A Testimony from Campus Ministry

Bringing campus, church, and community together as we invest in the lives of students who will go forth and lead the world. When I was offered a leadership position in Presbyterian Campus Ministry (PCM) at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), I initially was...

The Magnificat: Canticle of the Turning

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my savior, for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done good things for me, and holy is his name.” Luke...

Living the Faith at Home

As many of us continue with worship and/or Christian education at home, The Advocate Ministry Team thought these perspectives from Lib Caldwell, long-time APCE leader and friend, provide a timely reminder on the value and importance of nurturing faith at home – it’s...

Dealing Christianly with Political Differences

In this 2020 election season, The Advocate blog reaches back to the Spring of 2013 and lifts up these wise and thoughtful words from Katherine Baker.   I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will...

What I Need From White People Right Now

In a follow up to our last post from Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness to Washington, D. C., we reprint Adele Halliday’s justice/opinion piece from Broadview Magazine, a publication from and about The United Church of Canada,...

Broadening APCE’s Racial Ethnic Base

by Anne Yee-Hibbs As I write this blog article for the Advocate, we are living in social isolation because of the Covid-19 outbreak. During this time, we realize how much we are dependent upon our relationships with our family and friends. It is difficult, and yet we...

Labor Day Sabbath

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident...

Rethinking Summer Mission Activity: The Mission Un-Trip

by Brittany Porch Upon canceling our summer mission trips due to Covid-19, the church Session committed to an alternative mission experience for our youth that was safe and offered a meaningful service experience. To pull this off, I had quite the task set before me....

Lessons Learned from Virtual VBS

As churches have made adjustments to their regular Christian education programming since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Advocate blog (and APCE leaders) have offered suggestions for program adjustments. We thought we’d follow up with one congregation who...

Back-to-School (or Virtual School) Blessing

Many churches mark the back-to-school season with a Blessing of Backpacks for children, families, teachers, and leaders who are returning to the classroom after summer break. This ritual is a tangible reminder that God is present everywhere and accompanies us in every...

Our Stories in God’s Story

by Sharon Warkentin Short The need to make sense of our lives seems to be a fundamental human drive. We all do it by interpreting our individual experiences in light of some larger controlling story. The “small stories” of our everyday lives take on whatever meaning...

Hearing From Our Youth During COVID-19

by Christy Williams A youth worker’s spring and summer are traditionally filled with planning meetings, permission form retrieval, special gatherings, conferences, camps, and mission trips. During this spring and summer, in the midst of a global pandemic when churches...

Permission Granted for Self-Care

by Kathy L. Dawson I have been observing the amazing work of educators for many years now. What I have seen is people who are creative and resilient in the face of change. In this time, we have been on a steep learning curve regarding online ways of continuing and...

Leaning Out, Letting Go

By Kathy L. Dawson As educators, we know that there are certain times in the liturgical year that are busier than others. The cycle of Lent to Holy Week to Easter to Pentecost tends to be one of those periods of intense activity and for good reason, as this is the...

What Will You Offer This Summer?

by Beth Herrinton-Hodge Standing on the edge of summer, while many of our churches have not returned to “in person” gatherings, we continue to wrestle with questions about engaging with our families, children, and church communities. Many “tried and true” activities...

That One Big Breath

by Kevin Cartee One big breath. Every Camp Director knows it’s coming. Works for it. Waits for it. Longs to breathe that one breath that comes at the end of the summer camp season. It’s breathed deeply as the last campfire song of the season fades, and summer staff...

How Do We Shout “Alleluia” in a Strange Land?

By Tori Smit Easter is coming and churches are beginning to wonder how they might celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in a meaningful and wonder-filled way when we can’t come together, in one place, and shout out ‘Alleluia’ at the top of our lungs. How do we celebrate...

Maundy Thursday: Ideas for Worship at Home

by British Hyrams Maundy Thursday is the first of three Holy Week rituals following Palm Sunday and culminating on Easter Sunday. Maundy means “commandment.” Maundy Thursday acknowledges the new commandment that Jesus gave his disciples at the feast of the Last...

Talking to Your Children About COVID-19

By Kathy L. Dawson I’ve heard many people wondering about how much to tell children about what is currently happening in our world. My own advice, coming off my years of experience working in the childhood grief arena, is to listen to the questions that the children...
What Do You Expect?

What Do You Expect?

I was pregnant with my first child in December 2000. When my pastor colleague and I divided up the services we would lead and preach during that Advent season, I requested the third Sunday. Mary’s Magnificat, Luke 1:46b-55, was the lectionary text assigned for that...
Catching Up with Scholarship Recipients

Catching Up with Scholarship Recipients

  Val Murphy Scholarships are financial awards given each year to allow persons to attend APCE’s Annual Event. The scholarships are given to honor E. Valeria Murphy, former APCE Cabinet member who served as an educator in a Presbyterian church from 1947 to 1963....

Revisiting Past Scholarship Recipients

Val Murphy Scholarships are financial awards given each year to allow persons to attend APCE’s Annual Event. The scholarships are given to honor E. Valeria Murphy, former APCE Cabinet member who served as an educator in a Presbyterian church from 1947 to 1963. Val...
Partners in God’s New Creation

Partners in God’s New Creation

Bringing Generations Together in Partnership Back in 1989, the One Great Hour of Sharing program adopted the theme: Partners in God’s New Creation. A member of the congregation I served suggested we build on this theme with congregation-wide OGHS activities that...
What We are Reading Now

What We are Reading Now

What are you reading these days? Educators seem to have the most fascinating and diverse books on their nightstands and desks. The Advocate ministry team wanted to share what we are reading these days, in the hopes it might spark some new ideas for you: “Right...
Grace and Gratitude in Galveston

Grace and Gratitude in Galveston

“Worship and Sacraments” Educator Certification course participants at the 2019 Annual Event Grace and Gratitude in Galveston by Erin Dickerson As educators and ministry professionals, we often forget that we not only have a responsibility for the faith...
Music in Worship

Music in Worship

During the 2019 APCE Annual Event in Galveston, Dr. Michael Waschevski taught an educator certification course on Worship and Sacraments.  The group reflected on the role, issues, and opportunities involving music in our worshiping communities.  The following article...
Baptism: God’s Sign and Seal

Baptism: God’s Sign and Seal

by Rebecca Davis “Take a moment…in the midst of your fretting over a fussy baby, your nerves of standing in front of the congregation, your worry about family dynamics and the meal after the service, in the midst of all the details of this baptism…take a moment and...
Six Ways Your Church Can Say “Welcome to the Family!” at Baptism

Helping Families Celebrate Baptisms

by Carol Wehrheim Celebrating a child’s baptism anniversary is one way for families to nurture the faith of the child as well as each member of the family. However, I don’t know this from personal experience. I didn’t know my baptismal date until well into adulthood...
Visual Reflections: Epiphany

Visual Reflections: Epiphany

Art and Reflection by Ann Laird Jones    Epiphany is about movement and intersection and angles and people on the move: incarnational theology in all its brightness. It involves a persistent star whose light penetrates the darkest corners and kingdoms. Rather than...

Visual Reflection after Christmas: Seeking Jesus

Reflection by Beth Herrinton-Hodge In the brief days between Christmas Eve and Epiphany, many of us in church work enjoy a bit of a breather. Christmas Eve services have been held, candles lit, favorite carols sung. Luke’s familiar birth narrative has been recited....