Association of Presbtyerian Christian Educators 2014 San Jose

At the end of this month, I will be speaking and leading a workshop at the 2014 Annual Gathering of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educations (APCE) in San Jose. This year’s theme is ConnectED so I thought I would help folks connect to a few of the leaders who are helping to organize the event.

So . . . I have interviewed the two Co-directors of this years event, Ann Yee-Hibbs and Pam Ramseth to find out more about their own ministries and this year’s APCE gathering. You can also connect with this year’s gathering on Facebook, Twitter or by following the the hashtag, #apce2014. And yep, they are also both on Twitter: @PamRamseth and @ayhibbs.

And yes, you can still REGISTER FOR THE EVENT.

Now onto my interview with Pam Ramseth . . .

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Okay, who are you? Tell folks a little bit about where you serve, where you live and…how about one interesting or unique fact about you.

Pam Ramseth APCE 2014I have lived in Reno, Nevada for over thirty years. I served as the Director of Christian Education and Youth for twenty years at St. John’s Presbyterian Church and retired in 2008. I first met Bruce Reyes-Chow in about 1991 at one of the Mission Area triennial events called Discovery. One unique thing about me is that I still meet with a group called The Lovely Ladies of The Lodge, a group of five who were part of the leadership team for the church-sponsored, community-wide residence camp which met for one week every summer during my years at SJPC.

In the world of Presbyterian alphabet soup lingo, I grew up hearing about APCE but didn’t actually know what it meant for an embarrassingly long time. When did you get involved, how did you come to chair the annual event and for a BRAND NEW person, briefly explain APCE.

I became involved in APCE during the year I said OK to learning about the new PREM curricula, Celebrate and Bible Discovery, in order to present both choices to churches in the Nevada Presbytery. We actually viewed the curricula at APCE in Dallas-Ft. Worth and it was the first year I was on staff at the church. I discovered, as a new educator in the church, so much support and care from folks who had been a part of APCE for much longer than I. Their enthusiasm for all things related to Christian Education and building community among educators was affirming and contagious. Over the years, I have found that the mission statement of our organization [to connect, enrich, empower, and sustain educators serving the Reformed family of churches] is given real meaning and value by the members as we meet together in community.

Anne was one of the first people I met at my first APCE meetings and we’ve been good friends ever since. When the opportunity came to work with one of my favorite people on my most favorite yearly gathering of friends, I said “Thank you God!” and Anne and I got to work.

This year’s theme, ConnectED, can be taken many different ways. What can folks expect from this year’s theme, venue, etc.? Basically, why should we come to APCE in 2014?

Changes, some big and some small, happen daily in our lives. Some of those changes can be confusing and challenging. We wanted to create an event which would give us tools to see change and developing technology as an empowering opportunities in the context of faith. As our committee discussed a theme which could encompass so much, we liked the word “connected” to embody our gathering in community to connect as God’s people, to connect to excellent resources, and to connect to new ways of relating to our world to tell our story and enrich faith formation. We decided to make the word ConnectED because so much of what we do is in the context of faithful educational ministry. We were excited to work with this theme in San Jose because we are in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the cradle of so much technology!

If someone is thinking about attending for the first time, can you give 2-3 “newbie” tips.

  • Register early!
  • Bring an extra big backpack crammed with friendliness and outgoingness! Be ready to share out of your own experience and to connect in many different contexts.
  • Try to do as much as you can but be sure to get enough rest!

OK, pay it forward a bit. Share 2-3 organizations that you think are doing some great work in the world and more folks should know about them.

  • Family Promise:
  • CROP Walk:
  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:

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Thanks to Ann Yee-Hibbs (my interview with Ann), Pam Ramseth and others who are giving of so much time and effort.  Again, you can connect with the event on FacebookTwitter or by following the the hashtag, #apce2014.  I will be there most of the event, so hope to see you there!

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