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Wednesday, July 26 | 6:30 PM | On Zoom & In Person
You are invited to join a congregation-wide visioning session on Wednesday, July 26 from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM ET with consultants, Dr. Monica Hargraves and Jane Buckley. Our consultants have been hired to support the church, namely to conduct discussions, gather input, and learn what Riverside is thinking about values and goals. Their presence will build upon our congregational survey and past work, and support us in defining our future vision.
The church council approved this consulting work during the April 2023 Council Meeting and the work is a joint effort of the senior minister, senior staff, and church council. Together, we intend to collectively define our vision, beginning with gaining clarity on shared values and goals and then developing a plan to get there.
Dr. Hargraves and Ms. Buckley will coordinate with the Senior Minister and leadership team at the Riverside Church to design and then facilitate a series of interactive events with invited groups of Church leaders, staff, and members to articulate a shared vision for the work of the Church both locally and more broadly.
The collaborative, participatory process will ensure that diverse voices are heard and listened to, and will bring foundational values and guiding principles to the forefront throughout.
THE PROGRESS AND NEXT STEPS
Dr. Hargraves and Ms. Buckley met with senior staff in May. They will meet with small groups in June and July and will wrap up their process in September. The congregation-wide meeting is one of these interactive events.
Congregation Visioning Meeting
This meeting will be fully remote on Zoom to welcome members outside of NYC as well as those who are traveling and/or away for the summer. Council members, clergy, and senior leaders will be present to support the process, and for those who don’t have access to computers, we can provide space at Riverside to gather so that all can be part of the process.
The meeting has three primary purposes: (1) describing this visioning initiative and how it relates to the church’s prior strategic planning work; (2) summarizing what has been done so far and what lies ahead; and (3) explaining how the Congregation can engage in this project.
As an important step in the third purpose, the meeting will include interactive small group discussions, via Zoom breakout rooms, in which members will have the opportunity to contribute their own reflections on Riverside values and important visions for the future.
We are eager to receive your thoughts and ideas at the meeting.
Please read more about our consultants Dr. Hargraves and Ms. Buckley below.
Monica Hargraves, Ph.D.
Monica Hargraves received a B.A. in economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She was Assistant Professor at Brown University from 1988 to 1992, and Research Economist at the IMF from 1992 to 1994. Following a professional hiatus and with growing interest in community-based work, she joined the staff of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (NY) in 1998. In 2008 she returned to academia to join the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE), serving as Associate Director for Evaluation Partnerships at CORE from 2014 to 2021. Her work at Cornell University included collaborative research projects and evaluation capacity building with Extension programs throughout NYS, character development organizations across the US and internationally, and grassroots organizations across the US building equitable, sustainable local food systems. Her publications focus on Evolutionary Evaluation, Evaluative Thinking, and the development and application of the Systems Evaluation Protocol and Relational Systems Evaluation (RSE). She works now as an independent consultant, applying the tools and foundational principles of RSE to build knowledge and create mutually beneficial bridges between the expertise of practitioners and those supporting, funding, or researching community-based work. Her work increasingly includes using the tools and foundational principles of RSE to support community-centered groups and organizations working to build deeper shared understanding of the connections between their visions and their work in the world.
Jane Buckley, M.Ed.
Mrs. Buckley graduated from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 2004 with a B.S. in Human Development, and earned her M.Ed. in 2006 from the Bank Street College of Education (New York, NY), with a focus on inquiry-driven, constructivist approaches to instruction. In 2008, after working with the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE) team to pilot the newly developed Systems Evaluation Protocol (SEP) with local STEM education programs, Jane was invited to join the CORE team to help bring the SEP to other informal STEM programs As an Evaluation Manager at CORE, it was Jane’s responsibility to facilitate the Systems Evaluation Protocol with educators at sites around the country. After the completion of this early SEP project, Jane’s role at CORE evolved to include working to develop the Netway (CORE’s online, educational evaluation planning tool) and take on additional partnerships with organizations and systems across the country both within and outside the area of science education. In December 2015, Jane’s work as an evaluation educator and capacity builder has expanded beyond the partnerships established with CORE; and, beginning in 2016 she is fully self-employed as an evaluation capacity building consultant. Jane’s specialty is evaluation education and, in particular, facilitating the development of evaluative thinking skills which are critical to program planning and a positive and effective organizational culture as well as to evaluation. Over the past seven years, JCB Consulting has developed and tested evaluative thinking focused activities that complement the SEP approach to ECB. Similar partnerships have been implemented by JCB Consulting with country programs supported by Catholic Relief Services, Youth Character Development programs supported by the John Templeton Foundation, and evaluation professionals who are members of the American Evaluation Association. Similar ET activities have been added to this proposal to increase the likelihood of realizing ECB’s ultimate goal, which is improved program outcomes. Her work has established Jane as a go-to author on the topic of evaluative thinking and organizational capacity building.