ACPE's weekly digest to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
August 21, 2017
Trace Informal
ACPE's Monday Briefing is a weekly digest from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn
Each week you will receive related articles and updates on ACPE transitions. Also included are helpful links to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
Greetings from Austin, TX! I am privileged to teach a course on death, dying and grief as a part of Austin's D.Min. program and will be here all week. Nothing like Texas in August...
Happy Eclipse Day! Wish I could be with those in the Path of Totality! Isn't it somehow comforting to know that the cosmos continues in its marvelous and beautiful ways regardless of our little worlds here on earth?
Communities of Practice (CoPs) Taking Shape
At the last board meeting, Barbara Bullock was named as chair of the Professional Well-Being Committee, and David Hutchinson has agreed to serve as chair elect. Last Tuesday, our new Directors of Community, Practice and Member Development had a chance to talk with David about the guiding principles and emerging learning about communities of practice in ACPE.

One exciting piece of news is that we have contracted with Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Traynor, the researchers and originators of the theory of communities of practice to offer a keynote and workshop as a part of our 2018 national meeting! This session will provide participants with an opportunity to convene if they already have a group as well as to form groups.

Today we have received over a dozen different registrations for communities of practice. Thank you for the work that has already gone into these. It is clear that we need to make clear that these groups are not just about what happens within the group. As you think about it, what is the teaching and learning practice(s) that your community seeks to explore, address, and/or integrate? In other words, how will your community of practice advance the mission of ACPE?

There are two resources that the Barbara and Dave recommend, one that is a brief introduction and the other that is more of a "deep dive" on CoPs. "Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction" can be accessed here. For a more through exploration (which would be very wise for anyone serving as a "convener" of a CoP) please read Cultivating Communities of Practice.

In the next few weeks, we hope to have a webpage dedicated to CoPs so that you can see who is participating with whom and the descriptions of the different groups. We are working hard to identify funding for 2018 and will have a final budget to go to the board by mid-October. We have not yet identified all of the members of the Professional Well-Being Committee, but we look forward to that group convening and beginning to help with structures, convening strategies, timelines, and other logistics for these groups.

Keep watching this space for information! I expect to be adding updates almost weekly!
A Poem for Reflection
One of the most difficult responses to events like those in Charlottesville for me is that of despair, that stifled sense that things cannot improve, that there is no hope. This poem is one of many reminders that we have work to do, both together and individually:
"The World Has Need of You" by Ellen Bass
everything here
seems to need us
-Rainer Maria Rilke
I can hardly imagine it
as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient
prayer of my arms swinging
in counterpoint to my feet.
Here I am, suspended
between the sidewalk and twilight,
the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.
What if you felt the invisible
tug between you and everything?
A boy on a bicycle rides by,
his white shirt open, flaring
behind him like wings.
It's a hard time to be human. We know too much
and too little. Does the breeze need us?
The cliffs? The gulls?
If you've managed to do one good thing,
the ocean doesn't care.
But when Newton's apple fell toward the earth,
the earth, ever so slightly, fell
toward the apple.
Something Extra
Ryan Parker (Assoc. Certified Educator, Durham VA) heard this story on WUNC's "The State of Things," and thought it might be worth sharing with ACPE. While a small part of the overall story, Ryan appreciated the compelling way he spoke about the impact of our work.

Rev Joyner speaks about doing a "unit of CPE" and how this helped him "sneak into therapy." He describes the process of verbatim seminars and how they helped him learn that he was working out his issues in pastoral care encounters and that he needed therapy. Years later, through therapy and working as a Chaplain, Rev Joyner was prepared to begin the next phase of his ministry back in the parish, a calling to which he states he would have been unprepared without CPE, therapy, and chaplaincy.
Something Extra Extra
As many of you know, Mildred Best and Rebecca Adrian serve as ACPE Certified Educators at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Their whole staff was on duty when the victims of violence of last weekend's marches were admitted. Rebecca shared the following image: It is "a photo of a mandala that one of [her] students facilitated [their] interns and then [their] whole staff in making." She noted that "it speaks to the beauty of our diversity."
Something Else Extra
Doug Vardell shared the following poem from one of his former students:

"Bereavement" by Jenaba D. Waggy
Arms bloated and face sunken, the mismatched body
yellows quietly on the bed, a magnetic center, eye of the
conversational whirlwind-she was vibrant, they tell me,
this dead woman whose legacies look at me urgently,
hopefully, pleadingly that I know she was not
always thus. Her mouth gapes open, an unlocked cage
for the last breath that broke free, ruach, spirit
rejoining Spirit binding this room to Itself,
filling my lungs as the prayer for which they ask
walks into the world on confident legs,
God reclaiming Her own.
This Week on the Calendar
Tuesday, August 22
* Khordad Sal - Zoroastrianism
The birth anniversary of the prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster), according to the Shenshai calendar.

Thursday, August 24
* Festival of Ksitigarbha (Jizō) Bodhisattva - Buddhism
Celebrating Ksitigarbha (Jizō) Bodhisattva, the savior of beings who suffer in the hellish realms, as well as the guardian of expectant mothers, travelers, and deceased children in Japanese culture.

Friday, August 25
* Ganesh Chaturthi - Hinduism
A festival celebrating the birth of Ganesh, the god who removes obstacles and brings luck.

Saturday, August 26
* Das Laxanä Parva begins - Jainism
The Festival of the Ten Virtues, celebrated over ten days by the Digambara Jains, helps believers to recall and practice forgiveness, tenderness or humility, honesty, contentment or purity, truth, self-restraint, austerities, charity, celibacy, and non-attachment.
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