youth sponsors Youth Emphasis Week at Grace College. This year, the sixteenth year of TNI, special speakers and musicians led an outstanding week focused on the importance of ministering to the next generation.

This year’s theme was based on Psalm 71:18, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

Kurt Johnston, youth pastor at Saddleback Church in California, shared for two days of chapels and Jon Rauch, pastor of children’s ministry at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, and current CE National Board of Directors president spoke on Friday morning. Listen to the messages here.

Jeremy Byng, a TNI graduate, led the chapel in worship with a special band for each of the three days. Timothy Kurtaneck, director of the National Institute, shared, “It is always a joy to be able to put great godly leaders who love Jesus and like young people before the student body and challenge them to think how they can best influence the next generation for Jesus. This week gives some of our TNI students a way to be involved in chapel and to challenge the greater student body to impact those coming behind them. TNI and Grace College students appreciated Kurt, Jon, and Jeremy and their investment to us this week.”

For more information on TNI, visit thenationalinstitute.net.

CE Leadership Summit–Catching a Vision for the Unchurched

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2015_dec_18_cels_vision
March 21-22, 2016, is going to be a transformational time for children and youth workers as they join together in Philadelphia for the CELS (CE Leadership Summit) event: “Catching a Vision for the Unchurched.” It’s important to have a heart not just for those who come to church with their parents or neighbors, but to reach out in the schools, parks, gyms, and wherever children and youth gather. If we want to reach the world for Christ we need to start by understanding the issues of this and the next generation.

There will be opportunities to hear from those who are knowledgeable about what attitudes, dynamics, and influences among our children and young people are now trending.

Understanding what is happening now and what to expect in the next few years will prepare children’s workers and youth workers to reach the next generation. If we are going to make a difference in the world tomorrow for Christ we have to reach the children and youth of today.

Timothy (TK) Kurtaneck, director of CE National’s The National Institute in Winona Lake, Indiana, will share about what to expect as we look to the future of our youth. Ruben Ortiz from the Barrio Youth Institute at Esperanza College, Craig Cerrito from Rock Ministries, and Jael Chambers, Young Life director in Philadelphia, will make up a panel facilitated by Jason Holt, director of Urban Hope, to discuss the topic of the changing culture of the young. Amber Besson, director of Urban Hope’s Kingdom Kids, will also run a training session.

Round table discussions will make this time especially good as attendees share what they are doing in outreach and how they are dealing with current issues such as parents, discipline, and discipleship.

The theme of this conference “Catching a Vision for the Unchurched: Reaching Unchurched Children and Youth” will play out as participants take to the streets and talk with children, youth, and adults about issues that face this upcoming generation. Debriefing will follow this interactive time.

The group will also travel to New York City to participate in the Yogi Bear Truck ministry of Metro Ministries. Metro Ministries is the largest Sunday School in the world. Bill Wilson leads a team of people with a united heart to win those who will never be brought to a church by a parent or neighbor. Bill knows how to go to them and share Christ with them in a simple and fun way.

This event will be capped off by a trip to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church to participate in their weekly prayer time.

One of the meals will be a real Philly cheese steak and a chance to taste “water ice,” another food Philadelphia is known for. So come and share new ideas, new ways to do ministry, new experiences, and new taste sensations.

Registration will open soon but mark your calendar now for March 21-22.

Housing and transportation around Philadelphia and NYC will be provided. Two breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners will be covered by your registration fee. One lunch is on your own as you head to NYC. The cost is $199 for the first person and a second person from the same church or organization comes free (two for one deal ). To learn more go to cels.cenational.org.

Christopher Yuan to Speak at Momentum Youth Conference 2016

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Dr. Christopher Yuan speaking at Momentum Youth Conference
Dr. Christopher Yuan Speaking at Momentum Youth Conference

Dr. Christopher Yuan

We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher Yuan will be the main speaker during Thursday Night’s Momentum Youth Conference session.

Dr. Yuan teaches the Bible at Moody Bible Institute and his speaking ministry on faith and sexuality has reached five continents. Dr. Yuan speaks in conferences (such as The Gospel Coalition, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, InterVarsity’s Urbana and the Moody Pastors’ Conferences and Men’s Conference), on college campuses and in churches (such as Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church). He is featured in the award-winning documentary HOPE Positive: Surviving the Sentence of AIDS, and has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope. Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005, Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and received his doctorate of ministry in 2014 from Bethel Seminary.​

They Have Names

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Greg Howell

Greg Howell

Humble leaders are always willing to learn. This important concept of equipping biblical leaders is a major value of CE National. Here is a terrific story from our friends at Grace Connect about Pastor Greg Howell, a Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches pastor and a former member of the CE National Board of Directors.