The opening ceremony and devotional for the International Christian Retail Show exhibit floor will be led by Steve Arterburn to start the day on Monday, June 24. The founder and chairman of New Life Ministries, co-founder of New Life Clinics, and host of the No. 1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show, “New Life Live”, also founded the Women of Faith conferences – attended by more than 4 million women. His passion is to revolutionize marriages and provide motivation for them to thrive. His latest work, 7-Minute Marriage Solution, releases this fall with a companion Bible. Arterburn is a teaching pastor at Heartland Church in Fishers, IN.
Ministry in Action
Each year, CBA and ICRS work to give back to the local community through a ministry project. This year, retailers, suppliers, and other industry participants will assemble 100 welcome baskets to help Humanitri assist families in need.
Humanitri’s mission is to strengthen families facing personal crisis by channeling principles of faith and social responsibility to improve their quality of life. The result of a merger of three Lutheran ministries, Humanitri assists families impacted by homelessness, incarceration, single motherhood and poverty. With more than 130 years of combined service to “the least of these,” the ministry walks with people during some of the darkest times of their lives.
“A broad base of programs, services, ministries, and partnerships gives us the ability, with God’s help, to assist them in moving toward self-sufficiency, regardless of a family’s situation,” said Robert Otrembiak, CEO. “Our greatest successes come when those who we have helped help others.”
The ministry also provides sacrament and service ministries through chaplaincies at jails, hospitals, and homeless shelters. Since 2006, Humanitri has served more than 7,500 clients, helping them secure housing, employment, and essential items for them and their families.
ICRS will have a prayer covering with a new Prayer Center open during the event. American Christian Fiction Writers are coordinating prayer in the room and it will be open for all attendees for prayer and comfort. ACFW authors like Rachel Hauck (The Wedding Dress) and Brandilyn Collins (Double Blind) and other ACFW authors in attendance at ICRS will spend at least part of their time in St. Louis in the prayer room, praying for the industry, publishers, retailers, and retail customers.
Rachel Hauck, part of the ICRS prayer room leadership team, said, “The prayer room is about creating a place to worship in the midst of busyness. It’s a continual offering before the Lord with worship and prayers. When we go to Him, our hearts are changed. The atmosphere is changed. The prayer room allows busy retailers to pause, if only for a moment, to connect their hearts with His.”
Collins added, “We will be praying for retailers and the industry. And we hope for the opportunity to pray one-on-one with anyone who desires that. What a privilege that will be.”
Bridgestone Multimedia Group is sponsoring the Fair Trade badge holders and lanyards for ICRS 2013. The badges are made by Daughters of Hope in India. As consumers increasingly make buying and patronage decisions based on not only value but also what businesses stand for, ICRS includes a special exhibit area that emphasizes ministry. The Fair Trade in Action area is a walk-through exhibit featuring companies who specialize in fair trade and missional products that support ministry and help impoverished peoples become self-reliant. Signs and narrative help tell the story of fair trade, and provide resources from companies engaged in product distribution.