United Church Outreach Ministry

Finding Joy and a Sense of Call in the Journey

By CHHSM-Member Ministry Contribution | July 6, 2022

By BettyBeth Johns, workforce development director, United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM), Wyoming, Mich. Reprinted with permission from the UCOM Communicator, Spring 2022. Elizabeth Nyiransaba glides through her day, chatting with everyone who crosses her path: smiling and singing and asking questions about everything from why some people are always “tigers” (crabby) to what sort of…

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Guest Column: Anti-Racism is a Goal

By CHHSM-Member Ministry Contribution | November 4, 2021

By Bruce Roller, executive director of United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) in Wyoming, Mich. Reprinted with permission. Yes, I am a racist. This is evidenced by the fact that I can’t even let that statement stand alone. I need to give a little definition so that you don’t think of me as being a “bad“…

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Year-in-Review: CHHSM Board Examines Work on Race, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Eye on Future Actions

By Barb Powell | June 14, 2021

The CHHSM Board of Directors, meeting online June 7-9, focused a large portion of its meeting reviewing the commitments made by the Board, staff, and members in the June 2020 statement on the pandemic of systemic racism. At the top of the list was the final report of the organization’s recently completed Race, Diversity, Equity,…

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CHHSM’s Virtual Annual Gathering a Success, Thanks to Active Participation, a Seamless Online Platform, and Incredible Presentations

By Barb Powell | March 11, 2021

Inspirational, motivational, soul-feeding … and just plain fun. These are some of the words used by attendees to describe the recently concluded 83rd Annual Gathering of the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, held virtually March 2-4, 2021. Attendance records were shattered at the three-day event: some 335 CHHSM members and friends registered…

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To Save, Not Just Serve: Keynoter Baker Challenges CHHSM Members to Increased Activism in Annual Gathering’s Closing Plenary

By Barb Powell | March 11, 2021

In a keynote address punctuated with a call to self-examination and implementation of change, the Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker — director of contextual education at UCC-related Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo. — urged attendees to CHHSM’s 83rd Annual Gathering to return to their ministries prepared to find new ways to transform lives.…

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Faith, Community Sustains Staff, Clients at United Church Outreach Ministry

By Barb Powell | December 8, 2020

For frontline nonprofits like United Church Outreach Ministry in Wyoming, Mich., colder weather and the holiday season always means finding new ways to meet the basic, ongoing needs of clients. But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throwing a spanner in the works, adaptability has been key. “UCOM is nothing if not flexible,” says the Rev.…

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United Church Outreach Ministry Receives Special Designation from West Michigan United Way

By Barb Powell | September 10, 2020

The staff of United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) in Wyoming, Mich., recently received a special honor. Heart of West Michigan United Way surprised the UCC-related organization with a United Way Partner of the Year Award. While UCOM receives funding from United Way — it had already received $60,000 for each of three years, 2020-2023 —…

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CHHSM Member Organizations Find Creative Ways to Serve During Coronavirus Outbreak

By Barb Powell | April 13, 2020

From phone calls, online chats and social media postings to Zoom, Skype, and Facebook video gatherings, CHHSM members are adapting to almost daily changes in health care requirements while serving their residents and clients. “The world changes overnight,” says Chris Cox, president and CEO of Hoyleton Youth & Family Services in Fairview Heights, Ill. “Plans…

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Inspired CHHSM Annual Gathering Focuses on Justice and Grace — Together

By Barb Powell | March 12, 2020

From a pre-conference visit to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel — where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated — to the Rev. Traci Blackmon’s stirring words during the closing worship, the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries’ 82nd Annual Gathering left attendees moved, inspired, and recommitted…

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It Only Takes a Spark: United Church Outreach Ministry’s Crucial Role in Helping Community Members Succeed

By CHHSM-Member Ministry Contribution | December 2, 2019

by BettyBeth Johns, community development manager, United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) in Wyoming, Mich. Alexandra’s UCOM journey began with a small letter-sized poster hanging in the food pantry: If you want to learn to take charge of your financial future, sign up for FREE financial literacy classes here at UCOM. Something sparked in her. She…

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