Spoken Word Artist, Jackie Hill, to Speak at Momentum Youth Conference

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Jackie Hill is known as a poet but she is simply a sinner saved by a gracious God. Born in St. Louis, Mo., on June 21, 1989, she was raised with a knowledge of God due to some close family members influence on her young life.

Growing up, Jackie was molested by a family friend, bullied in school, and fatherless, which, accompanied with an inherent separation from God, led her into a lifestyle of rebellion, homosexuality, drug use, porn addiction, and everything wicked. Yet, she was loved and desired by a God who predestined her to know Him (Eph1:11), who died in her place while she was yet a sinner (Rom 5:8), and resurrected from the grave after three days.

Visit buildmomentum.org to find out more about Momentum Youth Conference.

Urban Hope Packs 300 Meals For Neighborhood

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Packing up the meals

Thank you for your generous donations which will provide 300 Thanksgiving meals to the people in the Kensington area of Urban Hope.

Families pay only $5 for their entire meal. The outreach also creates jobs for people in Urban Hope Community Church who are currently unemployed.

Last night (Nov. 20) the meals were packed and they’ll be distributed today. See pictures on the Urban Hope Facebook page.

New Curriculum: Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy Revealed

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2014_11_21_danielLinda Boerstler and Nancy Stone from Columbus, Ohio, have collaborated on the end-times curriculum Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy Revealed.

Geared for elementary, middle school, and high school students in an easy to read format, the curriculum is designed to teach prophecy to younger students so that an understanding can be developed of the biblical concepts of end-times prophecy.

The curriculum includes answers to questions like:

  • Why are Daniel and his friends in Babylon?
  • What happens when Nebuchadnezzar has a disturbing dream?
  • Who is able to interpret that dream?
  • How does the coming of Jesus fulfill prophecy?

This work follows the book of Daniel and ultimately ties it with the book of Revelation and the culmination of history. This leads the reader through the prophetic events and provides an understanding of his or her place within those events. It also gives the reader the opportunity to accept the teachings presented as they point to a decision to accept the salvation provided for them through the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. This work also provides the actual scripture references that validate the teachings that are presented. The use of time lines and other illustrations serve as aids to simplify the concepts.

For ordering information contact Nancy Stone at jstone7bible@wowway.com or Linda Boerstler at poetry328@aol.com.

The CE National Board of Directors Meets in Winona Lake

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(Top left to right) Jason Holt, (CE exec. staff member) Clancy Cruise (joining Jan. 1), Ed Short (CE Exec. staff member), Donna Yost (member at large), Dennis Russell (leaving Dec 31), Jason Haymaker (joining Jan 1), Dave Knepper (vice president), Jesse DeBoest (CE Exec. Staff Member), Tim Lansing, David Smith (joining Jan 1), (Bottom left to right) Ed Lewis (ex-officio, CE Executive Director), Shannon Hollinger, Brad Deetscreek, Jim Brown, Jon Rauch (secretary), Steve Peters (president), Joel Hawthorn, Timothy Kurtaneck (CE Exec. staff member). Not pictured Stacie Buhl (leaving Dec. 31), Ron Shank, Denise Hutchison, and Cari Serafino (joining Jan. 1)

The CE National Board of Directors meetings took place this past weekend in Winona Lake, Indiana, at CE National’s Russell Center.  Meetings began with two committees meeting on Thursday evening with the full board beginning on Friday morning. Reports were given and by mid-afternoon the board broke into committees for discussions and motions. Friday evening the CE National staff and guests joined for dinner and the Feather Center Dedication. Saturday morning the board met to go through motions and was dismissed by 12:30 pm.

Two board members were honored with gifts for their service to CE National as they will go off the board as of December 31, 2014. Those members were Dennis Russell, Edmonds, Washington, for 10 years of service and Stacie Buhl, Waldorf, Maryland, for three years of service. The board welcomed several new members who will join them January 1, 2015. They are David Smith, Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, Clancy Cruise, Marysville, Ohio, Cari Serafino, Osceola, Indiana, and Jason Haymaker, Macedonia, Ohio. Jason had been a CE National Board member in the past and now is returning to the board.  Dave Knepper, York, Pennsylvania, was an incumbent who will be returning for another three-year term.

Special guest and consultant, Pastor Knute Larson, joined the meetings on Friday.

Long-time friend of CE National, Pastor Paul Mutchler, along with Timothy Kurtaneck (TK) led a time of orientation for the new board members on Friday morning prior to the start of the meetings.

The next board meetings will be held in May.

Project Manager Coming to Urban Hope

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Dennis and Cathy Boyd

A generous donor has made the purchase of a three story apartment building at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia possible. The building needs renovations and Dennis Boyd will move from Modesto, California, to Urban Hope for up to six months to manage the project. Cathy, Dennis’ wife and former CE National receptionist, will join him and help with support ministries at Urban Hope. The building will be used to house students in the Studies in Urban Ministries (SUM) program from Grace College as well as summer ministry teams.


Apartment complex recently purchased through generous donations.

Youth Ministry Students Visit Willow Creek Community Church

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The TNI class in front of Giordano’s Pizza

This past Sunday morning, 18 of The National Institute students awoke early and headed to Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, to participate in a morning church service, see the facilities, and hear from a youth pastor about the church’s scope of ministry.

The worship service featured excellent music and an impactful message from Pastor Bill Hybels on God being the anchor of our lives.  Hundreds went forward and made decisions to make God the anchor of their life and each was given an anchor as a memento to remember their commitment to Christ.  The highlight of the service was the baptisms of over 150 individuals who were going public with their faith.  It was an impactful service where God moved in people’s hearts.

Following an informational time with Andy Bohn, a pastor on staff with Elevate, the middle school ministry at Willow, it was off for the annual luncheon at Giordano’s for some Chicago deep dish pizza.  This trip is one of the highlights of the TNI youth ministry program and allows students to see one of the most influential churches in North America–and the pizza is pretty good too…

Students talk about their Willow Creek experience

Holly Bennett

TNI has been such a blessing to my life and my calling in ministry.  The trip to Willow Creek was a perfect end to some great years of training, learning, and experiencing.  It was encouraging to walk into a huge church that is doing ministry so well, and see that it is so focused on the Bible and the gospel.

Katie Etter

Attending the church service in Chicago, Illinois, with my youth ministry class was both enlightening and educational.  Its large congregation, along with a welcoming atmosphere, provides a variety of inspirational ministries.

Aaron Christenberry

Being able to witness hundreds of people make a decision for Christ and then to see a large number of people get baptized reaffirmed for me that God is wanting to transform lives today the way He did with the Church in Acts, and that He still is!

Ninety Grace College students are currently a part of The National Institute, learning more about ministering to the next generation.  Visit thenationalinstitute.net for more information on TNI.

Wife of American Pastor Being Held in Iranian Prison to Speak at Momentum 2015

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2014_11_21_NaghmehAbediniNaghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini, will be one of the speakers during Momentum Youth Conference 2015.

Pastor Abedini is being held in an Iranian prison. The pastor’s plight “remains urgent as he faces physical torture, malnourishment, 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.

CE National Dedicates the Feather Center

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Ray Feather

Last Friday evening (Nov 14, 2014), the Feather Center at CE National’s Life Application Center was dedicated in honor of Pastor Ray Feather. Formerly known as the Philemon Center, the purpose of the Feather Center is to be a place of refreshment for Christian workers and a setting for leadership retreats.

The evening began with introductions of the 70+ in attendance, prayer, and a catered meal. The program began with a vocal rendition of “At Calvary” by Dave and Sherilyn Rank and Christy Barlow. Dave Knepper, board vice president from York, Pa., then gave a review of Pastor Ray’s life of ministry.

Ed Lewis presented the plaque that now hangs in the entrance of the Feather Center. Ed also shared memories of Pastor Ray, his role on the CE National Board of Directors, and his leadership in Bible Quizzing. Dennis Russell, CE National Board member from Grace Community Chapel in Mukilteo, Wash., read two of Pastor Feather’s favorite passages of Scripture: the book of Philemon and Ephesians 3:14-21. Family and friends of Pastor Ray shared about the impact of his life and ministry recalling past experiences, funny stories, and appreciation for a life focused on God.

Jesse DeBoest, CE National CFO, shared on the renovations made and the intended usage of the Feather Center and Jon Rauch, board secretary, read the official motion of the CE National Board of Directors declaring the naming of the Feather Center. Scott Feather and Doni Weimer (two of Ray’s children) shared with the group through videos they had made and Sharon Feather, Ray’s wife, spoke before the group. The program concluded with the Prayer of Dedication by Pastor Jim Brown and everyone was dismissed to enjoy dessert at the newly updated facility.

CE National would like to thank the Lord for Pastor Ray Feather and his solid commitment to Christ. This Church Effectiveness ministry was impacted by his life through his love for Jesus, for people, and for the Scriptures. “Your life continues to make an impact upon others, Pastor Ray!” said Timothy Kurtaneck (TK).

See pictures on the CE National Facebook page. Watch a video of the dedication on the CE National YouTube channel.

CE National to Honor Ray Feather

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2014_11_7_featherTonight, November 14, the CE National board of directors and staff will officially rename the Philemon Center to the Feather Center in honor of the late Ray Feather.

Ray was pastor of Grace Community Church in Mukilteo, Washington, and an avid supporter of CE National. At the event will be people from the Mukilteo church, Ray’s wife, Sharon, family members and friends, and the CE National board of directors and staff. Paul Mutchler, lead pastor of the Lanham Grace Church in Lanham, Pa., will have a part in the dedication.

The public is invited to the 6:30 pm dedication service.

CE National Board of Directors Meets This Weekend

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Please pray as the CE National Board of Directors are meeting at the CE National Russell Center in Winona Lake, Ind., November 14 and 15. The group will come together to pray, hear reports on how God is blessing CE National, and discuss long-term goals and objectives.

Current board members include:
Steve Peters, Jon Rauch, Ron Shank, Brad Deetscreek, Dave Knepper, Denise Hutchison, Tim Lansing, Jim Brown, Joel Hawthorne

Going off the board at the end of 2014
Dennis Russell, Stacie Buhl

Going on the board in 2015
Cari Serafino, Dave Smith, Jason Haymaker, and Clancy Cruise

Please pray for wisdom and clarity of decisions for our board of directors.

Free Christmas Video From the 252 Creative Team

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The 252 Creative Team, creators of Orange children’s curriculum, has put together a wonderful video for Christmas. It’s free and would work well for any kid’s Christmas program.

Rediscover the Christmas story from Luke 1 and 2 with this fresh telling through the eyes of children. Joseph shepherds Mary through the backwoods in a red wagon, an angel sweeps in on a tire swing and wise men celebrate with sparklers. Kids and parents alike will connect with the beauty and mystery of the first Christmas in this 5-minute video that can fit easily into any worship service or seasonal production. The video is available here and can be freely used in your church.

Operation Barnabas Was the Perfect Preparation For College — Abbi

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Abbi (second from the right) with some of her NorthEast teammates

“…I now realize that going on Operation Barnabas was the perfect preparation for college.”

Abbi Belsterling was a member of the 2014 NorthEast Operation Barnabas team. Originally from Ashland, Ohio, Abbi is now a freshman at Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania. She recently responded to a concern some students (and parents) have about a graduating senior spending six weeks in the summer on Operation Barnabas when preparing to go to college in the fall. Her insight may be helpful for prospective applicants and their parents to consider as they pray about the possibility of applying to spend some of their summer serving on OB 2015.

Abbi, you went on Operation Barnabas as a graduating senior. What would you say to someone who says, “I don’t want to give up that much of my summer, especially before I am going to leave home for school in the fall?”

“I was thinking the same thing a year ago at this time. I was about to graduate high school and didn’t want to be gone all summer before leaving for college. However, I now realize that going on Operation Barnabas was the perfect preparation for college. I became more comfortable meeting new people and I learned how to go deeper and be real with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am so grateful for spending my summer on OB as I am using both of these attributes every day in college!”

If you haven’t checked out the new Operation Barnabas video, go to operationbarnabas.net/video to hear additional testimonies from alumni about why they recommend students choosing one summer in their high school experience to serve on Operation Barnabas.

So, who do you know that you should encourage to apply for OB 2015? Now is the time for students to be prayerfully considering applying. The preliminary application deadline is next Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Students who have their applications in by this first deadline will be informed of their status in mid-December. A second application deadline in mid-January is also available for students to apply for any available openings. Further information specific to Operation Barnabas 2015 is on our website, operationbarnabas.net, along with the OB application and reference forms.

Please contact Sherilyn at obmail@cenational.org if you have additional questions about the Operation Barnabas ministry.

Urban Hope Thanksgiving Offering

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2014_10_17_uh_thanksgiving_smallBecause our hope rests in the transforming power of Christ, join us this holiday season and see God continue to move at Urban Hope!

In the community around Urban Hope people live 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 we are also providing jobs for a few people in our local church and community who are currently unemployed.

Every bag offers hope… of the gospel …of community …of provision.

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

Operation Barnabas Also Benefits The Local Church

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The ministry of Operation Barnabas not only benefits the students who participate, but also the churches and youth ministries that send them on this six-week ministry training experience. We recently asked several youth pastors, who had multiple students from their church participate on OB 2014, why they encourage Operation Barnabas participation as a part of their youth ministry.

Matt Simon

Matt Simon

“Operation Barnabas does in one summer what many student pastors take four years to accomplish. Our kids come back with a refreshed urgency for the lost while actualizing their redemptive potential inside their schools and families. OB challenges this generation to see the world differently and chase Christ with all they have. The tools our students learned, such as private devotionals, leadership development, and general social skills, will serve them in high school and beyond. They have seen the value of the local church as the Bride of Christ and are fierce at wasting their lives to advance it. I cannot praise OB enough! They have helped us build something special in our student ministries.”
Matt Simon, youth pastor, Western Reserve Grace Brethren Church, Macedonia, Ohio


Rob Wagler

Rob Wagler

“As a youth pastor with three students on Operation Barnabas this past year, I have had the opportunity to see, first-hand, the growth, life-change and passion that has been ignited within my students. I believe Operation Barnabas is a great ministry to develop not only a student’s faith, but the application of that faith in real life experiences. OB is not just a ministry training program, but a life-directing experience that will grow a student’s personal relationship with the Lord and provide real opportunities to learn how to develop and live out his or her faith. I strongly encourage students to consider Operation Barnabas.”
Rob Wagler, youth pastor, Brighton Chapel, Howe, Ind.

Jared Yordy

Jared Yordy

“Operation Barnabas is a great springboard for our student ministry. My teens come back from OB with a deeper passion for doing ministry and a desire to be growing spiritually. They also display a hunger for leadership opportunities within our youth group and are also actively sharing their faith with their peers at their school campus back home. I don’t know of a ministry that does a better job of training and equipping young people in the areas of discipleship and evangelism than OB. Our church has greatly benefited from the ministry of Operation Barnabas over the years.”
Jared Yordy, youth pastor, Grace Brethren Church, Canton, Ohio

Now is the time for students to be prayerfully considering applying for Operation Barnabas 2015. The preliminary application deadline is November 19, 2014.

Information and applications are available on the Operation Barnabas website.

TNI Presents Youth Emphasis Week 2014

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Students lead through reading Scripture and prayer.

Each year, The National Institute, the youth ministry major of Grace College
that is overseen by CE National, hosts a Youth Emphasis Week.  Chapels this
week have been planned through TNI to bring Mark Cahill and Dr. Randy Smith as guest speakers for the Grace College chapels. TNI graduate Jeremy Byng is the guest worship leader for the week.

Cahill began by sharing a message titled “Praying for Bob.” Along with many
stories of God working in people’s lives when Christ followers share their
faith. Main ideas included effective evangelism as being Burdened for
people, praying for Opportunities, and being Bold to share the truth of the
gospel in love.  Randy Smith used the beatitudes from Matthew 5 to share
that the world needs to know Christ, and our lives and our words must match
in sharing the good news of Jesus.

CE National is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Grace College
and Seminary to produce these fine program: TNI (the youth ministry major at Grace College), Studies in Urban Ministries (a new program being launched this year), and Super Wednesday (pastor training held at CE National’s Russell Center four times each year.)


Mark Cahill speaking during chapel.


Randy Smith makes a critical point during his time in chapel


Jeremy Byng helps to lead worship.


Dr. Kevin Zuber Speaks During Super Wednesday

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Dr. Zuber talks with the group that gathered

Dr. Kevin Zuber, professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, spoke during the November 6 Super Wednesday. Dr. Zuber helped pastors and others who attended understand better what they need to know about Postmodernism.

The next Super Wednesday is Feb. 4, 2015, featuring Dr. Walter C. Kaiser.

Super Wednesdays are open to pastors, church staff, and lay people. They are specifically designed for growing you and your church. Visit superwednesdays.net to find out more.


Taking notes


Part of the group that gathered.

2014_11_7_sw_2 2014_11_7_sw_3

Operation Barnabas Ministry Reunion

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The Florida Team Enjoying Philadelphia

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1: 3-6

Remembrance can make reunion so sweet.  Remembering the great things the Lord did in and through Operation Barnabas 2014 is part of what makes the annual ministry reunion so incredible.  After praying for and hearing from afar the works of God in these students lives; leaders (and students alike) get to see the work of the Father and experience the echoes of their prayers for one another first hand!

On Friday, October 31, thirty-some Operation Barnabas 2014 alumni set out for the Urban Hope Training Center in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Urban Hope has existed in the Kensington neighborhood for many years now and the Lord has been using it for great purposes in building his Kingdom in the inner city.  Urban Hope is no stranger to Operation Barnabas teams, even serving as a stop for the Northeast team this summer.

When students arrived, they got right to what these teams do best; ministry.  The alumni from Indiana, Ohio, and parts of Pennsylvania who rode the big blue bus to reunion reunited with their teammates from Pennsylvania who were already a part of a Halloween block party that Urban Hope was hosting for their neighbors.

Afterwards, students got some much needed time to catch up in teams and hear what the Lord has been doing in each of their lives.  Reunion can be an intimidating time for some.  Some students are coming together after some of the hardest three months they have ever faced spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.  While still others have experienced family members accept Jesus, seen friends understand the gospel, and their churches encouraged.  The awesome thing about reunion for either of these experiences is that the gospel covers both.  Jesus meets all of these students; they are known by the Lord. Each alumnus is equally loved, understood, and sustained by the Father.  Operation Barnabas leaders at reunion pray regularly to extend this truth to their students and have an awesome opportunity to put it into action as they hear from each student; encouraging and exhorting them to continue to faithfully pursue the Lord.

But hearing of God’s work at home is only part of reunion. Saturday was another jam-packed day of ministry together.  After hearing from Ed Lewis (of Urban Hope and CE National) and Urban Hope staff members, students set out for Reading Terminal Market, the Cambodian section of Philadelphia, Love Park, Independence Hall, the Rocky steps at the Art Museum AND South Street.  Tired yet?  Not many ministries are able to cover as much in one day as an Operation Barnabas team but each section of Philadelphia provided awesome opportunities to meet spiritual and physical needs of the people that Operation Barnabas team members came in contact with.  These alumni shared Jesus with people they met at lunch, while exploring the city, and  with homeless men and women they encountered.  With the help of Urban Hope students were even able to provide lunches and socks.

All good things must come to an end, however, and after a stop at Sharon Baptist Church for Sunday services, students made their way back to their respective homes.  Leaders and the entire staff of CE National are excited and expectant to see God bring the good work that He has started in each of these Operation Barnabas alumni brought to further completion every day!

packing meals for the homeless

packing meals for the homeless


Olivia initiating conversation at Reading Terminal Market

NorthEast team at reunion

NorthEast team at reunion

Jade Palace for iced tea is always a highlight

Jade Palace for iced tea is always a highlight

Impromptu worship time

Impromptu worship time

Florida team in Philly

Florida team in Philly


Emily Sanders with a new friend at the UHTC Fall Fest

CE National Board of Directors Meets Next Weekend

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The CE National Board of Directors will be meeting at the CE National Russell Center in Winona Lake, Ind., November 14 and 15. The group will come together to pray, hear reports on how God is blessing CE National, and discuss long-term goals and objectives.

Current board members include:
Steve Peters, Jon Rauch, Ron Shank, Brad Deetscreek, Dave Knepper, Denise Hutchison, Tim Lansing, Jim Brown, Joel Hawthorne

Going off the board at the end of 2014
Dennis Russell, Stacie Buhl

Going on the board in 2015
Cari Serafino, Dave Smith, Jason Haymaker, and Clancy Cruise

Please pray for wisdom and clarity of decisions for our board of directors.