Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thoughts on APCE 2009

I received a scholarship from CTS to attend this year's APCE conference. As part of it, I am to post about my experience. Here are my thoughts...

A Light to the Nations
Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Conference
January 28-31, 2009 in San Antonio, TX

I had the privilege of attending my third APCE conference this January, thanks to the generous support of the SCC scholarship fund here at CTS. This year, the theme of the conference was “A Light to the Nations”, based on the text from Isaiah 42 – “…I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations…” Eileen Lindner (keynote presenter) & J. Herbert Nelson (preacher) delved deeply into what exactly it meant to be a light to the nations, given the current global situation. We wrestled with what constitutes a “nation” in our context, biblical understandings of light, the context of how to bring light in our world, and what it means to be educators in the church given these understandings & conditions. Both the keynote presentations & worship services were very powerful & left me thinking deeply about my call to ministry.

In addition to amazing plenary sessions, I attended several workshops:

Making Good Decisions & Good Christians: this was presented by Jeff Japinga from McCormick Seminary & it was all about working with committees in their decision making processes. I came away with great ideas & resources for incorporating elements of discipleship into committee work.

The Gospel According to Beads: Tammy Weins, Meg Rift, & Betsy Ensign-George from the PC(USA) national headquarters gave a wonderful workshop that traced the significant moments of Jesus’ life & ministry through the means of creating a prayer bracelet. If you would like to see the finished product, let me know!

Practicing Discernment with Youth: David White from Austin Seminary presented on a particular model of discernment & how to enable young people to see their mission in the world.

I also had the privilege of assisting my father, Alan Kobs, with his workshop entitled Work Camp Ministry.

Other highlights:
Representing Columbia Theological Seminary at the PC(USA) Seminaries booth in the exhibit hall & helping to host the Columbia Seminary gathering with Kathy Dawson & Kristin Stroble

Overall, it was a fantastic conference! I came away with new insights & fresh perspectives on educational ministry in the church. It was a wonderful opportunity to see old friends and make great connections with church leaders around the country. Thanks again to the SCC scholarship committee for their support.

No comments: