DFMS Senior Administrators placed on administrative leave

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Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry has issued the following letter to the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

December 11, 2015

Dear Friends,

I need to inform you that on Wednesday I placed on administrative leave Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer, Samuel McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission, and Alex Baumgarten, Director of Public Engagement.  This is a result of concerns that have been raised about possible misconduct in carrying out their duties as members of senior management of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

I want to be clear. My decision should not be confused with a finding of fault, but is necessary to allow us to find clarity. We are taking these allegations seriously and there will be a full and fair examination of the concerns that have been raised to be conducted expeditiously by an independent investigator.  To protect the integrity of that process, we will not be able to say more about the concerns at this time.

I ask that you pray for all who are involved and who are impacted by this situation.

I also ask that we all refrain from speculation, difficult though that may be. We all have a responsibility to protect the integrity of all the human beings involved and also the integrity of a fair and just process in this matter.

Bishop Clay Matthews, Director of the Office of Pastoral Development, will be coordinating a team of women and men, lay and ordained, to offer pastoral care for all involved.  Look for additional information about the pastoral support team and how to contact them in due course.  Bishop Matthews is available should any member of staff find a need for immediate pastoral care. He is also available for remote staff.  Contact him at any time at cmatthews@episcopalchurch.org.  Additionally, I encourage each one of you to do what you need to do to care for yourselves and each other.  Remember the benefits available through the Health Plan’s Employee Assistance Program.

On Monday, December 14, I intend to meet with you all by video conference.  Canons Michael Hunn and Chuck Robertson will be present at the Church Center to begin conversations with various departments about their needs and concerns as we move forward in these initial days. Information about the Monday meeting is forthcoming.

I want you each to know I trust your faithfulness and integrity as we all work together.  The days ahead will be difficult, but God is good and we will pray and work through this together in the best interest of all involved.

Faithfully,

 

Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry

The image is a screenshot from the Presiding Bishop’s recent video.

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Michael Hartney
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Michael Hartney

Already a comment has slipped into innuendo. Justice & fairness for these servants of the Church would be better served if the comments were closed and those already posted deleted.

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Rev. Clair Ullmann
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Rev. Clair Ullmann

Prayers going out for all involved. So sad. May God's love prevail for all.

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Elena Thompson
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Elena Thompson

How about closing comments until something more substantive is released, not only out of respect for the individuals involved and for the journalistic integrity of the Cafe, but also so that we can take an interval for prayer at this point?

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David Allen
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David Allen

I think that the comments should remain open. We will keep a tight reign on the comments, I promise you.

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Paul Rowles
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Paul Rowles

I think you mean "rein," unless you have aspirations of kingship.

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David Allen
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David Allen

You're correct. English is my 2nd language.

But we do preside over this realm!

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Pegram Johnson III
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Pegram Johnson III

Per the message from New York, I have wondered who does the vctting for people at our church's headquarters. [snip] Checking on backgrounds is a lot of work. I chaired a Bishop Search Committee in the Diocese of Washington before I retired. I also did the teacher hiring for a small progressive Episcopal High School. Most of the difficulties in my experience come from inadequate background checks.

[edited]

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Nathan Empsall
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Nathan Empsall

For what it's worth, these are long time employees, not recently vetted new hires. Prayers for them and all involved.

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Kathryn Zimmerman
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Kathryn Zimmerman

What are the charges, please?

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Ann Fontaine
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Ann Fontaine

The Presiding Bishop has asked us not to speculate. Please observe that in the comments.

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Bill Reeder
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Bill Reeder

Refrain from speculation in the comments on a church blog? Like asking a six year old alone in a room not to eat the candy bar.

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