Financial Transparency: An Epic Failing of the Episcopal Church

One of the great truths of non-profit governance is the importance of transparency. As one CPA firm puts it, “Transparency is a trust building tool; the more transparent your organization becomes, the more trustworthy you will be viewed by the public, donors, and regulators. It is important for non-profit organizations to clearly state their mission and communicate the outcomes of their actions to the outside… Read More »

Coming Soon: Parochial Report Results

One of the great traditions of the Episcopal Church is about to again to hit the radars of us governance weenies. In just a few days, the national church will report the results of the annual parochial report, a tradition that dates to the earliest days of the church. Reporting a variety of statistical data that reflects the… Read More »

Episcopal Church Struggles With Eucharistic Theology Amidst Pandemic

During the late twentieth century, The Episcopal Church experienced a sea change as the liturgical renewal movement transformed the Holy Eucharist to the focus of divine worship in the church. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, upended those changes, and the church is struggling to discern a path forward. Prior to the liturgical renewal movement, many parishes celebrated Holy… Read More »

St. Paul’s Alexandria VA Preschool Initiative Appears Headed for Crisis Amidst Fallout from Pandemic

As Episcopal churches throughout the US struggle to deal with the pandemic, many are seeing reduced income, faltering attendance, and other signs that suggest trouble down the road. But one church, located near this author, may be about to experience big trouble, due to its decision to launch a preschool even as the pandemic was bursting onto the… Read More »

Race and The Episcopal Church: Too Little, Too Late?

With much of the United States in turmoil over the death of African-American subjects in police custody, faith communities need to ask the questions, “What is our responsibility in this? Are we culpable?” In the case of The Episcopal Church, the answers to these questions are not good. Consider: It now has been more than 50 years since… Read More »

Is Church the Most Dangerous Place to be During the Pandemic?

Church.  For many, even the unchurched. the word brings to mind comforting, familiar images. Images of Christmases and Easter long gone, glorious colors swirling through stained glass windows, playing out against reassuringly solid walls. Familiar sounds, scents, intermixed with friendly, welcoming faces. But is that image realistic during the pandemic? Or might the comfort many find in church… Read More »

Failure of Episcopal Dioceses and Churches to Adopt Current Policies to Prevent Abuse Disrespects Abuse Survivors

During the 2015 General Convention (GC) of The Episcopal Church, two measures were passed that addressed abuse in the church. Measure 2015-A073 authorized the updating of Model Policies for the Protection of Children, while Measure 2015-A074 called for the update of the Safe Church Training Materials.  The work was done by a GC-appointed task farce spearheaded by the eminently capable… Read More »

COVID-19, Love, and Regret

Recently I read an article from a nearby church talking about its reasons for shutting down in-person worship. Much of the content was predictable, but one portion really resonated for me. That was the comment that love requires us to minimize the possibility of regret. The concept of minimizing the possibility of regret is useful as we think… Read More »

Coronavirus: Helping Bring About the Future of the Church?

Today’s post isn’t about abuse. Instead, it’s about the future of the church. Specifically, might coronavirus point the way towards the future of the church? What does one have to do with the other? Possibly nothing. Possibly a lot. Several factors made me think about these issues. One was an excellent article by Cam Miller, an Episcopal priest.… Read More »

A Note from The Editor

Many apologies for the delays in this weeks’ articles. My hands have been very full the past several weeks, with the death of my grandmother in early January, followed 20 days later by the death of my mother. That said, I am happy to report that I’m regrouping, and hope to be caught up before Monday. By the… Read More »

Exclusive Interview: Benningers Speak Out on Spiritual Abuse

In a recent USA Today article, the newspaper covered the harrowing story of spiritual abuse that Dominique and Megan Benninger and their family experienced when they blew the whistle on pastor Donald Foose, who had been convicted and jailed following charges he sexually molesting an underaged relative. Stripped of his teaching license by state education officials, Foose nonetheless became pastor… Read More »

Pro Publica Database of Credibly Accused Priests Added

Thanks to the generous efforts of non-profit investigative media organization Pro Publica, data on more that 6,000 Catholic priests has now been added to our online database. A few reflections: A data import of this sort is, especially now in the early phases, of necessity clunky. The category field of the existing database therefore has been used to… Read More »

Why Me? The Importance of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Training

For several years, I served as a diocesan sexual misconduct training and prevention facilitator. The experience was tremendously rewarding, and meeting people throughout the diocese a wonderful opportunity. That said, my sense was that even the most motivated cringed at the prospect of spending the better part of a Saturday in a classroom. And it wasn’t hard to… Read More »