Thursday, February 16, 2045

Updated: Welcome

Hello everyone. My name is Sigrid, and I have end-stage emphysema. Or, in other words, I am dying.

I am writing this blog to  tell the world (or at least those parts that care to read!) about my experiences and those of my family, with Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal church in Alexandria VA. Over the past several years, Malm has repeatedly tried to bully me and my family, and he continues to do so, even as I am dying. This includes an almost two-year campaign of shunning, in which he directed church staff to ostracize family members, and recent efforts to file bogus police charges against us.

So, if you want the sordid details, read on.

My hope too is that, after I am gone, this blog will remind others of a very simple truth: Grace Episcopal Church (aka “Disgrace Church”) is a toxic church. Bullying is okay. Shunning is okay. There is nothing even remotely Christian about the place.

# # #

A well-known Episcopal author and canon to the ordinary once wrote, "As Christians, we are called to bring light to the darkness and expose wrongdoing." Although most of the authors of this blog are not Christians, we believe that statement to be true, regardless of our religious beliefs or lack thereof.

This blog therefore shares details of rector Bob Malm's two-year campaign of shunning against two of our family members. We also share details of misconduct within the parish arising both directly and indirectly from Bob Malm's actions, including:
  • Altar guild members engaging in group bullying (professionals call this "mobbing").
  • Clergy engaging in shunning, bullying, and character assassination. 
  • Former parish officers trying to discredit critics by lying, sharing confidential information, and engaging in ad hominem attacks. One parishioner has even suggested that a family member of ours, "Go kill yourself," while another (we believe the former person's mother) shared confidential giving information about our family in an effort to discredit us. 
We believe that clergy and other church leaders ultimately are responsible for church culture. By enlisting the aid of parishioners in this conflict, and through his example, Bob Malm has created a toxic situation in which it is okay to bully and hurt people.

We are committed to sharing our experiences publicly, with the goal of encouraging Grace Church and its members to change their ways. We hope, too, that the vestry and members of the parish will hold Bob Malm accountable for his actions as rector.

If these things do not occur, Grace Church eventually will cease to exist. No one wants to or will join a voluntary organization like a church if they must fear having their confidential information shared; or being bullied, abused, or shunned; or where lay "leaders" think it's okay to lie about other parishioners; or to encourage them to commit suicide. This situation is particularly dangerous for teens, many of whom will at some point struggle with suicidal ideation. Further, parents with children who are different in any way should be very careful: Do you really want your family members part of a church where it is okay to urge people to kill themselves? Or where church members threaten the employment of other people, as one parishioner did to a family member?

The authors of this blog believe that all persons are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. That doesn't change because you disagree with that person, you don't like him or her, you think they should join a church elsewhere, or you think they have been mean to a friend of yours. Lying about people, shunning people, and suggesting that people go kill themselves is wrong--wrong in every way. It is shameful, disgraceful conduct, and should have no place in any house of worship. In short, Grace Church is a toxic church, and there is no excuse that changes that. 

So what next? Over the coming weeks, we plan to publish documentation of specific incidents of bullying and clergy misconduct. Stay tuned.

One final note: This site is not an official site of Grace Episcopal Church, nor the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, nor the Episcopal Church.