The Advocate launches a 3-week series highlighting words of wisdom, hope, and curiosity from APCE’s 2023 annual award recipients. We asked a set of questions about what they are curious and excited about as they look at faith formation in today’s church.

This week, we hear from Mary Marcotte, APCE’s 2023 SUSTAIN Lifetime Achievement honoree.

Mary began her journey as a Christian Educator by volunteering in her local congregation. She pursued training in seminary coursework to become a Certified Church Educator and served congregations in Texas and Virginia. Elected as Associate General Presbyter by the Presbytery of New Covenant in Southeast Texas, Mary coordinated a wide range of educational events. As a believer in the connectional ministries of the church, she took an active leadership role in both the South Central Region of APCE and APCE leadership teams. She additionally served eight years on the Educator Certification Committee of the PC(USA), including a term as moderator.

Mary brings her educator’s heart and skill set to work that supports all aspects of vital congregational life. In retirement, Mary has come full circle. She is once again an active member in the Texas church where she began her professional ministry. She continues to volunteer in faith formation ministries and relishes weaving together learning communities and cheering on the work of educational ministry and those dedicated to its excellence.

Advocate: What gets you excited about faith formation today?

Mary Marcotte: I’m excited with the signs I see of intentionally addressing the need to support families as they nurture their children’s faith. This has been a long-time passion, and my educator certification project was a class for parents on living out their baptismal promises. There are so many pulls and pushes on families these days, and so many parents express concern about not knowing what to say or do in helping to support their children’s faith development. The culture is putting them on a hamster wheel of activity.

Advocate: What are you curious about?

Mary Marcotte: I’m really curious about what will come next. I recognize that Sunday school was a Victorian invention. What are ways we mentor for faith? As we seek to support lifelong learning and faith growth, how do we create a climate of what I call holy curiosity? How are we helping our people, of all ages, build a “spiritual resilience toolkit”? What I’m thinking of is a body of scripture passages, prayers, and hymn texts that are so deeply lodged in our hearts that we each can grab hold of them when we are faced with a crisis or change.

Advocate: Mentor for faith. Holy Curiosity. Spiritual Resilience Toolkit. These topics stir the thoughts and imagination of faith formation leaders. Thank you, Mary, for these words of wisdom, hope, and curiosity.


Author Image

Mary Marcotte

is APCE's 2023 ENRICH Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. She and Michael, her husband of more than fifty years, retired to Dallas, TX. She is the proud mother of adult children Matt and Meg and grandsons Linus and Arlo.