May 2017 (1)

Our Mission:
Supporting lifelong faith formation in the home and congregation.

From the President's Desk
We continue our series introducing the Christian Education Network of the ELCA board to you. We are blessed with an amazing group of leaders who have an array of gifts, passions and experiences. This month you will meet David Schoenknecht, Senior Education Specialist at Augsburg Fortress/Sparkhouse.

As you will learn, David is a maximizer. He has a passion and energy for ministry that is truly contagious.   
Deuteronomy 32:2 reads...
May my teaching drop like the rain,
 my speech condense like the dew;
 like gentle rain on grass,
 like showers on new growth.
 3For I will proclaim the name of the LORD...
David's teaching and leadership are far-reaching as he proclaims God's love and grace. Please hold him in your prayers, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and get to know David.

Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy

6 Questions and a Ginger Ale with...  
David Schoenknecht

I'm David Schoenknecht -- grandfather of four, father of three adult children, and husband of my lovely wife, Lynn, celebrating 38 years together! We live in Elgin, Illinois, along with our daughter and grand-daughter, who at age four keeps the place hopping. Among other things I am a full-time remote employee of Augsburg Fortress in the area of Customer Education, though nearly two years ago I also took on the role of "worker priest" for a small Norwegian Lutheran congregation in the heart of Chicago. We love to sail our boat out of Racine, Wisconsin. We're into native plant gardening. We love to cook and don't go out much because we can do way better. We're not "pet people," but we rescued a rather needy cockatiel that I keep in my office. It loves to pull my ear buds out when I'm on conference calls because I think she feels ignored. My daughter calls "Schatzie" my business partner. My wife calls her "the bird."

1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

Though I've known since high school that being an ambassador for Christ would be a lifelong aspiration, I have been amazed by the diversity of experiences I've had in that role: From parish pastor, to college professor, to product developer for Augsburg Fortress/Sparkhouse, and now to Senior Education Specialist, aka webinar producer and host! While my ministry has been eclectic, my sense of calling has never wavered from this one hope -- that somehow, through me, people might see Jesus.

2. What is the best part of your ministry now?

As a senior education specialist for Augsburg Fortress/Sparkhouse, I have the privilege of being an evangelist for some of the most exciting and innovative fait  formation products available for today's Christians and their churches. I love supporting congregations and individuals who are seeking to extend their ministries in new ways, especially when it comes to the use of digital tools and online resources.  I love bringing the best of the "old" -- what's great about classic Christianity -- with the best of the "new" so that the Gospel might be communicated in ways that are current, fresh, and engaging.

3. What is one fact about you that would surprise people?

I am a person who loves to tweak. I love to take good things and make them better. Whether it's a recipe, a Bible study, home improvement projects -- there's a theme in this. I have been labeled by an inventory called Strengthsfinder as a "Maximizer." I don't know if it's all that surprising, but if you are ever working with me on a project you might feel simultaneously frustrated and energized as I'm constantly and creatively wondering how to take things to the next level. In some ways that can be problematic in that it's tough for me to "be" in the moment. I'm always scanning the horizon, looking around the corner, reaching for what's next. 

4. What are three things Christian Educators need to keep their eye on?
    1. Home-based faith formation: I know that Sparkhouse Family has been working to provide well-designed resources for the home through excellent faith formation products like the Frolic system for birth-to-3 and its related children's books. Turning the Spark Bible into "Movie Night Kits" with feature-length animated videos that are supported by materials for use in the home is another example of our attempt to support home-based faith formation.
    2. Problem-based learning: I wonder how many of our young people would be less-the-"none" if what they learned in church actually did something, solved something, served in some way? Experiences that are designed around solving real problems, rather than being stuck in the nothingness of theory, is a trend in education overall. I wonder what a "flipped" Bible Study would look like in which members did the reading and praying at home and engaged in some doing related to that praying and reading when they come together?
    3. Social Media: I increasingly wonder about the use of social media for faith formation. I serve a congregation that is geographically widespread.    I have thought about the ministerial use of social media to carry on both synchronous and asynchronous conversations around faith formation.
5. What are some of your favorite resources?
I love video-based resources that ignite conversations. But I'm not referring to talking-heads videos that supplant group conversations. I like the creative, right-brained resources like Sparkhouse's animated series and The Greatest Story resources that spring from the mesmerizing sand art performances of renowned artist Joe Castillo. These videos, literally, animate conversations!

6. How can we pray for you?

I would love prayers for the ability to most fruitfully channel the physical and spiritual life God's given me. As a maximizer I want to do everything, be everywhere, dabble in this, add my two cents to that, but focus can be a challenge. I pray to be a more highly focused lens for God's loving work through me.




Prayer Pause
Almighty God, we pray that through the events in our lives, you bless us with your love. Grant that we may know your presence, see your love at work, and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever - the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to live as your disciples.  Help us to be your hands and feet in the world around us. 

Our Facebook group continues to grow with over 
1,000 members!

We have ONE Facebook Party left:
Equipping Adults to
Lead Small Groups






Christian Education Network of the ELCA
Vision Statement


Building a community which equips, encourages, and empowers those engaged in lifelong faith formation in a changing world by:

  • Providing resources and educational opportunities
  • Facilitating communication and conversation 
  • Offering networking, idea sharing, and mutual support
  • Nurturing spiritual growth




Contact Us
    CENetwork of the ELCA 
(formerly LACE)
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903

  Phone messages may be left at 
(507) 721-0057