Registration Opens this Week for CHHSM’s 84th Annual Gathering, to be held in March 2022
This year’s Annual Gathering marks the first time a CHHSM corporate gathering has taken place in person since the COVID-19 pandemic caused stay-at-home measures to be enacted across the United States. Centering on the theme “Forward Together,” the 2022 gathering is taking its inspiration from the Philippians 3:13 passage, “Straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal.” The theme will be woven throughout the worship, speakers, and workshops of the 2022 Annual Gathering.
“‘Forward Together’ was intentionally chosen by the Annual Gathering Task Force as this year’s theme,” said the Rev. George Graham, vice president of CHHSM. “During our time together, we will reflect on the ways that our faith tradition and ministries empower us to move Forward Together, not only in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in addressing systemic racism as well.”
Early bird registration runs through Jan. 14, 2022, and the cost is $450. The regular registration cost is $495. Scholarships for registration and the hotel are available, thanks to a scholarship sponsorship from MHS Consulting, part of CHHSM partner Mennonite Health Services. Requests for a scholarship will be considered in the order they are received until funds are committed.
Opening worship kicks off this year’s event at 10 a.m. March 8 at St. John UCC in Louisville. The Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC general minister and president, is the preacher, and the service will include the installation of the new CHHSM president and CEO.
The Annual Gathering also will celebrate the leadership of Michael J. Readinger, current president and CEO of CHHSM, who retires in April; and will feature a special performance by Louisville’s Academy of Music Production, Education, and Development (AMPED).
Other highlights of the three-day gathering include an opening keynote by Alton B. Pollard III, president of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary — known for his thoughtful comments in the critically acclaimed PBS series on the Black Church; and a closing keynote by Nikki Lanier, who is leaving her position as senior vice president of the Louisville branch of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis to focus on racial equity advisory work through Harper Slade, a firm that she founded. A third keynote presentation from platinum sponsor Ziegler — a privately-held investment bank, capital markets, and proprietary investments firm that specializes in healthcare, senior living, and education clients — takes place March 9.
Closing worship will be held at the Muhammad Ali Cultural Center and Museum, featuring preaching by the Rev. Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson, president and CEO of MOLO Village and senior pastor of St. Peter’s UCC in Louisville. The graduating class of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute will be consecrated as Diakonal Ministers during the service. Free tours of the museum and cultural center are included in the afternoon program following closing worship. Buses will return people to the Brown Hotel at 5 p.m.
“Although we often say it, we believe that this year’s Annual Gathering will be one of the best yet,” said Readinger. “This is partially because it will be the first time we have been able to gather as CHHSM in two years; but also because the speakers, workshops, and worship services will provide an inspired time for reflection and for discussing together how we might move Forward Together toward a just, equitable, inclusive, diverse, and more compassionate world.”
In order to make the meeting as safe as possible, CHHSM requires all who attend to be vaccinated for Covid-19 and boosted, or have an approved exemption as well as to follow other safety measures in place at the time of the Annual Gathering. Due to the success of the 2021 virtual Annual Gathering, portions of the 2022 event will be livestreamed.
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