Episcopalians vote to sell NYC HQ while denominational lesbian leader mocks former ally
The House of Deputies, the Episcopal Church legislative chamber made up of priests, deacons and lay people, voted today to sell the denomination’s New York City headquarters.
The issue must pass through the House of Bishops as well.
Arguments in favor of selling clustered around the expense and toney location of the building, which is at 815 Second Avenue in Manhattan. Episcopalians use “815” as a colloquialism for national church leadership, in particular the Presiding Bishop of the denomination. Deputies argued that more church money should go to mission instead of property, and some suggested that placing denominational leadership outside of the coastal megalopolis could help shake the church’s out of touch, elitist branding.
Although not couched in these terms during the Convention debate, the idea also responds to the denomination’s aging, declining membership, inability to attract new members and souring budget projections.
The original motion called for a sale within three years, but debate ensued about the wisdom of selling in a less than favorable market. The final resolution had no time frame or details other than the mind of the House to sell the facility.
The Rev. Susan Russell, who for years relied on 815 allies to alternate between manipulative and autocratic tactics to enhance LGBT&c control of the denomination, tweeted campy comments mocking the now irrelevant center.
She suggested selling it as unwanted property on a cable TV show: Wondering about an amendment to pitch 815 to HGTV show “Love It or List It”
She also denigrated it as a sign of an oppressive Christian presence stemming from the Roman Empire: “Leave the empire to other would-be imperialists. Constantine has left the building. So should we.”
Oddly, Russell had tweeted the day before, arguing that sarcasm was not appropriate to the Convention discussions or tweets: Just checked “fruits of the Spirit” and snark isn’t on the list
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