CHHSM Legacy Fund Sustains Mission into the Future

For the first time in its history, the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) launched a fundraising campaign in 2012 as part of its 75th Anniversary Celebration. The CHHSM Board of Directors, staff and anniversary committee surpassed their goal of raising $300,000 to create The CHHSM Legacy Fund to provide valuable resources needed to sustain CHHSM’s mission.

Since 2013, CHHSM has utilized these funds to train individuals, governance boards and member ministries in leadership formation strategies and techniques that will last a lifetime. The CHHSM Board of Directors allocates these resources to meet the need where it is greatest and where they will have the most impact.

In CHHSM, UCC health and human service ministries come together to practice stewardship of the heritage of the diakonic witness of the church. As an act of stewardship, we prepare excellent leadership for the future. Yet, we know that this crucial responsibility can be easily set aside in the press of the immediate demands of day-to-day survival. We dare not sacrifice the future to present expediency. This is why we need the CHHSM Legacy Fund.

CHHSM supports our stewardship of the future with faith-grounded continuing education for middle and senior-level management, governance development and consultation programs, and supervised mentoring and internship opportunities for graduate students pursuing a vocation in health and human service ministry. The purpose of the Legacy Fund is to expand CHHSM’s capacity to grow this crucial work by assuring access to our leadership formation programs for all – regardless of financial ability.

Currently CHHSM’s core leadership formation initiatives include:

Nollau Leadership Institute

The Nollau Leadership Institute is an adult learning experience in which participants connect professional excellence with faith-based purpose over the course of one year. The curriculum is designed around three related themes: the theology of leadership, the practice of leadership and the product of leadership.

When Patricia Ege, a Nollau Institute Class of 2012 member and vice president of program services at Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana, Ill., experienced unexpected challenges within her organization, she valued the opportunity the Nollau Institute gave her to reflect. “The institute was just a great support,” she said. Ege was able to return from a Nollau Institute retreat with renewed vigor for her work. “I realized I have a lot of energy still inside of me,” she said. “If I take a little more energy to find the gift, the energy, the resource, in another person, it’s there.” In the past 15 years, nearly 250 individuals like Ege have graduated from CHHSM leadership training programs and have gone on to impact their communities as faithful leaders dedicated to service.

Vocation of the Trustee

Governance education seminars and consultation are centered on a theologically grounded governance education program called Vocation of the Trustee. This program uses the Governance as Leadership model, focusing on fiduciary, strategic and generative board work.

The Rev. Jerry W. Paul CHHSM Scholar Program

Jill Terpstra earned recognition as a CHHSM Scholar while a student in care of the Pittsburgh Association of the Penn West Conference. She was in her second year of the dual Master of Divinity and Social Work Administration program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the University of Pittsburgh. She received the Make A Difference Scholarship in health and human service administration provided through the UCC and CHHSM. Terpstra was paired with Crossroad Child & Family Services in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she spent six weeks as an administrative intern. “During my time at Crossroad, I was able to reaffirm my administrative ability,” Terpstra says. “I also realized that having a connection with the client was important to me. I was blessed to be a part of this ministry for six weeks and take a small role in creating promising futures for children.” After completing her education, Terpstra went on to serve as a foster care treatment coordinator and later as a pastor.

Consultation Services

We recognize that CHHSM ministries are led by teams. CHHSM provides consultation services that utilize asset-based assessment and appreciative practices to help leadership teams develop and implement strategies to build healthier organizational cultures that produce superior outcomes.
The value of the four initiatives described above has been demonstrated time and again. Yet, access to these programs has been constrained by limited staff capacity, lack of member financial resources to underwrite participation, and minimal ability to invest in continuing program development, leadership and participant recruitment. Imagine a world with unlimited potential for additional leadership formation programs if there were adequate resources to fund them. To overcome these constraints, CHHSM now has a pool of funds that can supplement the amount of capital we are able to dedicate to leadership formation.

We often refer to CHHSM as a family. The Legacy Fund is our family’s investment in those who will follow and lead in faith. As of Sept. 30, 2016, the Legacy Fund has issued scholarships, funded consultations and supported leadership formation in the amount of $73,000. Due to the generosity of the CHHSM family, we anticipate more than 10 more years of providing these resources to CHHSM’s leadership formation activities within the wider church.

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