Fall 2019 Update

The Convention Planning Committee is finalizing plans for the 2019 CEA Convention, which will be held October 24 and 25 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: Establish the Work of Our Hands


Verse: Psalm 90:17 “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”



o   Keynote Speaker: David Smith

o   Opening Worship begins at 9:00 a.m.    



o   Capstone Speaker: John Witvliet

o   Closing Worship begins at 11:30 a.m. (Convention begins at 9:00 a.m.)


All of the 2019 CEA Sessions can be viewed at www.ceateachers.org. Click on the “Convention” tab, and then on “Convention Planner.”


2019 CEA Convention Theme: Establish the Work of Our Hands

We long for what we do to have value and meaning, but only God can establish a lasting work. The 2019 theme reminds us to seek God’s favor to make firm His calling in our schools and communities. Through the work of our hands, may God use us to reflect His grace and advance His kingdom.

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. 


The delegates are invited to attend an important Delegates’ Meeting on Thursday at 10:15 a.m., immediately following the Opening Worship, in the Point. This is a new spot for us to meet. You’ll find it just behind the stage in the Convention Hall.


The following Participatory Music Sessions will be meeting in a room during a session time.

  • Thursday from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

    • Choral Repertoire for Success

    • You will have the opportunity to sing together with other CEA members.

  • Thursday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    • Band music discovery session

    • Please bring your instrument to play together with other CEA members

  • Friday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m

    • Leading Worship from the piano: Playing Chords and More

    • Come ready to participate and learn!


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 at  www.sjchamber.org


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. 


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 2019 CEA! Admission is free! River City Improv begins at 7:30 pm, Thursday night in the Recital Hall 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 2019 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 #CEA2019 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 the Information Desk before the convention starts to pick up a registration form.

If you have any questions please stop by the Calvin College display booth in the Exhibits Hall.


INFORMATION DESK will be located on the Street Level of the Century Center. If you are a chairperson, please stop at Information Desk to pick up AND return your session envelope.


Back by popular demand, our very own CEA Book Club! Read, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old by Parker Palmer and come discuss this book at book club on Thursday, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 


The exhibits will be ringing the great room on the River 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:

Distinguished Donor......................................................................................... ANDY STEENSMA INSURANCE AGENCY

Serving the Michigan Educational Community since 1950


Outstanding Donor...................................................................................................................................... Providence Bank


The CEA would like to express our deep appreciation to Anne Brouwer for painting the image on the 2019 CEA Prayer Card.


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




This important housing/lodging information is being sent to you in preparation for our fall 2019 CEA Convention to be held in South Bend, Indiana on October 24 and 25.  (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 24 and 25, 2019.  You will most likely need lodging for Wednesday, October 23 and/or Thursday, October 24. 

·             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.




Southbend DoubleTree Hotel   

123 North St. Joseph Street

South Bend, IN 46601

Connected to the Century Center via a skywalk

Parking $10.00 per day.

Reservation Number: 574-234-2000

Rooms: $134.00


SpringHill Suites

5225 Edison Lakes Parkway

Mishawaka, IN 46545

5.2 miles East of the Century Center

Complimentary Hot Breakfast Buffet

Reservation Number: 574-271-0832

Rooms: $119.00

Courtyard by Marriott

121 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

South Bend, IN 46601

Across the street from the Century Center

Newly built

Free wifi

In and Out valet parking, $15.00 per day.

Reservation Number: 574-237-7777

Rooms: $129.00


Comfort Suites

60971 US 31 South

South Bend, IN 46614

5 miles South of the Century Center

Complementary Hot Breakfast

Reservation Number: 574-291-3100

Rooms: $90.00