“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” (Matthew 11:28, The Message)

I don’t know about you, but I can answer yes to all three of these questions! We are in need of a real rest!

This is what we were thinking back in 2020 when we began planning for the Annual Event 2022. You read that right! We were supposed to direct the 2022 Annual Event when Covid-19 hit our world and “change and flexibility” became the name of planning for everything!

My name is Mary-Todd Peters, and I am a Presbyterian Christian Educator in Chapel Hill, NC. I have been in ministry for over 30 years and have been a member of APCE for 25 years. In The Message version of Matthew 11:29, Jesus says “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” Through my participation in APCE and attending Annual Events, I have found a place where I can take real rest, where I have been restored in the midst of the ups and downs of being in ministry. APCE’s Annual Event is a time when I can be myself–with my friends and colleagues in ministry. From uplifting worship services, beautiful music, and informative workshops to sharing meals and conversations with friends and colleagues, the APCE Annual Event is when I take time to rest, renew, and recover my life.

My name is Jami Vandock, and I met Mary-Todd at my very first APCE Annual Event 5 years ago. I have served for 6 years at Raleigh Moravian Church as Director of Faith Formation, and I am forever grateful for the ways APCE has connected me to a fellowship of church educators.

Together, we invite you to be a part of the Annual Event 2023, Unforced Rhythms of Grace.

Come – join us for a few days as we gather (online or in-person) to grieve the losses we have endured due to illness, fear, convenience, laziness, complacency, workaholism, comparison. Jesus calls us to rest – really rest. It is our hope that you will find rest and company during the 2023 Annual Event.

We are excited about the opportunities to worship, lament, explore, learn, be challenged, and grow during our time together. We hope to provide opportunities for some “Unforced Rhythms,” like spending unscheduled time to gather with friends, exploring the Spirituality Center online or in person, or giving yourself permission to take time during the day for holy rest.

You will have opportunities to explore Birmingham and lean into its troubled past while finding hope and meaning for the future of our country. We are offering tours of the Civil Rights Institute and The 16th Street Baptist Church. Following the Annual Event, you may join in a day trip to Montgomery, the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Together, we can lament and grieve the tragedies of our world and find comfort in a God who bears it all with us.

There are many opportunities to learn, grow, be challenged, worship, take time for spiritual renewal, rekindle old friendships, and make new friends! Please check out our event website https://apcenet.org/2023-annual-event-invitation/ to explore the workshop offerings, the plenary and worship experiences that are planned, and registration information for online and in-person participation. If you have any questions, please let us know.

We hope to see you in person or online for APCE AE 2023!


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Jami Vandock and Mary-Todd Peters

your 2023 Annual Event co-chairs