February 2018 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
Today we meet Pastor Siri Strommen from Atonement Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. When her congregation switched to the Narrative Lectionary, it left her Sunday school in a bind. So she began to put together a particular curriculum that didn't just follow the Narrative Lectionary, but would begin to instill kids with spiritual tools: breathing and silence, putting themselves in the story with their imagination, and coming up with their own conclusions about the story.
So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and meet Pastor Siri Strommen.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy, President

6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...Siri Strommen

Pastor Siri Strommen is the pastor at Atonement Lutheran Church in Bloomington, MN. She lives with her two children, Theodore and Lucy. One of her favorite things about being a pastor is writing: sermons, music, Bible studies, devotionals, and curriculum. Much of what she has written was meant to fill a gap in the particular congregation which she served, and her Sunday school curriculum is no different!   
1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

Coming from a family of pastors, it always seemed like a great way to be creative. I would watch my father write plays, give sermons, and use music in his ministry, and it was exactly what I wanted to do as well. I was lucky that the faith I was raised in was so grace-filled and loving. As a result, when I became an adult, my passion for ministry expanded to helping people experience the love of God, to fall in love with God, to feel curiosity and passion for God.

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

I love teaching and preaching. And I do love writing plays, curriculum, devotions, and sermons. Being creative in my work makes everything worth it.

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

I recently got a tattoo on my forearm of the Tree of Life. I still think it's beautiful every time I see it! 
4. What are three things Christian educators need to keep their eye on?

One, keep educating yourself. It is important not just to see what is out there in the world of Christian education, but keep your faith and mind open and curious as an adult. You may be teaching young people, but your faith should be maturing itself. Attend adult Bible studies or a continuing event that is not about educating anyone but yourself.
Two, build relationships not just with the child, but with the parents. Make the parents feel involved and known, but that doesn't mean adding more on to their plate or expecting them to volunteer when they are not able to. Rather, reinforce that you are working with them as a team to teach their child, rather than separating the child from the parent to give them faith.
Three, work with your pastor and other staff for a cohesive program. Can the pastor stop in at the beginning of Sunday school to connect with the kids? Do you have regular meetings with your pastor to talk about how things are going? Is there overlap in what the kids are learning and what adults are learning? Are there ideas of how to involve kids in worship?
5. What are some of your favorite resources?

I have used a hodgepodge over the years. I still love the
Four Keys because they are such a simple way to have parents think about faith at home.   
6. How can we pray for you?

Ministry is changing rapidly. Lots of parents and church educators are trying to figure out how to have integrity in their work, how to communicate effectively, how to invite, without getting caught up in bottom lines. Pray that we listen.
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!


Facebook Parties are back!!


Our next Facebook party will be on Tuesday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m. Central.

Emily Dalen, our Region 4 Advocate, is the host and the topic is VBS!




Prayer Pause
Holy God,
You journey with us during the season of Lent. Guide us and remind us that you are a constant presence in our lives. We are reassured of our faith as we experience wilderness times in our lives. Lead us through this season with the promise of your love and forgiveness. 
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



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

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