Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Circle Begins to Close

Uh-oh: maybe this could have been predicted, but then again, hindsight brings the connections into sharper focus:

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Bishop Stacy Sauls named Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has named Bishop Stacy F. Sauls as Chief Operating Officer for the Episcopal Church.

“The Episcopal Church Center exists to support the Church in serving a diverse and changing world,” noted Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. “The churchwide staff has achieved new levels of excellence and innovation as the Church Center has been reorganized and some staff has been dispersed to offices in other geographic regions of the Church. This transition represents a healthy and forward-looking opportunity to build on that good work. Bishop Sauls brings a unique set of gifts to the next chapter of this ministry, particularly his distinguished service as a diocesan bishop. I am deeply grateful that he will join us in facilitating this work.”

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori made the announcement May 31.

As Chief Operating Officer, Sauls will oversee the staff of the Episcopal Church Center in New York City as well as offices located in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. Sauls will coordinate the work of the Church’s mission program, communication, finance and administration duties while assisting the Presiding Bishop in her role as Chief Executive Officer. Also, he will be an ex-officio member of the Executive Council and an active member of the board of Episcopal Relief & Development.

“This is the most interesting and rewarding time I can imagine to serve the Episcopal Church,” noted Sauls, Bishop of Lexington for more than a decade. “I am anxious to collaborate in the transformative leadership being provided by our Presiding Bishop and the devoted service being offered by Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, and to bring my own creativity in challenging situations to the team. I am grateful to the Presiding Bishop for her confidence and the Executive Council for its endorsement.”

To think: the author of this Memorandum, which sought to justify the Presiding Bishop's uncanonical actions after the fact, is now to serve at her right hand.

The head of the Episcopal Church Property Task Force, who "expressed his concern that the [Episcopal] organization only has available to it 20 hours per week of legal counsel and is increasingly concerned that the church does not have a lawyer", is now the chief operations officer for that organization. As a former attorney, he will now not be able to become that lawyer, because he will be taking his orders from the Presiding Bishop -- in connection with whom he remarked, in the same quote linked above:

The EC does not have counsel, even though the PB does have and, it seems, everyone assumes that the PB’s counsel is everyone else’s counsel.

Will he now make that same assumption?

Did anyone else hear the sound of a clasp snapping shut at 815?


  1. Sauls is the perfect yes-man, err, man for the position.

  2. Strictly speaking Bishop Sauls is an inactive member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia: http://www.gabar.org/public/directory/MemberSearchDetail.php?ID=NjI3MDY3

  3. Begging everyone's pardon, but exactly when did GC create a position of COO? Or was this done in a private meeting of the trustees of the DFMS? Was it in the budget passed by GC? Or did the Exec Council just create it last meeting out of thin air and fund it with another grant provided by another private interest not-for-prfit?

  4. I'm not sure when the post was officially created, TJ, but it has been occupied by former ambassador Linda Watt since 2006.

    I think the meeting of the Executive Council which I discussed here, combined with the administrative snafu I described in this post, may have led Ms. Watt to realize that the forces at 815 are really not governable by the use of diplomacy, and call more for a Rottweiler or pit bull to keep things humming along.

  5. Thank you Mr. Haley. Linda Watt is a familiar name, but I had not realized her exalted position within TEC. I can only agree that in the new COO, Dr. Jefferts Schori has chosen the perfect person to prosecute her agenda.

  6. July 1 is less than a month away! Are the forces of 815 gearing up for it?

    rdr. James Morgan

  7. Auriel, you can be certain that the forces at 815 are concentrating, in preparation for the Day of the Changeover. That Day will be observed in every Diocese except the Diocese if South Carolina, and so the only question is: what will 815 do about that? Stay tuned for more as it happens . . .