Annual Gathering Promises to Bring Attendees ‘Together in Hope’ in Meaningful New Ways

Exciting virtual meeting spaces, opportunities for information sharing, outstanding worship experiences, and more will highlight the 83rd Annual Gathering of the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, to be held online March 2-4, 2021.

Built around the theme, “Together in Hope,” the virtual gathering centers on the Hebrews 11:1 passage, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

“There are two pandemics currently affecting the United States, leaving loss and violence in their wake,” says Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. “COVID-19 and systemic racism are the scourge of not only our country, but our world, and we all are in need of hope to carry us through. During this Annual Gathering, we will look for ways to renew hope and offer that hope to others.”

CHHSM staff will roll out the Annual Gathering via a robust online platform that will maximize the opportunities for meaningful interactions while still offering inspirational worship, meaningful workshops, and useful information exchange, much like an in-person event, adds the Rev. George R. Graham, CHHSM vice president.

“The Annual Gathering will be virtual, but people will still have a sense of being together,” he says. “That sense that we are all ‘together in hope’ will permeate the entire Gathering.”

In addition to plenaries, workshops, and affinity group meetings, the 2021 Annual Gathering will include a time for Nollau Leadership Institute reunions and other online social gatherings. Exhibition spaces will include embedded videos and resources, and there will be opportunities for spontaneous networking via ad-hoc video meet-ups and robust attendee profiles.

“We want to create the best virtual annual gathering ever,” says Tyler Hoffman, CHHSM’s digital solutions consultant. “We are using technology to push the annual gathering experience past its usual boundaries.”

Plans are being finalized for the 2021 Annual Gathering now. A schedule of events, workshops, and speakers will be available around the new year. Registration opens Jan. 15, 2021.

Check the Annual Gathering section of the CHHSM website for additional details.

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