In this month’s Grace Notes, Dysfunctional Bob’s last before retirement, he offers a short blurb about “things left undone,” during his tenure. True to form, it’s an utter piece of BS.
- Bob only addresses “those things undone” during his so-called “ministry.” While items on that list are myriad, Dysfunctional Bob blithely says he’s tried to make visiting members a priority. Coming from someone who has pretty much been “out of town” any time he has felt like it, who takes six weeks a year of leave and then some, and who has plenty of time for golf, running, and traveling, let’s just say I’m not feeling it.
- Dysfunctional Bob conveniently overlooks the other side of sin, which is those things he has done. Bullying the vestry into an insanely generous compensation plan, pushing Mike out of the church/Christian faith, refusing to address misfeasance, nonfeasance and bullying among parishioners and staff, committing perjury, trying to drag a dying woman into court — the list of things Bob has done even surpasses the many areas of his nonfeasance. Nor do I see any sign that Bob will address any of these issues on the way out the door. Being the bully and coward he is, Bob clearly hopes to leave those issues to his successor. And yes, anyone who goes after a dying woman, or Mike, is a bully and a coward, as well as a lowlife.
- As to Dysfunctional Bob’s hopes for the Legacy Society, few will leave anything to the parish if the rector is free to unilaterally terminate their membership. The parish belongs to parishioners — those who pay the bills and provide the labor that makes things happen. The rector is there to serve the parish, not the other way around. Until the unbridled clericalism of Planet Malm is addressed, all I can say is “don’t hold your breath.” And nowhere do I see any sign that Bob has left money to the parish in his will. Res ipsa loquitur.
- True to form, Bob’s list of outstanding major building projects is much too short. The faux slate roof still needs to be replaced, there’s tons of rotting wood trim, the nave needs adequate air conditioning, the 1989 double-pane windows need to be replaced, the pole lamps in the parking lot are overdue for replacement , inefficient lighting needs to go, basement windows need to be replaced, and water lines in the original building are at end of life. In short, there’s a ton of work to be done and major bills to go with it.
- Bob asserts that people have forgiven him for those things left undone. While folks at Grace are generally good in that department, it’s also fair to say that, being unable to effect change, members in many cases are more resigned that forgiving. That’s in keeping with Dysfunctional Bob’s modus operandi: Do whatever the hell he wants/ignore things, apologize on the way out the door, give a hug, and keep right on trucking. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt to prove it. Don’t need another.
- The key thing missing from Bob’s article is the elephant in the room. Being the narcissist that he is, Bob has focused attention and adulation on himself, not God. Like all narcissists, he is toxic, and through thought, word, and deed has taught the parish to be be an organizational narcissist. In short, he has created a toxic parish in which it’s okay to lie, bully others (even the dying) commit perjury, encourage others to commit suicide and more. Indeed, in the midst of his efforts to portray me as a “domestic terrorist” and mentally ill, the one thing that never came up anywhere in the parish was any love or concern for my mother, Mike, or me. The Jean Reeds and Kemp Williams of the parish may bloviate about their Christian faith and being “servants of Christ,” but their lack of concern for others puts the lie to their words. And I have plenty of internal church emails that prove my point. Yes, Bob can be friendly and charismatic, but friendly and faithful are not the same thing, and Bob’s faith is nominal, at best. Moreover, if you doubt Bob is a narcissist, just look at his narcissistic rages—those over-the-top explosions that happen when he feels threatened. I’ve seen several, and they are utterly contrary to any standard of Christian conduct, as well as strongly suggestive of narcissism. Please quote me on that.
At this point, I primarily feel sorry for folks at Grace Church. Bob Malm played them, and he is leaving a huge mess behind. Worst of all, many in the church still have absolutely no clue that the parish is a mess. Indeed, many regard the toxic morass at the parish as normative, which is a sorry state of affairs on multiple fronts.
So, as a counterpoint to Bob’s empty triumphalism and BS about how Grace represents “true religion,” and “taking part of Grace with you,” I offer up this question:
If Grace is such a slice of paradise, why the current state of decline?
PS Lisa Medley claims the church is “thriving.” If that’s the case, why did Fanny Belanger walk out two years early? Why have more than 1/3 of pledging units left? As I stated previously, lying has become normative for many parishioners and underscores the fact that the church is toxic.