What Do We Do?

“What do I do?” and “What do we do?” are questions you may be asking now.  The desire to respond to injustice and be part of the solution has been voiced in a range of ways in past weeks.  With regard to CVN, I have seen examples on our listserv, in emails we have received, and in thoughtful sharing on member calls. That has been great to see.

What I think all of us realize is that we also have to ask: “How do I learn?  How do I reflect?  How do we change?” I am taking to heart the message that I need much more education in order to act in just ways. I need far greater awareness to help me be prepared to speak up and witness in the face of discrimination or violence against others. I am trying to balance the need to better understand and the sense of urgency to act in this moment.

Conversations with CVN staff and board are helping. I think those can inform one core offering that might help you find the balance you need.

Each year, CVN hosts our Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service. It always seeks to foster both education and ideas for action for member program staff. It is a space that we hope inspires, catalyzes, and empowers you to serve more effectively in your unique settings. This year, our 43rd annual conference will be virtual (Oct. 28-29) and will again seek to help you focus, learn, and act in perhaps new ways.

“REIMAGINE” is CVN’s effort to support education and action that responds to this moment and helps consider a future with new approaches. It will be an opportunity for you to help discern and shape the role that faith and service should play in in the midst of a global pandemic, the growing  call for racial justice, and the beginning of an economic downturn. This moment asks us to re-examine our strategies and commitments. We must discern with clearer intention what just action requires. We should welcome the opportunity to REIMAGINE the future.

This conference will be different because it will be online – and because it will offer more of a focus on justice-oriented strategies than past events. CVN’s goal is to help you go deeper with action-oriented approaches that can enhance how you reflect, serve, and welcome volunteers. To help REIMAGINE our collective impact, the conference will focus on:

  • Injustice and oppression inherent in the history of faith and service
  • Authentically working in and with the communities programs serve
  • Supporting volunteers in bringing their full selves to the table
  • Exploring how to attract volunteers who represent all communities
  • Empowering volunteers to positively impact communities

Even before COVID-19, we had decided that REIMAGINE would be our theme this year – and probably also in 2021. It takes on a different meaning and focus now, and CVN believes this is something all of us can DO to promote change at this time. We have so much to learn in order to ensure positive impact down the road. And we believe that you, along with the speakers and panelists that will be part of REIMAGINE, we will be some of our teachers. Together we can take the next right steps.

I hope you’ll hold the conference dates, look for more information, and help all of us REIMAGINE the future of faith and service.

May you have what you need to discern the proper balance of education and action in each hour, day, week, and month.


October 28-29, 2020

With you in service,

Yonce Shelton
Executive Director


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