Resignation from Rooftop 519

Yesterday morning, I submitted my resignation, effective immediately, to Rooftop 519. It isn’t easy when you help birth an organization from idea to fruition, but it is easy to take action when there is only one option.

I love our purpose and our team. Some of the best adventures of my life were done under the banner of Rooftop. We did incredible work in the lives of the kids we help. Equally amazing is the change in hearts of those who help these little ones.

My resignation was based on a perpetually divided vision… a difference in culture and values. The most recent being a belief in how to address conflict. When a personal difference developed to an impasse, I asked for a “mediated reconciliation”. I called a special meeting this Monday night to discuss it with them. This follows a Matthew 18:15 process of restoring relationship.

Our meeting began at 7 p.m. The board chair prayed. There was an instantaneous (and scripted) motion to adjourn the meeting. The majority ruled in favor of adjourning. My formal grievances and proposed solutions were never heard. It was over.

I wrote and submitted my resignation the next day, Tuesday. That night there was another board meeting. The board chair prayed. There was an instantaneous (and scripted) motion to terminate a very good man’s position on the board of directors. He asked for a reason, and he was simply told they didn’t need one.

Here is the resignation I submitted on Tuesday:

June 11, 2013 

Dear Rooftop 519 Board of Directors,

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this organization. I appreciate the gifts of time, talent and treasure you have all brought to our effort.

This letter serves as my resignation. I had proposed for reconciliation, but it appears we do not have the same objectives. Therefore, I can no longer remain in my position.

Please select a board representative to work with me through this transition. I intend to have all Rooftop 519 responsibilities completed by the end of this month. Should it please the board, June 28, 2013 will be my final day as President/CEO.


Shawn Manley

One Wednesday I received an email that acknowledged  receipt of my resignation. They had not accepted it. They would not give me a liaison. They would not give me a timeline. They made unreasonable demands. It mentioned that they were praying for me a couple of times. I was forbidden to contact individual board members. Not one of the remaining board members called me, or would even return my calls. One board member sent a snarky follow-up to the initial email from the board chair. Proverbial salt in a wound.

I am not sharing my second resignation letter because doing so would uncover individuals in a dishonorable way, not because I dishonored them, but because there is gross negligence by key leaders. I don’t make that statement lightly.

My resignation leaves them in a difficult position. Rooftop 519 is an organization with no financial partners, no volunteers, huge liabilities and no leadership. I didn’t set them up to fail, but instead, they have rushed head-long into a path of oblivion.

God doesn’t really care about organizations. He cares about people. I am excited because the people of God continue to march forward, and a 501 (c) (3) dissolution (or whatever action) doesn’t stop Kingdom work.

I am working with my highly trained and capable friends to bring Elijah to the healer. We really have an amazing team. We may carry other children to healing in the future, but for now, I am just focused on each hour of each day. Elijah will be here this August for treatment at Shriner’s Hospital in Portland.

elijah cover photo-01

This is Elijah Anderson. He will be coming from Liberia to Portland Shriner’s Hospital this summer for skin grafts.

I would like to offer my public apology to any volunteer or partner that I offended through this process. Experiencing a loss is never easy, and I although I am not perfect, I am making an attempt to bring honor . I humbly confess to being stretched incredibly thin these last several days, and frankly, I don’t have the answers to many of the questions.

My sincere thank-you to everyone who has sent me nuggets of love an encouragement, especially my awesome wife. For the first time ever, my monthly cell minutes are gone. My phone rings off the hook, and my text inbox is bursting. You are awesome friends, and you are the reason why my faith and hope are greater than ever.

My cell is 424.653.8323. Call or text me… I would love to hear from you. May God work all things together for good, and may he grow something great in our ashes.

Through the Roof,

Shawn Manley

Proverbs 24:14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” William Aurthur Ward


19 thoughts on “Resignation from Rooftop 519

    • I think you know about how God makes all things beautiful. He is doing that here. He redeems, restores, renews, reconciles… and a bunch of other important “r” words that only he can do. From the ashes 🙂

  1. With tears I read your blog. My heart grieves for you because I know the passion you have had for this awesome ministry. I remember the other morning praying for you, before you had resigned, that I started crying as I was praying. I believe I was feeling not only my love and care for you, but God’s also. He will not waste one tear or heartache. Psalm 40::1&2 “You keep tract of all of my sorrows, you have collected all my tears in your bottle, you have recorded each one in your book,” Someone once said that when we cry that God tastes salt. That’s how intimately close he is to us and how he feels all that we are going through! This did not take him by surprise and he’s not wringing his hands saying “now what are we going to do!” He already has a plan which will unfold in his perfect timing! I know it’s easy for me to say…but nevertheless it is true 🙂 Just know we have been praying for you and will continue to……we love you and are very proud of the man you are! Love Mom & Dad
    Isaiah 54:17

    • Your consistent and loving support means so much to me. One of our shared adventures was our Liberian dinner before Exodus came to Washington. An incredible night that is among my most cherished memories. I have grieved, but I am in a very peaceful place, thanks in large part to the truly overwhelming (and very welcome) love I am receiving. Every time my phone buzzes, I feel God’s love for me.

    • I agree with you on that… I’ll be watching to see how the next chapter goes…I love you all very much and know God has a plan.

  2. You’re a blessing! far beyond you know. Thank you from an old ccs kid! 🙂 Your life has impacted mine in simply how your life screams your love for Jesus. God is so pleased.

  3. Shawn,

    What a gracious, Christlike response in an extremely difficult situation. I’m proud to have met you and watched you grow into the man you have become and your passion and integrity has always impressed me.
    Prayers and God’s Grace abound to you and your family!
    Pam & Ric Fredback

  4. I feel badly for you Shawn. I went through a similar experience in a church I served at and it is very difficult to work through this process when Christians you are working with are not acting like “Christians”. It’s very sad and can leave bitterness if you don’t take care of yourself. You take care and keep doing good Shawn. You are a great man.

    • Thank you Jim. Hurting people hurt people, and it was the perfect storm of pain for several individuals. Cheryl and I are both working hard to guard are hearts against bitterness. I hope all is well with you.

  5. Shawn and Cheryl,
    I am so very proud and encouraged by the both of you in the manner and grace you have chosen to follow in difficult times. Whenever I see or hear of your names, I am reminded of the tender times I was so fortunate to share with you both. Thank you for your steadfast love for Jesus… and thank you for your undying love for people.
    Curt Matt

    • Thank you Curt. I learned in large part by watching your tenacious example of being faithful to the Lord. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. We both miss you & I hope we can catch up sometime soon.

  6. Pingback: Twenty Fourteen. | Shawn Manley

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