Thursday, April 25, 2019
Did you know that 85 percent of millennials who don’t go to church say they believe church to be hypocritical? Well, they’re right.
The statistics are found in the recent Barna studies, with the relevant results available here.
That doesn’t bode well for Grace Church. With a rector, Dysfunctional Bob, who commits perjury by lying under oath, who thinks it’s okay to try to drag the dying into court, and who has repeatedly lied in other settings, both Dysfunctional Bob and the church serve as the poster children for hypocrisy. A similar approach pertains with former vestry member and church lawyer Jeffery Chiow, who repeatedly proffered false statements of fact in court, and whose descriptions of other church members would have enraged Jesus.
Things don’t get any better with the vestry, which is nothing but a rubber stamp for Dysfunctional Bob, and which also lies to people with its facially false talking points about our conflict.
The altar guild also has its fair share of bullying, with Linda Waskowiscz allegedly having reduced more than one of her fellow altar guild members to tears over the years. Then there’s Alison Campbell, with her seeming belief that she gets to choose who is a member of Grace Church, using her fun and games/manipulative behavior with the altar guild as her enforcement mechanism.
Similarly, the choir is well known for its bad behavior, including bullying. Then there’s the office staff, as well as our buddy the Princess Porcine, aka Lisa Medley, with her lies, bullying and other antics. And you have several independent actors, including the obviously troubled Jan Spence, whom Bob Malm refers to as an “asshole.” Yup, the love of Christ runneth over.
Nor does the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia want to get involved, so it’s also a part of the problem.
In short, the Episcopal Church in Virginia appears headed for a resounding crash as its existing membership evaporates through attrition. Of course, the Bob Malm’s of the world don’t care—their pension checks will continue regardless. But the Virginia branch of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement appears to be moving in one direction only: Down the toilet.
How very sad that a church with so many things going for it is so utterly incapable of getting its act together.
Monday, June 11, 2018
In our society, millennials — those 30 and under — are among the least likely to go to churchm, with only 2 in 10 saying that church is valuable. Moreover, fully one third actively oppose organized religion, while 59 percent of millennials raised in the church have dropped out at some point. Based on my experiences with Grace Episcopal Church, and The Episcopal Church as a whole, I’d say they are spot on, and I concur with the reasons they give for their decision to avoid church.
Per the Barna Group, millennials cite three factors with equal weight in their decision to steer clear of church: 35% cite the church’s irrelevance, hypocrisy, and the moral failures of its leaders. In addition, two out of 10 unchurched Millennials say they feel God is missing in church.
My take: Any church that thinks that shunning and smear campaigns are okay, or that refuses to hold Bob Malm accountable for his conduct, is all three: Irrelevant, hypocritical, and a moral failure.
It’s interesting, too—the doors at Grace aren’t exactly bursting at the seams with millennials. In fact, the ones I brought to the church over the years generally beat a hasty retreat, including one young couple that said that Bob Malm intimidated them. And in restrospect, not without reason.
Is Grace going to survive? I doubt it. It’s a costly place to keep open. Consider: It costs $2,685 dollars, each and every single day, seven days a week, to keep the place running. That’s a boatload of money at a time when one in three people under age 30 actively oppose organized religion. At a time when many millennials are having a hard time getting on their feet, many will find it difficult to justify supporting someone who lives life large, enjoying more than a month at the shore every summer, a defined benefit retirement plan, and an annual salary pushing $200,000, all while doing the absolute bare minimum.
Nor is Bob’s almost 200K the same as your and my 200K. Clergy who enjoy a housing allowance take the housing allowance free of income tax AND get to deduct the interest on their mortgage.
So, next time you hear Bob Malm gassing on about the importance of sacrificial giving, feel free to ask him what exactly he plans to sacrifice as part of his giving.