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Trace Informal Welcome to Monday Briefing, a weekly digest from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn

Each week, you will receive related articles, updates on ACPE transitions, and helpful links to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
Communications-Marketing Work 
Thanks to the leadership of ACPE Communications Manager John Roch and supported by a team from Jackson Spalding of Atlanta, ACPE is one step further down the road to a comprehensive marketing plan. A team of members and staff worked to develop the core internal messages, the differentiators of our brand. Next step: what do we call the association? a supervisor? a unit of CPE? Watch for details in the new year for how you can participate in the exciting and important conversation about ACPE and our identity.
Did you miss last week's ACPE newsletter? 
Catch up on all the goings on even as the year winds down! Click here: December 2016 Newsletter.
Holiday Hours 
Reminder: the national offices will be closed December 23-January 3. We will have a skeleton crew checking in to address any emergency needs December 27-29, but otherwise we will be back to full staff on Tuesday, January 3. May everyone have a happy and blessed holiday, whatever your tradition, wherever you are. May peace be the dream come reality into which we all live in the new year.
A Poem for Reflection 
"Breaking Surface" by Mark Nepo
 
Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won't let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can't be done.
 
Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.
 
You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.
Transforming Chaplaincy Announcing Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute
Our friends at Transforming Chaplaincy announced the Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI), July 24-28, 2017, at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL. The CRSI is being led by ACPE Supervisor George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, BCC, Professor and Director of Research, Department of Religion, Health and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center. Learn more about it on their website
Just for Fun
A member of one of my CPE groups shared that as a child, her Catholic family always crossed the street in front of the Presbyterian church because they worried that the Calvinists would try and convert them to their version of Christianity. At the same time, her Protestant friends thought her church was scary and dangerous, filled with secret rituals.  The thought that members of those two communities would become friends let alone would marry seemed nothing short of revolutionary. 

Fast forward to our work today, where one in five children grow up with not just parents from different branches of the same faith group but of very different faiths/traditions. Check out this data from the Pew Center:  One-in-Five U.S. Adults Were Raised in Interfaith Homes .
Amazon Smile Holiday
This Week on the Calendar
Monday, December 12
*   Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe - Catholic Christianity 
Commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 C.E.  Juan Diego, a native American living during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. He was told to build a church in her honor exactly where he stood, and in that spot the Basilica of Guadalupe was erected. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world travel to that church every year and venerate the icon of the Virgin that is there, imprinted on Diego's cloak; it is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe can intercede with God so that faithful believers' prayers can be answered, and miracles can occur.  She is also the patron saint of Mexico. 
 
Wednesday, December 14
*   Sanghamitta Day - Buddhism 
Celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of King Asoka's daughter Sanghamitta, who founded an order of nuns in Sri Lanka and carried with her a branch of the original tree under which the historical Buddha found enlightenment (it still survives in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura).  This festival occurs on the full moon day in December.
 
Thursday, December 15
*  Birthday of Amitābha Buddha - Buddhism 
Marking the birth of the bodhisattva Dharmakāra who resolved to attain enlightenment as a buddha and vowed to create a Pure Land.  He became the buddha Amitābha ("infinite light"), and any sentient being who desires to be born into that land is guaranteed rebirth there through his vow, and from there she/he/it will unfailingly reach Nirvana.  This belief forms the foundation of Pure Land Buddhism, which is practiced by many Buddhists in Japan, China, and other East Asian countries.
 
*   Bill of Rights Day   
While not a religious festival, this day marks the signing into law of the ten original amendments to the United States Constitution in 1791, including the First Amendment that protects citizens' freedoms of speech and of religious expression.
 
Friday, December 16
*   Posadas Navideñas begins (through December 25) - Christianity (Western churches) 
A Latino/Latina Christian feast of the Lodgings, commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.
 
Sunday, December 18
*   Fourth Sunday of Advent (love) - Christianity (Western churches) 
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