How CVA 2.0 can put your congregation on the road to vitality
by the Rev. Hunter Ruffin, Rector – Epiphany Church, Tempe, AZ
Version 2.0 of the free Congregational Vitality Assessment will be officially released on August 5, 2021, along with our new, subscription-based CVA Judicatory Dashboard.
It’s a familiar narrative in just about every congregation these days: attendance numbers are shrinking, the children are fewer in number, and the people in the parish want to do something (anything!) to reverse the trend. The question that almost always looms large at the start of any such process is simple and, in its own way, profound: Where do we begin?
I entered a narrative similar to this when I accepted the call to serve as the next rector at Church of the Epiphany in Tempe, Arizona. In fifteen years’ time, the parish dwindled from an average Sunday attendance of 353 to an average Sunday attendance of 182 prior to the pandemic. It was clear that things were not going in the direction that any parish wants to see. It was abundantly clear that we needed to do something, but it was less clear what that something was.
After a lengthy discussion, lots of research, and even more prayer, the vestry discerned that they could do the visioning work without spending a lot of money on a consultant. Surely, we could find the resources we needed to launch a strategic visioning process that would fold in a good chunk of the parish. The thing that was less clear to us was whether we could do that whilst in the middle of a pandemic. After all, Zoom fatigue (can we shorthand this as Zoomtigue?) was already an affliction most of us suffered through on a daily basis.[Read more…]