Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trouble at Morningside - Six

Today is the day of the special meeting at which the cooperators at Morningside Gardens will vote whether to remove directors from the board.  Voting will be separate for each of the three directors in question.  I have circulated a statement setting out the reasons I am urging cooperators to vote NOT to remove any of the three.

Others have also circulated statements, some urging a vote to remove, other urging a vote not to remove.  I have long since given up trying to predict how votes here will go, so there is nothing to do but wait for the outcome.

We'll know the results by tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trouble at Morningside - Five

Some private emails have made it clear to me that I need to make very explicit two things that I thought I had said clearly.

When I brought up the matter of last spring's censure  of a board member, it was for the purpose of stating that I think that censure can be enough of a rebuke for actions the board deems improper. Once the person has been censured, that's the end of it. The censure does not alter the person's eligibility to fill any corporate office.  In that instance, I thought that from the beginning.  Only after the fact did I conclude that I should have applied that principle instead of voting to impose sanctions on three board members.

Second, while I have found what I am calling the Maimonides standard (don't say or do anything to cause hurt to another person) to be a useful guide for my judging my own conduct,  I never said that it is binding on anyone else, nor do I judge anyone's conduct by that standard.

I need to amplify that last statement a bit.  In a blog post, I used the word "conspiracy" and referred to "the devil."  "Conspiracy" was an unfortunate choice of words to describe the agreement to keep the motions to sanction the three a secret from the rest of the board until they were introduced at the September 14th board meeting.  I am sorry now that I consented to the secrecy agreement, but at the time there seemed to us all (including me) to be sound strategic reasons for doing it that way.  I apologize for calling my fellow board members co-conspirators, just as I apologize to the other five board members for my part in springing the motions on them at the meeting.

A second thing that needs clarification is my use of the term "the devil."  As I said in part three of this series, when otherwise good people act to cause harm to other people, I find it useful to attribute that to a malign influence.  I say that not to let people off the hook for their own actions, but to try to counter the all too human tendency to demonize other people. I do not mean to suggest that any individual is possessed by "the devil."


Yesterday (Thursday) , Liz and I drove to Bethlehem, PA, to attend the Eucharist that formally inaugurated the full communion relationship between the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church. The link is to the write up of the event at Episcopal News Service.

Liz was a member of the Moravian - Episcopal Dialogue when it began in 1999. Liz left the dialogue for personal reasons after interim eucharistic sharing was approved by both Moravian provinces in 2002 and by General Convention in 2003. Over the years of Liz's ecumenical involvement, I have met a number of folks in the field, including some Moravians, and it was a pleasure to see people I knew in Bethlehem last night. Mostly it was a pleasure to attend the joyous service in Central Moravian Church.

It was a welcome break from the troubles here at Morningside.

There is a video of the service at the Episcopal Church website.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Come on, Mouneer

The Episcopal / Anglican Bishop of Egypt has issued a statement which essentially buys into Mubarak's speech of last night.  I am disappointed but not surprised.