Urban Hope Community Church Trains Congregation

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Urban Hope Community Church Trains Congregation
Urban Hope Community Church Trains Congregation

Training the congregation

The Urban Hope Community Church in Philadelphia used part of their mid-week service last week to train the congregation how to help people who overdose on drugs. The church is actively involved with assisting people caught in the opioid epidemic. The Urban Hope church does regular homeless ministries, clothes, food distribution, and more. One person at the church has helped save lives of those who have overdosed by using NARCAN over 100 times this year! (NARCAN is a nasal spray used to help reverse opioid overdose.)

Two New Interns at Urban Hope Philadelphia

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Two New Interns at Urban Hope Philadelphia

Two New Interns at Urban Hope Philadelphia

Natalie Revesz and Lea Belcher are interning for the summer at Urban Hope Philadelphia. Natalie is from Moody Bible Institute and Lea is from Cedarville University.

Natalie
I came to be an intern at Urban Hope this summer through a significant answer to prayer. Ever since I began studying urban ministry, I knew I desired to return to Philadelphia for the internship portion of my degree’s requirements. I have been here several times in the past and I knew that this neighborhood is a place where God is moving and where His heart is. While I am here at Urban Hope, I am interested in assisting the children’s ministry both short term and building a trajectory for its long term growth. I would like to use my previous experience in children’s ministry and specifically with Urban Hope in order to do this. I am also interested in the outreach Urban Hope does in the neighborhood, as well as being a part of the impact that God makes on the teams that come through during the summer.

I expect to learn a great deal about the regular ministry functions of Urban Hope, and how the urban environment affects them. This summer will give me an in-depth look at urban ministry from a practical perspective, which I believe will work together with the theoretical knowledge I have been learning at school.

Also, I am hoping to learn more about Hispanic culture and how the gospel speaks to them. I would like to pick up a little more Spanish, too. Overall, I am very excited to be here at Urban Hope and looking forward to seeing how God moves in the neighborhood, the teams, and me as an intern.

Lea
I’ve been interested in urban ministry for a few years, and I’m so excited that the Lord has provided for me to intern at Urban Hope this summer.

I have been to Urban Hope once before for a weekend, and while I was here, I saw a side of the city that I had never seen before. I remember my eyes being opened to the hurt and brokenness that people face in this part of the city, especially when my group did homeless ministry under the EL (elevated train).

While I was here, I thought about doing a gap year internship, but it didn’t work out as my family was in the process of moving and we had other things going on. However, the Lord put it on my heart to apply for the summer internship at Urban Hope this year, and He has also provided the money for me to be here.

I’m excited and ready for whatever this summer holds. I’m especially looking forward to engaging with the predominant Hispanic culture of Urban Hope’s community as well as just becoming comfortable living in the inner city and learning how to do ministry here. Most importantly, though, I’m hoping to grow spiritually and to grow in my love for the Lord and confidence in the gospel, as well as to learn to live openly and boldly for Jesus in my daily life.

Kingsway Christian School Visits Urban Hope Philadelphia

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Kingsway Christian School Visits Urban Hope Philadelphia
Kingsway Christian School Visits Urban Hope Philadelphia

Kingsway Christian School students

Kingsway Christian School from Orville, Ohio, visited Urban Hope from May 11-17. The group, made up of 12 high school juniors, did homeless outreach and engaged people on 30th Street, Reading Market, and Chinatown in order to share the gospel with them. The group also did prayer walks, went to Sunday breakfast, and even visited ROCK ministries, Urban Hope’s outreach to students.

“My time here really stretched me out of my comfort zone. I had to intentionally be friendly, even when I was tired. I learned how to really talk and listen to people.”

“Even though I came into the week with a shy mentality, I came out with a mentality that wants to show everyone God’s love.”

Visit urbanhope.net/philly to find out how you can bring a group to Urban Hope Philadelphia.

Grace College Group Visits Urban Hope Philadelphia

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Grace College at Urban Hope Philadelphia
Grace College at Urban Hope Philadelphia

The group of Grace College students at Urban Hope Philadelphia

On Sunday, May 12, twenty-one Grace College students traveled to Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a week-long cross-cultural ministry trip. Over the course of the week, students participated in various ministry opportunities, including ministry with homeless and addicts. Getting to enjoy some of the more famous locations in Philadelphia, such as the Liberty Bell, Reading Terminal Market, and the Rocky Steps, students also were able to experience many cross-cultural areas of the city. See pictures…

One lesson students learned was that the highest level of ministry life is to do ministry “as you go,” taking advantage of every opportunity to be like Jesus. The trip was designed to allow for practice in doing ministry through tasks and interaction with people both like and unlike the team. Another lesson learned was that there is an array of cultures filled with vastly different people who need Jesus. There is value in understanding the vastness of the world and how to communicate truth to different cultures.

The Philadelphia Art Museum provided some highlights. Noah, a student on the trip, spent most the time at the museum sharing his story with a security guard. Noah was able to share about how God had saved his own life and has given him a purpose for the rest of it. At 30th Street Station, a group of students were able to buy food for a homeless woman and hear her story, offering her hope in Jesus. Another group had the opportunity to buy food for and have conversations with a group of intentionally homeless friends on South Street. The students were able to have an open conversation about the gospel.

Some insights included an eye-opening time spent doing ministry with addicts. Underneath the city’s elevated train system, students spent time feeding and communicating with people on the streets—the majority had heroin addictions. One student found particular difficulty dealing with something he heard one of the women say, “I would rather be raped than experience withdrawal.” This is a remarkably sad but unfortunately common reality for most who feel helplessly addicted.

Chinatown offered insight into a culture that is more conversationally-averse. Students found that striking up conversation within a Chinese culture was more challenging. A third evident cultural insight was that those who have much feel they have little need, while those who have little are more aware of personal need. The wealthy had no interest in the gospel, or rarely a desire to have any conversation. The poor generally have a deeper understanding of brokenness and need.

Lastly, it was seen that there are opportunities for engagement everywhere. Public transportation, convenience stores, restaurants–all these contain opportunities to engage with people. While this is perhaps not an insight about a particular culture, it is true of culture at large. While many do not step into these situations, the opportunities still exist within the natural circumstances of modern culture.

Please pray for the students who arrived home last Saturday, May 18. Pray that they would take what they learned and apply it in their lives at home, school, work, and wherever they would go. Pray for Philadelphia as a city. Pray that there would be a revival among its people for the furthering of the gospel. Pray for the homeless of Philadelphia, and that ministries would step in to meet their spiritual and physical needs. Pray similarly for the addicts of the city. Pray that they would find satisfaction in Jesus and feel freedom from the chains of opioid addiction. Lastly, pray for Urban Hope as it continues its mission of bringing hope to a broken community.

Visit urbanhope.net/philly to find out how you can bring a group to Urban Hope Philadelphia.

11th Graders Visit Urban Hope Philadelphia

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Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

A group of 11th grade students from Kingsway Christian School are visiting Urban Hope Philadelphia this week. The group plans to have time in the Kensington neighborhood, conversations with people on the EL (Elevated Train), and be part of a cross-cultural project in a Cambodian park. The students will also help with Urban Hope’s ROCK student ministry, do a prayer walk and neighborhood cleanup project, as well as spend time at the Art Museum and other Philadelphia sights.

If you would like to know more about bringing your group to Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.

Two Decades of Operation Barnabas Team Blogs

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Two Decades of Operation Barnabas Team Blogs

Two Decades of Operation Barnabas Team Blogs

The first Operation Barnabas summer ministry team photos were posted during the summer of 1999. Bill Clinton was President. A gallon of gas cost $1.22. The movie The Sixth Sense had just come out and high-speed Internet was just beginning to be available. Dial-up was the most common way to connect to the Internet.

I remember going on Operation Barnabas 39 years ago,” says Timothy Kurtaneck, (TK) now director of Operation Barnabas. “It was a fantastic summer, on the complete other side of the United States, with my new “best friends” doing ministry together.

I know our adult leaders gave us time to call home each week but I think I may have only called home once that entire summer… no news is good news, right?? 🙂

My parents heard from me because our leaders made us write a letter, put a stamp on it, and send it through the US Mail. This may have been the story for most families with students on OB through the first 25 years or so of OB tours… and then everything changed!

Twenty years ago we were able to start posting pictures and sharing updates on a website—and everyone back home could see what was going on! Every day they saw a write-up summarizing the day and got to see pictures of the ministry going on hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away. We got better prayer coverage. Plus people became more aware of Operation Barnabas and the opportunities high school students had in ministry.

In ’99 the leaders took pictures with digital cameras and transferred them to laptops. In order to send the pictures the leaders had to find a phone line in the church, connect through dial-up, and stay up late into the night waiting for photos to transfer. It was slow and prone to failure. Steve Koontz, now the IT developer for CE National, was a youth pastor in Florida in 1999. “TK asked me to post the pictures and reports,” says Steve. “The leaders emailed them to me overnight. I got up early in the morning to upload the photos to the website.”

Now the leaders use their cell phones and post directly to the Operation Barnabas Instagram accounts. Sometimes they video part of a program or an interview and post it to social media.

The mission of Operation Barnabas hasn’t changed over the years. But the advances in technology have made it much easier to share that mission with others.

Follow the 2019 Operation Barnabas teams at blogs.operationbarnabas.net/2019

Operation Barnabas 1999 Team

Operation Barnabas 1999 Team

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Testimonies from Urban Hope Philadelphia

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Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Students from the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Valley Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland; recently visited Urban Hope Philadelphia.  Here are testimonies from the groups:

Urban Hope made me realize that even though people don’t believe in God they let you speak about Him to them.  I’m going to start really talking to people back home about Christ.

Urban Hope gave me courage to tell people I know about Christ and it taught me that I’m not better but forgiven.

I have felt God’s love and felt Him speaking to me this week to take me out of my comfort zone to share my faith and pray with people.

Everyone deserves a chance to hear about God.  Whether there on drugs or are to poor or anything.  Everyone needs to know the Lord.

This semester of college was terrible. I developed panic attacks and started to run away from God. I was really afraid to come to the trip because I wasn’t praying. On this trip I was forced to pray. The stories I heard broke my heart. I prayed and my panic attacks got worse, BUT, I prayed. My shattered heart began to mend. In darkness I saw light. I will never forget the people I met and I hope that they will give me motivation to continue to pray constantly.
It made me realize how much I am capable of doing in other’s lives if I started to act. For example, how I could have approached my classmates last year.

If you would like to know more about bringing a group to Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.

Staff Accountant Job Posting

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Email cover letter and resume along with completed application to Jesse DeBoest at jesse@cenational.org if interested.

CE National is seeking a staff accountant to work in the finance department and assist the chief financial officer.

CE National is a Christian ministry that serves as a catalyst to see all believers live ON MISSION. Our ministries include an annual youth conference, summer ministry teams, inner city ministries, urban and youth degree programs in cooperation with Grace College. As well as other ministry to help believers and churches to live ON MISSION. We are looking for a full time staff accountant to be a part of our team.

Scope of Responsibilities:

Trained in accounting and in preparation, auditing and analysis of accounts. Responsible for keeping all financial records including payroll information, accounts payable, accounts receivable, restricted funds, and information regarding investments held by the organization. Performs internal audits, to ensure that the financial records of the organization are accurate. Prepares annual reports and financial statements for planning, decision making and an external audit. Advises on tax laws and investment opportunities.

General Responsibilities:

  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Maintain internal controls and safeguards for receipt of revenue, costs, and program budgets and actual expenditures.
  • Assist in developing requested schedules and information for an annual external audit.
  • Assist leadership in the annual budgeting and planning process.
  • Support the CFO in engaging the board’s audit and finance committees around issues and trends in financial operating models and delivery.
  • Oversee all financial, project/program and grant accounting; ensuring that expenditures are consistently aligned with grants and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period; collate financial reporting materials for grants.
  • Manage organizational cash flow forecasting by working in partnership with the program directors.
  • Manage and track the performance of invested assets in keeping with policies and investment guidelines.

Team Leadership:

  • Leverage strength of current finance team members, help to clarify roles and responsibilities and develop and implement training programs in order to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals.
  • Provide leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization relating to financial performance.

Qualifications:

  • Strong testimony and models living ON MISSION.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and unwavering commitment to CE National’s mission
  • A proactive, hands-on strategic thinker who will own, in partnership with the CFO, the responsibility for accounting
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Good team builder
  • Minimum of a BA or BS
  • Solid experience coordinating audit activities and managing reporting, budget development and analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments.

Status: Full Time, Non-Exempt

Compensation:

  • Salary would be based on experience.
  • Benefits include: health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, short-term disability insurance, life insurance as well as paid holidays, vacation and sick time. There is also an educational allowance available.

Download PDF of job description

Meet the Operation Barnabas West Team Leaders for 2019!

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Meet the Operation Barnabas  West Team Leaders for 2019!Timothy Kurtaneck, director of youth leadership training at CE National, said, “I am thrilled to be leading the West OB Team with this roster of adult leaders! I believe they will have significant impact and make an incredible difference in the lives of their team members for the cause of Christ that will go far beyond just this summer. I am confident God is going to use them in big ways.” See pictures and read the bios of the West Team leaders here.

Over 150 Attend Heritage Day 2019

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Over 150 Attend Heritage Day 2019

Heritage Day 2019 was a great time of fellowship and growth. The special guests were Dr. Walt Mueller, Piercing Word, Ed Lewis, and Tess Schafer.

Ed Lewis, president of CE National, led worship with the vocalists from Piercing Word. Tess Schafer shared about a ministry at her church in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, where they are turning plastic bags into mats for the homeless. Tess even brought some materials so people could work on the mats while at Heritage Day. There was such a positive response from the crowd with many people discussing how they would like to introduce this ministry to their church.

One person commented on Piercing Word’s dramatic scripture performance, “I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy Piercing Word but I found their performance moving.”

Dr. Walt Mueller, the main speaker, did an amazing job connecting with the audience. Dr. Mueller provided helpful tips, and ultimately challenged the group to be effective grandparents and continue to impact the youth by living ON MISSION.

Heritage Day was held on Friday, April 26, at Shady Maple Smörgåsbord in East Earl, Pennsylvania.

See pictures…

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Easter Celebration at Community Grace Goshen

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Jim Brown
Jim Brown

Jim Brown preaches during Easter services

Jim Brown, lead pastor of Community Grace Church in Goshen, Indiana, and CE National Board of Director’s member talks about the Easter services at his church. “God moved in a powerful way in our three Easter services.

There were 270 decisions for Jesus in our adult services and 90 decisions in our children’s ministries. We had 4,211 people in attendance. God keeps bringing us people.”

Urban Hope Philadelphia News

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Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Grace Church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and Valley Grace in Hagerstown, Maryland, arrived today at Urban Hope Philadelphia. The group from Grace church will partner with Convoy of Hope Philadelphia to help with their large block party near Urban Hope.

On Sunday a group of college seniors from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown is coming for the week. Then May 4 is Urban Hope’s large outreach day of service called Urban Hope Cares.

It’s Not Too Late. Apply for City Life This Summer!

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City Life Summer Ministry Experience

City Life Summer Ministry Experience

Looking for a way to serve this summer, but don’t have time for a lengthy ministry trip? Why not consider City Life, CE National’s eight-day ministry opportunity for high school students! This summer, City Life goes coast-to-coast as we partner with CE National’s two Urban Hope locations.

City Life East, June 1–8, will be located at Urban Hope Philadelphia and City Life West takes place at Urban Hope Los Angeles, June 11–18. The goal of City Life is to deepen high school students’ love relationship with God and His church by exposing them to ministry opportunities that help them share their faith as they love and serve others. The best way to find out more about City Life is to go to citylifetour.org and while you are there, fill out the online application! City Life is open to students who have completed grade 8 through high school graduates.

Learn How Plastic Bags Help the Homeless During Heritage Day 2019

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Heritage Day 2019
Tess Schafer works on a homeless mat

Tess Schafer works on a homeless mat

Tess Schafer, from Meyersdale Grace Brethren Church, Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, will be at Heritage Day. Tess will talk about how the Meyersdale Grace Brethren Church makes mats for the homeless out of platic bags.

Tess is married to Aaron, youth pastor of the Meyersdale church. The couple discovered the mats on the way to the 2018 National Youth Worker Retreat.

Heritage Day will feature Dr. Walt Mueller as the guest speaker. Also on the schedule is a special performance by Piercing Word and worship led by Diane Susek.

Heritage Day is April 26, 2019, at Shady Maple Smörgåsbord, in East Earl, Pennsylvania.

Find out more and register at cenational.org/heritage.

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Urban Hope Cares is May 4th

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Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Urban Hope Training Center Philadelphia

Please pray for Urban Hope Cares day of service. On May 4, 2019, people from Urban Hope Philadelphia will work hard to impact their neighborhood for Christ. There will be people going door-to-door, offering to serve the community. The HopeMobile truck will play music and provide a platform for people to give testimonies. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers grilling on the side of the truck. Inside the community center they will have a prayer table and give away groceries.

Everyone will be invited to the Sunday morning worship service where a flat-screen TV will be raffled away for free and a big lunch planned in the Urban Hope Community Center.

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