Incredible 4th and final Missions Week of 2017!

The fourth and final Missions Week of 2017 was incredible! This week, we were joined in NC by four churches: Central Schwenkfelder Church Lansdale, West Lawn UMC, St. Mark’s UMC Mount Joy, and Honey Brook Presbyterian Church. We had about 94 individuals total, including those who worked in the kitchen, our speaker, and other staff members who worked behind the scenes.

The Worksites

Throughout the week, the four churches worked on twelve different projects across Brunswick County, both in individual homes and in community centers. Significant progress was made on all of the sites, and a few projects were even completed by the end of the week.

Central Schwenkfelder Church worked on three different sites throughout the week, with projects that included finishing work on a back deck that had been begun the previous week by Ephrata COB and building a new railing for someone’s back steps. They also worked at a local community center/food bank, which involved cleaning the bathrooms, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, and also repainting the floor.

West Lawn UMC was also on a number of sites throughout the week, many of which involved simple, one-day jobs. Their projects included repairing a front deck and steps at two different homes, applying wood stain to a wheelchair ramp at someone’s home, and also replacing a storm door. In addition, a few members of the team spent a day power-washing the exterior of a local church and cleaning/organizing their storage shed.

St. Mark’s UMC was given three different projects for the week. These projects included bathroom work at multiple homes in order to get the bathrooms up and running. The church also continued work that First Baptist Church had begun the week before and finished up the front porch railing at one of their sites. Finally, they painted at a site that was being converted into a community center, and cleaned up the site as well.

Honey Brook Presbyterian had two sites, both of which were continuations of projects that had been begun the previous week. They completed a bathroom remodel at both sites, including installing a shower stall, a new vanity, and other amenities. They were also involved in painting one of the houses they worked at.

Other Acts of Service

In addition to their service on the worksites, a number of students were also involved in the evening sessions, both on stage and behind the scenes. It was incredible to see them using their gifts and talents to worship God!

Offering

Throughout the summer, we’ve been holding week-long competitions between the boys and girls in order to raise money for Christian Endeavor Worldwide, which serves over 30 countries globally. Over the course of the week, the teens raised $198.33 altogether, which brought our month-long total to $732.85! We’re very grateful for all of the people who chose to support the mission of Christian Endeavor, both this past week and throughout the month!

As C.E. Mission Weeks 2017 comes to a close, there are a few things we’d like to ask you to remember in prayer regarding the last four weeks.

  • Pray for the students who made commitments throughout the summer that they will be able to follow through, and that their youth leaders would be able to guide them.
  • Pray for those who were involved in our Share Your Faith Openly (SYFO) training each week, that they would continue to remember what they’ve learned and apply it to their daily lives.
  • Pray for our staff as they wrap up the summer and readjust to life at home. We ask that you pray especially for those who will beginning their first year of college this fall as they adjust to another big change in their lives.
  • Finally, we ask that you pray for C.E. as we plan and prepare for the future, including Mission Weeks 2018 and other events.

Thank you for your incredible support throughout the summer! God has certainly done great things in the past month, and we’re thankful for the encouragement we’ve received.

C.E. Mission Weeks: Week 3 was another great success!

All teams arrived safely in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with only a few delays, and they had an amazing week working at the various sites. We were joined by five churches this week: Ephrata COB, Faith E.C. Temple, First Baptist Church of Allentown, Millersville Bible Church, and St. Peter’s UMC Emerald. Altogether, we had about 93 volunteers, including our site coordinators, speaker, and other staff members.

The Worksites

Ephrata COB worked on three different sites this week. Their projects included replacing floors in a home, repairing a front porch and building a new deck, remodeling a bathroom, painting the exterior of a house, and replacing the skirting on a home. Though they were split between multiple sites, the church made significant progress on all of their projects, and were able to complete a couple of them before returning home.

Faith E.C. worked on numerous repairs at a house, including beginning a kitchen remodel, putting up a new fence on a front porch, and replacing the flooring and drywall in various parts of the house, including the bathroom. Despite the hard work, their team always had smiles on their faces and were a great blessing to the homeowners.

First Baptist also had a handful of projects at their site. One of the major projects was yardwork, which involved mowing the lawn and weedwhacking around the site. The church also built a new fence for the front porch, installed new flooring trim in the kitchen, among many other things. The team members persevered in the heat, and made a lot of improvements to the home and property.

Millersville Bible Church installed new flooring and drywall in their home, and they also cleaned and stained the front and back porches. Both jobs were heavily involved, but the church was able to complete both of them by the end of the week and make a difference in the lives of the people living there.

St. Peter’s UMC completed various repairs to a front porch at their worksite, including new screens, a new light, and painting the outside frame. They also worked on remodeling the bathroom, and despite numerous setbacks, they made a significant amount of progress and had a great impact on the homeowner.

Other Acts of Service

In addition to their hard work on their many projects, many of our volunteers found more ways to assist with the various tasks back at our home base. Many volunteers helped in the kitchen throughout the week, which was a huge blessing since we did not have a kitchen staff.

Some students and leaders also assisted with worship throughout the week. Some played instruments like the ukulele, piano, and guitar, while others lent their voices to the worship. Students also helped behind the scenes by running the soundboard and other tech involved in the service, and by taking photos and videos during the gatherings. We are so thankful for the selflessness of those who chose to give their time towards helping our staff!

Spiritual Growth

This week, our teams dove into the book of Philippians during their daily devotions on the worksites. Our camp gatherings were led by speaker Chuck Jewell, who used various Biblical accounts to illustrate the theme of Standing Out. His topics included the examples of Lot and Ruth, as well as the event of Pentecost, among many others. At the end of the week, students were offered the chance to make some type of commitment, and many of them followed that invitation and committed themselves to making a greater effort to living their lives fully for Christ!

Offering

As with previous weeks, we held a competition between the boys and the girls to see which team could raise the most money for Christian Endeavor-World. The winning team, the boys, got to pie our speaker in the face. Altogether, the churches raised $154.85! Thank you so much to everyone for your generosity and support of Christian Endeavor!

As we close out this week and look forward to what Week 4 has in store for us, we ask that you remember a few things in prayer:

  • Pray that the students who made commitments last week will follow up on the decisions that they made, and that their youth leaders will have the wisdom to know how to guide them.
  • Pray for those involved in our “Share Your Faith Openly” training, that they would have the courage to stand out and share their faith with the people they come into contact with.
  • Pray that our Week 4 teams would have safety on the worksites this week and be able to make an impact on their homeowners and the community.
  • Pray that our Week 4 students would be reached by our speaker and be encouraged to take the next step in their Christian walk.
  • Pray for health and safety for our staff as we go through this week.
  • Pray that our teams would have safe travels home at the end of this week, both our staff and the four churches.

Thank you for your prayers and support! We look forward to what God has in store for Week 4!

If you would like to see more highlights from this week, check out our daily videos below:

Sunday: https://youtu.be/dMJN-rjS6iQ
Monday: https://youtu.be/78eY4OqUU-w
Tuesday: https://youtu.be/3cOUK7G7FnA

In addition, if you’d like to see highlights of what our team did in Mexico during Week 2, check out this video: https://youtu.be/zAGhlvyBKJc

Our Week 2 teams did some fantastic work in West Virginia and Mexico this past week!

The Mexico team had a wonderful week working in the community! The volunteers worked on various service projects and also helped run a Vacation Bible School program in the evenings. Although there were a few bumps in the road, all of the volunteers and C.E. staff made it back home safely!

In West Virginia, the teams also made significant progress on their projects in Fayette County. Sanctuary UMC was able to complete a lot of the bathroom remodeling project, and they also made progress in replacing the drywall at their other worksite.

Akron Grace painted both the interior and exterior of the house at one of their worksites, and the homeowners were also able to join our volunteers for dinner on Thursday. They were met with a few issues at their other worksite where the wheelchair ramp was being built, but in spite of that, they completed a lot of tasks.

When not working, the West Virginia teams enjoyed going bowling, hanging out at Wendy’s with some discounted Frostys, and playing sports in the gym. There was a great sense of community among our two churches this week, and we’re thankful for all those who were able to be a part of it.

As with the first week, we once again collected an offering for World C.E. This week our volunteers raised $135.01! Thank you to all who were willing to support the mission of Christian Endeavor!

As we begin Week 3 in North Carolina, we ask that you keep a few specific things in prayer:

  • Pray for the students who made commitments last week that they would stick by them and also receive encouragement from their youth leaders or other mentors.
  • Pray for those who joined us for our “Share Your Faith Openly” (SYFO) training that they would have the courage to spread the gospel to the people they meet in their daily lives.
  • Pray for our staff, especially those returning from Mexico as they readjust to their roles in North Carolina
  • Pray that our Week 3 volunteers would have an impact for Christ on the community they are serving in NC

Thank you for your support and your prayers! We greatly appreciate it. Stay tuned for Week 3 Updates!

Mission Weeks: Week 2 is in full swing in West Virginia!

Our teams are hard at work in the community, and we’re excited to share what they’re doing.

For Week 2, we’re joined by two churches: Sanctuary UMC North Wales and Akron Grace E.C. Church. Altogether, we have about 44 volunteers, including those overseeing the worksites and taking care of other tasks back at our “home base” in Oak Hill.

The Projects

There are four projects being worked on this week, three of which are continuations of Week 1 projects. Both churches are split between two sites each, and so far, they’ve made a lot of progress!

Akron Grace’s first worksite is a continuation of the drywall project from the previous week. Now that the drywall is up, spackled, and sanded, they’ve been hard at work painting the walls and ceilings. They’ve also been painting the exterior of the house yellow. When those projects are completed, they plan to put down vinyl flooring and work on some other projects around the site. At Akron Grace’s other worksite, they are continuing to work on the trailer. Now that the wheelchair ramp and back steps have been built, they are working on building more permanent supports for the trailer.

Sanctuary UMC is continuing the project that Millport Mennonite began last week. For the most part, they’re working on the bathroom in the house, which will involve them replacing what was removed by last week’s group. Sanctuary has taken charge of a new worksite, which involves removing old drywall and replacing it, but there are a few other projects as well, such as painting the exterior of the house.

Prayer Requests

As our teams reach the halfway point in their workweek, we ask that you continue to pray for them, especially that they would have safety on the worksites and that they would have opportunities to witness to the homeowners and the other people they come into contact with. We also ask that you pray for our summer staff as they prepare to travel to North Carolina on Saturday for Weeks 3 and 4.

Thank you for your support and prayers, and stay tuned for our full Week 2 summary in a few days!

Mission Weeks Week 1 was a success in Fayette County, West Virginia!

July 2-8, 2017 we were joined by three churches: St. Paul’s UMC Elizabethtown, Bible Baptist Church Breinigsville, and Millport Mennonite Church Leola. We had about 50 volunteers total, both on the work sites and coordinating things behind the scenes. We’re so thankful for the people who selflessly chose to spend their week serving with Christian Endeavor!

The Projects

Our volunteers worked at four different work sites this week around Fayette County, West Virginia. These projects included building stairs and decks, putting up drywall and spackling, and various other projects. Each church dedicated an average of 32 hours to their projects this week, and we’re grateful for their hard work!

St. Paul’s UMC was split between two work sites this week, the first one being at a trailer home. They raised and leveled the trailer and poured concrete footers. From there, they built both a ramp and deck for the front entrance, and a set of stairs for the back entrance. On their other work site, the group hung drywall and spackled to prepare for painting the walls. At both sites, the groups made significant progress during their time and were a blessing to the homeowners involved.

Bible Baptist Church spent their week building a set of stairs for a family whose son is handicapped and needs to go to dialysis frequently. Unfortunately, the front steps were in poor condition, and the EMTs would be unable to help him. The new steps are wider, even, and equipped with railings to make them more accessible. The team worked hard and was able to complete the project by the end of the week, which will have a huge impact on the family living there.

Millport Mennonite Church was involved in various projects at their work site, including demolition, cleanup and trash removal, replacing ceiling tiles and siding, and also removing old windows as preparation for installing new ones. Though the work was sometimes messy, the group persevered and got a lot done throughout the week in order to move the project forward.

Downtime

Even though the groups spent the majority of their days at the work sites, there was still plenty of time for leisure and fellowship. Volleyball and soccer were played in the gym, and games like Farkle were enjoyed immensely. Despite being from different churches, everyone was always willing to include each other, and the evenings were always a fun time.

Camp Gatherings & Devotionals

Our theme this year is “Stand Out,” which encourages our Mission Weeks participants to take ownership of their faith and be different in our worldly culture. Our evening sessions were led by speaker Dave Coryell, with David Rizzo speaking on Tuesday night. The churches also spent the week studying the book of Philippians during their lunchtime devotions. In addition to this, our worship team was joined by some volunteers, who contributed their voices and music to the camp gatherings.

For the first time this year, we also held an evangelism training session on Wednesday morning titled SYFO – Sharing Your Faith Openly. The participants learned practical skills for sharing the Gospel, and were also able to practice these skills by talking through case studies.

Offering

Throughout the week, the volunteers were encouraged to take part in an offering for Christian Endeavor’s worldwide organization. Through some friendly competition between the boys and the girls, these churches raised $244.66 for Christian Endeavor!

 

As we end the chapter of Week 1 and look towards Week 2, we ask that you would keep a few things in prayer:

  • A number of students made commitments this week to be dedicated to God 24/7. Please pray that they would stay focused on their goals of reading the Bible and praying more intentionally, and also give them the courage to seek assistance in living their lives for Christ.
  • Our staff and volunteers have arrived safely in Mérida, Mexico! Pray that they would have a wonderful week of service, and that they would have safe travels back home.
  • The West Virginia Week 2 teams are ready for the week ahead, and we ask that you would pray they would stay safe on the work sites and be able to impact the homeowners and workers they interact with.
  • Please continue to pray for our staff, that they would receive wisdom and guidance as they interact with the youth involved, and that they would also be able to encourage them throughout the week.

Thank you as always for your prayers and support! We look forward to seeing what God has in store for this week!

If you’d like to see more highlights from this first week, click the links below to view our highlight videos!

Sun – https://youtu.be/d0vB91-JeIo
Mon – https://youtu.be/DU2PldQlt7c
Tues – https://youtu.be/nnTQXHSJKzM
Weds – https://youtu.be/vhZDMPU1gLA
Thurs – https://youtu.be/JCQZqL58fy0
Fri – https://youtu.be/WkrcmV-pZiM

Will you join us in intentional prayer?

Pray with and for C.E. on the first Thursday of every month.

We are seeking God’s leadership for His Kingdom work. John 15:5 states that apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Will you join us in intentional prayer?

We ask for God to protect the groups attending C.E. Mission Weeks in July, including travel to and from the two weeks in WV, two weeks in NC, and the international trip to Mexico.

We pray for strong team-building, for outreach, for community people to see the light of Jesus shining thru the teens and their leaders, and for teens to grow in their faith with God.

We also pray for Endeavorers around the world as they seek God’s vision and direction.

Let us know if you have specific needs or requests.
www.CEworks.faith

Golfers Tee It Up At Annual Outing

Christian Endeavor hosted their 5th annual Golf Outing fundraiser at Honeybrook Golf Course on Thursday, May 18. In contrast to the very first golf outing, which was very cold, everyone appreciated a sunny day to enjoy some good competition for a great cause. With the highest attendance yet, participants enjoyed a four-man scramble style tournament where they also took a break before hole 1 for a putting contest. Christian Endeavor has a goal to raise attendance to an all-time high of 80 people next year.

We would like to recognize the generosity of our golf outing sponsors.

Platinum Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Charlie & Esther Popjoy
Gold Sponsor: Mr. Tracy Matthews
Silver Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Walter & Sarah Styer

Partner Sponsors: Sporting the Stars, Everything Printing, Heat4Less

Hole Sponsors: Dr. & Mrs. Dave & Jen Coryell, Mr. & Mrs. Andy & Donna Dittrick, Mr. Robert O. Jones, Dr. & Mrs. Bruce & Linda Rothenberger, Mr. David Simpson, Boardman-Hamilton Company, CIP Solutions, Freddy’s Family Fun Center, Harvey Prescott Insurance, Meschter Insurance, Ryan, Morton & Imms, Windsor Baptist C.E. Youth Group.

Patron Sponsor: Geppert Bros., Inc.

Honorary Hole Sponsors: R-V Industries, Lancaster Bible College, Messiah College, Point University, Union University, Mount Airy Christian Academy, Central Schwenkfelder Church Lansdale, First UMC Ephrata, Grace EC Akron, Leesburg Presbyterian Church, Montgomery Square UMC North Wales, Trinity EC Boyertown.

Prize & Silent Auction Donors: Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, Fensty’s Flea Market, J.O.Y. Bookstore, Schaefferstown, Kramer Portraits, Ozzy’s Family Fun Center, Pep Boy’s Pottstown, Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center, Shady Maple Farm Market, Sight & Sound Theaters, Strasburg Railroad Company, Styer Propane, The Swamp Door Antiques, Tom Sturgis Pretzels, U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, Village Greens Miniature Golf, Waltz Golf Farm, Wimpy & Dee’s Classic Diner. Goody Bag Donors: Bob’s Bread Barn, Freed’s Market, Herr Foods, Inc., Hole-in-One International, Messiah College, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Sharp Shopper, Turkey Hill Dairy.

Special Thanks to Our Great Hosts: Honeybrook Golf Club

Mark your calendar for next year’s Golf Outing • May 17, 2018

Click HERE for team photos (more pics to be added soon)

Will You Join Us?

Pray with and for C.E. on the first Thursday of every month.

We are seeking God’s leadership for His Kingdom work.
John 15:5 states that apart from Him, we can do nothing.
Will you join us in intentional prayer?

We ask for God to clarify the vision and values of the ministry.
We ask Him to prepare the board to engage in prayer and discussion around these items at the board meetings in Los Angeles August 8-13.

Let us know if you have specific needs or requests.
www.CEworks.faith

Grace Encounters: Foundational EMOJI

With every Smart Phone update comes the latest EMOJI installment. These fun little pictures display everything from emotional expressions to the food you hope to eat for dinner. I receive emoji text messages daily because we all know . . . a picture is worth a thousand words.

Continuing the Grace Encounter series, choose an EMOJI to emotionally describe your relationship with God. You could have a smiley face with a halo, a baffled face with a confused look, a Dude sticking his tongue out, tears flowing, a pensive picture rubbing the chin, or several hundred other choices.

Grace. We encounter grace as we receive it and as it flows from us to others. Most powerfully we grapple with grace and its deepest layers of meaning when considering Jesus. It’s not the Jesus we see in pictures that our anesthetized minds accept as relevant images. I am describing the Jesus who humbled Himself by coming to earth as a baby. He grew, laughed, learned, worked, played, and praised. He experienced a myriad of EMOJIs just like you and me.  Yes, across the pages of the Bible we can experience Jesus’ real emotions. He made jokes Hebrew style when stating hyperboles like taking the sawdust speak out of your neighbor’s eye while a plank or log is in your own eye (Luke 6). He became angry at times when people were not respecting the temple as God’s sacred space (Matthew 21:12) and when Peter, one of his closest comrades, unknowingly had evil intent in his advice (Matthew 16:23). How about when Jesus wept because of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35)? Jesus’ emotions abound!

Understand, the Bible was not written as Jesus’ emotional encyclopedia. The Bible’s purpose shows us God and His character. However, because Jesus was fully God and fully human, we see Jesus’ emotions on full display as He lived life. The difference between Jesus’ emotional spectrum and ours exists underneath what we see on the outside. Underneath Jesus’ angry, happy, and grieved moments was a “Foundational EMOJI”. This EMOJI contained love, joy, peace and all that could be good and right in His relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. What lies underneath for us? When we emotionally react does our “Foundational EMOJI” allow us to adjust and return to a stable state both outside and inside?

The Grace we encounter through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection on our behalf leaves no reason for our “Foundational EMOJI” to be circumstantial. Yet, we are humans living out our existence in a world bent on destroying the foundation our faith and life are built upon. So how do we respond to our human frailty and constant shortcomings? (Pause for effect) GRACE!!!!!! We don’t begin with striving and laying out steps to correct what is wrong with us. We begin by connecting with the finished work of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. Jesus already corrected what was wrong with us! In His act, our “Foundational EMOJI” has the freedom to be firmly established. Yes, there are responsibilities God has for us to claim. There are steps to be taken, but that is not the starting point. Take these steps upon a “Foundational EMOJI” established through accepting Christ, and remember the grace He has shown for you. Now that is something worth smiling about!  =:-D

Grace Encounters: Go With the Flow!

Last post I examined VGS, Vanishing Grace Syndrome. This malady masquerades in many forms but can be boiled down to believing the world’s inhabitants exist to do whatever they want as long as they meet “My” personal needs 24/7/365, and are quick to forgive “Me” whenever “I” fall short of their expectations. The next step into the grace foray plunges us into an ocean with two currents. Reconnect with Crash, the Sea Turtle from Finding Nemo. He understood how to Go with the Flow. We need to do the same in order to have more godly Grace Encounters.

The first current represents the grace people willingly pour out toward others. Jesus masterfully shares grace to the woman He meets at the well in John 4, to the mother who lost her child in Luke 7 and to the friends as well as the paralytic in Mark 2 to name a few. I quickly recall times I expressed grace: to a woman who needed help lugging her suitcase up a long stair case when the airport escalator broke down, to assisting a family moving its luggage with several young children. However, I also quickly recall my anger at less than gifted drivers and people who lack self-awareness with how they walk and talk in public. We are all a work in progress in the extending grace area. As challenging as this is, the second current presents even greater going with the flow struggles.

Current two depicts the grace that flows toward us. I want to begin this section by making a bold statement. This is not found in the Bible. In fact I encourage you to take this statement and hold it up against Scripture. Let God speak to you about whether or not you believe I am speaking truth. Here it is . . . standing in the way of people comprehending and living out the full extent of God’s grace is the ability they have to accept grace from people and themselves.  In brief, can you truly grasp God’s grace if you cannot give yourself grace for your shortcomings or the faults others point out to you? People catch God’s glimpses. This causes them to embrace Him as Savior. Knowing Him as Lord, however, involves a deeper surrendering. Think about the following phrase- “You are your own worst enemy.” Sound familiar?

Benefits flow from having an assiduous work ethic, but what happens when tasks are not completed? What internal thoughts emerge when others or you question your gifts, talents, and appearance? Scripture explains we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. When we do not allow ourselves to receive grace we create a barrier to loving ourselves. This barrier begins to make it difficult to believe we are worthy of receiving anyone’s grace. Begin to see how intimacy with God lies further down a path than we can walk IF we cannot receive grace from others or extend it to ourselves.

Reflect on what God sees and how He emotionally responds when He thinks about you. Add to this reflection the way you look at yourself and how you perceive others. Allow God to work in your heart bringing you to a place where grace can truly flow. Then Go With That Flow!