The UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries announced today (Oct. 11) that “Justice and Grace — Together” will be the theme of its 82nd Annual Gathering, to be held March 3-5, 2020, at the Guest House at Graceland in Memphis.
“Our choice of theme is related to our choice of Memphis as the location for the meeting,” says the Rev. George R. Graham, vice president of CHHSM. “Memphis is a place where there have been significant struggles for justice, [so] we will be looking at the intersection of justice and grace. The theme also flows out of our common work, in which we strive for justice and seek grace in order to work toward our vision: ‘together, we create a just, caring and compassionate world.’”
One of the key elements of the 2020 Annual Gathering will be CHHSM member-led workshops. To that end, CHHSM has opened the process of selecting workshops via a Request for Proposal process. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 30, and CHHSM will communicate decisions by Dec. 15. Members of the Annual Gathering Task Force will be involved in selecting worships that speak not only to the theme, but also to the learning needs of CHHSM members.
“We know that our members are doing incredibly creative, innovative work,” says Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. “By inviting our members to submit workshop proposals, they may be able to feature programs and ideas of which we are not even aware. These offerings should make our time together at the Annual Gathering even more dynamic.”
The CHHSM Annual Gathering also will include important “wrap around time.” Attendees are encouraged to arrive in time for a preconference day on Monday, March 2, which will give them an opportunity to visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. On the morning of Tuesday, March 3, attendees will be able to choose between a service project or affinity group meetings for those who work in similar ministry areas.
“I hope all of our CHHSM members will join us for the Annual Gathering,” Graham adds, “as we think about the ways that the scriptures, the Civil Rights Movement, and our ministries demand that we hold ‘Justice and Grace — Together.’”