ENRICH- Educator of the Year Michael Waschevski
Michael Waschevski was called as an Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1999 after having served churches in Michigan and Texas. He serves as Associate Pastor for Christian Formation and Pastoral Care. He seeks to nurture the faith of members and visitors alike through inspiring worship, thoughtful Bible study and theological reflection, deep spiritual formation, and compassionate congregational care.
As part of his ministry at FPC, Michael serves as a resource and leader in ministries of faith formation—especially worship and music and Christian education for adults. The Adult Christian Education ministry at First Presbyterian includes involvement of nearly 400 adults per week in church school classes, Bible studies, covenant groups, and other small groups. Within the Music and Arts ministry, Michael directs the two adult choirs of FPC—the Chancel and Fellowship Choirs. These two choirs involve nearly 100 adults. Michael also works with and supervises several program staff in their many ministries.
Michael’s publishing credits include co-author of Rhythms of Worship, essayist in The Theologically Reformed Heart (edited by Bailey, Barrett, and Duke), and author of numerous articles for The Presbyterian Outlook, Presbyterians Today, and Call to Worship. In addition, he has written curriculum for the Thoughtful Christian.
Michael graduated from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) with a BA in Music (Choral Conducting); from Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University) with a Master of Theological Studies; and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry. He is a certified Christian educator in the PC(USA).
SUSTAIN- Life Achievement Priscilla Andre-Colton
Priscilla began her career as a church educator before she even knew there was such a thing. While still in junior high she prompted the youth group in her small rural church to volunteer to serve as Sunday school teachers for the summer to give the regular teachers a season off. After moving to Florida and getting involved at Venice Presbyterian Church her pastor encouraged her to check out the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. There she reconnected with her passion and calling to Christian education.
Priscilla served churches in North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. She served on the Board of Trustees at Union Presbyterian Seminary; the PC(USA) Certification Committee; the Committee on Ministry of National Capital Presbytery; the Equipping Committee of Pittsburgh Presbytery; Youth Council of Suwannee Presbytery; the Educator Group of National Capital Presbytery. Service to APCE includes East Region Representative, the Advocate Committee, Secretary, and Annual Event Co-director.
In her words, “my greatest joy was spending a week with Sonja Stewart learning about Children and Worship and then implementing it in my church. I still enjoy telling and showing the stories to children and adults and watching the wonder.” She also loved organizing and writing curriculum for workshop rotation model Sunday school in two churches and designing intergenerational special events. She is the first to admit that none of this would have been possible without the love and support of her husband, Todd, and her two daughters, Caitlin and Erin.
CONNECT- Liz Hathaway
Born into a half Presbyterian, half Catholic family, Liz Hathaway’s earliest church memory is being told that she had to wait an entire year before she would be old enough to sing in the Children’s Choir at the First Presbyterian Church of Verona. She was eventually baptized, confirmed, ordained as a Deacon, and commissioned for many an adventure in this same congregation over a period of 23 years. She returned after college to join the staff as the Christian Education Facilitator in 2016. In 2017, she made the leap into “full-time” ministry by joining the staff of the Presbytery of Newark as the part-time Administrative Assistant. In 2019, she completed her Certificate in Youth and Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she made 15 new best friends.
Prior to these roles, Liz worked in administration and program planning in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in NJ, DC, and CA. One of her more favorite positions was as an intern with the 113th United States Congress, where she first developed a love for all kinds of political issues and processes. She is a graduate of The George Washington University and studied abroad at the School for International Training in Nairobi, Kenya.
Liz is a skilled communicator, grant-writer, idea-sharer, and fun-chaser, and is passionate about youth ministry, international education, traveling, cycling, and her dog, Zoey.
EMPOWER- Amy Parker
Amy Parker grew up in West Texas where her family was at First Presbyterian, Fort Stockton every time the doors opened. She credits her faith development to that small, loving congregation. The congregation introduced her to Mo Ranch, Triennium, and General Assembly, and ordained Amy at 16. She served on the Session, the Christian Education Committee, and the Tres Rios Presbytery Youth Committee.
Amy was one of Austin College’s first five ACtivators, and through it, felt called to ministry. During a college summer she served in Southeast Alaska as a PCUSA mission volunteer. In 2000 she joined the staff at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth Texas as the Director of Children’s Ministries and Outreach. Amy graduated from Brite Divinity School in 2004 with her Masters in Theological Studies. In 2012 Amy’s ministry grew to oversee the congregation’s early childhood program which included the supervision and oversight of a NAEYC accredited full-time care program for 136 children.
At the congregational level she empowered the move to innovative teaching and the required renovation of the Children’s education wing. Her one of a kind, original Vacation Church School and Advent programs have inspired hundreds of volunteers and thousands of kids. Her weeklong summer exposure to urban ministry, known as Mission on the Move, is innovative and impactful. At the presbytery level Amy has overseen the faithful use of the proceeds from a failed rustic camp. Marshaling talent from across the region, scholarships are given to students for all sorts of PCUSA youth events. Amy has also personally envisioned and organized an ECO camp — on environmental stewardship — for children and youth at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center here in Little Rock. Serving a resource congregation, Amy has been a leader in gathering educators across the region and sharing her knowledge and experience. Amy’s contagious creativity, her love for the church, and her deep understanding of children’s spiritual development has rippled into the lives of countless Christians, empowered to share their trust for God with others. The church is richer, Christian educators are energetically inspired, and kids are more faithful because of Amy Parker.