Fall 2016 Update

The Convention Planning Committee is finalizing plans for the 2016 CEA Convention, which will be held October 20 and 21 at the Century Center and South Bend Doubletree Hotel in South Bend, Indiana. We hope this convention will provide professional stimulation and challenge each one of you!

Theme: Be Rooted, Be Relevant

Verse: Colossians 2:2-3, 6-7


  • Keynote Speaker: Bruce Hekman
  • Opening Worship begins at 9:00 a.m.    


  • Capstone Speaker: Randy Buursma
  • Closing Worship begins at 11:30 a.m. (Convention begins at 9:00 a.m.)

All of the 2016 CEA Sectionals can be viewed at www.ceateachers.org. Click on the “Convention” tab, and then on “Convention Planner.”

The delegates are invited to attend an important Delegates’ Meeting on Thursday at 10:15 a.m., immediately following the Opening Worship, in the Recital Hall on the lower level of the Century Center.

2016 CEA Convention Theme: Be Rooted, Be Relevant

Christian educators have the privilege to prepare our students for tomorrow’s world with feet grounded firmly in the faith.

Out of respect to speakers and fellow teachers, the Planning Committee requests that those in attendance at meetings not leave until the chairperson indicates the close of the session.

Children and infants may not attend any CEA session or opening or closing worship.  We ask for your cooperation so someone from the Planning Committee will not be forced to ask you to leave.  Contact your hotel for babysitting services or make other arrangements for your children if you choose to take them along to the convention. 

A hotel reservation form was sent to you in the spring and you have hopefully already made your hotel/motel arrangements directly with the hotel/motel.  Another copy is included below. 

On Thursday there will be a lunch break in the schedule. There will be no sessions scheduled. The exhibit hall will be open. There will be snacks and sandwiches available on the lower level and in the snack shop (in the brick entryway) of the Century Center and in the restaurants in the South Bend Doubletree, and area restaurants.  A list of additional eating places close to the Century Center will be available at Convention Headquarters. The list of restaurants is also available online atwww.sjchamber.org

The following Loaves and Fishes will be meeting in a room during a session time.

Thursday from 11:00 – 12:00 noon

  • L+F ~ Band Music Reading Session (Please bring your instruments)
  • L+F ~ FLES Educators (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools)
  • L+F ~ Yearbook Sponors

Thursday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

  • L+F ~ Favorite Choral School Music

Remember that retired Christian school teachers and administrators may attend the convention free of the normal registration charges.  Contact the Executive Secretary, Brenda VanderPloeg, for details.  (cea@ceateachers.org)

Spouse passes may be obtained at Convention Headquarters for $5 and guest passes for educators who are not CEA members are $110. 

Student Teachers may attend the convention for free, if they send in a Student Teacher Voucher to Brenda VanderPloeg. Contact Brenda VanderPloeg (cea@ceateachers.org) for a Student Teacher Voucher.

CEA dues for this year will be $90 per member.  These dues cover your convention registration, a subscription to the Christian Educators Journal, and committee expenses.  Your delegate will be collecting dues in September.

River City Improv is coming to 2016 CEA! Admission is free! River City Improv begins at 8:00 pm, Thursday night in the Bendix Theatre on the lower level of the Century Center.  Come with your colleagues to laugh and enjoy!

Gather by CEA headquarters at the Century Center for our 2016 CEA 5K Walk/Run. The event begins at 7:00 am, Friday morning. Follow the St. Joseph River for a beautiful morning walk or run. This will be an un-chipped event. There is no cost for this event.

Twitter – Use #CEA2016 to get connected and share your experience.

Two name badges will be sent to each teacher this year for use at the convention.  Those who are being honored for 25 or 35 years of service will receive a special set of name badges. Your delegate will have those for you.

Calvin’s Graduate Education Department will offer SCECH’s (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) through the State of Michigan. Educators may earn Michigan SCECH’s for attending selected sessions. Specific directions may be obtained from your CEA delegate. You may also stop at Convention Headquarters before the convention starts to pick up a registration form.

If you have any questions please stop by headquarters to speak with a Graduate Program representative or stop by the Calvin College display booth in the Exhibits Hall.

CONVENTION HEADQUARTERS will be located on the Street Level of the Century Center. If you are a chairperson, please stop at Convention Headquarters to pick up AND return your session envelope.

Back by popular demand, our very own CEA Book Club! Read, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and come discuss this book at book club on Thursday, from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

South Bend is in the Eastern Time zone. That means that South Bend is on “Michigan Time.”

The CEA would like to express our deep appreciation to Junior, Megan Haagsma, from South Christian High School forthe winning entry in designing the 2016 CEA Banner. All banner entries can be picked up at CEA headquarters.

The exhibits will be in Convention Hall C on the Street Level of the Century Center.  Our Chairperson of Exhibits is Jerry Mastenbrook (Kalamazoo Christian Middle School).  He has worked very hard at obtaining vendors to come to our convention.  Please be sure to visit the exhibits and order materials right at the convention whenever possible.  Even when placing an order later in the year, be sure to mention the convention exhibit.  Since the exhibits are an important source of CEA income, we urge your cooperation. 

The following have donated either products or cash for us to provide exhibitor prizes. Visit the exhibit hall and receive a ticket from the vendors, Drop your ticket off in the prize bowl at the CEA headquarters. We will be drawing prizes each hour.

Many thanks to:


Serving the Michigan Educational Community since 1950

Outstanding Donor - Providence Bank

Outstanding Donor - The FAST Project


This important housing/lodging information is being sent to you in preparation for our fall 2016 CEA Convention which will be held in South Bend, Indiana on October 20 and 21.  (More convention information and a request for dues will be sent to you in the fall.)    EACH CEA MEMBER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING HIS/HER OWN HOUSING/LODGING RESERVATIONS.

  • You must tell the hotels that you are with CEA to receive these rates.
  • Remember to reserve the correct dates.  The actual CEA Convention is Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21, 2016.  You will most likely need lodging for Wednesday, October 19 and/or Thursday, October 20. 
  • You will need a credit card number to make a reservation.
  • You will be dealing directly with the hotel/motel for ALL arrangements and will receive a confirmation directly from that hotel/motel.
  • Hotel/motel names, rates, etc. are listed below.

South Bend DoubleTree Hotel

123 North St. Joseph Street,  South Bend, IN 46601

(connected to the Century Center with a skywalk)

PH:  574-234-2000 

Rooms = $129.00


Waterford Estates Lodge

52890 IN-933 North,  South Bend, IN 46637  (3.5 miles north of the Century Center)

PH: 574-272-5220

Single or Double = $90.00 (complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary wifi)


SpringHill Suites

5225 Edison Lakes Parkway, Mishawaka, IN 46545 (5.2 miles east of the Century Center)

PH: 574-271-0832

Double or King = $89.00 (complimentary hot breakfast buffet)


Comfort Suites

60971 US 31 South, South Bend. IN 46614 (5 miles south of Century Center)

PH:  574-291-3100

Single or Double=$90.00 (complimentary hot breakfast buffet)