July 2016 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
Each month I look forward to learning from those we interview for this edition. This month I am delighted to introduce you to Elizabeth Caywood. I followed in Elizabeth's footsteps as the Region 8 representative for our organization. It was my first experience on the board and I remember that her passion for faith formation was very evident as she passed the torch to me. Her commitment to support and network with others across the country has helped her greatly as she is now deployed staff for the ELCA and serves as the Coordinator of ELCA Resource Centers. I invite you to take the time to connect with the resource center in your area of the country as the directors of these centers are so very helpful and knowledgeable about past and current resources for Christian education for all age levels. I have often directed others to ELCA Resource Centers. I hope you will do the same.
Debbie Streicher

6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...Beth Caywood
Hi! I'm Elizabeth (Beth) Caywood and delighted to have this time with you. I'm rostered as an Associate in Ministry and called to serve on the bishop's staff as director of the SWPA Synod Resource Center. I also have additional oversight with a few of the synod's committees. In addition I serve as deployed staff for the ELCA as Coordinator of ELCA Resource Centers.

I'm married, two adult children, two grandchildren, and two Bichons--who now basically fill the role of children!

1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

My pastor encouraged me to enter candidacy, and through that process of discernment I sought to seek approval as an AIM. My areas of emphasis have been in Christian Education and Youth Ministry. I have served in three congregations prior to my current call on synod staff.

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

Resource ministry offers me the opportunity to serve many rostered leaders and congregations by assisting in equipping them for the work of ministry. I enjoy the challenges and joys that arise daily. My additional service with the ELCA as Coordinator of Resource Centers affords me the opportunity to work on another "level" and gives me a different platform to address the importance of resource ministry. (Hint: Today's resource centers should not be labeled libraries!)

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

My "former life" was that of a calligrapher. I attended a fine arts school and majored in calligraphy and design prior to formally entering into ministry.
4.  What are three things Christian educators need to keep their eye on?

The first that comes to mind is the growing use of technology. The challenge is striking the balance between using these tools to enhance our ministries while not replacing face-to-face communication.
Communication and community are critical in our parishes and in our neighborhoods. Despite a hostile climate in many areas, we of faith have much to share, and must make efforts to mend bridges and foster true community. In my opinion, looking at best ways to engage parents/ families in faith formation should be one avenue of our emphasis.
"Spiritual but not religious " is a phrase that seems to keep cropping up these days. What does that expression mean to you....and how should Christian educators address the needs of those who define themselves in this way?

5. What are some of your favorite resources?

Anything John Roberto. Lifelong Faith's work is always cutting edge.
Meredith Gould's books are very useful as we select the best ways to use technology and social media in our context. She has recently written a new book branching into the topic of spirituality.

6. How can we pray for you?

I would ask prayers for continued leadership in the Christian Education Network as well as the ELCA Resource Centers and the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers. Along with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, these groups assist so many people-from those in the pews to the offices in the ELCA and everything in-between. These networks of the ELCA all serve in resource ministry and are critical to nurturing faith formation today. Each network has been blessed with enthusiastic and gifted leaders. Not something to be taken for granted!

Contact Us
CENetwork of the ELCA 
(formerly LACE)
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903

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

Prayer Pause
God of Creation, guide us through summer vacations and any travel that we might embark upon.  Keep us safe, help to remind us that you are always with us, and that you are our guide and companion in all we doing this summer. 

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Cummings
CENetwork Chaplain


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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