Child Evangelism Fellowship celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012. CEF of Oklahoma had a banquet in honor of this momentous milestone on September 8, 2012. Here’s a video presentation featuring photos of CEF in Oklahoma stretching back over 50 years that was created for that occasion.
We passed on a message from CEF USA ministries several days ago concerning Good News Clubs in schools. CEF of Oklahoma has several Good News Clubs in Oklahoma public schools. Sometimes there are obstacles getting into local public schools. Here’s a story from State Prayer Coordinator Wendell Mason:
Because of a Supreme Court ruling in 2001, we can have Good News Clubs in school facilities after school hours. Public schools must give us equal access. One Oklahoma school is charging a $45 per week “janitor fee.” We only use the facility an hour and a half and the fee is $15 an hour, but we must pay for a minimum of three hours. One of the workers who plans to work in this Good News Club at this school immediately said she would pay the fee for the year, which would amount to $1,350. She said, “Let’s go forward. I have some money for missions, and I’ll pay for it.” Praise God with us!
I just received an email from Dennis Clark who has helped out with the Oklahoma State Fair ministry several times. He also helped out with the Alaska State Fair ministry. He shared in the email that 2,157 heard the gospel at the Alaska State Fair, and there were 1,308 professions of faith.
Please join us in praising God for how he is working through our fellow CEF workers in Alaska. We hope to have stats and more photos from this year’s fair ministry in Oklahoma up soon.
CEF of Oklahoma volunteers have been spending hours sharing the story of the wordless book at the Oklahoma State Fair. The State Fair started September 15 and runs until the 25th.
In addition to sharing the Gospel with the wordless book, we have also been passing out walking sticks and bracelets. God has already used CEF’s tent to change hundreds of lives.
Our tent is in a new location this year. We are still getting used to it, but God is continuing to bless the ministry. Check out some photos from this year’s fair ministry:
CEF USA Ministries sent out the following in an email earlier today:
In June, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Board of Education has a legal right to block churches from using public school buildings for worship services. The ruling by this federal appeals court overturned a previous decision by a federal district court which upheld the right of churches to use the public schools on the same basis as any other community group. This decision affects about 60 churches in New York City, but clearly has broader implications for the entire nation since it was a decision made by a federal court.
Christianity Today published an online article about this recent ruling, which you can read here.
The federal district court which ruled in favor of churches using the public school buildings relied on the 2001 U.S. Supreme Court Good News Club® case for its decision. The appeals court, which overturned this decision, claimed that the Good News Club case did not apply because there is a difference between worship and religious speech. While teaching Bible lessons, singing, and memorizing verses (and other activities of a Good News Club) are all forms of allowed religious expression, a church worship service is religious activity which is not protected by the U.S Constitution, the court said.
This decision is expected to be appealed and could end up with the U.S. Supreme Court.
How should we respond to this situation?
First, we need to pray. Please pray with me that this decision will be overturned. Please pray that this case will not be used to infringe upon the equal access that we have to hold Good News Clubs in public schools in all 50 states.
Second, we need to continue the focus we have on after-school Good News Clubs. We have enjoyed full freedom to hold clubs in public schools throughout the U.S. for the past 10 years. This court case is a reminder that we should not take this freedom for granted. We need to do all we can, in God’s strength, to reach into as many schools and reach as many children as possible while the door is still open.
Are you helping witness to boys and girls at the fair this year? Do you want to reach kids for Christ at the fair this year?
We’ve added a number of helpful resources to the fair page. You will find a Wordless Book script you can print plus a Wordless Book outline and Wordless Book chart.
State Coordinator continues his account from yesterday about his trip to West Central Oklahoma:
There is one church in Elk City very interested in pursuing a church partnership in order to start a Good News Club this fall in a local elementary school. Please pray for opportunities to enlarge the two prayer groups and for a genuine Spirit-led movement of churches seeking to reach, disciple, and incorporate unchurched children and their families.
I also had the privilege of presenting the chapel messages and personally coaching/counseling the 27 middle school and senior high youth and young adults participating in our Christian Youth in Action training. These youth and young adults were discipled and trained in leading 5-Day Clubs for this summer. Please pray for their ministries throughout Northeast Oklahoma, that they will reach many children for Christ.
State Coordinator John Vincent recently took a trip to West Central Oklahoma to promote the ministry of CEF in that area of our state. Here’s his account of that trip:
Children are investments, not intrusions or interruptions. Our Lord invested time and attention in children:
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there” (Matthew 19:14, 15).
Your prayer/financial partnership with us has opened marvelous doors of opportunity for promoting church/CEF partnerships for starting Good News Clubs in elementary schools.
Following are the details of promoting our church/CEF partnership in West Central Oklahoma on June 16-18:
6 pastors personally visited
8 other pastors and churches visited and left literature for further follow-up
2 prayer groups started
7 cities/towns visited (Weatherford, Clinton, Elk City, Sayre, Erick, Dill City, and Cordell)
Child Evangelism Fellowship is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of Christ, disciple them in the Word of God and establish them in the local church. CEF has workers in 158 countries.