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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.
National Leadership Meetings 
When you receive this message, the ACPE Board, the FCPE Board, the national commissions and committees will be meeting in Decatur to attend to the business of the association. Of course, the Board will be very involved in conversations about next steps for implementation of the new bylaws. Count on this space as a place to regularly offer updates about this process.
 
To all those who took the time to vote, thank you. For the many around the country who participated in so many different aspects of this process, thank you. And for the Organizational Design Work Group, the Board, Donna Dunn and Glenn Tecker from Tecker International, and the many leaders who informed this process, thank you. Much work lies ahead, but this is a significant and important moment for ACPE. I look forward to exploring and discerning where we go together from here.
A Poem for Reflection 
One of the things I love best about poetry is the way it can capture so much in so few lines. The past week, I've been thinking of two of my son's friends, one Palestinian and one Lebanese, wondering what they as visitors to this country pursuing college degrees must be thinking, fearing, hoping. For Layan and Yasmina:
"Blood" by Naomi Shihab Nye
 
"A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,"
my father would say. And he'd prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.
 
In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.
 
Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn't have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
" Shihab"-"shooting star"-
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, "When we die, we give it back?"
He said that's what a true Arab would say.
 
Today the headlines clot in my blood.
A little Palestinian dangles a truck on the front page.
Homeless fig, this tragedy with a terrible root
is too big for us. What flag can we wave?
I wave the flag of stone and seed,
table mat stitched in blue.
 
I call my father, we talk around the news.
It is too much for him,
neither of his two languages can reach it.
I drive into the country to find sheep, cows,
to plead with the air:
Who calls anyone civilized?
Where can the crying heart graze?
What does a true Arab do now?
For your soul
Carrie Newcomer is one of our keynoters for our 2017 National Conference. This song speaks to where my heart is in this time, and I hope it speaks to you as well as a word of hope: "You Can Do This Hard Thing."
This Week on the Calendar
Monday, November 14
*The Advent (or Nativity) Fast - Christianity (Eastern churches)
The beginning of a forty-day vegetarian fast in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) commences at sundown. For Orthodox Christians who follow the old calendar, this fast begins two weeks later.
 
* Guru Nanak's Birthday - Sikhism
Sikhs commonly celebrate the birthday of their founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, on the full moon day of Kartik, even though the guru's biographers record his birth on April 15, 1469 C.E. A poet and mystic, Guru Nanak wrote 974 hymns that are included in the Sikh scriptures, known as the Guru Granth Sahib.
 
*Lokasha Jayanti - Jainism
Celebrating the births of revered and scholarly persons, such as the 15th century reformer Lonka Saha, whose opposition to temple worship and the use of images led to the founding of the Sthanakavasi sect.
 
Sunday, November 20
*Christ the King Sunday - Christianity (Western churches)
This feast day commemorates Jesus' teaching that he will return at the end of time to judge humanity. In the Western Christian liturgical year, this is the last Sunday; the following Sunday (i.e., the first Sunday of Advent) marks the beginning of a new year.
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