By: Forrest Palmer

APCESpringcover_master_largeI am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19 NRSV).

Change. We see it everywhere—in culture, in our denominations, in our churches. And we’re seeing it in APCE too. We’re in a time of transition, a time of looking toward the future with a renewed vision.

We are so grateful for those who have gone before us—those who saw a need and a vision for an organization like APCE. Organizing APCE was a change, and since its beginnings, APCE has continued to change. As leaders in educational ministry, we have sought new ways to teach the Good News to all people, and APCE has stood with us, seeking to be faithful to God’s call.

The theme of this issue is “Transitions: All things Made New”—a providential choice at this point in time as APCE plans for new things on the horizon. As you read this edition of The Advocate, I pray that you will be open and called to seek the newness that lies beyond the horizon. I pray that our Lord may walk with you, as our Lord “makes a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

This is my last column as your president. It has been joy-filled work to serve as the president of this association. APCE has been blessed by having so many wonderful leaders as officers, Cabinet members, regional leaders…and as members. This is your Association, and our new vision to engage more members in service will, I believe, strengthen this Association. I am hopeful and hope-filled. I ask for your prayers and support for our next president Anne Wilson, for president-elect Zeta Lamberson, for treasurer Charlotte McGowan, for secretary Priscilla Andre-Colton, and for all who will be called to serve. We stand together as those called to educational ministry, as we continue to “connect, enrich, empower and sustain.”

Blessings to you all.

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.).