Early Bird Registration for CHHSM’s 86th Annual Gathering is Open!
Registration for CHHSM’s 86th Annual Gathering — to be held March 12-14, 2024, at the Live by Loews Hotel in St. Louis — opened Monday, Dec. 18. The hotel is located in downtown St. Louis’ Ballpark Village, adjacent to Busch Stadium and within walking distance of the new Arch riverfront, museums, and eateries.
The theme of the 86th Annual Gathering is “Collaboration as the Gateway to Innovation.” The focus scripture is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “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” (The Message). Grounded in this scripture, the Annual Gathering will explore how working together can spark innovation that changes lives.
“I know I say it every year, but I am looking forward to this 86th Annual Gathering with great anticipation and excitement,” said Jamar Doyle, president and CEO of CHHSM. “The speakers, workshops, and worship services during this year’s Gathering will provide an inspired time for reflection and discussion on how we might use our CHHSM connections and community partnerships to build a more just, equitable, inclusive, diverse, and compassionate world.”
Early bird registration runs through Jan. 19, 2024, and the cost is $550. The regular registration cost (after Jan. 19) is $595. Scholarships for registration and the hotel are being offered to encourage first-time attendees or make it possible for people from small organizations and/or those with limited resources to attend. The scholarships are provided thanks to a sponsorship from CHHSM member Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), one of the Annual Gathering’s platinum sponsors. Requests for a scholarship will be considered in the order they are received until funds are committed.
Keynotes to Inspire
The opening keynote address will be delivered Wednesday morning, March 13, by the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.
That afternoon, the second keynote will take place in the form of a special presentation and panel discussion, sponsored by another one of the Gathering’s platinum sponsors, Ziegler. Ziegler is a privately held investment bank, capital markets and proprietary investments firm that specializes in the healthcare, senior living and education sectors, as well as general municipal and structured finance, in order to generate a positive impact on the communities it serves.
Dan Hermann, president and CEO of Ziegler, will open with a presentation on affiliation and collaboration as the key for struggling older adult communities. Following Hermann’s talk will be a panel discussion on collaboration. Featured panelists include a member of United Church Homes’ leadership team, plus:
- Chris Cox, president and CEO of Hoyleton Youth & Family Services based in Fairview Heights, Ill.
- The Rev. Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson president and CEO of MOLO Village and pastor of St. Peter’s UCC in Louisville.
- The Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo, RN, executive director of Deaconess Nurse Ministry in St. Louis.
The closing keynote on March 9 will concentrate on emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence, and how it can be used for collaboration and innovation. The address will be delivered by Tyler Hoffman, owner and lead consultant of Digital for Good, LLC and long-time CHHSM technology consultant.
Meaningful Worship and Reflection Time
Poignant worship services and reflection time will be woven throughout the Annual Gathering. The Rev. Bethany Johnson-Javois, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation in St. Louis, will preach during the opening worship service at St. Peter’s UCC in nearby Ferguson, Mo. Following the service, a special panel discussion will be held to reflect on what has happened in Ferguson since Michael Brown was killed 10 years ago.
On Wednesday evening, this year’s Nollau Leadership Institute class will be consecrated as Diakonal Ministers in a special celebration at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo. The Rev. Shari Prestemon, acting associate general minister for the UCC’s Wider Church Ministries and former CHHSM board member, will preach during the service.
In addition to these worship experiences, a special “sending forth” service will be held Thursday, March 14, at the hotel to mark the conclusion of the 2024 annual gathering. Throughout the Annual Gathering, there will be built-in time for reflection to give attendees a chance to process the keynotes, panel discussions, and workshop presentations.
Connections and Experiences to Highlight Annual Gathering
Following the sending forth service, Annual Gathering attendees will have an opportunity to tour The Core Collective. The Core Collective is a model of collaboration and innovation in St. Louis, partnering with CHHSM members Deaconess Nurse Ministry, iFM Community Medicine, and Every Child’s Hope, among other community-based organizations. It is invested in the transformational power of youth, and is on a mission to make well-being the standard for St. Louis. The Core Collective improves healthcare for families, advances socioeconomic equity, and activates conscious leaders. The tour is limited to 50 attendees.
Other highlights of the Annual Gathering will include informative and educational workshops on a variety of relevant topics; affinity group gatherings; immersive experiences; and plenty of time for renewing friendships with colleagues. Additionally, the final capstone projects of the graduating Nollau Leadership Institute class will be displayed throughout the Gathering, with class members on hand to discuss their projects with other attendees.
“CHHSM’s 86th Annual Gathering will ignite fresh ideas and new partnerships for ministry, and provide the opportunity to witness firsthand how CHHSM agencies in St. Louis and beyond are pioneering new realms of innovation through dynamic collaborations,” said Doyle. “Additionally, it will provide a framework for making new connections, renewing partnerships and friendships, and building a future filled with hope.”
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