In Covenant, Effecting Change

Mary Paxton

Micah 6:8 tells us that we are required “to do justice, love kindness and to walk humble.”

I have had the pleasure of having positions in my career that I considered to be a ministry: a ministry of touching people’s lives. My own life experiences, along with my work in the nonprofit sector, keep me keenly aware of the various dynamics that continue to plague our society. I have been exposed to the pain, desperation and sense of hopelessness that comes with poverty, economic instability, hunger, homelessness, lack of an effective education, lack of resources, and misinformation.

Being an integral part of a leadership team that helps nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions and be change agents is something I have sought throughout my career. I am excited that I have the opportunity to pair that desire with CHHSM’s vision of “creating a just, caring and compassionate world.”

As we start 2018, I am reminded that if there is ever a time for justice, kindness and humility, it’s now. Over the last year, many states faced a difficult decision in having to make cuts — not only to their budgets, but to the human services they provided. Yet the needs didn’t disappear; they remained. The lack of resources and issues around sustainability continue to challenge our organizations in this economic and political climate. Do we know the federal, state and local policy changes that will affect our work? Do we understand our rights? How do we mobilize our efforts in defense of the work of our agencies and the people being served? How do we tap into non-traditional revenue streams? How do we market ourselves more effectively? How do we avoid being stagnant?

There is power in agreement and strength in numbers. We are many members of one body. Our faith and commitment to the health and human ministries of the United Church of Christ, our commitment to serve — this keeps us in a covenantal relationship with one another.

I believe that my ecumenical career path makes me uniquely suited for the role of Associate for Engagement and Executive Administration. I bring to the table a working knowledge in many of our service areas: hunger, homelessness, senior services, education, resource development/linkages and the development of young people. Additionally, I will be able to use my experience in areas of collaboration, fiscal administration, fundraising, project management, relationship management and strategic planning to serve both CHHSM and our member agencies.

Aligned with CHHSM’s core values, I envision us equipping leaders, strengthening infrastructures, establishing key partnerships, pooling resources, providing opportunities for collaboration and creating spaces for solutions to evolve. Collectively, we have a voice. Collectively, we can have an impact. Collectively, we can effect change.

I look forward to meeting everyone and working together.


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