GraceConnect eNews, No. 106, Week of June 29, 2015


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Linda Kline taught the Bible in public schools for the past 37 years. 

A Life Dedicated to Service

She’s been a teacher, traveler, and a servant of Christ. Linda Kline’s life is an example of what a true life of service for the Lord looks like. After 37 years, Kline has retired from teaching religious education, otherwise known as Released Time Bible, in the public schools of northern Wayne County, Ohio. Throughout those years she has influenced many lives for Christ – including nearly 500 students who prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their savior.

Kline, a member of Grace Church, Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, senior pastor), began her years of ministry in presenting the gospel to children while she was attending Grace College. To fulfill a volunteer credit, she worked with Child Evangelism Fellowship, leading Good News Clubs that taught the Bible to children.

After graduation, she taught two years science in public elementary school in Lodi, Ohio, then five years of math and Bible in a Christian academy. While she enjoyed teaching these subjects, she found Released Time Bible (RTB) the most enjoyable because she got to deal with “the eternity of individual lives,” she said.

After seven years teaching, Kline moved home to take care of her mother. She was ready for a different type of job, but her mother was the one who called the Released Time Bible program to say, “My daughter is available if you need her.”

RTB took Kline’s mother up on her offer. “I didn’t need an interview or anything.” Kline admitted. In that first year of teaching, Kline counted 1,396 students in 52 classes.

A five-year program, Released Time Bible allows children to participate in a Bible class during their school day. Once taught on school grounds, the classes must now be held in a facility off campus. During the half hour classes, kids learn the major stories in the Bible. Leaders are also able to pray with the children and work with them to memorize scriptures.

One of Kline’s favorite stories reveals God’s power was when the RTB group in Creston, Ohio, needed a new building. For two years, the children, volunteers, and workers prayed for a facility for their class to use. Ultimately, RTB was sold an acre of land for one dollar. The land was directly between the elementary and the middle school in the district, which was exactly what was needed to keep the programs for both schools. She said that when she told the kids their prayers had been answered they, “broke into applause.”

Kline is quite humble when talking about her years of teaching. “To God be the glory,” Kline said, “It was a God thing to get me started…I’ve been humbled that He has used me.”

Kline’s nephew, Rich Kline, praises his aunt for her years of service.

“I always remember how diligently she worked over the years,” he said. Once a RTB student, he is now the president of Released Time Bible in Wayne County. “Things come full circle,” he noted.

Kline has offered to be a substitute teacher for RTB. She says when she told the kids that she would be substituting they said, “We want a substitute every day.”

She says what she will miss the most about teaching is, “The contact with the kids. The smiles and the hugs.”

Outside of the classroom, Kline has visited 42 countries on mission trips and as teacher leader of high school students. She’s done everything from helping in kitchens to leading children’s conferences. She has also visited 49 states, with Mississippi being the only one she has not visited.

While Kline has retired from teaching RTB, she has not retired from serving. Kline still plans to continue leading Sunday gospel and missions lessons, after teaching children’s church for 37 years. She is helping seniors who need it and once a month she hosts international ladies at her house. She also plans to visit a friend in China next year. -- by Melissa Sorensen


[Your Turn]


In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling this past Friday regarding gay marriage, here are a few timely reminders from leaders in our fellowship:

Grace Community Church, Goshen's youth pastor, Dan Cosentino: How Christian's Should Respond

"What it will take are individual Christians who care for people's souls to love on people with different sin issues," he writes. "This battle needs to be won one person at a time as Christians do what we are called to do. We are to be known for our love more than anything else!"

>>From CPR-3's Executive Director Dan O'Deens: He Who Loves First Wins

"Are we surprised that the world does not know right from wrong?," he writes. "Are we surprised that they look at the Bible as irrelevant and untrue?  Are we surprised that they see Christians as a joke and hypocritical? ...We must simply be faithful in the commission and the commandment to His followers. The commandment is to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself...Let’s BE the Church."

Check out more responses from Grace Brethren leaders and pastors in our response roundup. Don't forget to be praying for our country during this drastic change. 
[Leader's Corner:]

"One of the worst feelings I can think of is the feeling of powerlessness in the face of some coming trouble," writes Pastor Randy Smith of Grace Church of Sebring in his article, Empowered for a Purpose: At the Center of the Storm."

He continues, "It is that 'beat-down' feeling of being subject to forces that are so strong, no amount of effort seems to make any difference. It is depressing to watch things turn from bad to worse when you feel you have no way to avoid the onslaught. I believe many who follow Jesus in these latter days are being pushed down by exactly that perception – the days are too evil and the power of God’s people and message are too small. I have good news for you, the truth is far from that view, and perhaps we all need to look into the Word for a reminder of the truth: ...Small people, broken people, insignificant people (from the world’s point of view), were empowered by God to change their world with the message of truth – and they still are being empowered."

Click here to read the entire article. 

Events in the FGBC

June 15-July 27, 2015 – Operation Barnabas, Winona Lake, Ind. (CEN)
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
June 23-July 7, 2015 – City Life Tours East Coast & West Coast (CEN)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23, 2015 – Women's Celebration at Flinch Conference, Newark, NJ (WGUSA)
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 
August 10-14, 2015 – Encounter SoCal Santa Ana, Calif. (EWP) 
August 28-29, 2015  WLS: Biblical Foundations of Leadership, Winona Lake, Ind.   (WGUSA)
September 25-26, 2015  Revive '15 Fellowship Forum, Indianapolis, Ind.  (WGUSA)
October 30-31, 2015  WLS: Principles of Effective Bible Study, Columbus, Ohio  (WGUSA)
November 13-14, 2015  WLS: Women & Scripture, Elizabethtown, Pa.  (WGUSA)
January 15-16, 2016 – WLS: Women & Scripture, Ocala, Fla.  (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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