Who Do You Say I Am?

Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

In Mark’s gospel, just after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Then he takes his questioning a step further to ask, “But who do you say I am?”

These important questions about servant leadership were lifted up at the 78th CHHSM Annual Meeting in Houston in early March. The CHHSM member value proposition process is about these defining questions that ask membership who and what they believe CHHSM is in their lives.

Who do members say that CHHSM is? Why do they choose to belong?

We heard during the annual meeting’s opening dinner, plenary sessions, affinity group conversations, Saturday’s worship and Diakonal Minister consecration, and at the closing dinner – our members have a lot to say on this subject.

The answer? Bold vision. Inspired leaders. Shared values.

They feel like a part of a family of faith-based providers who share a common mission with the same core values. They value the opportunity to share best practices, common concerns and solutions to the struggles of modern day ministry. They save money with products and services that allow them to carry out more mission. They are led toward ways to connect with each other, the national setting of the UCC, conferences, associations and local churches. They learn how to be better leaders through the Nollau Institute. Most of all, they are reminded why they have been called as servant leaders in this passion-driven movement we call CHHSM.

In addition to new and renewed connections between members, the annual meeting was also a time to celebrate exciting changes in the life of CHHSM. We are thrilled and delighted that the Rev. J. Bennett Guess will join our core staff team as vice president on April 11, as the Rev. Loey Powell moves into her retirement. We wish them both all the best in this new phase of their ministry.

In the meantime, keep the “Bold Vision, Inspired Leaders and Shared Values” concept in mind as you think and talk to others about who you say CHHSM is.

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CHHSM Board and Staff are grieved to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Greg Watson, who died in October 2022. Greg was vice president of operations for Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill.Greg was a graduate of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute, class of 2018-2019, and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during our 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago. In an article about his class in June 2018 — not long after the group’s first retreat — Greg said, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strength. Recognition of one’s ‘true' self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”Greg also served on the CHHSM Board of Directors, and was a beloved friend and colleague to many in the CHHSM family. Embrace Living stated on its website, “Greg was an outstanding servant leader for 17 years at Embrace Living Communities. He will be greatly missed.”CHHSM sends its prayers and love to Greg’s friends, family, and Embrace Living colleagues. ... See MoreSee Less
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