THE CENTRAL CONNECTION
February 2021
"We are an organization of churches that is committed
to the mission of Christ to multiply disciple-making churches
through evangelism, leadership training, and connection with
other like-minded churches."
FROM THE DIRECTOR:
New Year New Focus
"New starting points provide new opportunity to re-envision our purpose. We have many new beginnings this year.

"CB America is now Venture Church Network. This is both recapturing our roots and recasting our vision for the gospel. The “Venture” component of this new title recaptures the heart of CB as a kingdom movement centered on taking risks for the sake of the gospel. One of the foundational elements of CB is mission and our desire is to recapture and recast our vision for the gospel as the heart-beat in all our churches." Read More









Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director
Venture Church Network Midwest/CBNC 
*Correction: In the January issue there is reference made to Matthew 10:2-4. James is not Jesus' brother, but the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus.
Tuesday, February 23, 9:00am (CST)
with an alternative repeat session
Wednesday, February 24, 3:00pm (CST)

MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

The Purpose of ENGAGE is to address gospel and missional critical issues and challenge our thinking related to pastoral ministry, leadership and the purpose of our churches.

The Goal of ENGAGE is to continue to become gospel-centered, grace driven, biblically anchored churches passionately committed to fulfill the mission of Christ. ​

WATCH FOR YOUR ZOOM INVITE

Peace Breakers, Peace Fakers or Peace Makers
"A few years ago our church was sensitized by the ongoing conflicts in our congregation. After some prayer we entered a time of seeking solutions. A friend of the church recommended we research Ken Sande’s Peace Making Material. After attending a seminar, we launched an all church series on conflict. It proved to be a Godsend to our congregation that gave us handles to resolve issues. During this month’s pastors’ ZOOM meetings, I would like to develop insights gleaned during that time.
"To begin with there appears to be three broad approaches to conflict. Ken Sande says we can be Peace Breakers, Peace Fakers or Peace Makers. Those come into play with our two natural responses of either fight or flight. The Peace Making material points the fight or flight natural inclinations both leads to complete separation or death if you will." Read More
Pastor Eldon Carlson
VCN Midwest/CBNC Networking Director
Henry C. Spicer Scholarship
Do you know a high school senior graduating this spring?
You can help by passing on this valuable information.
Again this year Venture Church Network Midwest/CB North Central will be awarding the Henry C. Spicer Scholarship to a graduating high school senior planning to further their education this fall. Previous scholarships have ranged from $300 to $1,000.

The scholarship from the Henry C. Spicer Scholarship Fund is available to all qualifying high school seniors. To qualify, an applicant must be a 2021 high school graduate planning to attend college this fall. The applicant must be a committed Christian and a regular attender of a VCN Midwest/CBNC affiliated church.
Applications are due by April 1, 2021.
AROUND THE REGION. . .
You Started at a New Church During a Pandemic?
Tell Us... How Is It Going?
Pastor Timothy & April Sobitz III, daughters Violet and Mary (baby).
Cavalier Baptist, Cavalier, ND
My family and I got to Cavalier, North Dakota on June 4th, 2020. The first service I preached at was June 14th. That was also the first time our church reopened its doors for corporate worship in three months.  In turn, the temporary closing actually provided grace for entering a new ministry for two reasons. All of us were so thankful to be back open so we could meet together for worship. And it didn’t just feel new to my family, it felt new to everyone. With that said, many church events and annual traditions have been cancelled this year, so my family and I will likely feel like newcomers all over again whenever the church is able to meet more corporately. However, we have not had to close our doors since we reopened, and we do not take that for granted. 
 
The pandemic has also given us... Read More

Grace and peace,
Timothy Sobitz
Pastor Steve & Esther Aldridge
with sons (L) Aidan and (R) Dominick
First Baptist Church
Detroit Lakes, MN        
The Lord relocated my family and I from upstate New York to minister in Upstate Minnesota in July of 2020. We have had to adjust to a completely different culture while also facing the difficulties of ministering and getting to know people during the complexities of Covid-19. Needless to say, this did not leave any room for a quiet transition period. 

With all gratitude,
Pastor Steve Aldridge
Pastor Dan & Michiko Mandigo; children
L to R Jesse, Justin, Jonathan, Kiyomi
Noelridge Park Church
Cedar Rapids, IA
My family and I moved from upstate New York and arrived at Noelridge Park Church, Cedar Rapids, IA in October 2020. The transition was a great joy because the people at Noelridge were wonderful. Since settling at the church I have made several observations concerning Covid.

The first item on my list was to meet and get to know everyone at church. This was difficult for a couple of reasons. First, we arrived after Covid had been a crisis for several months and 50% of the church was quarantining. Second, my wife and I contracted Covid which lasted for two weeks. Read More

Pastor Dan Mandigo
Noelridge Park Church, Cedar Rapids, IA
Chuck & Adrianne Babbitt; children
L to R Titus, Rebekah, Carolaine, & Zoey
Bloomer Baptist Church
Bloomer, WI
My name is Chuck Babbitt, and I moved to Bloomer, WI in mid-August, to be the new Youth Pastor at Bloomer Baptist Church. My wife and I, along with our four children (# 5 due in February), moved from Spencer, IA, where I had been the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries for five years. We had felt God preparing us for something big at the beginning of 2020. When COVID-19 hit, we figured that was what God had been preparing us for, but He called us to Wisconsin. Read More

Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor
Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI
POSITION AVAILABLE: Youth/Worship Pastor-Full Time
5920 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN 55422 
The youth / worship pastor is responsible for the ministries, programs and activities related to worship and youth ministry. Youth ministry includes both Junior and Senior High groups. Worship includes all aspects of worship including singers, musicians, technical volunteers and livestream. This role will also be responsible to work with the Lead Pastor for all service and special service including holiday services, funerals and weddings. For more information click here.
Where Does My Help Come From?xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxNo. 18
"In 1965, the Beatles we’re singing, “Help me if you can, I'm feeling down. And I do appreciate you being 'round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won't you please, please help me!” People on their way to Jerusalem started singing, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121 is a Psalm of Ascent and was sung for hundreds of years as pilgrims made their way to Jerusalem for one of the three pilgrimage feasts (Passover, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Booths)."   Read More

Pastor Gerad Hall
The Branch Fellowship Moline, IL

*Correction: In the January issue it is stated that Yahweh made Himself known to Moses throughout the last 80 years of Moses' life. The correct number of years is 40.

Plaid Ponderings: Two Ditches On Every Road
"Remember when everyone was saying how much they were looking forward to the year 2020 being “hindsight”? Well, now 2021 has arrived and many, if not most, of the challenges of 2020 are still with us. Some have intensified. One of the challenges of 2020 that is still with us, is a changing relationship between the church and the state. The outbreak of COVID caused governments, at all levels, to take actions that have not been seen in our lifetimes. Those actions, in many places, included prohibiting church gatherings and other severe restrictions." Read More

In Christ,
A Plaid Pastor
-by Pastor Josh Emmel, Faith Baptist Church, Kenmare, ND

Venture Church Network (CBAmerica) Chaplaincy
Living With the End in View: A Timely Book for the Miramar Brig
"While transiting back to the states from the British Indian Ocean Territories in October 2018, I spent ten days in Yokosuka, Japan. While there, I was able to fellowship with one of our great Navy chaplains, Jonathan Stephens, and his lovely family. After an incredibly busy tour at Diego Garcia, I finally had some free time to resume writing a book I had started several months earlier, Living With the End in View: Escaping the Tyranny of the Here and Now. " Read More
-by Chaplain Dan Klender, USN, Miramar Marine Corps Naval Air Station
Rev. Randy L. Brandt
Chaplain, Colonel, USA Ret.
Director of Chaplaincy,
Venture Church Network
CBAmerica.org
Cell: 913-904-8746 (Mtn)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. . .
New Year, New Tax Guidelines!
"ECFA provides 2021 church & non-profit tax and financial guide and minister's tax & financial guide." Get more information.
-ECFA.wistia.com
Essentials of a Great Ministry Resume
"It’s a common question from people I am coaching and mentoring. What should I include in my ministry resume? There are definitely some dos and don’ts. I’ve listed below a few essentials of a great ministry resume." Read More
-by Sam Rainer, Churchanswers.com
Has Your Guest Services Culture Turned Toxic?
"So how can you spot a toxic guest services culture? Like poison, it’s often unnoticeable until it’s too late. But there are three attitudes that might indicate toxicity amidst your team:"
-by Danny Franks, Churchanswers.com
Venture Church Network Midwest/CBNC CLUSTER GROUPS
Youth Leaders/Pastors FIRST CLUSTER
Thursday, February 11, 10am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Eldon Carlson, VCNM Networking Director
715-559-1979 ecarlson@bloomer.net

Central Minnesota
Monday, February 15, 10am
Meeting at River of Life Church
Steve Schoenwald
River of Life Church, Hastings, MN
651-437-3965 sdschoenwald@gmail.com

Southern Minnesota
Tuesday, February 9, 11am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN
Eldon Carlson, VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979  ecarlson@bloomer.net

Northern Minnesota/North Dakota
Tuesday, February 16, 3pm
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Eldon Carlson, VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979 ecarlson@bloomer.net

Wisconsin
Tuesday, February 9, 9am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Eldon Carlson, VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979 ecarlson@bloomer.net
Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI
715-723-1054 wljc12@hotmail.com

Central Illinois & Chicagoland
Wednesday, February 10, 11am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Eldon Carlson, VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979 ecarlson@bloomer.net

Iowa
Tuesday, February 16, 9am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, IA
319-396-3233 office@calvarycr.org

Michigan
Wednesday, February 10, 9am (Eastern time)
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Eldon Carlson, VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979 ecarlson@bloomer.net
NEED DIRECTION, NEED A RESOURCE???
Check out some of the services of Venture Church Network Midwest/CBNC here. Other items can be found by visiting our website
or contacting Brad Little, Regional Executive Director.
Natural Church Development

Venture Church Network Midwest
(CB North Central)
PO Box 490441, Blaine, MN 55449

Dr. Brad Little
VCN Midwest (CBNC)
Regional Executive Director
763-350-4263

Eldon Carlson
VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979

Wendy Jonasen
Administrative Assistant
763-205-9330
Administrative Office Hours:
Tues. thru Fri. 8am - 1pm

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