August 2016 (1)

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

From the President's Desk
This month we introduce Jodi Hansen from Select Learning. I wrote a note about Jodi in my message a few months ago as I had the honor to spend some quality time with her while we waited for our flights in Chicago. I hope you take the time to read Jodi's answers, especially the three trends to keep an eye on. We have much to learn as Christian educators as we introduce resources. Trends are changing and I find what Jodi suggests to be right on target. We are hearing and seeing that we need to find ways to provide and encourage faith talk in homes where young adults, children, youth, and family gather regularly.
Please take a few moments to go to the Select Learning website and view the clips from Reformation Roots. Looks like a great resource to have as we begin observing the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
Thinking we should invite Jodi to mow a labyrinth for us sometime,
Debbie Streicher
President of the CENetwork

6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with...Jodi Hanson

My name is Jodi Hanson. I am an Associate in Ministry in Sioux Falls, SD, where I work for Select Learningand I am also a spiritual director. I've lived a variety of places in the Midwest from Ohio to Colorado, but have been in Sioux Falls for 16 years - an amazingly long time for me! Some of my interests are gardening, reading, and hiking... and collecting hand-made ceramic mugs. My picture shows me with my current favorite morning latte mug. My husband and I are very much looking forward to meeting our adult daughters and their boyfriends in Colorado in mid-August and enjoying time in the mountains!

1. Can you describe your call to ministry?

I found myself unexpectedly in youth ministry shortly after college, but first began to articulate my sense of call when I visited ARC Retreat Center outside of Cambridge, MN, in 1980. What I have come to understand is that I really enjoy, and feel called to, creating spaces, literally and socially, that allow the opportunity to grow - in knowledge, love, and faith. Those spaces have been in youth ministry, campus ministry, in a synod lay school, as a spiritual director and retreat leader, as a teacher, and as a developer and administrator of courses for Select Learning.

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

The chance to witness the excitement and satisfaction of minds and hearts opening to God and one another as people learn - whether that is an online course I'm administrating for Select Learning, hearing that a Select Learning resource has really met a need, a class I'm teaching for spiritual direction training, or in a spiritual direction session.

3. What is one fact about you that would surprise people?
I really do like making 'spaces'. I've done major remodeling of the three homes I've owned, 'do it yourself with friends and family' style. And I'm a labyrinth maker. I've coordinated the making of six 35-foot canvas prayer labyrinths and mowed 4 or 5 grass labyrinths. I don't think I'd have the physical flexibility to make a canvas labyrinth anymore. It's a lot of time spent squatting and sitting on the floor!
4.  What are three things Christian educators need to keep their eye on?
Look for resources, curriculum, and activities that challenge the mind and open the heart to God, one's self, and to the world.
Learning is more than entertainment. But it can be fun!

People are hoping to be able to get quality information in small bites on demand. That is a trend that we all need to keep our eyes on to figure out how we can shape our resources and programming to respond to that on-demand orientation.

Young adults seem to be willing to gather in their homes for topical conversation based on culturally relevant material (books, movies, music...). How can we tap in to that? For those with young children this is an alternative to gathering in public places.

5. What are some of your favorite resources?

Ok, bragging rights here. In the last 3 years Select Learning has completed some absolutely fantastic resources: Reformation Roots, We Must Plant the Church: The Story of Lutherans in America, and The American Protestant Experience. It really is helpful to know the stories that have shaped us without our even knowing it, in order to understand our current faith context and its dynamics. These resources use multiple interviews with experts, graphics, and music to make those stories come alive.

You can see trailers for all 3 pieces on the home page of Select Learning.

6. How can we pray for you?

Thanks for asking! Select Learning is a small and nimble non-profit of the ELCA. Please pray for this ministry to continue to find new ways to serve in our changing church culture and evolving media use. For me personally, please pray for me for the discipline and creativity to keep myself healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) while working out of a home office. It is way too easy to become isolated when you don't physically share workspace with others. (Though there are definitely some advantages as well!)

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, you are our first teacher.  Be with each of us as we prepare for a new school year.  Guide the teachers, students, administrators, and parents, and grant them a sense of calm for any anxiety they might be feeling.


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