Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

In late July, the CHHSM team took a couple days away from the office for a staff retreat. There was ample time for us to plan for the future, relax, socialize, exercise, and meet with our members in Minnesota. This time away from the office reminded me how important we can be in shaping our shared ministry through the energy and passion we can give to and draw from each other. We came home with a sense of renewal and an even greater passion for our ministry and membership. We are ready to launch the Val-You Proposition process and exceed our 2015 goals!

The dedication required to find sacred space to unwind and remove oneself from the hectic pace of our everyday existence is hard to find — but the renewed sense of passion for vocation makes doing so worthwhile. I, too, struggle with the balancing act of commitment to my work and the importance of Sabbath rest. I just re-read Wayne Muller’s “Sabbath” and was reminded of the value of time away. True Sabbath is “giving to God,” and I am learning to trust God and take the time I need. I will remember to look at Sabbath as a way to “bless for success rather than stress for success.”

One of the most important things we can do as a community of faith-based ministries is to gather annually at our annual meeting in March. This is a wonderful space for networking, creating new friendships and renewing old ones, learning about the meaning of our work and finding time for Sabbath. It is also a wonderful reminder of WHY we do the work we have chosen as our own call to ministry. We celebrate our common diakonal ministry, share our personal and professional concerns and celebrations and learn from each other because we are in open and safe space.

In a like manner, many of us belong to other organizations that remind us of WHAT we do in our ministry. I just returned from the American Society of Association Executives annual meeting in Detroit. While I was there, I reconnected with colleagues from many different disciplines all around the U.S. My peers at ASAE were a key support network last year as I was discerning my call to become president and CEO at CHHSM, and were thrilled to see how that transition has transformed me personally and professionally. They were inspirational, informative, supportive and questioning while we were together at this meeting. I left the gathering filled with ideas, dreams, hopes and confidence. My key takeaway was to think strategically by training myself to stop multitasking, to think sequentially and to allow my brain to shut down and renew on occasion.

As summer fades. I encourage you all to remember to take the time you need to reconnect with colleagues and peers, family and friends, and nature. Renew, reinvent, reenergize yourself, your colleagues and your organization – and keep the faith!

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All are welcome to join our dear friend and former colleague, the Rev. George Graham, as he is installed as pastor of Pilgrim Congregational UCC in Cleveland. The service of installation will be live-streamed at ... See MoreSee Less
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