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December 8, 2012


All Is Well™: General Seminary coming apart like a movie set facade

Not sure there’s even a seminary there anymore.  Like all things TEC, there’s probably a tasteful letterhead and some funded positions for insiders.  But reader “hanks” shared some Big Apple news, with a headline so mean and apt that you would think Stand Firm made it up.

CHELSEA — A plan to convert a longtime religious institution into a high-end hotel has led to the firing of 12 workers — lay-offs the owner is blaming on an act of God.

Developer the Brodsky Organization claims damage from Hurricane Sandy forced it to cut the jobs as it turns the Desmond Tutu Center into the luxury Highline Hotel.

But the people laid off say the new owner fired them, then offered to take them back at a lower wage.

The Episcopal General Theological Seminary sold off part of the center to the Brodsky Organization in September, keeping a conference center in the building but giving the 60-room hotel to the developer as part of the $16 million deal.

Brodsky now plans to transform it into the luxury Highline Hotel, overhauling the rooms and building a restaurant and bar with two patios — all needing a liquor license.

Longtime workers said they were paid well and received benefits working at the Desmond Tutu Center at 180 10th Ave., named after the retired South African bishop who spent his life fighting poverty and campaigning for social justice.

But after the takeover, staffers said they were arbitrarily split between either the conference center, which is owned by the seminary and managed by Aramark, or the hotel, which is owned by Brodsky and MCR Development.

And you have this sad, ironic comment from one of the discarded workers:

Cortes said he was skeptical after the layoffs left him without a job at the holidays — and a bitter taste in his mouth about the Episcopal Church.

“They try to make themselves look good by handing us off to someone else,” he said.

Sounds like he could be any one of several hundred deposed clergy and a few hundred thousand former members.  Or the Diocese of South Carolina.

 

 

 


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10 comments

So when does Schori accept GTS’s resignation?

[1] Posted by Greg Griffith on 12-8-2012 at 04:16 PM · [top]

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

John 15:1-2

[2] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 12-8-2012 at 05:40 PM · [top]

Capn Jack, this one looks more and more like a full on uprooting.

[3] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 12-8-2012 at 05:57 PM · [top]

Shouldn’t that be “when did Schori accept GTS’ resignation”?  I mean, whenever she deems them to have resigned is really what counts, isn’t it?  That and having her trained flying monkeys assemble in their Council of Advice to agree that she deemed thus-and-thus on such-and-such?

[4] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 12-8-2012 at 06:05 PM · [top]

You know, dwstroudmd+, the flying monkeys might have real trouble in this case because there’s not enough left of GTS for them to establish a landing zone.

[5] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 12-8-2012 at 06:20 PM · [top]

If your “gospel” is “We are all nice people, and we need to help people realize that, and then let’s all do nice things,” how much training do you need?  About the only skill “progressive” clergy need to learn (if they have not already mastered it) is how to make the Bible say what you want it to say, instead of what it does say.

[6] Posted by AnglicanXn on 12-9-2012 at 03:14 PM · [top]

Reminds me of two prior events: the firing of custodial staff from 815 a few years back (and the hiring of non-union labor to replace them—as is so consistent with General Convention’s pro-labor policies) and Episcopal Divinity School selling off much of its property to neighboring Lesley University.

Church officials continue to display how they are unwilling to implement their own professed values—but are all too willing to eat the seed corn of the future.

[7] Posted by Jeff Walton on 12-10-2012 at 10:24 AM · [top]

Actually, they ARE living their own values - which is “situational ethics”...don’t confuse them with the facts…or Holy Scripture…

[8] Posted by B. Hunter on 12-10-2012 at 12:14 PM · [top]

#7 Jeff Walton yeah - I’ve called it a “one generation” strategy; jobs and pensions for the current bunch of non-productive insiders.  No effort at all to build a missionary church with a future witness.

[9] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 12-12-2012 at 08:02 AM · [top]

And there was no room at the Inn.

[10] Posted by Fr. Dale on 12-13-2012 at 11:53 PM · [top]

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