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CEF of North Jersey expands ministry to Essex County

Chapter looks forward to partnering with local churches to reach children and their families.

Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of North Jersey will expand its outreach to Essex County in 2023. Prior to this announcement, the chapter served Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties. CEF State Director, the Reverend James Gutacker, announced the addition to the North Jersey chapter’s area of responsibility in November, after the state board voted to approve the change. “Since we have not had a chartered chapter in Essex County for many years, the North Jersey chapter has frequently supported area churches. This change makes that official and will enable us to purposefully develop new ministry in the area.”

The local chapter will focus on building strategic partnerships with local churches to help evangelize and disciple unchurched children. “CEF of North Jersey already has relationships with several Essex County churches,” Local Director, Twyla Pellegrino explained. “Some support us financially and with prayer, some have held Christmas or Easter parties using our curriculum, and others have invited us to provide training for their children’s ministry volunteers.”

Pellegrino added, “Essex County is home to over 117,500 boys and girls in CEF’s age group (5-12-year-olds). Our desire is for each of those children to have an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus through a Good News Club meeting after school in their local public school or other community location. There are about 150 public elementary schools in the county.” Good News Club is a 60 to 90-minute Bible Club in which CEF-trained teachers meet with groups of children. Clubs meet in schools, homes, community centers, or other locations where the children can easily and safely gather with parental permission. As volunteers build relationships with the children, they can also build a connection to the local church conducting the club.

CEF of North Jersey’s first Essex County Good News Club is scheduled to begin on January 13 in Belleville in partnership with Nutley Abundant Life Worship Center. “We’re excited to begin partnering with many Essex County churches to offer the Good News Club in public schools and other locations,” Pellegrino stated. “CEF has a proven program, an excellent Bible-based curriculum, and outstanding training to help the local church reach the children and families in their communities.”

As the Lord provides resources, the chapter will add staff to specifically develop the work in Essex County. Until then, churches interested in help for reaching children and families in their Essex County community may contact CEF of North Jersey at [email protected] or 973.265.4447.

New Jersey state map with county outlines