The Rev. Megan Castellan, (on Twitter @revlucymeg) a college chaplain from the Diocese of Arizona, took a long look at the Executive Council’s recent letter, and decided to write the council a letter in reply. Here is some of what she had to say on her blog, Red Shoes, Funny Shirt.
You passed this budget, whether you fully understood what was happening or not, and it has caused, and is causing a lot of damage. (For example, does anyone know the actual funding level for Formation at this point? Ok then. I’ll return to my low level panic.)
You need to own that action. You need to apologize. Acknowledge that this went badly, and that you hear people’s anger, pain, and frustration. (By the way, this has nothing to do with you all as bad/evil/ugly people. You’re not– you’re loved by God, saved by grace, probably personally really nice people, and nothing changes that. This has nothing to do with blaming you at all. This has to do with empathy for us. These other people in the church you serve. Do this for the rest of us.)
And then, you need to talk to us about what happened. Ok, you got the figures late. Where are you getting the numbers from? Do you know who changed the budget after you passed it? There seem to be some steps missing from this story, and they sound important.
Can we have a wider conversation about why programs were slashed, and staffing levels were kept, because, really, that flies in the face of what everyone, including you all, have been talking about for the past year. What was your thinking like around that?