Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

As 2018 draws to a close, I am ruminating on the year that has passed and what it tells me about the year ahead. Much like Advent, this is a time of waiting and watching for the CHHSM Board and Staff.  And, of course, for our member ministries as well!

The month of December began with me posting a daily reflection on life, on history, family, faith, hope, love, peace, and whatever else came to light as I began my day. That has led me to think about all the changes that have taken place in my world this year:

  • We had major changes to our family structure and circle of friends as a number of those dear to us passed. They are gone but not forgotten, and the memories of all that we shared have buoyed us up.  Hold dear those you love while they are here.  Who are the important people in your personal and professional life?  How will you honor them while they are still alive?
  • The political landscape and its impact on healthcare, housing, economic justice, immigration, mass incarceration, voting rights, the Supreme Court, nationalism, employment, climate change and so much more have created a surge of interest in government and election participation. Prayers that we hold those we elect to public office accountable in the most meaningful way.
  • A significant personal change as we move from a large home with too much space and too many things to manage and care for into a condominium townhome made us realize what we need and what we do not need to be safe and comfortable. I expect a simpler lifestyle to add to the quality of our time at home and to create more opportunities for meaningful engagement in our community. What do you need more of or less of?

CHHSM Staff turnover has been significant in the last year and new roles for new individuals in a new staffing model mean that we work in a completely different style. It appears that the structure in place for the future will foster an energized and productive team that sees a new way of being in community as we move into the new year and beyond.

Our Board leadership will undergo a dramatic change as long-serving members of the Board will retire and we will welcome new leadership. Our strategic planning initiative gets a fresh look and a new angle of engagement as we take it to membership in March to see what is most important to those we serve.

These changes have a direct or indirect impact on our member ministries. You are all the hands and feet of Jesus in performing his healing ministry to those in need and to those you serve. May our nimbleness and our focus on your needs help you achieve success, stewardship, sustainability, connections and a true sense of community as you adapt to the changing landscape and uncertainty of funding streams in the year ahead.

God Bless you, each and every one. It is because of all of you that we are creating a just, caring and compassionate world. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!