March 2018 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
Today we meet Pastor Paul Oman from Amery, Wisconsin. He is a pastor and artist who uses his gift of painting to share the Good News with others. His life story is full of twists and turns as God's plan unfolded so I will let you read it in his words. Now grab a cup of your favorite beverage and meet Pastor Paul Oman.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy, President
6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...Paul Oman

Paul Oman , artist and pastor, shares his Drawn to the Word artistic ministry with audiences ecumenically across the country. He served as a science teacher, then a Lutheran pastor when he took up work as an artistic pastor full-time in 2011.
Paul seeks to give new vision to God's Word by using the process of painting to captivate audiences in our visually- oriented culture. Painting and drawing have been a part of Paul's life since childhood. Receiving national & international recognition for his work in watercolor, Paul uses this gift to proclaim the Gospel in unique and powerful ways that impact lives and inspire mission.
Paul works in many settings, including congregations, schools, universities, seminaries, camps, prisons, non-profits, and more. The larger-than-life sized murals are painted with acrylics on stretched canvas.
Paul lives near Amery, Wisconsin with his wife, Jana, and their children.
1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

"Bringing the Word of God to life before your eyes with a paintbrush" is the best way I can describe my call to ministry.  My artistic ministry is known as "Drawn to the Word." Though I am on the roster as an ELCA pastor, and have served a congregation in northern Wisconsin for 8 years, my full-time work now is painting the Bible stories with churches and other organizations by request. This ministry grew by word-of-mouth into what it is today.  Here is a link to the full "Drawn to the Word Story."

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

I thoroughly enjoy meeting and getting to know people of all ages in each of the many settings where I go, whether they are in churches, schools, working for non-profits, seeking purpose through curiosity, in prison, or in other countries.  Along with this is to see a renewed excitement and engagement in the often-times familiar stories of the Bible, as they see and experience them appear on canvas as they watch.  In addition to this, I love seeing people participate and have a sense of belonging and excitement for their participation as I guide congregations through all-community mural painting projects.  There is a deep joy that comes from seeing a congregation and community come together in a shared experience for the purpose of faith in Christ.

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

At age 10, I was chosen to be the one Wisconsin youth to present an original painting to the Governor at the State Capitol during Youth Art Month.
4. What are three things Christian educators need to keep their eye on?

1)  The Word: Read it, study it, understand its context, and seek to understand its implications for our contexts today.
2)  The People both in and out of the church, near and far: Seek to build trusted relationships through genuine listening and a sincere interest in the real-life stories of others.
3)  Experiences which are opportunities for people of all ages to live into and out of their faith in Jesus: The arts are a key bridge in connecting Church and Bible/faith/world today. The Christian arts also invite widespread involvement to make these connections; seeing people in need as a call from God to serve, organizing intentional opportunities for disciples to serve; inviting and encouraging the participation in these areas of service in order to create a community of belonging.  
5. What are some of your favorite resources?

Crossways Bible Studies by Harry Wendt
Any Biblical resources by Kenneth Bailey
Generation to Generation by Edwin Friedman
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Lesslie Newbigin 
The Centered Life by Jack Fortin
Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson
Studying the art and life of most any artist, past and present

Drawn to the Word Facebook page
6. How can we pray for you?

Pray for God to continue to lead me in this artistic ministry simply as a disciple willing to follow.  

If you would like to recommend a Lutheran with a passion for life-long learning for the "6 Questions and a Cup" column, please let us know!


Contact Us
   CENetwork of the ELCA 
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903

  Phone messages may be left at 
(507) 721-0057     
Prayer Pause
Guide us through the season of Lent, Gracious God. Help us to know that as we journey toward the cross, that you journey alongside us. Keep us strong when we are tempted and help to remind us of the gift of grace.  In your name we pray. 
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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.

The CENetwork will:
  • Identify and evaluate resources and educational opportunities
  • Facilitate communication and conversation
  • Offer guidance, networking and mutual support
  • Nurture spiritual growth online and face to face

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