Today was a momentous day for Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish. Not only was it Anne Turner’s first day at work, but we are hours away from saying good bye and good riddance to narcissistic scumbag Donald Trump.
Yet even with all the change in the air, things remain stuck exactly where there were two years ago:
- The parish and persons related to it face myriad lawsuits.
- The church’s budget continues to shrink, even as it sheds members.
- People in the church confuse being friendly with being faithful, both for themselves and for perjuring priest Bob Malm.
- No one at the church is willing to admit to the church’s misconduct, including that of perjuring priest Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow, nor for the vestry’s role in the matter.
- People display zero empathy for others, even as they talk about them, versus to them. And that sort of thing serves as no impediment to two-faced people like Kemp Williams serving on the vestry, even though to this day neither Kemp, nor Easter Thompson, nor Jean Reed, nor Kelly Gable, or any of the other people who feel the need to wade in have had the integrity to talk directly to me.
- Folks at Grace Church and the diocese refuse to admit something readily verifiable, which is that perjuring priest Bob Malm lied under oath.
- No one at Grace Church shows any sign of recognizing their own sinful conduct, including trying to drag Mom into court even as she was dying, Sugarland Chiow’s various courtroom fabrications, Lucy Medley’s urging me to commit suicide, the conduct of childish, hateful people in the parish with their one-gun salutes to Jesus, or myriad other examples. (No, the reference to flipping Jesus off isn’t profane on my part. “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do unto me.”)
- It will soon be a year since the church held an indoor service open to the public.
Nor do I think we are going to see Anne Turner do anything meaningful to address these issues. The reality is that hateful behavior is okay at Grace, as long as you cover it with a veneer of friendly. Folks at every level of the parish, and the diocese itself, think things are fine, great and good at Grace, and they are not prepared to admit otherwise. In fact, Jason Roberson even says in writing that the church is “growing and flourishing.”
In fact, folks will react badly if Anne tells the truth, which is that, as things stand, Grace and the diocese are dying of their own spiritual rot.
The fact that the church has lost more than 1/3 of its pledging units and more than $120K in purchasing power since 2015 is neither growing and flourishing. It should be a warning sign to any rational actor. But it’s of no meaningful concern to most people at Grace.
So, my advice to anyone considering Grace Church as a spiritual home is don’t waste your time. Yes, as Leslie Steffensen says, you will be welcomed with open arms. It’s what you are being welcomed into that is the problem. And yes, people are friendly, but friendly is not the same as faithful.
Meanwhile, wait and see if my prediction comes true: The new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 will soon result in an outbreak at Grace Episcopal School.