February 2018 Resources

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


From the President's Desk
 
Dear Friends,
 
On Wednesday, February 14, we gathered to receive the ashes as a sign of our mortality -- to remember we are dust and to dust we shall return. But those ashes were in the sign of the cross - a reminder that we do not have to fear death as baptized children of God.
 
Just hours before, 17 children and adults lost their lives while at school - the stark reality of our sinful, broken world -- the reality of our mortality. One of the pictures that captured the world's attention was of a woman with an ash cross on her forehead embracing another woman -- remember we are dust and to dust we shall return. As a parent I cannot imagine the horror of that day. I cannot begin to understand the fear upon receiving a text message from my child who is supposed to be safe at school. I cannot imagine the grief of burying 17 of my teachers, students, classmates, spouses, children. It seems too much to bear.
 
After such a tragedy, as grief sets in, we respond in many and various ways. Some go back to their lives as if nothing has happened. Others find ways to make a difference so the needless death matters somehow. For some, there is denial. For others, blame.
 
In the musical, The Gospel According to the Angel Julius, God is speaking with a child overcome with grief. When asked why, God replies that when we cry, God is crying, too. God's heart breaks when our heart breaks. Because God loves us, God gives us the freedom to make choices. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But always our choice.
 
These forty days of Lent call us to reflect and repent. The cross on our foreheads reminds us that it is not about us. Our created purpose is to love and live to the Lord. It is God's will, not our own. And like the ashes on our foreheads we are reminded that we are but dust. We are broken and sinful. And so we return again and again; to repent again and again; to hear God's loving words of grace again and again...until that day God welcomes us into our eternal home.
 
In March, the Christian Education Network of the ELCA will present, "How to Create a Safety Plan for Your Church." Judy Washburn, Vice President of Advocacy, has worked with law enforcement and other professions to prepare a template and training manual that will help congregations customize a plan to cover all ages in their unique setting. Each of our regional advocates will host a workshop between April and November. There will be more information starting March 1st on our website so be sure to check often for your local information. We do not provide this because we are scared. We do this because we know congregations can create peaceful environments with intentionality through faith. It is our hope and prayer that each congregation will design a plan that reduces anxiety and increases confidence as people gather to worship, learn and serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
Blessings on your Lenten journey, 
   
 
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy
President, CENetwork




Resources

Holy Week
 
Building Faith and Jerusalem Greer offer " Maundy Thursday Stripping the Table" as a resource for practicing faith at home. Congregations mark the way Christ's life was stripped from him by stripping the altar of all signs of life and beauty during a special service. Bringing this tradition into the home is a special way to observe Maundy Thursday.

Technology

Data & Society is a research institute focused on social and cultural issues arising from technology. To provide frameworks that can help society address emergent tensions, Data & Society identifies thorny issues at the intersection of technology and society. They provide and encourage research with a network of practitioners who can anticipate issues and offer insight and direction.

Visual Resources

The  Sanctified Art website  has creative designs, Bible videos and bulletin art for Pentecost and for all seasons. Connect with these four amazing artists and view a Pentecost "Scripture in action" three-minute video.



 
 
Good Reads
 
 
#chsocm is a Twitter-based chat held each Tuesday at 9:00 p.m.Eastern Time. This chat provides an opportunity for individuals from all denominations to discuss topics of mutual interest. 
Participants include church administrators and communicators,  lay leadership, clergy, marketing professionals for non-profit organizations and religious publishers, religion educators, seminarians,  writers and more. 

Click here for more information or to sign up for reminders.



Honoring Our Neighbor's Faith: A Lutheran Perspective on Faith Traditions in America

General Editor: Robert Buckley Farlee 

A book with each chapter explaining the basics of 32 different faiths. Each tradition constitutes a "chapter" that includes key teachings, worship patterns and practices, and how each is governed.

Available from Augsburg Fortress.
  
     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 
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903

 
Phone messages may be left at 
(507) 721-0057  
 
 
Prayer Pause
 
 
God of possibilities, sustain us in our Lenten journeys. May our fasting be hunger for justice; our alms, a making of peace; and our prayer, the song of grateful hearts, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 
 
Amen.

 
  
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