With recent stock market activity showing some striking similarities to the market crash of 1987, and the double whammy of a
possible partial shut-down of the federal government, Grace Episcopal Church may well enter 2019 in dire financial condition.
- An aging parish population.
- A costly physical plant.
- A wildly overpaid rector who often appears to place his own perceived self-interest ahead of the church.
- Decades of slipshod governance.
- Facially faulty financial reports.
- A rubber-stamp vestry largely controlled by Bob Malm.
- A refusal to save for the future.
- A culture that of denial and avoidance that has allowed the church to avoid dealing with these pressing issues for much of Bob’s tenure as rector.
- American culture, in which church membership is no longer normative, and where young people increasingly oppose organized religion.
- The hypocrisy of church hierarchies, including that of the Roman Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
- Year-end gifts of appreciated stock likely will be reduced.
- Parishioners on fixed incomes will find it difficult to maintain current pledging levels.
- Families directly or indirectly dependent on the federal government will face financial constraints.
- Investments, including the Grace Trust, which is heavily invested in the stock market, will lose value, thus reducing church revenue.
- Banks that might otherwise be willing to lend to the church will seek to reduce risk in the event of another major recession.