A Strong Core: Core Values and Mission

Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

Every time I go to the gym, I begin my workout by focusing on my core. Good training principles dictate that the key to strength, health and wellness comes from a strong and stable core. I perform a variety of exercises designed to isolate core muscles and to engage multiple muscle groups as a way of promoting stability and preventing injury. I can’t help but reflect on this training principle as I think about CHHSM’s connection to the UCC and the way the church’s values – continuing testament, extravagant welcome and changing lives – are reflected in its work.

As you read this issue of Diakonie, you will see expressions of these core values presented through a variety of stories about the way our members do their work. It is mission-driven and faith-based. It is intrinsically tied to the core values of the church.

The newsletter contains an article about how ministries pursue the open and affirming process. Extravagant welcome is seen at so many CHHSM communities – especially at United Church Homes and Bethany Children’s Home, which are both now recognized as open and affirming. The CHHSM Board of Directors will take a vote this June to become open and affirming after an outpouring of support from membership at the 2015 annual meeting.

Diakonie also contains an article about Deaconess Foundation’s youth advocacy initiative and the way it promises to change lives.

In other news, the recently completed Nollau Institute retreat (the first of three for the class of 2015-16) provides a glimpse of the work in the area of leadership formation that CHHSM ministries hold dear in their quest to offer continuing testament to those they serve.

Be sure to visit the chalk wall at General Synod this summer, where you will be invited to share your reflections on the connection between UCC core values and your ministry of service.

Look for more examples of the expression of these core values in the months ahead as the CHHSM board, staff and membership continue to seek ways to connect to the wider church.

A strong core is a sign of fitness, strength and stability. And through these examples, it is a promise of a vital, evolving and sustainable church filled with tradition for ministry and service.

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