Welcoming Hope while Living in Lament

By Rev. British L. Hyrams Please read Lamentations 3 (slowly and deliberately).  If you are familiar with this text already, please read it in another translation in order to see it with fresh eyes. This chapter is not for the faint of heart and may invoke feelings of...
Lifting Up and Celebrating God’s Promises

Lifting Up and Celebrating God’s Promises

By Rev. Cathy Hoop “My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise.”  (Psalm 130b, CEB) As we turn to Advent’s hope, the promise of God’s gift of incarnation, the words of the prophets harmonize with the psalmist’s cry. God has promised to “execute justice and...
The Birth of Parents Take Five Podcast

The Birth of Parents Take Five Podcast

There are a lot of great parenting resources out there…but this podcast is different. It seems to be exactly what many people are looking for and that brings Arkansas pastor, Jen Evans, great joy. And that joy just keeps on stirring inside. The podcast Parents...
Covid Keepers: Ideas to Continue in the Post-Pandemic Church

Covid Keepers: Ideas to Continue in the Post-Pandemic Church

       .   When considering how to engage families in the story of the resurrection this year, our team wanted to focus on a family activity that respected our current congregational safety guidelines. I happened to be on the launch team for ‘Twas the Morning of...
Creating More Ways to Engage with the Advocate

Creating More Ways to Engage with the Advocate

As religious educators and learners it is important that we present information and receive information in a way that best suits our ability to offer and receive the information. We have steadied ourselves to embrace the necessary shift from an in-person learning...
From APCE Cabinet to APCE Leadership Council

From APCE Cabinet to APCE Leadership Council

Growing up, I always wanted to be a cheerleader.  Why? Because I so wanted to be part of the “in crowd.”  I would secretly attempt to do cartwheels and splits in my basement, but ultimately ended up being elected the President of the Pep Club instead. As a novice...

NEW TRAINING AVAILABLE FOR EDUCATORS IN THE PC(USA)

Are you serving as an educator in your church, council or agency—either as a volunteer or as paid staff? Do you feel like you would like to have a stronger biblical and theological foundation and greater skills in educational ministry leadership? Then the Educator’s...
Sparks and Seeds:  Celebrating Pentecost and the Growing Time

Sparks and Seeds: Celebrating Pentecost and the Growing Time

After the Party After every big celebration comes the crash. Party guests go home and we collapse on the couch with a headache. The special dinner that took days to plan and prepare is devoured in an hour, leaving only a kitchen full of dirty dishes. The warmth of...
Breathe. Breathe.

Breathe. Breathe.

How far you’ve come.   Ashes to go. Foreheads or hands? Ash Wednesday in a bag. Wilderness sand and rocks on a tray. Buried Alleluias. Virtually. Lenten family practices. We could try coloring. One Great Hour or Sharing. Maybe? Holy Week planning. Palms. Parades....
What Will We Tell the Children?

What Will We Tell the Children?

What Will We Tell the Children? It was a Good Friday service I will never forget. I was perhaps eight or nine years old, and since children in my church rarely joined the adults in the sanctuary for any part of worship, my going to worship on Good Friday was a very...
Communal Prayers through Zoom

Communal Prayers through Zoom

  Creating space for prayer in community is critical to our faith formation. Lent is the perfect season to come together in prayer. When I think of community, I think of a place where you can come as you are, flaws and all. You develop a bond with one another....
A Year of Lent

A Year of Lent

This week marks the half-way point through Lent. But is it really the half-way point? This week also marks the one-year anniversary of when many of our church buildings were closed and in-person gatherings stopped because of COVID-19.  Early on, there were memes and...
Thoughts on Leviticus 11

Thoughts on Leviticus 11

When was the last time you sat down and read through Leviticus 11? Or maybe I’m asking that question the wrong way. Maybe instead I should ask, when was the last time you heard someone refer to Leviticus 11? If you are like me, it was probably from someone who used it...

APCE Commits to the Work of Justice and Equity

“APCE as an organization has been engaged in a struggle . . . to embody as well as teach about justice and equity to both the wider Church and through the Church to society as a whole.” Gordon Brown, APCE Diversity Task Force member But first APCE itself must engage...

Were you one of the 1,018?

That’s right: 1,018 people attended the APCE annual event via Zoom last week!  And And about thirty percent were ‘first-timers’! While we weren’t able to gather in person, we were able to connect with educators, pastors, and church leaders from across the wider...

Virtual Annual Event Leadership Team

The leadership line up for the 2021 Annual Event reflects the theme—they are anything but ordinary!  Bringing together diverse voices of scholars and musicians, pastors and teachers, artists, and coaches, participants will get a sneak peak at the wide vision of...

Prayer and Meditation: Now I lay me down to sleep . . .

When I was a child, a good-night prayer was the last detail of the day. I’d lay down in bed and my mother would tuck me in and we would say THE prayer together. She would begin, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .”  I’m sure I’m...

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay What’s your favourite Christmas movie? I love to watch The Polar Express, and I’ve just finished binge-watching the new Netflix series Dash & Lily but, truth be told, my absolute favourite Christmas movie is A Charlie Brown...

Hope at the End of the Journey

Who doesn’t like a good road trip movie? Some of my personal favorites include Dorothy skipping down the yellow brick road toward Oz, Olive travelling on a mini bus to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, and a chain gang’s odyssey through depression-era...

Advent in Narnia: Always Winter, Never Christmas

During the late 1940s and first half of the 1950s, C.S. Lewis wrote a series of seven books for his goddaughter Lucy called The Chronicles of Narnia.  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the most well-known in the series.  It is set during a long winter in the...

Pandemic Adaptions with Moravians

As we head toward month ten of pandemic adaptations, we’re all probably finding ourselves on at least the third or fourth iteration of adaptive changes in our faith communities and our own leadership. I expect many of you are like me.  You’ve delved deep into your own...

Gift of Gratitude

I am grateful to New Hope Presbytery’s ConnetEd group, especially to Mary Todd Peters who introduced me to APCE and Gary Wires who made me feel welcomed at my very first APCE Annual Event in Baltimore, MD. Because of them, I came to APCE. Because of many...

Raising White Kids, a Report from a Book Study

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in May of this year, I, along with every other educator, was swept up in the rush of equipping families with resources to talk with their children about the horrific racial injustices that are ever present in our country. ...

APCE Virtual Event

At the end of August, 2020, an email exchange between Thom Cunningham and Anne Wilson began…. Thom:  So, Anne could you Zoom with a few folks to talk about what it’s like to do a virtual conference? Anne:  Sure, I’d love to meet with you!  I’ve recently participated...

Crafting the APCE Mission Statement

The mission of APCE is to connect, enrich, empower, and sustain persons serving in educational ministry in the Reformed family of churches. This statement has helped guide the purpose and ministry of The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators for about 20 years...

The Role of Advocacy for Educators in the PCUSA

Once upon a time, emboldened by 19 years in educational ministry in tiny to very large churches and a whole lot of APCE meetings, a Certified Christian Educator in the PC (U.S.A.) was appointed to the “Workgroup on the Role and Status of Christian Educators.” Two...
How We Began: The History of TAUPCE (The Association of United Presbyterian Christian Educators)

APCE and Its Ecumenical Involvement in the Circle of Faith

As I sit reflecting on the Hebrews passage for the APCE’s 50th Anniversary gathering on an otherwise gloomy day, when our world is virtually shut down due to the COVID-19 virus, it would be easy to lose hope. The past few weeks have had me dealing with the death of my...
From Palm Branches to Pinwheels

From Palm Branches to Pinwheels

Not so long ago, faithful people across North America celebrated Jesus’ very public, triumphal entry into Jerusalem from the privacy of their own homes. Across social media, pictures and stories emerged celebrating believers who marked the day with palm branch...
Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

In partnership with the Office of Christian Formation of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators is hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, April 28 at 2:00 pm.  This webinar will be hosted in Korean by the Rev. John  Yu.  He will...

The Epidemic of Loneliness

The Epidemic of Loneliness that is happening now to many in the church and around the world has been emerging for a while. As a novel coronavirus pandemic causes pain and grief around the globe with many stricken ill and dying of COVID-19, the church is called to step...

Resources for Home Prayer and Worship

During this season of social distancing, here are some apps and resources for personal and family prayer and worship. The PCUSA Daily Prayer App provides brief services for Daily Prayer based on the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, including: psalms for the day,...
Una Introducción a la Teología Reformada

Una Introducción a la Teología Reformada

In partnership with the Office of Christian Formation of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators is hosting a FREE webinar on Reformed Theology.  This webinar will be hosted in Spanish by the Rev. José Manuel Capella-Pratts on...
Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

The Multicultural Church: Tips for making it work

“Is your church a multicultural church?” a local clergy friend asked me over coffee one day. In a diverse city like Toronto it is a question often asked of pastors. “Absolutely!” I said with a smile. There is no doubt the congregation in which my husband and I serve...
Choosing the “Perfect” VBS Curriculum for Your Church

Choosing the “Perfect” VBS Curriculum for Your Church

It’s that time of year again. If your email inbox is anything like mine, you’ve received lots of colourful reminders that it’s time to pick a VBS curriculum for your church. It is at once a delightful and trying exercise. How do you determine which of the many options...
Una Introducción a la Teología Reformada

Basics in Reformed Theology

In partnership with the Office of Christian Formation of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators is hosting a FREE webinar on Thursday, February 20. Registration for the webinar is full.  You will find the recorded webinar by...
APCE Milestone Approaching

APCE Milestone Approaching

  APCE is approaching a milestone.  In 2021 APCE will be 50 years old!  That calls for a celebration.  Since the Annual Event in 2018 the APCE 50th Anniversary Task Force – a dedicated diverse team – has been meeting, dreaming, planning and putting into place a...
Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

Greetings from Little Rock!

Most of us were able to gather in Little Rock at the 2020 APCE Annual Event. With hundreds of other educators from across the wider church, we attended workshops, worshiped together, heard challenging keynote messages, and connected with friends old and new. We look...
Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

Mission Trips Revisited

I still remember the conversation. I was talking with our associate pastor about an upcoming annual youth mission trip. We both expressed some frustration with previous years’ trips. It wasn’t so much the places we had gone or the things we had done but mostly with...
Basics of Reformed Theology with Rev. John Yu

A Lenten Experiment

Lenten small groups were now a tradition at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ. A book or topic was selected and all the small groups gathered to discuss it (unlike the fall small groups that offered a variety of books or topics). But Lent 2019 was different....
Souper Supper and Other Ideas

Souper Supper and Other Ideas

Since 1990, Super Bowl Sunday has marked an annual event for churches across the country as youth groups and congregations engage in “Souper Bowl of Caring” activities to address hunger needs in local communities. The aim of Souper Bowl efforts include: “Transforming...

Epiphany Stars

“Epiphany is the celebration of God’s manifestation or self-revelation to the world in Jesus Christ. In particular, we celebrate the revelation of God’s promise and purpose to the nations of the world, as the magi came from the East to worship to the Christ...

History and Hope

Isaiah 11:1-9 Common English Bible (CEB) A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots. 2 The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear...

A Season of Active Waiting

Advent is a season of waiting, waiting for the birth of the Christ child, waiting for the second coming of the Messiah. But it ought not be a season of twiddle-your-thumbs waiting or rush-around-to-get-everything-done-before-December-25th waiting. No, instead, we...

Announcing the APCE Award Winners

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...

A Last Hurrah for Christmas

Many have sung the repetitive carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Many church leaders can (and have) explain(ed) our reasoning behind not singing Christmas carols in worship until Christmas Eve/Day and the twelve days after. An intercultural congregation in...