APCE Annual Event 2018 | Conference Events


THURSDAY & FRIDAY; 2:00-5:30

100 Witherspoon St.

An Introduction to the Presbyterian Center

Just up the river from the APCE conference hotel is the Presbyterian Center, home of the offices of four of the agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – the Office of the General Assembly, the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, and the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program. Take a tour of the building and learn about its history as well as some of the significant artwork that adorns its walls. The experience will include an interactive exploration of the work coordinated out of the offices and a Q&A session with representatives of its agencies.

No minimum. Maximum is 25.


THURSDAY; 4:00-5:30

Kentucky Refugee Ministries 

In 2016, Kentucky was the seventh in the nation in welcoming and resettling Refugees.  Louisville, Kentucky was the 4th largest city in the United States in the number of refugees welcomed.  Most of these resettlements are due to the work of Kentucky Refugee Ministries (www.kyrm.org). Founded in 1990, KRM has welcomed over 4000 refugees to the United States. KRM not only welcomes, but finds jobs, provides English classes, provides a number of legal and medical services, and offers citizenship classes for their clients. They do a large amount of this work by mobilizing and empowering churches and local civic organizations as a critical part of this process. Come, tour their facility, and learn from KRM staff how you can be a part of a ministry of welcome (no matter where you live).


Minimum by Dec. 8 is 10. Maximum is 28.


FRIDAY; 2:00-5:30

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

While on campus, participants will tour the Seminary and select one of three on-site seminars led by Seminary professors. The seminars will build on the theme of Boundless Hospitality, which melds well with a campus-wide focus on Restorative Justice.

We envision something along the lines of the following choices:

  1. Embracing Boundless Hospitality in Youth Ministry,
  2. Participating in a conversation circle experience discussing Boundless Hospitality or Restorative Justice,
  3. A professor speaks about a current, AE theme-based issue that he or she is passionate about.

Minimum by Dec. 8 is 10. Maximum is 28.


FRIDAY; 2:00-5:30

Churchill Downs

Come experience the most dynamic and unique celebration known worldwide as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” Tour the Churchill Downs Museum. Experience horse racing in a fun interactive way or join one of the tours scheduled every 30 minutes to see the paddock, the backside and visit the gift shop. 


Minimum by Dec. 8 is 20. Maximum is 23.



Mini-plenaries are a new offering at the APCE Annual Event. These gatherings allow you to learn from noted leaders in a setting that is larger than a workshop but more intimate than a large plenary setting. Register for one mini-plenary on Friday morning and one on Saturday morning.

Friday 10:30 am & Saturday 9:00 am
Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality – Plenary Leader: Henry Brinton
Based on Brinton’s book, “The Welcoming Congregation,” this time together will blend both the “how to” and the “why to” of Christian Hospitality. Participants will explore the best practices of welcoming congregation across the theological spectrum, and then develop concrete action plans to take back to their churches, beginning with the roots of hospitality: sites, worship, meals, and small groups and ending with the fruits of hospitality: reconciliation, outreach, and new perceptions of God’s inclusive love.

Maximum Registration: 80 participants

Teaching between Worlds: Nurturing Public Faith – Plenary Leader: Becky Davis
We are quick to inform newcomers to our congregations that ours is a “thinking faith” where we do not check our minds at the church door. Yet, how often do we leave our faith in the pew as we exit the sanctuary and make our way back into the world? Do our Christian Education programs, bible studies, mission trips, worship services and liturgy form Christian identity so that the decisions we make are informed by our faith whether they are made in living rooms, board rooms, court rooms, class rooms and all the other places where choices are made that affect the common good. So, how do we foster a mature and integrated life of faith so that our personal and communal selves are consistent? How do we teach between worlds? This time together will introduce participants to an approach to faith formation that seeks to teach for Understanding, Discernment and Engagement.

Maximum Registration: 110 participants

Genuine Hospitality: From Serving the Poor to Dismantling Poverty – Plenary Leader: Jan Edmiston
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” Being the 21st Century Church requires making culture shifts and our ministry to the poor is among the most important, if we are serious about following Jesus. Together we will explore ideas for ministry beyond tossing coins as we seek to offer genuine hospitality.

Maximum Registration: 110 participants

Sharing God’s Hospitality with Children – Plenary Leaders: Ellen Vellenga & Carol Jones
Aware of Jesus’ invitation to “Let the little children come to me” (Mk 10:14), the church has welcomed children from infancy through adolescence with varying degrees of success. The Montessori based visual and tactile presentations in “Young Children and Worship” by Stewart and Berryman transcend age categories by asking wondering questions appropriately. Using Biblical stories that portray hospitality in action, such as the Parable of the Great Banquet, Zacchaeus, Jesus’ Last Supper, The Good Shepherd and the Lord’s Supper, children of all ages can experience the extravagant hospitality of God. Building on that foundation, the presenters will show how they have helped children present that same hospitality to others in a variety of situations.

Maximum Registration: 80 participants

Speaking of Welcome – Plenary Leader: Rodger Nishioka
The language we choose in our ministry settings can honor or hinder our call to offer abundant hospitality. How do we communicate and live out an intentionality of welcome that is inclusive and genuine? This is an opportunity to think deeply about the way our congregations can convey and renew their ministry of hospitality for all of God’s children.

Maximum Registration: 120 participants

Welcoming the Other: Redefining Inclusion and Diversity – Plenary Leader: Carl Horton
In an age of extreme politics, racial and religious tensions, ideological chasms, immigrant bans, escalating violence and perceived and real threats, we are increasingly “othering” one another – even in our families, neighborhoods and communities. What does it look like today for the church to reach out to the “other,” to really fulfill the biblical mandate to welcome strangers and love neighbors? We’ll look at the traditional paradigms of hospitality that we’ve relied on and the historic, cultural and institutional influences that have shaped and maintained them. We’ll consider new approaches of welcome that may take us out of our comfort zones, challenge our assumptions, expose our biases, lead us to a more profound hospitality and help us recognize that we are all somebody else’s “other.”

Maximum Registration: 120 participants


TOPIC FORUMS offered on Wednesday, January 31 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM

No registration required. Check your Locator Guide for location

90 minute presentations

1. 2020 Vision Team Listening Session – Brown, 2nd Floor Suite Tower
Your 2020 Vision Team was tasked by the 222nd General Assembly to develop a guiding statement for the PC(USA). This statement will “help us name and claim our denominational identity as we seek to follow the Spirit into the future.” We want to engage each other in listening and questioning about God’s movement in the PC(USA).

*Facilitated by Debbie G. Foster, Associate Stated Clerk, Foothills Presbytery

2. Celebrate Christian Education Certification – Carroll Ford, 2nd Floor Suite Tower
Certified educators, certification advisors, those in the certification process, and those considering the process are invited to come together to share joys, questions, and concerns.

*Facilitated by Susan Sharp Campbell and Cindy Kessel-Ito, Members of PCUSA Educator Certification Committee

3. Where have we been? Where are we going? – McCreary, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
Come hear an update on the work of the GA Special Committee on Christian Formation in the 21st Century. This forum is an opportunity to give feedback to the committee and offer your wide variety of educational experiences as they develop their recommendations.

*Facilitated by Stephanie Fritz, Chair, PCUSA Special Committee of the General Assembly (GA)

4. Yours are the Hands of Christ (Sponsored by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance/PDA) – Breathitt, 2nd Floor Suite Tower
Now more than ever the love of Christ needs to be visible. This focus group will give participants the opportunity to hear of the ways Presbyterian Disaster Assistance empowers church volunteer mission groups to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by a disaster.

*Facilitated by Jim Kirk, Mission Associate, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

30 minute presentations

Each of the seven topic forums will offer 30-minutes sessions (repeated three times). Participants are free to wander from forum to forum so that they could attend three of the forums in the time allotted 1-2:30 pm.

​5. Big God, Big Questions – Morrow, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
This is an opportunity to get a sneak preview of confirmation lessons from the PCUSA and ask questions of the authors and editors who’ve written and designed the curriculum.

*Facilitated by Meg Rift, General Editor, Congregational Ministries Publishing, PCUSA

​6. Igniting the Movement to Become an Intercultural Church – Stanley, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
Join a discussion with representatives from Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries. Explore possibilities for working together in helping to transform the Presbyterian Church (USA)and our ecumenical partners into an intercultural church.

*Facilitated by Jieun Han, Jewell McRae, Lemuel Garcia (national staff of the PCUSA)

7. Millennial Project – Wilson, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
This forum looks at results of a recent study of Millennials to identify top issues facing young adults (age 25-40). Out of the findings the National Council of Churches is sharing a pilot proposal for engaging Millennials with scripture and the wisdom of peers, parents, and other caring adults to address their life concerns.

*Facilitated by Joseph Crockett, Associate General Secretary, National Council of Churches

8. Presbyterian Association of Musicians – Potpourri – Taylor, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
The Book of Common Worship, worship & music Conferences, and worship planning. . . Come learn about the many things the Presbyterian Association of Musicians offers to worship leaders, musicians and Christian educators. This forum will discuss multiple topics such as the new edition of the Book of Common Worship, collaborative worship planning, the PAM Webinar Series, intergenerational Worship & Music conferences, and using hymns as teaching tools for children.

*Kelly Abraham, Executive Director, Presbyterian Association of Musicians

9. Serving on an APCE Ministry Team – Beckham, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
Hear more about the work of each of the nine APCE ministry teams.This is a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how you can apply to serve on one of APCE’s ministry teams.

*Facilitated by Von Clemans, Chair, APCE Governance Ministry Team

10. Share Your Ideas for the APCE Advocate – Jones, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
Help us make the APCE Advocate blog an even better resource for you and your ministry. Drop in and share your ideas for blog articles, topics, series and writers (yourself or someone else!) to help connect, enrich, empower and sustain educational ministry and practitioners.

Facilitated by Julie Hester, Chair, APCE Advocate Ministry Team

11. To Benefit or not to Benefit: Options for Educators and Church Employers – Segell, 3rd Floor Suite Tower
The Board of Pensions (PCUSA) now offers a menu of benefits options to allow for more inclusion and flexibility both for members and employers. Find out more about what is available.

*Facilitated by Allison Seed, Board of Pensions Consultant, Synod of the Northeast


Boundless Waters Prayer Center

Come discover the intersection of hospitality and spirituality in a space that will refresh your spirit and nurture your soul. This innovative, interactive prayer center will provide an opportunity to engage each day’s theme and reflect on God’s presence in your life. Whether you need to sit and be still, design and create, or dance around the room, the Center will have something for you. It will also serve as a resource throughout the event for people looking to deepen their conference experience and then widen their reach by taking ideas home with them.

Michael Harper is a Christian educator in Louisville, KY, and the owner of Teamworx Talent Development, a corporate team building company that uses youth group games to help business teams work better together. He also serves as the director of the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association, preaches at a small church in Southern Indiana, and leads recreation with a youth group in Louisville.


Wednesday, Jan. 31

9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Thursday, Feb. 1

7:30 am – 8:30 am

11:45 am – 6:00 pm

Friday, Feb. 2

7:30 am – 8:30 am

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

1:45 pm – 6:00 pm

Sponsored by the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association (PYWA), the Open Door is a space for all who serve in ministry with youth and their families. Throughout the Annual Event, look forward to hearing about intentional youth worker gatherings, including opportunities for spiritual nurture, conversations about current youth ministry topics, and time to relax with others share a passion for youth ministry. This is a place for youth workers to live out PYWA’s mission to connect, inspire, and uphold those who serve the one triune God among young people.


Wednesday, Jan. 31

9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Thursday, Feb. 1

11:45 am – 6:00 pm

Friday, Feb. 2

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

1:45 pm – 6:00 pm

Louisville Seminary alums and friends are invited to join us at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 1 at the Galt House for a lunch and learn with Dr. Carol Cook.

Should Learning Hurt? Becoming a Trauma-informed Educator

In a violence-infused world, how do educators make space to honor painful experiences from students’ past while also necessarily engaging with material that may be considered “trauma triggering?” This dilemma may be particularly challenging for Christian theologians and educators who must struggle with the implications of the claim that “traumatic loss lies at the very heart of the Christian imagination.” Special attention will be given to the distinction some educators are now making between classrooms as “brave spaces” rather than “safe spaces.”

Cost to attend is $15. Please register by January 25 here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eeurr34be9e82db7&llr=krfqiilab

Union Seminary invites you ​to ​enjoy ​food ​and ​fellowship ​with ​your ​Union and ​PSCE ​ ​alums ​and ​colleagues at two events during the APCE Annual Gathering in Louisville in 2018. On Thursday, February 1, 12:15 – 2:00 p.m., join us for our annual luncheon. Come and hear updates ​on ​the ​Christian ​Education ​program, on Union Seminary, meet current students, ​and hear of ​resources ​for ​alums shared ​by ​Union ​faculty ​and ​staff.

​On Friday, February 2, at 5:30 p.m., join us for a reception honoring APCE’s President-Elect Ken McFayden, Academic Dean of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, and Professor of Ministry and Leadership Development. The luncheon will be $20 and the reception is free.

Both events require registration.

To register for the luncheon, please click here.

For the reception, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you in Louisville!

Presbyterian College invites alums and friends to enjoy a reception together on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 8:30-10 p.m. at Al J’s in the Conservatory of the Galt House. Come connect with old and new friends. No RSVP necessary. If you have questions email Dr. Rebecca Davis rldavis@presby.edu

Columbia Theological Seminary welcomes friends and alumni for a wonderful lunch offsite at Saffron’s Persian Restaurant, 131 W. Market Street, 3 blocks from the Galt House hotel, 12:15 p.m., Thursday, February 1, 2018. RSVP or if you have questions to Krissy Rosell at rosellk@ctsnet.edu

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary invites alums and friends to join us in food and fellowship on Thursday, February 1, 2018, in the Stanley Room of the Galt House Hotel, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. We welcome you to visit with APCE workshop leader and UDTS faculty, Dr. Susan Forshey, Director of Seminary Admissions, Kimberly Burnett-Hackbarth, listen to the UDTS update, and connect with old and new friends. RSVP with reservations and questions to Kimberly Burnett-Hackbarth khackbarth@dbq.edu

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary welcomes alumni and friends to be our guest for lunch and fellowship, 12:00 to 1:30 pm, Thursday, Feb. 1 in the Wilson Room of the Galt Hotel. Please RSVP by Jan. 29 to Selina Aguirre: saguirre@austinseminary.edu.

​If you would like to have your college or seminary, be a part of the 2019 APCE Annual Event College and Seminary lunches or market place, please contact Annual Event team member: Jim Monnett at revmonnett@gmail.com.


APCE wishes to thank the following organizations and entities for their generous support:


APCE wishes to acknowledge the following organizations and entities as our current vendor partners: