Northeast Christian educators discuss reframing church

SKANEATELES, N.Y. More than 30 Christian educators prayed, discerned and
reframed their ministry during an annual meeting of the Northeast Association of
Christian Educators (NEACE), held here April 26-28.

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt was the plenary speaker of the event and guided
participants through discussions ranging from generational theory to philosophies on
church mission strategies.  Merritt “was compelling – our discussions were
intelligent, stimulating and interactive,” said Monica Barner, director of Christian
Education for the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, N.Y.

Pulling from her books and her podcast, “The God Complex,” Merritt
provided space for personal reflection as well. Rev. Dorinda Violante, director of
Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Katonah, N.Y., said
Merritt “gave us permission to be creative, to ask the questions, to empower others,
and to imagine beyond the frame we know today.”

Rev. Chris Shelton led worship services, weaving together elements of the liturgical
arts to reflect the theme’s event, “Reframing Church.”

Linda Babcock, Northeast Regional Representative to the APCE Cabinet and Director
of Education and Mission at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, Orchard Park, New
York, moderated the annual meeting, at which NEACE elected a new treasurer, Craig

Barner said she left the event, “with a renewed passion for God and to guide children
on their faith journey.”