From the President, August 2017

Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

Simmering summer greetings Friends!  Hopefully you are enjoying the season with some family time, some vacation time and some time to get ready for the seasons ahead.

Here at CHHSM, we are pleased to announce the return of the Rev. Loey Powell as Executive Associate to the President/CEO. As Loey reprises her role (remember she filled this spot in late 2015-early 2016), we will ask her to assist with calling a new staff member to fill Ben Guess’ former position. It is our hope to fill that spot before the end of 2017. She will also begin reviewing a series of documents to ensure compatibility with our strategic plan direction. While she will only be with us on a part-time basis in the months ahead, please feel free to call on her for any support you may need in the area of writing, preaching, speaking or teaching. Welcome back, Loey!

Although we cannot take much credit for the failed repeal of the ACA (early morning, July 28), I think we should be proud that we did tirelessly advocate for millions of Americans who desperately need health care. Whether you believe ACA is flawed or not, repeal without a satisfactory and compassionate replacement is just bad government action. Now is the time for a bipartisan response to improving what is the law of the land and making the ACA work for all Americans. The fight is not over and more issues are coming at us soon, BUT together we can make a difference and we will continue to share our thoughts and links to make your advocacy efforts easier to manage. Please keep your eyes and ears open!

Look for a new Church wide resource as CHHSM launches its Age Friendly Congregation curriculum later this month. After months of research and writing, editing and refining, and final design work, we are proud to offer this in-depth approach to some of ways that you and your congregation can have guided intentional study, conversation and reflection about how you might strengthen your commitment to serving older adults, and why you should. Look for details in the weeks ahead!

Another significant event that is approaching is our CHHSM delegation’s trip to Germany, September 6-13, 2017. Three CHHSM Board members, one other CHHSM member executive, and two staff will spend a week of engaging our health and human service peers in northwest Germany. We will tour their communities and share our experiences in the areas of fund development and our affinity groups model. There are dramatic changes taking place in their macro-environment that necessitate a new model of ministry sustainability in the years ahead. As an added bonus, we will all be blessed when they send a delegation to visit us at our March 2018 Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Being in communion with our German partners is one of the major gifts of our ministry.

So, as summer winds down, I am particularly hopeful that we all begin to ramp up our own individual participation in the UCC’s Three Great Loves Initiative. Love of Children, Love of Our Neighbor and Love of Creation are evident every day in all of the work our CHHSM ministries perform. Let’s make it a part of our social accountability to name the work we do in ministry as one, two or all three of the Three Great Loves. Let’s chronicle it, share the stories and quantify it so that we can tell the Church in tangibles ways how we have made the world a more just, caring and compassionate place to live.

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