From the President

From Longing to Belonging

By Michael Readinger | January 14, 2015
Michael J. Readinger

As I reflect on what it means to be a membership organization, my viewpoint is touched by the recent holidays – the Advent season of anticipation, the warmth and happiness of Christmas, and the hope of the New Year. In addition to family, prayer and celebration, singing is a big part of these times. We…

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Faithful Fragility

By CHHSM Staff | December 14, 2014
Michael J. Readinger

By Bryan Sickbert In my final meeting as CHHSM president with the board of directors, I shared a quote from my 1991 application cover letter to the CHHSM president and CEO search committee. It said “organizations like CHHSM are perpetually fragile because their fundamental mission is to pursue meaning, thus the product of their work…

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By Michael Readinger | November 11, 2014
Michael J. Readinger

I am pleased and honored to pen this, my first column as the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries’ new president and CEO. I give my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have entrusted me with this important call to servant leadership. I promise to be faithful to the mission, vision and core…

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Young Black Men, You Scare Me

By CHHSM Staff | August 22, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert It is likely presumptuous, even risky, for a privileged white man to enter into the conversation regarding the events in Ferguson, Missouri. But the fact that many of our CHHSM colleagues in the St. Louis community are acutely experiencing the symptoms of our nation’s chronic racial disease makes silence a cowardly option.…

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Grace Notes

By CHHSM Staff | July 31, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert Max De Pree has said that “volunteers are at the heart of our society and become the grace notes in our American song.” Musically, grace notes are embellishments to the underlying melody which are not essential to the musical line, but add nuance that draws out beauty and meaning from the theme.…

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Looking Out and Looking In

By CHHSM Staff | June 30, 2014

By The Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel President and CEO, United Church Homes  A CEO search is a unique time in any organization’s life. CHHSM is entering this time of leadership transition with great optimism. We celebrate the accomplishments of the organization under the Rev. Bryan Sickbert’s distinguished leadership for 22 years. While we prepare to…

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Empty Pews?

By CHHSM Staff | April 30, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert A Nollau class member recently shared a column from Sojourners entitled “’Nones’ and the Common Good.” The column, written by Eboo Patel, a Muslim American and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, asks the question, “What will happen to U.S. civil society as the pews empty out?” Patel cites the well-documented membership…

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Water in the Wilderness

By CHHSM Staff | March 30, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink. (Exodus 17:6) Water from a rock? Certainly more biblical nonsense! But the image did not seem far-fetched to me as I listened to the Old Testament Lenten reading this week (Exodus 17:1-7). Our home in southwest…

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Fear of Possibility

By CHHSM Staff | January 31, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert As once the winged energy of delight carried you over childhood’s dark abysses, now beyond your own life build the great arch of unimagined bridges. Rainer Maria Rilke This first stanza of Rilke’s poem “Once the Winged Energy of Delight,” is my favorite piece of verse. Last week, the first retreat of…

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Behold, I am Doing a New Thing

By CHHSM Staff | January 2, 2014

By Bryan Sickbert Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43: 18-19 In these verses, the prophet reveals God’s intent to bring about a new exodus that will release Israel from exile in Babylon and…

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