February 2017 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
This month we begin a series introducing the Christian Education Network of the ELCA board to you. We are blessed with an amazing group of leaders who have an array of gifts, passions and experiences. This month you will meet Emily Dalen. Emily lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two children and serves as the Director of Children's and Family Ministry. She also is the host of the CENetwork's Facebook parties.
As I read Emily's responses, I thought of Paul's words to the Corinthians:
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness...
(2 Corinthians 3:12 NRSV).
As people of hope may we each join with Emily and pray for boldness as we step out to serve.
So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get to know Emily.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy

6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee
with...  Emily Dalen

I live with my husband and kids in Southwest Iowa. I serve as the Director of Children's and Family Ministry at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska. I've worked in Children's, Youth, and Family Ministry for 16 years and absolutely love bringing all ages together to learn.

When I'm not chasing kids around or working at church, you can find me baking fancy cakes, traveling to the mountains, or reading a book while drinking coffee from white coffee cups!
1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

My call to ministry began at a very young age. I grew up in a family where faith was a part of all that we did. My parents modeled what prayer, worship, and service looked like within our home and not just at church. It was normal for dinner conversations to include how we might pray for each other and how we saw God working in a situation.

I was also blessed to grow up in churches that included kids and youth in much of what they did. As a kid I was asked to teach Sunday School, make banners, write Easter sunrise services, and be on a long-range planning team.

God used these experiences to prepare me to work with children, youth, and families. I feel called to bring all ages together to learn from each other and help each other to know God. Equipping adults, especially parents, to talk about faith is a passion of mine. Finally, I feel called to help our kids be the church today.

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

I get to work with families! The best part is hearing that families are having faith conversations at home, praying together, blessing each other, and making God a part of all that they do. My second favorite thing is seeing young kids lead in worship through writing prayers, reading scripture, or even ushering.
3. What is one fact about you that would surprise people?

I would love to work in a grocery store! Food fascinates me and I almost left college to go to culinary school.
4. What are three things Christian Educators need to keep their eye on?
  • The thing that keeps running through my head is how we get people to live their faith outside the walls of the church. With all that's going on in this world, I believe Christians are called to be a light by serving the homeless, the elderly, the immigrant...The list could go on forever.  We're called out of our comfort zones so that others might know Christ. 
  • I also look at my children and all the ways that technology influences their day to day. The church needs to step up and be in those social media places. We also need curriculum that engages that technical mindset.  Gone are the days of nice crafts and video. How do we help kids create and participate in their tech savvy environments?
  • Knowing that most families are in church on average one time per month makes me wonder how to reach and equip them. How do church staff show up in their day to day at the soccer game, in a social media post, in a group text? How do we help them to have a church community even if they aren't in the building every Sunday or Wednesday?
5. What are some of your favorite resources?
People! How do we help someone grow in faith? Connect them with another person of faith! I also like all things FaithInk, Vibrant Faith, and Pinterest!
6. How can we pray for you?
My son just turned 13! On a serious note, I'd also love prayers for boldness, that I might step out of my comfort zone and serve those in need. I can't ask families to do this if I'm not doing it myself.

Prayer Pause
God of the universe, you taught us to love by the way you first loved us.  Remind us of this love each day and help us to love our neighbor as ourselves. 




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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