Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention. — Douglas Horton
Desperation is never pretty. It’s not pretty in dating. It’s not pretty when job hunting. And it isn’t pretty when it involves a church looking for a new rector. And so it is with Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, where signs increasingly suggest that folks are taking a pass on what should be an A-list gig, the rector position.
Yesterday, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia updated its website to show that the search committee has extended the deadline to apply until August 10. That’s the second extension.
Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the Clergy Perjury Parish, Again Extends Deadline to Apply for Rector Position
The decision to do so is telling, indeed damning.
By rights, Grace Church should be, to use Shannon Johnston’s phrase, a “flagship.” With a decent income, loyal members, a gorgeous nave, close proximity to National Airport, close to trendy Del Ray, a long history of inclusion, and friendly members, at first blush Grace is a highly attractive calling.
But folks seem increasingly attuned to what Bob Malm himself termed the “dirty underbelly” of Grace church. The mere fact that one has to go to court in order to deal with misconduct in the parish speaks volumes.
Even more telling is the fact that the diocese refuses to provide adult supervision to perjuring priest Bob Malm, or to wade in and do the hard work needed to make peace with the past. Indeed, the fact that the diocese has said in writing that it won’t get involved unless perjuring priest Bob Malm faces criminal charges shows that the corruption and incompetence extend right to Susan Goff herself. And the toxic miasma of perjuring priest Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, Alison Campbell, Lisa Medley and others has permeated every facet of life at Grace Episcopal Alexandria, where the place is so screwed up that parishioners actually think it’s okay to lie about each other, to urge others to commit suicide, and in Kelly Gable’s case, to accuse others of criminal conduct.
To make matters worse, some issues are irreparable. There is no way to make peace with my mother, for example, now that she is dead.
Indeed, even with perjuring priest Bob Malm gone for what soon will be a year, Grace Church’s reputation is getting worse, not better. One has only to look at its efforts to defend its actions in court to see that no one at Grace is interested in changing. Instead, they are interested in justifying their conduct and continuing in exactly the same vein as always.
And the current litigation has provided myriad examples of profoundly ugly conduct within the parish—enough that even the most generous cannot avoid the conclusion that there are real problems at the church.
Now, with the parish again pushing back its already extended deadline for applying for the position of rector, the place is starting to smell of desperation. That’s really bad news for the church, and much like stealing from the Mafia, it’s likely to attract attention of all the wrong sort. In fact, that awful smell isn’t just desperation — it’s the stench of rot and corruption. Just like Jesus’ whitewashed tombs, the place is pretty on the exterior, but filled with death and decay on the inside.
The reality is this: No rector worth her salt is going to be willing to come in and muck out the filth that perjuring priest Bob Malm left behind. That’s especially true when, as here, the diocese has washed its hands of the matter. Thus, Grace needs to consider the possibility that the best it can do is to get in long-term supply clergy, possibly David Crosby or another member of the “Bobby Malm, You’re Amazing,” fan boys.
But however the rector search plays out, of this you can be certain: I am not backing down. Anyone who bullies Mike or my Mom has me to contend with, and I am tenacious.