The IVC Vision and Planning process has been active since its launch in early October 2023. With one of the goals of the process being to “gain meaningful insights on experiences and views”, three of four initiatives have either been completed or are underway as 2024 begins. Hundreds of members of the greater IVC community have responded to the call to help “co-create a vision for IVC’s future” by “identify(ing) areas of strength in the mission and areas that require attention” through their participation in these initiatives. There will be further opportunities for participation in the Vision and Planning process in the coming months and, later this year, to help with the implementation of the future direction of IVC as we celebrate our 30th anniversary in the 2024-25 service year.
During October 2023, IVC released a survey on our website for participants to rate various aspects of IVC, including its service and spirituality programs, solicit feedback to open-ended questions and compile basic demographic information. Over 540 people responded and completed the survey over a three week period. From service corps members to spiritual reflectors, regional council members to benefactors, the response was outstanding and the ratings, suggestions and feedback were honest and thoughtful. All of the survey data will provided to the IVC National Board of Directors this spring as they work to develop the going forward plan for IVC.
Beginning in mid-October and concluding in early December, IVC conducted four facilitated Visioning Sessions with over 100 participants. These two-hour sessions engaged IVC members in the powerful discernment method of Spiritual Conversations. Led by individual facilitators, small breakout groups reflected upon and discussed three questions, including “How should IVC seek to meet this moment in time?”. Participants responded to what others in their group have experienced and also shared what their vision of IVC is 10 years in the future, during IVC’s 40th anniversary year. Scribes took note of these conversations and the feedback is now being compiled for sharing with the Board this spring for their discernment.
In the last week of January 2024, IVC will release a survey to members of the Jesuit communities in the United States, seeking their unique feedback and perspectives on the mission of IVC and its impact in the regions it serves within. Similar to the Fall 2023 survey, this survey of the Society of Jesus membership seeks to glean the perceived strengths of IVC, growth and improvement opportunities and their vision of the future of IVC. IVC is hopeful that a large number of Jesuits will respond to the invitation to share their thoughts about the value, effectiveness and impact of IVC, its volunteers and its spirituality program.
During January and February 2024, members of the Board of Directors will be conducting one-on-one interviews with Jesuit priests, benefactors and partner service organizations to obtain their feedback on IVC and its future. Results of these intimate, conversational engagements will also be a part of the valuable information the Board will consider as it discerns IVC’s future state.
Finally, later this year, after the Board of Directors meets in the spring, focus groups of IVC service corps members, spiritual reflectors, council members, Jesuits, benefactors and regional directors and national staff will meet to discuss and help develop the future direction of IVC.
– Dennis Quinn