Faith Heritage Unites Ministries

When Hoyleton Ministries wanted to revamp its onboarding process for new staff, it turned to Emmaus Homes.

Chris Cox, president and CEO of Hoyleton, a ministry serving families and youth in Hoyleton, Illinois, connected with Cindy Clark, president and CEO of Emmaus, at a meeting of CHHSM members from the Missouri Mid-South and Illinois South UCC conferences (MOMS/ILSO).

During the meeting, Clark shared a story about Emmaus’ use of online exams for new employees. Inspired by the organization’s success, Cox asked Clark to facilitate a human resources workshop for Hoyleton team members, who then created new practices based on their experience.

“It was a catalyst for us,” Cox says. “That came from being at the table and listening to other members who are struggling with similar things.”

Most recently the MOMS/ILSO group met in January, breaking down into affinity groups to discuss best practices in the fields of finances, human resources, fund development, programming and spiritual care. A CHHSM ministry executive facilitated each group.

“This is an opportunity for us to have staff in different departments meet and talk about common issues, ways to support and resource each other,” says the Rev. Cindy Bumb, vice president of spiritual care at Emmaus, a St. Charles-based organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities.

Bumb, who led the spiritual care affinity group, says the face-to-face meetings are necessary for building relationships.

“There’s a real sense of being in the mission of the UCC together,” she says. “And when we go to the CHHSM meeting, we already know people.”

Each MOMS/ILSO meeting is a chance for members to learn from one another and find ways to partner together. At January’s meeting, Bumb discovered the opportunity for Emmaus Homes’ clients to visit a new Bible theater production at Cape Albeon.

She says the network also gives members the structure to respond to situations together, such as the unrest in Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown.

“If there’s a question or concern, we can reach out,” says Cox, who facilitated the fund development affinity group. “And that doesn’t happen if there’s not a relationship.”

The MOMS/ILSO group will meet again in late 2016. In the meantime, Cox’s affinity group is planning to meet throughout the year to discuss topics such as marketing and social media.

“We’re not competing with each other,” Cox says. “We’re there to learn and share. That’s one of the best values CHHSM brings to my organization that I can’t get anywhere else.”

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