Practically Spiritual

A Letter from the Executive Director

You work and minister in a spiritual realm. What you do is grounded in something that cannot be totally understood, measured, or explained. I hope that is true of your program’s foundation, even though numbers, budgets, and evaluations demand attention too.

This year’s National Conference – “Many Rays, One Rising” – seeks to honor that relationship. CVN staff are working hard to balance inspiration/affirmation/support and empowerment/ideas/strategies.  We want to honor the great work you do and the community you are part of – as well as offer new tools and ideas. I have been telling our keynote speakers and panelists that it’s great to affirm you and the value of faith-based service, but make sure they give you something practical that can help you minister even better! The conference, its themes, and who we have invited reflect that approach.

I shared a few months ago why our keynoters were selected. Now, I want to say more about our panelists.  Each can help you integrate vision and desire with tools and action.

As part of our day focused on Reaching New Audiences and Increasing Diversity, you will hear about:

  • efforts by the Director of Multicultural Ministry at a leading Catholic youth organization
  • diversity and inclusion strategies by a leadership incubator empowering young leaders to be change agents
  • CVN member programs who have implemented strategies for diversity in terms of race and age

Our day focused on Telling the Story of Faith-Based Service features panelists who will go deeper about:

  • understanding and reaching Millennials and Gen Z to making service experiences relevant
  • those who are leaving the Church and what they need
  • communicating across media platforms about spirituality, faith, and meaning

The final panel will offer strategies that can complement what you are already doing; that may help you understand your gifts and assets in new ways. You’ll hear from practitioners about: working ecumenically and with secular partners; sustaining a new vision; advocacy; and civic leadership.

You may get more insights, tools, and data than you know what to do with. But we trust you’ll know what that special something is that will help you take another step toward your vision. You can learn more about these panels and panelists by clicking HERE.

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A few years ago, a friend who is a seminary professor was telling my wife and me about his new book on practical theology. She looked at me and asked: when will something you do be practical?!

There are times when faith is not practical; times when we should dwell in mystery. While we will honor that at this conference, we will also explore practical applications of trusting the Spirit and your vision. I hope to see you there.

With you in service,

Yonce Shelton
Executive Director

Click here to read about Yonce’s recent experience at Voice and Vision National Summit in ‘Relationships not Programs.

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