Showing posts with label Episcopal Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Episcopal Church. Show all posts

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.




Thursday, June 27, 2019

Bishop Susan Goff: Does She Also Approve of Sexual Abuse Absent a Criminal Conviction?

Bishop Susan Goff approves of perjury

Today’s post examines Bishop Susan Goff’s ludicrous decision to cover-up Bob Malm’s perjury. Specifically, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia recently held that it will not address Bob Malm’s perjury in our court case unless Bob is convicted of the crime of perjury. This is an absurd outcome and demonstrates the diocese’s true motive, which is to avoid dealing with Dysfunctional Bob’s spiritual abuse.

In a decision drafted by the Rev. Sven vanBaar, rector of the unfortunate Episcopal parish in Abingdon Virginia, the diocese held that it cannot conclude that Dysfunctional Bob committed perjury, as he hasn’t been convicted of the same.

That, of course, is the logical fallacy of appeal to ignorance. An example of such an argument is: 1) People believe in God. 2) The existence of God has never been proven. 3) Thus, God does not exist.

Similarly, the fact that Bob has not been convicted of perjury doesn’t mean he didn’t commit perjury. 

The other side of Sven’s argument, which is that the canons prohibit illegal conduct, also is a logical fallacy. Yes, they prohibit illegal conduct, but they also expressly prohibit conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation.

Of course, it may be that Sven is merely the clueless wonder when it comes to forming a logical paradigm. That’s where Bishop Susan Goff comes in, who must also sign off on any dismissal of a Title IV complaint. Being a bishop, one would hope she could organize her thoughts in a logical manner, or show a little integrity. Obviously, that didn’t happen here.

So, that’s where the Rev. Melissa Hollerith, our favorite ethics instructor and chair of the Diocese of Virginia Disciplinary Committee, comes in. But she too doesn’t see a problem with this approach either, which would suggest that logic and ethics aren’t the real issues. I mean, we’re batting three for three. Collusion and coverup, anyone?

Thus, if follow the diocese’s logic in this case, and apply it to other cases, where does that leave us?

In the case of child sexual abuse, for example, the underlying conduct is illegal. It’s also specifically proscribed by the Episcopal church clergy disciplinary canons. But assuming that the diocese follows its new rule that clergy misconduct won’t be investigated absent a criminal conviction, it is virtually impossible to do anything about clergy who engage in such conduct. And in fact there probably is no need to: Any priest already convicted of criminal sexual conduct likely faces jail time or other serious impediments to serving as a priest. Thus, the entire Title IV clergy process is irrelevant.

So, how do you feel about a church/school where clergy apparently are free to engage in any form of misconduct at all as long as they’re not convicted? Or where the diocese provides no protection whatsoever against clergy misconduct?

For the record, Bob Malm has not been accused of sexual misconduct. But the fact that the diocese is unwilling to address his perjury should be cause for alarm on multiple levels.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Farewell, Fraud!

You know you’ve said farewell to the fraud that is The Episcopal Church when your palm cross from Palm Sunday hits the trashcan!






Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Protect Children: Ban the Episcopal Church!

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse by an Episcopal priest, the one thing I have found over time is that the church does everything in its power avoid individual and collective accountability. So, I have concluded that the only way to ensure that children and other vulnerable people are safe is to ban the Episcopal Church altogether. 

With that in mind, I’m turning the attached images into bumper stickers soonest, and will begin distribution in a few weeks.

Many thanks to my British friend and fellow survivor for designing these—you know who you are!







Thursday, August 30, 2018

Amusing Discovery

These days, on average, my blog is getting 250 hits. Today’s looking to be a slower day than most, but I was noticing some good traffic, so I decided to pull the details from Google Analytics.

Turns out, the most popular search phrase this morning was “Episcopal church in the toilet.” LOL

I don’t know that I’ve used the word “toilet” anywhere on my blog, but I still got a good laugh.

Here’s what came up when I clicked through the referring URL; the guest was using Bing:









Friday, June 29, 2018

Two Years Later, Workplace Culture in The Episcopal Church is Still Broken

In 2016, the Episcopal News Service, reporting on the wake of the firing of several top-level Episcopal Church officials, ran an article outlining findings that workplace culture in Episcopal Church headquarters were seriously troubled. Among the findings reported: That employees found it difficult to do what the considered to be ethical. 

Despite that, two years later the church still permits retaliation for filing a Title IV complaint, for example. 

That begs the question: Why isn’t the issue getting more attention at General Convention? Why, for instance, is there no action on codifying whistleblower protections in church canons?

Here is the original article, found at https://livingchurch.org/2016/09/15/fear-mistrust-resentment/.

The Episcopal Church Center has a workplace culture marked by “fear, mistrust and resentment,” according to staff and directors who answered a survey in the wake of a misconduct scandal and two high-level firings.

In the survey, released Sept. 15 at the House of Bishops meeting in Detroit, employees said they face expectations to avoid confrontation, withhold input, and strive to make good impressions, rather than do what’s right. Another theme: staff find it difficult to maintain personal integrity while working for the national church.

“I’m not sure I found a sadder finding, except for the score on people not feeling that they were well-respected,” said the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies.

Consultants from Human Synergistics, a human resources firm, shared the results with bishops gathered for their fall meeting and with members of the House of Deputies, who tuned in via webcast. Presenters laid bare how the workplace culture at 815 Second Avenue in New York City is exactly opposite of the collaborative, constructive one the employees say they want.

“This is tough stuff,” said Tim Kuppler, director of culture and organization development at the consultancy. “These are the things standing in the way of accomplishing what we’re talking about with the Jesus Movement.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry brought in Human Synergistics after an independent, four-month investigation found misconduct by two senior administrators, Sam McDonald and Alex Baumgarten, had gone unaddressed before Bishop Curry took office on Nov. 1, 2015. McDonald and Baumgarten were fired in April, and the nature of the misconduct has not been disclosed.

In announcing the firings, Curry said the work ahead “is not primarily organizational and structural, but deeply cultural and spiritual.” The survey begins a retraining process that will include every employee of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

Survey results pointed to dynamics in which misconduct and other misbehavior could fester. Staff said, for instance, that when they have concerns, they’re expected to keep those to themselves and not speak up.

For his part, Curry sought to reassure bishops and deputies that their church’s staff problems do not make it an outlier.

“The Episcopal Church is no different than any other church, all right? — so don’t get depressed,” Curry said. “Christianity is dysfunctional. That’s just the name of the game. I mean, it’s called being human. How do we get from where we are to where Jesus the Christ is actually calling us to be?”

Consultants also reassured church leaders that an organization’s culture can change. Staff, supervisors, and executives will be encouraged to adopt behaviors that show respect and help achieve the culture they say they want.

Resolving to do better has already begun. President Jennings said the officers — Curry, Jennings, General Convention Executive Secretary Michael Barlowe, and Treasurer Kurt Barnes — along with three canons to the presiding bishop have made a series of commitments to one another. Among the pledges: to make decisions by consensus.

“We have committed to one another and to those with whom we work to find healthy, productive, frankly non-threatening ways to deal with those times when we are in conflict or disagree with one another,” Jennings said. “Disagreement is one of the ways that we can experience resurrection and new life.”

Last spring, an independent audit found the Episcopal Church needs new policies and procedures in order to protect whistleblowers. In Thursday’s two-hour session, none of the speakers mentioned misconduct or how a reformed culture might include new whistleblowing safeguards.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Breaking News: 2018 Social Media Seen More Than 500,000 Times!

Social media is a wonderful thing, including its ability to reach the entire world in a matter of minutes. And social media has been a key component in getting word out of Bob Malm’s questionable ethics and conduct, including instructing staff to engage in shunning.

Sometime in the next few days, we pass a major milestone, which is that 2018 social media posts on these topics soon will have been seen 500,000 times nationwide.

Not to bad for a church with less than 2 million members!

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Fitting Metaphor for TEC

Today on my way to the gym I decided to scrape the TEC logo off the back window of my SUV. In a fitting tribute to the church and its role in my life, it proved to be annoyingly difficult to remove.

Very apt: No real value, but a serious pain in the backside.

Goodbye and good riddance, sticker. See you, wouldn’t want to be you, TEC.