Joyfully Exhausted

A Letter from the Executive Director

My head is too tired to come up with anything very creative for this letter. But my spirit is joyous. I’m OK holding those two in tension – or maybe just letting them run wild within me. 

I know you are tired too. I have heard from you and from CVN staff how much effort you have made to care for your volunteers and staff. That takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll. So, I am especially thankful for your witness, which inspires us to serve better. And I pray that spiritually you are affirmed and maybe even at rest.     

Part of my joy during struggle comes from feeling like CVN is really in this with you. We have been served by your spirit and contributions to the network. Your stories and efforts have helped CVN staff work harder. hope we have also been effective. Thank you for trusting us.       

“What do we do?” was the question a few weeks ago as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. After many conversations, our answer became: “Provide space. Help members connect. Understand needs. Then do our best to help.” I hope you have been able to benefit from our coronavirus resource page with information, webinar recordings, and more. It has been a joy to work with you to make your insights and offerings more accessible. Thank for you many kind comments about our efforts.     

While wshare in your – and the whole world’s – exhaustion, Holy Week is the perfect time to name that. CVN staff have been asking what we can offer you next, but suggested that we pause our thinking for now. We are an Easter people, and things will look and feel differently next week. Right now, we need to be with and receive from the mysterious mix of joy, pain, and not knowing.   

Embracing uncertainty now is different than the focus CVN usually has on not knowing. CVN staff and board often wonder how we are doing; how we can serve you better; how we can impact your programs. We mourn when you hurthave a tough yearleave the network. We can’t really know the full impact of our COVID-19 effortsbut I hope they remind you of the power of community. They are not successful without your participation and gifts. You have affirmed our desires and gifts to serve the faith-based service arena, and we affirm you as being critical for strengthening of all of us.   

Therefore, I remind you that CVN membership renewal has been extended until APRIL  17th.  We know times are tough, but we hope you can remain with us if you are still undecided. We hope you have benefitted from membership in ways that don’t need to be measured. Please renew today and help keep this network strong. I’m happy to speak if you would like.     

You can expect more supports from us. Pray that we have the focus to think well and pray more about what those should be. Pray that the God of Eastewill provide what all of us need.   

I’m too tired mentally – but not spiritually – to find a moving way to end this letter. But I can offer this heartfelt expression of hope in the midst of loss. May it provide something you need.   


With you in exhausted joy,
Yonce Shelton
Executive Director

PS. Make sure you read about federal legislation that may impact you later in this newsletter. We’ve also added this information to our Coronavirus resource page.

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