‘Event aims to create a space for collaboration and celebration’ to foster ‘potential of Hispanic/Latinx leaders,’ host says
by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service
Registration is now open for the Spanish online Annual Event of the Association for Partners in Christian Education (APCE) to take place Jan. 24–27, 2024. The event coincides with APCE’s annual hybrid and in-person events hosted in St. Louis. Through a partnership with Global Language Resources, the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Christian Formation has made this event free to those who register. All worship and plenary sessions and four workshops will be interpreted in Spanish.
“It’s so joyful to share successes and challenges with people in your same roles, but it’s even better to be able to do it in your native language!” said Patty Arcia, who will be hosting the Spanish online event. “APCE is one of my favorite events for the possibility to connect, learn and grow in ministry. Having a Spanish online APCE event is even more exciting, as it would allow more of us Hispanic/Latinx leaders to engage with one another.”
As host, Arcia will facilitate connections and engagement. “An online event can feel disconnected or impersonal,” she said, “but my role will help the attendees to have more information, connect with each other, and create spaces for conversation and follow-up.”
Thursday’s workshop will open with a session on innovation in the context of intergenerational ministry with Drs. Erin Reibel and Karen-Marie Yust. On Friday, the Rev. Dr. Lynn Miller will discuss the role of imagination and world-building in the Christian education contexts. Another Friday workshop will cover the challenges of ministry for churches in transition with the Revs. Katie and Mason Todd. As the conference wraps up on Saturday, Joel Winchip, executive director of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association and the Campfire Collective, will help participants prepare for the next retreat for themselves and their communities with “Planning Our Escape,” with tips on scheduling, structure and programming for group retreats of any ages.
In addition to the workshops and discussions facilitated in Spanish by Arcia, participants in the Spanish online Annual Event will have access to livestreams of the worship and plenary sessions translated in real time. Popular author, speaker and workshop leader Mark Yaconelli will keynote the event. Yaconelli currently serves as founder and executive director of The Hearth, a nonprofit that heals individuals and communities through storytelling practices “to strengthen relationships, address injustices and cultivate compassion.” Yaconelli is the author of many books on youth ministry, prayer and storytelling.
Worship for the event will center on the Annual Event’s theme, “Come All Who Are Thirsty,” with preachers the Rev. Melanie Marsh, the Rev. Cedric Portis, the Rev. Dr. Jerry Cannon and the Revs. Philip and Stephanie Doeschot.
Arcia has set a vision for the kind of community she hopes to foster for Spanish-language participants during the conference, including opportunities to interact before, during, and after the plenary and worship and within the workshops’ small groups. “Another goal of mine is that we exchange contact information based on interests or location to further our connections after the event. We hope to have space for growth, for celebration, support and unity.”
“There’s so much potential in Hispanic/Latinx leadership within the Church, and the 2024 Spanish online APCE event aims to create a space for collaboration and celebration,” affirmed Arcia. “My heart skips a beat every time I hear somebody speaking in Spanish at different events. It really fills my heart. There’s just an ease and peace in it.”
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Categories: Christian Formation
Tags: #apce23, association of partners in christian educaiton, campfire collective, mark yaconelli, office of christian formation, patty arcia, presbyterian church camp and conference association, rev. melanie marsh
Ministries: Office of Christian Formation, Partner Associations