Turning down a big project

One of the things I value most about my walks with Zoe every morning is the chance to reflect on the upcoming day. As this is Sunday, my thoughts went to some of my interactions with people I’ll see at church today.

Last Sunday the parish Trustees let me know I would be approached to participate in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s “Faith In Our Future” fundraising campaign. The campaign is seeking to generate $40M for the Archdiocese and $5M for the fundraising coordinators. The incentive to the potential donors is they will keep 60% of the campaign proceeds in their parish. While it sounds like a good scheme, it just doesn’t smell right to me. This sense of a bad odor is shared by many I’ve spoken to.

On Monday of last week I was asked by the head of our Pastoral Council if I would act as one of the Administrators of the campaign. This would involve a great deal of coordinating, monitoring and facilitation. All things I’m good at. I was quite flattered to be asked to fill such a significant role in this project. I told Jerome I’d review the job description and let him know if I would participate. Review of the job description confirmed the Administrator role requires a committed individual Unfortunately, the Archdiocese’ web page didn’t disperse the bad odor I’ve associated with the campaign. I let Jerome know I was honored to be asked but didn’t feel I would be committed enough to participate in the project.

As I walked with Zoe, I initially felt a need to articulate my reasons for declining to participate. By the end of our walk, I realized I can simply keep my reasoning to myself. That, in part, is what qualifies me to administer large projects.


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