Benefit Dinner for the Center for Christian Education in Martin, Slovakia
Saturday evening, January 28, 5:30pm
Authentic Slovak dinner, entertainment, raffles and more
Reservations for the dinner closed on Wednesday evening, January 25.
Make a donation in support of the CCE at Grace's secure online payment page (write "CCE Slovakia" next to the box marked "Other")
Grace Lutheran Church is sponsoring a benefit dinner on Saturday, January 28, celebrating ten years of partnership with the Center for Christian Education (CCE) in Martin, Slovakia. The event, hosted in Fellowship Hall, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and includes an authentic Slovak dinner, a cash bar, entertainment, and a raffle of exciting items. Proceeds of the evening will benefit the CCE’s Lutheran High School. Leaders of the Center for Christian Education will be at the dinner to present a 2016 update on their ministry.
The cost is $50 per person. Make your reservation for the dinner online or at the table in the atrium on Sunday mornings between services. Or call Grace's reception desk (708-366-6900) during the week.
Founded in 1998, the Center for Christian Education works to rekindle the faith of people in Slovakia, who endured four decades of Communist rule aimed at eliminating religion in eastern Europe. CCE’s programs include education from preschool through master’s degree as well as numerous community-outreach programs.
The Lutheran Academy offers accredited, Christ-centered education. It consists of a preschool, an elementary school, and a five-year bilingual high school. The school opened in 2003 with one class of 19 first-grade students and added a grade with each successive year. The High School equips graduates for university study in a global world. CCE’s charter class—the first-graders who began in 2003—are currently completing their fourth year of high school. Today, the Lutheran Academy has an enrollment of more than 650 students. Recently it was named one of the top ten schools in Slovakia and is widely considered the best school in Martin.
In addition to English instruction, the Lutheran Academy includes practical religious education with weekly student worship services, a student choir, and a school worship band.
CCE operates the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Žilina, where it offers accredited programs leading to a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry and master’s degrees in elementary and secondary education.
CCE also sponsors numerous community-outreach programs, including Vacation Bible School, youth camps for middle-school and junior-high students, peer ministry for high-school students, and English as a Foreign Language classes. Led by American volunteers, for more than a decade these programs have helped engage the community and build greater awareness for CCE. Members of Grace Church traveled to Martin in July 2016 to teach VBS to 200 children. Plans are underway for a return trip in 2017 and a second year of teaching VBS.
The Lutheran High School occupies space in a three-story building adjacent to the CCE campus. CCE purchased this building in 2013. Significant renovation has been needed to make the building—once home to a publisher of Communist propaganda—functional for education. Professional building crews are supplemented by the efforts of the school community and by “builders groups” organized by U.S. partner churches. Several Grace members have participated in these builder-group mission trips.
Currently, the school has completed Phase 1 of its renovation program, including several classrooms as well as a computer lab, a chemistry/physics lab, a reception area, teachers’ offices, and a fully functioning kitchen. Proceeds from Grace’s Slovakia Benefit Dinner will help continue the renovation effort.
The Center for Christian Education is a regular benevolence of Grace Church.