By Mary Lou O’Gorman
As a participant in our recent conference in Anaheim, I found myself reflecting on the journey toward the 2018 APC/NACC Joint Conference, which began more than a year ago. Working alongside the dedicated members of the planning committee to make this conference a success has been an extraordinary experience. The collaboration and commitment of the leaders and staff of APC and NACC, the subcommittee chairs, and the members of each planning group were instrumental in shaping this successful event. Their engagement was a clear demonstration of the conference theme, “Partners in Shaping the Future.”
I was delighted by the enthusiasm and gratitude of the participants for the quality and relevance of the plenaries by presenters from medicine, diversity, chaplaincy, and patient experience. The wide range of innovative workshops and intensives illustrated the expertise of presenters applicable to a variety of ministry settings. Several participants commented on the gift of the resources provided and said they intended to apply the learnings to their own ministry.
The worship experiences included our traditional celebration of the Eucharist and missioning ceremony, prayer service of light, and sacrament of the sick and memorial service, as well as creative interfaith opportunities that highlighted the diversity of those gathered in Anaheim. The blessings before the plenary sessions were spoken in four languages and reflected the diverse beliefs and values of participants. In addition, sharing this event with our APC colleagues seemed to provide an invaluable opportunity for meeting and networking with new colleagues and longstanding friends.
I want to thank those who provided leadership for this conference: the APC co-chair, Valerie Storms; the leaders of APC and NACC, Pat Applehans and David Lichter; the NACC and APC office staff, Jeanine Annunziato and Jerry Chiappetta; and the sub-committee chairs: Beth Lenegan, NACC, plenary chair; Brian Hurley, APC, education chair; Richard Bartoszek, NACC, spiritual needs chair; and Lance Tyler, APC, local arrangements chair. NACC planning subcommittee members included: Peg McGonigal and Jennifer Paquette (plenary); Lori Kaufmann, Michele Le Doux Sakurai, and Karen Pugliese (education); Linda Arnold and Robert Doering (spiritual needs); Kelly Bigler and Roger Vandervest (local events). These gifted leaders generously gave their time and skill to plan and shape innovative opportunities and meaningful experiences for conference attendees.
Mary Lou O’Gorman, BCC, was co-chair of the Conference Planning Committee and is a former board chair of the NACC.