Circle of Faith Sampler

2022 APCE Annual Event Online Component


The Circle of Faith Sampler, a $175.00 value, consists all worship services, plenaries, awards presentations, corporation meeting, and the 50 years + one anniversary celebration, plus your choice of eight predetermined workshops.
During each of the four workshop blocks, you will be able to choose from the two workshops offered during that block and join the live presentation of that workshop in Chicago via Zoom. You will not need to select your workshops during registration. The Zoom link for each workshop will be provided just prior to the start of the Annual Event. Following the Annual Event, you will have access to the recordings of all eight workshops; participants will be notified by email and provided access information once the recordings are available.
Workshops A – Thursday, February 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Workshop A:
   Bridging the Gaps
The purpose of this workshop is to exponentially illustrate how the faith community can support families by connecting to the local schools. This workshop will cover the following: (1) Knowing the Land: Identifying existing opportunity gaps and (2) Owning Your Lens: Owning and recognizing preconceived notions that often create barriers between the faith community and schools.
Alan B. Conley, MDiv, is the founder and CEO of Beyond the Brick Ministries, Inc., and the Director of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives (2022 APCE Annual Event local offering recipient) in the third largest school district in our nation, the Chicago Public Schools. He has been influential in cultivating over fifty faith-based partnerships.
•       Community Building
•       Mission and Social Justice
403.   Caring for Creation
Educating children about biblical resources for responding to environmental challenges is essential. This workshop will focus on stories of creation in Genesis 1-2 and resources in them that have been overlooked. The future requires that we face the ways we have harmed the environment and make commitments to caring for it in new and healthy ways.
Elizabeth Caldwell is Professor Emerita of McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She enjoys teaching courses in Ministry with Children. She is coauthor of Growing in God’s Love with her friend Carol Wehrheim and coauthor of God’s Big Plan with her colleague Ted Hiebert. Theodore Hiebert is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of The
Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God’s Diverse World and with Elizabeth Caldwell,

the children’s book, 
God’s Big Plan. Ted was the lead translator of the Book Of Genesis for The Common English Bible.
•       Bible and Theology
•       Children
Workshops B – Thursday, February 10, 3:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
Workshop B:
427. Touch the Earth Lightly, Use the Earth Gently
Under the guidance of a church musician and educator, we will experience and co-create a cross- generational, multi-sensory learning unit on creation care. Leave with resources to offer a post-Easter encounter, a VBS extravaganza, or a mid-week series that will incorporate prayer, music, Scripture, upcycled art, and mission for the whole body of Christ to make a difference to our hurting planet.
Anne Wilson is a past president of APCE and recipient of an APCE Sustain Life Achievement Award. She is a retired educator who now spends her time as a volunteer serving on five governing boards. David VanderMeer is Minister of Music & Fine Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dave is past president of Presbyterian Association of Musicians. Dave has degrees from Westminster Choir College and Columbia Theological Seminary.
•       Leadership
•       Intergenerational
430. Why Does “Difference” Matter? Educating for Interfaith Understanding
We will be talking about a crucial—but frequently overlooked—principle when educating for interfaith relationships: “difference.” Beginning with difference rather than sameness leads to a deeper understanding of the distinctive identity of others’ faiths. Focusing on difference allows us to identify where the truly shared bonds are between traditions while building respect for faith communities different from our own.
Sarah Tanzer is an author of Discoveries in the Judean Desert: Cryptic Texts. She is an editor of several Wisdom Commentary volumes, a series offering detailed feminist interpretation of every book of the Bible. Sarah is professor of New Testament and Early Judaism at McCormick Theological Seminary.
Theodore Hiebert is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God’s Diverse World and with Elizabeth Caldwell, the children’s book, God’s Big Plan. Ted was the lead translator of the Book Of Genesis for The Common English Bible.
•       Bible and Theology
Workshops C – Friday, February 11, 1:00 p.m – 2:30 p.m.
Workshop C:
505. Faith Formation in the Small Church with Everyone in the Circle
Faith Formation in the Small Church (less than one hundred) needs to include everyone in the circle. How can ministry in and outside of worship include not only all ages and stages but also all walks of life in various places on their faith journey? We will explore practical tips on interactive worship practices for Advent, Lent, and Summer and for mission and outreach into the community.
Sandy Safford serves as educator and commissioned lay pastor for a small, rural congregation in Eastern Colorado. She is in her eighth year serving a congregation that celebrated 110 years in ministry in 2020. She has more than twenty-five years serving the Presbyterian Church as a Christian educator.
•       Faith Formation and Discipleship
511. Praying the Pathway – A Time for Reviewing, Examining, and Receiving for Christian Formation Leaders and Learners
The ideas, the notes, the conversations, it’s the gift of a learning event! What would it look like to pause, listen, examine, and take time to absorb what you are hearing, feeling, and thinking in your work, in your ministry, in the busy hours of a great experience? In this workshop, participants will examine their work in Christian education and formational ministries through the lens of reflection, sharing, prayerful examen, and shared laughter, anxiety, and collegiality. Using guided conversations, personal story sharing, and spiritual-direction-born experiences, we will inspire one another, listen to our stories, and set a fresh path for our ministry.
Gina Yeager-Buckley serves the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC(USA) as Associate for Presbyterian Youth and Triennium. Gina is a certified Christian educator, a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary (and the former Union Presbyterian School of Christian Education) and a volunteer youth worker and Sunday school teacher at her church in Louisville, Kentucky. Gina lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband, Andrew. She was born and raised in the Dallas, Texas, area.
•       Spirituality
Workshops E – Friday, February 11, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Workshop E:
527. All Together Now: Intergenerational Worship Is for the Whole Church Family
Intergenerational worship is not a new thing; in fact it is a very, very old thing. Over time we’ve let go of the intergenerational aspects of our worship and now wonder what we might have lost along the way. Together we will learn the whys, the hows, and what’s needed to make an intentional shift toward intergenerational worship.
Tori Smit serves congregations as a Regional Minister for Faith Formation. She has written a broad variety of curriculum for the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC), Montreat, and Kerygma, keynoted at many PCC and PC(USA) events, and taught at Columbia Theological Seminary and Emmanuel College. She is passionate about intergenerational ministry and families.
•       Faith Formation/ Discipleship
•       Intergenerational

529. Cultivating Community for a Thriving Church (Maximum 50)
Participants will focus on three hows for creating thriving church communities: (1) how faith is caught from others through Christ-centered relationships, (2) how calling volunteers based on their gifts sustains ministry, and (3) how empowering leaders nurtures them and those they lead. Participants will receive colorful graphics and tools for equipping leaders in their own church.

Suzie Lane is the Children’s Ministry Director at Downtown Presbyterian Church, Nashville, and Program Director for GenOn Ministries, where she leads training events and writes and edits training materials and curriculum. Suzie has over twenty years of Christian education experience in small and large church settings.


Event Co-chair
Kirsty DePree

Event Co-chair
Candace C Hill

Local Co-chair
Jenny Hubbard

Local Co-chair
Katie Hartwell