Resources

Easter Resources

An easter service in quarantine

COVID 19 has impacted the 2020 Easter celebration.  This year our Easter celebrations will be very different!  Most of us will not gather together for a community Easter egg hunt, a sunrise service, the traditional Easter worship celebration, or a family dinner.  It will be just us—our immediate family.  But it will still be Easter—the date that has been set aside to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  So, as families and small groups of believers, let’s celebrate.  Below is a suggested worship service just for your family or small group.  Add your own unique ideas to tailor it to your family’s or small group members’ ages, interests, and gifts.  

Because the tomb
is empty, ...

Easter Greeting

On Easter morning don’t greet one another with a “Good morning!” or “Did you sleep well?” Greet one another with the Easter Acclamation, “Christ is risen!” Encourage the family member to respond with, “He is risen indeed!”

Easter Reading Of God’S Word

If possible, provide each family member who can read with a copy. Assign family members to lead sections of the responsive reading; remind others of their responses.

Singing Songs Of Praise

We’ve provided a playlist of songs related to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Sing along with your family.  Give Him praise!

God’S Word To Us This Easter

For the first time in our lifetime, church pews are empty for longer than the occasional snow-covered day.  Is God giving His children a break from the weekly ritual? In fact, it’s just the opposite. During this Easter season and in the midst of our current COVID 19 crisis, He is sending us out from the comfort of our church buildings and into the world to serve.  We have been deployed! 

Our Response – Communion

God has deployed us to fulfill His mission here on earth.  The COVID 19 pandemic is an opportunity for us to serve others and to declare God’s kingdom.  Communion is an opportunity for us to prepare our hearts for this deployment. 

A QUARANTINED EASTER

Ideas to encourage remembrance and celebration with family

REMEMBER HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION WITH YOUR FAMILY

  • On Friday evening prepare and eat the Passover meal with your family. For information on serving a Seder meal go to https://cogop.org/children/passover-seder-meal/
  • On Saturday work together as a family to create poster-board signs with celebration phrases printed on each such as, “Allelulia!”, “Rejoice!”, “He is Risen!”, “Jesus is Alive!” Tape the posters to paint stirrers or similar pieces of wood and place on your lawn or on your front door as reminders to passers by that Jesus has risen.
  • Begin Easter Sunday morning with a family sunrise moment. Fifteen minutes before sunrise wake sleepy family members. Invite them to join you outside or at a window facing the east as you watch the sunrise together.  Give each family member a candle to light.  Briefly discuss how just as there is darkness before the sun rises there was darkness before Christ was born—people were separated from God’s light. Then Christ was born (Matthew 4:16, John 1:1–5).  He was light. And since Jesus has gone back to heaven, He has called us to be light (Matthew 5:14–16).  As soon as the sun rises, extinguish the candles.  Take a moment to say “thank you” to God for the light of His Son, Jesus.
  • Have a family Easter service. We’ve created a brief family Easter service for you, “Deployed.” Make it your own by adding your own songs, prayer thoughts, discussion questions, and other activities.

CONNECT WITH YOUR CHURCH COMMUNITY

  • Go Easter caroling. Consider the shut-ins and elderly in your congregation.  Call and let them know that on Easter (provide an approximate time) your family or small group will be stopping by to sing a song of praise.  (Remind them to stay in the house or right outside the door and the carolers will stay near their cars in order to follow COVID 19 safety guidelines.)
  • Ask members of your congregation to respond to the phrase “Because the tomb is empty, I…”Ask them to video their response on their phone or computer and send it to you.  Create a video montage that can be e-mailed or used during your live stream Easter worship service.
  • Provide Easter teaching materials for parents of preschool and school-aged children. “The Sunday Morning Miracle” resources including free downloads are available through CTA Christ for All. Go to https://www.ctainc.com/product/resource-pack-smmxxrepk
  • Here’s a prayer idea that you can use to connect with and serve your community. Pastor Tyrone Hall of the Lighthouse Church of God of Prophecy in Olean, New York has provided a “drive through prayer line” in the parking lot of his church.  Pastor Hall meets each car protected with a mask and gloves and then prays with them concerning their requests. 

DECLARE “HE IS RISEN” IN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Organize an Easter shout-out in your neighborhood. E-mail neighbors or place notes in mailboxes specifying a specific time on Easter when every neighbor can respond joyfully to Jesus’ resurrection. Ask everyone to respond in the same way so that the impact is heard.  Some examples include shouting “Hallelujah” from your lawn, ringing a bell, or honking your horn.
  • Host an “Egg Hunt On-the-Go.” Create an “Egg Hunt On the Go” kit for families in your neighborhood including pre-filled eggs and an egg-dyeing kit. Include an Easter devotional for families with all the props needed. (Note: Be sure to follow the COVID 19 health and safety precautions when creating and distributing the kits.)
  • Deliver Easter baskets filled with appropriate items to nursing homes, first responders, or local shelters for abused women and children. Include a Gospel message in each basket.  (Note: Be sure to follow the COVID 19 health and safety precautions when creating and distributing the baskets.)

Dr. Michael Plumley

Accreditation Coordinator / Spirit & Life Seminary

Dr. Michael Plumley joined the Leadership Development and Discipleship ministries in the fall of 2017 working in Accredited Ministry Development in the area of Assessment and Accreditation after more than forty years as a veteran educator. In addition to his years in the public schools of Georgia and Tennessee, he has also served as adjunct instructor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Director of Planning and Accountability in the School of Education at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), and for a short time was Assistant Professor of Education at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Dr. Plumley has served as consultant for accreditation at Ole Miss, West Texas A & M University, and at William Carey University. He has served on the Accreditation Council for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and on the Accreditation Council for the Council for Accreditation of Professional Educators (CAEP) in Washington, D. C.

He holds an Associate Degree in Elementary Education from Tomlinson College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Lee University, a Masters of Education in Administration / Supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Plumley has been a member of the Church of God of Prophecy for over fifty years and currently serves the Peerless Road Church on the Finance and Administrative committee. He has acknowledged a call to ministry and received his minister’s certificate in 2019.

Katherine Osborn, DMin

Business Office Manager / Accredited Ministries Development / Spirit & Life Seminary

Katherine first came to work at the International Offices while attending Tomlinson and Lee Colleges. She returned, almost 30 years later in 2009, to work as a bilingual secretary for the Center for Biblical Leadership. Her focus on the partnership between the Church of God of Prophecy and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary prepared her for her current responsibilities as Business Office Manager for Accredited Ministry Development and Spirit and Life Seminary.

She has been passionate about education and training since becoming a Christian at the age of 15. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education in Oregon. In 2008, Katherine made the leap of faith to go back to school to work on her Master’s Degree in Religion with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and graduated magna cum laude in 2016. She is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry Degree with Western Theological Seminary. (Don’t know how you want to update it here; I have successfully completed my doctoral defense and am set to graduate April 30, 2022.)

Katherine has worked as a public-school teacher, substitute teacher, and adult educator. Before coming to Cleveland, she was an administrator at a small Christian school in Texas for 10 years.

Her desire is to see God’s people equipped for service in His kingdom.

Antonio Orona

Project Manager / Leadership Development And Discipleship

At the age of 15 years old, Antonio Orona was called by God at a teen camp into ministry. Serving in multiple areas helped him realized that he had a passionate heart for people Antonio desire is to help others know who Jesus is and so that they can be committed to living a life with Him. 

Antonio has a B.S degree from California State University of Los Angeles in Fire Protection Administration and a Master degree in Leadership and Community Development from California Baptist University. He is also currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, TN. 

He has had the privilege to serve as the Youth Pastor at the COGOP Riverside Church in Riverside, CA from 2014 to 2019. He has helped served the youth ministry in the state of California from various areas such as teaching, preaching, and serving as a camp counselor at teen camps for 6 years. Currently he is pursuing his minister license with the Church of God of Prophecy. 

He is married to his lovely wife Lilly Orona and together they have a one year old son named Isaiah Orona.

Currently Antonio is a project manager for the Leadership Development and Discipleship department, managing and organizing various projects in different platforms. He is also a volunteer firefighter for Tri-Community Fire Department in Ooltewah, TN. 

Albert Murza

Accredited Ministries Development / Spirit And Life Seminary

Albert Murza serves as the Registrar and Media Manager for Accredited Ministry Development.

He was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and his father is Misha Murza, overseer of Russia COGOP. At 18, he moved to Germany to study at European Theological Seminary.

In 2016, he married Kristen Murza and moved to Cleveland, TN, serving as youth leaders at Peerless Road church and as youth pastors at Spring Place COGOP. Since March 2022, Albert and Kristen have been serving as youth pastors at Hickory Valley Community Church. 

Albert Murza received his ministry license with the Church of God of Prophecy in 2019. 

He is currently enrolled at Pentecostal Theological Seminary pursuing the Master of Divinity degree with the Biblical Studies concentration and will graduate in May of 2022. 

Steven Hodge

Admissions And Marketing Manager /  Accredited Ministries Development / Spirit And Life Seminary

Steven Hodge is the Admissions and Marketing Manager for Spirit & Life Seminary and the department of Accredited Ministry Development. Steven oversees the admissions process for all new applicants seeking higher education. Steven also heads the promotion and marketing initiatives for partnered schools, global cohorts, and various degree programs.

Steven grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and moved to Cleveland, TN, to begin working at the International Offices in 2021. Steven is bilingual and served as a lay minister at the Elizabeth Spanish Church of God of Prophecy. While serving in Elizabeth, Steven took on the role of youth pastor, event coordinator, and instructor for his region’s bible institute. Steven also served the Spanish Northeast Region as the assistant chief of operations for the Spanish Northeast Region Children’s Camp from 2012 to 2018.

Steven earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Seton Hall University and is currently enrolled at Pentecostal Theological Seminary pursuing a Master of Theological Studies in Pentecostal Theology. Steven enjoys music and has played in orchestras and jazz bands. He states that his personal motto is “Always be learning – God has given me the ability to learn, and I plan on using it.”

In 2021, Steven was sent forth by Pastor Collazo and his local congregation at Peerless Road Church ‘Casa de Refugio’ and is currently pursuing licensure in the Church of God of Prophecy. In 2022, Steven married the intelligent, beautiful, and kind love of his life, Alejandra Guajardo.

Joy Hensley

Training Specialist / International Children’s Ministries

At the age of fourteen, Joy said, “Yes!” to God’s call to serve and minister to kids. Since then, she has actively served in churches, camps, and various ministry environments both locally and internationally. Joy is the Associate Pastor of Children at her local church, Spring Place Church. While at Spring Place, she has had the opportunity to remodel and build a children’s ministry that is a safe and sacred place for kids to attend. She believes with her whole heart that children are indeed a blessing from God and that they are mighty arrows being released into the world (Psalm 127).

In July of 2016, Joy completed her Master of Arts degree in Ministry Studies from Lee University. Currently, she also serves part-time at the International Offices as the Training Specialist for International Children’s Ministries. She is most passionate about helping children and adults see the value of theology in ministry to kids. Joy’s idea of fun includes traveling, reading, working out, and laughing with the people she loves. 

Alejandra Guajardo-Hodge

Executive Administrative Assistant / Leadership Development And Discipleship

At 22, a year after Alejandra became a Christian, she felt God calling her to pursue theological studies. In response to this call, she transferred from Texas A&M International University to Lee University in Cleveland, TN, to follow God’s vision for her.

Alejandra earned a B. A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Lee University and an M. A in Theological Ethics from the same Institution. In 2019, she received the Zeno C. Tharp award, which is given annually to the Lee University senior who shows the greatest promise of making a significant contribution to the Church.

 Alejandra has served as the translator and editor of several publications, including the quarterly newsletter El Camino produced by His Fullness Ministries and the Ministerial Development Department at Lee University. She worked at Lee University’s School of Religion as a teaching and research assistant for Christian ethics courses and at Lee University’s Squires library during her graduate education.                                       

In the past, Alejandra has been involved in several ministries such as Bridge Ministries, Hunger Rescue, and Church at the Park in Laredo, Texas. Alejandra loves to participate in the local church. She functions as a mentor at NCCOG Collegiate Group and as a music minister at New Covenant Church of God.  Alejandra is also a member of the Society of Pentecostal Studies, the Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL), and Theta Alpha Kappa National Honors Society.                                    

She has a passion for education, the practice of hospitality toward immigrant communities, and peace and reconciliation studies. Alejandra also served as a Church of God missionary in the Balkans after completing her undergraduate degree and has remained in partnership with that field since.

Alejandra has been married to Steven Hodge since January of 2022.

Leslie Green

Project Coordinator / International Children’s Ministries

Leslie Green began ministering at her local church and summer youth camps before she was 12 years old. Since then, God has blessed her with opportunities to minister as a children’s ministry director and youth ministry coordinator as well as serving in various roles in camping ministry, conventions and ministry training in North America. She’s also travelled internationally on mission teams and as a trainer for children’s ministry conferences.

 

Leslie is thrilled to work alongside a few of the most passionate leaders in children’s ministry. She currently serves as children’s pastor at Keith Street Ministries in Cleveland, Tennessee. Her heart is full as she watches the children grow in their relationship with Christ and knowledge of His Word.

Renita Drumgould

Youth Ministries Assistant / Youth Ministries International

“I am a native to Cleveland, Tennessee. I have worked for the Church of God of Prophecy for eight years. I have a bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

My husband Elliott and I have been married for six years; and we have been blessed with three amazing sons, Elijah (5), Noah (3), and Levi (2). My hobbies are cooking, decorating and spending time with my family.

Kathryn Creasy

Executive Director / Leadership Development And Discipleship Director / Center For Biblical Leadership

Kathryn H. Creasy served the Church of God of Prophecy for more than 26 years as International Children’s Ministry director. She brought to that assignment considerable children’s ministry experience at both the local church and regional level.

Her passion for developing leaders was birthed out of her call to serve children. In her first ministry role as regional children’s ministry director, Kathy saw the need for children’s ministers to be skilled in ministry and leadership, prompting her to organize her first children’s ministry conference at the age of 21. During her tenure as international children’s ministry director, Kathy developed effective ministry and leadership training resources and built strong mentoring relationships with leaders in more than 50 nations. Recognition by international leadership of Kathy’s passion, experience, and skill led to her appointment as Executive Director of Leadership Development and Discipleship.

She earned a Master of Science degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She taught in public schools in Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. She is a licensed minister with the Church of God of Prophecy.

Kathy and her husband Rick live in Cleveland, TN. Their older son Lee has two young daughters, Elodie and Amelia and resides in Denver, Colorado. Their younger son Clint and his wife Charis have two young children, Callum Decker and Florence. They reside in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kathy’s joy is working with continental, national, and regional leadership to develop and implement strategies that will identify, equip, and release developing leaders.

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