Showing posts with label Episcopal Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Episcopal Church. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Petition Seeking Review of Perjuring Priest Bob Malm’s Conduct Passes 16,000 Signatures

Even as six separate lawsuits against perjuring priest Bob Malm, his family, Kelly Motormouth Gable, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia move forward, the online petition demanding justice for those hurt by perjuring priest Bob Malm continues to garner signatures. 

Earlier today, the petition broke 16,000 signatures, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile, Episcopal bishop Susan Goff and the other fat cats in that fusty old heap of antebellum history, Mayo House, continue to bury their hands in the sand by refusing to deal with Bob Malm’s perjury and lies.

Somehow, it’s fitting. Mayo House, a spectacularly costly and poorly maintained relic of the past, has numerous ties to the slave trade. Yet even as Susan Goff bloviates about “the way of love,” she sees no irony in hanging out in this monument to injustice.

How appropriate.




Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Episcopal Church Launches Abuse Survey

Under the leadership of ++Michael Curry and Gay Jennings+, the Episcopal church has launched a survey to study sexual- and gender-based harassment and the church’s response to it. The survey claims to be entirely anonymous and will not result in an investigation if specific names or incidents are referenced.

The link can be found at the bottom of this page.

My take? The survey does not do an adequate job of assessing how well the church is responding to these situations, although this may well come in a later survey. Specifically, Title IV is inherently flawed, for it leaves one entirely at the mercy of one’s local bishop. If that bishop is someone who, like Shannon Johnston or Susan Goff, is utterly indifferent to issues of abuse, one is left without recourse.

In that vein, I still marvel that the folks down at Mayo House can say with a straight face that Bob Malm’s perjury is not actionable on the basis that he hasn’t faced criminal charges. That of course illustrates the fundamental flaw with The Episcopal Church—it has utterly lost its ethical reference point. Moreover, Bob’s misuse of church donations, his flagrant nonfeasance involving church finances and governance, and his retaliatory conduct all speak of a church that is irrelevant to the 21st century.

Friday, December 20, 2019

We’re Episcopal, Aren’t We? Is Grace an Episcopal Church?



There’s a good article on the Wartburg Watch this week, in which friend and fellow blogger Dee Parsons asks the question, why are so many SBC churches in the closet about their SBC affiliation? That got me to thinking—-what about churches that claim to be part of a denomination, but really aren’t? In other words, is Grace really an Episcopal church?

To be sure, at first blush Grace would appear to be fully an Episcopal church. Its governing documents, as poorly done as they are, contain the accession clause required under church canons. Most clergy are Episcopal. The hymnal and Book of Common Prayer are Episcopal. The bishop visits once a year and has to approve clergy hires. Even the sign out front says Episcopal.

But scratch the surface and things aren’t so clear. Given its size, the parish makes only a token financial contribution to the diocese. Similarly, during Bob Malm’s tenure, the diocese did little to address issues in the church, thus allowing problems to fester for decades. (Ironically, the diocese is now in court trying to defend this situation, inter alia claiming that Bob Malm took me to court on his own. That ignores the more than 18 times Bob contacted the diocese about doing so, as well as his claim that the decision to take me to court was a form of  “discipline” that he and other parish leadership decided to implement. Additionally, Bob received legal advice and other diocesan support for his efforts, including a letter of endorsement from Bishop Shannon Johnston.)

True, the church is inclusive in the sense of welcoming gays and lesbians. But it has never welcomed non-gender binaries or transgenders, and Bob Malm is very uncomfortable with these issues.

It is this latter aspect that is particularly troubling, and that is Bob Malm’s role in the parish. During this tenure, more than 1 out of every 5 dollars in church revenue went to Bob. Bob personally chose the executive committee, in violation of church canons. Even the nominally self-governing school allegedly restructured so that Bob could send his son James to school there—a claim that, if true, would be highly unethical.

Similarly, the demolition of the rectory—a decision made at Bob Malm’s insistence—wound up costing the church more than $2 million in the years that followed. And Bob was ruthless in ensuring he took every bit of leave available to him, with no regard for the welfare of the parish. Indeed, he once told me that issues with the parish administrator would have to wait, as he was going on vacation.

And so it is with Bob’s claims that I am mentally ill. While few if any parishioners knew or cared if I blogged about my experiences at Grace, Bob worked the traps hard to stir things up at the school, the diocese, and within in the parish with his fabrications.

At the very heart of the matter is Bob’s ongoing effort to obtain recognition and adulation from parishioners. While a healthy pastoral relationship points people to God, Bob points people to himself. In so doing, he routinely undercut relationships amongst parishioners, using derogatory language about almost all parishioners at one time or another. (Recall his references to Jan Spence as an “asshole,” and to Lisa Doelp as “like a little spy.”)

It is this paradigm, in which Bob created a parish in his own image, to reflect his personality and to meet his own needs, that led me to dub Grace Church “Planet Malm.” 

In short, while the church is nominally Episcopal, its real reference point is Bob Malm. It is nothing more than a cult of personality, now missing the underlying personality. As such, it is not a church, but rather a religious club organized within The Episcopal Church.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Protect Children: Ban the Episcopal Church!

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse by an Episcopal priest, the one thing I have found over time is that the church does everything in its power avoid individual and collective accountability. So, I have concluded that the only way to ensure that children and other vulnerable people are safe is to ban the Episcopal Church altogether. 

With that in mind, I’m turning the attached images into bumper stickers soonest, and will begin distribution in a few weeks.

Many thanks to my British friend and fellow survivor for designing these—you know who you are!







Thursday, August 30, 2018

Amusing Discovery

These days, on average, my blog is getting 250 hits. Today’s looking to be a slower day than most, but I was noticing some good traffic, so I decided to pull the details from Google Analytics.

Turns out, the most popular search phrase this morning was “Episcopal church in the toilet.” LOL

I don’t know that I’ve used the word “toilet” anywhere on my blog, but I still got a good laugh.

Here’s what came up when I clicked through the referring URL; the guest was using Bing:









Friday, June 29, 2018

Two Years Later, Workplace Culture in The Episcopal Church is Still Broken

In 2016, the Episcopal News Service, reporting on the wake of the firing of several top-level Episcopal Church officials, ran an article outlining findings that workplace culture in Episcopal Church headquarters were seriously troubled. Among the findings reported: That employees found it difficult to do what the considered to be ethical. 

Despite that, two years later the church still permits retaliation for filing a Title IV complaint, for example. 

That begs the question: Why isn’t the issue getting more attention at General Convention? Why, for instance, is there no action on codifying whistleblower protections in church canons?

Here is the original article, found at https://livingchurch.org/2016/09/15/fear-mistrust-resentment/.

The Episcopal Church Center has a workplace culture marked by “fear, mistrust and resentment,” according to staff and directors who answered a survey in the wake of a misconduct scandal and two high-level firings.

In the survey, released Sept. 15 at the House of Bishops meeting in Detroit, employees said they face expectations to avoid confrontation, withhold input, and strive to make good impressions, rather than do what’s right. Another theme: staff find it difficult to maintain personal integrity while working for the national church.

“I’m not sure I found a sadder finding, except for the score on people not feeling that they were well-respected,” said the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies.

Consultants from Human Synergistics, a human resources firm, shared the results with bishops gathered for their fall meeting and with members of the House of Deputies, who tuned in via webcast. Presenters laid bare how the workplace culture at 815 Second Avenue in New York City is exactly opposite of the collaborative, constructive one the employees say they want.

“This is tough stuff,” said Tim Kuppler, director of culture and organization development at the consultancy. “These are the things standing in the way of accomplishing what we’re talking about with the Jesus Movement.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry brought in Human Synergistics after an independent, four-month investigation found misconduct by two senior administrators, Sam McDonald and Alex Baumgarten, had gone unaddressed before Bishop Curry took office on Nov. 1, 2015. McDonald and Baumgarten were fired in April, and the nature of the misconduct has not been disclosed.

In announcing the firings, Curry said the work ahead “is not primarily organizational and structural, but deeply cultural and spiritual.” The survey begins a retraining process that will include every employee of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

Survey results pointed to dynamics in which misconduct and other misbehavior could fester. Staff said, for instance, that when they have concerns, they’re expected to keep those to themselves and not speak up.

For his part, Curry sought to reassure bishops and deputies that their church’s staff problems do not make it an outlier.

“The Episcopal Church is no different than any other church, all right? — so don’t get depressed,” Curry said. “Christianity is dysfunctional. That’s just the name of the game. I mean, it’s called being human. How do we get from where we are to where Jesus the Christ is actually calling us to be?”

Consultants also reassured church leaders that an organization’s culture can change. Staff, supervisors, and executives will be encouraged to adopt behaviors that show respect and help achieve the culture they say they want.

Resolving to do better has already begun. President Jennings said the officers — Curry, Jennings, General Convention Executive Secretary Michael Barlowe, and Treasurer Kurt Barnes — along with three canons to the presiding bishop have made a series of commitments to one another. Among the pledges: to make decisions by consensus.

“We have committed to one another and to those with whom we work to find healthy, productive, frankly non-threatening ways to deal with those times when we are in conflict or disagree with one another,” Jennings said. “Disagreement is one of the ways that we can experience resurrection and new life.”

Last spring, an independent audit found the Episcopal Church needs new policies and procedures in order to protect whistleblowers. In Thursday’s two-hour session, none of the speakers mentioned misconduct or how a reformed culture might include new whistleblowing safeguards.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Breaking News: 2018 Social Media Seen More Than 500,000 Times!

Social media is a wonderful thing, including its ability to reach the entire world in a matter of minutes. And social media has been a key component in getting word out of Bob Malm’s questionable ethics and conduct, including instructing staff to engage in shunning.

Sometime in the next few days, we pass a major milestone, which is that 2018 social media posts on these topics soon will have been seen 500,000 times nationwide.

Not to bad for a church with less than 2 million members!

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Fitting Metaphor for TEC

Today on my way to the gym I decided to scrape the TEC logo off the back window of my SUV. In a fitting tribute to the church and its role in my life, it proved to be annoyingly difficult to remove.

Very apt: No real value, but a serious pain in the backside.

Goodbye and good riddance, sticker. See you, wouldn’t want to be you, TEC.