Official Statement by CFJ President on COVID-19

We value our partnership and appreciate the trust you have in us to provide transformational experiences through our JusticeworX, ServiceworX, LeaderworX, and NeXt Level programs as well as others offered by the Center for FaithJustice throughout the academic year. We continue to work to create safe experiences that not only inspire youth participants and program staff, but also create stronger communities.

After careful prayer and deliberation, we are announcing the suspension of scheduled WorX programming for summer 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and response.  This  pertains to ALL JusticeworX, ServiceworX, and LeaderworX programs scheduled for June, July, and August.  Activities related to NeXt Level, including the Ignition Retreat and Level Up program weeks, have moved online or to a new parish-based format.  Our hearts are heavy, but we know that this is in the best interest of our entire CFJ community.       

This is not a decision we made lightly.  Over the last two months, we have devoted countless hours in consultation with various stakeholders, program partners, and national peer organizations.  We have followed every update from the CDC, American Camp Association, and other leaders in emergency management preparedness. We have re-worked, revised, re-designed our programs in innumerable alternative formats to see if we could meet the required mandates to ensure the safety of participants, volunteers, and staff while also maintaining the program integrity of our mission experiences.  After exploring all options, it was determined that we simply do not have the needed capacity or infrastructure.  

We are so grateful for the support of our program partners, with whom we have been in constant contact to determine the best option for our WorX groups.  In many instances, we have been able to reschedule summer experiences for the academic year.  (If you are a current program registrant or parent, you should have received information related to your specific program week.)  For programs that have not been rescheduled, participating families have been given the option of transferring your registration to summer 2021 or contributing these funds as a tax-exempt donation to the Center for FaithJustice.     

If you have additional questions related to your specific program week, please contact Mare Ernesto (mernesto@faithjustice.org), Vice President of Programs and Outreach.    

As a parent myself, I can empathize with how deeply trying these months of isolation have been for everyone, but for youth in particular.  Without school, sports, or extracurriculars, I have observed even in my own young children a listlessness and yearning for meaning and purpose.  Like you, I am faced with a summer without camp, without structure, and without direction.  These might seem like small inconveniences, but they are real losses.  It is hard to wrap one’s brain around the disruption caused by this pandemic, but also the long-term ramifications in the areas of spiritual and mental health.         

Behind the scenes, our staff will continue to work in the coming months to offer up age-appropriate suggestions for youth to “serve from home” and make meaningful contributions in your respective neighborhoods and communities.  The world needs young people more than ever to rise up and make a difference!  My kids will be joining in; I hope yours will consider doing the same.  

Our community will also continue to gather virtually in prayer every Wednesday night.  If we can offer a special intention for you or your family, or if you would like to join us, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  We are fervent believers that prayer works (or “WorX” as the case may be), and we lift up those of our extended CFJ community more than ever.     

With continued thanks for your trust and support,