Generation to Generation: Update from the RIT 

By Amy Greene and Kathleen Gallivan, Co-Chairs  |  April 2017

We are only a month away from gathering in Minneapolis and the registration numbers are very exciting — over 450 registrants which is usually the total number of attendees. We will have a lot to discuss and do. We (the RIT) have been working hard, building the transition plan and working to thoughtfully lay the groundwork for the new organizational structure. We apologize if the details aren’t coming out fast and often enough for some of you to feel comfortable. Pausing to write news updates, when we all have day jobs we must continue to do, is sometimes harder than you might think.

We hope you will remember that we are not making independent decisions – we are implementing decisions made over a period of years by the board which were informed by the work of the Organizational Design Work Group (2014-16) and the concurrent task forces on Certification and Professional Development (2014-current). All those changes were collectively decided and voted upon at our meeting last year in Denver, revised over the summer based on membership input, approved by the board, and then confirmed by the membership through a national vote on the Bylaws. Sometimes it’s hard for even those of us involved at every step of the way to keep sight of that fact. The collective work of the membership has been and remains the guiding star.

At this stage, we have mapped the transition from existing commissions and committees to their new forms, developed a strategy for populating new committees, drafted charges for each of the commissions and committees, and have encouraged the Leadership Development Committee to begin recruiting for the new bodies. We have developed a draft of the Communities of Practice guidelines and are working on the financial plan to provide funding for supporting those groups. We will have opportunities at the national conference to learn more about both. If you cannot attend, we will make sure you have access to all relevant documents shortly after the conference.

It is clear to many of us that some of our “growing pains” are not all that dissimilar from any other family or religious congregation. We have multiple generations under the same roof, each with its own deeply held passions and concerns. ACPE in its current state would make a great case study for Edwin Friedman, were he still alive. His Generation to Generation shaped the way many of us view organizational and religious communal life and the strong role family systems play in everything else we do. All of us who are devoting countless volunteer hours to the reforms that are needed if our beloved profession is to survive and thrive are aware of the need to make sure every voice is heard – that the hopes and fears of everyone, from the most senior to the newest member, are listened to with the same care any of us would give a patient, a student or a colleague.

Friedman’s Generation to Generation gives us a lot of help with perspective as we go through these fraught but (dare we say it) sacred transitions. But perhaps even more help comes from his last book, which he was working on when he died and which was carried to completion by his family members – A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. It is a wonderful reminder that, in spite of the natural human desire for certainty, sometimes the best choice is to keep moving when the way is not perfectly clear, trusting the process and each other that we will find our way to where we need to be. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need more information. We remain committed to transparency and openness, knowing that the best results comes from a process that engages all members who choose to participate. Thanks for your commitment to ACPE, and please keep the members of our team in your thoughts and prayers as we work to faithfully serve our association.

Redesign Implementation Team
Thank you to the ACPE members serving on the team!

Amy Greene, Chair
Cleveland, OH

Kathy Gallivan, Co-Chair
Boston, MA

David Carl
Charlotte, NC

Robert Hartmann
Saint Louis, MO

Steve Ivy
Indianapolis, IN

Bridget Piggue

Atlanta, GA

Robert Renix
Washington, DC

Brenda Simonds
Arcadia, CA

Sarah Knoll Sweeny

Houston, TX

Kathy Turner
Seattle, WA