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APCE annual event registration deadlines near

2021 virtual forum to feature Spanish and Korean interpretation for first time

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The 2021 APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) annual event, themed “Anything but Ordinary Time,” is set for February 4-6, but the registration deadline for submitting names for scholarship opportunities is Friday, January 15. The deadline for accessing interpretation services is Friday, January 22. Hopeful participants can register for the three-day online event here. There are several levels of participation available.

For the first time APCE will provide both Spanish and Korean real-time simultaneous interpreting for the worship, select workshops, and plenary sessions. The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s (PMA) Office of Christian Formation (OCF) is providing the interpretation services through the PMA’s Global Language Resource (GLR) ministry.

Stephanie Fritz, mission coordinator for Christian Formation, believes offering interpretation services to these types of events helps widen the faith community’s ability to participate.

“APCE is committed to making sure that all those that are serving in educational and faith formation ministries are able to attend this continuing education event. Christian formation is at the core of who we are as Presbyterians. Offering interpretation and scholarships ensures that more of our faith communities are able to participate,” said Fritz. “The Office of Christian Formation of the PMA is in mission partnership with APCE and we believe it is important to increase the reach of this event especially in a year where the expense of travel isn’t limiting participation.”

The Zoom platform integrates an interpreting function that makes it relatively easy to provide simultaneous interpreting for meetings and webinars. Participants can select the language they wish to participate in by choosing an icon on the user’s tool bar. Over the past two months, GLR and the OCF have been collaborating to make sure the interpreters are as prepared as possible.

For the first time, Spanish and Korean translation will be available during next month’s online APCE conference.

“If you’ve never had to transact in a second (or third) language it is difficult to appreciate how disorienting it can be,” said Jason Raff, Global Languages Resource manager. “The cognitive load of decoding a message in another language and reading it in your native language is exhausting and distracting from the meeting’s content. Having interpreters helps ease the barriers to participation and GLR views improving language access as one way to help dismantle structural racism, one of the three focuses of the Matthew 25 invitation.”

APCE also offers scholarships to its annual event as a way to help more people attend. Each presbytery is invited to submit up to four names for the $100 scholarships. The criteria to apply and attend can be found here.

In connection with APCE’s Anything but Ordinary Time forum, the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association will hold a “pre-event” on February 2. The event focuses on mental health and social justice and offers participants a chance to engage with other youth workers and bring their stories to the church. Visit Our Truth in a Time of Transition: Telling and Hearing Our Stories for Members for registration information.

Visit the APCE web site for information about this year’s workshop, worship, plenary speakers, and the virtual exhibit hall. At press time, there were 550 registrants.

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