November 2017 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
This month we welcome a partner in ministry, Marie Grmek. Marie is the Children's Ministry Director at Willoughby Hills United  Methodist Church. What started out as a mentoring group has grown into an Internet network supporting those who are in ministry together. 
Please hold Marie in your prayers, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get to know her a little better.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy

Our next Facebook Party will be TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m. CT.
We'll talk about "Bible Stories and Yoga."
See you there!
6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...Marie Grmek

I'm Marie Grmek and I started out volunteering and made my way onto the staff eight years ago as the Children's Ministry Director at Willoughby Hills United Methodist Church. I wanted to do a great job and decided to set up a group of mentors that could help each other out in ministry: The Children's Ministry Alliance. We still meet to this day and in seven years, I have only missed one meeting! God has used this group in very powerful ways. They have encouraged me professionally and supported me personally in my walk with Christ.

Stacy Becker and Tammy Palermo have been with the group since the beginning and are a part of our new venture: The Ministry Network. Our goal is to set up a connection point for those in ministry so that other ministry leaders can start their own network of support. It is something we want to share with others because it has blessed each of us so much! 

1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

My ministry calling? I volunteered each summer with our sports camp at church and the lady in charge retired. So, four of us decided to take it on together. I was the only stay-at-home mom at the time and became the "Director". But honestly, it was my sweet spot. God knew where he wanted me, and I love working his plans!

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

The best part of ministry...hmm. Well, at the church I love every part of my job. I love interacting with our volunteers and planning something to thank them each year. I love working with the kids and seeing the world and God through their eyes and hearts. I also enjoy motivating others outside our church walls. Even though I love all that I get to do, I think that I have to say the best part right now is our new venture: The Ministry Network. This is a free resource for all ministry leaders in Christian education. Our goal is to make a connection group available to those in ministry, whether they are Christian education directors or children's ministers, or youth pastors. Our goal is for each ministry leader to have a network of support to meet with in their geographical areas. 

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

I went to culinary school in my hometown in Georgia, and I am a part time caterer in addition to being on staff at the church part-time.

4. What are three things Christian educators need to keep their eye on?

In this interchanging world, there is too much going on. Three things I try to keep my eyes on are:
  • Church didn't start with a building: It is the people. Jesus didn't wait for people to come to him in a building. Be flexible and inviting, not judgmental when they don't show up. Meet them where they are.
  • Human contact/interaction is more important in our technological age than it has ever been. Look them in the eye, and be present with them in that moment.
  • Keep my eyes on the Lord and look to him for my identity, approval and my next move...
5. What are some of your favorite resources?

My biggest goal right now is to equip parents to practice their faith at home with their kids, so here are my favorite resources:, D6 splink emails for family and, and I still get a lot of info from and 

6. How can we pray for you?

I would ask for prayer for The Ministry Network. It is a mission God placed on our hearts and we are doing this out of our own pocketbooks and free time. It is more work than we envisioned to connect people across the U.S., but it is such a blessing to have a network of support. Check out our Facebook page!

Prayer Pause
God of new beginnings, help us when we call to you. Help us to listen to your call. Help us to be your disciples. Help us in all areas of our lives as you see fit. In you, we place our trust. 
Our Facebook group continues to grow with over 
1,000 members!




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




Check out our website



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

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