square calumet logo

This month Calumet Christian School is rolling out some updates: a new website, a new enrollment process, and a new logo. They're designed to make things easier for parents, and to better communicate its mission.

The new enrollment process is in place as families prepare for the 2021-2022 school year. Families of current Calumet students will get instructions next week for how to re-enroll their children. The priority enrollment period is from January 19th-29th, and is open for current students and new students from Dwell families. Enrollment for other new students will start February 1st.

Calumet Principal Tyler Wriston says he thinks parents will find the simplicity of the new process to be an improvement. “Parents have been so supportive of the school and have made so many sacrifices to make this year work, so we wanted to do everything we could to make signing up for school as straightforward as possible for them. As with anything new, there is a learning curve that we'll have to navigate, but I think in the long term this new process is going to save people a lot of time and confusion."

Tyler says the school’s revised more user-friendly, and is updated with Calumet’s new mission statement and core values. He says the language throughout the site has been revised to be more clear and concise.

The revamped website features Calumet’s new logo, pictured here:

Pacesetter painting

Over the holidays, Dwell’s Pacesetters ministry was invited to share some special Christmas cheer with residents at Friendship Village Columbus, a senior-living community near Dwell’s main campus. Over 40 volunteers, young and old, braved the cold to paint holiday decorations on the residents’ windows.

Pacesetters Director Ben Foust says it was exciting that the Friendship Village staff initiated the idea. “We have developed a warm relationship with them this year during the pandemic, as Dwell members have written hundreds of letters of cheer to the quarantined residents this year. Recently, the staff has begun distributing Gary’s Pacesetters Weekly Devotional readings to residents who can’t attend church because of COVID.”

Pacesetter painting

The decorations were painted around the windows’ edges so residents could continue to see guests at the windows--the only place they’ve been able to have visitors since March. Also decorated--the windows of rooms where COVID patients are being treated. Friendship Village Community Life Director Linda McNeal-White says her staff is thankful. “Friendship Village really appreciates your church being willing to come help. The residents really enjoyed looking at the artwork this season.”

And the staff has asked Pacesetters volunteers to return in February to decorate for Valentine’s Day! If you’d like to volunteer, contact Theresa Lyons at

grief group

The Dwell Grief Ministry is offering its Navigating Your Grief workshop starting January 20th. It's a 6-week version of the workshop, modified for the Zoom format. It will be from 7:00-8:30 pm for 6 consecutive Wednesdays. Each week, there'll be a 10-15 minute video, followed by group discussion. 

This workshop is beneficial for anyone dealing with grief--those who have had a recent loss and those with a loss in the remote past; for those who have experienced an unexpected loss and those whose loss was after an extended illness; and for those who have a strong faith in God and those who are confused about their faith.  

Here is a brief summary of what will be covered.

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From the Dwell Missions Staff

This year has been full of disappointments, setbacks, as well as hope and growth. Due to the pandemic many of our Global Partners faced the cancellation of in-person fellowship and many individuals in their networks faced joblessness and food insecurity. In addition to the medical and economic strain caused by COVID, some of our partners also faced flooding, some faced political turmoil, and another is grappling with civil war.

But the Lord is faithful and His love endures even in crisis. In 2020 our partners have found creative and bold ways to show the love of Christ to the communities they serve. Several partners were able to distribute food and supplies to families in need. Many partners were able to mobilize church planters to visit or call members in their network to provide support and friendship. And throughout the year all of our partners found creative ways to continue meeting for fellowship. Some met in small groups in-person, some tuned into live teachings on Facebook and other platforms. This year our Global Partners’ house church networks have grown to a total of over 20,000 people! We are so grateful for our Global Partners and their perseverance in sharing Christ all around the world. God’s work cannot be thwarted, even by a global pandemic.

"But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with Your shield of love." (Psalm 5:11-12)

We want to thank the Dwell members who helped make this eternal work possible. We are so grateful to God that our church remained extremely generous amidst unprecedented financial strains.  In 2020, our financial goal for the Global Partnership Fund $583,400; thanks to the incredible generosity of our church, we were able to exceed our goal by over $60,000. Thank you for praying, for financially supporting, and for advocating for our Global Partners. You have played an important role in helping 20,000 people all over the world come to know Christ.

Click here for a brief overview of Dwell's Global Partnerships:

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

Bible study

One of the best ways to stay close to the truths of the Bible is to memorize it. Ryan Weingartner is offering the Bible Memorization Class next month as a way to help you succeed at storing up Scripture in your mind, giving you access to it in any situation. Ryan shares more about the class, which starts January 6th:

What are you doing in the class?

“This winter is going to be tough. We'll be stuck inside quite a bit more. We can come out of this winter just barely surviving, or we can come out having 'made the most of our time'. Specifically, I am urging students to pick a passage of scripture of consecutive verses (whether a paragraph, chapter, multiple chapters, or even a whole book) to memorize. During the week, you will work at memorizing the passage. Then on Wednesday evenings, I will give a short teaching on 'why' and 'how' to memorize and then we will break into small groups and share what we've memorized so far.”

What do you say to people who feel defeated about memorizing?

"Certainly, everyone has different levels of ability in memorizing. However, if we can take our eyes from horizontal comparison to a vertical desire to please the Lord, everyone is capable of some memorization. I'll convince you of that in class!

The class will encourage you to memorize based on your own ability and stage of life. The mother of young children not gifted at memorizing should not assume she will memorize the same amount as the single college student who is gifted at memorizing. So we will each set our own personal goal, realizing that we may need to decrease or expand it. But if we come out of the winter having memorized anything, that is certainly a win."

What's the value of memorizing Scripture?

By John Montgomery with the Dwell Grief Ministry

Grief and the holidays

In November, the Dwell Grief Ministry provided two workshops on Navigating Holiday Grief--one in-person and one on Zoom. More than 90 people attended the two sessions, including several from other cities, states, and countries. 

While no simple guidelines exist that will make the holidays painless for those in grief, this workshop provided many practical, hope-inspiring ideas to help deal with the many challenges that come this time of year. Here's a brief summary of some of the practical considerations for grieving during the holidays.

Talk About Your Grief

While many people use the words "grieving" and "mourning" interchangeably, there is an important distinction. Grief is the many internal thoughts and feelings we experience when a loved one dies; mourning is the outward expression of our grief. Rather than trying to avoid your grief, lean into it. Expressing your grief can be an important way out of the pain.

Be Tolerant of Your Physical and Psychological Limits

Grieving takes energy and you may not be up to the physical and mental challenges of the many activities in which you usually participate. Give yourself permission to have "up and down" feelings. Don't feel guilty if you're not happy all the time. It is very normal and acceptable to have feelings of pain and joy simultaneously and to cry and laugh even while you grieve. Don’t be afraid to ask God for comfort and peace. He is the God of all comfort who comforts us in our suffering.

Eliminate Unnecessary Stress

Simplify what you customarily did in the past. You might decorate but on a smaller scale. You might reduce gift giving or decline some party invitations. If you feel you've taken on too much, sit down with family and friends and discuss how to share some of the responsibility. Eliminate things that are no longer important. 

Talk About the Loved One Who Has Died

Remembering our loved ones is essential to our good health and healing. Holidays are a time for reflection. Stories and memories will be with us for our lifetimes and are a true source of pleasure. Teach others that love lasts forever, that you need to remember, and that this is your reality for handling grief.

Ornament on tree

Instead of its usual in-person Christmas Eve celebration, Dwell will be offering a video presentation, A Celtic ChristmasThe video will be available Christmas Eve on Dwell's YouTube channel.

This video will be ideal for any family gatherings you have this year, but also will be great to share with friends and family you’re not able to gather with. The program will include festive music from the Drowsy Lads, songs reflecting on the meaning of Christmas, and an amazing children's choir, recorded by kids from Dwell. 

Dwell Elder Scott Risley will be sharing a short message from the Bible, and says that Christmas creates an open door to sharing the hope of the gospel, particularly in this format. Scott says, “We know that people are more willing to listen to a Christian message around Christmas time. People who never go to church find themselves more likely to go to church at Christmas. This video teaching makes it easy to invite someone to watch on their own time.”

Scott will be sharing from Isaiah 9, that when Christ was born, the people of God (and the whole human race) had been under a time of deep darkness and despair. Scott says, “The promises of God were not looking very promising after such a long time of silence, but then, as Isaiah says, ‘For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine... For a child is born to us... and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’”

Scott says this message rings loudly in a year of hardships. “2020 has been a difficult year, but Isaiah promises ‘that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever.’ People need to look to Christ as the light that shines in the darkness and their eternal hope. Because we know that heaven will last forever if we have a relationship with him.”

Please plan on watching this celebration, and share it with your family and friends!


Christmas books

As you work on finding just the right gift for friends and family, consider giving them something great to read. Dwell Bookstore Manager Katie Nunn says the bookstore is a great place to look because you can rely on the quality of the books they've curated, and you can find something for all ages and spiritual interests. “We have a selection of materials that covers a wide range--from enhancing Bible study and teaching prep, to focusing on spiritual growth in key areas, to seeker-friendly evangelistic reading.” 

On the Bookstore’s website you’ll find a special list of gift items like books, book bundles, and study materials. There are materials for adults and also kids and tweens

Here are some specific suggestions:

The Dwell Counseling Department is offering a new YouTube workshop called “Better Conflict through Better Friendship,” aimed at helping couples have both less conflict and to handle it more effectively when they do. It’s taught by Dwell counselor Nick Hetrick, who ­­says if couples work at improving their friendship—especially the amount and nature of their positive interactions—they can reduce conflict and lessen the strain it puts on their marriage.

Nick says it’s a critical issue these days, with the pandemic putting stress on marriages and the married population in Dwell growing rapidly. The premise of this video came from a marriage counseling class Nick took through the Gottman Institute that offered helpful insights on working with couples and a number of concrete, easy-to-apply strategies for strengthening marriages. One of the founders of the Gottman Institute is John Gottman, author of The Relationship Cure and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Nick offers this quick tip from the teaching: “If you want to fight less and fight more productively when you do, make an effort to build a quality friendship before you focus directly on conflict resolution. You do better work and take feedback from your friends better when there's a generally positive rapport between you. In the same way, when you have a characteristically warm and appreciative relationship with your spouse, a lot of conflict won't come up in the first place—and the conflict that does come up will be much easier to handle.”

While the video is aimed at married couples, Nick says the material is also useful for anyone wanting to encourage and help married friends. And Nick says it’s good for anyone who wants to grow in his or her ability to build positive rapport with friends and to navigate conflict more successfully. “Specifically, I encourage people who are prone to overlook the impact of everyday interactions, like simple expressions of gratitude, and people who struggle to listen well, to watch the workshop.”

Child at Christmas

This Sunday Dwell's children's ministry, Oasis, will be offering gift bags for all the children it serves, with fun and spiritually enriching materials for Christmas. The bags will be tailored to the child's age (toddlers through 5th grade), and will include toys, crafts, a Bible lesson, and prayer packet for families to use together.

Oasis Director Jeff Risley says they're doing this to connect with kids and provide an avenue for them to do something with their parents that's spiritually beneficial and fun. "On the fun side, we're including coloring books, stuffed animals, and a 'build your own' gingerbread house, as well as different toys for older students. On the spiritual side of things, each packet has a Christmas lesson and prayer requests for our global partners." He says they hope families integrate prayer for our missionaries and global partners this holiday season, with the goal of continuing those prayers throughout 2021. 

The bags will be available for drive-through pick-up (from staff in masks and gloves) this Sunday, December 13th from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Dwell's Main Campus entrance (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229). Your family can drive up and request your child's age-specific bag. If you can't make it then, you can set up a time the following week (Dec. 14th-18th) to pick up a gift bag at the main office--email Jeff at

Jeff says these bags come with much love and care from the Oasis ministry. "We wanted families to know that we are thinking of them, care about them, and are praying for them. We miss serving them in person, and look forward to having them back at CT, Discipleship Cafe, HOP, Parent Meeting and the after CT Playgrounds."