Join the Movement – Help Needy Families Through CE National on GivingTuesday

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GivingTuesday CE National

The power of social media and collaboration fuels this global day of giving called GivingTuesday. CE National has joined this large group of organizations and charities participating on November 29.

GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely known shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This movement kicks off the charitable season, when many people focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

You can join the movement by giving a donation below to CE National.

100% of gifts donated will help meet the needs of families and individuals in inner-city Philadelphia. Gifts will help with food, housing, transportation, and medical attention in emergency situations.

One study on the Urban Hope community in Philadelphia stated that over 60% of the neighborhood is single moms.  As a church it can be easy to overlook the difficulty single moms go through to try to support their family alone.  Many women are working full-time or even multiple part-time jobs and it just doesn’t provide enough to support their monthly housing expenses.  If women are doing their best to provide for their family and still coming up short, it is a privilege for the church to help.

 

The Atheist Delusion – A Movie From Ray Comfort

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Having to prove the existence of God to an atheist is like having to prove the existence of the sun, at noon on a clear day. Yet millions are embracing the foolishness of atheism. “The Atheist Delusion” pulls back the curtain and reveals what is going on in the mind of those who deny the obvious. It introduces you to a number of atheists who you will follow as they go where the evidence leads, find a roadblock, and enter into a place of honesty that is rarely seen on film.

From Living Waters, creators of the award-winning TV program “The Way of the Master” and the hit movies “180” and “Evolution vs. God,” comes the powerful film “The Atheist Delusion.” Executive produced by TV co-host and best-selling author Ray Comfort (Hell’s Best Kept Secret, Scientific Facts in the Bible). Watch it here on YouTube.

It Was An Amazing Week – 21 Grace College Students Experience an Introduction to Urban Hope

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The Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia hosted 21 Grace College students from Winona Lake, Indiana, for the SUM (Studies in Urban Ministries) Invitation Weekend with the purpose of exposing the students to urban ministry and challenging them to ask God what He might have them do to reach the city.

It was an amazing weekend where nine students committed to serve God in the city after college and many more are now open to being used by God in the city.

During the weekend the group reached out to the neighborhood by doing prayer walks and installing smoke detectors.  The group also spent time praying and interacting with those addicted to heroine and other drugs.  This was the first time many of the students had been exposed to the difficulties people face in the city, but in the midst of difficulty, Christ works and changes lives.  Here are a few comments in response to asking what was their favorite part of the weekend.

“Honestly it was all so eye-opening!  I loved getting to minister to people on the streets and loving on them.”

“Giving pizza to the homeless was most humbling.”

“Going out of my comfort zone to talk and pray with people.”

“Talking to anyone and everyone about Jesus.”

“Working with the kids at Kingdom Kids.”

“Interacting with people in the community and hearing their stories.”

“Getting to help out with Kingdom Kids.  I loved being reminded how excited I should be about Jesus.”

If you are interested in learning more about the training Urban Hope offers to college and post college-age individuals and how God might use you in the city, please email James@urbanhope.net to get information about upcoming SUM invitational weekends as well as other opportunities to be involved at Urban Hope.

Youth Ministry Students Serve Widows and Widowers

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TNI Students Enjoy Serving in Winona Lake

TNI Students Enjoy Serving in Winona Lake

It is a regular topic of teaching and discussion in just about every class offered in youth ministry by The National Institute:  Truly understanding something is not merely a mental grasping of a concept, but rather when that truth impacts the mind (knowing), a person’s character (being), and the skill to implement this truth (doing).  Being able to answer on an exam?  Check.  Having that truth impact your entire life so it is implemented in what you know, what you do and who you are?  Well, that is a lot more difficult.

Last week, the TNI students who are upperclassmen and ready to graduate from college with a youth ministry degree did a bit more than “talk” or get quizzed over some concepts.  This was the time to put learning into action.

The concept was from James 1:26-27 taking care of orphans and widows.  How does a youth ministry do that?  After a good class discussion, we climbed on a bus and went to 6 different homes around Winona Lake and raked all of the leaves for widows and widowers.  It did not take long. It was enjoyable hour, and students participated well.

Said one TNI participant, “I think we will remember this hour of class more than any other this semester.  It felt good to know, that in a small way, we were doing something to love and respect and honor some widows who need a little bit of help. We hope this small act encouraged them.”

Timothy Kurtaneck, director of The National Institute said, “The Hellenistic model of education impacts our society.  Getting the answer right on a test or exam means you know it.  But the Hebraic model is what we want to follow for our youth ministry students and for those whom they will impact.  Deuteronomy 6 is a perfect illustration. Truly knowing something impacts the entire life of a person.  That’s our goal in our ministry training—a blend of knowing, being, and doing.  I’m really proud of the way that our TNI students are learning and implementing that.”

The National Institute is an undergraduate program for college students desiring to take ministry to the next generation.  TNI provides a youth ministry major and a minor and is a joint effort between Grace College and CE National.  For more information about TNI, visit thenationalinstitute.net.

Urban Hope’s Annual Festival of Hope is Tomorrow

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2016_oct_28_uh_fall_festThis Saturday, Oct. 29th, Urban Hope will be having their annual Festival of Hope. Please pray for the block party as it gives Urban Hope an opportunity to light up the night with Jesus’ love. Pray that families will be encouraged as they interact with some of the church members who will be running small carnival games, serving food, and sharing hope through conversation and prayer. Pray that families will be intrigued by this showing of Christ’s love and therefore come to their Sunday Celebration Service. Pray that God will help them to love their neighbors well. Pray too that He will use this event to draw people into a personal relationship with Him.

On November 4th and 5th several women from the Urban Hope church will be heading out of the city for a retreat. The theme is “Filled to Overflow.” Pray that those women that God invites to go on this retreat would answer with obedience and hearts eager to know Him in a more intimate way. Pray that relationships among sisters-in-Christ would be strengthened and that walls of mistrust would be knocked down by Christ’s love. Pray too as the Urban Hope staff finishes up plans for their time together.

Operation Barnabas – Equipping Students to Impact Their World for Christ!

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June 18 – July 11, Operation Barnabas 2017 will be touring the Midwest and East starting with training in Winona Lake, Indiana.

High school participants receive biblical training and practical ministry experience to better prepare them to make a positive impact in our culture by living ON MISSION. Character development, leadership training, personal discipleship, sharing Jesus and serving others are all part of an OB tour!

The preliminary application deadline is November 16, 2016. Students can apply today by downloading an application at operationbarnabas.net.

Who do you know that you can encourage to apply for Operation Barnabas 2017?

Disciple and Train Church Leaders to Reach Students with SEVEN – Only from CE National

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seven
SEVEN is a seven-week discipleship training series to educate local church leaders on understanding and discipling young people. Each week has a different emphasis on youth ministry.

  1. Week One :
    Why youth ministry is biblical and an overview of SEVEN.
  2. Week Two :
    Philosophy of our youth ministry.
  3. Week Three:
    Adults are needed in youth ministry. Parents are adults.
  4. Week Four :
    KNOWING—Know and apply the Word of God.
  5. Week Five:
    BEING—Character development and discipleship.
  6. Week Six :
    DOING— A Mature Student
  7. Week Seven:
    Youth need to be connected to a local church now and in the future.

Download SEVEN for free, or find out more about it by visiting cenational.org/seven.

I’m Not Ashamed – The Story of Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine High School

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Pure Flix presents I’M NOT ASHAMED, the inspiring true story of Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine High School. When Rachel’s hopes and dreams seemed to end, God was just getting started.

Opening in theaters October 21, I’M NOT ASHAMED stars Masey McLain, Ben Davies, Sadie Robertson, Korie Robertson, Jaci Velasquez, and Jennifer O’Neill.

Based on Rachel’s honest and heartfelt journals, I’M NOT ASHAMED is a hope-filled reminder that when we put our lives in God’s hands, we can make a world of difference.

Find out more at imnotashamedfilm.com.

Urban Hope – Blessed with Seeing Entire Families Won to Christ

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We here at Urban Hope have been blessed with the opportunity of seeing entire families won to Christ.

Please pray for couples who have sought to honor Christ in marriage. Many who have made this commitment, are the first in their families to do so for generations. Many are experiencing both the blessings and hardships of blended families. Pray that they will be united in their focus to keep God first in their life and relationship.

Please pray for single mom’s who are simultaneously learning to follow Christ and learning to lead their children to follow Christ. Pray for rest amidst business as they seek to work, love on their children, and be committed to fellowship with other believers. Pray too that they would quickly learn God’s heart in regards to dating in marriage, so they won’t fall for the next guy who tells them they are beautiful, plays with their kids, or promises them provision. Pray that they will trust God’s plan as good for them.

Please pray for dad’s who are fighting hard to be godly fathers. Pray that they will be encouraged as they pursue Jesus and learn to lead their families.

CE National Board of Directors Meets in Southern California

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Next month, the CE National Board of Directors and the CE National Executive Staff will gather in southern California for board meetings. The group will be based out of Seal Beach and hold meetings at Grace Community Church. Along with reports and committee work, the group will visit various churches and ministries, including inner-city ministries in the Los Angeles area. Please pray for wisdom and insight as this group meets November 11-13.

Host Home Relationships Encourage on Operation Barnabas

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OB Alum Elise Rospert & Host Mom Claire Mehan

OB Alum Elise Rospert & Host Mom Claire Mehan

Here in the Operation Barnabas home office, we sometimes are asked the question, “When students travel on an OB team, where do they stay each night? Do they sleep on the bus? Do you stay in motels?”

This is a great question. There are two ways that OB provides for the team members to get their nightly rest. Sometimes, the OB team and leaders will stay at a church and sleep on the floor. Each team member is asked to bring sleeping bags and pillows for that purpose. This type of arrangement happens about 50% of the time on tour. The other half of the time, OB students are housed in groups of at least two with a host family from the current ministry location and get to enjoy sleeping at a home, in a bed!

The OB teams love the opportunity to meet and be with host families; often, those relationships continue long after the summer, with students and their hosts staying in touch.

Elise Rospert shared with us about a chance she had recently to reconnect with one of her OB host families. Elise was on the 2014 NorthEast OB team, and is currently a sophomore nursing major at Anderson University in South Carolina.

“When I was on Operation Barnabas, the first church on our tour was CenterPoint Community in Weatherfield, Connecticut, and we stayed in host homes. Joe and Claire Mehan were my first host parents and were so encouraging. They shared their testimonies with us and told us how God worked in and through every portion of their lives. One night (I believe we stayed with them for 3) they had another couple over for dinner. Their names were Marie and Roger. Marie passed way about 8 months ago, but they also shared their wisdom with us and encouraged us quite a bit. It was definitely one of those times where you are expecting to be the encourager but you end up leaving most encouraged.

“Now, two years later, I came back to Connecticut during my fall break with a ministry team from Anderson University to help out a church plant called The River Church. Last night was the church plant’s first service. After the final song and prayer, I turned around and my host parents, Joe and Claire, were sitting behind me!! It was totally unexpected but it was a wonderful reunion. I was never in a million years expecting to see them again. (I found out later that the CenterPoint Community Church is one of the supporters of the church plant!)The Lord works in amazing ways!!!”

The host family experience is just one of the many highlights that our OB alumni share about their time on Operation Barnabas. An emphasis on character development, leadership training, personal discipleship, and serving others with a team of like-minded peers all add up to one memorable ministry tour! Who do you know that you should encourage to apply for Operation Barnabas? Information and applications are available at operationbarnabas.net.

Dr. Mike Wittmer to Speak on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality at the Next Pastorpedia Live

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The next Pastorpedia Live will be November 1 and will feature Dr. Mike Wittmer, professor of systematic and historical theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Dr. Wittmer will talk on the topic of marriage, gender, and sexuality.

Mike Wittmer

Mike Wittmer

Nothing is changing faster in our culture than the ancient views on marriage, gender, and sexuality. The challenge to civilization and our Christian faith is daunting, both to lay people and the pastors who lead them. Our seminar will examine the source of society’s confusion, the consequences for our culture, churches, and para-church organizations, and how we can best take advantage of this golden opportunity for the gospel. Read more and register…

Pray for Urban Hope’s Children’s Ministry

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Please be praying for Urban Hope’s children’s program, Kingdom Kids.

  • Pray for Jesus-loving volunteers to pick up and love on the kids.
  • Pray God’s blessing upon our faithful teenage volunteers who work with our children. Pray that the volunteers’ families will soon come to know Christ, too.
  • Pray for hearts that are hungry for good news, ready to repent, and eager to grow.

To find out more about Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.

God Behind Bars

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2016_oct_13_peggyOur friends at Grace Connect just published an article called “God Behind Bars” about one of our favorite CE National staff members. Peggy Owens served as the materials coordinator at the Winona Lake, Indiana, office for 26 years. She is faithfully investing herself into the lives of others through the jail ministry.  Thanks Peggy for being one who lives ON MISSION for Jesus! Read the article here.

Momentum Youth Conference 2017 – The Comeback

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Everyone is in need of a comeback. No matter how far they’ve wandered or what they’ve done, God is a God of calling His people to Himself. Whether we are coming to Him for the first time in His redemptive grace for salvation or realizing that as His child we have a need to come back to Him every day.

All kinds of things in our lives make us feel like the pressure and expectations are too much. Whether we feel lost in sin and shame, pressed-down by what’s expected, or are just striving for righteousness, there is One who calls us back to Himself. One who offers freedom.

The One is Jesus. He is the resurrected Savior who has defeated every enemy of heaven and earth and who makes the way for our comeback story.

Every day as a follower of Christ, we come back to Him. He has made the greatest comeback ever known from physical death to life through His resurrection and now that extraordinary power also lives in us, enabling a coming back to Him.

Registration for Momentum 2017 opens February 1. Visit buildmomentum.org for all the details.

Study Urban Ministry at Urban Hope

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Experience the city!, Be a part of ministry!, Run the Rocky steps!, Devour a cheesesteak!, Walk the streets!, Help those in need!

The Studies in Urban Ministry (SUM) program at Urban Hope seeks to prepare believers to Reach the world by Reaching the City. It is a nine-month college level program to equip you to deal with issues faced in urban ministry and give you experience in models of ministry that are working in the city.

If you are an adult, college student, or high school senior and would consider being involved in urban ministry, come to Urban Hope, October 14-17, for a weekend of learning about the program and experiencing Philadelphia.

If you are interested in attending please email James Holt at James@urbanhope.net to register.

New Resources in the CE National Lending Library

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2016_oct_7_libraryThanks to the generous giving of donors, new resources are made available in the lending library. Our lending library is not only used by local patrons, but many Bible studies and resources are shipped for use in small groups, neighborhood Bible studies, and personal use. It’s our privilege to partner with you and help every believer to be trained and mobilized to live ON MISSION.

The Real Heaven – what the Bible actually says.
A book by Chip Ingram
Amid all the popular conjecture about Heaven, what does the Bible actually say and why does it matter? Chip Ingram sets aside the hype and myths and digs into the Scriptures to discover what God actually wants us to know about the afterlife. Most importantly, he shows why our understanding of Heaven matters now, in this life. Because what we believe about Heaven actually affects us today in ways we may not have imagined.

Uninvited
A book by Lysa TerKeurst
The enemy wants us to feel rejected, left out, lonely, and less than. Uninvited reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken–a love that does not reject or uninvite.

The Mission of Jesus
Series Title: That the World May Know 14
A DVD with Ray Vander Laan
Enter the chaos. In John 17:26: “I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known…” In this fourteenth volume of “That the World May Know,” you’ll deepen your understanding of this passionate revelation to a broken world God longs to redeem. Discover how Jesus triumphantly made God’s presence known on Earth, and how he asks you to do the same–bringing God’s shalom to the chaos of others.

Visit cenational.org/library for these and other resources for you and your ministry.

Youth Ministry Courses in Full Swing

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A few of the TNI students give TK a lift

A few of the TNI students give TK a liftA few of the TNI students give TK a lift

The first eight week session of the school year for The National Institute/Youth Ministry courses are coming to a close next week. After a busy season with the Foundations and Philosophy of Youth Ministry, the second eight week session will be the time-frame for the Evangelism and Discipleship course on Monday evenings with between 40 to 50 students participating in this popular class that provides good instruction and numerous hands-on opportunities. Personal and Profession Orientation is the capstone course for students ready to graduate with their undergraduate degree in youth ministry.

Timothy Kurtaneck, the TNI director, said, “This group of students has been delightful. They are an enjoyable group and they have worked diligently. We are thankful for an incoming class of 28 new students, 18 majors and 10 minors, and look forward to what God is going to continue to do in them and through them.”

Plans are already being made for a December module, Counseling and Communicating with Contemporary Youth, at Northwest Chapel Grace Brethren Church in Dublin, Ohio, December 16-19. The final course of the year is one of the great highlights of the TNI program—The Cross Cultural Youth Ministry class held at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia in May.

For any individuals interested in more information about an undergraduate degree in youth ministry, visit thenationalinstitute.net or contact TK at 574.267.6622 or tkob@cenational.org.