Covenant Deeply Involved in Christian Development Conference

CHICAGO, IL (September 8, 2010) – The Evangelical Covenant Church and North Park University are among the sponsors of the Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) national conference being held this week in Chicago.

The conference opened Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary by focusing on the theme, “Remember the Past, Rejoice in the Present, Re-Imagine the Future.”

Covenant ministers Harvey Carey and Brenda Salter McNeil are among the evening plenary speakers. Carey is the senior pastor of Citadel of Faith Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan. Salter McNeil is the president and founder of Salter McNeil & Associates, a Christian company that partners with organizations to transform them into reconciling communities.

Salter McNeil holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from North Park University, where she currently serves as a scholar in residence.

John Teter, founding pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach, California, is leading the workshop “Get the Word Out: Evangelism and CCD.” Teter also serves as director of church planting training for the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Phil Jackson, pastor of The House Covenant Church, is presenting a workshop on Worship and the Arts in a Hip Hop Context.”

Mae Cannon, who served as executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church in Walnut Creek, California, is co-presenting a workshop on “Confessions of the Church.”

Liz VerHage is co-presenting two workshops, “Being Mary in a Martha Kind of World” and “Effective Business and Community Partnerships.” Soong-Chan Rah also is presenting a workshop – both VerHage and Rah are directors of a Center for Holistic Evangelism and Justice Ministries that is starting.

The Covenant is sponsoring a lunch for Covenanters attending the conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Sheraton.

The worship band Foster is made up largely of North Park graduates. North Park and Covenant staff are part of the host team.

The conference includes other Covenant connections, too.

Speaking the same night as Harvey Carey will be Cheryl Broetje, whose apple farm is visited by people on the North Pacific Journey to Mosaic trips. Broetje Orchards is a 6,000-acre apple farm – the family gives away 75 percent of their profits.

Sankofa journeys regularly stop at the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development of Jackson, Mississippi. Perkins, who is speaking at the conference, and Wayne Gordon founded CCDA 20 years ago when they invited 150 friends to Lawndale Community Church in Chicago to discuss best practices in development ministry. The House Covenant Church meets in Lawndale’s building.

Many of the speakers also have participated in Covenant events. Castellanos, CEO of the CCDA organization, spoke at this year’s Midwinter Pastors Conference.

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