It is the Light in Us

Written by Trace Haythorn

Filed under: News

Do you remember two weeks ago? It was the day before the election. Does it feel like a lifetime ago? 

How many lifetimes have we lived during the pandemic? And what does our future hold?

I’m pleased to share that the ACPE Board of Directors met last Monday and approved not one but two budgets for 2021: one budget follows the current assumption that by September 1, 2021, COVID-19 will be sufficiently managed and travel will return to pre-pandemic patterns. The second budget assumes that we have experienced another resurgence and that the vaccines have not helped manage spread of the disease as hoped. The Finance Committee as well as the ACPE accounting team deserve a great deal of credit for the work it took to get to both of these documents!

As a reminder, we are also pleased to share that fees will remain flat in 2021, a decision made by the Board in June. We are also pleased that the new quarterly billing system seems to be working for most centers. Please contact Jennifer Rochner in the ACPE office if you have questions or need assistance. 

Also, our current financial statements look very healthy. We may even finish the year with a surplus, which we will hold as a cushion for the unknowns of 2021. Every members deserves credit for the ways you have creatively and proactively adapted your practices to the current conditions without diminishing the quality of your work. Well done!

Unlike our national election, ACPE completed our election with no issues, and we’re grateful to all of those who have agreed to serve. In December, the Board will appoint members to the remaining committee positions. We will share those names before the winter holidays. 

While this may feel like mundane business matters to many of you, please know it is also an affirmation that ACPE is financially sound, that we continue to take care of the business of the association even in very difficult times, and that we have new volunteers stepping into roles even with the incredible demands placed on members by their employers. We are grateful! 

We also heard from the Accreditation Commission this past week at their meeting what positive feedback they are receiving from centers and educators. The grouping of centers into cohorts has facilitated collegiality and peer support, and accreditation commissioners are providing more support for centers as well, functioning almost as spiritual care providers, a welcome shift in these difficult times. This in many ways marks the shift accreditation has been seeking to enable, moving from being the “gotcha” group to peers promoting the very best of ACPE’s work. Accreditation Chair Pam Lazor, Chair Elect Randy Hall, and Associate Executive Director Marc Medwed are to be commended on their efforts to help our accreditation processes fully embrace an appreciative model.

We are not through this season, and we know there may yet be surprises along the way. As I write this, the current US president has not yet conceded election results, and our divided nation has done little to move on to whatever is next. In coming days, we will gather around Thanksgiving tables with families and friends, some will be masked and some will cry, “Hoax!” even as we see census numbers reaching new levels in hospitals across the US. How are you equipping your students, your clients, your colleagues and your communities for the work of reconciliation and renewal? What do you need from ACPE as we make out way together? Know that we hold these questions with each small step we take towards whatever the future holds. And as the poem in today’s letter reminds us, “it is the light in us,” and the world desperately needs that light.

Trace Haythorn is the Executive Director of ACPE and can be reached at