In 2001 a group of Christian Educators began brainstorming ways we could support one another in this journey of Faith Formation. Our muse was "Edna", the dedicated Christian woman who has been teaching Sunday School faithfully without ever attending seminary or continuing education events. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, hundreds of people are now part of this Network.
My passion for Faith Formation is multi-faceted. I am a single mom of two young women; Caroline (Baldwin-Wallace University) and Sarah (Purdue University). I am called as the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Bellevue, OH. Our congregation celebrates a rich history of the St. John's Christian Preschool serving the community for over 35 years. I serve on the Synod Discipleship Task Force, Synod Council and am the liaison to the Synod Christian Education Team. In addition, I am an Advocate for the Global Leadership Summit (Willow Creek). Coaching, Prayer, Discipleship and Leadership are the areas of emphasis for my teaching and learning.
My name is Judy Washburn and I am currently a board member with the Christian Education Network. I am a retired education specialist, previously working for Augsburg Fortress and Sparkhouse, Publishers. I’ve also worked for AF as a development editor and regional sales manager. My experience has been teaching adults for the past 30 years in a variety of venues, including mission work for SEND International in China and the Rafiki Foundation in Ecuador, and teaching leader for Bible Study Fellowship International. My teaching methods are based on the principles of dialogue education and my most recent continuing education in this field has been through Global Learning Partners. I have a B.A in Business Management from Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS and a M.A. in Liberal Arts from North Central College, Naperville, IL.
Happily married to Russ Washburn, we make our home in Winter Haven, Fl. We are very close to our three grown children, Emily, Anna, and Dylan. We are also blessed to have Zach, Emily’s husband, as our son-in-law. I love to travel, read, teach and learn! My greatest passion is for God and the Bible, and I am deeply grateful for the students and mentors I have been so privileged to serve. A lifelong Lutheran, (I think that’s in my DNA), and I’m excited to move forward with the ELCA as an educator.
*If you have experience in Christian Education and would be willing to assist as a short term mentor to CENetwork members, please contact Judy.
Over ten years ago, I joined other Christian educators in Chicago to dream about and plan for a new organization to bring together Christian educators in the ELCA to support one another and be advocates for faith formation. As a fairly new Director of Christian Education in my home church, I was eager to connect with others so that I could learn from others and share my joys and concerns. From those meetings developed the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators (LACE), now known as the Christian Education Network of the ELCA. Over the years, I have deeply appreciated the collective experience, wisdom, and passion of those who work in faith formation ministries in our churches. This shared ministry has enriched my own faith journey!
Currently, I serve as the Faith Formation Ministry Team Leader at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach, California, a position which allows me the opportunity to work with all age groups, infant through adult. I am happy to be returning to the board after serving as the first president of the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators (the CE Network's predecessor) for five years as well as past president for four years. I have been involved with Christian Education as a lay leader, both in volunteer and staff roles, for over seventeen years. Before that, I was a middle school and high school teacher for eleven years. I am married with one son who is in his second year of law school.
I am now the Past President of this organization. I continue to meet, connect, and network with clergy, staff, and volunteers across denominations. A common, focused goal on growing the church is evident. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue tapping into my passion for an immersion in the language of faith. My vision is to involve all ages in faith formation, strengthen family relationships through Spiritual growth, and empower God-given gifts to do ministry.
Please take a minute to scroll down this page and meet the rest of this wonderful, supportive, and energetic board of Christian educators. They are dynamic leaders in their own setting and I am forever grateful they are extending their knowledge and expertise to suggest resources, mentor, and listen to you as we strive to support lifelong faith formation in the home and congregation across the country.
I invite all who are interested in the areas of Christian Education and Faith Formation to become part of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA. It provides great opportunities to connect with others interested in lifelong faith formation and growth and share ideas on how to achieve that goal. After volunteering in the church for many, many years, I served as a paid staff member in Christian Education in a congregation for nine years. Passions include milestone ministry, confirmation as well as service and outreach opportunities for families. Currently, I am the coordinator of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA and I am an "apprentice coach" for the From Promise to Practice Coaching Initiative in the ELCA. I am also an office manager at a presbyterian church.
I’m part of an amazing organization called CENetwork – The Christian Education Network of the ELCA. We are a group of people who are passionate about faith formation for all ages and in many ministry settings.
We have a great Facebook page and I am blessed to be able to put together the monthly e-newsletter as their social media coordinator. Check out our Facebook page sometime – You can find it here!
Diane McGeoch is a deacon in the ELCA, serving as Coordinator of Learning Peace: A Camp for Kids in Nampa, Idaho. Learning Peace is a 4 day camp teaching conflict resolution and peace making skills to children and youth ages 6-13. Diane lives in Meridian, Idaho and is a member of Hope Lutheran, Eagle, Idaho. She has served congregations in Connecticut, Maryland, and California as a Youth Minister and Christian Educator. Diane was Book of Faith Advocate and Practice Discipleship Coach in the Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA. Since moving to Idaho in 2016, Diane has been involved in Messy Church and the Young Disciples Team at Hope Lutheran, Eagle. Messy Church is a fast growing ministry that seeks to engage all ages in faith formation outside the Sunday morning format. Diane holds a Master of Christian Ministry degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA.
For just over 20 years, I have served in ELCA congregations in a variety of children, youth and family ministry positions, both as a volunteer and as a paid youth minister. I’ve worked with those from birth to young adults and find great joy and passion in walking alongside young people in their faith journey. I currently serve as a staff member with the Pacifica Synod, where I am the Director for Accounting and Communication. I am also the adult chair of our Pacifica Synod Youth Team, comprised of high school students from congregations around our synod who serve in leadership roles for events for children and youth.
I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the CENetwork Board and I value the good work that takes place through this organization and its members. I look forward to learning more about the ways we can connect and share resources with those serving in our congregations and support this important work.
Carole Joyce is a beloved child of God who loves to pray and play in God’s Word with children of God of all ages. Her passion for faith formation and cross-generational ministry allows her to learn and wonder about God’s presence and work in the world alongside children, youth, and adults.
Carole is a deacon in the ELCA and has been a rostered leader since before the ELCA. She finds this time of changing church to be exciting and challenging. We need to listen, watch, and pray for God’s Spirit to guide us into new ways to be the people of God in the 21st century. Carole enjoys mentoring and learning from new leaders in faith formation and youth ministry. They have much to teach us as we boldly try new things.
This is Carole’s second time on the board of the Christian education network and she was honored to be educator of the year in 2012. She presently serves at Good Shepherd in Plainview, MN and Our Savior’s in Rochester, MN. When she’s not there, you might find her hiking, reading, running, quilting, serving at the food shelf or hanging out with family. Everything she knows about leadership she learned from her now grown sons!
Julie Hestermann is the Director of Children's Ministries at Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has been on staff at Sheridan for 16 years. Her newest role is to shepherd the Children's Ministry staff who provide programming for infants through 5th grade. Julie finds joy in working with the children, partnering with parents and families in their faith journey's and working closely with volunteers. Julie has also been blessed to help lead a camp for children in Haiti for the last six years with the Haitian Timoun Foundation.
Julie has been married to her husband Scott for 28 years. They have two adult children and a new son-in-law. When not at church, Julie enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
My name is Holly Knouse. I am the Director of Christian Education at Wayne Zion Lutheran Church in Monticello, IA. I have served in two congregations in youth and family ministry since the early 1990's. My husband Jeff and I live in Monticello. I have two grown children, a son Jordan and a daughter Kourtney. I have always believed my call was to youth, children, and family ministries, but in recent years I have explored entering in to Seminary to become ordained. I am taking my first class and learning all about the online learning community.
After obtaining his Masters in Divinity from Yale Divinity School, Dan has returned to his alma mater Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, as its Ministry Associate. Dan also serves as the Youth Leader at Peace Lutheran Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. As a Deacon of the ELCA Dan specializes in Youth, Children’s, and Family Ministries as well as Christian Education and expressions of faith through Art. At Wittenberg he fosters leadership development among campus ministries, is leading a contemporary worship service, and works with churches about potential new Wittenberg students. Dan also leads an after-school art and technology program for low-income kids called the Hart Street Makery. Dan’s passions include continued study of the liberation theologies that inspired him to pursue a career in ministry and exploring the power of imagination in faith and life.
Dominic grew up in rural Liberia. Through his family, Dominic learned important life values and was brought up in the Christian faith at an early age. Upon completion of high school, Dominic enrolled at St. Charles Lwanga pre-major Seminary, Monrovia, for a yearlong discernment, and later at St. Paul’s Major Seminary, Gbarnga (Holy See), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Dominic, then, attended the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), where he studied theology for two years. It was then that Dominic discerned that celibacy wasn’t a gift he had. He then left Seminary and returned to Liberia, where he later met his wife, Success, and worked at the Ministry of Post & Telecommunications, Monrovia, as an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Analyst.
In 2009, Dominic came to the United States, specifically Philadelphia, where he became a member of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. After continuous prayers and discernment, it was clear to Dominic that no one hides from God’s calling; a calling that lead him through further discernment at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), where he earned a Master of Divinity with Interfaith Concentration. Dominic is also a graduate of the United States Army Chaplain Officer Leadership Training School, FT Jackson, SC. Dominic has completed a year of internship at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hartford, where he lives with his wife Success and the youngest of his three daughters Comfort (Ruth and Svetlana are away). Dominic is currently the ministerial assistant for youth and neighborhood outreach at Emanuel, Hartford, and serves in the United States Army Chaplain Corps as a Chaplain Candidate.