Posted by The_Elves

When The Episcopal Church recently released its statistics on membership among its dioceses for 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was listed along with the others.

There is one problem, however: the South Carolina Diocese's leadership voted to leave the denomination back in 2012, taking most of the members and congregations with them..
----------------
"TECSC is no doubt seeking to avoid a painful public reporting of their diminished numbers," said Walton of IRD to CP.

"This failure to report accurate membership figures calls into question the trustworthiness of congregational reporting within The Episcopal Church."

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

3 Comments
Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Allan Haley is Kevin Kallson's guest on the latest episode of Anglican Unscripted. Allan and Kevin discuss the legal situations in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin and the Diocese of South Carolina.




Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: CommentaryEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

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Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is complete, and the case is under the consideration of Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Dear Father in heaven,

We acknowledge that all of these ecclesiastical legal disputes within the Episcopal Church are a poor witness and a sorry mess. However, with You nothing is impossible. So, even in the mess, we say, To You be the glory. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

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Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Global South of the Anglican Communion
21 August 2014

Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 [1]. A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.

Yours in Christ,

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

+ Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean
Bishop of Mauritius Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
_________________________________________________________________________
[1] The full statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee held in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 may be found on the Global South Anglican website

You can see the original signed letter (a PDF file) here.

[received via email and posted with permission - the elves. Note this is also posted at the Diocese of South Carolina website, along with an accompanying note from Bishop Mark Lawrence.]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAlternative Primatial Oversight (APO)Anglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Province of the Indian OceanThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle EastEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaGlobal South Churches & Primates* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* South Carolina

15 Comments
Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 35:24a Expanded Bible
Lord my God, ·defend [vindicate] me with your justice.

Our Father in heaven,
We are fallen creatures and see through a glass darkly. We lack understanding and are much to be pitied. Have mercy on us all.
Both the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina believe their cause to be just.
Your justice is perfect in all its ways. Your justice is informed by knowledge that is too great for us. Your justice is true.
As Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein considers the outcome of this trial, we humbly ask that You clothe her with a mantle of manifold understanding and wisdom, justice and mercy. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina has concluded. It is now under the consideration of the judge.

Amos 5:24

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

O Lord,
Let justice roll down in this South Carolina litigation like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Here is a list of recently featured entries about the Diocese of SC Litigation
Latest news Diocese of SC and on Facebook and Twitter


July 6: A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Mark Lawrence Regarding the Upcoming Trial

Latest Articles
Aug 1: Trial Ends: Highlights from the Trial of the Diocese of SC vs. TEC and TECSC
Aug 1: A. S. Haley—Making Sense of the Trial in South Carolina between TEC and the Diocese of SC
July 28: A Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence at the Close of the recent Diocese of SC Trial
July 26: South Carolina Diocesan Trial Day 14—Drama Ends with the Testimony of Bishop Mark Lawrence

More articles follow by clicking on the "read more" link below...


More entries from during the trial:
July 26: An AP Article on the South Carolina Episcopal Court Case as it Wound up this week
July 26: New TEC Diocese in SC offers More Reports from the trial in Dorchester County
July 25: Diocese of South Carolina Trial—Jeremy Bonner gives an account of Yesterday’s proceedings
July 24: Trial Day 13: Expert in Religious History Allen Guelzo Testifies TEC Holds No Control Over Dioceses
July 24: Diocese of SC Day 12: TEC Uses Bishop vonRosenberg to Claim Dioceses Can’t Leave
July 23: Diocese of SC Trial Day 11-TEC Spends Day Making Arguments Judge Rules Irrelevant
July 23: A.S. Haley—Diocese of South Carolina Trial Day 11: a Waste of Time
July 22: Diocese of SC Trial Day 10: TEC Attorney Admits Constitution Does Not Prevent Diocesan Withdrawal
July 22: A S Haley’s Comments on SC Trial Day 10—Witness again Barred from Rendering Undisclosed Opinions
July 19: Diocese of South Carolina Trial—A.S. Haley’s Important Analysis of this weeks events
July 18: SC Trial Day 9—TEC Bishop Testifies Nothing in Governing Documents Says a Diocese Can’t Withdraw
July 18: SC Trial day 8-Judge Scolds TEC for Trying to Sneak “Expert Witnesses” into Trial…
July 19: New TEC Diocese in SC offers Reports from the trial in Dorchester County
July 17: SC Trial Day Seven: TEC Witness Admits Diocesan Constitution Trumps TEC’s
July 16: Trial Day 6: Bishop Lawrence Tried to Keep Diocese of S.C. “Intact and in TEC”
July 15: Trial Day Five: Diocese of SC v. The Episcopal Church’s new diocese in SC
July 13: A Summerville, S.C. Journal Scene Article on the TEC Diocese in SC vs Diocese of SC trial
July 12: Day 4: Judge Asks Both Sides of Diocese of SC Case to Agree on Facts for Parish Witness Testimony
July 11: A.S. Haley—Falsehoods Being Spread in South Carolina
July 11: New TEC Diocese in SC offers Reports from the trial in the Circuit Court in Dorchester County
July 11: Day 3 Testimony of trial between new TEC diocese and Diocese of SC Explores Facts about Parishes
July 10: [Locusts and Wild Honey blog] Anglican conflict survival guide
July 10: Get Religion on recent stories on Anglican developments in South Carolina
July 10: Second Day of South Carolina Trial Includes Testimony from Treasurer
July 9: Local Paper Article on the New TEC Diocese’s Decision to Allow for Same-Sex Union Blessings
July 9: The Trial to Protect Diocese of South Carolina Assets Begins

During the trial, Lent & Beyond posted daily prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina during this litigation process. A.S. Haley was posting daily trial updates at StandFirm

You can find all T19 posts about the conflict in South Carolina using this link TEC Conflicts: South Carolina category. Two previous posts South Carolina Links and South Carolina Chronology provide a history of the conflict up until October 2013.

Other Recent Entries:
July 8: TEC Bishop grants permission for blessings of same-sex relationships in new Diocese
July 7: Local paper major article on Lawsuit New TEC Diocese is bringing against the Diocese of South Car.
July 7: For Those of you who are Twitterites, the Diocese of South Carolina is now on twitter
July 7: A.S. Haley—The Two-Faced Episcopal Church
July 6: The PR from the new Episcopal Church Diocese in South Carolina about the Lawsuit
July 6: Prayer Vigil for the Trial (at Camp St. Christopher Prayer Center) Starting Monday, July 7th, 2014
July 5: (A S Haley) South Carolina Court Reporters Will Be Busy on Monday
July 3: The Dio. of South Carolina’s Response to TEC’s Request for Continuance which was adjudicated today
July 3: TEC appeals Circuit judges’ order from earlier today to SC Court of Appeals; They are denied
July 3: Trial to Protect Diocese of SC Assets Begins Tuesday, July 8
June 29: (AP) Wasting more Time and Money, the Episcopal Church tries a 4th Time to add Parties to S.C Suit
June 27: AS Haley: South Carolina Rump Group Files Frivolous Appeal To Delay Trial
May 8: A.S. Haley Offers Thoughts on recent TEC Court Decisions in Calif. and South Carolina
April 8: A.S. Haley—South Carolina Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction of Appeals
April 7: SC Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction Over TEC Appeals

Articles from January - March 2014:
March 24: A.S. Haley on the recent legal Rulings in the Episcopal Church’s S.C. and Texas Legal Battles
March 19: Diocese of South Carolina Convention - Links Roundup
March 18: SC Court of Appeals Denies TEC Appeal
March 18: Court of Appeals dismisses new Diocese of TEC in SC’s appeal in case against Dio. of South Car.
March 16: The Diocese of South Carolina Formalizes Wordwide Anglican Ties at 2014 Convention
March 16: (Local paper) Diocese of South Carolina accepts provisional oversight from Global South primates
March 12: Proposed Resolutions for the Diocese of South Carolina Convention upcoming this Fri/Sat
March 7: Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention
March 1: A Local Paper art. on the new TEC Diocese involved in multiple lawsuits against the Dio. of SC
Feb 7: SC Diocese Seeks to End TEC Stalling Tactics by Asking State Supreme Court to Hear Appeal
Jan 16: (Diocese of S.C.) TEC denied again by Judge in attempt to seize Diocese of SC identity
Jan 13: The Personal Testimony of Mr. Alan Runyan, Attorney for the Diocese of South Carolina
Jan 7: South Carolina Legal Developments (II)—Commentary from A.S. Haley on S.C. and San Joaquin
Jan 7: South Carolina Legal Developments (I)—Diocese of South Carolina Wins Again Against Episcopal Church


Articles from late 2013
Nov 29: (Christian Post) Episcopal Church Files New Motion Against Hisotoric South Carolina Diocese
Nov 26: A.S. Haley—Rump TEC Diocese Tries “Hail Mary” Pass in South Carolina
Nov 26: (Local Paper) New TEC Diocese in S.C. Claims Conspiracy, Other Charges Against Diocese of SC Leaders
Nov 25: (Anglican Ink) TEC seeks to add 4 Diocesan Leaders to Their Latest South Carolina Lawsuit
October 12: (Local Paper) Historic S.C. Diocese retains right to use names and seal, new TEC Diocese Can’t
October 11: Judge Rejects TEC’s Request to Remove Injunction Protecting S.C. Diocesan Names and Seal
October 3: Judge Denies TEC Request to Expand South Carolina Lawsuit
Sept 19: A.S. Haley on the Latest South Carolina TEC Legal Maneuver to Appeal Judge Houck’s Decision
Sept 19: The ENS Article on the legal request of the new S.C. TEC Bishop to reconsider dismissal
Sept 19: (AP) Bishop of the new TEC South Carolina Diocese asks the judge to reconsider in Episcopal case
Sept 14: ACI - Affidavit of Mark McCall on The Episcopal Church’s Polity
August 23: Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against Bishop Mark Lawrence
August 12: A.S. Haley—More Episcopal Church related Court Proceedings in South Carolina

For a prior roundup to articles about South Carolina lawsuits and related issues, see here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted August 7, 2014 at 3:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV)
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.

Our Father in heaven,
We lift up the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina–the parishes, the litigation teams, and the bishops. May they seek You and dedicate themselves to become households of faith, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord, a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Amen.
Ephesians 2:19-22

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these prayers which during this time will be weekly we understand.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, 14th bishop of the Diocese of SC, whom TEC supporters have accused of plotting to lead the Diocese out of the denomination, was the only witness called during the final day of the trial. Diocesan attorneys asked him several questions about TEC’s authority and the process followed to punish him.

When asked if he had planned to lead the diocese out of TEC, he said, “Absolutely not.” He explained that no one had ever asked him to lead the diocese out and said it only decided to leave after TEC had taken steps to remove him as bishop – violating its own process for doing that.

The bishop also contradicted testimony from earlier in the week, in which TEC witnesses claimed that the denomination has supreme authority over its dioceses and congregations. The bishop said that he shared the opinion of 14 other bishops that TEC has no actual authority over its member dioceses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* Theology

8 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 18:28 (ESV)
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.


Our Father in heaven,
We turn to You. Lighten the darkness in the courtroom where the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is taking place. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whenever one is spared an ordeal, initial relief is soon succeeded by a measure of regret that one has been unable to make public the fruits of one’s research. After two weeks in Charleston and five days sitting in the St. George courthouse, the news that I was not to take the stand was hardly a surprise, however, after this morning’s bravura performance by Gettysburg College's Allen Guelzo, who delivered one of the most lucid pieces of witness testimony of the whole trial....

Both Mary Kostel and David Booth Beers did their best with a witness for whom they were unprepared (this is permitted under South Carolina law, as Guelzo was introduced for the purpose of rebuttal of their earlier argument pertaining to the manner in which the national church exercised control over dioceses and states). Kostel focused on the writings of nineteenth century commentators that have been at the center of my counterpart Robert Bruce Mullin’s arguments, but Guelzo fought back, in the process eliciting from the judge the revelation that state law requires that an expert witness have the freedom to offer a critique of a proffered document if he declines to accept it as “learned treatise” (something which came as news to a number of the South Carolina attorneys present for the independent Diocese). Freed from a simple acknowledgment of the statements presented, Guelzo happily explained how most of the advocates of national church hierarchy in the nineteenth century were ritualist partisans and certainly enjoyed no authority from the General Convention to say what they said. Asked for a counter argument from the same era, he proffered Calvin Colton’s Genius and Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States (1853), a source of which, I must confess, I was unaware, but which I’ve no doubt fits the bill. The point at issue is that any notion of a churchwide consensus on polity is simply unsustainable. There followed a fruitless set of exchanges between Guelzo and David Beers in which the latter was in fairly short order outmaneuvered, when he attempted to switch the focus to twentieth century canon law, of which Guelzo did not profess to be an expert.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

1 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 4:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the 13th day of the trial of the Diocese of South Carolina vs. The Episcopal Church and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a director of The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church testified that the denomination has no supreme control over its dioceses or parishes, countering TEC claims to the contrary.

Dr. Allen C. Guelzo, who is also a professor of history at Gettysburg College, an expert on the history of religious organizations including TEC and the author of 16 books, said that TEC’s authority is “prescriptive,” which means the denomination can advise its dioceses but cannot order them to do anything.

He also testified that TEC was formed by dioceses, including the Diocese of South Carolina, and that it did not form those dioceses. He said there was no evidence in its formation in 1789 or today that it controlled the dioceses that are in union with it. He also testified that nothing associated with TEC’s formation suggests that dioceses that formed it could not leave it as voluntarily as they joined it. “History shows that authority flows from bottom up,” Guelzo said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* Theology

20 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 14:13-16 (ESV)
And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.

Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and to be praised and highly exalted for ever; And blessed is thy glorious, holy name and to be highly praised and highly exalted for ever.
When the Philistines came against David, You guided him by the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees.
When the three young men were thrown into the fiery furnace, the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with them, and drove the fiery flame out of the furnace, and made the midst of the furnace like a moist whistling wind, so that the fire did not touch them at all or hurt or trouble them.
Send the wind of Your Holy Spirit into the courtroom today in the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina. Amen.
The Prayer of Azaraiah

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 5:11-12
let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield


Lord, you are our strong tower in times of trouble and source of peace,
bless and defend we pray the Judge, Court and all those attending the South Carolina trial
spreading your protection and righteousness over them.
May they rejoice only in you, seek truth and honor your name,
for Jesus sake. Amen

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

– On the 12th day of the trial of the Diocese of South Carolina vs. The Episcopal Church and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, TEC attorney David Beers attempted to introduce the concept of church hierarchy once again into the trial, ignoring Judge Diane S. Goodstein’s repeated rulings that church hierarchy plays no role in this case.

Beers asked the first provisional bishop of TECSC, Charles vonRosenberg, to tell the court why the Bishop of San Joaquin, Ca., the Rt. Rev. John David Schofield had been removed as bishop of that diocese.

Judge Goodstein said, “It’s not relevant. For this reason: I don’t know what [that] state’s position is regarding the analysis of church disputes. I don’t really care. What I care about is the state of South Carolina. My Supreme Court tells me what I do when I analyze church disputes.’

She added, “In terms of whether or not the parishes in SC and the Diocese in SC were allowed to leave the national church – I’m going to make that determination on the basis of neutral principles of law under South Carolina law. I don’t care what happened any where else.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Kendall has now posted his answer to the Monday Morning Quiz he posted about the history of the Diocese of South Carolina.

You can find the quiz here. And his response is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Our Father in heaven,
We cry out for Your purpose to stand in the litigation between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina. Amen.


Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ECUSA is acting as though the decision in All Saints Waccamaw resolved nothing in South Carolina. It does so at its peril, because all South Carolina trial and appellate courts are bound by its holdings: that religious corporations who have the unrestricted power to amend their governing documents may do so without regard to any “heirarchical” claims by a superior body that have not been reduced to writing; and that no declaration of any trust on religious property in South Carolina is effective to create an enforceable trust unless it is in a writing that is signed by the owner of the real property being placed into the trust.

ECUSA’s attorneys may think they are “making a record,” but the record of their hierarchical arguments and supposedly hierarchical documents will amount to nothing under South Carolina law—because ECUSA never made its hierarchy explicit in its governing documents.

Read it all (emphasis his).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the second day in a row, the witness admitted that he had not been shown any documents on contributions by the Diocese to TEC for the same period that TEC was claiming it had made contributions to the Diocese and its parishes.

The rest of the day was spent reading the deposition of Thomas M. Rickenbaker from Spartanburg, South Carolina, who was interviewed for Bishop of South Carolina but did not make it to the second round of finalists. Rickenbaker was not present for his testimony.

Rickenbaker, who was baptized by Tom Tisdale, Sr., father of TECSC’s lead attorney, said that when he was interviewed for the job of bishop that the first question he was asked in his interview was “Can you lead us out of TEC?” Richkenbaker had never provided that information to anyone in five years and then only recalled the conversation after being contacted by a representative of TECSC. His statements are in dispute by those who interviewed Mr. Rickenbaker in 2006.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

11 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our Heavenly Father,
We thank You that there is nothing in that courtroom–seen or unseen–that can separate Your children from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In effect, this passage asks the court to extend the witness carte blanche to render any opinions he sees fit to give—without the necessity of alerting the other side in advance, so as to allow them to prepare for his cross-examination.

Needless to say, those are not the rules. The purpose of expert discovery in the first place is to (a) pin down the other side’s expert to specific, articulated opinions—which may then be subjected as necessary to the cross-examination required to test their merit; and (b) to avoid any element of surprise at trial when the expert does testify.

Apparently ECUSA did not bother to disclose Prof. [Walter] Edgar as an expert, and represented that he would simply catalog an entire litany of historical facts, taken from the various diocesan and other records, for the Court to consider. Well, he was allowed to do that—but he was stopped when it came to expressing his opinions about those facts, because he had not previously disclosed just what those “opinions” would be.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An attorney for The Episcopal Church on Monday acknowledged that – despite TEC’s repeated claim that dioceses may not leave the denomination – there is nothing in the group’s constitution that specifically prohibits such a disassociation.

“It’s true it doesn’t say whether a diocese in the U.S. can or cannot [leave],” said Mary Kostel, attorney for TEC. “It’s arguably ambiguous.”

The comment came during the 10th day of trial in suit to prevent TEC from seizing the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes. Much of the morning was spent in a discussion between attorneys and Judge Diane S. Goodstein about the admissibility of testimony by historian Walter Edgar, a professor at the University of South Carolina.

Though Edgar was not identified as an expert witness, TEC wanted him to testify about his expertise and provide opinions on the hierarchical nature of TEC and to demonstrate that it has authority over its dioceses and parishes. But Judge Goodstein denied that he would be allowed to.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

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Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 29:16 (NIV)
Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.

Our Father in heaven,
You are the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You work through the generations and for the generations. You search every heart and understand every desire and every thought. You have the power to help and to overthrow.
This trial is in your hands. The church assets in dispute are in Your hands. Bless this day in court for the establishment of Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
1 Chronicles 28:9, 2 Chronicles 25:8

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted July 19, 2014 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Jeremiah 33:3 (AMP)
Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the promises of Holy Scripture and call to You in this season of litigation. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 19, 2014 at 8:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to the official line promulgated by ECUSA, "people may leave, but dioceses may not." ECUSA claims to be made up of 110 dioceses (actually, now 109 following the merger of Quincy into the Diocese of Chicago), but four of them are not true dioceses -- they are the rump groups set up by 815 to act as plaintiffs (or, in some cases, when they cannot organize fast enough, as defendants and counterclaimants) in the lawsuits brought to recover the bank accounts and real properties that belonged to the dioceses and their member parishes that voted to withdraw. Those rump groups, although each newly organized, have never formally been admitted as proper "dioceses" into union with General Convention, as required by ECUSA's own Constitution.

And one sees right away why: if ECUSA were to go through the formalities necessary to admit them as new dioceses, it would give away its argument that "dioceses cannot leave." Instead it has the rump groups pretend to be the ongoing original dioceses, and then has General Convention recognize them as such and seat their deputies.

Thus far, only two trial courts -- one in Pittsburgh, and the other in Fresno, California -- have been taken in by this ruse. Judges in Texas and in Illinois, meanwhile, have not. (A ruling is expected any day now from the Illinois Court of Appeals which will affirm a lower court's judgment that the [now Anglican] Diocese of Quincy properly amended its own governing documents so as to remove itself from ECUSA.)

And now ECUSA may have shot itself in the foot in South Carolina, as well. Let's have the Press Office of the Episcopal Diocese tell us what happened on Day 7 of the trial, with ECUSA and ECSC putting on their portion of the case...

Read it carefully and read all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

9 Comments
Posted July 19, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Before asking his final question, [Alan] Runyan placed the Constitution and Canons of TEC for 2006 and 2009 on the edge of the witness stand and asked Daniel to identify them.

Runyan asked the witness to turn to the page in those documents where it says the diocese cannot withdraw from the Episcopal Church and read it to the court. “Is there a page or a phrase, or a sentence, in either of those that says, quote, a diocese may not leave the Episcopal Church without the consent of the general convention?” asked Runyon. “I don't believe so,” answered [Bishop Clifton] Daniel. “But I may be wrong.”

“I'm sure it will be pointed out if you are.“ answered Runyan.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the gift of song. We thank You for the hands that craft musical instruments and for the psalmists who compose hymns. We thank You for nimble fingers dancing across keyboards and for nimble vocal cords vibrating in praise.
During this trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina, we humbly request that You pour out upon the communicants of these two dioceses a spirit of praise in good measure. May the words and the notes of their song reach the throne room of heaven. You are enthroned upon the praises of Your people.
May they sing in their coming and going, upon their beds and in their daily walk. May they sing in their times together and their times apart.
O God of hope, turn their eyes ever toward You.
O God of hope, fill them with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may abound in hope.
O God of hope, pluck their feet out of the net. Amen.
Psalm 22:3, 25:15, Luke 6:38, Romans 15:13

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 7:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 17, 2014 –A normally unflappable South Carolina Circuit Court judge stopped the trial initiated by the Diocese of SC to prevent the seizure of local diocesan and parish property, to scold the defendants for their intentional disregard of three court orders dealing with disclosure of expert witnesses. The defendants, the Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) tried to present an expert witness, Robert Klein, into the trial without having followed court’s orders.

After reminding TEC attorneys that she had bent over backwards to provide them ample opportunity to identify expert witnesses, Judge Diane S. Goodstein said, “You have violated this court three times with regard to experts and now you think you’re going to bring in his (Klein's) testimony through the back door? This is not a game! Court’s orders are to be followed! You are an officer of the court. I trust we will not have any more discussion about this witness.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

9 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 4:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 22:5-10 (ESV)
For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father . . . .’


O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
You are a God of generations. We thank You for the spiritual and physical legacy left by generations of faithful South Carolinians. We lift up the church assets in dispute and pray that they will be used to the glory of Your name in generations yet to come. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An expert witness for The Episcopal Church (TEC) undermined claims by the denomination that its rules supersede those of local dioceses in the Diocese of SC, during day-long testimony in the trial to protect local diocesan and church property from seizure by TEC and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 16:28-31 (ESV)
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”


Yes, Lord, You reign over the world. You reign over the church assets in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina.
You reign among the nations and the families of the peoples. You reign over the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina. You reign. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Countering Episcopal Church allegations that Bishop Mark Lawrence engineered the Diocese of South Carolina’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church (TEC), a witness for the denomination on Tuesday acknowledged that the bishop was committed to remaining part of the denomination.

The Rev. Marshall Dow Sanderson of Holy Communion, Charleston, was called by TEC during the trial to protect the property of the diocese and its parishes from seizure by the national denomination. However, on cross examination, Sanderson admitted that Bishop Lawrence consistently sought to keep the Diocese intact within the national church before TEC attempted to remove him. He testified that, during a meeting of the clergy in 2009, Lawrence went so far as to coin the phrase “Intact and In TEC”.

TEC has repeatedly suggested that Lawrence had engineered the diocese’s withdrawal from the denomination over several years, conspiring with members of the clergy to separate from the national church. However, the “Intact and In TEC” slogan was used by Lawrence until the national church tried to remove him in 2012 – as he was still trying to work out differences between the Diocese and the denomination.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 9:9-10 (ESV)
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.


Lord, Your name is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. We thank You for the security of Your name. We proclaim Your holy name over the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Day Five for the Diocese of SC v. The Episcopal Church (TEC) began with a slight hiccup. To speed up the testimony of the 36 witnesses, Judge Diane Goodstein Friday asked attorneys for both sides to meet over the weekend to go over testimony that could be stipulated.

When attorneys for the plaintiff told Goodstein that the two parties had agreed that proposed stipulates would include the facts the witnesses would testify to in lieu of live testimony, attorney Tom Tisdale, who represents the rump group that now goes by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), tried to qualify stipulation, effectively diverging from what the plaintiffs had agreed to. Judge Goodstein told the defendants that , “Stipulations…they are agreements. I’m hearing from you we don’t have a Stipulation.” She told both parties she would give them 10 minutes to huddle and determine if they had agreement to stipulations.

When they returned from their meeting, both sides had agreed to all the facts that the witnesses would testify to, but also agreed that any conclusions of law would be the sole province of the court.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina are in trial before Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein.

James 3:17 (ESV)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Our Father in heaven,
We humbly beseech You to grant Judge Goodstein the wisdom from above during the proceedings and in her analysis and judgment of this case. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 99:1-5 and 5:11-12 (ESV), arranged antiphonally
The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Exalt the Lord our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!


Sovereign and great Lord, enthroned upon the cherubim,
We praise Your holy name. Your name is great and awesome. Your name is exalted over all the peoples. Your name is exalted over the courtroom proceedings of the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina.
Spread Your protection over those that love Your name. Bless the righteous. Cover them with favor as with a shield.
Holy is the Lord! Holy, holy, holy is His name! Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shock and disbelief were the two immediate reactions Rev. Jim Lewis told the court he felt upon receiving an email in November 2012, under the name and seal of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, calling for a convocation of Episcopal Clergy in Charleston.

That’s because as Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of South Carolina, he knew the Diocese did not send it, he said.

After receiving another email under the same name and seal changing the venue, Lewis said he decided to attend the meeting.

“I decided to attend the meeting as an observer,” Lewis said. “Given the prior use of our seal, I felt there was reason to believe there would be further attempts by this group to assert itself as the Diocese of South Carolina.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

1 Chronicles 4:42-43 (NIV)
And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.

Simeon–God has heard
Pelatiah–let the Lord deliver, deliverance of the Lord in Israel
Neariah–child of God
Rephaiah–Jehovah has healed
Uzziel–God is my strength
Ishi–salvation
Seir–rough or shaggy
Amalekites–a people thought to be descended from Esau. The name is often interpreted as “dweller in the valley”, and occasionally as “war-like,” “people of prey”, “cave-men.”


Dear Heavenly Father,
My heart breaks when I witness within my church years and years of litigation. Oh, how we have sinned. Have mercy.
You are a God who hears His children. You are our Deliverer, our Healer, our strength and our salvation. Have mercy.
If there are predator spirits involved in the South Carolina trial and the other trials, particularly Amalek, defeat them, we pray. Have mercy.
With You, nothing is impossible. Have mercy.
Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 12, 2014 at 8:13 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach’s testimony, the defendant’s attorney David Booth Beers asked the witness Frank Sloan repeatedly why they removed references to the national Church from their corporate documents.

After Plaintiffs objected Judge Goodstein said, agreeing with the objection, that the questions asked “goes to justification of why the entities did what they did. My concern is more the structure of the government-are we pre 1900 or after, when was the incorporation, what were the By-Laws? There’s been too much focus on the justification for why they did what they did. As it stands were not a hierarchical, state, we are for neutrality. The justification is interesting but not what I think should be the focus of this court.”

Suzanne Schwank, testifying for the Parish Church of St. Helena’s, Beaufort, brought a 1728 Prayer Book in which references to the royal family had been crossed out, a parish registry with an entry dating back to 1706 and parish vestry minutes dating to 1724. The Vestry minutes requested and empowered one Mr. John Kean to “procure a clergyman of the Episcopalian Church for the town of Beaufort SC” in 1784 prior to the formation of either the Diocese of South Carolina or The Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

11 Comments
Posted July 12, 2014 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I now proceed to the task immediately at hand: to correct certain deplorable misrepresentations of fact and law that are passing for substantive analysis on the side of the rump group supported by ECUSA. Though I have done this on earlier occasions, no one among them has taken my analysis to heart, or still less, refuted it. Instead, they keep on promulgating the same fictions, dressed up in new language. This, I submit, is a gross disservice to those who would read and rely upon them.

The blog post which I fisk below comes from an otherwise admirable blog which seeks to compile a history of the current Episcopal divide in South Carolina -- a subject to which I have devoted posts here, and here. With regard to the regrettable division that occurred (regardless of who spurred it), the blogger, a retired history professor named Ronald Caldwell, has compiled a useful chronology, and indicates that he is writing a book tracing its origin and evolution.

Thus it seems more necessary than ever that an attempt should be made to set Prof. Caldwell straight, before he commits himself to print. I am taking as my text his post of July 9, 2014, entitled "Reflections on the First Day of Trial" [note: Prof. Caldwell has since modified the title to remove the first two words]. After a brief introduction, he writes:

1-the trial is "to protect" the assets of the independent diocese. Lawrence knows full well that under Episcopal Church law, that he swore to uphold in 2008, all local properties are held in trust for the Episcopal Church and her diocese. The diocese recognized this for years, until 2011. In fact, the trial is to convince the judge to hand over the Episcopal Church property to the independent diocese. There is a difference between protection and seizure.

Notice how this paragraph ignores the All Saints Waccamaw decision, as well as leaves out the trial court's obligation to follow it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistoryLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 10, 2014 – Testimony continued today for the third day of the trial between the Diocese of South Carolina vs The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Witnesses for the Plaintiff were called from The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, St. Luke’s on Hilton Head Island, Holy Comforter in Sumter, Resurrection in Surfside, Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg and St. John’s in Florence.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2014 at 9:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The litigation between the Diocese of South Carolina and the The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will run July 7-18. These antiphonal love songs represent the love between the church and Christ–

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:1-4

The beloved shepherd to the Shulamite girl: Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Song of Solomon 4:4

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3

The beloved shepherd to the Shulamite girl: Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Song of Solomon 4:4

Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. . . . Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down. Psalm 144:1-5a

Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down to the courtroom in South Carolina. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2014 at 9:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once again, that’s pretty good. But, “in recent years?”

Why not note that an earlier bishop of South Carolina — the very diocese at the heart of this local, regional and national (with global links, too) story — had taken the radical act of breaking liturgical Communion with the national church in 1992, at that time privately, and then publicly in 1999? And what was the issue then? The worship of other gods, literally, at some Episcopal altars.

In other words, the timeline is long and complicated. There are stories in there, especially for a newspaper in Charleston, S.C.

Read it all.

Update: James Gibson has more to say on this Get Religion/SC coverage piece there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

From Wikipedia: Henna, in the Bible, is Camphire, and is mentioned in the Song of Solomon.

“My Beloved is unto me as a cluster of Camphire in the vineyards of En-Gedi” Song of Solomon 1:14

Henna was grown as a hedgerow around vineyards to hold soil against wind erosion. A henna hedge with dense thorny branches protected a vulnerable, valuable crop such as a vineyard from hungry animals. The hedge, which protected and defended the vineyard, also had clusters of fragrant flowers.


Christ Jesus, You are a hedge of protection around those who love You. May the courtroom be filled with the pleasant aroma of Christ, as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-Gedi. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2014 at 4:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The morning was a cross examination of Canon Jim Lewis. Lewis testified yesterday how more than 90 percent of the convention clergy and delegates voted to disassociate from the national church (TEC).

The Plaintiffs called Robert Kunes, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of South Carolina, to testify about the corporate governance of the Trustees.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

6 Comments
Posted July 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Lorica, or, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, adapted. This prayer can be easily adapted for institutions, like dioceses or parishes, as well.
I just now noticed the phrase “the spiced tomb.” Remembering that the name Jericho means ‘place of fragrance,’ I’m realizing the ‘spiced tomb’ refers not only to the burial spices but also to the aroma of Christ.

Our Father in heaven,

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is populated by Your children–opposing counsels, judge, court staff, visitors. We lift them up to You.

We bind unto Your children today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

We bind this day to Your children forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on cross for their salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
We bind unto them today.

We bind unto Your children the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgement hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

We bind unto Your children today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

We bind unto Your children today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to their need;
the wisdom of our God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give them speech,
his heavenly host to be their guard.


Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar their course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
We bind to them these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart’s idolatry,
against the wizard’s evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect them, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with them, Christ within them,
Christ behind them, Christ before them,
Christ beside them, Christ to win them,
Christ to comfort and restore them,
Christ beneath them, Christ above them,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love them,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

We bind unto Your children the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of our salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these wonderful prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 9, 2014 at 8:47 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But the oath of conformity was not the chief oath made in the ordination process, as I also explained in that post. Ever since 1550, every Anglican/Episcopal ordinand on both sides of the Atlantic has vowed "to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of CHRIST, as the LORD hath commanded, and as this Church ... hath received the same, according to the commandments of GOD", or words to the same effect. (The current version has it this way: "Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them?")

Now, then, let us return to Canon Harris' question. As he himself appears to recognize, Mark Lawrence eventually was forced, by the course of events leading toward same-sex marriage in ECUSA, to choose between "the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church" and "the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received it" (my bold emphasis).


Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

1 Comments
Posted July 9, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Jim] Lewis testified that the votes to withdraw from TEC passed with 90 percent or more support of the convention clergy and delegates. He also testified about the misuse of Diocesan symbols and seals by TEC and TECSC, and their intention to present themselves as the Diocese.

Lewis also shared with the court copies of historic documents that showed that the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina existed in 1785 – and that the Diocese was one of several post-colonial diocese to establish The Episcopal Church in the new United States. TEC has repeatedly claimed that the Diocese cannot exist outside the Episcopal Church – even though it did historically.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 9, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is July 7-18 in Circuit Court.

Isaiah 59:19.


So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

Christ Jesus, You are the way, the truth, and the life. If, during the course of this trial, lies should come in like a flood, lift up the truth against them. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On Tuesday July 8, the “Episcopal Church in South Carolina” rump group and the Diocese of South Carolina will go to trial before Circuit Judge the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein.

1 Kings 3:9 (ESV)


Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

Our Father in heaven,

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. We humbly ask You to grant Circuit Judge the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein an understanding mind to govern this trial. Anoint her with wisdom that her judgments and decisions will bring life to Your church and to the state of South Carolina. Amen.

Proverbs 13:14

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted July 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On Tuesday July 8, the “Episcopal Church in South Carolina” rump group and the Diocese of South Carolina will go to trial before Circuit Judge the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein. The day before will be spent in depositions.

Psalm 107:39-40 (ESV)
When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;


O give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever. His steadfast loves endures in South Carolina.

Our Father in heaven,
You have taught us that unless You build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless You keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. We humbly lift up this trial to You.
If any demonic princes are involved in this litigation, pour Your contempt upon them and make them wander in trackless wastes. Stretch out Your hand against the wrath of Your enemies.
May Your steadfast love, O Lord, and Your wisdom be made manifest in this trial. We entrust You to build the legal legacy of this trial and to watch and keep the legal proceedings. Your right hand is mighty to save. Amen.

O give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever. His steadfast loves endures in South Carolina.
Psalm 127:1, 138:7, 107:1



Previous collection of general prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina.

Read it all and Lent and Beyond have an index of all prayers for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 7, 2014 at 9:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 1:3

I write on the eve of the upcoming trial between the Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church scheduled, God-willing, to take place in St. George, SC from July 8—18, 2014 and under the jurisdiction of the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein. Much work by our legal team under the leadership of Mr. Alan Runyan has already been done. The staff and members from many of our parishes, as well as the diocesan staff, have logged countless hours in the detail work of discovery. Much prayer has been invested by our clergy, vestries, intercessors, and the rank and file members of our congregations. For all of this I am profoundly grateful.

The path that has brought us as a diocese to this hour has been long and winding. Yet through it all we have been guided by a desire to be faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as we have received it ever striving to be mindful that we have been entrusted with this Truth, this Good News and rich heritage, in order to share it with those who have yet to come into the reach of Christ’s saving embrace....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMedia* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
During the duration of the legal proceedings involving the Diocese that begin on Monday, July 7th, The Prayer Center at St. Christopher in cooperation with the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul will coordinate a Prayer Vigil from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on weekdays. Participants can commit to pray at The Prayer Center, the Cathedral, or in the privacy of their own church or home. Those that commit to pray at The Prayer Center can also book overnight accommodations (space permitting) at a reduced rate. To participate in this Vigil, please call Rhonda at St. Christopher at 843.768.0429 or Kelli at the Cathedral at 843.722.7345.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 6, 2014 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After a flurry of last-minute emergency motions and appeals, the so-called "Episcopal Church in South Carolina" rump group ("ECSC") has run out of maneuvers to delay the start of the scheduled trial next week before Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein.

Well -- they did manage to delay the start by one day. They had argued, in a last-minute motion for a continuance, that they had not had sufficient time to complete thirty-four depositions of persons familiar with each of the individual parishes who joined Bishop Lawrence's Diocese of South Carolina as co-plaintiffs in the case. And Judge Goodstein denied their motion to continue the trial, but ordered them to complete all 34 depositions this Monday, July 7.

Then ECSC overreached....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The defendants’ conduct is sanctionable. They have willfully misused the judicial system to secure delay by casting blame on the Court and the Plaintiffs for the logical outcome of their ill devised strategy. If they lack time to prepare, it is not time they are due. By their own hand, they are where they are not by the hands of the Court nor those of the Plaintiffs. The Motion for a Continuance should be denied.
Read it all carefully.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

13 Comments
Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina Circuit judge orders TEC to complete 34 depositions it had cancelled – and cited as a reason to delay the trial – on Monday

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 3, 2014 – After 18 months of delays, a South Carolina court will on Tuesday begin considering the lawsuit to protect Diocese of South Carolina assets from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted July 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But [Judge] Goodstein ruled, and reaffirmed this month in order denying reconsideration of her ruling, that adding the parties to the lawsuit with new counterclaims “would unduly complicate this matter, especially at this state of the litigation.” The judge noted that the request to add the parties had already been denied by the court three other times.

Her ruling was appealed this week to the South Carolina Court of Appeals, putting the trial, for now, on hold.

“We are disappointed that The Episcopal Church filed another appeal, but not surprised,” said a statement from Jan Pringle, a spokeswoman for The Diocese of South Carolina. “This is the 4th time they have attempted to unnecessarily add additional parties.”

She said the diocese has filed a court response and hopes that the trial will not be delayed. She noted two of the people named in the motion no longer have leadership roles in the diocese.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 29, 2014 at 5:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In its latest bid to delay the start of the trial scheduled for July 7, the rump group that calls itself "the Episcopal Church in South Carolina" (ECSC) has filed a Notice of Appeal from an interlocutory order of the trial court that denied its "motion to reconsider" for a fourth time a ruling that refused to allow it to add additional individual parties to the case. As such, the appeal is purely a stalling tactic, and is thus frivolous in the extreme
..................
..For all of these reasons, therefore, Judge Goodstein properly denied all of ECSC's motions and motions to reconsider, and the attempt to appeal her rulings before the trial can be held is simply a delaying tactic. That realization, if the Court of Appeals (or the Supreme Court) sees things the same way, should result in the imposition of sanctions against ECSC and its attorneys for taking a frivolous appeal

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

16 Comments
Posted June 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The litigation agenda of the Episcopal Church (USA) continues to garner victories in California (where a single federal district court was allowed to overturn a constitutional initiative passed by a clear majority of voters). At the same time, ECUSA's agenda in South Carolina suffered another defeat. Nonetheless, neither decision resolves any of the questions at issue once and for all. Thus, neither side may yet claim "victory", but only to have reached one more stage in the interminable torture of litigation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted May 8, 2014 at 6:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)House of Deputies President Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a brief order filed...[yesterday], the Supreme Court of South Carolina has granted the motion filed earlier by Bishop Lawrence, his diocesan trustees and individual parishes to transfer to it jurisdiction of the current appeals brought by ECUSA and its rump group in an attempt to delay the trial of the main action set for next July in front of Judge Goodstein.

The Supreme Court's action came just after ECUSA and its rump group had filed a petition for rehearing with the Court of Appeals, asking a full panel to overrule a single judge's earlier order dismissing that appeal, which seeks review of an order by Judge Goodstein denying the rump group access to attorney-client communications between Bishop Lawrence and his counsel, Alan Runyon.

The appeal raises the question of whether the rump group may be seen in law as the continuing successor to the Episcopal Diocese, or whether it is a new entity that began its legal life with a special convention in January 2013 -- regardless of whether ECUSA treats it for religious purposes as a continuing "diocese" in the Church. The rump group contends that they are the legal successor to the Diocese, and so are entitled to see prior communications between the Episcopal Diocese and its attorneys.

But the Episcopal Diocese is very much alive as a legal entity under South Carolina law, with its same Constitution and Canons (amended so as to remove any affiliations with ECUSA), as the rump group has found out in defeat after defeat these past fifteen months.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The South Carolina Supreme Court has intervened in a lawsuit and granted the Diocese of South Carolina’s Motion to Transfer jurisdiction from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. This may effectively prevent The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), from using serial appeals to further delay a trial to prevent the two groups from seizing Diocese of South Carolina property.

The Supreme Court decision comes days after TEC and TECSC filed new appeals apparently aimed at delaying the discovery process in advance of the trial that is scheduled to start on July 7. While the Supreme Court ruling does not prevent the denomination from filing appeals, it eliminates the time-consuming step of first going to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.


Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

11 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Charles VonRosenberg]...emphasized, however, the need for Christian unity among different denominations and groups who might not agree on all issues but who can still operate as a family with common roots and missions of faith and service.

"The spirit of God moves through history in the direction of unity among God's people. I believe that principle," vonRosenberg said. "I pray for our unity, and I encourage you to join me in that belief and prayer."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ‘rehash’ previously presented arguments. … As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”

Bishop vonRosenberg had asked Judge Houck to effectively overturn a state court injunction preventing him and his followers from claiming to be the Diocese of South Carolina.

“We are grateful Judge Houck saw through The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) efforts to distract from the real issues in this case,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their attempt to claim violation of trademark rights was little more than a stalling tactic.

“It’s understandable that TECSC wants to postpone the adjudication of the actual issues involved, but we’re confident the courts will not be distracted,” Lewis said. “Sadly, all the legal shenanigans simply add to the tens of millions of dollars the denomination has spent on legal bills aimed at bullying disaffected members to remain with TEC.”

TEC has historically used the courts to punish parishes and dioceses who disagree with the denomination’s shifting theology. The group has spent more than $22 million on legal efforts to seize individual church property and evict parishioners. At times when judges have ruled against TEC, the denomination has filed time-consuming appeals that have tied up break-away resources and, occasionally, worn down the resolve of individuals seeking religious freedom.

The state court case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

The Diocese of South Carolina disassociated from the Episcopal Church in October 2012 after TEC tried to defrock Bishop Lawrence. Following the Diocese’s decision, 49 churches representing 80 percent of the Diocese’s 30,000 members voted to remain in union with the Diocese and not with TEC.

The Diocese has consistently disagreed with TEC’s embrace of what most members of the global Anglican Communion believe to be a radical fringe scriptural interpretation that makes following Christ’s teachings optional for salvation.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

19 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Monday of this week, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein denied the motion by the ECUSA parties to expand their counterclaims against Bishop Mark Lawrence and certain of his clergy -- a motion which I previously predicted would be denied in this earlier post. In ruling from the bench, Judge Goodstein noted that the counterclaimants had failed to show any good reason to single out specific members of the clergy for acting in accordance with the wishes of the Diocese they served -- actions that were ratified and approved by literally thousands of its members.

The Diocese's Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Jim Lewis, responded to the ruling with this statement: "“We are grateful that Judge Goodstein dismissed this most recent effort to harass our people with time-consuming, expensive litigation. Attorneys for both TEC and TECSC have tried to distract attention from the denomination’s efforts to seize our property by suing our clergy and pursuing our lay leadership. The judge’s decision ends the legal fishing expedition and forces all to focus on the only issue that matters: whether our religious freedom is protected.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein today denied efforts by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) to expand its lawsuit by adding claims against four diocesan officials.

The judge, who had only a few months ago rejected efforts by the national Episcopal Church to drag literally all of the diocese’s officers into the suit, said there was no reason to single out the specific members of the clergy for acting consistent with the wishes of the Diocese as approved by literally thousands of members of the diocese.

In November, TECSC had asked the judge to expand its suit to include Bishop Mark Lawrence and three other clerics, alleging that actions they took to withdraw the diocese from the denomination were outside the scope of their legal authority and violated state law. In denying the motion, Judge Goodstein briefly referenced a last minute TECSC affidavit that asserted an early conspiracy to leave TEC. The Very Rev. Paul Fuener, a priest named in the affidavit, observed, “I am confident that his recollection of our interview is seriously in error, if not worse.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

....in the current litigation in South Carolina, the drive by ECUSA's team to move the ball into federal court has been blocked at every maneuver. They are stuck back on their own 10-yard line, with just a few dozen seconds left on the clock. (The case in South Carolina's Court of Common Pleas for the County of Dorchester is due to go to trial early next summer; all discovery in the case has to be completed by February 7.)

And so what do they decide to do?

The defendant rump group (but not yet ECUSA itself) throws a "Hail Mary" pass -- a motion to add, at this late date, four new defendants and eighteen new claims against those defendants, who are Bishop Mark Lawrence, James Lewis, Jeffrey Miller and Paul Fuener. The Rev. James Lewis serves as Bishop Lawrence's Canon to the Ordinary and Executive Secretary to the Diocesan Convention; the Revs. Miller and Fuener have both served as President of the Standing Committee of Mark Lawrence's Episcopal Diocese.

The very first claim the rump group seeks to assert demonstrates the flaw in the entire motion: it is a claim for alleged breach of "fiduciary duty."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

16 Comments
Posted November 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The filing lists 18 causes of action including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, trademark infringement and civil conspiracy....

However, [Diocese of S.C. Canon Jim] Lewis said the allegations “are based upon false claims, bordering on the absurd.”

Lawrence also has maintained that he didn’t want to leave but was driven away by Episcopal Church leaders’ hostile administrative actions against him and the church’s departures from orthodox teachings.

Leaders of The Episcopal Church, or TEC, didn’t seek sincere reconciliation with local clergy and parishioners who disagreed with their views. Instead, they interfered in local diocesan life, Lewis said.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The individuals named in the motion are:

• Mark Lawrence, who was bishop to local Episcopalians from 2006 until December 2012, when the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church accepted his renunciation as a bishop of TEC. Members of the breakaway group still recognize him as their bishop.

• Jim Lewis, who was Canon to the Ordinary of the diocese, and continues to use that title in the breakaway organization.

• Jeffrey Miller, who has been president of the Standing Committee of the diocese. Miller also is rector of St. Helena’s, Beaufort, one of the congregations that filed suit against TEC.

• Paul Fuener, who has been president of the Standing Committee. Fuener also is rector of Prince George-Winyah in Georgetown, another plaintiff in the suit against TEC.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

15 Comments
Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The majority of local parishes and clergy, including Bishop Mark Lawrence, disassociated from The Episcopal Church last fall over theological and administrative disputes with that national church. Lawrence’s group filed a lawsuit against The Episcopal Church to retain control of property and identifying titles and marks.

“I’m encouraged by this ruling for the clarity it allows us in continuing with the mission and ministry of the diocese,” Lawrence said after Friday’s hearing.

The...[new TEC] diocese is led by Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg who was installed three days after the temporary restraining order was issued.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. George, SC, October 11, 2013 – South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein today ruled in favor of the Diocese of South Carolina’s position that her injunction, which prohibits The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) from using the names and seal of the Diocese of South Carolina, should remain in place.

Judge Goodstein issued the injunction and temporary restraining order in January.

“I’m not going to disturb the injunction,” she said. The judge said it will remain in place to protect the diocese’s duly registered marks. Under South Carolina civil law those are entitled to protection.

Read it all.

South Carolina news and links can be found here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

6 Comments
Posted October 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A hearing is due today in the South Carolina Circuit Court before Judge Diane S. Goodstein. Please pray for the Bishop and Diocese of South Carolina and their attorneys and for the Judge and Court; and that everything said and done will be honoring of the truth and the name of the Lord Jesus and for the purpose of building up the kingdom in South Carolina.

Come, let us bow down in worship
Let us kneel down before the Lord our Maker
for He is our God
and we are the people of His pasture,
the people under His care
Psalm 96:6-7


South Carolina news and links can be found here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein released her decision yesterday that the Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local remnant, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) cannot expand their counterclaims against the Diocese of South Carolina to include almost two dozen parishioners who voluntarily serve as diocesan Trustees and members of the Diocese’s Standing Committee.

In her decision, Judge Goodstein wrote, “This court finds that the individual leaders whom Defendants seek to join as Counterclaim Plaintiffs are entitled to immunity” under state law. She also wrote that “adding the additional defendants would be futile.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

6 Comments
Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Presiding Bishop's job -- and future reputation -- is, in effect, on the line. She and her personal Chancellor have been so identified with the litigation agenda of ECUSA (because they run that agenda without interference from anyone else in the entire Church) that they are taking a hit, so to speak, on account of the reversals which that agenda has recently suffered in Texas (Fort Worth), Illinois (Quincy), South Carolina, and yes - let it be said -- in San Joaquin (even though there is as yet no final judgment there, ECUSA faces a decidedly uphill battle to convince the California court that its canons allow it to take the property of the withdrawing diocese).

In a (rather desperate, and, some would say) clumsy attempt to protect her prerogatives on the litigation front, the Presiding Bishop (and, as always, her personal Chancellor, whose law firm earns millions each year from the Presiding Bishop's continuing patronage) asked the "Ecclesiology Committee" to deliver a counter to the "Bishops' Statement on Polity" promulgated by the Anglican Communion Institute and the Communion Partner Bishops within ECUSA....

That Committee (with membership as noted above) obediently came forth with just such a "Statement", and presented it to the assembled bishops in Nashville. Wonder of wonders, however -- what seemed likely as a rubber stamp of 815's current litigation claims devolved into a rejection of the Committee's paper. That rejection was based chiefly on the bishops' reluctance to submit themselves or their dioceses, by a simple resolution, to any claim of metropolitan authority -- but it was also based on their own personal knowledge of the Church's historical polity.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort WorthTEC Conflicts: QuincyTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is the attack made on Judge Houck's factual reasoning in the first seven pages of the Memorandum that I would like to consider. Here the attorneys argue that under an earlier case from the same Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal which would hear any appeal from Judge Houck's decision Bishop vonRosenberg has certain prerogatives of his office with which Bishop Lawrence is allegedly interfering.

The argument is ludicrous on its face. Consider this point: Bishop Lawrence is also a bishop of a diocese -- the one that is paying his salary -- and so under that same precedent, he has certain prerogatives of his office as well. What Bishop vonRosenberg wants is to restrict Bishop Lawrence's prerogatives just so he can exercise the ones he claims are his.

And that is not all. In Dixon v. Edwards (the earlier case in question), Bishop Dixon claimed that it was the vestry and rector of a particular parish in her own diocese that were interfering with her prerogatives as its bishop, and the court decided that her claims warranted relief. But Bishop Lawrence is not in the same diocese as Bishop vonRosenberg, and is not subject to his jurisdiction. If Bishop Lawrence's activities in his own diocese are interfering with Bishop vonRosenberg's activities in his, then can a federal court supply a remedy? To do so would be to wade too far into matters that are "quintessentially ecclesiastical" (to quote the Court of Appeal's decision in the Schofield case), in violation of the First Amendment.

Read it all and please note the link to the South Carolina filing which you can read in full.

More South Carolina Links

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted September 19, 2013 at 6:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In other legal matters, the [new diocese of the] Episcopal Church in South Carolina has filed a separate legal action asking the federal court to rule that its liability insurance policy provides coverage for the state lawsuit.

Attorneys for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina contacted the Church Insurance Company of Vermont in writing in August. The company denied coverage, prompting the legal action to clarify the matter, according to Thomas S. Tisdale, Jr., Chancellor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The case also has been assigned to Judge Houck.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted September 19, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck has been asked to reconsider his dismissal of a federal lawsuit arising from the Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina.

Houck last month dismissed the action brought by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg and ruled that the legal issues should be settled in state court. The bishop represents parishes remaining with the national Episcopal Church following last year’s schism.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

8 Comments
Posted September 19, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

From here. The entire affidavit can be read in pdf format here.
In April I submitted an affidavit in federal court in South Carolina on behalf of Bishop Mark Lawrence. It was one of several affidavits submitted by the Diocese of South Carolina in response to litigation filed against Bishop Lawrence by parties supporting the position of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. My affidavit included work on issues relating to TEC polity that I have done over the last three years but had not previously published. This affidavit has been part of the public record for several months. ACI is now posting it online.

My affidavit contains a detailed analysis of the legal structure and history of TEC. The following paragraphs provide an overview of the analysis:

26. In the remainder of my affidavit I will examine the account of TEC’s structure and history presented by Plaintiff’s expert witness, Robert Bruce Mullin. This account is profoundly mistaken and contains numerous errors, misrepresentations and failures to understand relevant legal concepts. But before turning to the detailed analysis it will be useful to present an overview of what that testimony is trying to accomplish.

27. As I will show below, Mullin concedes as he must that TEC’s governing document, its Constitution, contains no explicit language giving any central body hierarchical supremacy over its member dioceses in recognizable legal language. He claims instead that such supremacy was an “assumption” that is only “reflected,” not stated, in the church Constitution. Indeed, he goes so far as to claim that while “explicit language of supremacy was necessary” for other churches, for TEC “language of supremacy in the Constitution was unnecessary and, indeed, inappropriate.”

28. To justify why TEC alone does not need the standard legal language readily found elsewhere Mullin develops an alternative theory of TEC’s structure and legal history that he characterizes at the outset of his testimony as “an extended historical and theological analysis of the development of the Church’s hierarchical structure from its earliest days to the present.”

29. In this section I will consider carefully what Mullin admits about the lack of standard legal language expressing hierarchy. In the next section I will show that his alternative theory cannot withstand scrutiny.

30. Although I challenge in this affidavit Mullin’s interpretations of TEC’s legal history, constitution and canons and 200 years of related documents, it is important to reiterate that Mullin characterizes his testimony as “an extended historical and theological analysis.” When his testimony is understood as he himself describes it, it is clear that the Plaintiff is asking the Court to go far beyond anything the First Amendment permits. Courts cannot sift through 200 years of ecclesiastical history pursuing “assumptions” that were allegedly made in the 1780s and never stated explicitly but were only “reflected” in an ambiguous historical record. Courts cannot constitutionally enter a theological thicket that requires “immersion in doctrinal issues or extensive inquiry into church polity.” Maryland and Va. Churches v. Sharpsburg Church, 396 U.S. 367, 370, n. 4 (1970).

Read it all and follow the link to the affidavit here

[More South Carolina links here]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

7 Comments
Posted September 14, 2013 at 10:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It happens at St. Paul's, Summerville, S.C., from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00.

Thank you.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 12, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted September 9, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“It’s much like a divorce,” said the Rev. J.T. Jeffords, minister at St. Paul’s Church in Conway, which was formerly St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. “Everyone is affected.”

“In these situations, even if you win, you lose,” said Dan Ennis, dean of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts and one of the leaders of the group of Episcopalians who left St. Paul’s last year and has now formed the community of St. Anne’s.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 100 South Carolina clergy received notices this week that they have been formally removed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 31, 2013 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck has ruled for the second time in recent months that legal issues arising from the Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina belong in state court, not federal court.

Houck dismissed a federal lawsuit late Friday brought by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, the bishop of parishes remaining with the national Episcopal Church.

The bishop had asked Houck to block Bishop Mark Lawrence, the spiritual head of churches that left the national church, from using the name and symbols of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

But Houck ruled the issues "are more appropriately before, and will more comprehensively be resolved, in South Carolina state court."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a statement released after the decision was handed down, Bishop vonRosenberg said he was “disappointed at the recent legal developments,” but added “we recognized that our journey involves many, many more steps than only this one.”

"We are involved for the long haul,” he said, noting the mission of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina “most definitely will not be defined by court decisions and legal processes but, rather, by the call and direction of our Lord”.

Bishop Mark Lawrence’s team said they were pleased by the ruling and the consolidation of the dispute between the national church and the diocese into a single forum.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 25, 2013 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Judge Weston C. Houck’s decision effectively combines the two suits into one, acknowledging that authority rests with the state circuit court....

The decision signifies a victory for the independent diocese.

“We are extremely gratified that Judge Houck agrees the entire issue should be decided by a South Carolina state court using South Carolina law under which the Diocese and its parishes are incorporated,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to Bishop Lawrence. “We are only sorry that TEC’s legal action has delayed resolution of this matter and served as a distraction from our real mission of ministering to the needs of the faithful.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

0 Comments
Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Court Judge Weston C. Houck today dismissed a federal trademark lawsuit filed by Episcopal Church Bishop Charles vonRosenberg against Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina Mark Lawrence.

The decision acknowledges the authority of the Circuit Court of South Carolina to decide the rightful owner of the names, symbols and property of the Diocese of South Carolina.

“The sum of all disputes and conflicts arising in the wake of the Diocese’s estrangement from [the Episcopal Church] are more appropriately before, and will more comprehensively be resolved, in South Carolina state court,” stated Judge Houck in the order dismissing Bishop vonRosenberg’s lawsuit and denying his motion for an injunction to prohibit Bishop Lawrence from acting as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Read it all. [more South Carolina Links here]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

35 Comments
Posted August 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

{The new TEC Diocese in South Carolina]...announced it will depose over 100 clergy loyal to the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence and the... Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. On 10 July 2013 the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church published a list of clergy whom it said remained in good standing with the Episcopal Church for having expressed its loyalty to their leadership. Those who had not given their allegiance to the minority faction would be removed from the ordained ministry....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

37 Comments
Posted August 19, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As his counterpart in Texas saw the matter, so might Judge Houck: why bother to get into the messy details of a federal trademark action if the earlier case filed in State court will dispose of the matter? He indicated by a question that he was considering staying the federal action pending the outcome of the proceedings in State court. He said he would have a ruling out in “a week or so.”

Meanwhile, the State court case begun by the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence and his Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is moving forward, now that it has been remanded from Judge Houck’s court. The attorneys for all parties were in court on July 11 to discuss a schedule for the case with First Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein, who issued her order eight days later. The order ensures that the case will not dawdle, but will be ready for trial by the summer of next year.

ECUSA is seeking to add additional defendants to its counterclaim, namely, the individual trustees and members of the diocesan standing committee (as a prelude to naming the rectors and vestry members of 37 individual parishes -- some 500 people in all -- following the same punitive strategy it has tried in other cases). The court ordered that any additional response Bishop Lawrence’s attorneys wanted to make to that motion be filed by July 22, with ECUSA’s reply due 10 days later. Those papers have now been filed, and the parties await Judge Goodstein's ruling on the propriety of trying to add any individual defendants to the case.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

0 Comments
Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. vonRosenberg presently heads the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the name given to those Episcopalians in the Diocese who want to remain with the national church. VonRosenberg has sued Lawrence over usage of the title of bishop, arguing that Lawrence renounced this title when he opted to leave The Episcopal Church in January.

After hearing about an hour of arguments, Houck stated that he should have a decision as to the fate of the suit sometime in the next seven to ten days.

Joy Hunter, director of Communications for the Diocese of South Carolina, told The Christian Post that Lawrence argued for the suit to be dismissed. "In his Motion, Bishop Lawrence asked that Judge Houck either dismiss the federal lawsuit, or stay it until the pending state court litigation is resolved," said Hunter.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On August 8, U.S. District Court Judge Weston C. Houck heard arguments on Bishop Lawrence’s motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg....

Judge Houck indicated that he hopes to rule on the motion shortly. He may dismiss the case, stay it or allow it to move forward in federal court.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

1 Comments
Posted August 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the second time in recent months, U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck is weighing whether issues arising from the acrimonious Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina belong in federal court.

As two bishops sat with their attorneys on either side of his Charleston courtroom, Houck heard about an hour of arguments Thursday on one bishop's request for an injunction against the other.

Charles vonRosenberg, the bishop of parishes remaining with the national Episcopal Church, wants the court to block Mark Lawrence, the bishop of churches that left last year, from using the name and the symbols of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted August 9, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Issues arising from the Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina are going back before a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck holds a hearing in Charleston on Thursday on a motion filed by a churches remaining with the national church. It asks that only those churches be allowed to use the name and symbols of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

6 Comments
Posted August 8, 2013 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Charles vonRosenberg was enjoying his retirement, taking some strokes off his golf handicap and spending time with his six grandchildren, when the Episcopal Church in eastern South Carolina was rent by schism.

Now, instead of spending carefree days on the state's coast after 37 years of service to the church, the former bishop of east Tennessee finds himself again ministering to individuals and congregations remaining with the national church and dealing with lawsuits resulting from the South Carolina split.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

1 Comments
Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To compare the mentality of a brother bishop to school shooters (see here), or to call him and presumably those close to him "petty deciders or wolves who masquerade as sheep" is incredibly inappropriate for any Christian, not to mention bizarre. I truly have never before heard or read such a spiteful and hate-fueled speech on either side of our present unpleasantness. This type of hateful and over the top language is even worse coming from a leader who claims to speak for the "national Church" and all Episcopalians. Let me be clear: I am an Episcopal priest and the Presiding Bishop does not speak for me. I have no delusion that I share in any ownership of anything outside of my parish and my diocese. The idea that one person, even if one agrees with the present incumbent, can speak for all Episcopalians is sheer lunacy.

To be fair, this centralization of power and influence certainly did not start with the present Presiding Bishop, but we do well to consider the state in which we find ourselves. Power corrupts, and the Presiding Bishop rightly notes that when one figure assumes the power it often leads to abuse, tyranny and corruption. She apparently fails to see how this truth has been demonstrated in her term as Presiding Bishop. Fast tracking bishops to "renounce their orders" rather than letting the House of Bishops speak, inhibiting without the consent of the three most senior active bishops (which the new Title IV conveniently does not require), and setting up new dioceses (which TEC has every right to do) while violating the canons of TEC all point to an office that has overgrown its canonical bounds and is running unchecked.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons--Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesse Zink’s “Why Provinces Matter” and the responses from William G. Witt and Colin Podmore [TLC, May 26] illustrate the range of opinions on what South Carolina’s ultimate ecclesial structure should be, from standalone province to joining the Anglican Church in North America. One thing in common to all of the initial essays, however, was the recognition that any decision on ultimate structure might still be some time away.

This recognition has also been the starting point of the Anglican Communion Institute in our work on this issue in the last several months. We believe that South Carolina’s current status does not necessarily present a problem in need of immediate resolution, but rather inheres in the nature of this dispute. Taking our cue both from Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Instruments of Communion, we have proposed that the guiding principle of the next season for South Carolina is “provisionality.” During this period ultimate decisions are deferred precisely because they are premature. Bishop Lawrence has stressed this on many occasions. The rupture with the Episcopal Church is too fresh with many unresolved issues; the ensuing litigation is only beginning, not nearing an end. This is not the time to make such a momentous decision as that regarding the ultimate future of this diocese, which predates the formation of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiology

2 Comments
Posted July 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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