Grace ASA Reflects Dire Decline

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Grace Episcopal Alexandria is Dying

A key barometer of church health is average Sunday attendance, or ASA. In that arena, Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, is in a dire way.

Per the annual parochial report, the high water mark for attendance was 2012, when ASA ran 367.

By 2015, the bickering in the parish, particularly that precipitated by Alison Campbell, Lisa Medley and several folks in the choir, had resulted in ASA dropping to 298.

By 2017, the church’s childish/foolish decision to go to court with claims that its members were “domestic terrorists” had caused ASA to tumble still further, to 253.

Last year, the church didn’t bother to report attendance.

This year, ASA is running about 190.

This, even before the pandemic, dysfunctional conduct within the parish, and stupid moves by perjuring priest Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow, had resulted in a 31.06 percent decline in attendance.

Now, following the pandemic, ASA has decreased 48.23 percent since 2012.

To make matters worse, the average age of the congregation is well beyond that of the surrounding community, meaning that time is not on Grace’s side.

Yet it has no strategic plan, no goals for tomorrow, nothing. Folks just sit there, twiddling their thumbs, pining for the good ole days of perjuring priest Bob Malm.

Nor is there any recognition of the dire situation confronting the parish. Indeed, it even refused my offer to go to mediation in its dispute with me, meaning that the tidal wave of adverse publicity will continue to all but eliminate new members.

Given the extent of this decline and the unwillingness of the church to admit that it now faces existential crisis, it is all but certain that the church will collapse absent a Herculean shift in direction and a commitment to reform. That includes demonstrating accountability for its conduct towards those who have left and cleaning up its internal dynamics.

Today, Grace Church still clings to its narcissistic triumphalism that it is somehow “special.” But if Grace is so special, why is everyone leaving? And folks at Grace are too cowardly to acknowledge the elephant in the living room, which are the compelling indicia of a church that is lurching towards implosion. In fact, if you were to get people to discuss the matter honestly, most now would admit that the parish is NOT special, unless one considers the fact that it is imploding much faster than other Episcopal churches in the area.

One final thought: The diocese has really done wrong by the parish. By backing perjuring priest Bob Malm unconditionally, and not bringing in outside resources to hold an intervention, the diocese has pretty much signed off on Grace’s death warrant.

It is sad that a handful of stupid and childish people are in the process of killing a church that predates the Civil War.