Michael J. Readinger

An open pastoral letter to those seeking employment, to those seeking degrees, to those in discernment mode, to those seeking a path to fulfill their vocation and call and to anyone else looking to make a change in their lives:

Never forget that you are amazing!  Let me tell you why . . .

In the past several weeks, CHHSM launched a search for a new Associate for Advocacy and Leadership Development. A few days later we opened the application process to name a new candidate for the Rev. Jerry W. Paul CHHSM Scholar program. If you follow the business news, you may have heard that we are approaching “full” employment in the United States. If you follow the church news, you may have heard about the declining interest in organized religion and a reduced number of applicants for seminary education. Well, here is some surprising and very good news that might just counter those reports: To date, CHHSM received more than 120 applicants for the Associate position and 20 submissions for the scholarship.

Even better news is that so many of the candidates who shared their rich background, their experiences, their call to ministry and their vision for creating a just, caring and compassionate world are truly exceptional serving leaders.

The unfortunate news is that CHHSM is faced with some very difficult decisions as we seek the ideal candidates to fill these vital and exciting roles. Also regrettable is that we will be forced to select just one person for each spot on the team. The end result is that so many highly qualified people who feel called to these roles will be turned down for the opportunity to work in our UCC health and human service ministries at this time.

So, to our new CHHSM friends whose generous and entrepreneurial spirit led them to take a chance in applying for these roles, we say thank you. We also say we are sorry and apologize in advance for having to select just one of you for each of these roles. We also say you are highly qualified, extraordinarily intelligent, well educated, called serving leaders, and AMAZING! So, remember how amazing you are, stay that way, and for the benefit of the 3 Great Loves of the UCC, please keep applying for roles like these. We need you — the church needs you!

Editor’s Note: The application process for the Associate position and the CHHSM Scholar opportunity remains open and no final decisions have been made yet. You can learn more about the two roles at the links in the article.