If you’re familiar with Monty Python’s Flying Circus then you’re familiar with the line, “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.” We cannot say the same about capital campaigns. A friend of mine who is a priest in another parish visited our church last week. I handed him a capital campaign brochure and he said, “You have a capital campaign going on, us too!” So, if Monty Python’s had done a sketch about parish life the memorable line might have been, “everyone expects a parish capital campaign!”
Capital campaigns are an inevitable part of parish life. What’s not so inevitable is their frequency. The fact that we only have them every quarter century speaks to the care we show these old and historic building.
What is also not so inevitable is the care that was shown in the planning of our current campaign. We, as a parish, did our homework – we know what needs doing, we know how to do it and we know how much it will cost. Now we are engaged in a capital campaign, we have informed our members as widely as possible and made the case for support honestly and gently.
Now the real kicker – the most important part of the capital campaign (and no, it’s not honouring pledges), we have not lost our focus. The steering committee, the operations committee and the Parish Council have made sure that we do not lose our sense of mission as a people who worship, support and advocate. Capital campaigns and the need for bucks can blind organizations like ours. It will not be so for this campaign. We will continue to offer the best possible, joyful and inclusive worship we can. We will continue to support one another by the activities and ministries we offer. We will continue to advocate and provide for the poor as much as we are able. I know this because the people at the heart of the capital campaign continually reinforce our ability to be focused on God’s call for us a people of justice and love.