My sad is not your sad. My angry is not your angry. My story is not your story. But we are in this together. And together we can help each other learn and focus in ways that seek to lift up the best of who we are.

A week ago, I was at the CVN office boxing up RESPONSE orders to be shipped. Away from the noise and activity of home, I was able to pay attention in a different way. I had known for some time that I was angry because of COVID-19 and the many related injustices we are witnessing. Moreover, I was beginning to understand that I was angry about my inability to help CVN programs more during this time. I was moving around hectically and giving off negative energy of frustration. Then I received a gift.

I read the two-page, handwritten letter requesting a copy of RESPONSE. I went from anger at my inability to have more impact, to sadness that every person seeking to serve may not get that chance. I think that helped me refocus in a good way. This week, I was part of another refocusing with others.

In recent days, the CVN Board’s Racial Justice and Diversity Committee and Executive Committee spent many hours producing a statement on the killing of George Floyd. Late in the process, when it appeared that the right words and tone had been chosen, one CVN board member offered this gift to all of us: Where is the healing?

That profound awareness about what is needed most and what CVN is about took the conversation to a new place. We asked why we were speaking out and what we hoped a statement would do. We refocused and went back to work.

We need healing, and we are connected by that need. This network has pursued mercy, justice, and healing in the ways of Jesus for decades – with imperfection. But if we keep seeking to learn, struggle and grow with faith and honesty, that can hopefully strengthen us, volunteers, communities, and the world. Through challenging opportunities, we must pray that God will help our commitments and change hearts.

CVN Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

With you in this moment,

Yonce Shelton
Executive Director


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