CHHSM Annual Meeting Looks at Embracing Renewal During Change

Faith-based, nonprofit organizations are in the midst of changes that affect business models, funding, client demographics and leadership. How can organizations like CHHSM adjust and even transform within this new environment? CHHSM members will address those challenges at the 77th Annual Meeting, March 5-7, 2015, at Wyndham at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

This year’s theme, “A New Creation: Engaging in the Transformative Process,” is based on 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”

The theme of change and transformation is particularly relevant this year, as CHHSM undergoes a leadership transition. The organization will welcome Michael Readinger as its new president and CEO, while recognizing the outgoing president and CEO, Bryan Sickbert, for his 23 years of leadership.

Changes, even when for good reasons, can be unsettling. To help handle change, the annual meeting will delve into ways to engage in the transformative process and provide staff and clients with a sense of empowerment and hope.

“We are facing the possibility of culture change as a community of practice,” Readinger says. “If done with grace and passion, transition can be a transformative process that involves all constituents on all levels with equally valued input.”

Two keynote speakers will share their experiences with organizational transformation. Robert Eckardt, executive vice president of The Cleveland Foundation, will discuss governance practices during transition. H. Alexander Pendleton, chair of the board of directors of the Cleveland Play House, will describe guiding the organization through a major period of development.

In addition to keynote speeches, CHHSM members will participate in sacred conversations as they explore how to deepen the relationship between CHHSM and the church, provide an extravagant welcome in an open and affirming world, and change lives through racial equality.

Contemplating transformation is important, but implementing it is key. This year’s conversation circles will help CHHSM members be able to apply the lessons they learn in their own organizations.

Two special events will acknowledge CHHSM’s leadership transition. On Friday evening, CHHSM members will celebrate Sickbert’s ministry with a retirement dinner and program. Saturday’s worship will include Readinger’s installation service, followed by the closing dinner.

“We are experiencing both an ending and a beginning,” says Readinger. “Don’t be afraid to be a part of this transformative process. Please join us on this journey starting with the 2015 CHHSM Annual Meeting.”

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