Some three dozen members of the Association of Presbyterian Tentmakers (APT) held their 19th annual meeting, at the St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC, on Oct. 29-31, 2004. Under the theme, “Holding it Together,” the tentmakers discussed ways to integrate their careers in the workplace with their church vocation.
Tentmakers, whose name originates from the occupation of Apostle Paul, are those who divide their time between serving the church and working other jobs to sustain a living.
According to the Presbyterian News Service, “Worship, music, discussion sessions and networking” were highlights of the conference. Main discussions centered on “ministering techniques in the workplace and providing the kind of leadership needed in the church today.”
“It reminded me of how varied the ministries are in the Association of Presbyterian Tentmakers,” said the Rev. David Vellenga, a tentmaker from Raleigh. “And that there’s a combination of old ways of doing ministry that go to the very roots of the church that are proven to be very relevant in today’s new situation.”
The keynote speaker was Alan Blatecky, deputy directory of the Renaissance Computing Institute in Chapel Hill, NC; Blatecky led the other tentmakers on understanding the impact of technology in the Christian ministry.
In other business, the tentmakers elected officers for the upcoming year. The Rev. Amy Isbell Hanschen, the APT’s incumbent moderator, was re-elected to her position; the Rev. Fred Bunning of Loveland, CO, was reelected treasurer; the Rev. Jeff Scott of Anson, ME, was reelected member-at-large of the executive committee; and Terry Pasco, of Richmond, VA, was reelected secretary.
Co-sponsors to the event was the National Association for the Self-Supporting Active Ministry (NASSAM) of the Episcopal Church. The next APT conference will take place on Nov. 4-6, 2004, in Chicago IL.