Barb Powell

‘I Will Remember Being Held’: Essence Ellis Reflects on Her Year as UCC Fellow

By Barb Powell | June 13, 2022

As her year-long experience of being the inaugural UCC Fellow with the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) and Justice and Local Church Ministries (JLCM) comes to an end, Essence Ellis is in a unique position to reflect. Not only has her year as UCC Fellow taken her in unexpected, rewarding directions,…

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UCAN Panel Highlights Difficulties Encountered at Intersectionality of Race in the LGBTQ+ Community

By Barb Powell | June 13, 2022

An important webinar sponsored by CHHSM member UCAN took place June 4 and delved into overcoming the obstacles persons of color in the LGBTQ+ community face daily. The event was introduced and closed by members of UCAN’s Pride Alliance Employee Resource Group. Pride Alliance works to educate, support, and advocate so UCAN employees are respected,…

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CHHSM’s ‘Together We Learn’ Book Groups Create Safe Space to Discuss Race, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Barb Powell | June 13, 2022

On June 4, 2020, following its spring board meeting, the CHHSM board of directors released its Statement on the Pandemic of Systemic Racism. Among the many commitments the board made to help CHHSM become antiracist was the creation of a Zoom book study group. From that inauspicious beginning has grown a series of book groups…

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‘Messages of Hope’ Brings Harvey’s Pandemic Sermons to Wider Audience

By Barb Powell | June 13, 2022

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter Movement gaining prominence, the Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey — pastor of Union Congregational UCC in West Palm Beach, Fla., and a CHHSM board member — found that many of her Sunday messages were having a profound effect on church…

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UCC Fellow Essence Ellis Plays Key Role in New Reproductive Justice Toolkits to be Released Next Month

By Barb Powell | May 12, 2022

Part of UCC Fellow Essence Ellis’ work includes participation in the UCC Justice and Local Church Ministries (JLCM) Washington office’s Reproductive Justice Working Group. And her main focus in that group has been helping to develop a set of state-specific toolkits, which are slated to be released next month on the heels of the Supreme…

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CHHSM’s Rev. Jerry Paul Scholar Program for Seminarians is Accepting Applications for 2022-2023 School Year

By Barb Powell | May 12, 2022

The UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries has opened applications for the 2022-2023 Rev. Jerry Paul Scholar. The CHHSM Scholar program is open to seminary students interested in learning more about ministry in faith-based health and human service nonprofit organizations. The program is tailored to the individual seminarian, and runs during each school…

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Harm Reduction Curriculum Pilot Program Offers New Path for Overcoming Drug Overdose Epidemic

By Barb Powell | May 11, 2022

A new curriculum pilot program currently underway in the UCC’s Heartland Conference holds the promise of increased harm reduction and overdose prevention. It’s the first undertaking of the conference’s Heartland Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention Network, of which the Rev. Dr. Elyse Berry, CHHSM’s associate for advocacy and leadership development, is a part. In one…

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Music Therapist at St. John’s Community Care Brings Increased Vitality to Adults with Memory Disorders

By Barb Powell | May 10, 2022

For years, St. John’s Community Care, based in Collinsville, Ill., has integrated music into its programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. But having a professional music therapist was always beyond its budget capacity. So when a donor asked Nancy Berry, executive director, what program St John’s couldn’t offer due to…

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Webinar to Explore Pharmacy Services for CHHSM Members

By Barb Powell | May 10, 2022

The next free webinar in a CHHSM series geared to assist its member agencies takes place Tuesday, May 24, at 2 p.m. ET. The one-hour webinar will focus on pharmacy services and best practices, and is sponsored by Care Purchasing Services (CPS), the group purchasing agent behind the CHHSM Store. Two major topic areas will…

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CHHSM President and CEO Michael J. Readinger: Taking a Purpose-Driven Ministry into the ‘What’s Next’ of Retirement

By Barb Powell | April 12, 2022

Outgoing President and CEO Mike Readinger may be leaving his work with CHHSM over the past 17 years in the care of others, but one ingredient that has defined his tenure will go with him — living a caring, compassionate, purpose-driven life and ministry. Readinger was hired in 2005 as vice president of the UCC’s…

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