The mission of the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries — to create a just, caring, and compassionate world — is lived out every day in health and human service ministries across the country. But at this year’s Annual Gathering, to be held in Memphis from March 2 through 5, many partner organizations and CHHSM members also are stepping up to Be A Voice for justice and grace at the 82nd event.

One such organization is Presenting Sponsor Ziegler, a privately held investment bank, capital markets and proprietary investments firm. Specializing in the healthcare, senior living and education sectors, as well as general municipal and structured finance, Ziegler is proud of the positive impact its work has on the communities it serves.

“Ziegler staff looks forward to the CHHSM Annual Gathering every year,” says Lisa McCracken, Ziegler’s director of senior living research and development. “The collaborative nature of the membership and deep commitment to their missions really sets these organizations apart from others. We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the thought leadership of this esteemed group, and to walk away ourselves with meaningful connections and lessons learned from members and fellow speakers.”

United Church HomesSeveral CHHSM members and partners are sponsoring some of the main activities during the Annual Gathering. Retirement Housing Foundation is returning as an annual sponsor, as is United Church Homes. UCH is sponsoring the Annual Gathering’s event app, which keeps attendees updated with the latest event news, meal information, and even a direct link to Uber.

“United Church Homes sees the CHHSM Annual Gathering as our primary way to connect with the national denomination and our partners across the country,” says the Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, president and CEO. “We relate to UCC conferences in 14 states. The Annual Gathering helps us expand our relationships to congregations and conferences.”

For the Rev. Laverne Joseph, president of Retirement Housing Foundation, a well-attended CHHSM Annual Gathering benefits all the member organizations.

“I believe it is very important for UCC Health and Human Service Ministries to have the largest attendance possible at the CHHSM Annual Meeting, and if sponsorships help to hold down the costs of the meeting and make it possible for more persons to attend, it is a good use of resources, Joseph says. “CHHSM ministries address very basic needs and there is a big demand for the services we offer. For example, RHF has 22,500 residents, but we have over 40,000 persons on our waiting lists. When we get together, we learn and we are inspired to expand and grow.”

The UCC’s Church Building & Loan Fund also is a long-time event partner and sponsor. “The work of CHHSM organizations is at the heart of Jesus’ desire expressed in Luke 4:18 — ‘that the oppressed will be set free,’” says the Rev. Patrick Duggan, CB&LF executive director. “The UCC Church Building & Loan Fund is missionally aligned with CHHSM and is a proud supporter of its important work.”

Other sponsorship partners include United Church Funds, the UCC’s Cornerstone Fund and the Pension Boards United Church of Christ.

The Rev. Charles Buck, United Church Funds’ president and CEO, says sponsoring the Annual Gathering is an honor because of its shared ministry.

“The ministry of healing and care that CHHSM’s member agencies provide makes a real impact in people’s lives and strengthens all our communities,” Buck says. “UCF stands with CHHSM in its mission of creating a just, caring and compassionate world, and we are grateful for the trust of many CHHSM members in allowing us to be part of that mission by caring for their investments and endowments.”

Maria C. Coyne, president and CEO of the UCC’s Cornerstone Fund, also finds sponsorship an honor. “CHHSM brings together a phenomenal group of health and human services agencies from across the country, and it’s simply our honor to be a part of its Annual Gathering,” Coyne says. “Our own mission is ‘to join together in faith to invent in and build community,’ and we are proud to support many agencies with our investment and financing options in order for them to make an even greater impact on each of the local communities they serve.”

Pension Boards United Church of Christ LogoPartnership is key for the Pension Boards. “The Pension Boards, as a long-time supporter and partner, values the important services CHHSM provides to member agencies,” says Frank Loiacono, director of health plan operations, who will attend the Annual Gathering. “Working covenantally and collaboratively, PBUCC offers comprehensive and cost-effective pension, health, and welfare plans to CHHSM members and employees.”

Annual Gathering sponsor Care Purchasing Services — the partner behind the CHHSM Store group purchasing opportunity— will have representatives from two of its vendors in Memphis. “We are showcasing new vendor products around technology” during the Annual Gathering, says Natalia Hernandez, CPS client account manager. “This new way of presenting services to members will allow us to create a direct relationship between CHHSM members and CPS vendors, increasing our value, while engaging members with new and exciting products. We want to focus on technology to help communities and organizations move forward with demographic changes and expectations.”

One of the of the vendors will be Adam Hochstetler from Third Eye Health, the largest post-acute telehealth network in the United States. “Third Eye Health’s mission is to bring high quality physician coverage via telehealth to underserved markets,” Hochstetler says. “By partnership with ZCPS and attending the CHHSM Annual Gathering, we are excited to meet fellow providers and operators.”

The other, Nick Abruzzo from Rendever — a company that offers a variety of virtual reality experiences for older adults to help with overcoming social isolation — says that attending the Annual Gathering will “provide Rendever the opportunity to learn more about the work CHHSM ministries are pursuing and how our team may be able to help those CHHSM serves.”

Ascension Capital Enterprises is another event sponsor. Its president, Malcolm G. Nimick, says Ascension sponsors because of CHHSM’s mission. “I believe in your mission, and I am excited by what CHHSM is doing,” Nimick says. “I have had the opportunity to present and participate in several Annual Gatherings over the years, and I wanted to show my support of CHHSM.”

All of the Annual Gathering sponsors participate out of a sense of joint mission and ministry. Perhaps United Church Homes’ Daniel says it best:

“We see all of these groups as partners in our mission and ministry. CHHSM is not only the church’s voice to us, it is United Church Homes’ voice to the church.”