Our Central Conference Celebration is designed to celebrate the ministries of the Central Conference as well as incorporate the business of the Central Conference Ministerial Association, and the Central Conference Annual Meeting. Harbor Point Ministries annual meeting also takes place during the conference annual meeting. We hope you can join us in May 2024!

In 2024, we will gather in-person in Batavia, IL:

  • Central Conference Ministerial Association (CCMA) Gathering: May 2-3, 2024
  • Central Conference Annual Meeting (CCAM) Gathering: May 3-4, 2024
  • Harbor Point Ministries (HPM) Annual Meeting Gathering: May 4, 20024

Location: Batavia Covenant Church, 1314 Main St, Batavia, IL 60510

We hope your church representatives sign up for this important gathering when online registration opens in early 2024!

**Please register for the event(s) you will be attending. If you are attending both events, you must fill out separate registration forms. Displayers should only fill out the Central Conference Annual Meeting form.

Register Here: (CCMA) Registration Page
Register Here: (CCECC) Annual Meeting
Celebration Flyer 8.5×11
Celebration – Postcard
Celebration 11×8.5 Landscape Flyer

MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS

The Central Conference has courtesy room blocks with several hotels located near the Celebration 2024 site. Special rates will only be available through the dates noted by each hotel or until the courtesy room blocks fill up (whichever comes first).

My Place Hotel – North Aurora IL

1000 Kilbery Lane, North Aurora, IL 60542

Group: Central Conference

Make reservations by phone: (630) 256-8485

Rate: $110/night (single bed) or $125/night (two beds)

Special rate available through April 18

Fairfield Inn and Suites Chicago St. Charles

2096 Bricher Rd, St. Charles, Il 60174

Group: Central Conference

Make online reservations

Make reservations by phone: (630) 845-5500

Rate: $119/night (single bed) or $129/night (two beds)

Special rate available through April 10

Comfort Inn and Suites

1555 E. Fabyan Pkwy, Geneva, IL 60134

Group: Central Conference

Make online reservations

Make reservations by phone: (630) 208-8811

Rates: Vary ($119/night-$149/night) based on the date and number of beds in room (single or two beds)

Special rate available through April 2

MAKING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Batavia Covenant Church is located at 1314 Main Street, Batavia, IL, and is on Central Standard Time (CST). For those traveling within the Central Conference from areas on Eastern Standard Time (EST), you will gain an hour on your way to Batavia, IL.

Driving may be the option most Celebration 2024 participants prefer, to reach the meeting site. However, for some participants, flights may be an option. Closest airports to Batavia, IL:

  • O’Hare International Airport. Approximately 45 minutes from Batavia Covenant Church.
  • Chicago Midway International Airport. Approximately one hour from Batavia Covenant Church

In all cases, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements to/from the airport.

As a member church of the Central Conference, your church is entitled to select delegates for the Central Conference Annual Meeting. The number of delegates is based on the number of members in your congregation. Member congregations shall be entitled to representation as follows:

Church Members                 Delegates Church Members                    Delegates
   Up to 99                                     2   450 to 699                                                      5
   100 to 224                                  3   700 to 999                                                      6
   225 to 449                                 4   1000 to more                                                 7

  • Each association recognized by the Central Conference shall be entitled to one delegate.
  • Each affiliated corporation and institution shall be entitled to one delegate.
  • church plant within the Central Conference that is not yet a member congregation may send two advisors to the Conference Annual Meeting.

IF YOU ARE A DELEGATE:

  • You must register online as a delegate for your church.
  • You must also submit a delegate credentials form (by April 26) and have your church chairperson and secretary sign the form, to confirm that you are an elected delegate of your church. Please only submit one form per church. If there is more than one delegate attending from your church, please coordinate getting the signatures from your church chair and secretary with the other delegates.
  • Please mail or email your delegate credential form to the Central Conference office as soon as possible. Delegates must submit this form AND register for the conference annual meeting to receive delegate materials. The regular online registration deadline is April 26, 2024.  No refunds after April 26, 2024.

CCECC ANNUAL MEETING WORKSHOPS
Friday, May 3, 2024

Strength Training for Churches

Led by Rev. Mary Hendrickson

When was the last time your church had a “physical”?  Healthy churches, just like healthy people, need to have regular checkups.  Come experience the PHCheck, the ECC Church Health Survey available to you and your congregations.  In addition, learn more about resources that are available to help make your church grow stronger.  This workshop will be interactive, informative, and even fun!

Mary Hendrickson is a Covenant minister and is the director of missional vitality for Start and Strengthen Churches of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

What’s New and Best in Church Finances?

Led by Steve Dawson

Finances either fuel or hold back the mission of the church. How are your church’s finances doing? Are you keeping up with the never-ending changes that the government imposes on us?  Let’s talk!

Steve Dawson is the interim executive director of finance and corporate treasurer for the Evangelical Covenant Church and financial officer for the Central Conference.

Churches Planting Churches

Led by Rev. Abraham Bejarano

Church planting is the most effective method of evangelism. Churches planting churches continues to be the most natural and organic way to plant churches . Yet, our movement is transforming due to the changing times.  How do we move forward together? Will be offered in English (Session 1) and Spanish (Session 2)

Abraham Bejarano is a Covenant minister and serves as the church planting coach for the Central Conference.

Moving Away From Burnout Toward Thriving: An Integrative Approach to Personal Soul Care for Leaders.

Led by Rev. Nicole McClurg

You have likely heard the saying, “you can’t draw water from a dry well.” Instinctively we know this saying is true for wells….and for people. Yet so often leaders try to keep going when personal resources are depleted. It is time to stop and learn ways to regularly replenish for your good and the blessing of those you serve. This workshop will offer tools to help you care well for your soul even as you care for those God has placed around you.

Nicole McClurg is a Covenant minister and spiritual director who is serving as the director of pastor and congregational care for the Central Conference.

A Spiritual Journey Across the Generations

Led by Rev. Steve Burger

We will explore ways we participate across the generations as one body to fulfill Christ’s mission.

Steve Burger is a Covenant minister and the children and youth ministry coordinator for the Central Conference.

DENNIS EDWARDS

TITLE: Humility’s Paradoxical Power

DESCRIPTION: Let’s explore the power that following Christ’s humble way can have in our society. Humility is often misunderstood, being viewed as a weakness and defined as self-deprecation. However, we must instead see humility as a courageous posture that enables followers of Jesus to lead as peacemakers in a hyper-competitive, polarized, chaotic world. We will explore themes in Humility Illuminated and discuss the practical implications of cultivating humble communities.

Bio: Rev. Dr. Dennis R. Edwards serves as Dean and Vice President of Church Relations at
North Park Theological Seminary, after having previously been Associate Professor of
New Testament. He’s the author of the recent Humility Illuminated: The Biblical Path
Back to Christian Character (IVP). Dennis has been married to Susan Steele Edwards
since 1982. They are the parents of four children, and grandparents of five.

Dennis has three decades of urban pastoral ministry experience. He most recently served
as senior pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to that
served in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY.

Dennis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering (Cornell University),
a Master of Divinity degree in Urban Ministry (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School),
Master of Arts and PhD degrees in Biblical Studies (Catholic University of America).
Dennis enjoys baking, playing his flute and saxophone, as well as weightlifting and
cycling—as much as his body will let him.

AMY PEELER

TITLE: Encouragement and Empowerment from the Gospel of Mark

DESCRIPTION: Studying the life of Jesus is always beneficial, but the Gospel of Mark offers a perspective that serves the distinct needs of church leaders today particularly well. In a powerfully condensed format, Mark’s Gospel offers an honest, and yet, deeply encouraging message for weary disciples. In this session, participants will study the lives of several of Jesus’ followers, noting how he honors the gift of their humanity, calls them to grow in maturity, and provides everything they need to do so.

Bio: Amy Peeler is the Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College. She is a New Testament scholar who focuses on the Epistle to the Hebrews, the callings of women and men in the church, and the Gospel of Mark. She also serves as Associate Rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva, IL.

Central Conference Ministerial Association (CCMA)

Thursday, May 2

 10:00 am

Registration and Display Area Open

Noon – 1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30  – 3:15 pm

Workshop #1: Dr. Dennis Edwards

3:30 – 5:15 pm

Workshop #2: Dr. Amy Peeler

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Registration Open

5:30 – 6:45 pm

CCMA Dinner*

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Evening Worship Guest Speaker: President Tammy Swanson-Draheim

After Hours

Dessert and Fellowship, following worship, hosted by the CCECC

Friday, May 3

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Registration Open

8:00 am

Grab and Go – coffee and light breakfast

8:30 am

Devotional

9:00 am – 12:30 pm

CCMA Annual Meeting

12:30 – 1:30 pm

CCMA Lunch*

The CCMA gathering concludes with lunch.

Central Conference Annual Meeting (CCECC AM)

Friday, May 3

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

 Registration and Display Area Open

10:00 am – 11:45 am

 New Delegate Orientation

noon – 1:30 pm

 Central Conference Executive Board Meeting

1:30 – 3:00 pm

 Breakout Session/Workshop #1:

 A. Breakout Session #1: Strength Training for Churches
 B. Breakout Session #2:  Churches Planting Churches
 C. Breakout Session #3: What’s New and Best in Church Finances?
 D. Breakout Session #4:  A Spiritual Journey Across the Generations
 E. Breakout Session #5:  Moving Away from Burnout Toward Thriving: An Integrative Approach to Personal Soul Care for Leaders.

3:15 – 4:45 pm

 Breakout Session/Workshop #2  (repeat of above options)

4:00 – 6:00 pm

 Registration Open

5:00 – 6:45 pm

 CCAM Dinner*

7:00 – 9:00 pm

 Evening WorshipSuperintendent Danny Martinez.

 Gathering Song at 6:55 pm

After Hours

 Dessert and Fellowship following worship, hosted by Harbor Point Ministries.

Saturday, May 4

7:00 am

 Grab and Go – coffee and light breakfast

7:00 am

 Registration Open

8:00 am

8:20  – 11:30 am

10:00  – 10:45 am

10:45 – 11:45 am

 Devotional – Rev. Eric Landin

 Central Conference Annual Meeting (CCECC AM)

 Harbor Point Ministries Annual Meeting

 Central Conference Annual Meeting continues

11:45 am – 12:30 pm

 Worship and Communion Service

12:45 pm

 CCECC AM Lunch*Celebration 2024 concludes with lunch.