Camp Healing Heart

Elizabeth Rieke has been a worship leader and active participant of NCF for many years. Here she shares her passionate ministry expressed through her work as a hospice social worker. May it touch the healing parts of your heart as well. -Renée Camp Healing Heart is coming!  Every fall, these words bring stress and bubbling excitement

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What Lucy Saw

Aslan is on the move. What? Springing to mind surprisingly, years since my childhood devouring of Narnia books. I don’t remember reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my children. (Likely, Jubal had that pleasure 🙂 But yesterday I caught a glimpse. A forgotten email from five months ago received an unexpected response. After months of

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Being Radical

Vern Fein has been a teacher, a pastor, an advocate for justice, a believer, and an active community member for many years. He shares here how his new book (available Sept 15 at NCF) emerged from his experiences of coming to faith from the radical counterculture of the Sixties. May his story inspire and intrigue

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Our Very Lives

I believe in going to visit people. In their homes. Where they are. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been traveling so much lately. The people I love are spread out, and Central Illinois is not central for everyone. So this verse caught my attention today: As you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, our visit with you

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Hidden Potential

I wore my Blue Ridge Respect T-shirt to the gym today. My former co-workers are starting the school year without a contract. I am grateful, but sometimes still surprised, to no longer be a K-8 counselor.  I thought I was living into my potential- creating curriculum, teaching every day, leading small groups, counseling individuals, mediating conflicts, manipulating master

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back-to-back retreats

Campfire sunset and s’mores, late nite board games, rustic dorm rooms. An “all fellowship” retreat. The togetherness was precious, knowing that we could not “all” be there. Holding our brothers and sisters in our hearts as with us on the journey. These are the words of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites

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Part-way Point

The initial fervor subsided. You have farther to go than you thought. And the going has gotten tougher. You realize that you’re not even half-way, and you’re in trouble. Panicking? Perhaps you’re in a leadership position. So many people depend on you. Moses felt that weight. First the exodus from Egypt. The mountaintop experiences were

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Coming Down From the Mountain

I forgot that coming down is harder than climbing up. The views were incredible. We hiked in dappled shade up dry creek beds and discovered huckleberries by sunny streams. No cell service. Just face-to-face conversations. I watched the path carefully, trying to keep my footing on the rocks. My back tired, my muscles sore. It

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Chord Progressions

Worship is an integral component of our relationship with God. Longtime NCF member and musician, Laurie Kaufmann reflects on this aspect of her faith journey. May her words bless you with the creativity of the Lord’s gifts to us. -Renée Singing and playing music has always been one of the most natural and accessible ways to

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Won’t You Be…?

Downtown Champaign was hopping last night! We were out late with friends who were back in town for a wedding. Rain threatened, but didn’t dissuade folks from filling the streetside tables. No occasion, just a sultry summer Monday evening. Vibrant and lively. An easy night to be proud of our town. When a stranger approached

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