Word has been received of the death of Alberta “Bertie” M. Hanson, who most recently lived with her niece and husband, Linda and Richard Dilling, Warsaw, Ind. She died at 9:16 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at the age of 92. She is known to many in the Fellowship as she once served on staff at the North Long Beach Brethren Church in Long Beach, Calif. Arrangements are pending with Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Roa[...]
The Charis Alliance website, first developed for the global meetings of Alliance networks, has been redesigned to serve as a global communications and prayer platform. New features include daily access to the 30 Days to a More Resilient Faith devotional select resources (more to come soon; feel free to submit more) direct link for churches soliciting assistance from our Crisis Response Network a global prayer wall for posting [...]
The final online conference call with Charis Fellowship pastors and ministry leaders on Thursday afternoon provided numerous ideas for how to minister in the age of COVID-19. It was the third online event that provided an opportunity for those from around North America to connect for encouragement and networking. As with the calls on Tuesday and Wednesday, Phil Sparling, executive director of the Charis Fellowship, opened with[...]
What will I do with my toilet paper? Strange as it may seem, this has suddenly become the most pressing theological question of our day. The coronavirus has turned our world upside down, and now, as Christians, we must determine how we will respond to this pandemic and the panic it has caused. How do we respond to medical professionals who tell us of risks and potential mass fatalities? How do we respond to government official[...]
As Kosciusko County, Ind., confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Thursday, the Public Health Officer, Dr. William Remington, expressed confidence that the community is prepared to combat the virus, according to a story in he Warsaw, Ind., Times-Union. (Dr. Remington is a member of Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church, Bruce Barlow, lead pastor.) A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the compete arti[...]
A story in today’s Goshen News recounts how a donation made to an effort sponsored by Grace Community Church (Jim Brown, senior pastor), a Charis Fellowship congregation in Goshen, has come full circle. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article. Approximately 30,000 N95 masks find their way back home An act of compassion has returned home. About five years ago, Beacon Health donated ab[...]
A Grace College professor, who chairs the board of directors of the Baker Youth Club in Warsaw, Ind., was interviewed about the organization recently on the news site, Input Fort Wayne. A portion of the story, featuring Dr. Rachael Hoffert, appears below. Click here to read the complete article. This innovative youth club in Winona Lake has been serving the community for nearly 100 years For 94 years, the Baker Youth Club (BYC[...]
About 35 pastors and ministry leaders in the Charis Fellowship gathered online Wednesday afternoon as the second of three calls designed for collaboration and encouragement as they navigate church life in a world impacted by the Coronavirus. Let by Phil Sparling, executive director of the Charis Fellowship and senior pastor at Auburn Grace Community Church, Auburn, Calif., discussion centered around practical ways to help peop[...]
Grace College officials announced Tuesday that on-campus classes are suspended through the end of the spring 2020 semester. Grace’s courses will continue to be delivered remotely, and the Commencement ceremony scheduled for May is suspended. “This is one of the hardest decisions of my 40-plus years in higher education,” stated Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip. “While we all deeply desire to be together on campus, hold cl[...]
March Madness: Canceled Disney World: Closed Classes: Online Travel to Europe: Suspended Canceled. Closed. Online. Suspended. Is anyone else tired of hearing these words? It’s inevitable that you are a victim of canceled events, postponed trips, remote classes, and accomodating plans. Maybe it’s your senior year of college, and the last semester you thought you had with your friends has been significantly shortened. Maybe you [...]
In Thursday’s online chapel at Grace College and Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind., Dr. Bill Katip, president, announced changes in campus life for the rest of the semester, including continuing remote learning, closing residence halls, and suspending the 2020 commencement because of the coronavirus pandemic. His complete announcement, sent to the campus community, is included below, as is the video from the chapel service. As[...]
About 35 or 40 Charis Fellowship pastors and ministry leaders gathered online this morning for collaboration and encouragement as each discussed how they are conducting ministries in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting was the first of three scheduled gatherings called by Phil Sparling, executive director of the Charis Fellowship, to help pastors with ideas and resources for helping their congregations connect wit[...]
Assist Church Expansion has announced a three-hour free webinar to help people learn to share their faith more effectively. Nathan Bryant, executive director of Assist Church Expansion, will host session on the “Farming Model of Evangelism.” This training is designed to empower you and your church to cultivate purposeful, intentional relationships that will help people discover hope in Jesus Christ. The webinar wil[...]
Bud Olszewski, pastor at Grace Brethren Church, Rittman, Ohio, has sent an update on Bob Combs, who has been fighting a blood infection for several weeks. (See Prayer Requested for Bob Combs.) “He completed his infusions last Sunday (3/15) and is off of antibiotics,” reports Bud. “He says he believes he is thinking clearer and improves most everyday. He sounded great!” Bob is a well-loved, long-time Cha[...]
We had no clue when we set out for the forest preserve that we would get to see bald eagles—three at the same time, to be exact. They were perched in a tree close to where we stood, easily visible. The preserve was trying to reintroduce them, and for several years we had thought from time to time we saw one fly over, but never were close enough to be sure. Now there they were, watching us with their sharp eyes. Of course, the [...]
Donald Shoemaker, the former Charis pastor who led the social concerns committee for the Charis Fellowship for many years, has found he has time on his hands, so he’s prepared the April newsletter for Donald Shoemaker Ministries. The lead story is of interest for these times. If you’d like to subscribe to his newsletter, send him a note at email@example.com. Click here to read the complete April[...]
Phil Sparling – Charis Update 2020.03.19 from Charis Fellowship on Vimeo. “As you know, we are living in unprecedented times,” says Phil Sparling, executive director of the Charis Fellowship and pastor of Grace Community Church, Auburn, Calif. “Reaching our communities for Christ has never been more fluid than it is right now. Working together as Charis churches has never been more important.” The[...]
Bart Blair, director of communications and project support at Assist Church Expansion, has provided these tips for better church communication during COVID-19. By now, your church has moved or is in the process of moving to some sort of online expression for your weekend service. For a lot of churches, this has been a pretty steep learning curve. And it’s also come with a new set of challenges with regards to communicating eff[...]
The March Eagle Commission newsletter has arrived in inboxes. Here are a few items of interest. Click here to read the complete update. The Eagle Commission supports Charis Fellowship military chaplains and is sent by the Fellowship’s endorser, Mark Penfold, (Chaplain [Colonel] U.S. Army, retired). Air Force Chaplain Phil and Penny Smith (at right) have already had two surprises this year. First, Phil and Penny are expe[...]
Effective on Monday, the NAIA and Crossroads League has canceled the remainder of the spring sports season. The NAIA made the decision on Monday afternoon, prematurely ending the competitions, practices and team meetings for Grace College baseball, softball, track/field, golf and tennis. “All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,&[...]
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