The World is Constantly Changing and so must ACPE

Written by Melissa Walker-Luckett

Melissa smiling at cameraI hope that many of you have already exercised your right to vote and cast your ballot as you saw fit. For those who may have, for whatever reason, postponed or been hesitant to vote, I hope you will discover or summon greater resolution and go out tomorrow and let your choices be known. The ACPE staff have been extended the opportunity to vote during the workday at no loss of pay. To further support them and the communities in which they live, some of the staff have received paid time off to be poll workers. They are committed to their communities and their state. 

ACPE recently heard from Lawyers & Collars, a group of attorneys and ministers who are working as chaplains in polling stations to support folk as they stand in line waiting to cast their ballot. The current climate has been and will continue to be tense in many places. People are anxious about the possibility of contracting COVID-19 and yet willing to brave the potential infection to vote. There is still time to volunteer as a poll chaplain. Visit their website ( for more information. 

ACPE Election 

Amid national change, ACPE members are also choosing who will serve next year on the association's board, commissions, and committees. Ballots were first emailed on October 21, 2020. Polls in the ACPE election close November 4, 2020 at noon eastern. For complete elections details and to review a sample ballot, visit the ACPE website here. If you haven’t received your ballot, contact John Roch or Tiffany Kindred

Technology Upgrades 

In other association news, I recently attended one of the Tech Talk ACPE sessions about our  new database and SharePoint sites. Like many of you, I do not consider myself tech savvy. Technology often causes me anxiety and frustration, however, the ACPE staff presented helpful and useful information that eased my concerns about our new platforms. For many years, ACPE did not prioritize our technology infrastructure, to the point that we did not even maintain the updates on our database. Several years ago, ACPE realized that we must embrace technology to effectively provide the best spiritual care and education, to find new methods of collaboration, and to remain relevant. We have made large investments in a new database, website, cloud technology, and staff training. The upgrades have meant significant change for how we access information and engage with one another. Thank you for your patience and willingness to embrace our new systems. Change is a constant in our lives. Thankfully, we have a dedicated staff to help guide and teach us. I encourage you to check-out a Tech Talk ACPE. New sessions are added each week.  

Merger Discussions 

Merger talks with APC continue. At our last meeting, the ACPE board voted to fund a financial due diligence review with La Piana, our consultants, to clearly show our financial stability. The APC board recently voted to do the same. The APC fiscal year ended October 31, and we anticipate that La Piana will be working with their documentation soon. This is a normal and customary practice that helps us all see where we stand for future talks. 

Strategic Planning 

The ACPE board regularly reviews and updates our strategic plan. Our current strategic plan was adopted over three years ago. With the merger talks still underway, it seemed more appropriate that we continue to tweak and update the plan instead of beginning a new strategic planning process. Certainly, when we conclude merger talks, a new and full strategic plan will be developed. In the meantime, ACPE received a grant from Community Consulting Teams (CCT), an Atlanta-based initiative that provides pro bono strategic and business planning for non-profits. The focus of this planning is to better support the work of our new psychotherapists and spiritual care practitioners, and to develop a comprehensive communications and marketing plan. 


Be safe and well in these days ahead. Know I am grateful for all you do in your individual places of service, and value the larger impact you provide on our hurting, changing, and grieving communities. 

Rev. Melissa Walker-Luckett, ACPE Certified Educator at Children's Health Children's Medical Center Dallas in Dallas, TX, serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. She may be contacted at