“Change is situational. Transition is psychological. Without a transition, change is just rearranging the furniture.” (William Bridges)
The CVN staff has changed a lot in the last half year. We have been patient and thoughtful regarding what these changes mean and how they invite us to adapt. Now, we are intentionally transitioning in several ways. That includes deeper work of assessing what we want to become given realities within this network and the world.
We spent time in what Bridges calls the in between of confusion and distress. We are now embracing new beginnings that we are co-creating. We are proactively transitioning, not just accepting change. That is an Easter invitation that goes well beyond the psychological. Therefore, I want to share some vision and efforts that we hope can help you.
Staff changes led to discernment about what focus we need and who can ensure that. We explored staff configurations with the goal of finding the right balance to help this network, while not forgetting how hard it is to plan in the time of COVID! I am happy to share that our patience and trust have been worth it. In addition to welcoming Tina Cisarik as our new Development Manager a few weeks ago, we have another new member of our team.
Jocelyn A. Sideco has become CVN’s Associate Executive Director. Since October 2020, she has been with us in a part-time, short-term digital outreach role that allowed us – and many of you – to get to know her. In her new role, Jocelyn will direct internal organizational change to strengthen the ways we support all our member organizations. As our first intentionally remote employee, she will coach us into becoming a more agile, nimble, and responsive staff. This will allow us to broaden and expand the ways we support you. Read more HERE.
CVN is also transitioning from one Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grant to another. Since 2013, two Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grants helped us deepen partnerships with Sisters-sponsored programs, offer new Program Management Courses and recruitment models, and enhance strategies to assess our efforts. A new grant, Sisters INSPIRE, will further equip staff and volunteers of CVN member programs with training and resources focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Measurement, Evaluation, and Learning (MELs). It is a step toward a new vision we think will have implications for the whole network. This project is part of an evolving vision we have 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. Learn more HERE.
These transitions will help us be more efficient and visionary. Moreover, there are two ways you can embrace transition to help the network and your program.
First, in coming months you will be able to take part in CVN’s Group Concept Mapping Project, which will support our strategic planning process. This effort will help us explore big questions about how this network can respond to the challenges of this time and increase the impact of faith-based service. We will ask questions about identity, mission, and impact. You can read more about this in our April HCIH newsletter.
Secondly, we are considering how to best support you with an offering that usually takes the form of our annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service. CVN staff believe that the network would benefit from a more intimate, retreat-like approach (virtually) this year. The goal would be to help you process the past years, identify ideas for transition, and gain support from others who know what you are going through. Can you join me for a call in the coming weeks? Do let me know by emailing me at [email protected].
It is Easter! This is a time when Christians affirm Jesus’ decision to intentionally transition. A time when we get to affirm that we will not be satisfied with what the world deals us – but that we too will choose spiritual engagement and the hard work of re-imagining.
We are with you. We will do what we can to support and empower you. Let me know if you have thoughts.
P.S. If you forgot to renew your CVN membership there is still time! Just log in to the CVN website and visit this page: https://catholicvolunteernetwork.org/members/membership-renewal/. Please note that as indicated in previous emails, renewals now incur a 5% late fee as our renewal deadline was April 2.