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July 6, 2012


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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29 comments

BAHAHAHA! Susan is so witty!

[1] Posted by A Senior Priest on 7-6-2012 at 08:05 PM · [top]

Yeah… but that “Constantine has the left the building” comment got a huge laugh from the deputies! LOL! One of the few funny moments in what was otherwise a rather boring session of the HoD.

[2] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-6-2012 at 08:20 PM · [top]

More of “Do as I say, not as I do.”

[3] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 7-6-2012 at 08:46 PM · [top]

I thought we recently spent like a million dollars renovating 815.  Is my memory correct?

[4] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-6-2012 at 09:15 PM · [top]

So, if 815 goes ... where does the ‘leadership’ go? Scatters like seeds along the countryside? Kind of decentralizes things a bit. The very thing her PBness is trying to avoid.

[5] Posted by martin5 on 7-6-2012 at 09:47 PM · [top]

This decentralization idea is great. My father long thought the US Dept of Agriculture ought to be in Iowa. New Mexico’s Department of Agriculture is colocated with the ag school NMSU. The Border Ministries group could be like on the border. Rural ministries headquartered in a rural area. They could even keep a presence in NYC for urban ministries.

[6] Posted by Don+ on 7-6-2012 at 10:48 PM · [top]

Whoa, look at the VOL article on the terms of the debate.  According to that, this isn’t about the money nearly as much as the people pushing back against 815.

I think that priests gain the bad kind of power by regulating guilt beyond their purview.  “Father, I know it says I should do X but look how bad so and so is, how weak I am, can’t I just do X/Y?”  For a long time, KJS has functioned for the HoB as the Colonel Jessup willing to do the dirty work.  Maybe, they’ll hang her out to dry now if they think they don’t need her, or maybe this is a promising sign of people abandoning the pretense of fancy NYC digs or reigning in their enforcer…

I hear Charleston is affordable, lovely in the winter, and has a thriving Episcopal community smile

[7] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-7-2012 at 04:54 AM · [top]

Platagenets wrote:

I hear Charleston is affordable, lovely in the winter, and has a thriving Episcopal community

and there are many here would be glad to remind everyone else that one of Charleston’s Episcopal parishes is considered the “mother church” of Anglicanism south of Virginia. Another reason as well.  wink

[8] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 05:16 AM · [top]

Charleston is too nice for 815. Their coming into town would decrease property values.

Elsewhere, I’ve suggested a location in rural Alaska. There are places up there that truly are hell, frozen over. Perfect.

[9] Posted by Ralph on 7-7-2012 at 05:41 AM · [top]

Jill - yes the renovations were supposedly the result of finding asbestos. 

Imagine…the architect having AMAZING clairvoyance to try to hold back the flames of hell.

[10] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 7-7-2012 at 06:29 AM · [top]

Ralph, Hmmm, It could be good for a town in Alaska to have a large corporate HQ there. You do know that the Diocese of Alaska is in serious financial trouble just like TEC soo perhaps it is a marriage made in heaven??

[11] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 06:48 AM · [top]

Perhaps we need to return to what has worked and let dioceses be the church. What a concept! That way we could sell off 815 and simply retain whatever diocesan offices there are.

[12] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 06:50 AM · [top]

“Constantine has the left the building” . Actually, the Spirit has left the building.

[13] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-7-2012 at 06:54 AM · [top]

I move that they relocate to Blight, Texas.  Last time I was there it was 115.

[14] Posted by Br. Michael on 7-7-2012 at 07:00 AM · [top]

In a time of civil war and great social change, St. Constantine became the first Christian emperor, returned confiscated Church properties, promoted religious tolerance, reunited the invaded Roman Empire, founded the 1000 year Byzantine Empire, helped lay groundwork for the Holy Roman Empire, fought Arianism, convened the Coucil of Nicea, and tried to establish social stability through orthodoxy.  He wasn’t perfect; he did have his wife and son killed, but compared to the thoroughly pagan aristocracy, which later targeted wealthy Christians under Julian the Appostate, Constantine was incredibly… progressive.

[15] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-7-2012 at 07:21 AM · [top]

They are going to San Francisco.

[16] Posted by Pb on 7-7-2012 at 07:26 AM · [top]

P.S.  Constantine the Great also made very significant reforms of the aristocracy and bureaucracy to make them more… inclusive.

[17] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-7-2012 at 07:30 AM · [top]

#15 & #17 very true.  The thing that Russell and the other TEC insiders avoid is that they could not exist w/o Constantine.  Most of the LGBT&c and other activists in TEC - including the current PB - relied on a very institutional church to provide them a constant string of “assistant” and bureaucratic paychecks while they went around doing their hobby-causes.  Few of them ever built up much of anything, although they tear down the work that others have done.

And they will live on old endowments and a pension fund from the very “Constantinian” church they now claim to have transcended.  While they proclaim “hierarchy” and the entitlement of a tiny elite to dictate pretty much everything to everybody.  Yeah, they’re so post-imperial.

[18] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-7-2012 at 08:41 AM · [top]

GC2012 goes away in a couple of weeks.  KJS goes back to NYC.  She has institutional permanence and control over money.  GC2012 could order her to make sandwiches for all the good it will do.  It doesn’t have the means to compel her to do anything.  What is it going to do - pass a resolution?  What’s a GC resolution go for these days on the open market - $1.49?  It could make a budget!  Yes, that’ll stop her from spending how she wants.  It could re-write the Canon law .. over the next couple of years. But she’s been flouting canon law for five years.  To break 815, TEC would need to have the institutional courage to remove KJS and her Band of Merry Lawyers.  Do they have it?  Nope.

They created this monster.  They have to live with it. 

carl

[19] Posted by carl on 7-7-2012 at 10:23 AM · [top]

They created this monster.  They have to live with it.

Good comment, carl. 

As they found out with CWOB, there are laws that have to be changed before they can just go in and make change by resolution. 

They haven’t figured out how well entrenched bureaucrats can outlast transitory legislative bodies.

And most of all, as you say, GC and TEC folks in general got into the habit of ignoring every belief, practice, procedure and rule to do whatever the heck they felt like in any given moment.  So now there are few, if any, beliefs, practices, procedures and rules to help them have safety and unity in the face of whatever wing nuts have the next wave of feelings.

[20] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-7-2012 at 10:40 AM · [top]

18- TEC and 815 are “post imperial.” In the same way Lenin, Stalin and the Supreme Soviet were also “post imperial”.

[21] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-7-2012 at 10:45 AM · [top]

Heh “Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.”

[22] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-7-2012 at 11:38 AM · [top]

19, 20:

I just hope they keep this fight of personalities escalating so that they are so dizzy from knocking each other’s hats on the floor that they forget to worry about what the rest of us are doing. Once KJS emerges as vainglorious victor and has buried her new enemies (nothing more than a little Mafia internal housecleaning here) in an unmarked pit outside Las Vegas, what’s left of the orthodox ECUSA dioceses and parishes will be gone…and assuming that what’s left of TEC has any financial credit left to hire a new legal team, the legal statutes will already have passed while she was purging her own ranks.

Someone please put a loaded pistol in both of their hands so we can duck down and let them shoot each other. (Yes, I’m sure most of them are too unsteady, too nervy and full of syphilis to hold a .38 correctly, but a blast to the heart is as good as a shot to the head.)

[23] Posted by All-Is-True on 7-7-2012 at 01:17 PM · [top]

This is the well known geographical cure. If I move to another town, my addiction will not follow me. Never works.

[24] Posted by Pb on 7-7-2012 at 02:31 PM · [top]

But it is so very AMERICAN!  Go West, Young man, go West!  Spin it as inclusion and you can get the money for a while longer, too.

[25] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-7-2012 at 03:06 PM · [top]

815 will be sold when the spirit moves the entrenched bureaucracy and not a moment before. For those unfamiliar with Piskiespeak that means ‘never’.

smile

[26] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 7-7-2012 at 03:48 PM · [top]

Having served on the Cathedral Chapter for the two dioceses of Pittsburgh, I know that the cathedral desparetly needs someone to rent the third floor of the office portion.  The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh does not want to move there as it is “too far away from our parishes” and they have kicked out the Anglicans.  Maybe ‘815’ could move to Pittsburgh and become 6th Ave.  But then again they would have to live among all those blasted conservatives!

[27] Posted by jtcmbc on 7-7-2012 at 06:05 PM · [top]

I reckon Carl at #19 is right on the money.

[28] Posted by MichaelA on 7-8-2012 at 10:11 AM · [top]

Hmm, how much money has been spent on lawyers’ fees and court costs….....millions, maybe?  And how much do they figure they could get for 815…...the same, maybe?  So how would they be any better off?  They could run TEC from an office in a NYC brownstone and get the same result, but no, they simply must have a showy place where they can impress the faithful while running themselves into the ground, mustn’t they?

[29] Posted by cennydd13 on 7-8-2012 at 04:06 PM · [top]

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