42nd Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service
CLEVELAND, OHIO | CROWNE PLAZA AT PLAYHOUSE SQUARE | NOVEMBER 5-8, 2019
This November, 120+ staff members of faith-based volunteer programs, campus personnel, and other partners gathered in Cleveland for the 42nd Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service to learn new skills, share their experience and expertise, and network with their colleagues.
The theme for the conference, Many Rays One Rising, shone a light on two vital and intertwined areas of focus for CVN and our community: expanding the community of people who serve in faith-based programs by incorporating diversity and equity into our work; and sharing a unified story of faith-based service with the world at large.
Participants enjoyed the conference - over 96% of survey respondents were satisfied with their experience. In the words of one happy participant: "It's the best investment you can make as a professional in this line of work. You come away with a bigger toolbox, stronger network of colleagues, feeling refreshed and motivated, and a strong sense of connection and understanding with other people who 'get it.'"
Service as an Allyship Partner
"Service builds the best allies. Service done right creates connection and builds mutuality."
Whitney Parnell is a Black millennial activist, singer, and the Founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps, a nonprofit that empowers individuals and communities to catalyze social justice through service and Allyship. Her movement work involves equipping effective allies through truth-telling, bridge building, empathy, and action. She grew up between Latin America and West Africa as a Foreign Service child, and her passion for social justice brought her to Washington, DC after college to serve with City Year, and then work in homeless services, before founding Service Never Sleeps in 2015.
Abundant Life: A Spiritual Call to Service
"Let’s be the church we yearn to see. A more relevant church to young adults, a more joyful church, a church of integrity, ethics, trust, justice and openness."
-Kerry Alys Robinson
Kerry Alys Robinson is global ambassador of Leadership Roundtable and author of Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service. Kerry is a member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities). She has served on many boards including Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. She is a fierce advocate of young adults, women, service and faith. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Cappello, have two children, Christopher and Sophie.
Each year, our workshop facilitators help us explore our conference theme while sharing their wisdom and experience. This year's workshop topics included storytelling tools, leadership development strategies, and ways to build and sustain community.
Our plenary sessions brought together experts in the field for open and honest discussion of some the most pressing issues in faith-based service. Participants included Bill and Mary Francis Jaster, Colorado Vincentian Volunteers; Andrea Sawyer-Kirksey, DOOR - Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection; Sr. Maxine Kollasch, IHM, A Nun's Life Ministry; and Lena Chapin, Ignatian Solidarity Network; among others.
Throughout the conference, attendees gathered in cohorts to explore specific topics in more depth, think creatively about new strategies, build professional networks and partnerships, and acquire the tools they need to strengthen the effectiveness of their work.