August 2017 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
This month we continue our series introducing you to the Christian Education Network of the ELCA board. We are blessed with an amazing group of leaders who have an array of gifts, passions and experiences.
This month you will meet The Rev. Dr. Phyllis Blair-Milton, Region 9 Network Advocate. Pastor Phyllis' favorite verse reads... "...Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NRSV   She is truly an inspiration as she juggles many hats while living her passion for sharing the faith.
Please hold her in your prayers, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get to know Pastor Phyl.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy, President

6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...  
Phyllis Blair-Milton

"Good Morning Boys and Girls!" "Good Morning Pastor Phyl!" "Please stand and let's begin worship!"

That is how I start my Wednesdays and Thursdays at my place of service, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and School. My church is in Hampton, VA, but I live in Newport News, VA. My husband and partner in ministry is Nathaniel Milton, a retired Navy Chaplain. I have two adult children, Nathaniel and Evangeline and three adorable grand girls, Lisa, Bri and Maya. I wear many hats; wife, mother, grandmother, Associate Pastor, School Chaplain, and Synodical Minister for Christian Faith Formation for the Virginia Synod of the ELCA. I love all types of music and enjoy catching the latest movies. 

  1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

I believe I sensed God's call in my life at an early age and had a desire to be involved in whatever the church was actively engaged in. In the beginning it was being a part of children and youth ministries. As I grew older, that involvement expanded into ways to minister to adults. I have a passion for providing opportunities for people to learn and grow, and discovering/re-creating materials that will meet their needs. I confess, I am "old school" and find that sometimes the best methods and resources are "oldies but goodies". As God continues to open doors of service, my desire is to be able to respond to whatever God has for me.
2. What is the best part of your ministry now?

The best part of my ministry now is my interaction with my kids (2 year olds through 8 grades) at Gloria Dei Lutheran School. The best days of the week for me are when I lead the children and young teens in worship. I am amazed at their understanding and openness to share with their classmates the things that are on their hearts through their prayer requests that are offered in chapel. I find challenge and blessing as I prepare the worship each week. I am amazed as I see their growth year after year.

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

One fact that would really surprise those I work with is that I am an introvert. Although I love working with the children and adults at the school and church, I am abundant with energy and enthusiasm, I am already planning into 2018, and have a song in my heart and on my lips 24-7, I can't wait to have that quiet, private time away from everyone.
4. What are three things Christian Educators need to keep their eye on?

  • Families -- How the "structure: of family is continually changing and how that affects the child; their dreams, goals, relationships and functioning day-to-day
  • Media -- How the immediate influx of media shapes and influences the values and perceptions of our children toward others and their world
  • Community -- How can we positively influence our children to embody a "we" concept and not an "us" versus "them" mentality?
5. What are some of your favorite resources?
In the beginning I shared that some of my favorite resources in working with children are "oldies but goodies". One of those is flannel graph. It's like their version of 3-D. I usually prefer to use resources that have some sort of visual component (bold visual pictures or DVD), interactive stories, lively songs with motions, song that are thought-provoking and meaningful, in-person presentations, role-play or creative drama; anything that would inspire and spark a child's (or a youth's or an adult's) interest and involvement.

6. How can we pray for you?

My favorite verse is Joshua 1:9. Sometimes I find myself tending to shy away from those things that would grow my faith and challenge my gifting to become more of what God would want me to be. It just boils down to fear. So pray that when those "opportunities" come that I will be reminded as Joshua, that God is with me so I don't need to be hesitant, but boldly step out in God's strength and be courageous.

Prayer Pause
August 15
Mary, Mother of Our Lord
Almighty God, in choosing the virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son, you made known your gracious regard of the poor, the lowly, and the despised. Grant us grace to receive your word in humility, and so to be made one with your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. (ELW pg. 57)
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Contact Us
    CENetwork of the ELCA 
(formerly LACE)
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903

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