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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Rev. Whayne Hougland, Jr., was elected at a special electing convention May 18 to be the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan.
Hougland, currently rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Salisbury, N.C., was elected on the eighth ballot out of a field of four candidates. To be elected, a candidate must have received a majority of the votes in both the lay order and the clergy order. He received 87 of 139 votes cast in the lay order and 34 of 65 votes cast in the clergy order.
Read it all.
More than 350 people are expected to attend the 222nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence, March 8-9. The last time the Convention was held in Florence was 1976.
This year the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of South Carolina, is focusing on the future. “We cannot afford to focus on the backward glance,” said Lawrence “Christ calls us to look forward and carry out the Great Commission to make disciples and to proclaim the Gospel to a hurting world.”
This year’s convention workshops are designed to equip the Diocese’s lay members and clergy for the work of ministry. Bishop Lawrence promised that such workshops would be key parts of future annual Diocesan Conventions....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained Youth Ministry * South Carolina * Theology Apologetics
Read it all (an almost 40 page pdf).
Replace Title IV, Canon 1—Ethical Standards
The proposed change would replace the current text of Title IV, Canon 1
Ethical Canon Draft Revision for the Diocese of Georgia’s Title IV, Canon 1 (“Ethical Standards”) currently reads: “Marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence from sexual activity are the only acceptable forms of sexual behavior for a Deacon, Priest or Bishop in the Diocese of Georgia.”
The proposed substitute from the Committee on Constitution & Canons is as follows:
Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the Diocese of Georgia are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.
References for above:
The ordination rite of the BCP
Title IV, Canon 4
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
There was a time, early in my episcopate, when it looked like the choice was either inclusion or communion. It looked binary, with no gradations between these two poles, and it looked as if it might be that way for a long time. The season after General Convention in 2003 was fractious, to say the least. Now, however, it looks like both inclusion and communion are available to us, at least provisionally. There are still issues of maintaining unity, both in our common life in this Diocese and in the lives of many of our congregations. I know this. And we must keep an eye on the horizon of the Anglican Communion.
But things are also changing, and changing much more quickly than I could have imagined. In the eighteen months following General Convention in 2003, for example, issues of human sexuality took over my life. Letters, phone calls, meetings, and email. Oh my the email. After Mary Glasspool’s election and consent to become bishop suffragan in Los Angeles in 2010, only seven years later, I got exactly one email. One. No one even took the trouble to ask me if I gave consent, or not. Something had shifted.
Read it all if you did not last time.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012 TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Ecclesiology
Read them all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance Pensions * International News & Commentary Middle East
Read it all and there is more here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
So ECUSA, through its hopelessly conflicted Disciplinary Board for Bishops, blames the Bishop for the actions of the Diocese -- even though he had no vote on them to begin with, and no Constitutional power to set aside the acts of the diocesan convention.
And then the Presiding Bishop, while trying with one hand to lure Bishop Lawrence into further mediation talks, uses her other hand to sign a certificate restricting his ministry -- and then still wants to continue talks as scheduled while keeping his restriction "confidential." (Oh, yes, that would certainly work.)
To top it off, she then claims that "her hands were tied," and that once she received the certification that he personally had "abandoned" ECUSA by the actions the diocesan convention took, she had "no choice" but to restrict him.
Read it all
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
With all of the recent news about the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church in the newspaper, there has been a growing misunderstanding about the nature of the crisis. As our bishop has put it so eloquently on several occasions, our profound disagreement with the Episcopal Church is over theology, morality, and polity (how the church is organized and governed). Yet what continues to be printed in the newspaper is that this whole separation is over homosexuality and the narrow view of the Diocese in contrast to the welcoming and inclusive view of the national church. This is a gross mischaracterization of the truth and represents a lie that Satan would like to sow in the minds of faithful members of our church to cause them to abandon their biblical faith and their current affiliation....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Theology Anthropology Soteriology
An official with a diocese that recently voted to leave The Episcopal Church has explained that congregations opposed to the decision are free to remain with the mainline protestant denomination.
The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of South Carolina, told The Christian Post that "Continuing Episcopalians" are free to "re-associate" with the denomination.
"Churches wishing to leave the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and re-associate with the Episcopal Church are free to do so, in accordance with their own bylaws and articles of incorporation," said Lewis.
Read it all but please note the diocese did NOT opt to leave November 17th, we withdrew upon notification of the action taken against Mark Lawrence, based on earlier resolutions passed by the diocesan Standing Committee. The vote on November 17th was to support the decision of the leadership in making just those resolutions which TEC triggered by their actions--KSH.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * South Carolina
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * South Carolina
Meanwhile, two bishop advisers are in Charleston to address pastoral concerns of the rectors and the congregations, Waldo said.
“They are not provisional bishops. They are just advisers,” Waldo said. “Right now with Mark’s restriction on ministry and the lack of recognition of the (diocesan) standing committee, there is a vacuum in ecclesiastical authority from the perspective of the Episcopal Church. I think pastoral care is being provided as best they can as they try to discern what’s next.”
In the Upper Diocese, Waldo said, “We have been calling to prayer over this for some time and will continue to do so.”
“I recognized there are many in our congregations who have relatives or friends or who attend affected churches in the lower diocese at various times of the year who are deeply concerned and in quite a bit of spiritual pain over what has happened and the brokenness.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * South Carolina
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Bishop [Christopher] Hill said that “on Saturday, a Special Diocesan Convention endorsed the South Carolina withdrawal from the Episcopal Church. The Bishop has stated that their position would be to remain within the Anglican Communion as an extra-provincial Diocese. The Episcopal Church on the other hand maintains that General Convention consent is necessary for any withdrawal. So the legal and indeed theological and ecclesiological position is extremely complicated. And it is absolutely not certain.”
The bishop concluded “it has therefore not been possible to consider the consequences for our relationships at this immediate stage. And, in my view, any statement just at this point would be premature.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Theology Ecclesiology Pastoral Theology
Let me move to talk about some in-house matters for our Diocese, though important in their own right. First I turn to the matter of same-sex blessings, as approved by the General Convention last summer in Indianapolis. There are about two hundred pages of materials forwarded to the rest of the Church—Bible studies, theological resources, study guides for congregations, pastoral practices, and the rites themselves. The enabling resolution allows the implementation of these rites in a diocese with the bishop’s permission, and under his or her direction. I have decided to permit their use in congregations who are willing to prepare for them, through a season of prayer, study, and discernment. This decision is cause for joy and excitement for many, and consternation or dismay for others. I understand both responses.
Let me tell briefly how my own position on matters of human sexuality has changed. Or rather it is not so much that my position has changed, but the context in which I express my position has shifted markedly. My purpose has been, and still is, to work for the full inclusion of the faithful gay men and lesbians in our Church, while at the same time maintaining the highest degree of communion possible within our common life and with the rest of the Anglican world. That is the constant. We are, I think, at that highest possible degree of communion possible, right now. It is not likely to get much better or much worse.
There was a time, early in my episcopate, when it looked like the choice was either inclusion or communion. It looked binary, with no gradations between these two poles, and it looked as if it might be that way for a long time. The season after General Convention in 2003 was fractious, to say the least. Now, however, it looks like both inclusion and communion are available to us, at least provisionally.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process * Culture-Watch Globalization * Theology
Read it all (pages 7-10).
This is crucial. We, as a Church, need to get leaner (though not necessarily meaner). The days of top heavy corporate-style hierarchies are over. We must be focused on mission, not governance. We must be outward focused at every level of the Church, having enough governance for the marshaling of resources, enough committees for organizing ministry, enough hierarchy for holy decision making . . . but no more!
The Church must be — from congregations to General Convention — committed to God’s Mission, not our favorite political agenda. God’s Vision for the world; not business as usual.
God has blessed his Episcopal Church with abundant resources, and through the years the Church has tried to be faithful. The time is now upon us to renew faithfulness and be a leaner, more mission-focused Church.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012 TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship
There are 4--read them all.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * South Carolina
During my career that included being president of two church-related liberal arts colleges, an insightful faculty member at one of the colleges called the relativist philosophy sweeping across campuses as a “diverse like me” mind-set. Diversity is great as long as it includes all those who agree with a certain postmodern worldview....
Where is diversity with fellowship and communion? Where is affirming the image of God in persons who disagree? Where is welcoming with abundant and radical hospitality? Where is the church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living soul? Where is the tiny space we worked so hard to find so that we could remain in TEC?
That tiny space to stand on principle and belief has become a razor’s edge of hypocrisy, severing a tie that should have remained. That tiny space has been eliminated by a “diverse like me” mind-set in a dysfunctional polity. And the Episcopal Church, the original and legitimate Diocese of South Carolina, the Anglican Communion and God’s kingdom on Earth will be the worse for it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * South Carolina * Theology
An unhappy convergence of theology, morality and church policy has led to a collision with the leadership of the Episcopal Church, [Mark Lawrence]...said.
“We move on. Those who are not with us, you may go in peace, your properties intact. Those who have yet to decide, we give you what time you need. Persuasion is almost always the preferable policy, not coercion.”
Delegates at the convention voted overwhelmingly to pass three resolutions, the first affirming that ties with the Episcopal Church are severed, the second and third amending the constitution and canons to reflect local autonomy.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
Today, Saturday, November 17, 2012, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina met in Special Convention at the “mother church of the Diocese,” historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston. There, an overwhelming majority passed three resolutions. (View the Resolutions.)
The first, by voice vote, affirmed the act of disassociation taken by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese, in response to actions of The Episcopal Church (TEC).
AMENDMENTS TO THE DIOCESAN CONSTITUTION
The second resolution, also by voice vote, passed on first reading. It approved amendments to the Diocesan Constitution removing all references to TEC.
AMENDMENTS TO THE DIOCESAN CANONS
The final vote, which was by orders, was for approval of amendments to the diocesan canons, likewise removing all such reference to TEC. It passed with an overwhelming vote of 96% (71 clergy) in the clergy order, with 3 abstaining. In the lay order, the vote passed with 90% in favor (47 yes with 5 abstentions).
Read it all (and make sure to follow the link to all the resolutions).
Read it all.
Please note these are fast notes and NOT to be taken verbatim quotes--KSH.
We just finished morning prayer and the bishop is now speaking.
The Bishop begins and quotes--
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith….” Hebrews 12:1—2a
When last this Diocese met in a convention at St. Philip’s, it was September 9th, 2006. I was one of three candidates for the XIV Bishop of South Carolina. In my opening address to the assembled clergy and laity I spoke these words: We meet this morning in this lovely city of Charleston. Inside the walls of this great old historic edifice—we can only hope the wisdom of the years might seep into our minds that we might rightly appreciate the present, and more importantly imagine an even greater future for tomorrow. I purposely include the past, present and future in this opening sentence. So also today: It is with hands reaching backward to bring the best of past centuries with us, feet firmly placed in the present—facing reality as it is, not as it was but as it is—and with hearts seeking God’s grace for an even greater future for tomorrow that we meet here today. Before, however, turning our minds and hearts to consider the future, I need to say word about what in recent years we have come through. For since that day on September 9th this Diocese of South Carolina and I have passed through two consent processes for Bishop, and two Disciplinary Board procedures for Abandonment of the Communion of The Episcopal Church—the last without our even knowing it. I have not done the research but I suppose two consent processes and two disciplinary board procedures is and may well remain unique in the annuals of TEC.
You may remember that during a stormy first consent process I stated that: “I have lashed myself to the mast of Jesus Christ and will ride out this storm wherever the ship of faith will take me.” It brought me two years later here to the marshes and cypress swamps of the Low Country. Where many of your relatives landed centuries before—some searching for wealth and others herded like cattle in the hulls of ships. During these past years I have grown to love this land and seascape, spreading down roots in your history and, even more to our purpose this morning, becoming one with you in a common allegiance to Jesus Christ, his Gospel, and his Church.
Consequently, I trust you will understand that I have strived in these past years, contrary to what some may believe or assert, to keep us from this day; from what I have referred to in numerous parish and deanery gatherings as the Valley of Decision. There is little need to rehearse the events that have brought us to this moment other than to say—it is a convergence of Theology, Christian Morality, and Church Polity that has lead to our collision with the leadership of TEC. I hope most of our delegates and clergy who have heard me address these matters know in their hearts and minds that this is no attempt to build gated communities around our churches as some have suggested or to keep the hungry seeking hearts of a needy world from our doors. Rather let the doors of our churches be open not only that seekers may come in but more importantly so we may go forth to engage the unbelieving with the hope of the gospel and serve our communities, disdaining any tendency to stand daintily aloof in self-righteousness. Indeed, let us greet every visitor at our porch as Christ and while some of our members stand at open doors to welcome, still others will go out as our Lord has directed into the highways and byways of the world—across seas and across the street—with the Good News of a loving Father, a crucified-yet-living Savior and a community of wounded-healers learning, however falteringly, to walk in step with His Spirit. Let not God’s feast go unattended. This is our calling....
But I must say this again and again. This whole controversy is really about what we shall tell people about Jesus Christ when they come to our churches.
We have spent far too many hours, days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of TEC. And while some of us still struggle in grief at what has happened and where these extraordinary days have brought us, I believe it is time to turn the page. The leaders of TEC have made their positions known—our theological and creedal commitments regarding the trustworthiness of Scripture, the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ, and other precious truths, while tolerated are just opinions among others; our understanding of human nature, the given-ness of gender as male and female, woven by God into the natural and created order, is now declared by canon law to be unacceptable; our understanding of marriage as proclaimed in the Book of Common Prayer “established by God in creation” and espoused by Anglicans around the world hangs precariously in the life of the Episcopal Church by a thin and fraying thread; and our understanding of the church’s polity, which until the legal strategy of the present Presiding Bishop’s litigation team framed their legal arguments, was a widely held and respected position, evidently, is now tantamount to misconduct or worse—abandonment. While the first of these on this listed are by far the more essential and should be center stage, it is the latter that has finally left us no place to stand within TEC. So be it. They have spoken and we have acted. We have withdrawn from that Church which we along with six other dioceses help to found.
The Presiding Bishop and her legal team are now emerging from the shadows. Changing from their previous practice of seeking peace, peace, while waging canonical war.
Those who are not with us you may go in peace.
Rich in heritage is the Episcopal Church, and when I have quarrelled with her it has been a lover's quarrel.
But we must turn the page. Let us tear our hearts and not our garments.
Therefore, we cannot allow either personally or corporately any root of bitterness, resentment, un-forgiveness, anger or fear to take us like untied and forgotten buoys in an outgoing tide, burying our hearts and mission in some muddy marsh or to float adrift in some backwater slough.
No, we shall turn the page. We shall move on. Actually let me state it more accurately. We have moved on. With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically. The resolutions before you this day are only affirmations of that fact. You have only to decide if that is your will.
So turning the page let us take an all too brief look at this next chapter of the Diocese of South Carolina. This chapter as I referenced in the scriptural text read at the beginning this address needs the promise and exhortations of the apostolic word. After surveying the luminaries of past generations who have walked by faith and not by sight—Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David and many lesser known men and women— the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews turns the page for his readers to the present and the future. Surrounded by these witnesses or martyrs from the past the early Christians must take their place in this great narrative of salvation history. Shedding themselves of every hindrance and clinging sins and (may I suggest perhaps things they cannot take with them) they are to press on looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of their faith. So must we.
Much speculation has arisen now that we are no longer in TEC where the Diocese of South Carolina is going? I have repeatedly said at gatherings around the diocese that this question has not been a topic of serious discussion among the changing members of the Standing Committee over the years, or for that matter among the deans, or my within our Council.
It needs to be state again that our time has been taken up with keeping the diocese protected, while being intact and in TEC. And knowing that should push come to shove we would need to be prepared for numerous contingencies we put in place various protections. These are now profoundly helpful: we have a pension plan for clergy and laity; insurance possibilities for our congregations; a diocesan health insurance program. These do not allay every sacrifice or concern by any means, but they do at least fill a void that would otherwise be unnerving and almost unmanageable for many of our clergy and congregations.
Having chosen to persuade rather than coerce we have a great meeting place—the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ! He is the one who opens the great doors and closes them. You may recall that the risen and glorified Christ spoke to the Philadelphian church in the Revelation of St. John the Divine: “Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” I believe he has done so for us as well. We know how to do mission. We know how to preach the gospel; to make disciples.
We know how to do mission. We know how to preach the gospel; to make disciples; to share our faith with others; to hold on to the essential doctrines of Christ while being innovative for reaching emerging generations; to plant and grow congregations. Do we have much to learn? You bet. Will we learn it?
I ask you to imagine if perhaps the greatest congregations in this Diocese of South Carolina are yet to be grown. Some of us are getting long in the tooth and need to learn from and make way for younger leaders. As for me I realized how quickly it has happened: those words of the Psalmist that once caused me to think of retired priests and elder statesmen I now apply to myself...
“O God, you have taught me since I was young, /and to this day I tell of your wonderful works. /And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, /till I make known your strength to this generation and your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:17-18) The LORD spoke to Servant-Israel regarding her witness to the world saying: “Behold, I do a new thing—before it breaks forth I tell you of it.” It is a time for the old to dream dreams and the young to see visions. If we can combine prudence with dynamism we can get somewhere.
As I stated at our recent Clergy Conference we need to maintain a comprehensive Anglicanism. Should we lose we lose an African-American congregation we shall look at planting another. If we lose an Anglo-Catholic parish will pray for what God will have us do; there are those from whom we can learn in this area. As for multi-racial congregations surely that is a gift whose time has come, perhaps past.
. Imagine what this Diocese of South Carolina can accomplish for the Kingdom of God and the Gospel if so much of our common life is no longer siphoned off in a resistance movement. What can our diocesan and deanery gatherings become when our focus is on our ministry at home and our mission in the world? If we can get out of our congregational silos and into relationships that foster mutual growth and mission a new day of possibilities awaits us. I will be calling together a task force to link stronger parishes with congregations and missions within the diocese that have suffered the loss of members due to this departure from TEC. If a smaller parish has lost 10, 20 or 30 percent of its membership in this break it may not be able to afford a full time priest. While continuing to keep the door ajar for any disaffected parishioners to return, we need to find ways to enable the congregation to continue to support their rector or vicar not merely in order to keep ply wood from the windows but in order to reach their community for Christ and to grow his Church. Let us get on with it. This will be our first priority.
South Carolina has been and continues to be a microcosm of North American Anglicanism—with all that is good and vital, and all that is most troubling. In an address at the Mere Anglicanism Conference last January I noted that there were some six overlapping jurisdictions within the boundaries of our diocese all making claims one way or another to being Anglican. With the exception of this Diocese of South Carolina, the oldest of these Churches is the Reformed Episcopal Church.
There are many REC congregations throughout South Carolina. They reach a good number of people with a vital faith and strong Anglican tradition. They have a goodly heritage and a seminary just up the road in Summerville. The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has had until recently the mother church of their movement at Pawleys Island. Recently the All Saints’ Pawleys Island congregation voted to associate with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). But AMiA has other congregations scattered across the Low Country—some with bishops and some with rectors. Then, just this year ACNA ordained a former rector of this diocese The Right Reverend Steve Wood, of St. Andrew’s Mt. Pleasant as the first bishop of their Diocese of the Carolinas, which includes North and South Carolina. There are others as well, some of whose bishops I know and some I do not.
As I have stated before this is all rather un-Anglican! But to the positive we ought to at least to acknowledge this possibility: But to end on a positive note, South Carolina may be the most “Anglicanized” turf in North America! (laughter)
This might be what lies behind the question that is often raised at the deanery and parish forums I’ve been addressing—with whom will we affiliate. My answer has been quite simply, “For now—no one.” As any wise pastor will tell you, if you been in a troubling or painful relationship for a long period of time and then the marriage or relationship ends, you would be wise not to jump right away into the first one that comes along and tie the knot. You’d be wise take your time.
Nevertheless, I hope we can work with and for a greater unity among the Anglican Churches within our local region and within North America. We have many friends and bonds of affection that unite us as well as a common mission. A century ago a son of this diocese, William Porcher DuBose, wrote these helpful words: “The question, How to restore and conserve Unity—must go back to a prior one,--What is the Unity in question? Let us recall and repeat it in our Lord’s own words: ‘I will not leave you orphans; yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but ye shall see me; because I live, ye shall live also.’….If then, in all our differences we are thus able to concentrate and agree upon the one necessity of being in Christ and of being one in Him, we must not despair of some ultimate Way to it. If we will cultivate and prepare the disposition, the will, and the purpose—God will make the Way….let us, I say, once begin on that line, and the differences that do not eliminate themselves will be turned into the higher service of deepening, broadening, and heightening the resultant Unity.”
To this end I will also appoint a task force to begin contacting, praying and working with these other Anglican bodies as they are willing and able to seek a greater Anglican Unity within South Carolina or at least within our own jurisdiction.
I am taken with some other challenging words from our past heritage. We might also consider the words of William Reed Huntingdon, whose genius over a century ago shaped the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral
“If our whole ambition as Anglicans in America be to continue a small, but eminently respectable body of Christians, and to offer refuge to people of refinement and sensibility, who are shocked by the irreverences they are apt to encounter elsewhere; in a word, if we care to be only a countercheck and not a force in society then let us say as much in plain terms, and frankly renounce any claim to Catholicity. We have only, in such a case, to wrap the robe of our dignity about us, and walk quietly along in a seclusion no one will take much trouble to disturb. Thus may we be a Church in name and a sect in deed.”I mention these challenges words for two reasons. I believe we need to work in two directions at the same time. First we need to allow ourselves to draw near to the throbbing needs of the world around us. And while maintaining the four pillars of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, we need to creatively engage our culture not with the tired arguments of the past, answering question no one is asking, but answering the questions of those in the sorrowing and aspiring heart of our society.
Mention meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury, and then the bishop of London. He got there early. As often in England it was raining. And so I went outside and looked at the roads where all these paths of cars were converging and I asked myself how did it happen that we have become some engulfed in meeting and not bringing the gospel to that world (where all the cars were). That's our calling, because it is Christ's calling.
Finally, I turn to our place in The worldwide Anglican Communion. Our vision since 2009 has been to Make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age: Helping by God’s grace to help shape emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century. I mentioned in my recent Open Letter to the Diocese that we have heard from Archbishops, Presiding Bishops, and diocesan bishops from the Kenya to Singapore, England to Egypt, Ireland to the Indian Ocean, Canada to Australia, representing the overwhelmingly vast majority of members of the Anglican Communion that they consider me as a faithful Anglican Bishop in good standing and this diocese as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Ah,my friends this should comfort us as we await further guidance from God regarding future affiliation and in conversation with the Provinces and Dioceses with whom we have missional relationships. Just yesterday I received emails from bishops in Egypt, North Africa and Ethiopia assuring us of their prayers. and I thought my gosh,
We are not alone. Greater are those with us than any who may be against us.
Nevertheless, this I assure you, there shall also be lengthy and thorough conversation among the clergy of this diocese—our bishops, priests, lay leaders and deacons before any decision would be presented before this Convention that would ask you to associate with any province. I remind you of an historical fact—this diocese existed after the American Revolution for four years before it voted to accede to Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States and then for a fifth year.... So for now and the foreseeable future, having withdrawn from our association with TEC, we remain as an extra-provincial Diocese within the larger Anglican Communion; buttressed by the knowledge we are recognized as a legitimate diocese by the vast majority of Anglicans around the world. Truly, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
What then in conclusion? Having turned the page, having gazed however briefly at the next chapter, the path ahead opens before us, “… let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Founder and Perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
These resolutions which you will soon have before you are first and foremost a way for you to affirm the action of withdrawal the Standing Committee has legally and canonically taken. Many of you have already decided in your heart and mind how you will vote. Others will need more time.
Go outside the Walmart in Goose Creek or Monck's Corner, they lead into a broken and throbbing and hurting world, and ask yourself is it not time to devote ourselves to that hurting world.
...in keeping with your understanding of God’s Word, the historic teachings of Christ’s Church, and the leading of the Holy Spirit it is time to take stock of what you think, and in harmony with your heart and conscience to act. May God guide us all.
(Ends--and I am out of time and my hand hurts!)
Joy Hunter, director of communications for the South Carolina Diocese, told The Christian Post that the pastoral letter will not change the course the Diocese... [has taken].
"The Diocese of South Carolina has already disassociated from that organization," said Hunter, adding that Schori's authority holds no jurisdiction.
"We disagree with her statement that a diocese cannot leave TEC. It is in error historically, canonically and under the civil laws of this state."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Rev. David Thurlow of St. Matthias Church in Summerton said Friday he supports and endorses Lawrence's pastoral letter to the Diocese of South Carolina....
He said the main and underlying issue in the whole matter stems from decisions made by majority of the dioceses in the country choosing to reject the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ. Thurlow added despite the changing circumstances nothing has changed with regards to the diocese's identity.
"We are, always have been and shall remain the Diocese of South Carolina," Thurlow said. "We existed and operated as the Diocese of the South Carolina prior to existence of the national church, which we together with a handful of other dioceses established. Whereas a majority of Episcopalians in this country are choosing to vote for these innovations, the Diocese of South Carolina together with the overwhelming majority of the rest of our denomination throughout the world cannot embrace. They not only represent a marked departure from the faith of the Christ, but chiefly because they stand in direct conflict with scriptures and biblical witness we are called to follow and obey."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is holding a convention to chart a future course after its split with the National Episcopal Church over [theological] issues including [the] ordination of [non-celibate] gays.
Read it all.
Date of Special Convention: Saturday, November 17, 2012I mean this--we NEED your prayers. Thank you--KSH.
Location: Saint Philip’s Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston
Registration: 8:30 am – 9:45 am in the Parish Hall
Call to Convention: 10:00 am
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * South Carolina
As the Special Convention called for the Diocese of South Carolina nears, both the leader of the Diocese and the leader of the national Church have issued pastoral letters. They attempt, on the surface, to calm the waters, but underneath each are stiff messages which show the resolve with which each side of this dispute is facing the coming confrontation.
boilerplate for 815, and comes straight from Chancellor David Booth Beers. The mantra about dioceses needing the "consent" of General Convention to disaffiliate is based on no language in the Church's Constitution or Canons whatsoever. During the Civil War, seven dioceses left the Church without asking or seeking any permission from the national Church to do so. Since then, a proposal to make General Convention the supreme authority in the Church failed to pass General Convention in 1895, and the subject has not been touched upon since.
Bishop Jefferts Schori's letter also takes the occasion to discuss the charges brought against the Fort Worth Seven and the Quincy Three, but again it adds nothing new (except to express the extraordinary opinion that "all involved see [the process] as a positive endeavor"!!). It reiterates that the matter is going through the new procedures under the amended Title IV of the Canons, but it fails to acknowledge her own improper role in that process -- improper, in that she is acting as a judge in her own cause. (The "offense" with which those bishops have been charged is, at bottom, their act of disagreeing with the Presiding Bishop -- and she gets to direct and control the disciplinary process.)
But she also makes a false appeal to parishioners' fear and misunderstanding about what is happening...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History
Lowcountry citizens of all spiritual stripes have been observing the drama related to the conflict between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and Bishop Mark Lawrence. To set the stage, we have seen TEC behaving in ways unimaginable to the faithful a decade ago and earlier. The way they have treated the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina the last several years parallels the worst of power politics in the U.S. Congress. As all know TEC is using lawsuits around the country to grab the church properties of dioceses, even individual parishes.
The Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina has tried to negotiate a compromise by which the diocese can remain within TEC and yet continue its received communion with the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation. TEC not only opposes such a resolution, but it also undermined the most recent attempt at compromise by concluding against such a compromise weeks before the final discussion took place, as written evidence shows. The result is that the Diocese of South Carolina is disassociated with TEC and it continues to operate as it has since its founding and does so as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
On Thursday, November 15, 2012, the following message to the people of the Diocese of South Carolina from Bishop Mark Lawrence was placed in the Charleston Post and Courier. The Bishop's message reminds us that we are still here, where we always have been: a historic diocese remaining faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ and recognized as such by the vast majority of the Anglican Communion in spite of recent attempts to assume our identity by the new TEC Steering Committee.
(Along with the bishop's message a list of some of the many Rectors who endorse his message and stand with him appeared. Originally only rectors were being listed, but as additional clergy have asked that their names be added to the list, the diocese is updating the page.)
Read it all.
A Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence to the Diocese of South Carolina, November 15
South Carolina’s Canon to the Ordinary Writes the Clergy of the Diocese
A note on Diocese of South Carolina Developments
South Carolina Developments (I)—Two Emails From a TEC Steering Committee Led Group to SC Clergy
South Carolina Developments (II)—Tennessee Bishop offers support to dissident South Carolina clergy
South Carolina Developments (III)—Local Newspaper article on the TEC-Diocese of SC Struggle
South Carolina Developments (IV)—A Priest at Holy Communion, Charleston, leaves and Heads to Rome
South Carolina Developments (V)—Local Newspaper Article on Holy Communion: “Group to leave church”
South Carolina Developments (VI)—Advertisement in the Local paper by the TEC Group
South Carolina Developments (VII)—Another Local newspaper Article, Q and A with the Diocese of SC
South Carolina Developments (VIII)—National Church releases “Fact sheet: The Diocese of South Car.”
South Carolina Developments (IX)—Presiding Bishop backs ecclesiastical coup in South Carolina
Don't Miss: South Carolina Developments (X)—A.S. Haley’s Analysis of recent Events (apologies, this was mistakenly left off the list of links, thanks to the reader who alerted us!)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Culture-Watch Media * South Carolina
This year’s convention focused a great deal on making, equipping and sending mature disciples into the world, McKay said.
“That’s what the bishop is focusing on,” she said.
To do that, the Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo laid out four priorities for the diocese’s 63 congregations: building the church community for prayer and discussion, teaching and vocation within the church, bearing witness and bringing service to the world and good stewardship of people, place and money, [Sally] McKay said.
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For Fond du Lac Episcopal Diocese churches wishing to perform same-sex relationship blessing ceremonies, Bishop Russell Jacobus’ decision is no ... for now.
He told Saturday’s 138th Annual Diocesan Convention audience at the Holiday Inn Manitowoc that more study was needed “before we move forward into an era where the church would be re-interpreting ... the historical and traditional view of marriage.”
After his address to delegates, Jacobus said only one church in the diocese, with 37 worshiping sites, had discussed and studied the issue with the kind of thoroughness he believes necessary without risking unnecessary divisiveness.
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Amid the gothic grandeur of the consecration of a new bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, a man in an overcoat and fedora suddenly held forth from the center aisle about a vision he said God had given him for a new bridge in Pittsburgh.
The speaker was the about-to-be-consecrated Bishop Dorsey Winter Marsden McConnell. The Yale-educated former actor, 58, teamed with diocesan youth to stage a parable about an engineer who couldn't persuade anyone to build his "Bridge of the Angels" but used its model to save many families from a fire that broke out amid the great Pittsburgh flood of 1936....
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A resolution from the convention, meeting at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, reads, in part:
“Resolved, that we will undertake efforts to educate our members and our communities about the negative impact casinos will have ...
“Resolved, that we will take action to minimize that negative impact, in particular by opposing a casino in Springfield because of the large number of our fellow citizens made especially vulnerable because of the effects of age, poverty, and addiction in the city; and we will be prepared to help those people who will suffer as a result of this legislation.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Culture-Watch Gambling * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
For many years the diocese of South Carolina has opposed the primary theological direction of the national Episcopal Church (TEC). As TEC leadership has moved away from the claim of Jesus’ uniqueness, the authority of Holy Scripture, the meaning of marriage and the nature of what it means to be human, we have had to be more steadfast in our defense of these truths, and more vocal and strong in our opposition to TEC’s disavowal of them.
In the past few years this conflict has escalated to the point where in 2011 charges were brought against Bishop Lawrence (and later voted down in Committee), and where the 2012 General Convention placed an unbiblical doctrine of humanity into the Canons of the Church. The doctrine, discipline and worship of TEC were all fundamentally changed in a fashion most of our clergy cannot and will not comply with. Bishop Lawrence and a majority of our deputation left the Convention before it concluded as a result.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * By Kendall * South Carolina
Dear St. Jude's Parish Family,
On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified Bishop Lawrence's abandonment of The Episcopal Church. The charges against Bishop Lawrence were initiated by twelve laypersons and two clergy within the Diocese whose identity remains unknown to the Bishop. [Careful blog readers will know that these names are now public but they were not when this was written--KSH]
Bishop Lawrence was notified of these actions taken by the Episcopal Church between two meetings, one held on October 3 and one to be held on October 22, which Bishop Andrew Waldo of the Upper Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence had set up with the Presiding Bishop to find a peaceful alternative to the growing issues between The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina. The meetings were to explore “creative solutions” for resolving these issues to avoid further turmoil in the Diocese and in The Episcopal Church.
This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Diocesan Convention. That Diocesan Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012. St. Jude's' convention delegates and I will attend the Special Convention.
St. Jude's held a Parish Meeting on August 1, 2012 where we discussed the real possbibility that The Episcopal Church would initiate disciplinary action against Bishop Lawrence and that, in respone, the Diocese of South Carolina would disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church. That scenario has now come to pass.
Tomorrow, (Friday, October 19, 2012) I will attend a meeting of the clergy at St. Paul's, Summerville, where the impact of these actions on St. Jude's and all the churches in the Diocese will be discussed. I will then meet with the Vestry on Monday evening.
These events will continue to unfold in the days ahead and the Vestry and I will keep you informed as they do.
Bishop Lawrence is the finest, godliest man I have ever had the privilege to serve under. I am sad that The Episcopal Church has chosen to act against our Diocese and Bishop Lawrence during a good faith attempt to resolve differences in a peaceful way. But, I am also hopeful and confident that the Lord will provide for St. Jude's and the Diocese as we move forward.
Yours in Christ,
--(The Rev.) Bob Horowitz is rector of Saint Jude's Church, Walterboro, South Carolina
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Theology Pastoral Theology
You may read it all here.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics
The five candidates seeking to become the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, which includes Worcester County, come from diverse backgrounds and include a former music industry executive, a former Roman Catholic priest and book editor, and a former banker.
Clergy and lay delegates will vote on a new bishop Saturday at Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield.
Pending the consent of the church's 77th General Convention, which will be held in July, the new prelate will be ordained Dec. 1 during ceremonies at the MassMutual Center, also in Springfield.
Read it all.
Since Lexington has an upcoming Diocesan election, I decided to look at some history and and lo and behold the statistics for that diocese were discussed in a post and spirited discussion on August 14, 2009 with the title "Kendall Harmon: Significant Subsurface Deterioration in the Episcopal Church". For starters, that whole blog post and all the comments are well worth the time to reread.
Since that blog post was nearly three years ago, the statistics in view were those from 2007--
If you look at baptized membership, Lexington shrank from 8949 in 1997 to 8002 in 2007. That is a decline of 10.6%. Now, however, consider the more meaningful number, Average Sunday Attendance. In this category, Lexington fell from 3905 to 2973 in the period from 1997-2007. That is a decline of 24%.If you now go to the research and statistics website of the Episcopal Church, you can look at an update of these numbers for 2010. These figures show 2010 baptized membership of the diocese of Lexington at 7504 and Average Sunday Attendance at 2,693. If you now consider the 13 year trend, note that the decline in baptized membership from 1997 to 2010 is 16.15% and that of Average Sunday Attendance is just over 31%.
Also note that according to the U.S.Census Bureau's figures, Lexington, the see city of the diocese, has grown in population from 260,512 in 2000 to 295,803 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 13.5% in this time frame (the growth for the whole state of Kentucky's population was 7.4% during this period).
Now, consider all this and ask yourself this question--given these trends and numbers, what is the one question you really must ask of each finalist to be next bishop in Lexington? Why something about their vision and strategy for growth and for reversing the precipitous decline, surely. And yet was such a question asked in the published profiles? No. This is what I mean by deep denial--KSH.
A Massachusetts priest will succeed Bishop Gene Robinson as New Hampshire's next Episcopal bishop.
A delegation of clergy and lay people chose the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld of Grace Church in Amherst from a field of three nominees. Votes were cast Saturday at St. Paul's Church in Concord.
Read it all.
Read it all, it is lengthy pdf file containing photos, autobiographies, and the nominees’ answers to four essay questions posed by the Search and Nomination Committee
Read it all (19 page pdf).
Nine years after electing the first openly gay bishop in the history of their church, causing a rift in the worldwide Anglican Communion that remains unrepaired, New Hampshire Episcopalians may choose a second [non-celibate] gay man as their leader....
...some US church leaders remain optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Diocese of Massachusetts said he believes it will survive - not because conservative and liberal dioceses will reach agreement on hot-button issues like sexuality, but because he believes they will be willing to grant one another greater autonomy.
“I think there is definitely a change, a movement in much of the African church not to recognize the blessing of same-sex unions, or to encourage gay partnerships, but a real acknowledgment that our cultures and pastoral situations are different,’’ he said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils Global South Churches & Primates FCA Meeting in London April 2012 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Read it all and note you can see the ballots there.
Church officials said the new bishop will face daunting tasks, including turning around congregations with massive membership declines and repairing deteriorating church plants.
Over the past 10 years, average Sunday attendance has plummeted and 15 congregations have been deemed “at risk.”
A number of Episcopal churches have also closed over the past few years.
Read it all.
Five candidates visited the 11-county diocese last week. They have diverse convictions on some issues that led to the split. But all pledged to avoid imposing their own agenda on the 32 parishes, which range theologically from evangelical to moderately liberal. All have experience with mediation or reconciliation among feuding Episcopalians. All have led the revival of tiny parishes similar to many here.
And all intend to spend more time in parishes than in an office.
"The next bishop will have to be a missionary bishop, not an administrator," said the Rev. R. Stanley Runnels, 60, rector of St. Paul's Church in Kansas City, Mo., in a view expressed by all candidates.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Theology Sacramental Theology Baptism Eucharist
[Robert] Hirschfeld also described starting a "wedding fast" at his church five years ago. In it, he asked for support in a "moratorium on presiding at any wedding until we came to some resolution about the jarring practice of performing weddings for heterosexual persons . . . while maintaining that homosexuals are disqualified from such blessings."
More than a decade before Hirschfeld refused to perform marriages for heterosexual couples, Rich, 59, was "raked over the coals" for presiding at a "holy union" of two lesbians at Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore in 1992.
Rich said he was "careful to obtain all the necessary permissions to do this, including tacit permission to 'do what you think is best pastorally' from the bishop." But several months later "The Baltimore Sun got wind of what had happened" and ran a page one story about it.
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The Rev. Martha N. Macgill, 54, rector of Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, has been nominated by petition and added to a slate of five priests already chosen to stand for election as the Diocese of Atlanta’s next bishop.
Read it all.
This year we will send our deputation to General Convention. General Convention is normally a source of some anxiety for people. I am not anxious. I am not fearful. I am not concerned. And, the reason is that for me my faith in Jesus Christ, and my belief in the unique witness of the Episcopal Church to offer Good News is not dependent upon General Convention. It just isn’t....
Let me remind you that your faith in Jesus Christ and your love for this Church and your belief in its worship and witness to Jesus are not going to be changed by an act of General Convention. At General Convention they will pass a liturgy for same sex blessings. They are going to pass it. I will vote against this liturgy. Your deputation will more than likely be divided on the question and in so doing cast a vote against it as well.
On another topic, the Anglican Covenant will come before General Convention for ratification. I will vote in favor of the Covenant. Your deputation will probably be divided. And, Convention will probably not support it. I am working in advance with other bishops to propose a way through our division on the Anglican Covenant...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Covenant Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
Read it all and follow the link for more material.
You are encouraged to continue reading it and commenting on it over here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology Pastoral Theology
The rub of course is when what is right and what is wrong becomes the stuff of ecclesiastical politics; and this, unfortunately, is where we are. But, as much as I dislike it, most rank and file parishioners did not care about the details of the allegations that were brought against me, nor did they understand the questions of church polity which beggared the dispute. Such matters as ecclesiastical constitutionality reside in galaxies far away from where they live their daily lives – thank God.. So after enduring this season of trials, while not entirely unscathed…and who knows what allegations may yet be forth coming… I remain thankful for the broad unity we share as a diocese and with a strong desire that as much as possible we may move forward together. As you have just heard in the video, there is an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Together is where we need to be for what lies on the road ahead; for this is not a time for us to drift into individualistic or false realities.
I say often to congregations, “Face reality as it is: Not as it was: nor as we wish it were: but as it is.” The reality is that as the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina we have unique opportunities and unique challenges. The remarkable English scholar, missionary and bishop, Stephen Neill once commented that “To be a bad Anglican is the easiest thing in the world; the amount of effort required in a minimum Anglican conformity is so infinitesimal that it is hardly to be measured.” But he went on to say, “To be a good Anglican is exceedingly taxing business.” If we substitute Episcopalian for Anglican we have just as telling and true a statement for our challenge today. To be a bad Episcopalian is easy. Just drift with the flow of whatever cultural stream carries you and you can be an Episcopalian. I remember reading as a seminarian, Bishop Allison’s debate with O.C. Edwards on evangelism. Fitz, as you might imagine was for it. If memory serves me well, Fitz opened with the line “You can be anything and be an Episcopalian. You can be immoral, and you can be heretical; as long as you are not tacky. And apparently there’s something tacky about evangelism.” Yes, it’s easy to be an Episcopalian sitting in the pews. But to be a good Episcopalian today, well this church is no place for ostriches or for the spiritually, intellectually, or morally lazy. There is a theological, moral and demographic challenge every minute (just follow Kendall’s blog and you’ll know what I mean). I should, however, qualify the statement, when I suggest it is easy to be an Episcopalian—good one or bad one—for if we take seriously the recent Hadaway Report, the biggest challenge in many parts of our country may soon be actually finding an Episcopal parish to attend.
Read it all (pdf which includes graphs). Please note that you may find a non-pdf version there (but it doesn't include the graphs, only links thereto).
The Search and Nomination Committee has selected five priests to stand for election as the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island.
Read it all.
You may go here for the agenda and follow the links for additional information.
Lionel Deimel, a member of St. Paul's in Mt. Lebanon who blogs on church matters from a liberal perspective, declared his opposition to any local candidate before Father [Scott] Quinn was named. He argued that all local priests carry factional baggage and that the diocese was too ingrown....
The Rev. James Simons, a theological conservative who had a leading role in reorganizing the diocese after the split, hasn't chosen a candidate yet, and said that the value of an inside candidate depends on the person.
"It can be argued both ways," he said. "When you elect from within the diocese, the learning curve is less steep. You don't have to learn the history because you lived the history. On the other hand, sometimes it's good to have someone looking at things with fresh eyes. It all depends on who that individual is."
Read it all.
Read it all and follow the links for additional information.
A local priest, the Rev. Scott Quinn, has been added to the slate of candidates for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Father Quinn is rector of the Church of the Nativity in Crafton. The election will be held on April 21.
Read it all.
First please go here and reread the necessary procedures for a petition nomination. Observe especially the following:
"A petition should come after a prayerful discernment about the preliminary slate and as a way to strengthen the slate," advises Dean [George] Werner.Now see what you make of Lionel Diemel's take on this matter.
A nomination by petition requires ten signatures from individuals representing at least three parishes. Four of those signing must be canonically resident clergy, and of the six lay communicants in good standing in parishes of the diocese, three must be deputies to the Diocesan Convention. The petition must also include the consent signature of the person being nominated.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Pastoral Theology
The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta has announced five priests to stand for election as the next bishop of Atlanta, which serves middle and north Georgia. The five are on a slate that was presented by the Nominating Committee.
The Feb. 13 announcement opens a month-long period during which members of the diocese may petition to add additional names to the ballot....
Read it all and please follow the links.
The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the Diocese of Central Florida that Bishop-Elect Gregory Brewer has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.
As outlined under Canon III.11.4 (a), the Presiding Bishop confirmed the receipt of consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and has also reviewed the evidence of consents from a majority of standing committees of the Church sent to her by the diocesan standing committee.
Read it all.
As leader of one of the 110 dioceses in the Episcopal Church, [Bishop Andy] Doyle said he puts an emphasis on "doing things" instead of "telling people to do things."
His diocese includes more than 1,400 ministries which range in focus from feeding the poor, sick or elderly, building homes for those affected by natural disasters and buying mosquito nets for African families to protect them from malaria.
"The Episcopal church is a church that very much loves Jesus Christ and is interested in people and getting to know them," he said. "We have a lot of diversity. God made a lot of different kinds of folks."
Read it all and please note that the Council has a blog.
Jennifer Haemmerle, co-Chancellor, moved for adoption of this revision. The motion was seconded and Jennifer went on to explain the rationale for this proposed change. The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopted substantial revisions to the Canons for Ecclesiastical Discipline and this revision of the Diocesan canon will bring it into compliance with the general Canons of the National Church. This change also allows for the Diocese to enter into and implement an agreement with one or more neighboring dioceses to share assets and resources consistent with the provisions of Title V. Bishop Thom gave a brief summary of the process that is being put in place (that will, hopefully, never have to be used). He reported that he and Jennifer are working with the Diocese of Montana to create a shared a disciplinary panel. He will appoint two clergy and two lay persons to serve on this nine-member Board. In addition, two people (one male and one female) will be appointed to serve as intake officers. After a brief discussion, a vote was taken and the canonical change was accepted.
Read it all (see page 14).
Delegates of the church will elect officers, approve a 2012 budget and pursue a new capital and congregational development campaign called A New Era of Mission.
The program aims to reverse the declines in membership the Episcopal Church has experienced over the past 40 years, said the Rev. Frank Logue, the assistant to the bishop of the Diocese of Georgia.
“It focuses on nine areas of funding, nine priorities for us,” he said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Stewardship
Read it all.
(What follows--which I decided may be of interest to blog readers--is the email I sent late last week in answers to a reporter's questions; none of the wording has been changed--KSH).
1. Could you provide me with some background on the process of accusation and acquittal?
Some parishioners in the Diocese of South Carolina believed a threshold had been crossed whereby Bishop Lawrence had abandoned the communion of The Episcopal Church. They submitted evidence to support this, alleging multiple violations. Under relatively recently instituted new procedures the allegations went to the Disciplinary Board of Bishops. They met over conference call and decided the charges were sufficiently serious to merit further consideration. Bishop Lawrence was informed of this fact by the chair of the committee and the Diocese made public the allegations against the Bishop on its website. There were numerous complications in the process along the way, but eventually the committee met and “the Board” as a whole “was unable to make the conclusions essential” to certifying merit in the charges.2. What is your opinion of the Church's decision?
We are relieved at the decision and thankful for the hard work of the people involved. We are, however, deeply troubled by the process, a process which the diocese itself has believed is unholy and unhelpful (and most especially that it was passed unconstitutionally).A careful reading of the statement of the committee on their decision reveals a troubling underlying tone of institutional pressure to conform which is sadly lacking in grace. Even more upsetting, it reflects a larger pattern of those in The Episcopal Church’s leadership of the use the external push of canons to achieve desired ends which only the Holy Spirit and genuinely Christian relationships can produce.3. What is Bishop Lawrence's opinion of homosexuality? Has the Episcopal Church taken the wrong position?
The position of the diocese is the position of the ecumenical consensus of Christians East and West through the church’s history: there are only two states of human beings, singleness and marriage, and the only proper context for the expression of sexual intimacy is between a man and a woman who are married to each other. This remains the current standard of the Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian body in the world.This standard must be maintained with pastoral sensitivity by the church in local practice where we seek to balance truth and love.4. Many Episcopalians left the Church over its progressive theology and started their own denominations, yet lest I am mistaken Bishop Lawrence has remained with the Episcopal Church. What keeps him from leaving?
As the Thirty-Nine Articles make clear, church councils can do and make errors and we believe there have been multiple erroneous decisions made by TEC senior leaders on this matter in the last decade or more. We are also more and more troubled that such wrongful decisions are increasingly allowed to be promoted in local practice, while senior leadership claims that other standards are being upheld. This has led to increasing chaos in our own province as well as sowed disunity through the Anglican Communion.
No one can decide to leave the church, the church is the body of Christ. Such a notion is a bizarre American anomaly which needs to be challenged at every opportunity.
Bishop Lawrence is seeking to be a faithful upholder of both evangelical truth and catholic unity. He is disturbed by the disorder involved in numerous decisions of those who through conscience have sought to worship God as Anglicans outside TEC because they felt they had no choice. At the same time he is deeply troubled by the continued movement of the Episcopal Church away from the gospel of Jesus Christ died and risen. The further TEC moves from Holy Scripture as the church has received it, the further the diocese will need to distance itself from the falsehoods being embraced. But the diocese is the main unit of the Anglican Church and the unity of the diocese needs to be protected as much as possible as this process is being lived out.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * By Kendall * Culture-Watch Media * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
...the findings in respect of Bishop Lawrence are even broader. As we have noted before, under the new Title IV all clergy are required to report to the Intake Officer “all matters which may constitute an Offense.” The failure by the Board to refer these matters to the Intake Officer thus necessarily constitutes a finding by them, the body responsible for the trial of bishops under Title IV, that not only has there been no abandonment, neither has there been a violation of any of the other disciplinary canons. In other words, Bishop Lawrence has been given the broadest possible clearance.
Fourth, turning to the final sentence in Bishop Henderson’s statement in which he emphasizes that he is speaking only for himself, we note that the express reservation here underscores the fact that the rest of his statement is made on behalf of the entire Board. As to the substance of this sentence, we are unsure what Bishop Henderson means when he expresses his hope that the minority in South Carolina will be given a “safe place.” We are unaware of any allegations that dissident clergy have been disciplined or otherwise treated unfairly by Bishop Lawrence or the Diocese. There was a single allegation concerning a chapel comprised of dissenters from the diocesan majority, but this related not to any alleged discipline or persecution but only to whether this chapel would be organized as a diocesan parish or mission. Bishop Lawrence has in the past vigorously refuted this allegation, pointing out that he has worked closely with this chapel to provide them with priests, including the licensing of priests from other dioceses. In any event, this allegation was dismissed along with the others.
Perhaps Bishop Henderson was using the term “safe place” to suggest that Bishop Lawrence permit the dissenters to perform same sex blessings, call priests who are in same sex relationships or practice communion of the unbaptized, practices that are widespread elsewhere in TEC but prohibited in the Diocese of South Carolina. There is much esteem and affection for Bishop Henderson in the Church, but his hopes on this point are simply those of one bishop expressed openly to another. For our part, we have little doubt that Bishop Lawrence will continue to require that all under his episcopal authority adhere to traditional standards of sexual ethics, standards required by diocesan canons, regardless of any decision made to approve blessings at next year’s General Convention.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Theology Ecclesiology
Read it all.
Perhaps this link will work: http://www.diocesemo.org/news/2011/11/19/presiding-bishop-katharine-preaches-at-convention-eucharist/
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics
His profile information is there. His "candidate video" follows:
There is an interesting brief and picture there also.
This passed--read it all.
Contributions of Pelagius
Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):
Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta recommend that the bishop appoint and oversee a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to understand [previously was "honor"] the contributions of Pelagius [previously was:"and reclaim his voice in"] to our tradition.
The possibility that the adjacent Episcopal dioceses of Fond du Lac and Eau Claire could form a new diocese in northern Wisconsin has been laid aside due to "an irregularity" in the counting of the Fond du Lac vote.
The irregularity appears to have occurred in the reporting of the vote of the Fond du Lac lay order.
Read it all.
The Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.
Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:
“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”
“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition....”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Theology Pastoral Theology Soteriology
The developing impasse between the diocese and the canonical instruments of General Convention is a tragedy in the making. It is very possible that the result will be the unnecessary loss of dozens of parishes and tens of thousands of Episcopalians. It is a moment to take stock and to recall the purpose of the canon law of the church. The canon law of the church has the peace of the church as its ultimate aim. The course of justice will be perverted if this new and arguably unconstitutional canon is used as an instrument by those of a majority opinion to gain the upper hand over those with whom they disagree. These proceedings threaten to reduce to the vanishing point the ground from which any future reconciliation might grow.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons
Read it all.
Resolution offered by The Vestry of Christ Church, Greenville
Christ Church City Greenville
An Invitation to Conversation
WHEREAS: God's very essence and nature is revealed to us in the community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, "Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of persons;" and
WHEREAS: Jesus Christ himself entered into fully human community by calling faithful disciples and by promising he would be with us to the end of the ages, and
WHEREAS: we, as Episcopalians, affirm St. Paul's teaching in our Baptismal liturgy that "[t]here is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all," and
WHEREAS: any injury endured or experienced by a member of our community of the church as the Body of Christ affects the whole Body of Christ, and
WHEREAS: the Diocese of South Carolina formerly encompassed the territory and parishes that now comprise the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, such that the communicants of the two dioceses are significantly interrelated and bound by faith, fellowship and family, Therefore be it
RESOLVED: that we, the people of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, gathered together at the 89th Diocesan Convention in a spirit of unity and reconciliation, invite The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church and The Right Reverend Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina to come together in person at a mutually convenient time and place in order to strengthen the bonds of our community; and be it further
RESOLVED: that The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Right Reverend Mark Lawrence engage in healing conversation regarding the ongoing tensions between The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina; and be it further
RESOLVED: that The Right Reverend Andrew Waldo, Bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina hand deliver a copy of this resolution to The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori and The Right Reverend Mark Lawrence with our warm regards and collective prayers.
Today our two dioceses made history. Never before have two dioceses in the Episcopal Church "junctioned" together. So, today we begin a new journey to create a new Diocese in northern Wisconsin.
Bishop Russ and I will meet face to face next week to begin to outline our next steps. Following that meeting I will meet on Wednesday with our (Eau Claire) LIFT task force to futher develop these initiatives.
Then on the Friday before the week end of our November 4-5 Hudson Convention, I will meet with the Diocesan leadership (Standing Committee, Executive Committee and Trustees).
Those meetings will set the stage for our Annual Convention in Hudson, where we will begin to move into the next steps for creating a new Diocese. We will have 13 months to continue on as separate Dioceses, then on January 1, 2013 we will become a NEW Diocese with a new name and with a new sense of identity. All of this will also require validation from our July 2012 General Convention, and our national Executive Council.
Read it all.
In this post, I want to lay out for all to see the conflicts (in addition to those I have already made manifest) which should disqualify still other members of the Board from proceeding any further in examining the claims made against Bishop Lawrence. Let us start with his colleagues -- the bishops who sit on the Board besides its President, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson.
The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut, is presuming to judge whether, by leading his Diocese to remove its accession to the Canons of General Convention, Bishop Lawrence has thereby "abandoned" communion with ECUSA. Bishop Douglas should accuse himself of that charge, because he now leads a Diocese which has never acceded to the Canons of General Convention, but only to the Church's Constitution....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Culture-Watch Psychology Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
One of the allegations now being made against Bishop Lawrence is that the decision by the Diocese of South Carolina to continue to adhere to the prior Title IV canons rather than adopt the controversial new revisions constitutes abandonment by being an open renunciation of the discipline of TEC. Last March Alan Runyan and I published an article that undertook a careful examination of the history of TEC’s Constitution as it relates to clergy discipline. We started at the beginning in 1789, but gave particular attention to those constitutional revisions in 1901 that the drafters of the new Title IV claim “profoundly changed” the constitutional allocation of authority in the church. That article provides conclusive proof that the Constitution as now in effect allocates authority for discipline of priests and deacons exclusively to the dioceses except for appeals.
This issue has been much debated in the history of TEC, and our article contains a detailed examination of that history. But throughout those years of debates, the result was always the same: disciplinary authority remained with the dioceses. Our article provides compelling proof that the revisions to Title IV are unconstitutional. It cannot be a renunciation of the discipline of the church to uphold that discipline as specified in the Constitution by resisting unconstitutional encroachment on the diocese’s exclusive authority....
Read it all (and make sure to go and read the full original article to which it links) [emphasis his].
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History
October 5, 2011Readers are asked to please note there are two documents to read in the links provided, the first of which is a 63 page pdf--KSH.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Thursday, September 29, 2011, the Bishop received communication from the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops that “serious charges” have been made under Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. These are allegations that he has abandoned The Episcopal Church. Since several of these allegations also include actions taken by the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, after sustained prayer and discernment, it has seemed appropriate to both the Bishop and the Standing Committee to make these allegations available to the members of the Diocese. These allegations may be found on the Diocesan website…here.
Subsequently, the President of our Standing Committee, the Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener, received a letter from the Church Attorney assisting the Disciplinary Board seeking “Records maintained by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina.” This letter may be found on our diocesan website…here.
In order to understand the possible implications and to engage in corporate prayer for the diocese, I, as Bishop, have called a meeting of all our active and canonically resident clergy for this coming Tuesday, October 11, 2011 from 10 a.m. —12:00 noon at the Ministry Center of St. James Episcopal Church, James Island.
Rest assured we will do all in our power to defend gospel truth and catholic order. We and the members of our Standing Committee ask your prayers for God’s guidance and wisdom.
Yours in Christ,
The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina
The Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener
President of the Standing Committee
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
The new title became effective on July 1, 2011, and already has been invoked in two proceedings against bishops of the Church. Given our past concerns, it is appropriate to take initial stock of the new canons as applied. Our succinct summary: it is even worse than we expected. We address three issues below: (1) what procedures are followed in initiating proceedings against bishops; (2) what standards are applied when restricting the ministry of bishops before trial; (3) what standards are applied in evaluating allegations before deciding to proceed with an investigation....
Without knowing the answers to... [all our] questions, two inferences seem reasonable at this point. First, the canonical authorities designated by the new canons do not understand the procedures they are canonically required to follow. And second, there is something approaching an official and conclusive determination that the matters under consideration by the Disciplinary Board are not matters that “may constitute an Offense.” Otherwise, we would have proof of a massive canonical failure by the entire church leadership, including the officers designated by Title IV, the House of Bishops and the Executive Council, at the very outset of the new title.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Episcopal Church has launched an investigation of Bishop Mark J. Lawrence a year after the Diocese of South Carolina voted to distance itself from the national church because of disagreements stemming from the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop.
Two years ago, the diocese, under the leadership of Lawrence, voted to strengthen its autonomy and "begin withdrawing" from the church. In February, it changed its constitution, asserting the authority of the local diocese over the national church. The national church's accusation of abandonment sets the stage for disciplinary action.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina
To anyone who still cares about what was once a fine old and traditional church, I will say only this: what the present leadership of the Episcopal Church (USA) is sowing, so shall they also reap. To invade one of its existing Dioceses in a bid to overthrow its diocesan officers, its infrastructure and its stalwart Christian supporters is utter madness. It will produce only an orgy of self-destruction, from which the Church herself cannot emerge intact.
Read it all.
From Bishop Dorsey HendersonRead it all.
President of the Title IV Disciplinary Board of the Episcopal Church
Concerning the Diocese of South Carolina:
--In the matter concerning the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, information is being reviewed by the Title IV Disciplinary Board. Bishop Dorsey Henderson is President of the Title IV Disciplinary Board.
--Information was presented from communicants within the Diocese of South Carolina.
--The information was not brought forward by the Presiding Bishop’s office, or by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. Therefore, the matter is not being handled by the Presiding Bishop’s office or anyone in the employ of the Episcopal Church Center.
--All information has been presented to the Disciplinary Board under the Episcopal Church Title IV disciplinary canons (laws of the church).
--In situations as this, the “church attorney” is an attorney who is retained by the Disciplinary Board to investigate cases brought to the Disciplinary Board. The “church attorney” is not the chancellor to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
--As a matter of law and a matter of respect to those involved, the Disciplinary Board operates confidentially and will continue to do so. As such, it would not be appropriate to discuss the details of the case in public.
--Bishop Henderson has been in conversation with Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina.
--The Disciplinary Board is comprised of Episcopal Church bishops, clergy and laity.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina
Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence told his diocese Oct. 5 that "serious charges" have been made that he has abandoned the Episcopal Church.
The allegations are being investigated by the church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops. Communicants in the Diocese of South Carolina filed the information with the board, according to the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, board president. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the House of Bishops were not involved in making the claims, Henderson said in a fact sheet.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina
This is such a crucial preface to what follows that I shall restate it: only dioceses, in their given territories, are legal members of the association which is the Episcopal Church (USA). As such, they are free, under the First Amendment, to join it or to leave it at their pleasure, through duly enacted amendments to their governing documents -- which ECUSA is, again under the Constitution's First Amendment, powerless to annul or forbid.
Now comes an utterly supercilious pronouncement by an official on behalf of ECUSA's Executive Council (citing the "decision" of one of its joint standing committees) with regard to the Diocese of South Carolina, and which purports to "declare" certain acts taken by a member diocese to be "null and void". [A tip o' the Rumpolean bowler to the Rev. Steve Wood's blog, which in this instance was authored in his temporary absence by Greg Shore.]
Oh, really? And just who, pray tell, is this supra-diocesan "Executive Council", or its "Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Administration"?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina
You can see all the candidates here. The names are:
The Rev. Gregory O. BrewerYou can also find the search process homepage over there.
Rector, Episcopal Parish of Calvary-St. George’s
New York, New York
The Very Rev. Anthony P. Clark
Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Luke
The Rev. R. Jonathan. Davis
Vicar, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Director, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
The Rev. R. Jonathan. Davis
Vicar, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Director, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
The Very Rev. Charles L. Holt
Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, Florida
The Rev. Timothy C. Nunez
Rector, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Mary A. Rosendahl
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Nativity
Port St. Lucie, Florida
The Rev. James A. Sorvillo, Sr.
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Ascension
[John] Sloan has been Alabama's bishop suffragan since 2008. Before that, he served as rector of St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Huntsville, Ala., for 14 years, and at a number of churches in the Diocese of Mississippi.
Sloan founded the Special Session program in the diocese for summer campers with mental and physical disabilities. In the national church, he serves as a member of the Standing Commission for Liturgy and Music. He has participated in nearly 20 medical mission trips to Honduras.
Sloan, a native of Vicksburg, Miss., is married to Tina Brown Sloan. They have two children, McKee and Mary Nell.
Read it all.
Go here for some information about him released by the diocese as part of the process.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Missions Parish Ministry Stewardship
Some see few positive consequences of signing on to the proposed Covenant. True, it would perhaps show some institutional humility and a willingness to "continue the conversation" with other member churches of the Communion. But we are continuing to do this now without the Covenant: Bishop Councell noted that there were three archbishops from other Communion members in attendance at the recent House of Bishops meeting. And Episcopal Church dioceses continue companion-diocese and other relationships with other dioceses throughout the Communion. Perhaps endorsing the Covenant would only furnish a perception of willingness to stay in the Communion -a willingness that is already there in actuality.
Many are worried about the negative consequences of endorsing the Covenant. Among these consequences are the establishment of a new unnecessary hierarchy, the loss of diversity within the Communion, the loss of connection to churches that may not endorse the Covenant, destruction of the Anglican ethos, the forced abandonment of GLBTQ Anglicans, attenuation of the voice of the laity in the life of the Communion, and by putting decision-making in the hands of the Standing Committee, the hierarchical structure will reduce the incentive for churches with differing views to communicate one-to-one, as they do now. And finally, to the extent that representatives from The Episcopal Church may end up on the Standing Committee acting under Covenant Section 4.2, we may participate in being an instrument of oppression of another church within the Communion.
Read it all.
Read it all.
The ministers of Christ, then, know their calling: it is high, difficult, dangerous; but most honorable. Earthen vessels as they are, to them is committed the precious treasure of the gospel. Each stands in his lot a prophet of God. Each is clothed with an office which Christ himself disdained not to wear. Each must look to his great Master, not only as the subject of his teaching, the source of his power, the judge of his conduct, the dispenser of his rewards, but likewise as the perfect exemplar and model to which, in all things, he is to strive to conform himself. According to his measure, he is to endeavor faithfully to teach as Christ taught. For a minister, then, to speak with authority, is something more and higher than a talent; it is a clear and solemn duty. To speak thus, not merely gives dignity and efficiency to the ambassador, it reflects honor on the Master that sent him, it brings instruction and edification to the people addressed by him. Although, then, my dear brethren, I am deeply and unaffectedly aware that I am myself deficient in that method of authoritative teaching which a minister of Christ ought to have; yet my sense of the deficiency may make me appreciate more highly the value of the gift. I have consequently hoped that some thoughts which have occurred to me, concerning a remedy for my own infirmity, may, not altogether without profit, be addressed to you; who, perhaps, in a lesser degree, have experienced a like deficiency. For this purpose, I have availed myself of the present occasion, when I have been requested by him that is set over us in the Lord, to offer you something in the way of exhortation or doctrine, concerning our common duties.
I am fully persuaded that there is no man who is heartily engaged in those duties, who has not, day by day, an ever growing sense of their arduousness, and of his own insufficiency for them. I pity that man who finds the ministry of the gospel easy. Never can it be easy to him that is faithful. He must be a witness against the people among whom he lives, and testify to them, privately and publicly, their sins. Many times he must assure them with all plainness that they are evil and have done exceedingly amiss, and deserve the deep and burning indignation of God. He must call them to forsake all that they naturally love, and to look for happiness to a Being they have never seen, and in a world they have never entered. To speak such words is easy, but to speak them with authority, so that they shall pierce, like a sword, the hearts of those we address, oh! how difficult! how rare! How, then, shall we have this authority? If you see any better method than that which I am about to suggest, I pray you communicate it to me, for, on this subject especially, I covet to be instructed. For my own part, I see no certain way, but to look into the sources of that power which the great Prophet of the Church, the exemplar and the model of all who come after him as teachers therein, ever exercised in speaking to men, to see how far these are open to us, and to reduce to practice what we find applicable to our own case.
We cannot fail to observe, then, in the first place, that one ground of that authority with which Christ ever spoke, was His own perfect knowledge that He was commissioned and empowered by God to proclaim His truths to man....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics
On Thursday afternoon, Council took up discussion of a diocesan statement concerning the Anglican Covenant. After several drafts, the current version of the Anglican Covenant is now being presented to the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church will no doubt discuss it at General Convention 2012. Although a diocese cannot make an official response to the Covenant, only a province of the Communion can do that, The Episcopal Church has invited dioceses to study and discuss the covenant and forward their comments to General Convention 2012.
In response to this invitation, in 2010, Lillibridge asked the diocese to read the Anglican Covenant, and during the past year, some discussion groups were held around the diocese. In November 2010, the elected leadership of diocesan clergy and lay leaders gathered to write a statement in response to the covenant. This statement was brought to the floor of Council this year for the delegates and clergy to discuss and affirm. After 30 minutes of discussion, the statement was adopted and will be sent forward to General Convention in 2012.
Go here for the [pdf]adode reader download, and it is pages 4 and following.
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