NEWS from National
Convocation Implementation Team/National Representative Council Report
Campaign 2006 Taking Shape
VOTF leaders are putting the final touches on what is expected to be VOTF's primary focus in 2006. The process begun in Indianapolis in July has produced nine resolutions, reviews by members and affiliate leaders, drafts of action plans, and feedback from VOTF's national officers and National Representative Council. The membership's cry for focused, coordinated actions has been heard and responsible options have been evaluated against the Indianapolis resolutions. These activities are being coordinated by the Convocation Implementation Team (CIT), which was given the job of ensuring that the ideas from Indianapolis were translated into focused and specific operational plans communicated clearly to affiliates and members for implementation. Affiliates are reviewing the revised plans in December and evaluating local applicability. The goal is to develop a coordinated national effort, with "template" plans that can be used for regional and local action as well. It is expected that Campaign 2006 will be formally launched in January.
The CIT will be supporting this first-time national effort by providing affiliates and members coordinated and consistent assistance through this campaign.
A note on the showing of “Twist of Faith” –
On November 13, 2005, the eve of the Bishops’ annual meeting in Washington, DC, the Northern Virginia affiliate (VOTF-NoVA) held a screening of the HBO Academy Award-nominated documentary, Twist of Faith. About sixty members of VOTF affiliates in the Washington metropolitan area and other interested guests watched the documentary in a public library, just a few miles from where the Bishops were gathering.
After the screening, attendees had the opportunity to share their reactions with national leaders of VOTF and SNAP who were in town for the Bishops’ meeting— Kris Ward and Gaile Pohlhaus (National Vice-President and Secretary respectively), Ray Joyce (Executive Director), David Clohessy and Mary Grant (SNAP Executive Director and National Director respectively). Despite all of the numbing revelations of abuse and cover-up since 2002, viewers were visibly anguished by the long-term effects of the abuse and of Church leaders’ stonewalling on Tony Comes, the survivor whose life is portrayed in the documentary, as well as on his family, his community, and his faith.
In the name of the five metropolitan area affiliates, Evelyn Mercantini, co-leader of VOTF-NoVA presented an Award of Courage to Tony Comes. Since Tony’s duties as a firefighter precluded him from accepting the award in person, David Clohessy accepted the award on his behalf.
The documentary serves as a powerful counterpoint to Episcopal claims that the abuse crisis is behind the Church. VOTF-NoVA scheduled the screening on this date as a witness to the life-long struggles of survivors to recover. Bill Casey
NATIONAL Communications Update –
Executive Director Ray Joyce announced the hiring of John Moynihan as Communications Manager for National VOTF with an emphasis on the press. John has served as interim manager since the Convocation in July.
From John Moynihan: VOTF affiliate leaders via regional coordinators have been advised of a new initiative in communications that will identify VOTF spokespeople at the affiliate level. We will commence in December with discussions on Wednesday Dec 7 @ 7:00 pm EST and Dec 8 @ 8:00 pm EST. Please choose the one that is most convenient to you and get back to me at email@example.com. I will email you prior to the date with an agenda and instructions on how to access the VOTF Conference Call system.
Discussions will be held on a monthly basis. Hopefully there will be a “Wednesday night group” and a “Thursday night group” so that we might build a sense of community among us, but occasional shifting between groups would be anticipated when schedules demand.