As we reflect during the season of Lent, Holy Week and Resurrection Day we can joyfully rest upon God’s unwavering love and promises. Our lessons from the Old Testament this year teach about the kings and prophets that God used to tell the nations about His goodness, love and promise of redemption through the coming Messiah. What a blessing to share this solid foundation with the children as well as the Good News and love of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah and fulfilled prophecy!
There are times in the lives of our students (over 50% are non-churched) that they may be mocked or teased just like Jesus. We strive to nurture each of them, by sharing the hope and love of our perfect and blameless Lamb and keeping them in prayer. So while we celebrate Easter and his Resurrection, we celebrate that through this event, Jesus broke the power of sin and death and became the king of our hearts!
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the skeptics and critics mocked him and said, “If you’re the Son of God, why don’t you just pull yourself down from that cross? Why don’t you just come down and show that you’re really God?” Yet Jesus had something more spectacular planned. He said, “I’m going to let you bury me for three days, and then I’ll come back to life to prove that I am who I say I am.” Jesus is the living proof, “He was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 1:4. (Rick Warren, Saddleback Church)
Join us in celebrating the one living and true God! The one who showed His love for us, not only by his death on the cross, but His burial and resurrection. Tearing down the barrier that once separated us from Him, now we have free access to a life surrounded by His goodness and mercy. By partnering with us in Released Time, you will help us share this news with the 4th and 5th graders in the public elementary schools of Orange!
Blessings to you,
Chantell Tibbets, RTCE Director
The Billy Graham Training Center in Ashville, North Carolina was the site of the 100th Anniversary of Released Time Christian Education programs throughout the United States! Program director Chantell Tibbets and assistant Joan Wasson joined over 150 other representatives from across the country to share two days of celebration of the faithfulness of God in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in our public schools.
Keynote speaker Jim Daley, president of Focus on the Family, shared his personal connection to the Released Time program from his attendance as a 4th grader in Long Beach. It became a pivotal anchor to his understanding of God as he navigated a life in a dysfunctional and abusive family. Dr. Richard Blackaby also spoke on allowing the Spirit of God to guide each city’s program as they minister to the children’s unique needs.
“Make sure you are doing ‘God things’ not just ‘good things’ “, was the reminder to the leaders in attendance. “Good things” can fail or succeed, but “God things” will always succeed because they will have His power propelling it forward. And that is exactly what is being focused on as we begin our 62nd year of reaching the 4th and 5th grade students and their families in Orange with the love of Christ! The celebration was hosted by School Ministries, a national support organization for Released Time programs, including our program in Orange.
Jack and Lizzette Ollestad along with their youth group rallied to beautify two Released Time Chapels this spring. Lizzette, a past Released Time teacher and Champion responded with excitement to our last newsletter. Hoping to beautify a chapel and allow more children to hear the truth of God’sWord, they gathered their youth group and headed over with open hearts and a willingness to serve God’s children.
With little to no painting experience these youth came together to make the new school year bright and shiny for some unsuspecting 4th and 5th graders. Some worked tirelessly inside scrubbing, dusting and shining the wood desks. Others diligently applied paint to two of our well used chapels. Because of their amazing dedication we now have 5 chapels nearly ready for the fall!
Champions like Jack, Lizzette and YOU, are what make Released Time possible. Going the extra step to make a difference. In Released Time we have the opportunity to encourage, educate and empower our students to change their lives for Christ. Let us listen to the voice of God when he lays it on us! Don’t let the opportunity to impact these precious children pass!
We are each vessels created for His use, just like these chapels…how can you be used to help further His kingdom through Released Time? Join us, don’t let the next generation be the one that misses out on the opportunity to spend a lifetime with Jesus! Join us in spreading the Good News!
Blessings to you,