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More J23 thoughts

Last updated on August 23, 2017

Things have been so unbelievably busy over the last 10 days, and between finals, work, J23 & NCSC activities, blogging fell pretty down on my priorities list, but hopefully I’ll be able to catch up a bit and allot some more time in these coming weeks…

The most pressing issue I’ve been facing on this blog (and arguably in my life right now) is this J23/NCSC storm I’ve been trying to weather my way through.  Since my meetings, many developments have taken place.  So I’ll try to breeze through them and start from the beginning.

My blog may have gotten some traffic throughout the weekend, because I ended up sending the link to the "Locker Room Reaction" entry to a few interested parties that I’ve been keeping updated: J23’s former Pastor, our UMAC Chairperson, and our former Campus Minister at J23 – all of which have been extremely supportive of Campus Ministry and NCSC.  Aside from some advice from my former Campus Minister, I didn’t receive any immediate reaction – which was to be expected during this busy time of year.

By the time Monday rolled around I hadn’t received any reactions to my "Reaction", but I did receive a response from the Campus Ministers from the meeting.  To summarize: the jury is still out as to whether we can support NCSC as a campus minister.  We’d like to help the people that are going, but we don’t have $100.  If you’d like the four of you can give us the money and we’ll register, or you guys can do a fund-raiser and we can get the registration money that way.  What I took away from it was that if I didn’t do anything, we weren’t going to be registered.

At that point I felt pretty frustrated and conflicted.  Truth be told, I had the $100 that I’d be willing to put towards this, but I struggle with buying University Ministry something that they don’t really want.  In their email they cited financial reasons, but it seemed more like an excuse than a complication.  It’d be one thing if they wrote me saying "We love NCSC!  We really want to support it, but we don’t have any money available.", but the email I was seemed more like "Well, we don’t know… I guess can renew…. if you come up with the money.."

At that point I continued to weigh my options, contacting the students immediately impacted by this issue, emailed the former Pastor, UMAC Chair, former Campus Minister.  A few days passed and I was leaning more towards the option of registering our NCSC membership at another parish.  Then Wednesday passed…

Finals ended for the UMAC Chair (who is also a professor at CSU) and he finally got a chance to check his email, resulting in him writing a spontaneous, eloquent, passionate letter urging the CM staff to reconsider their decision regarding the NCSC Membership.  The email was excellent, one definitely worth saving in a file drawer somewhere.  I felt very supported and was hoping positive change could come from this.

Sure enough I got a call Thursday, from the Campus Ministry staff saying that they read the Chair’s email and would like to meet with the two of us on Friday.  I wasn’t really quite sure what to expect.  I told a few people that after the email the Chair wrote, if they were going to say anything besides "We’re sorry, here’s your check." I didn’t see any point in being there.  Things didn’t go that easy.

The meeting Friday was interesting to say the least.  I spent 75% of was a waste of time, and we shifted from dead end to dead end.  First they weren’t willing to concede that any changes were going to result from this meeting – that the point was for us to accept and understand their decision (with no opportunity to change it).  Then we went around in circles about how they never said they weren’t going to renew the NCSC membership, and how we got that out of their email was beyond them.  There were so many times where I just wanted to go Eric Cartman on them: "Screw you guys, I’m going home…" – so many points during that meeting that I wanted to just get up and leave.

About 3/4’s of the way through the meeting things started to turn for the better, we came to a partial understanding, and hammered out a short-term solution I could live with.  Apparently the issue still comes down to funding, and that they still can’t come up with $100 from their budget to pay for this.  We agreed to go to the Pastor as a united front and ask for money out of the general parish funds.  I left it up to the CM Staff to schedule the meeting and kept my availability open to them.

I’m optimistically predicting that our Pastor won’t see this as a big issue and just sign the $100 check, but we’ll see what happens.  If the meeting somehow goes south, or doesn’t even happen (by Thursday) I’m going to just fill out the registration form and put the supportive (other) Parish as our membership parish.  I’m sick of dealing with this crap..  It’s funny to think about how much time I’ve wasted on this, and when you think about how much I make an hour, just how much money this has cost me in my productivity (granted, none of this time was done during work hours, but this could have been time that I could have gotten caught up on work), and that’s not even considering how much the time the Campus Ministers have wasted on this – we could have paid for this membership many times over… 

So that’s the short version of this issue…  Yes, I have been doing other things in my life this past week, and I will post updates (and pictures) as well, but I needed to get this off my chest and hopefully out of my hair…