November 2022
Our Mission: Supporting lifelong faith formation in the home and congregation
Prayer Pause
Lord God,

Our hearts are crowded with gratitude as we celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving.
We have come to this our feasting table with great joy and eagerness,
for we are truly grateful to you, our God, for all that we have been given.

We pause now and, in silent prayer, do thank you for the great generosity of Your gifts.

In Jesus' name,

A Message from Our President, Diane McGeoch


I recently had two incredible continuing education experiences in the same week. The first was a visit by Dr. Craig Nessan of Wartburg Seminary to my congregation, Hope Lutheran in Eagle, Idaho. The second was the Bishop’s Convocation of the Northwest Intermountain Synod in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Both events dealt with the above theme in different ways.

Dr. Nessan spoke of the importance of leadership mobilizing people in these times. Leaders need to focus on the fundamentals of identity and mission, because knowing these will guide us as we empower others. Dave Daubert, speaker at the Bishop’s Convocation, spoke of the importance of baptism as the center for congregational vitality. Our baptismal promises are lived out again and again in congregational life and ministry.

An Interview with Deacon Mindy Bugay
Incarnation Lutheran Church, Poway, California
By Teresa Kaldor, Christian Education Network of the ELCA

In the wake of the cancellation of the National Youth Gathering, 180 high school youth and chaperones travelled in July to Luther Glen Farm, a part of Lutheran Retreats, Camps, and Conferences in Yucaipa, California. There, they participated in a week of camp fun, community service, and traditional gathering activities. Twenty-one churches from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, North and Washington State came to the event. Deacon Mindy’s youth group was one of those that attended.

Describe the event, daily schedule and themes:

Each day was packed with activities, bible discussions, fellowship opportunities, and more. The students were encouraged to meet other students from other areas and churches. For example, on the first day, the leaders broke the large group into teams, mixing up the groups. Then they had to come together to design a team flag, a team chant, and team motto. They studied the theme verses: 1 Corinthians 3:9-11. Then all the teams came together and shared what they had created. 
Allegheny Synod Youth Gathering Alternative
An Interview with Hanna Weimer,
Allegheny Synod
By Reverend Ellen S. Lundie, Christian Education Network of the ELCA

How did you learn about the alternate Youth Gathering and plan to attend?

When the National Youth Gathering was cancelled, a group of pastors, youth leaders, and myself from the Allegheny Synod got together to plan an event. We did not want the youth to completely miss out on a trip experience.

Describe the event, the themes and the daily activities, service learning.

Twenty-one youth and seven adults attended our trip. We started our trip in Washington, DC. We visited the National Cathedral, saw the White House, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. We went to the Holocaust Museum and to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Boundless into the New Year
Ministry Resources

Christmas and Epiphany Activities
for Churches and Families

“Christmas Party House Gift: Giving the Gifts of the Magi” from Catholic Playground provides a way to make edible gold, frankincense, and myrrh! Yum!

This article, written by Debie Thomas, explores the idea of revelation, faith, and “practicing Epiphany.” Thomas is a staff writer for the webzine, Journey with Jesus, and Minister for Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, CA

Use this blessing from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to bless the church and/or home on Epiphany and begin a fresh new year.

This lesson from Sunday School encourages students about what actions they can take in the new year as a gift to Jesus. There are also directions to make an Epiphany prayer box.

“Epiphany Activities” from the American Bible Society include instructions for making a prayer star, cookies, and hosting an intergenerational party with a Bible treasure hunt.

Check out additional resources on our website!
Book Review

Title: Between the Listening and the Telling: How Stories Can Save Us

Author: Mark Yaconelli

Reviewed By: Terri Robertson, Christian Education Network of the ELCA

Mark Yaconelli is a writer, retreat leader, community builder, spiritual director, storycatcher, husband, and father. He is the founder and executive director of The Hearth, a non-profit organization that trusts in the power of personal stories to heal, connect, enrich, and mobilize communities for good. He is the author of six books and if you’re like me, his book Contemplative Youth Ministry is still part of my youth ministry library. My connection with him was more from the youth ministry lens than that of a storyteller or spiritual director. But this book changed that for me.

Released in August 2022, Between the Listening and the Telling: How Stories Can Save Us touched me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I found myself glued to words on the pages, eagerly awaiting the next chapter and more stories. In the book’s foreword, Anne Lamont writes, “It is through this communion – between the listening and the telling, letting ourselves be seen and heard and acknowledged – that we come to the great, longed-for understanding of why we are here, who we are, what really matters, and that we, in fact, matter. This is the ultimate liberation.”
Christian Education Network of the ELCA
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Vision Statement
Building a community which equips, encourages and empowers those engaged in lifelong faith formation in a changing world, the CENetwork will:

  • Identify and evaluate resources and educational opportunities
  • Facilitate communication and conversations
  • Offer guidance, networking and mutual support
  • Nurture spiritual growth online and face-to-face

How You Can Support the Christian Education Network

You can become a member or make a one-time donation via PayPal on our website; or, you can purchase from AmazonSmile and designate The Christian Education Network as your charity. We receive a percentage of the proceeds!

Contact Us

CENetwork of the ELCA
PO Box 250009
Holly Hill, FL 32125