Why Did I Wait Until I was 88 Years Old?

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Ashli Moon is one of several staff members at the Urban Hope Training Center. Here’s a story of how God is using her to reach people in the neighborhood for Christ.

Fran (89 years old and the grandmother of my prior boss) and I continue to spend time together almost every Friday. I pick her up, we go to our prayer meeting here at Urban Hope, we stop at her favorite diner, and perhaps the bank, Rite Aid, or Acme.

Today she declared to our group, “I’ve always believed in Jesus, but it’s different now…I don’t have words, but I know it’s really different.”

She often says, “Ashli, I don’t know why we didn’t talk earlier. I knew you for 10 years, but…” and “why couldn’t have I believed like I do now, before? why’d I wait till I was 88 years old?”

Could somebody you know be waiting to really know Jesus?

Last week she said, “Ashli, I’m so glad I know you and your friends at church, You’re my savior.” I quickly said, “No, I can’t be your Savior, only Jesus can.” she smiled and said, “I know. So then I’ll call you my Savior’s helper.” I smiled and said, “I guess that works.”

God doesn’t need our help, but He likes to invite us into His work. He finds pleasure in using us for His glory, our good, and the good of others. Can you be the “Savior’s helper” to someone?

Today Fran said, “I would have never thought that I’d talk to my family about the things I’m learning, because I was afraid they would say, ‘who does she think that she is?’ but my grand-daughter asked me to pray for her. and my niece… I am talking to them about what I’m learning. I never thought this would happen.”

She also said, “You would never know how much is in the Bible that we never thought was there, we can never know it all.”

Fran mentioned a friend’s death and said, “That gang is gone, and my other gang with my sister is gone too.” and with sudden excitement, “Ashli, I have a new gang! your gang is my gang.” I playfully said, “Fran, we’re not a gang.” She replied, “Yes we are Ashli, we’re a gang.”

FYI, I’m not promoting “gang” relations. That’s the 89-year-old woman doing that. 🙂

Thanks for being a vital part of our gang, and for being “a helper of our Savior,” through your prayers, encouragement, and support.


Momentum’s Got Talent – It’s That Time of Year

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It’s that time of year to be thinking about and preparing for Momentum’s Got Talent. If you are a youth worker or a parent you may want to start reminding and encouraging students of the opportunities to be part of Momentum Youth conference. If you are a student you will want to consider how you might be part of this exciting opportunity.

Momentum’s Got Talent (MGT) is a place for students in 7th-12th grades to share their talents and gifts. This may involve singing, playing an instrument, writing a song, poem or story. It could also include a drama, painting, or Scripture memorization. These and other areas are open to young people to share in ways God has blessed and gifted them. Updated options and rules will be available on CE National’s website soon.

Participating is a two-step process that involves a video upload where the work will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Those who make it to the live auditions at Momentum will again be judged with a live performance or showing of art work and possibly be asked to perform on stage during one of the main sessions. Scholarships may also be offered to students. Both Grace College and Lancaster Bible College offer a limited number of renewable scholarships.

The uploading for the initial round of judging will open April 13th and all videos must be uploaded by June 1. We will have more details coming in later editions of CE News Online.

Graduated High School? You Can Still be Involved in Momentum

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Have you graduated high school? You can be a part of Momentum Youth Conference this summer as a Young Adult Guest or Volunteer!

While Momentum is a youth conference for 6th-12th graders, there are a couple options you can elect from to still be involved with how God is moving through Momentum Youth Conference! Find out more here…

“Impacting the Rising Generation” a Success

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For the 19th consecutive year, The National Institute–the youth ministry major that CE National oversees for Grace College–hosted a Youth Emphasis Week (YEW). During YEW, TNI takes over a week of chapel services on the school campus. YEW this school year was held February 8-10.

This year’s theme was “Impacting the Rising Generation.” Special guests included TNI graduate and Operation Barnabas alum Jeremy Byng leading worship and Tony Livigni, OB and OB leader alum, speaking from the Scriptures for each of the three days of chapels. The three pronged focus of the messages were “What is in Scripture?”, “What is at Stake?”, and “What is in Store?” when it comes to ministering to the next generation. The majority of the worship band consisted of TNI and OB alumni and all students participated in Scripture reading, prayer and introductions were members of The National Institute.

Jeremy Byng is the worship leader at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, and Tony is lead pastor at Grace Church in East Medina, Ohio, which is part of the Grace Churches of Greater Akron. There were incredible worship sets and the preaching on investing in the next generation was inspiring. Wednesday’s message on “#blessed or blessed to be a blessing?” was based on Abraham from Genesis 12:1-3. Thursday’s message referenced Judges 3 and the need to pass on the message of the greatness of God to the next generation. The final session together focused on what is at stake for those who do and don’t invest in the group coming behind us, with teaching about what the Apostle Paul valued at the end of his life and ministry from II Timothy 4.

To hear these outstanding spiritual challenges from Tony Livigni, click on this link: (Feb 8, Feb 9 and Feb 10)

We praise God for the opportunity to spend special time focusing on the importance of building into the next generation!

For more information about TNI, visit thenationalinstitute.net.

CE National Hosts Regional Youth Worker Round Tables

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CE National is hosting several regional Youth Worker Round Tables. The first Round Table was held on Thursday evening, February 2nd, at the Norwalk Grace Brethren Church in Southern California with Ed Lewis and TK (Timothy Kurtaneck). At the event 14 people met for a great time of sharing and interaction. Four more regional Round Tables will be taking place in March and April.

CE National is hosting several regional Youth Worker Round Tables. The first Round Table was held on Thursday evening, February 2nd, at the Norwalk Grace Brethren Church in Southern California with Ed Lewis and TK (Timothy Kurtaneck). At the event 14 people met for a great time of sharing and interaction. Four more regional Round Tables will be taking place in March and April.

A youth worker round table is an informal time to bring youth workers together to share ideas, hear stories of how God is moving in youth ministries, talk about what is working, or not working, and have a brief time of motivation.

It is an event for ALL youth workers whether paid, volunteer, part-time, full-time, or interns. Invite those who are in your community network since all can benefit from this kind of interaction.

You can register for an event by emailing the noted address below with your name, church, contact number/email and the number that will be in your group, and please note which event you will be attending.

These events are:

March 16: in Winona Lake, Indiana, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at CE National’s Russell Center with Ed Lewis and TK. 1003 Presidential Drive, Winona Lake, Indiana. Register by emailing cenational@cenational.org.

March 16: at the Tomato Pie Cafe in Lititz, Pennsylvania, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 23 N. Broad Street, Lititz, Pennsylvania. Ed Short will meet with youth workers in the meeting room upstairs. Register by emailing Edshort@cenational.org.

April 13: TK will be at the Grace Polaris Youth Center from 10 am until noon. 8724 Olde Worthington Rd, Westerville, Ohio. Register by emailing cenational@cenational.org.

April 27: Ed, Jason, and TK will host an event at the Waynesboro Grace Brethren Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 250 Philadelphia Ave. Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Register by emailing cenational@cenational.org.

Registration for these events is free, but you may be asked to pitch in on pizza or purchase items at your expense, depending on where/when the event is held.

Two Heritage Days From CE National

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CE National is privileged to host two Heritage Days this year. Both will feature the theme of, “The Role of the Believer in a Changing Society.”

The first one will be on April 6 in Northern Indiana at Das Dutchman Essenhaus. (240 US-20, Middlebury, Indiana) The restaurant is located on Route 20, not too far from the Indiana Toll Road, in Middlebury, Ind. This event will begin at 10 and conclude at 2. Pastor Knute Larson will be the keynote speaker and the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Trio will be special music. Besides singing hymns and having great fellowship there will be a family style meal served in the Das Dutchman Essenhaus dining room.

The cost for the Heritage Day on April 6 is $25 per person. Find out more and register here…

The second Heritage Day will be held April 28, 2017, at Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl (Lancaster County), PA. Cal Thomas, Award-winning journalist and widely read newspaper columnist will be the keynote speaker. The day will begin with registration opening at 8 AM and the program starting at 9:15 AM. Find out more and register here…

Learn Children’s Ministry from a Handful of Practitioners

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One of the best ways to learn is to put a handful of practitioners together to collaborate and see what happens. Kid Min Leadership Summit is a place for children’s ministry leaders to engage in the greatest challenges and opportunities of ministry.

Gather together with other children’s ministry leaders to share best practices, explore innovative ideas, and engage visionary leadership. The kids and families in our communities are worth our collective best.

Ted Bryant and Jon Rauch are excited to be planning and leading this day of learning. Join us on Thursday, February 23, 2017, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, 20076 County Road 36. The cost for the day and lunch is $25. Space is limited. Find out more and Register here to reserve your spot. If you have any questions, please email Jon at jrauch@gracecommunity-church.com.

A Great Source of Re-tooling for Our Pastoral Staff – Pastor Greg Serafino on The Coaching Clinic

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Ed Short, CE National consultant to churches and pastors, will be leading another coaching clinic for pastors and church staff on May 22-24, at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pa. (210 East Tioga St., Philadelphia, PA)

“We have designed The Coaching Clinic to help you see ministry as a team sport.” says Ed Short. “As a pastor who loves football, I have come to believe that if we are to effectively lead our churches we will need to develop the mindset of a coach. Most of us are not superstars and fortunately for us, that plays to our advantage in coaching those within our influence to own and carry out the ministry.”

Pastor Greg Serafino, Osceola, Indiana, talks about the Coaching Clinic
“The Coaching Clinic, led by Ed Short, was a great source of introspection, evaluation and re-tooling for our pastoral staff. The information may not be revolutionary or unique but it IS eye-opening if you can get past the ‘monuments’ or ‘entrenched program’ idea and willingly think these principles through in a biblical and practical perspective. Ed is engaging, authentic and very experienced in pastoral ministry. He is an excellent individual coach and allows for much discussion among peers to come to transformational results both personally and corporately.”

Visit cenational.org/coachingclinic to find out more and to register.

Honor Someone in Your Church

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Each year, CE National provides an opportunity to encourage and honor faithful servants in ministry. The CE National Faithfulness Award is an opportunity to nominate those within your church family deserving of honor. Are there names that come immediately to mind? Maybe the faithful staff member, the long-serving Sunday School teacher, those who have undertaken an event that was helpful in reaching, teaching, and releasing people for God’s glory? The deadline for submitting a nomination for a CE National Faithfulness Award is Friday, March 3rd. Go to cenational.org/churchawards to find the nomination form and more information.

Thank you for joining with us as we honor individuals who are faithfully serving the Lord.

Spend a Week with Sean McDowell at StreetWise in Philadelphia

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Only about 50 of the 100 spots remain open to experience StreetWise July 5-9, 2017, at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia.

Early registration price is $269 until March 1st ($299). This price includes: training, materials, lodging, meals*, and transportation around the city for the different ministry and outreach experiences. Groups are welcome to come and stay free Tuesday, July 4th, for Fireworks and Wednesday night July 5th for homeless ministry.
Wednesday will be an unplanned day in which groups can do sightseeing or visit ministry sites in the city.

Sean McDowell will be leading the training in the morning and focusing on defending the faith and interacting with people from other world views. Urban Hope will provide training in sharing your faith, reaching children, urban ministry, and reaching overlooked people so that groups can return to their church with ideas on how to start new ministries.

Please consider bringing your group to join us this year at StreetWise. For more information or to register visit www.UHStreetWise.com or email StreetWise@UrbanHope.net.

*Two meals will be purchased by the individual while on outreach in the city.

Dr. Bob Lehman Spoke at Wednesday’s Pastorpedia Live

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Dr. Bob Lehman talks with Pastorpedia Live Attendees

Dr. Bob Lehman talks with Pastorpedia Live Attendees

During the Wednesday, February 8, Pastorpedia Live, Dr. Lehman helped to clarify the underlying dynamics of guilt, provided a greater understanding of the role that the conscience plays, and suggested some effective Bible-based approaches to help believers who struggle with guilt.

The next Pastorpedia Live is April 5, with Pastor Jeff Manion. Jeff is pastor of  Ada Bible Church, near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ada Bible Church is a church of unusual growth and vision which has successfully navigated challenging transitions.

During the first session, Jeff will talk about: “Lessons I’m Learning as We Grow.” The afternoon session topic will be: “Preaching that Reaches the Heart.” Find out more and register…

J. Warner Wallace to Speak at Momentum Youth Conference

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J. Warner Wallace will be a speaker at Momentum Youth Conference 2017.

Mr. Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and as a faculty member at Summit Ministries. J. Warner was a conscientious and vocal atheist until the age of thirty-five, when he took a serious and expansive look at the evidence for the Christian Worldview and determined that Christianity was demonstrably true.

After becoming a Christ-follower in 1996, Jim continued to take an evidential approach to truth as he examined the Christian worldview. He eventually earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Find out more about Cold Case Christianity here including articles, videos, resources and podcasts.

Don’t Let Your Students Miss the Bus…

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…and lose the opportunity to apply for Operation Barnabas! Applications are being accepted as long as we still have open spots on our teams!

Operation Barnabas is for 10th – 12th grade students who want to:

  • Experience God in a fresh way & grow in their walk with Christ.
  • Learn how to talk with people about Jesus.
  • Meet physical and spiritual needs through ministry in cities, churches, and communities.
  • Develop godly character.
  • Build relationships through discipleship.
  • Serve the poor and overlooked.
  • Take valuable, practical training back home!

Operation Barnabas 2017 begins June 18 and will conclude July 11. You can find information about OB in general and specific information about 2017, including leaders, tour locations, and cost at operationbarnabas.net/faq
You can also access the OB application and reference forms here operationbarnabas.net/application-info

If you have further questions, please be in touch with Sherilyn at 574.267.6622 or obmail@cenational.org.

Get Off Facebook Dad! — The Culture Translator

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Middle-aged Americans (35 to 49 year olds) are now spending more time on social media (seven hours a week) than their children, with the fastest growing demographic on Facebook being Baby Boomers. I recently asked my daughter’s best friend what she was doing that evening and she responded, “nothing, just going home to watch my parents stare at their phones all night.” Ouch. Read the rest of the article and more at axis.org.

Want to better understand the world your student inhabits? The Culture Translator provides weekly insight into how pop culture, technology, and media are influencing your students while equipping you to start biblically based conversations. Sign up for their email list here.

Urban Hope Leaders Desire Church Families Become Givers

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The church leaders at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia desire that the church family be givers and not just receivers, expecting help from others. Please pray…

  • that God transforms the church families view of work and money.
  • that God will place it on the hearts of those who are currently working hard to support themselves and families, to see needs and give for God’s glory.
  • that God will place a desire in the hearts of others who are not working to work and contribute. Many have LEARNED over the years to depend on the provisions that the government provides.
  • for the transformational power of the Spirit to act in the hearts of both groups of people.
  • that we have wisdom as we develop “Urban Works.” “Urban Works” is being designed to teach godly principles of work (integrity, habits, responsibility, time management, respect of authority, etc.)

If you would like to find out more about Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.

ESPN Sports Highlights Jerod Cherry’s 2008 Momentum Youth Conference Decision to Donate One of His Super Bowl Rings

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Jerod Cherry, during a main session at Momentum Youth Conference 2008, talks about his decision to donate one of his Super Bowl rings

Jerod Cherry, during a main session at Momentum Youth Conference 2008, talks about his decision to donate one of his Super Bowl rings

This is awesome to see the impact Momentum Youth Conference 2008 had on Jerod Cherry as he donated his Super Bowl ring in response to God moving through the conference and staff. Through the National Youth Project Offering accompanied by money given from the ring, Momentum students were able to help build an orphanage in Thailand!
Read all about it in this ESPN.com article!.

Day Away–North of 55 Coming to Grace Church in Ashland, Ohio

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Jeff Bogue, lead pastor at Grace Church in Akron, Ohio, will be the main speaker for the Day Away at Grace Church in Ashland, Ohio, on March 17. The theme for the day is Living Beyond with Pastor Jeff speaking twice. There will also be break-out sessions offered.

Grace Church is located at 1144 West Main Street, Ashland, Ohio. The cost is $25 per person/$45 per couple. Grace Church is taking care of registrations on their website.