Annual Ministries in Christian Education
Virtual Learning and Planning Gathering

April 8-10, 2021

COVID-19 and Black Men’s Mental Health

Through a partnership between the Sons of Allen and the AMEC Health Commission, this learning lab with leader, Dr. Hector Myers, Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and Psychology at Vanderbilt University, explored some of the unique challenges and disparities that the pandemic has exposed particularly as it relates to an often ignored and neglected health issue, Black men’s mental health. It also explored how churches can partner in raising awareness related to mental health and helping promote mental health.

Vacation Bible School 2021

The pandemic interrupted our summer 2020 Christian education programming, particularly Vacation Bible School (VBS). As we continue to engage in faith formation during the pandemic, this learning lab, led by Ms. Terri Hannett, Vice President of National Accounts for UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), introduced the 2021 VBS curriculum of Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI) and gave ideas how the curriculum might be shared virtually as some congregations will continue to observe social distancing this summer. While it was specific to VBS, some of the ideas and resources shared may be useful as we think about Christian education more broadly as we engage in teaching ministries virtually.

BECOMING Opening Plenary & Bible Study with Dr. Mikie Roberts, Becoming: Acts 10:1–23, Apr 8, 2021

This is the opening plenary with greetings from the Commission Chair Bishop David R. Daniels, Jr. and the Executive Director of the Christian Education Department Rev. Garland F. Pierce. The Bible study leader is Rev. Dr. Mikie Roberts, Programme Executive for Spiritual Life and Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches (WCC), Geneva, Switzerland. His Bible study is entitled BECOMING and is on Acts 10:1-23.

BECOMING Plenary & Tribute to Bishop David R. Daniels, Christian Education Chair, 2016-2021, Apr 8, 2021

In this afternoon plenary, information was shared about the upcoming events of the department and resources available. It concluded with a tribute to the Chair of the Commission on Christian Education, Bishop David R. Daniels, Jr, thanking him for his leadership for 2016-2021. Bishop Daniels closes the session with his thanks and some inspiring words for those leaders and participants in the teaching ministries of the church.

BECOMING Plenary Black Youth, Spiritual Coping Skills during COVID-19, Dr Janise Parker, Apr 8, 2021

Presentation: “God has me and He’s keeping me”

Dr. Parker has conducted a study to understand how Black youth are coping with COVID-19 through their use of general coping strategies and religious/spiritual activities in particular (i.e., prayer, scripture reading, youth activities, etc.). She comes to share the learnings from that study as we as leaders in Christian education and youth faith formation look to how we may better engage in ministry with young people in the months and years following what has been a traumatic experience for so many globally.

Dr. Janise Parker is Assistant Professor of School Psychology, School Psychology Program Practicum Coordinator, and the Co-Director of the Social Justice & Diversity Research Fellows Program at William & Mary University in Williamsburg, VA.

BECOMING Plenary COVID-19 Youth Learning Deficits & Possible Christian Education Partnerships Dr John Jackson Apr 9 2021

Presentation: COVID-19, Youth Learning Deficits, and Possible Christian Education Partnerships

Education has been a part of the church’s mission since its inception. This is particularly true of the Black Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church and true of the Department of Christian Education as well. Many of our congregations own and operate schools from the preschool level upward. The denomination has founded and continues to support institutions of higher learning. Congregations have sustained after-school, tutorial, and summer enrichment programs. Early research is already showing that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been traumas, interruptions, and adjustments that have had a negative impact on young people’s learning.

Dr. John Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, helps leaders in Christian education understand more about this learning deficit brought on by the pandemic, and what we should consider as we plan our work to advocate and partner in addressing these concerns through our various ministries in practical ways in the months and years ahead.

African Methodist Episcopal Church Christian Education Department
P.O. Box 331947, Nashville, TN 37203
Phone:  615-242-1420 | Fax:  615-726-1866
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