Showing posts with label Grace Notes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grace Notes. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2019

Bob Malm’s Top-Ten Lists: A Seriously Bad Idea



One of Dysfunctional Bob’s final acts as rector was publishing a series of top-ten lists in the church newsletter, Grace Notes. While most of the content is unremarkable at best, there is one aspect that is really troubling.

Before we go to the heart of the matter, let me say this: Someone should have edited these lists. Between irregular punctuation and Bob’s famous Decorative Caps for Important Words That Are Not Proper Nouns, there are issues that don’t reflect well.

More importantly, Bob should not be listing the diocese as one of the top ten challenges ahead for the church. I say that as someone who is unimpressed with the diocese and its leadership. But at the time the article was published, Bob’s role should have been to be supportive of the parish, the diocese, and the people involved. As things stand, the addition of this challenge is far from helpful.

As an aside, the irony is that the diocese may well prove to be a pain in the church’s backside, but not for the reasons Bob may imagine. Left to wade through the dysfunctional, clueless mess that Bob leaves behind, no doubt the diocese will have to tread carefully. Even so, there is little doubt that some parishioners will be offended, for one cannot buy into Planet Malm, only later to discover the illusory nature of one’s investment, without at least some angst.

Still worse, the reality is that many who are offended by Bob Malm’s narcissistic behavior already have pulled the plug on Grace. Yes, some will come back, but those who remain are by and large those who have either turned a blind eye to the toxic nature of the church, or who just don’t get it. Either way, many are in for a rude shock when they realize the depth and breadth of problems at the church.

I surely do not envy whoever is unfortunate enough to become interim.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hurricane Alert: Bob Malm Rides a Storm Surge of BS Out the Door



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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.