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44th Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service

A Different Gathering

ACCESSIBLE ONLINE | OCTOBER 27-29, 2021 | 9am PT/12noon ET-2pm PT/5pm ET daily

It’s different now.

The past 18+ months have challenged you, your programs, and the field of faith-based service.

A pandemic has upended life in most every way.

A combination of crises sets the stage for us to face our reality with more clarity and courage.

Covid-19 has forcibly stopped us in engaging in business as usual. We can no longer ignore the climate crisis, and the racism that has permeated our culture and  communities for centuries shines ever so brightly amidst a backdrop of isolation and social distancing. More white people have become aware of the dire consequences of racism for themselves and their neighbors, while communities of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color maintain an acute vulnerability to racialized policing, a legacy of redlining, and disproportionate access to healthcare and healthy neighborhoods.

Awareness about discriminatory structures is leading many to seek change in themselves and society.

To respond, people of faith can re-imagine transformation of the ways we serve. We can transform our perspectives and commitments. We can provide leadership by acting on the reality that too many lack the dignity and justice critical to the faith we profess. We can change approaches to faith-based service to better honor diversity and equity. We can embrace the challenge of transforming our own hearts, minds, and spirits.

“Re-Imagine Transformation” is not just for CVN member program staff. At this time in our nation’s history – and in this network’s history – we need more representatives of faith-based service programs participating in this event.

We need executive leaders and board members to be part of this catalytic experience so that they will benefit from awareness of an evolving vision for faith-based service. Their program staff will benefit from a common experience and understanding that can support and empower them in the daily ministry of service and community. More visionaries and decision makers are critical because things are different now.

Our goal is to re-shape and transform faith-based service as we currently know it.

Registration is per person. First person is full price, second and beyond gets an organizational discount of $25 per registration when you use the coupon code different.


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Daily Themes

Naming the Moment

The CVN staff and leadership have been praying with Jonah and the whale for a good portion of this past year. Like Jonah, CVN’s struggle with questions about faith and justice have landed us in an unsettling place. We have tried to accept – even welcome – this darkness. We trust that re-imagining can be enhanced by disorientation and vulnerability. There is power in opening to God in scary spaces. Jonah experienced that. We are embracing that too and trusting where it will lead. 

We know this time is catalyzing new desire and vision with many of you. You may share our belief that, when leaving the belly of the beast, we must advocate for transformation of faith-based service that better honors communities and reduces barriers to services. Or, you may not be sure about what this time means for you and your program. Regardless, we want to be with you. We want to journey deeper with this whole community.      

Yonce Shelton, Catholic Volunteer Network 

Stopping in our tracks |CVV paused its volunteer program this past year to review and renew its call in light of racial justice and greater inclusion

Colorado Vincentian Volunteers paused its volunteer program this past year to examine how its systems and structures are racist. It stepped back in order to learn why it should change and how to do that. Its journey included engagement with volunteers, former volunteers, community partners, and other stakeholders. It also invited other area CVN programs to be part of that process.

Leaders and staff of these Denver area programs have been asking, listening, and praying. They have emotionally and spiritually invested in seeking transformation. They are on a humble and honest journey to witness to how faith-based service can be an example of justice and equity for Church and world.

Haley and others will share their stories of this decision to pause, the exploration that ensued, and the ongoing discernment about how to respond to how they are being shaped.

Haley Todd, Mandy Orta, Humberto Camarena, Kristi Gonsalves-McCabe, Colorado Vincentian Volunteers

Read about their story here.

Breaking open in community

Faith-based service programs often wrestle with the challenges involved in bringing together a group of volunteers who serve for a short period of time and often come from very different backgrounds and settings from those they seek to serve.

Dr. Patrick Reyes has dedicated significant time and energy to the challenge of translating the desire to help communities into actual impact that respects and empowers communities. His new book – The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive – stresses the need to account for conditions and systems. It offers advice on creating safe spaces for failure, nurturing networks that support young people of color, and professional guidance on how to implement these strategies in congregations, schools, and community organizations.

Dr. Reyes will be joined by his colleague, Christina Repoley, who is the founder and former executive director of Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS), a member organization of CVN. In this role, Christina worked diligently to create a program where young adults and the communities in which they served could all flourish, and learned a lot along the way. Patrick and Christina will model shared leadership and will challenge CVN to consider ways to better honor the communities we seek to support while supporting and challenging the young adults in our programs.

Pat Reyes & Christina Repoley, Forum for Theological Exploration

Schedule At A Glance

A Different Gathering


Questions about the National Conference on Faith-Based Service? Contact Jocelyn A. Sideco at [email protected].