Working Together, Building Together
By Carlos R. Bell, President  | February 2017

One of my goals as ACPE President is to be inclusive of the various voices within our organization via the Presidential Newsletter. Gary Sartain, North Central Regional Director, granted me permission to submit “The State of the Union As I Understand It.” I appreciate his thought-provoking perspective as ACPE is “Working Together, Building Together.”

We are in the throes of a major transition not unlike fifty years ago when four different clinical pastoral education organizations created ACPE in order to better serve their members and meet the needs of the people they served. Wisdom and care prevailed as they carved out the structure by which they enhanced their lives together and formed the ways by which we have done our business for five decades. While there is certainly a lot of uncertainty about what will be and grief over the prospect of loss of what has been, I do believe it will all work out because of who we are and to what we are committed.

ACPE President Carlos Bell is in the process of appointing an Implementation Team to accomplish aspects of the Organizational Design that the Board of Directors adopted. Information about that team and its work will be communicated from the ACPE Office. Please stay abreast through emails and newsletters from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn and Carlos Bell that will be coming periodically to the ACPE membership. 

For 2017 our present nine regions will carry on their business as usual, doing the work authorized by and budgeted for by each at their 2016 annual meetings. One big change to be implemented on January 1st is that the regional office will no longer receive funds or issue checks. All expenses for regional business will be reimbursed by ACPE; all invoicing will be done on behalf of the region from the ACPE office, and all payments will be sent directly there. ACPE will provide your regional director and the regional board monthly reports of income and expenditures, as we still control our budget. 

We do not yet know when in 2018 or beyond the current regions will cease to function with the business taken over by a newly construed area entity, but we can expect to have some good and timely guidance from the implementation team about what, if any, business we need to conduct at our annual meeting vis-à-vis elections, etc. Obviously, no matter what happens there will need to be provision for area certification and accreditation activity. 

Like many of you I have been well served by our North Central Region and grieve that it will no longer exist as such. However, to quote Southeast Regional Director, Jasper Keith, “we have an exciting future to envision and embrace, a new association to structure and implement. Even though it is a year of transition, let’s make 2017 our best ever.”