CHHSM Invites Workshop Proposals for 2024 Annual Gathering Focused on Collaboration and Innovation

The 2024 Annual Gathering takes place in St. Louis.

Collaboration takes center stage at the 2024 CHHSM Annual Gathering to be held March 12-14, 2024, at the Live By Loews Hotel in St. Louis.

“St. Louis is the perfect backdrop to our theme, ‘Collaboration as the Gateway to Innovation,’” said Jamar Doyle, president and CEO of CHHSM. “The wealth of CHHSM agencies present in the area — the largest concentration of CHHSM members in the country — provides us the chance to witness firsthand how CHHSM agencies in St. Louis are turning collaboration into tangible innovation that moves mission forward.”

Mindful of the location, the Annual Gathering will seek to reclaim the idea of a “gateway” from its historical, colonial roots through emphasis on the Gathering’s theme, “Collaboration as the Gateway to Innovation.”

“The inspiration for the theme came from conversations with CHHSM members in the St. Louis region as well as conversations with members in a number of areas of ministry,” said the Rev. George Graham, vice president of CHHSM. “All the discussions kept coming back to ‘collaboration’ and ‘innovation,’ and these terms aren’t just buzzwords. Members are finding new ways to connect with each other and create dynamic programs that embody these concepts.”

The focus scripture of this 86th Annual Gathering is from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, using The Message translation: “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps.”

A variety of workshops — like this one from Emerging Leadership Cohort member Zaria Davis in March 2023 — will be offered during the Annual Gathering.

The focus on innovation also will be present as the Annual Gathering examines the idea of “confluence” — in recognition of St. Louis as the location where the Missouri and Mississippi River join. Participants to the Annual Gathering will experience the confluence of inspiring worship, captivating keynotes, engaging workshops, immersive experiences, and valuable networking opportunities. The 2024 Annual Gathering will ignite fresh ideas and new partnerships for ministry, as participants witness firsthand how CHHSM members in St. Louis and beyond are pioneering new realms of innovation through dynamic collaborations.

Call for Workshops

CHHSM also is inviting proposals for workshops that will help attendees to the Annual Gathering explore the theme and build professional skills. To submit a workshop proposal, complete the online form. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 13, 2023. Submitters will be notified of their session status by Nov. 3, 2023.

Workshops should be 75 minutes in length. They should be interactive and allow time for a Q&A session. Deliverables of the workshop should be clear and should include a call to action if possible. Due to the limited number of workshop slots at the Annual Gathering, some submissions may not be chosen to lead a workshop. However, CHHSM may contact presenters not chosen to see if they are interested in providing content for other educational events or formats.

“If  you have found that collaboration has led to innovation in your ministry, we hope you will consider submitting a proposal for a workshop as a way to jumpstart new ideas for other attendees,” said Graham.

Features of the 2024 Annual Gathering

Deaconess nurse Virginia Stegmeyer works with a client at the Salam Clinic at St. Peter’s UCC.

As in the past, The Annual Gathering will open and close with worship. Opening worship will take place at St. Peter’s UCC in Ferguson, Mo. St. Peter’s is home to one of the Salam Clinic locations, a collaboration between Muslim Services physicians (part of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis), Deaconess Nurse Ministry, and several area churches, including St. Peter’s UCC and Epiphany UCC in St. Louis. Salam Clinic locations provide healthcare and/or psychiatric services to uninsured and under-insured clients in Greater St. Louis.

Closing worship will take place at the hotel. In addition to the keynote presentations, workshops, and worship, the event will include CHHSM Affinity Group meetings, reflection time and opportunities for social gatherings and fellowship.

Throughout the Annual Gathering, the capstone projects of the current Nollau Leadership Institue class will be on display, and members of the class will be available to discuss their projects and answer questions. The CHHSM Board also will meet during the Annual Gathering.

The Annual Gathering is sure to create new pathways to collaboration in building an equitable, just, caring and compassionate world. “Come to St. Louis,” said Doyle, “to be inspired, enlightened, and energized as, together, we explore the endless possibilities that intentional collaboration can create for your ministry.”

Registration for the 86th Annual Gathering opens in mid-December. In order to make the meeting as safe as possible, CHHSM strongly encourages all presenters and attendees to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. CHHSM will adhere to current local and national health guidelines.

Learn more about the Annual Gathering and workshop submission process.

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