From the Worldwide Faith News archives

APCE Celebrates 25 Years of Christian Education

Date 04 May 1996 15:23:12


96062    APCE Celebrates 25 Years of Christian Education  
                         by Julian Shipp 
CHICAGO--Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Association of Presbyterian 
Church Educators (APCE) opened its Feb. 7-10 annual convention with more 
than 1,000 participants joining in worship, communion and the presentation 
of this year's theme, "Give Heed to God's Word, Bear Light to the Peoples." 
     Boasting more than 1,400 members, APCE is affiliated with four 
Presbyterian and Reformed denominations: Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
Presbyterian Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Reformed 
Church in America. 
     During their time together, APCE participants examined the concerns, 
enthusiasms and challenges for today's leaders in education ministry 
through workshops, seminars, personal networking, the latest education 
resources and off-site visits throughout the multicultural city of Chicago. 
     At opening worship, Dr. Jana Childers, conference worship leader and 
associate professor of speech/communication and homiletics at San Francisco 
Theological Seminary, reminded her audience of the importance of Christian 
     "Nothing is more important in the church than for us to keep memories 
of the biblical Word alive," Childers said. "The challenge for children's 
attention is fierce, but the competition for the next generation has always 
been fierce. There are lots of ways to keep the biblical story alive." 
     Other conference leaders were Dr. Richard Osmer, associate professor 
of Christian education and director of the Tennent School of Christian 
Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Dr.  Martin E. Marty of 
the University of Chicago. 
     Music leader during the program was the Rev. Mary Paik, director of 
student affairs at McCormick Theological Seminary and the first 
Korean-American woman to be ordained to a parish position in the PC(USA).  
     While not attending programs, participants  had the opportunity to 
browse through a community bookstore, examine handcrafted international 
gifts and peer among a myriad of table top displays featuring inforamtion, 
rescources, books and other tools of the trade for those invloved in 
eduational minsistry. 
     On Feb. 9, conference participants gathered at a gala awards luncheon 
to honor APCE Educator of the Year, Jean Floyd Love, as well as those who 
received Life Achievement Awards and others. 
     Like a river composed of smaller streams, the rich history of APCE has 
been formed by the uniting of several denominations during the past 25 
     In 1971, two of those streams -- the Association of Christian 
Educators of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. and the Association of 
Presbyterian Church Educators in the United Presbyterian Church in the 
U.S.A., voted to form APCE.  
     One stream flowing into the APCE river from the beginning is the 
Presbyterian Church in Canada. Since 1970, a member of the former Canadian 
Association of Presbyterian Church Educators has served on APCE's governing 
cabinet, according to association officials. 
     The Christian Educators of the Reformed Church in America (CERCA), 
which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has also enlarged 
APCE's presence. CERCA offers professional and personal growth through 
continuing education publications, events, and resources.  
     The latest APCE member is the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which 
became an APCE associate in 1991. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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