Monday, July 1, 2019

Grace Episcopal Alexandria: Church of the $100,000 Bonus

Does your priest or pastor get $100,000 bonuses? Unless you’re dealing with a mega-church, the answer probably is no.

But Grace Episcopal Church Alexandria, paid Bob Malm a $100,000 bonus in 2014. That, on top of more than $24K members gave to the Malm family to help after Bob broke his neck.

Even worse, one vestry member, Lisa Medley, wanted to make the bonus $200,000–a full 1/5 of the church’s annual budget.

Must be great to have money to burn, especially when you’re giving to a priest who is already wildly overpaid. Nor is Dysfunctional Bob overworked—he ignores those aspects of his job he doesn’t like, including the HR, facilities, and other administrative components. Neither does Bob feel the need to show up at the food pantry, or homeless shelter, or much of anything else other than the occasional VOICE meeting.

Nor is the only example of egregious waste. For example, the parish drew down several thousand dollars of savings to pay for a lavish farewell party for head of school Chris Byrnes. Yet church staff get no such send-off; they get a cake at coffee hour. That begs the question: Why do school staff get preference over church staff?

Just yet another wrinkle that shows that Grace Church is one dysfunctional, screwed up place.