Circle of Faith: 50 years + one and beyond – An Invitation from the 2022 Annual Event Co-chairs
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us”
APCE friends and colleagues, are you ready to gather in the ever-widening circle of God’s amazing love? Is your heart yearning to build circles of faith that better reflect God’s kin-dom vision? Do you long to discover new ways of being God’s beloved child and faith-filled servant in the world?
Then let us set our sights on being together February 9 – 12, 2022, for the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) Annual Event, “Circle of Faith: 50 years + one and beyond,” where God will meet us as we are and nurture us into what God dreams and hopes for us!
Our original invitation began, “The year 2021 is monumental for the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators (APCE) organization.” Without a doubt 2020, and much of 2021, will go down as monumental years in our nation’s history. Together we experienced great loss and heartache: loved ones to a pandemic, the continued struggle for human rights for our brothers and sisters of color, the deteriorating national dialogue, and a tense, hope-filled inauguration.
In the midst of it all, the APCE AE Ministry Team negotiated a postponement of our in-person event and scrambled to provide the first-ever virtual APCE Annual Event, “Anything But Ordinary Time” – a monumental accomplishment for our 2021 experience. It was a stellar event in every way, making the ever-widening circle a reality. Thank you, virtual event team!
Now, friends, with continued prayer, vigilance, vaccines, and great amounts of hope, we will have an opportunity to be together in-person and to celebrate where we have been and where we dream of going – where we can once again hold hands, give hugs, weep and laugh together, and welcome others to the ever-expanding circle of God’s revolutionary love.
Yes, we will come with pain, wariness, and pent-up emotions that we cannot name. We will gather, knowing that some are permanently missing from our faith circles, and we will never be the same. Our post-pandemic event will not be complete without each of you bringing your stories, your experiences, and your hopes. We invite those who gathered in the past and those who are coming for the first time to, please, come! Everyone is welcome!
This coming February 9 – 12, join us in Chicago as the APCE circle of faith gathers to welcome new people into the circle, to celebrate the great cloud of witnesses that formed the first circles, to reflect on broken circles and those excluded from circles, and to imagine ministries beyond the circle gathered to our neighborhoods, our cities, and the world.
We will celebrate 50 years + one of connecting, enriching, empowering, and sustaining the ministries of educators, pastors, volunteers, and their faith communities. We hope to explore and challenge one another to seek and build upon God’s grace-filled, ever-widening Circle of Faith. We cannot wait to see you there!
Kirsty DePree and Candace Hill
2022 APCE Annual Event Co-chairs
Katie Hartwell and Jenny Hubbard
2022 APCE Annual Event Local Co-chairs