• Search the Site

Upcoming Events

 Helping Others Serve the Poor

 Helping Others Serve the Poor 1200 628 Jill Pioter

(Excerpted from Vincentian Life: Conference)

When someone considers reaching out to help the poor and calls the parish office for a contact person or organization, the name given is usually someone involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Conference. Why? It is because they are active, visible, and available. They are the ones to contact who will channel the desire to serve or volunteer in the right direction. For it is by our visibility within the parish community, not our anonymity, that we help others come to serve the poor.

At the Conference Level

Being Active

Active Members of the Society are actively involved in the works of the Conference, and at least knowledgeable if not involved in the work of the District and Diocesan Councils. We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” That busy person may not be able to help, but he or she usually will know where to send someone to get help.

Being Visible

Each of us, regardless of the talents God has given us, can be a leader. We lead by example. Even the most introverted among us can lead by doing — doing the Conference food and clothing drives, bundle Sundays, Christmas programs, and all the other activities that the parish Conference is involved with.

Through the parish bulletin let your fellow parishioners know what you are doing and how you are serving the poor. This gives others ideas on how they can help. Monthly news items in the parish bulletin about Conference activities are recommended. Monthly news items, consistently appearing over several years, begin to make a lasting impression.

Give the people in your parish a name (a person to contact) or a telephone number (office or Conference number – not a member’s personal number) and repeat that often. If you have a good thing going (and we do), tell the world. People like to join an organization that is active, with lots of things happening.

You also need to make known the needs of the Society as well as the Conference, along with the opportunity to help the poor. We have a message of hope for the poor. We also have a way to help, for those who aren’t poor.

Being Available

To be available is to make a great gift — the gift of your time. The work of the Society is, according to the Rule, subordinate to your commitments within your family and job. So your “available” time comes out of your recreation or “fun” time, and that’s the sacrifice.

Many Conference members are available to the poor but aren’t willing to talk about what they do for others. Some of us aren’t instinctively saleswomen and salesmen, but we must all become communicators. There are people in the parish and outside world who want to know the what, why, where and how of what we do. We need to tell them. Everything we do requires volunteers to make it work and enthusiasm to make it happen. Once others hear about these things, they too can be a part of it.

At the Upper Council Level

The work of the Society often meshes with the objectives of other groups, even commercial organizations. Mutually-beneficial activities can be scheduled that serve the needs of these groups and the poor at the same time. Even activities which appear self-serving (e.g., the professional athlete showing up to serve in a charity dining room) can have many beneficial effects. The poor can thrill to see the star, and the athlete can have his heart touched by what he sees and begin to take a deeper interest in the poor and the work of the Society.

Other community groups, such as those dealing with domestic violence, can find their efforts flower when they join with the Society to serve those who are suffering. In a synergistic effect, Vincentians are able to do their work better and more productively while the other groups can extend their assistance into more troubled homes.

Contacts with CEOs or large business interests are probably out of the reach of the average Conference. However, if that CEO or business executive is a member of your parish community or a personal friend, who knows what can be achieved?

Who knows what initial contact got Eddie Basha (owner of a food store chain), Bill Keane (popular cartoonist), Joe Garagiola (baseball player and commentator) or Mohammed Ali (champion boxer) involved with the Society? Perhaps it was simply a Vincentian enthusiastically talking about our work with someone they knew only as a friend or neighbor.

Leadership by example. Active. Visible. Available. You can do all four.

Communications – Part Two

Communications – Part Two 1200 628 Jill Pioter

(Excerpted from Vincentian Life: Conference)

B. Person-to-Person Activities

  • Schedule Conference meetings on different days and at different hours to ensure that everyone, regardless of their work schedule, has an opportunity to attend Conference functions (for example, one meeting on a Wednesday evening, Saturday morning, or another on a Sunday after Mass).
  • Mail the agenda of upcoming meetings to members who have been missing meetings. It’s a good reminder. To encourage better attendance, publish an annual calendar showing all meeting and other activity dates so people can plan in advance to attend and participate.
  • Mail the minutes after the meeting to members who did not attend. For those who missed the meeting, that’s also a good reminder not to miss the next one.
  • Parish Ministry Fairs. Almost every parish has one, so don’t pass on this opportunity to tell your story. Print simple sign-up forms (get new folks to sign up and come to a meeting; worry about getting detailed personal data later). Also print a short list of the work your Conference does and where it needs help.
  • Parish Festival (are you a part of your parish?). Take part in the festival as a Conference. Distribute information on the work of the Society and your Conference. Provide sign-up forms.
  • Personal Talks. This gives you the opportunity to recruit by letting the workers in other parish ministries understand what the Conference really does. Talk to the Sodality, Knights of Columbus, peace and justice council, Catholic Daughters of America, Right-to-Life Committee, etc. Cooperate with these groups on joint projects – distributing Rosaries, scheduling people for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, helping build a Habitat for Humanity home.
    You don’t have to be a great speaker. Just tell them what you and your fellow Vincentians do. How many parishioners want to answer Christ’s call to serve the poor, but have never been asked? They may be embarrassed to come forward or maybe they just don’t know where to go to become involved. You can be their gateway to the Society.
  • Recruit, recruit, recruit! The strength of a Conference is in its members, so it must constantly be recruiting new members. Recruitment can usually be accomplished in four ways:
    1) An Invitation to Serve This is a very successful program first introduced in Phoenix in the 1990’s and supported by the bishop and most pastors. After many successful recruitment campaigns, it was promoted and distributed as a nationwide program through the National Council.
    2) Word of mouth – friend asking friend
    3) Written material – passing out brochures, mailing newsletters
    4) Presentations to groups of non-members
    Ask people to join: If you don’t ask, you can’t get. The best recruiting is done by people who are currently active and enthusiastic. They give the best testimony of the benefits they receive from serving the poor.
    Ask people again and again. Many will eventually join. Some may simply change their mind. Others’ lives and interests may change and they are finally ‘ready.’ A few may just be impressed by your sincerity and persistence.
  • Address the Congregation. Many Conference presidents have been addressing the congregation at the end of all Masses once a year with their pastor’s permission. An Invitation To Serve utilizes this arrangement and your bishop may be an active supporter of this approach. It gets your message to those who won’t read what you print and distribute, and satisfies those who want to “put a face” on an organization.
  •  Use sign-up tables on special Sundays, placed outside the church doors. Have literature, photographs, newsletters, sign-up forms, and a card preprinted with the day, time and place of your next two meetings. Good days for this technique include:
    … the Sunday with the ‘Widow’s Mite’ Gospel
    … the last Sunday in April (Ozanam Sunday) – Blessed Frederic Ozanam’s birthday and the anniversary of the founding of the Society is April 23
    … the Sunday closest to Sept. 9 – Blessed Frederic Ozanam’s feast day
    … the Sunday closest to Sept. 27 – St. Vincent de Paul’s feast day
  • Have a special Mass to celebrate these feast days. If there are Conferences in neighboring parishes consider joining together for the Mass. Schedule it at a time convenient for Father, and follow the Mass with coffee and refreshments or a simple pot luck supper afterwards. Invite all the clergy from the parishes involved to join the Conferences members for a short time afterwards.

C. Communicating Through Attitude
(Making people feel welcome)

We have all heard that “actions speak louder than words.” Truer words were never said. If you want your Conference to grow, your actions must match your words.

  • Be a totally open organization. Exclude no one. Invite everyone. There are no closed meetings. There are no subcommittees that make all the decisions; however, only Active Members participate in the decision-making. We are totally democratic.
  • Tell the parish what you want. The parish must know that you want new members. Say it verbally and in posters, fliers, newsletters and brochures. Too many groups (including church groups) are viewed as cliques or closed societies.
  • Publicize your meetings well in advance. People live busy lives and have full calendars. Then provide last-minute reminder calls.
  • Make it easy to join. Don’t make it complex – no applications, no forms – just a willingness to serve.
  • Make people feel welcome at any meeting. When someone new shows up, welcome the person. Introduce all new people at each meeting and continue to introduce them for two or three meetings thereafter.

D. Focus Your Communications
(Protecting the future of your Conference)

Often your communications will focus on a specific target audience. You must modify your language, tactics and even media to appeal to different groups. One example is communicating with youth groups.                                                                                                                             

  • The Society has no future if you do not bring in young people. Problem Conferences are usually those which have made no effort to bring in new members. Old members resist change. They don’t trust the judgment of newcomers, claiming they have no experience. Yet without a continuing flow of new blood, a Conference will become stagnant and die (or become ineffective).
  • Expand your efforts through contacts with:
    * Boy and Girl Scouts and similar youth organizations. Talk with their adult leaders about talking to the troops and packs. Devise activities where young people can be involved and make a contribution. One Conference even offers the St. Vincent Youth Service medal, borrowed from the New Orleans Diocesan Council.
    * Teen, college, young adult and RCIA groups in the parish. Again, talk to the heads of these parish ministries. Talk to the groups separately, adjusting your talk to the interests, resources and age of each group.
    * Teachers, nurses and counselors at your parish grammar school and regional Catholic high school. Ask to visit the classroom to give a 15-minute talk about St. Vincent or Blessed Frederic. Get the kids to take on a project, designing posters and fliers in their own graphics showing how Jesus expects us to treat the poor. Publicize the best in each age group. When the project is over, write thank you letters to the kids (not the teacher) in their own language. Consider, for example, sending first graders a letter from a poor child written with crayon.         

E. Adapt to Changing Circumstances

  • Prospects for membership are always changing. People die or move out of your parish while others move in; kids grow up and become adult members of the parish; parents finally get their kids out of the house or retire and now have time to volunteer; after a period of grieving, widows and widowers have time on their hands, a need for social interaction, and a desire to contribute and be involved.
    This requires constant repetition of your message, often to people you might feel have heard it before. But at earlier times in their lives, their minds weren’t receptive and they failed to hear. For many, it’s a new message: working in the Conference provides an outlet for one’s energy, stability in one’s life, new friendships, and involvement with people who share their values and faith.
  • Recognize that lifestyles have changed. You can no longer expect to find members who fit the membership mold of 50 years ago. People’s lives and jobs have changed, their time and family are more fragmented. You must accept what people can contribute, even if it is less than what the Conference used to request or expect. There are no longer any “minimums” attached to membership.
    If you want young mothers as members, you must accept less from them (in terms of time commitments) than from the retired individuals the Society traditionally recruited. Many people can’t give you two hours a week; they are lucky to give you two hours a month.
  • Don’t give up on former members. Send out a “come home” letter to every past member. You don’t know why they left, what or who offended them, what has changed in their lives. Now may be the moment when they are ready to come back. They may be just waiting to be asked.

F. Understand Efficacy
(Accomplishing your objective)

Efficacy is neither efficiency nor economy. Efficacy is attaining a desired result. Money is only a minor consideration in our ministry. You want people to do what’s right, not what’s the most economic or efficient. People are happier when they can ‘feel’ the result of their work – relate to the poor and their condition. Then you are more likely to accomplish your objective – gaining and keeping new members.

A mother who spends $3.79 to buy and donate a 32-oz. jar of peanut butter knows kids like peanut butter. She knows it’s a healthy, high-protein food. She knows that jar will make 17 sandwiches for hungry kids. She can now relate to how the mother of several poor children will feel when she receives it – even though she will never meet that poor mother or see her children. Even though you may be able to get a whole case of peanut butter from a food bank for just $3.50, don’t even think about asking her to give you the $3.79 instead. It would take the joy out of her gift. It would “de-personalize” her act. It would steal away her connection with that poor mother. Her gift of peanut butter enables her to “identify” with the needs of another woman. That’s efficacy.

Substituting the writing of a check for the personal service shown above would be efficient, cold and impersonal. The Society leans toward efficacious service.

BE TOLERANT AND UNDERSTANDING

Our church, our Society and undoubtedly our own Conferences are full of liberals, conservatives, radicals and Neanderthals. If we are to successfully work together to serve the poor, we must focus on what unites us rather than on what divides us.

You don’t have to change your party registration to join the Society, and no one can make you vote for someone or something you disagree with. You probably already have friends you disagree with on major topics, yet you go out to eat or drink together.

Love, respect, and tolerate each other. Rejoice in the fact that, despite our seeming differences, we are united in service to the poor.

Despite our own personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we never know what act or prayer or touch or liturgy helps turn a soul back to God. Bishop Fulton Sheen said there is a light bulb in every human being, waiting for the moment when Christ provides the energy, however small at first, to light the filament.

Do the work of the Society. Help light those filaments.

Conflict in Conference Meetings

Conflict in Conference Meetings 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Conference meetings are intended to be “mutually fulfilling” gatherings where members joyfully share their experiences, grow in faith and make plans to serve others. Sometimes, however, members do not always agree on how to go about these activities and the meetings are far from mutually fulfilling. Managing meeting conflict is almost never at the top of any Conference president’s list of favorite undertakings, but it doesn’t need to be a negative experience. In fact, sometimes it can be healthy and help your Conference grow. Here we share a few tips to better prevent and manage conflict within your Conference meetings.

 To Prevent Conference Meeting Conflicts

Send out a detailed, specific agenda ahead of time so that members know how the meeting will proceed. Make it clear that the meeting will unfold in an organized, respectful manner.

  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of the members in your Conference, and tailor the discussion style to maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.
  • Encourage frequent communication among Conference members outside of meetings so that members feel informed and are not taken by surprise.
  • Ensure that minutes are kept of Conference meetings, including specifics about decisions made and timeframes. Distribute minutes in advance to all Conference members to reduce inconsistencies in memory.
During a Conference Meeting
  • Make sure all Conference members have the chance to speak and be listened to respectfully.
  • For significant topics, give members a few moments to process the question at hand and perhaps write down a few notes before starting the discussion.
  • Present things in such a way that indicates the Conference is working through issues together.
  • Try to anticipate conflict and address the issue before it happens. Be aware of members’ nonverbal communication and apparent discomfort.
  • Encourage the Conference to be specific in its decisions to avoid ambiguity about when or how something will be done (i.e., “Jesse will contact Father Mike by noon on Friday,” not “Jesse will contact Father Mike soon”).
Should a Conflict Arise

Pause briefly to allow the Conference and its members a chance to temper emotions and think of how to say things in a thoughtful, respectful fashion.

  • Repeat/summarize what you have heard Conference members say so they know you heard them.
  • Neutralize personally-directed comments by restating them in terms of objective qualities, issues or actions, not people themselves (i.e., “Maria tries to avoid us all of the time and refuses to answer our phone calls” to “You feel that Maria is not making herself available to the needs of the Conference,” or perhaps even better, “You feel that our current system of reporting home visits is not working”).
  • Redirect tangents back to the agenda item under discussion.
  • Restate and reframe the larger context of the situation to keep the topic in perspective.
  • Identify and outline the points of agreement that exist between disagreeing parties.
  • Find a “grain of truth” in an opposing viewpoint and use that to begin to build consensus.
  • Strive to arrive at group consensus; avoid voting on a divisive topic if possible.
  • Place the discussion on hold and ask the Conference spiritual advisor to lead the Conference in a prayer before continuing.
If the Conference Is Stuck
  • Reduce unknown factors and fear by assigning a subgroup to research the topic a bit more and report back at a future meeting.
  • Table the conversation until a future meeting.
  • Discern whether someone perceives a threat to themselves or to their interests. If so, address/discuss the issue in a kindly fashion that preserves their dignity.
  • If the topic is hijacking the meeting, arrange for either the whole group or those members most invested in the topic to hold a separate meeting in the future to discuss it.
  • If only one individual is upset about an issue for a prolonged period of time, ask to meet separately with him/her after the meeting.
  • Consider whether another factor(s) may be contributing to rigidity in mindset or aggression in verbal response.
  • While maintaining confidentiality, seek advice from fellow Conference/Council presidents, National Office staff, committee chairs or other Vincentian peers. Many other Vincentian leaders may have faced similar circumstances and have suggestions based on what worked for them.

Know that you are not alone in facing difficult Conference situations at times. Facing conflict may not be your favorite part of serving the poor, but your adept handling of it will allow for so much more love, respect, commitment and loyalty to grow among Conference members and toward those in need as a result.

Unoriginal material in the above list was drawn from the following articles. If you would like further information, follow the links below:

Conference Guidelines

Conference Guidelines 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

*Information for this week’s Governance article came from Vincentian Life: Conference

New members have a real challenge before them when they join a Conference. There is a tremendous amount of “stuff” that they have to learn: who the other members are, principles and history of the Society, spirituality, how to do Home Visits, where everything is, what and when to do something, and what and when not to. It can all be very confusing. Actually, it can all be confusing to members who have been around for a while, as well. That is why it is important to have a set of Conference guidelines.

WRITTEN GUIDELINES

Have you ever heard the expressions: that’s the way we do things, we’ve always done it this way, we can’t do that, or it’s just not done that way. That is one of the most frustrating things about being a member – especially a new one. Not knowing what to do and/or being criticized for doing something the wrong way can be very humiliating. It would all be much simpler if all those ways and things were written down somewhere.

They can be.  They should be. And, the most organized and well run Conferences have a set of written guidelines that are available to all members. They are not just a set of rules that have been accumulated over the years, they are a formal set of guidelines that have been defined, organized and presented in a form that is convenient to use, easy to understand and readily accessible to all members.

Without the written guidelines, the statements above will continue to flow and new members will continue to scratch their heads – some even leaving the Conference. Without the written guidelines, people will give their own interpretation of what is the proper way because that’s the way they remember being taught.

ORGANIZING THE GUIDELINES

Before preparing a set of guidelines, the Conference members should attend an Ozanam Orientation. This is important since it gives members an understanding of what is important and what should be stressed in our ministry. Without this basic understanding, guidelines may be developed simply because they sound good or logical. The guidelines we develop for a Conference should be reflective of our call to ministry.

Preparing a set of guidelines is not that difficult. The Conference should establish a committee of about three people who will take on the task of creating the first draft of the guidelines. They will get together a few times and map out the guidelines which will be reviewed, updated and hopefully approved by the Conference for their use. Your Conference may also get a copy of the guidelines of a neighboring Conference. Do NOT simply adopt someone else’s guidelines as your own. You should make sure your guidelines fit the needs of your Conference and those in need in your parish community.

Look to the other chapters in this book and pay close attention to the topics of food, rent, utilities, Home Visits, etc. Then come to a consensus among the committee members as to what a reasonable expectation should be in dealing with those types of service. Members of the Conference may have already dealt with these issues and some unwritten guidelines or rules may already exist.

“Guidelines” should be just what the word means. These are not firm rules that have to have the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. These are possible ways to approach fulfilling the requests for help. The guidelines should provide possible solutions. One thing is extremely important to remember: guidelines are intended to define how people in need can be served, they are not intended to define how people are to be turned away.

When circumstances dictate, the members can vote to override a guideline for a particular case.

Once the draft is compiled, copies should be presented to all members for their review, correction and final approval. This process may take two or three meetings to complete. This review and approval process is a Conference process and should not be left to only a few people. Once consensus has been reached by the Conference as a whole, the document should be formally published and each member should be given a copy. The Secretary will be given the original to keep with the Conference records. All new members should receive a copy of the guidelines when they join the Conference.

REVIEW/UPDATE/APPROVE

At the beginning of the fiscal year (October or November), the Conference guidelines should be reviewed by the members of the Conference. They should be evaluated to see if they are still appropriate for the conditions that currently exist. The same process that was followed to review and approve the initial set of guidelines should also be used to review, update and approve the new guidelines. Once again, all members should be given copies of the guidelines.

SUMMARY

Conference guidelines are one of the keys to having an organized and well-run Conference. None of the guidelines should contradict the Rule, Manual or Bylaws or any local, state, or federal tax laws. None of the guidelines should in any way indicate who to serve or how not to serve someone in need. If they are properly prepared, the guidelines will help Conference members serve those in need in the best way possible.

Assisting and Guiding Conferences

Assisting and Guiding Conferences 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

FORMATION/TRAINING

The Council should provide formation and training to all members of the Council especially new Vincentians. The National Formation and Spirituality Committee has developed formation/training programs that are available across the country. The National website (www.svdpusa.org) has many documents, power points, etc. available that should be used to form and train Vincentians.

By a resolution of the National Council, all new members of the Society have to attend an Ozanam Orientation within their first year as a member. Also, any member, who is elected to or appointed to be an officer at any level in the Society, must have attended an Ozanam Orientation or must attend one within the first year as an officer. It is highly recommended that all members of the Society attend the Ozanam Orientation at least once. Attending the Ozanam Orientation every three to four years as a refresher is recommended for all members.

This places a burden on the Council. The Council must provide the Ozanam Orientation formation program within the Council area as often as is necessary to fulfill the requirements for training prescribed by the National Council. If the District Council lacks the resources to provide the Ozanam Orientation on an as needed basis, it should seek assistance from the next higher Council to provide this training.

CONFERENCE/COUNCIL VISITATION

Conference visitation by a District Council (District Council visitation by a Diocesan Council) is an extremely important responsibility of the Council. The Officers and Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director should each attend one Conference (Council in case of Diocesan Council) meeting each month to facilitate communications and solidarity with them. That means that five meetings a month could be attended if the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director each participate. In many District Councils, this would mean that each Conference is visited at least twice a year. For Diocesan Councils, coverage depends on the frequency of District meetings. A staff person should come along on some of the visits to explain what that department or special work does and how they can assist the Conference/Council.

YOUTH INVOLVEMENT

A planned program for youth involvement is very important. Many aids are available for recruitment, involvement and understanding how we can utilize one of our greatest assets. There are so many aids now available, such as brochures, outlines of how to start a youth conference, power point recruitment, and many more. There are Regional Youth chairs you can contact that are eager to offer ideas and assistance. With no intent to overuse an old cliché, “youth are our future.”

DIVERSITY

The United States is a melting pot of race, creed, language, and culture. It is important that our Conferences reflect the diversity of our local community within its membership. Councils should emphasize awareness of community demographics and assist Conferences to build their membership based on who comprises their community. Councils should also strive to develop diverse leadership both within the Conferences and Councils themselves.

Councils and Their Conferences

Councils and Their Conferences 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

This document is about Councils; yet, the starting point of this document is Conferences. Why is that? As you will see below, Councils don’t exist without Conferences and the Council’s primary role is to support the Conferences.

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION IN THE COUNCIL

This is an important principle to keep in mind: Conferences that do not want to participate with the Council have not been convinced they receive anything of value from the Council and its activities. Councils should never be formed simply for the sake of forming a Council. Councils have a particular purpose and the Conferences must understand what that is.

In the Rule that was in effect prior to 2003, there was a statement that was a clear definition of the purpose of any Council. This statement was in Part II of the Rule, Article 15:

  • Councils are responsible for animating and coordinating the work of SVdP units within their respective jurisdictions.
  • They serve the Conferences. All Councils are first and foremost at the service of the Conferences with a view to furthering charitable activities. Because every Council gathers information about human needs and services from a variety of sources – the community at large, as well as the Conferences – it keeps Conferences in touch with changing social problems and new programs for helping
  • … each year, each Council obtains and compiles a consolidated annual report of all the Conferences and Councils attached to it. The Council’s report is then forwarded with any comments to the next higher Council for the preparation of the annual report of the National Council of the United
  • Councils encourage initiatives and strive to bring about the establishment of Conferences, Councils and new works, and the revival of dormant or defunct
  • A Council reviews and evaluates applications for aggregation and institution that are submitted by its affiliated SVdP groups. If approved at District and Diocesan Council levels, the application is forwarded to the National Council for transmittal to the Council General (International).
  • Councils organize, to the fullest possible extent, training and formation sessions for members and potential members on spiritual themes, the Vincentian vocation, and problems of social action and justice.
  • To coordinate Vincentian work, Councils keep in regular contact with their Conferences and Councils and inform them of the activities of the
    The Council represents its constituent units in contacts with religious and public
  • Each Council determines the expected contribution (solidarity) from attached Conferences and Councils in order to meet its necessary expenses and assist needy Conference and Council groupings attached to
  • Special works of the Society conducted by the Councils must rely on the Conferences for support, personnel and

In the current Rule, these responsibilities have not changed. They are also spelled out but not in so compact a form.

The fact of the matter is that all Conferences should be aware of what the Council is doing for them. Conferences should be receiving benefits from the Council that clearly provide value to them. It is the responsibility of the Council to ensure that Conferences understand this clearly. Ultimately, it is the Conference members themselves who make up the Councils and who make the decisions in support of the Conferences.

STRONG CONFERENCES

Strong Conferences make a strong Council!! It is the Council’s responsibility to assist and guide Conferences in fulfilling the mission of the Society. The best way to do this is to ensure that Conference leadership and members understand what the Society is all about, what the role of the Conference is and what is expected of members.

When Conferences get into trouble (begin to decline or get into some other difficulty), it is far better to be proactive rather than reactive. It is recommended that each Council form a Conference Resources and Concerns Committee to:

  1. Promote understanding and compliance with the Rule, Bylaws and Manual;
  2. Develop resources that will help Conferences to understand and fulfill their roles in the Society;
  3. Provide training materials for Conference leadership;
  4. Monitor Conference activity and act to assist Conferences who are in trouble;
  5. Promote and assist in establishing new Conferences;
  6. Assist in revitalizing existing Conferences, where needed; and
  7. Mediate Conference concerns where

A well-formed Conference Resources and Concerns Committee can monitor Conference activities and offer many aids to make a Conference more effective.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

    Privacy Preferences

    When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

    Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
    Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
    Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
    Click to enable/disable video embeds.
    Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.
    Skip to content