44th Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service

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

We need people with vision. We need you.

We need executive leaders and board members

to be part of this catalytic experience

so that program staff may benefit from awareness of an evolving vision for faith-based service.

Learn more about RE-Imagine Transformation: A Different gathering

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

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

More Info About CVN

CVN: Transformation in Progress 

Highlights of CVN’s discernment, efforts to transform faith-based service, and engagement with member programs are below. For more examples see our 2020 Annual Report: 

Member Supports 

  • Calls and virtual meetings providing chances for program leaders to connect with others about the challenges of COVID. These are part emotional and spiritual support; part strategic assessment; and part idea factory.  
  • Makers' Spaces that allow program leaders to think anew and co-create visions for core aspects of their work.  
  • New virtual recruiting strategies that are not only helping CVN member programs, but also providing leadership for colleges struggling to adapt.    

Vision and Strategy 

  • Inviting CVN members to understand this time as calling for a “Prophetic and Pastoral” approach to the future.  
  • A new Group Concept Mapping process inviting member programs and other partners to a multi-stage process combining human insight with data driven mapping techniques. This effort began by inviting hundreds of people to respond to a question about a vision for faith-based service grounded in justice. 
  • Sisters INSPIRE is a two-year pilot project intended to disrupt the white dominant cultural narrative embedded in community service and uplift models of faith-based service that better support volunteers from diverse backgrounds and promote community partnership. We believe this project can lead to other efforts that  empower more member programs.  
  • Choose Service video campaign promoting the benefits of volunteering with CVN programs. 

Member Testimonies 

  • "While each of our programs have unique needs, CVN is dedicated to creating a space of collective knowledge, experiences, and resource sharing. It has been clear that CVN is passionate about helping each one of our programs thrive and reach our greatest potential.” 
  • "From the support calls when the pandemic first hit to anti-racism speakers at the most recent conference, CVN has offered access to so many important and informed voices for the most pressing issues we face as organizations." 
  • “Together with our fellow CVN members, we more fully represent the world of possibilities that no one program can be by itself.” 

Sponsors + Exhibitors

SUPPORT US

Our conference is an excellent way for organizations, service providers, and companies to connect with our community of faith-based service programs and support our work.

Interested in sponsoring? Contact Tina Cisarik, [email protected]

Questions?

Questions about the National Conference on Faith-Based Service? Contact Yonce Shelton at [email protected]