From the President


By Michael Readinger | March 11, 2021

While I have always been a curious person who wonders about almost everything behind the scenes, I find myself with a renewed and redirected sense of curiosity following the 83rd CHHSM Annual Gathering last week. The Annual Gathering may have been offered on a virtual, technology-based platform, but there were so many opportunities for personal…

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By Michael Readinger | February 11, 2021

This issue of Diakonie arrives in your mailbox on the day after we celebrate President’s Day. Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was last week, the Super Bowl a few days before that. And recently, there have been so many stories of the deaths of music, movie and theater legends, sports stars, political leaders and other celebrities in…

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Resilience, NOT Resolutions

By Michael Readinger | January 13, 2021

Generally, this New Year’s column would be about resolutions for the year ahead. However, after all that has transpired in the last 10 months (and on January 6th especially), resilience is foremost in my mind as we look ahead to whatever 2021 might bring. I am not suggesting resilience works or is even possible for…

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Hope Springs Eternal

By Michael Readinger | December 10, 2020

December. A final column for 2020. A year like none ever experienced by 99.9 percent of us. Advent. As my thoughts swirl like blowing leaves of autumn and the first snows of winter; as I remember columns I have written at the end of each of the last 6 years; as I reflect on the…

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Election Day Reflections: One Way or Another

By Michael Readinger | November 3, 2020

I am writing this column on the day of the election. While I am passionate about the candidates I am supporting, the issues that impact me and my personal/professional life, and the sanctity of democracy, I do not know what we will wake up to on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. What I do know is…

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We Are All Needed on the Other Side …

By Michael Readinger | October 13, 2020

For months, I have been poring over the responses to the Vision 2030 questions we started asking back in March of 2020. We received 71 responses from 36 individuals or groups that covered 27 pages of type. As the year progressed, the responses took a startling and unsurprising turn. No longer was the focus on…

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How Long? Too Long

By Michael Readinger | September 13, 2020

This column was written immediately after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on August 23, 2020. As I reflect on another Black life tragically altered by an unwarranted police shooting incident, I was drawn to the How Long, Not Long speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King…

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Fighting Back in a Time of War

By Michael Readinger | August 13, 2020

As I write this column, I cannot avoid or suppress my intense emotions due to the death from COVID-19 of a very dear and close friend. I contemplated skipping this issue’s letter, but I would rather own and state my feelings in what I say here than dishonor my memories of Dan by being silent.…

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Time to Act!

By Michael Readinger | July 13, 2020

In June, the CHHSM Board and Staff released a letter in response to the pandemic of systemic racism. In the past 30 days we have been laying the groundwork for implementation of the action steps that we committed to taking. A letter is important, but actions speak louder than words and it is time to…

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By Michael Readinger | June 11, 2020

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. — Mahatma Gandhi The CHHSM Board of Directors held their first ever virtual meeting via Zoom last week. We gathered for 10 hours over three days in two- to two-and-a-half hour blocks of time. I strongly recommend this structure over an all-day Zoom meeting…

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