As a Seminary, a significant amount of time is spent reflecting on the danger and damage that clergy misconduct can do. We spend less time reflecting on bad congregational behavior. This conference that is being hosted by the "Church and Community Engagement" team is important. The title is How Clergy Are Harmed. A group of courageous clergy are sharing their stories; the stories document cases of bad congregational behavior, which have led to the severing of clergy-congregation relationships and in some cases to wrongful termination. It is an impressive group gathering. We have some senior leaders in the Episcopal Church at this conference.
As anyone organizing a conference knows, they are intensive and exhausting experiences. The Rev. Jon Musser has done the hard work of organizing logistics and hospitality, and the Hospitality team and the refectory staff are working hard to ensure that this is a good conference.
This is important work. This is, to the best of knowledge, the first explicit conference dedicated to this topic. It takes both vision and courage to strike out and organize such a conference. So thank you to the Rev. Dr. David Gortner. This is just a small part of the work of the Church and Community Engagement, but a vitally important part.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President