A few weeks ago, the Giving Voice Core Team, along with Communications Coordinator Ryan Hoffmann, gathered in Racine, WI for our annual planning meeting. While we typically meet via Zoom, the longer, in-person time is valuable for relationship building, evaluating and direction-setting of the overall organization. I’d like to share highlights of this meeting.
We started by naming what we see as Giving Voice's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Our people resources, peer network, leadership model, and growing outward actions were named as some of our greatest strengths and opportunities. We also recognized and celebrated the amazing things that Giving Voice members and leaders have initiated and brought to fullness. The busyness of the Core Team and young Sisters was named as a challenge and threat--probably not one that is going away any time soon.
We gave updates from the 20s/30s retreat, the 40s retreat, and the current planning of the national conference this summer. Finances and budget, roles and responsibilities, website and communication, membership, insurance and liability were all topics that we share in our ongoing work together.
With the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grant we received, we have been working with a consulting firm to hear and articulate the mission and vision of Giving Voice. From these conversations and discernment, Ryan is working in concert with the Core Team to create a brochure for external groups such as formation directors, leadership teams, and others to better share the value of the organization and its future trajectory. It has been fun to name who Giving Voice is, why it is vital to religious life now, and cultivate ways to share this excitement into the future.
In addition to our work, we shared deep, intimate prayer time and lots of food and laughter. Though the workload is a lot on top of our full-time ministries, I think I can speak for the Core Team when I say we are grateful for the opportunity to lead and to be part of this life-giving family of sisters.
We give thanks for who we are – together – as Giving Voice.
Sarah Heger, CSJ