Summer Activities Roundup

Written by Shawn Mai, Board Chair

Filed under: News

National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC)

I spent this last weekend with our NACC colleagues at their conference in Buffalo, NY. Among other things, I went to represent ACPE as NACC celebrated David Lichter, their long-time retiring Executive Director. In his honor, NACC set up a fund to ensure the provision of CPE for aspiring chaplains. In response, David spoke about the growing importance of spiritual care for a hurting world. He also spoke eloquently about the importance of the shared work between NACC and strategic partners across the professional discipline of spiritual care. I listened to these words at a dinner sitting next to strategic partner colleagues from the US and abroad. At that moment, I especially appreciated the key role ACPE plays in the larger ecosystem of teaching and transforming.

The time also allowed me to meet more informally with these colleagues. As you know, 2022 has been a year of re-orienting our relationship with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). Our work together is vital as we work collaboratively in several key areas. Be assured that work will continue as we train and certify chaplains in these dynamic times.

After the banquet, a CEC and a chaplain told me how an inspiring CPE Educator transformed their work and lives. I invite you to take a moment to breathe in love to nourish you in the critical work you do, and breathe out gratitude for the connective tissue that holds together and strengthens the ongoing healing work of spiritual care.

The Board of Directors

This month the ACPE Board of Directors began a new rhythm in our monthly meetings. Every other month we meet without staff or other guests to have space for more organic work and conversation. It’s been helpful to bring together sources of information from listening sessions to discussions with members and let that inform our conversations. Know that a common theme is connectivity in ACPE. Given feedback from the listening sessions, providing support for connection through CoP gatherings is a priority driven by the Board, Professional Well-Being, and Finance. We always have an eye on how we utilize our resources to support all members in their professional development and work.

A New Office

As part of our responsibility to steward ACPE’s resources, the Board decided to pursue changes in our home office situation. Shortly before the pandemic, the price of our space in Decatur increased significantly. We looked at other offices and chose one in downtown Atlanta. We signed a lease, and then the pandemic hit. For the last two years, the staff has worked well remotely. Our space needs have changed. We sublet our office and took advantage of aflexible workspace that gives us two office spaces, access to conference rooms, and additional workspace as needed. The move has saved ACPE $50,000 a year.

A Resource

The woods recently have begun whispering to me that seasons are changing. The Virginia Creeper and the sumac have started to announce change with their vibrant red color. Last Friday was my last childcare day with my grandson George, who begins kindergarten the day after Labor Day. Our CPE Center said goodbye to a resident group last week and welcomed a new cohort this week. In readying myself for a new cohort, I often search out new resources to continue broadening my understanding and practice of personal and professional change. A colleague recommended “ Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways” by Sarah Stein Greenberg from the Stanford It is a remarkable resource on action-reflection-action learning. It gave me creative ways to think about and approach process learning. I’ve also appreciated it as we’ve embarked on the creative evolution of ACPE.