Unstoppable: Teens Challenged to Make Impact

By Sheila Allen

May 31, 2018

With palpable energy, hundreds of students and leaders filled the Pathway Church campus in Gresham, OR, for the annual Northwest Baptist Convention student conference. The “Unstoppable” theme was driven home each session by conference speaker Josh Martin, a pastor of Resonate Church in Pullman, WA.

 

“I grew up incredibly religious where we lit lots of candles, wore rosaries and had to go to confession,” Martin said. “But that taught me I had to do something for God to get something from God. I submit to you that is called religion and it is not unstoppable. Some say 80 percent of Americans think they’ll get to heaven and put good on one side and bad on the other and hope to come out okay.”

 

Martin encouraged students to realize that while religion condemns, Jesus covers you; while religion says do, Jesus says done.

 

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Football Coach Influences Character

By Sheila Allen

May 31, 2018

At 6 years old, sitting at his father’s knee during high school football strategy sessions, Chris Knudsen knew he wanted to coach football. His determination never faltered.

 

Now, stepping down from more than three decades as varsity football coach at Centennial High School in Gresham, OR, Knudsen finished his coaching career with 42 years of high school sports.

 

“At 6 years old, boys were allowed to be on the sidelines and act as ball and water boys at St. Helens (OR) High School where my dad was head coach,” Knudsen said. “It was cool to know varsity boys and coaches would come to our house for meetings and I loved to sit and listen to them. I was intrigued with the strategy and planning.”

 

Knudsen was a four sport athlete himself in high school. His time at Linfield College was formative in his Christian faith when the team would gather on the field to intently recite the Lord’s Prayer before kickoff.

 

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Gateway Grad Fulfills Calling

By Sheila Allen

May 31, 2018

Shirley Cunningham hoped for a lifelong military career, but a training exercise gone awry caused an injury that forced her to pursue other options for her life. However, God used the discipline she learned in the Army and the diversity of her background to prepare Cunningham for ministry to hurting people.

 

Now the director of SAFE Family Ministries in Chehalis, WA, Cunningham recently completed a doctoral program through Gateway Seminary in order to enhance her abilities to assist those in tremendous need.

 

“After the Army, I started back to college and had my first child,” Cunningham said. “My husband was also military and we soon had another baby on the way.”

 

But Cunningham persevered and later earned a bachelor of arts in psychology while raising a third child.

 

“I started working in the mental health field part time in the evenings and on weekends and began 30 years of a new career,” Cunningham stated. “I eventually had four children and we raised another son through foster care who has special needs and we remain close to.”

 

Cunningham went on to complete an advanced degree in counseling, specializing in geriatric mental health. After decades serving as a community mental health crisis manager, Cunningham has seen it all.

 

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'Upcycled' Makes All Things New

By Cameron Crabtree

May 31, 2018

The purpose of God allows people going through challenging times to find courage and hope, a women’s ministry leader told more than 230 women from Northwest Baptist Convention churches convened in Vancouver, WA, April 20-21 for the annual Northwest Women’s Summit.

 

The event theme, “Upcycled,” played off of popular do-it-yourself renovation and recycling projects in which people “repurpose” discarded or broken things for home or yard decorations.

 

God can take life’s difficult circumstances or broken relationships for his glory, said Martha Lawley, the event’s keynote speaker.

 

“Look for the special thing God wants to do for you because of the way he loves you personally,” said Lawley, recounting lessons she learns from her own experiences. “When things seem to be falling apart, when I look to God, I can see that things really are falling into place.”

 

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Longtime Staffer to Retire

By Sheila Allen

May 31, 2018

Marsha Gray

For nearly 40 years, Marsha Gray has provided a steady hand and calm presence to the work of the Northwest Baptist Convention. Now set to retire at the end of June, Gray’s absence will be felt immeasurably by NWBC staff, volunteers and countless others who know her as the go-to person within the Northwest Baptist Center.

 

First hired in 1977, Gray served as communications secretary by then-executive director Dan Stringer. “Snagged away” by a local church for a short stint, Gray returned to the NWBC in 1980 as secretarial manager.

 

“At the time there was a secretarial pool and I would oversee the ladies and the flow of the work,” Gray said. “Under Jeff Iorg’s leadership, the secretaries changed to supporting a specific team, but were still under my direction.”

 

When the Northwest Baptist Center in Vancouver was built in 1998, Gray’s duties expanded immensely as she became the facility manager, coordinating use and maintenance of the 41,000 square foot campus.

 

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To the Ends of the Earth

Adapted by Cameron Crabtree

May 31, 2018

Kyung Jung, missionary to South America

Tacoma First Baptist (Senior Pastor Sung Eun Choi) held the 2018 Mission Celebration during February 21 to February 25, 2018 with church-sponsored missionaries in numerous countries such as China, North Korea, Nepal, Slovakia, Cuba, and Japan as well as Southern Baptist Church missionaries in attendance.

 

Also attending this celebration titled, “From Tacoma to the Ends of Earth” were Southern Baptist pastors in the Northwest United States as well as Tacoma area pastors who listened to the missionaries’ ministry reports, shared mission tactics, as well as ways for Northwest area churches to participate in these mission efforts.

 

Missionary Paul Cho who is administering the Kobe, Japan area family church ministry asked for prayers for the difficult missionary work in Japan due to anti-Japanese and anti-Korean sentiments when, “missionary work is a ministry that is problematic without love for that country and its people.”

 

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Centrifuge Celebrates 40 Years

Adapted from Baptist Press

May 18. 2018

One of the strongest “partners” for the discipleship of teenagers in local churches across the nation is the summer camp experience. That’s certainly true in the Northwest, where hundreds of students over the years remember the music, the games, wacky events and new friends.

 

For many, the strongest life impact is the clear message of the gospel and the strong conviction that a life following Christ is worth living. Campers’ experiences often change the direction of their lives and lay spiritual foundations for the future.

 

This year, the summer camp known as Centrifuge or FUGE celebrates 40 years of influence. Since 1979, LifeWay Christian Resources’ FUGE camps have seen God work in the lives of more than 1.7 million students and adults across the nation. This summer more than 55,000 students and adults will attend a FUGE Camp.

 

“Centrifuge is a perfect mix of shallow and deep, fun and Jesus,” said Josh Martin, pastor of Resonate Church in Pullman, WA, and a longtime leader of Centrifuge here in the Northwest Baptist Convention.

 

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Prayer Foundational to Ministry

Adapted by Cameron Crabtree

May 31, 2018

Highland Baptist Church pastor, Barry Campbell, explains his church's systematic use of prayer for neighbors in their hometown of Redmond, OR.

Church leaders often remark about the importance of prayer, not only in the lives of believers, but to undergird and guide local church ministry efforts with God’s wisdom.

 

The Northwest Baptist Convention, with funding support through the Cooperative Program, is helping churches use a new resource to assist to help members pray for households in their nearby neighborhoods and communities.

 

“One of my dreams is that every Northwest child will have someone who loves them praying for them and sharing Christ with them,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director. That a child can “grow up without ever hearing the truth of Jesus and without having someone praying for their soul” is tragic, he added.

 

With an initiative called “Pray 4 Every Home,” such prayers can become a reality, said Adams.

 

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Complete May-June 2018 issue

2018 May-June.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [13.0 MB]