Category: Letters from the Executive Director

Confession and Invitation

A Letter from the Executive Director I have a confession. I’ve done it again. I have let control almost prevent creativity. Our upcoming “Many Rays, One Rising” conference includes plenary sessions seeking to foster practical sharing and engagement of attendees around topics of mission, diversity, communications, and strategies for the future. We have a range… Read more »

Practically Spiritual

A Letter from the Executive Director You work and minister in a spiritual realm. What you do is grounded in something that cannot be totally understood, measured, or explained. I hope that is true of your program’s foundation, even though numbers, budgets, and evaluations demand attention too. This year’s National Conference – “Many Rays, One… Read more »

Relationships Not Programs

In July, CVN’s Executive Director, Yonce Shelton represented CVN at the Voice and Vision National Summit for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults in Steubenville,Ohio. This Summit was co-sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville and the National Dialogue of Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults. The National Dialogue is a collaborative effort between the… Read more »

Do What is Right

A Letter from the Executive Director There was only one rule for my college football team: do what is right. Despite how broad that might seem, I can’t remember a time when a player felt he was able to argue with our head coach’s opinion about a situation. Being committed to the team – and… Read more »

Why These Conference Speakers

A Letter from the Executive Director Last month, we announced our two keynote speakers for Many Rays, One Rising, the 2019 National Conference on Faith-Based Service. Now that you have learned a little about who they are, I want to share why we invited them. Speakers were invited because their stories and strategies are relevant… Read more »

Getting the Basics Right

A Letter from the Executive Director Recently, CVN held its annual Program Formation Workshop, which helps those considering beginning a volunteer program or newly engaged in this work to learn the basics of managing a program. One guest speaker introduced the basics of development and mission advancement – but also reminded us about the basics… Read more »

Story and Strategy

A Letter from the Executive Director This letter has many words and concepts, but it is really just about two things: story and strategy. I hope those two ideas stir something in you and open you to an update from CVN about what has been stirring in us. It is critical to understand why we… Read more »

What If?

A Letter from the Executive Director I often think about the “What If?” session at last year’s National Conference that was meant to highlight how member programs were courageously experimenting with new approaches and models. The goal was to catalyze head and heart, help attendees think out loud, and empower them to consider ideas and… Read more »

“I Don’t Want You To Help Me”

A Letter from the Executive Director Last week, I was at a retreat with a diverse group of faith leaders. Many perspectives and missions were represented: climate change; economic justice; voting rights; the crisis facing our democracy; challenges of working with those who differ on tenets of faith. It surprised no one that the concern… Read more »

Voices Crying Out at a Conference

A Letter from the Executive Director You are most recognized for promoting service that transforms. But you also prepare volunteers to find their voices for leadership. That’s a great thing to honor during Advent. Two days into our annual conference in November, I lost my voice. After initial frustration, I actually became glad for the… Read more »