Fall 2017 Update

The Convention Planning Committee is finalizing plans for the 2017 CEA Convention, which will be held October 19 and 20 at Holland Christian High School in Holland, MI. We hope this convention will provide professional stimulation and challenge each one of you!

  • Theme: Cultivating Community
  • Verse: Romans 12:4-5
  • Thursday
    • Keynote Speaker: Jim Schaap
    • Opening Worship begins at 9:00 a.m. at Central Wesleyan Church.
  • Friday
    • Capstone Speaker: Kurt Dykstra
    • Closing Worship begins at 11:30 a.m. in the auditorium at HCHS (Convention begins at 9:00 a.m.)
  • 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
    • 1517-2017, 500 years since the Reformation. We will commemorate this in following ways:
    • All of the sessions occurring at 10:45 will in some way be about the Reformation or Reformed thinking.
    • Every Word Project
    • “Here I Stand” Exhibit 

All of the 2017 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 10:20 a.m., immediately following the Opening Worship, in the Choir Room behind the stage at Central Wesleyan Church.

2017 CEA Convention Theme: Cultivating Community

God created us to be in community. As Christian educators, we have the responsibility to create and cultivate healthy communities in our classrooms, in our schools, in CEA and in the broader community of believers. Community is cultivated through service, fellowship, vulnerability and collaboration. These enable us to rely on and care for each unique member.

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, unless you are leaving or arriving from participating in the Every Word Project.

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.

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. 

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.

On Thursday there will be a lunch break in the schedule. We are very excited to announce that a free, community, sit-down hot lunch will be provided to everyone on Thursday from 11:45 – 12:50 p.m. We are so grateful to Acosta for generously providing lunch to everyone at the convention. There are no sessions scheduled during lunch. The exhibit hall will be open.

From Many, One Mural project will immediately follow lunch. Please arrive at your 1:00 session room by 12:50 so that we can have everyone’s participation in the community building mural project.

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

  • Thursday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
    • L+F ~ Band Music Reading Session (Please bring your instruments)
    • L+F ~ Art Room. Come and create your own art.
  • Thursday from 2:10 – 3:10 p.m.
    • L+F ~ Favorite Choral School Music
    • L+F ~ String Music Reading Session (Please bring your instruments)
    • L+F ~ Art Room. Come and create your own art.
  • Thursday from 3:20 – 4:20 p.m.
    • L+F ~ Surround Care
    • L+F ~ Art Room. Come and create your own art.

A tour of Hope College is available on Thursday, October 19 from 1:00 – 4:00. Please contact Brenda VanderPloeg (cea@ceateachers.org) to register for this opportunity.

The lab rooms at Holland Christian will feature sessions that are active labs and learning experiences for you to participate in.

  • 1:00 – 2:00 is for teachers who teach grades 5-8
  • 2:10 – 3:10 is for teachers who teach grades 1-4As a community we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by reading out-loud every word in God’s Holy Scripture during the Convention; The Every Word Project. We pray that this activity will light a fire in us for God and His Word. We will need many volunteers to come to read for 15 minutes at a time throughout the convention. Sign up here:

i.     Sign up to proclaim from Genesis – Numbers.

ii.     Sign up to proclaim from Deuteronomy – II Samuel.

iii.     Sign up to proclaim from I Kings – Ezra.

iv.     Sign up to proclaim from Nehemiah – Psalms.

v.     Sign up to proclaim from Proverbs – Jeremiah.

vi.     Sign up to proclaim from Lamentations – Malachi.

vii.     Sign up to proclaim from Matthew – Acts.

viii.     Sign up to proclaim from Romans – Revelation.

“Here I Stand” exhibit, a collection of thirty accessible and engaging graphic art posters, including colorful maps and graphic-novel-style scenes, that showcase the Reformation’s beginnings, movement and impact over time. This collection will be on display in the gym on Thursday only.

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 your dues. The deadline for dues payment is September 14.

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.

Fitness Options:

  • A workout / fitness class in the gym at 3:20 on Thursday led by Nicki Chandler, Wellness Instructor
  • A bike ride through Holland. We have a 10 mile, a 20 mile or a 25 mile route. Meet us in the cafeteria at 4:45 on Thursday to join in. You can find more information here.
  • 7:00 am on Friday morning, join us for a 5K run through the paths of Holland. Meet at the information desk.

Gift Card Drawings:

  • Visit the exhibitors and get a ticket. Drop your ticket off at the information desk. Four $25.00 Amazon gift card winners will be drawn and announced during each session.
  • A grand prize drawing will also be drawn from the exhibitor tickets. We are offering three $100.00 Amazon gift cards for three grand prize drawings.
  • Create an account with SCHED (our online convention planner) and be entered to win one of two $100.00 Visa Gift Cards.
  • Is this your first time attending CEA? Welcome! Come to the information desk and enter to win one of two $25.00 Amazon gift cards or one of two $25.00 Book Bug gift cards.

Twitter – Use #CEA2017 to get connected and share your experience.

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 the CEA Information Desk 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 Information Desk will be located outside of the Media Center at Holland Christian High School. If you are a chairperson, please stop at CEA Information Desk to pick up AND return your session envelope.

Back by popular demand, our very own CEA Book Club! Read, March by Geraldine Brooks and come discuss this book at book club on Friday, from 10:10 – 11:10 a.m.

The exhibits will be located on Main Street at Holland Christian High School. 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 information desk. We will be drawing prizes each hour.

Many thanks to:


Serving the Michigan Educational Community since 1950

Outstanding Donor - Providence Bank



This important housing/lodging information is being sent to you in preparation for our fall 2017 CEA Convention which will be held in Holland, MI on October 19 and 20.  (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 19 and 20, 2017.  You will most likely need lodging for Wednesday, October 18 and/or Thursday, October 19.  
  • 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.

Holland DoubleTree by Hilton -  650 East 24th Street,  Holland, MI 49423

(3 miles east of Holland Christian High School)

PH:  616-396-0708

Rooms = $129.00 (breakfast included)


Holiday Inn Express Holland - 12381 Felch Street,  Holland, MI 49424  (6 miles north of Holland Christian High School)

PH: 616-738-2800

Rooms = $119.00


Hampton Inn of Holland - 12427 Felch Street, Holland, MI 49424

(6 miles north of Holland Christian High School)

PH: 616-399-8500

Rooms = $134.00 (complimentary hot breakfast, micro fridg in room, free wi-fi)