By: Forrest Palmer
From time to time, I tune into a cable television channel and see reruns of “The Waltons.” Having spent my teen years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I knew that the creator of that series came from Skyler, not far from Charlottesville. Even now, those family stories come alive for me. One central image in the series is that big family dinner table, around which all members of the family gathered to break bread and discuss what was going on in their lives. Visitors were always welcome, despite the Depression-era economic times in which this series was set. There was always room at the table for more and always food enough for everyone.
Through baptism, we are welcomed into another family—our family of faith—and we also gather together around a table to remember and reflect upon whose we are. There is always room at the table for more and always food enough for everyone.
APCE is a five-denomination association, focused on educational ministry. We gather together in many ways: through the awesome Annual Events that APCE hosts, through our Facebook page, through the APCE Alert emails, through regional gatherings, through the wonderful publication The Advocate, through task forces and more. We are always looking for new ways to reach out and welcome all who would seek room at the table. Through a restructuring task force, APCE is transforming in order to incorporate more of the APCE family in ways that address our passion for educational ministry. APCE is utilizing new forms of communication and technology.
APCE is YOUR association. We are blessed and are thankful for the involvement, commitment and support of so many as we move into the future and identify ways in which we might “connect, enrich, empower and sustain” those gathered around the APCE table.
Forrest Palmer, former executive associate presbyter for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, is interim executive presbyter for the Presbytery of West Virginia. Forrest has been an educator in congregations in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina and directed a camp in Virginia. Forrest and his wife, Barbara Hollman Palmer, are both certified Christian educators and ruling elders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).