Posted by Kendall Harmon

On December 12, the Rt. Rev. William Skilton, retired suffragan bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina released an “Open Letter to the Faithful Anglicans/Episcopalians in Lower South Carolina” in which he shared correspondence he’d received from Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, the provisional bishop of TECinSC and his response. Bp. Skilton has been directed to no longer function in any sacramental capacity in any TEC congregation in South Carolina. Bp. Skilton had sought to minister in a reconciling way with parishes in both dioceses (though functioning as a bishop in neither). This action will effectively end that dual ministry. He will, nonetheless, continue to be a welcome guest among parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina and we look forward to his continued sacramental ministry among us.

Read it all.

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

28 Comments
Posted December 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the context of the present dispute, this means that the Court will base its final decision upon a close examination of the various deeds and other documents evidencing ownership and title, as well as the governing documents (constitution, canons, articles and bylaws) of the parishes, the Diocese, and of the Episcopal Church (USA) itself.

As to the ability of the Diocese to withdraw from ECUSA, it would seem that it has already been finally adjudicated (by the courts of Illinois) that there is no language in the Constitution or canons of ECUSA which would prevent a Diocese from withdrawing. That is also a decision drawn under neutral principles, and so is in harmony with the method shown in the All Saints Waccamaw case. I should think that Judge Goodstein will find the reasoning of those two cases both persuasive and binding upon her.

Resolution of that question will not, however, necessarily resolve the issue of property held in trust. Under the Waccamaw decision again, an express written trust of some kind will be required -- one that satisfies the Statute of Frauds under South Carolina law (it must be in writing, and signed by the actual owner of the person so placing the property into a trust). The Dennis Canon alone will not work -- that was one of the express holdings in the Waccamaw case which will be binding upon Judge Goodstein.

There was no evidence of any such trust document or documents offered at the trial, to my knowledge. Consequently, the decision on this point, while open, should not be a difficult one under neutral principles.

Read it all and please follow and read all the links as well.

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

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Posted December 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The report reveals that in U.S. dioceses, baptisms are down five percent from 27,140 in 2012 to 25,822 in 2013. Similarly, marriages are down four percent from 10,366 to 9,933 (the denomination has seen a 40 percent decline in children baptized since 2003 and a 46 percent decline in marriages over the same period). The losses are not evenly distributed, with some dioceses performing worse than others: in the Diocese of Northern Michigan, where an ordained Buddhist was elected (and later failed to gain consent from other dioceses) to be bishop in 2009, zero children were confirmed in 2013.

Episcopal “renewing” dioceses in San Joaquin and Fort Worth are also continuing to struggle: Fort Worth closed five parishes in 2013 (from 22 to 17), with San Joaquin closing two (21 to 19). Pittsburgh added one new parish (36 to 37). Other diocese closing parishes include Maryland (4) and Massachusetts (3), with most of the dioceses in Northeastern Province 1 seeing the closure of at least one parish.

Despite continuing to claim over 70 parishes and 28,000 members following the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (DioSC) and the vast majority of its parishes ending their affiliation with the Episcopal Church, the renewing Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) has posted updated information on baptisms and weddings, showing a drop from 388 children’s baptisms in 2012 to only 135 in 2013. South Carolina reported 170 children and 143 adults confirmed in 2012, dropping to 54 children and 37 adults in 2013.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalCommon Cause Partnership--Proposed Formation of a new North American ProvinceEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesTEC DataTEC Parishes* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

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Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the results of litigation. Please pray for Her Honor Judge Diane S. Goodstein, the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team, all those involved in the proceedings and for the growth of God's Kingdom in South Carolina

Psalm 138:7-8 (ESV)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Our Father in heaven,

We thank You for the preservation of the Diocese of South Carolina. Fulfill Your purpose for them by Your steadfast love. Do not forsake them, for they are the work of Your hands. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

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Posted December 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Readers are asked carefully to note the legal and historical fiction in the article in which it is claimed the 224th annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina was held. That cannot be true legally or historically since no entity of that name existed until the last few years when TEC founded the new diocese--KSH.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted December 19, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the results of litigation. Please pray for Her Honor Judge Diane S. Goodstein

Proverbs 30:5 (ESV)

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Our Father in heaven,

We thank You that You are worthy of trust, Your words true and Your presence secure. Stay close to the Diocese of South Carolina, we pray. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

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Posted December 18, 2014 at 10:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the results of litigation. Please pray for Her Honor Judge Diane S. Goodstein

Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages, but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-28

Father, we thank You for strengthening the Diocese of South Carolina.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
II Corinthians 9:8

We thank You for the grace You are pouring out on the Diocese of South Carolina.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB

We thank You for the abundance given to the Diocese of South Carolina.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

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Posted December 16, 2014 at 8:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the result of litigation. Please pray for Her Honor Judge Diane S. Goodstein

Amos 5:15a The Voice
Hate what is evil, and love all that is good;
apply His laws justly in the courts at the city gates


Our Father in heaven,

You are indeed a good God, and Your laws are just. O for the Circuit Court of South Carolina to be a true gate of justice! Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

1 Comments
Posted December 13, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting results of litigation–
Please pray for the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team, all those involved in the proceedings and for the Judge and for the growth of God's Kingdom in South Carolina
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

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,

You are a God who hears His children. You are our Deliverer, our Healer, our strength and our salvation. Have mercy.

Did not Moses say that because Amalekites had raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, the Lord would be at war with Amalek generation after generation? If the spirit of Amalek is involved in the South Carolina litigation, defeat it, we pray.

With You, nothing is impossible. Your name is Jehovah-nissi. The Lord is our banner! Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

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Posted December 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting results of litigation–
Please pray for the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team, all those involved in the proceedings and for the Judge and for the growth of God's Kingdom in South Carolina

1 Samuel 6:20-7:2 (ESV)
Then the men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall he go up away from us?” So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down and take it up to you.”
And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the Lord. From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.


Abinadab–father of nobleness
Eleazar–my God has helped


The ark had been housed in Shiloh 369 years. At the time of Samuel’s apprenticeship in Shiloh, the priesthood was discredited by Eli’s sons. Israel goes to war with the Philistines and loses the first battle. They move the ark to the battle field, accompanied by Eli’s sons. The Philistines have the victory and capture the ark. Tradition holds that Shiloh was burned.
The Philistines move the ark to Ashdod and set it next to Dagon, a fertility god. Dagon is broken. They move the ark to Gath, whose people reject the ark from fear of the God of Israel. Then the ark is moved to Ekron, a Baal worship center. The Philistines suffer so much, the decision is made to return the ark to Israel.
It is transported to Beth-shemesh, but seventy of their men die because they looked on the ark. Finally the ark is lodged at Keriath-jearim.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the help You have provided the Diocese of South Carolina in this season of litigation. We thank You that they are a house of nobleness and a lodging place for Your Holy Spirit. Bless them bountifully, we pray. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2014 at 10:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting results of litigation–
Please pray for the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team, all those involved in the proceedings and for the Judge and for the growth of God's Kingdom in South Carolina

Our Father in heaven,
When Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
O blessed tear in temple veil, translating the ark into our hearts, translating Your life into our spirits!
Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

O blessed tear in time and space! In adoration Your creature earth did quake! We bless You, O Lamb that was slain, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills; weaving in and out, over and through time and space. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Praise the Lord, all you people of the Diocese of South Carolina! The winter is past indeed. Worthy is the Lamb. His unfailing love is powerful, and His faithfulness endures forever. Amen.

Song of Solomon 2:8-11, Matthew 27:50-52, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 5:12, Psalm 117

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Behre estimated that the Church in S.C. has about 6,000 members now, down from 29,000 before the split. Messiah and St. Anne’s are two of eight mission churches the Church in S.C. has recognized in the last year.

Diocese spokesman Jim Lewis said that it’s hard to compare the current Diocese with the pre-split Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

While Grace has joined as a parish mission, at least one other church that was not formerly associated with the traditional church has joined the Diocese, he said.

“The last year has been a sorting out period,” Lewis said.

The Rev. Iain Boyd, chief pastor at Trinity, said his church lost about 30 members immediately after the breakaway and since then some new members have joined while others have gone elsewhere.

“I’m encouraged to see there hasn’t been much acrimony,” he said.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted December 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting results of litigation–
Please pray for the Diocese of South Carolina, all those involved in the proceedings and for the Judge and for the growth of God's Kingdom in South Carolina

Proverbs 14:30 (ESV)
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.


O Lord, bless the Diocese of South Carolina with a tranquil heart. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He had not been surprised by the differences he found, which mostly arose from the diversity of very different cultures. He admitted that he disagreed “profoundly” with some of their views. The Church of Nigeria and the Episcopal Church in the United States are polar opposites, and the Archbishop was circumspect in speaking of both. He voiced his respect for the way that the Nigerians were coping with the pressures they were facing, especially the challenges of violence and corruption. They, and also the church in Pakistan, faced issues that would “buckle any other church”.

And although the church in America almost provoked an open schism with the consecration of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003, Welby said his visit had been something of a breakthrough. “It was a real gift in terms of communication. At least there was understanding why we disagreed with each other when we disagreed, rather than simply disagreeing and not understanding each other.” But he added: “The situation there is complicated, to put it mildly.”

Learning to disagree without hatred has been a theme of the Archbishop’s ministry. He argues that “good disagreement” is vital (although some churches did not accept that). He did not want to see the same level of bitterness that had characterised some disputes in the past. There had been a danger, he admitted, of parts of the Anglican Communion drifting into that.

Read it all (requires subscription)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Monday]...both the plaintiff TEC parties and the Diocese and defendant congregations filed Motions for Summary Judgment in the 141st District Court. The origial Motions were filed in December 2010, and the court's January 2011 ruling was reversed by the Texas Supreme Court in August 2013, and the trial court was instructed to re-hear the case and render a ruling based on neutral principles of law. To that end, a hearing is now set for Feb. 20, 2015, before the Hon. John Chupp. Two more rounds of filings will be submitted to the court in the intervening weeks.

In his introduction to our filing, diocesan attorney Scott Brister writes,

From the outset of this litigation, the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit has been based not on equity but on wishful thinking and unfounded claims. The Plaintiffs filed suit claiming that a diocese cannot disaffiliate from TEC – even though not a single provision in TEC’s charters says so. The Plaintiffs insisted they represented the Corporation and the Diocese – but the Second Court of Appeals held that they did not. The Plaintiffs insisted that Texas courts follow the deference approach – but the Texas Supreme court held they do not. The Plaintiffs insisted that the Dennis Canon was irrevocable – but the Texas Supreme Court held it was not. Despite these repeated judicial rebukes, the Plaintiffs still assert every one of these claims to this day.

The following PDF documents have been submitted to the court....

Read it all by following all the pdfs.

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

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Posted December 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was not as if these congregations chose the most theologically conservative new homes.

The great majority of congregations leaving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) chose to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church or the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Few chose to join the larger Presbyterian Church in America, which does not permit women clergy.

Similarly, congregations leaving the ELCA overwhelmingly bypassed the more conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod denominations for the new Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and the North American Lutheran Church.

Still, the future does not look bright for reconciliation, analysts noted.

“There is an exhaustion factor of having fought for decades,” Thompson said.

Among some denominational leaders, he said, there is a sense, “The bad guys have left.”

And leaders of congregations departing their former mainline Protestant denominations told Carthage researchers they were happy to be in a new place.

When the church leaders were asked if they had any regrets about their decision to leave, “The only thing they’d ever say is we should have left sooner.”

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranPresbyterianUnited Church of Christ* Theology

2 Comments
Posted December 1, 2014 at 7:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Local Anglican priests gave parishioners an extra helping of good news during Thanksgiving Day services.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition by the Episcopal Church to review a lower court ruling that decided contested money and property tied to a 2008 split rightfully belonged to the Quincy Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America, the Rev. Thomas Janikowski, public relations director, said Friday.

He shared the news with parishioners at Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island, where he's rector, during his Thanksgiving homily and said he saw several "moist eyes" in people grateful to learn the case finally may be over, he said...

The Supreme Court's denial was a disappointing decision, according to Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee, of the Chicago Diocese, which the former Quincy Episcopal Diocese realigned itself with in 2013.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: QuincyTEC Departing Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted November 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Today the Illinois Supreme Court posted twenty-eight pages of its recent dispositions of requests made by losing parties for leave to appeal their decision to that Court. On page twelve, at the very top, appears this brief notation:
No. 118186 - The Diocese of Quincy et al., respondents, v. The Episcopal Church et al., petitioners. Leave to appeal, Appellate Court, Fourth District. (4-13-0901)

Petition for leave to appeal denied.

What this means is that the highest court of a State has now ruled that there is no provision in the governing documents of the Episcopal Church (USA) that keeps a Diocese from withdrawing its membership in that organization. The Church in fact is an unincorporated association of dioceses fashioned under American common law, and not under the laws of any one given State. Under the First Amendment, members of such associations are free to leave the group at any time, with only reasonable restrictions placed on their ability to do so (they could be required to pay any back dues still owed, for example). The opinion delivered last April by the Illinois Fourth District Court of Appeal stands as written.

ECUSA’s options are now very limited. They could ask the Illinois Supreme Court to rehear their request -- a move that has never been known to be successful among the Illinois attorneys to whom I have talked. And they have 90 days within which to file a petition for certiorari (review) with the United States Supreme Court -- which thus far has turned down every other recent petition in the various church property cases.

Moreover, the Diocese of Chicago was never admitted to the case as the successor to the remnant Diocese of Quincy that merged into it a year ago September. So there is a procedural difficulty to ECUSA's taking the case further: it no longer has a diocese as a co-party which it can misleadingly try to put forward as "the real Diocese of Quincy." And if no diocese is a party, who is left to complain that the departure of the Anglican Diocese was null and void, because the "real one" is right here? Just ECUSA, which itself is not a diocese, but an association of dioceses -- and it already has lost that argument in two Illinois courts.

Meanwhile, however, the decision will come as a very useful precedent for the courts in the other pending diocesan withdrawal cases -- which present a unique question that the Illinois court is now the first to have definitively decided. Watch for the withdrawing dioceses to cite the case to the courts in Texas (Ft. Worth), California (San Joaquin) and South Carolina.

Read it all

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

4 Comments
Posted November 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A further step in the Organizational Mediation Process by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at the General Theological Seminary took place on Thursday, November 20, with the first meeting of the Logistics Committee via conference call facilitated by Bill Blank, the LMPC Associate Director.

The 14 members of the Logistics Committee represent all stakeholders in the GTS community: current students, staff, faculty, Board of Trustees members, spouses and partners, and alumni. Each member of the committee was appointed by their respective group.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

At the portico of the temple, Solomon erected two bronze pillars. The capitals at the top of the pillars were shaped like lilies. The pillars were named Jakin (He establishes) and Boaz (in Him is strength).
On the destruction of the temple by Babylon–
Jeremiah 52:22-23
The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 7 1⁄2 feet high and was decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates all the way around. There were 96 pomegranates on the sides, and a total of 100 pomegranates on the network around the top.

There were 196 pomegranates at the top of each pillar. 196 x 2=392.

On the return of the exiles from Babylon–
Ezra 2:58
All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon’s servants were 392.

The Lord establishes, and in Him is strength. The Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
We acknowledge You, Lord, as God. You made us, and we are Yours. We are Your people, the sheep of Your pasture.
We lift up the Diocese of South Carolina in this season of waiting. May they go into Your courts with praise, give thanks to You, and praise Your name. Bless the Diocese of South Carolina with fruitfulness, in every understanding of the word. Amen.
Psalm 100

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted November 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The faculty members, who contend they were illegally fired during a strike to protest their treatment at the school located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, have been reinstated provisionally until the end of the academic year and have lost their tenure protections.

The seminary’s board of trustees did not meet their key demand — that a dean they found abusive be fired. But trustees and faculty members said they were hopeful that a mediation process between now and June would bring a more permanent resolution.

“In a sense, the hardest work is yet to come,” Bishop Mark S. Sisk, the chairman of the seminary’s board of trustees, said in an interview Friday. “There are going to be painful conversations, because people have held passionate points of view that are at variance with each other, and people have said things that people do in the heat of conflict that are hurtful.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments
Posted November 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The biggest event in this schism occurred in 2008, when the leadership of the entire Fort Worth, Texas, diocese led a break with the parent church, and took with them out of that denomination the property of 47 parish churches in 24 counties – property worth more than $100 million overall. The parent church fought back, but ultimately lost in the Texas Supreme Court. From now on, and in this case, that state court ruled, church property disputes were to be decided by the “neutral principles” approach, no longer deferring to church structure arrangements. Examining the trust document under which the parent church had claimed ownership of the local property, the state court said that did not square with state civil law.

With support from a wide array of mainstream religious organizations and advocacy group, the Episcopal Church took the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that the time had come for the court to abandon the “neutral principles” approach and return to the deference approach. The parent church, it contended, had done everything it could to establish the parent’s dominion over property, and yet that was not enough.

The breakaway congregations in Fort Worth and their bishop urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the case, noting that the Justices had passed up other appeals on the issue, and commenting that the dispute in Texas has not yet become final.

Read it all from Lyle Denniston.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Via email):
We give thanks this morning that the Supreme Court of the United States has denied the petition of the TEC plaintiffs for a reversal of the Texas Supreme Court ruling of August 2013. We are grateful to attorneys Aaron Streett and Michelle Stratton for presenting our response to the Court.

This development allows us to turn full attention to the Summary Judgment filing that will soon be made in the 141st District Court. In addition, we are assured that the Texas Supreme Court ruling will govern the outcome of our case.

“We are pleased,” said Bishop Iker, “that the Supreme Court has agreed with our position that the TEC petition for a review was without merit. We now move forward to a resolution of this case under neutral principles of law as applied in the State of Texas.”

Analysis of the decision may be found on attorney Allan Haley's blog.


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

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Posted November 4, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today the Supreme Court of the United States issued its order denying (without opinion) review ("certiorari") of the decisions rendered last September by the Supreme Court of Texas in the Fort Worth and San Angelo cases.

The order was expected, because neither decision by the Texas Supreme Court was final. The U. S. Supreme Court almost never agrees to review lower court decisions until they are final. In these two cases, the Fort Worth matter was sent back to Judge Chupp's court for a trial, and the Church of the Good Shepherd case was likewise sent back to the trial court in San Angelo for further proceedings.

The action by SCOTUS now frees both of those cases to move ahead.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted November 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Supreme Court has turned away a pair of appeals from the national Episcopal Church in a dispute over church property claimed by a...[Anglican group in Texas].

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting results of litigation–
Lamentations 3:59 (ESV)

You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge my cause.

We entrust this litigation to You, O Lord. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2014 at 10:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting outcome of litigation–
Psalm 97:11 (ESV)

Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.


May it be so in the Diocese of South Carolina, dear Lord. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted October 28, 2014 at 9:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the results of litigation–
Jeremiah 39:3 Amp
[When Jerusalem was taken] all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim [the Rabsaris] a chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer [II, the Rabmag] a chief of the magicians, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.

Nergal-sharezer–“prince of fire”

This is the only place in Holy Scripture that the ‘Middle Gate’ is mentioned. The names of the Jerusalem gates in Nehemiah are the valley gate, the gates of the fountain, the sheep gate, the fish gate, the old gate, the dung gate, the water gate, the horse gate, the east gate, the gate of Miphkad, the gate of Ephraim, and the prison gate.

O Father,
We pray that violence shall no more be heard in the Diocese of South Carolina, nor destruction within its borders. Help them to build walls of salvation and gates of praise.
Guard them from compromising Your Truth. No Middle Gate, Lord! Protect the Diocese of South Carolina from the “prince of fire.” Amen.
Isaiah 60:18

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the outcome of the South Carolina litigation–
Exodus 12:13 (KJV)
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Joshua 2:12, 13, 17, 18 (KJV)
Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. . . . And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory,

We thank You for Your great plan of redemption and for the Blood of the Lamb that washed us clean from our sins. Thank You for the delight in drawing near and knowing You.

May the Diocese of South Carolina ever continue in Your presence that their spiritual understanding may open and unfold and that they will not fail to recognize the hope of Your calling, the riches of Your inheritance, and the greatness of Your power.
You raised Christ Jesus from the dead and set him at Your right hand in heaven, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, in every dimension and throughout time. You have put all things under his feet and made Him the head of the church.

By faith, Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of the blood. By faith, Rahab delivered the spies and redeemed her family and their possessions with the scarlet cord. By faith, the people of the Diocese of South Carolina receive the Blood of the Lamb at the altar rail.

By faith, we apply the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts and lintels, the windows in the wall, and every spiritual portal of this Diocese. By faith, we claim the Blood of the Lamb over her bishop, clergy, and laity.

The Blood of the Lamb says to the angel of death, You must pass over. The Blood of Jesus, our Mediator of a new covenant, speaks a better, nobler, and more gracious message than the blood of Abel, Mercy, not vengeance.

Speak, O precious Blood, speak. Speak the way, the truth, and the life for this Diocese. Speak that they may receive God’s kingdom, a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted October 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While I have been, and am, committed to reconciliation and reinstatement of the eight faculty members, I have, with some reluctance, supported the decisions of the Board, including the resolutions passed on Friday, even as I had concerns and reservations about them.

My support of a resolution that called for the eight faculty to be "provisionally" reinstated, as the resolution was worded, was based on my conviction that they ought to be returned to their positions, but also my deep concern that they have not, as far as I am aware, rescinded the ultimatums contained in their letters of September 17 and September 24 which were publicly issued, nor have they acknowledged their share and culpability in this matter which have played a major contributing role in this crisis. I continue to have this concern.

Similarly, the Board, its Executive Committee and the Dean have not acknowledged clearly the major and contributing responsibility and culpability we each share in this matter. There is, in short, a genuine need for public confession and repentance from all the major parties: Board and its Executive Committee, Dean, and Faculty.

Having stated this, I am grateful for Bishop Dietsche's courage and leadership and for his attempt to create a clearer path toward reconciliation. I am willing to support his call for the faculty to be immediately and fully reinstated with the understanding that there continues to be a need for public confession, healing and reconciliation from all parties.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point, young people contemplating a clerical career will have to consider just how long there will indeed be a church for them to serve.

This isn’t meant to be panic-mongering, and infinite extrapolations rarely follow exact lines. But if any church is losing 2.6 percent of its attenders every year – not every decade – it should be deeply alarmed. Why isn’t it?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesTEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

21 Comments
Posted October 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I write to you following the resolutions of the Board of Trustees of General Seminary on Friday regarding the continuing conflict involving the seminary dean and the majority of the faculty. I believe that you have a right to know my thoughts and convictions on this matter.

Throughout this process, I have been single-minded in my conviction that there was no imaginable way to reconcile or resolve this matter without first giving unconditional reinstatement to the eight striking faculty members. It also became clear to me that by the decision to terminate the faculty, the board had so inflamed the situation that the board itself had become a participant in the conflict, and in ways that were impeding the hope of a just and fair resolution of the crisis. Early on, I advocated for just such an across-the-board reinstatement in appeals directly to the executive committee of the board, and then to the full board itself. By no means was I alone in making that case. I was one of a number of voices across the board which have continually called for a path toward reconciliation and for the reinstatement of the faculty, and by the time we came to this last week, the momentum for reinstatement appeared to me to be so strong that at the beginning of the day on Friday, I was confident to the point of certainty that that was exactly what the board would approve.

But in the end, it was a significantly more qualified resolution, one to create a path toward provisional reinstatement, that carried the day. Some members of the board rose to speak against it, and to advocate instead for a simple, unconditional reinstatement, and I was one of them. In the end, however, the more qualified resolution carried by a wide majority, so much so that when it was asked that the vote be declared unanimous, those who opposed the resolution allowed that to carry. I regret that now, for by doing so we obscured the dynamic of debate and persuasion within the board itself, and hid from view the genuinely wide diversity of thought and conviction across the board.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted October 20, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The board of The General Theological Seminary has decided not to reinstate the eight faculty members who lodged complaints against the dean, but to invite them “to request provisional reinstatement as professors of the seminary.” The board’s official statement goes on to say: “The Executive Committee stands ready to meet next week to hear requests of any of the eight former faculty members for reinstatement and to negotiate the terms of their provisional employment for the remainder of the academic year.” I feel compelled, not only as a former member of the GTS faculty, but also as a bishop, to register my dismay and indignation regarding this decision.

First of all, as is plain for all to see, the board has been dishonest in its claim that the eight faculty members resigned their positions when they went on strike. In fact, they were summarily fired. Second, the board has placed the eight in the humiliating position of begging for their jobs back – and at that, only provisionally, for “the remainder of the academic year.” This is nothing less than shaming behavior, unworthy of a seminary board. Worst of all, the board has failed to model the humility and fellowship to which we are called in Jesus Christ.

It should be obvious why I am outraged as a former faculty member; any faculty member at any institution of higher learning should be outraged by this board’s action. Why am I outraged as a bishop? Because this action will go a long way toward confirming the unchurched in their assumption that institutional religion cannot be trusted. I continue to pray that the board will reverse its decision and reinstate the eight. Then real conversation can begin.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted October 20, 2014 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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 Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted October 15, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The church has faced steep losses since the early 2000s with a perfect storm of changing demographics, low fertility and departures by traditionalists.

The 2013 reporting year saw a continuation of the downward trend, with a membership drop of 27,423 to 1,866,758 (1.4 percent) while attendance dropped 16,451 to 623,691 (2.6 percent). A net 45 parishes were closed, and the denomination has largely ceased to plant new congregations.

The new numbers do not factor in the departure of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, of which the church continues to report over 28,000 members and over 12,000 attendees, despite the majority of South Carolina congregations severing their relationship with the Episcopal Church at the end of 2012. If South Carolina departures were factored in, the membership loss would be closer to 50,000 persons.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesTEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

6 Comments
Posted October 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I was looking forward to going because I’ve known of General for my whole academic life, but I had never been there. At one time, it represented a commitment to an Anglo-Catholic tradition with which I’m very sympathetic,” said Hauerwas, who attends an Episcopal church in Chapel Hill, N.C. “I think the situation is one of deep pathos; it’s just pathetic. I’m sorry that I’ve gotten caught in it.”

GTS, the flagship seminary that has produced generations of bishops and noted theologians, is the only Episcopal seminary overseen by the national church.

“It’s been the seminary of record for the national church,” Hauerwas said. “Symbolically what’s happening there has reverberations throughout the church. I think that’s the primary reason people are taken aback by the fact that in some ways what has happened is the death toll of General Seminary. What student is going to go there?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

5 Comments
Posted October 9, 2014 at 4:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To the beloveds of God’s church in the world

Some of you may be following the unfolding of various controversies surrounding The General Seminary of The Episcopal Church here in New York City and around me, it’s Dean and President. Until today, there were three main issues: (1) allegations against me personally, (2) faculty employment issues, and (3) overarching and intensely serious issues regarding the future of Christian theological education in America, in The Episcopal Church, and at General Seminary. While dutifully silent until now, I have felt for a while that I need to touch on all three.

But, this morning something much more serious emerged. It is about my support for our LGBT community and those loved by God around the world. My hubris in addressing this letter to all of God’s beloveds worldwide is because statements which may hurt one of us actually hurts all of us, wherever you live. I think that’s what Christian community is about.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church's Canons, however, run in both directions. As an ordained Episcopal priest, Dean Dunkle is subject to the disciplinary canons. He is canonically resident in the Diocese of Florida (where, fittingly enough, he served as Bishop Howard's point man in litigating against departing parishes). Already on the Facebook page created to support the eight faculty members, there have been calls to lodge complaints against Dean Dunkle with that Diocese's Intake Officer for violating the Canons of Title IV. The question there, however, will be whether the Bishop of Florida will want to be viewed as interfering in a matter that involves the internal governance of GTS, and that accordingly should be left to the Board.

Thus we have all kinds of balls up in the air at GTS. The faculty has organized into a union, but the NLRB will not take jurisdiction over religious schools and their unions, so the Board cannot be ordered to negotiate with it. The Bishop of Florida has putative disciplinary authority over the GTS Dean, but he likewise will probably not take jurisdiction. Whether any of ECUSA's Canons may be said to override the terms of the faculty's employment agreements again is a question without a court that can decide it. And we are not informed as to whether the faculty members even have written contracts of employment with GTS -- or whether, if they do, their employment is tenured, or is at will in some cases.

It looks, then, as though the parties will just have to come together to sort things out. And after all, isn't that the Christian thing to do?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary, seemed to be regaining its footing after almost having to seek bankruptcy protection in 2010. It sold off some valuable real estate — its leafy campus in Chelsea is just steps from the High Line — and hired a new dean and president, the Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, who promised to make the struggling institution a “joyful, thankful and useful” place.

A year after his arrival, however, the seminary has fallen into turmoil. Eight of its 10 full-time faculty members walked off the job on Friday to protest what they described in letters to the school’s board of trustees as Mr. Dunkle’s overly controlling management style, his habit of making vulgar and offensive remarks, and his frequent threats to demote or fire those who disagreed with him.

The work stoppage, faculty members said, was intended to force a dialogue with the board and, ideally, to lead to the firing of Mr. Dunkle. Instead, the tactic backfired. On Monday, the board dismissed the eight faculty members, leaving the seminary’s roughly 140 students, a month into their term, without professors to teach them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

3 Comments
Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here's why you should care about this:

It is a spiteful act. Take a moment to read the original announcement. The protesting faculty took pains to be as diplomatic as possible, leaving readers uncertain as to what their specific complaints were. The word "heavy-handed" does not even begin to describe the administration's response to their tact.

It is deceitful. The dean and president (who is also a reverend) reportedly announced to the student body that the protesting faculty had resigned. They did not.

It is unreasonable. The dean and president has basically fired people for wanting to talk to his superiors. In what universe is this an appropriate course of action?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted September 27, 2014 at 8:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Via email--KSH).

In response to a request by the U.S. Supreme Court to file a brief in response to TEC’s June 19 appeal, attorneys for the Diocese and Corporation today filed our 49-page Brief in Opposition. TEC seeks reversal of the Texas Supreme Court's ruling in our favor. Our Brief supports the Neutral Principles approach to church property disputes that was issued by the nation's highest Court in 1979.

Aaron Streett, the diocesan Counsel of Record, offers the following timeline: “We anticipate TEC's reply will be filed by October 14. We anticipate the Court will vote on whether to grant certiorari on Oct. 31. The outcome of that vote could be known as early as that afternoon or the following Monday. It is also possible the Court will "re-list" the case for consideration at future conferences, which could delay the decision.”

Similarly, attorneys for the Church of the Good Shepherd in San Angelo have filed a Brief upon the Court's request. TEC and the Diocese of Northwest Texas appealed the Texas Supreme Court's ruling in that case, too.

Please keep the Justices and their staff in your prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 27, 2014 at 8:30 am [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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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 Kendall Harmon

Via Email from the Diocese of Fort Worth:
We have had the following message today from a member of our legal team:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has requested a response from the Diocese to TEC’s petition for writ of certiorari, filed on June 19. This is an unfortunate development due to the time and money it will take to respond. It does however give us a chance to set the record straight about the case, and I am still convinced that the odds are very small that the Court will want to review the case after reading our response.

“The response is due August 27th. After that TEC parties will have 14 days to reply.”


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

5 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 5:58 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 Kendall Harmon

Wellspring Anglican Church was birthed during the pangs of dissension between the theologically liberal Episcopal Church and its dioceses and parishes whose members held more conservative views. The first and only local congregation to voluntarily leave its former property at the beginning of the conflict, the Wellspring group walked away from a multimillion-dollar campus at St. Paul’s on Oakdale Road in 2009 and has spent the past five years meeting in rented space in downtown Modesto.

Parking has been tight, trains rumbling next to the sanctuary have disrupted worship services, and having people in the area who were vagrants or addicted to drugs posed challenges, but the congregation persevered.

Members finally will have their own home again. The congregation bought a building near the Modesto Junior College West Campus in 2013 and is remodeling the former food-testing laboratory space to make it suitable for a church. Work is expected to be complete in early 2015.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Departing Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The trial court in Quincy first handed a shock to TEC when it denied TEC’s summary judgment motion and ordering TEC to prove at trial that it was hierarchical....TEC was not prepared for this ruling coming out of the Adams County courthouse. Then, in a well-reasoned opinion after the trial, the trial court again disagreed with TEC, holding that: “There is no provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons which require prior approval (by TEC) of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese.”

In a unanimous opinion, the Appellate Court also rejected TEC’s claims and held that TEC failed to prove that it was hierarchical. More importantly, it ruled that even if TEC were hierarchical, this was irrelevant because deference by the court to the determination of the hierarchy was not necessary since the property dispute could be decided using neutral principals of law. As stated by the Appellate Court:


This approach (neutral principals of law) may be applied in resolving property disputes, even within a hierarchical church organization, so long as the court need not decide a religious matter involving church doctrine, polity or practice. Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 8:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The three-week trial of the Diocese of South Carolina vs. The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) ended July 25, with Judge Diane S. Goodstein, who presided, telling the parties what she wanted from them to assist in her deliberations.

Attorneys representing the Diocese, the Trustees and the Diocesan churches were given 30 days to create a three-page document describing the testimony given in court which explained the procedures they followed to legally separate from TEC, (such as amending their by-laws, giving notice of meetings, properly taking votes, etc.) They were then to send those documents to the Court and to TEC and TECSC whose attorneys will have 30 days to respond in a similar fashion.

In essence, the judge’s last words reiterated what she said throughout the trial: The case will be decided on neutral principles of law, which means that the judge must apply the law to this case as it would any other – making no adjustments because it involves a religious organization. TEC and TECSC have opposed the application of neutral principles; essentially arguing that the judge should defer to their view on the issues since they are a religious organization.

Read it all.

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

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Posted August 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Day 7, ECUSA finally got to the meat of the matter by calling an acknowledged expert in South Carolina’s religious and non-profit corporations law, Professor Martin McWilliams of the University of South Carolina law school. He offered an elaborate theory as to why the diocese’s vote to secede from the national Church was invalid under South Carolina law: according to him, the diocese incorporated the national Church’s constitution and canons into its articles by reference, holus bolus, when it simply mentioned them in passing. Then, because the national governing documents (as amended from year to year) were part and parcel of the diocese’s corporate articles, it could not change those articles in any manner that was inconsistent with the Church’s governing documents.

This theory, however, had a hole in it so wide that one could drive a truck through it, and it was a simple matter for Bishop Lawrence’s counsel, on their cross-examination of Prof. McWilliams, to discredit it completely. First Prof. McWilliams conceded that there was no language in the national governing documents – even if they had been incorporated into the articles by the brief reference to them – which forbade a diocese from seceding, or from amending its articles in any manner whatsoever. And with that concession, any effect Prof. McWilliams might have had with his testimony was finished. For he next had to concede that the Diocese was wholly within its rights under South Carolina law when it amended its articles so as to remove its language of accession to the national Church.

After that major concession, the case for ECUSA and its rump group never regained its momentum, and their attorneys became ever more desperate in their tactics as they tried to recoup lost ground. On Day 8 they tried to call an expert witness they had not bothered to disclose by Judge Goodstein’s deadline, and she blocked the testimony after giving the hapless attorney trying to introduce it a good tongue-lashing for disregarding her rules.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We also had witnesses in rebuttal to the case made by TEC attorneys. Our diocesan administrator, Nancy Armstrong, combed through centuries of diocesan records to contrast monies that have come into the diocese from TEC and its various related agencies with monies sent by the diocese to TEC. This was in rebuttal to the one-sided presentations given by witnesses from the National Church (including UTO grants which any woman from our DCW can tell you are from contributions from the pews in congregations around the country and not from some National Church budget). In summary the court learned that for every 81 cents given by The Episcopal Church and its various entities to us in South Carolina and our congregations for ministry; the diocese sent $100 to TEC ($100 to 81 cent ratio), therein undermining the defendants’ one-sided presentation of the “facts”. In fifteen minutes of testimony she undermined hours of tedium and an endless parade of documents from so-called experts for the National Church. When Mr. Runyan called to the stand the renowned professor and historian, Dr. Allen Guelzo, author of some 16 books and a foremost historian of the Civil War era and 18th and 19th centuries of American intellectual history we were treated to a breath-taking tour de force disputing the alleged hierarchical assumptions of the national Episcopal Church. Others in this rebuttal stage of the trial were Fr. Robert Lawrence from Camp St. Christopher, the Rev. Greg Kronz, who chaired the Bishop’s search committee and Chancellor Wade Logan who once again punctuated our case. On the last day, I was called finally to the stand.

But I need to say, and can hardly say it enough, undergirding it all—felt at times in palpable ways—the prayers and intercessions from tens of thousands of the saints within the diocese and around the world upholding us in prayer. Some of these intercessors came to the courtroom to pray while testimonies and cross-examinations were taking place. Others of you prayed from home, perhaps on a lunch break, or while driving to and from your work place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Read it all.

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

6 Comments
Posted July 28, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“We are disappointed by the decision of the Court and believe that the decision is erroneous,” said Richard Hoskins, chancellor emeritus of the Diocese of Chicago. “We believe that the opinion misunderstands the polity of the Episcopal Church and misapplies the First Amendment. The attorneys representing us in the lawsuit are studying the opinion and will advise the Diocese whether to petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court."

Read it all.

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

5 Comments
Posted July 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm [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

An Illinois appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican Church in North America diocese and against the Episcopal Church in a case that highlights theological differences between the two sides.

The ruling over the ownership of money and endowments as well as the property of parishes and missions was handed down Thursday in Springfield by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court.

Locally, members of the Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island celebrated the decision.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Before the split, the diocese had 70 congregations with about 29,000 parishioners. It dates to the 1700s and is one of the original dioceses that joined to form the Episcopal Church. The national church contends that the departure of a diocese requires the consent of the church’s General Convention, which was not consulted.

[Bp Mark] Lawrence later told reporters “I’m hopeful and will continue to pray for Judge Goodstein and guidance as she rules on this.”

Read it all.



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

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:00 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

Key Excerpts follow below the "read more" link.

Read it all[pdf]. h/t Stand Firm

Note: An article with important background to today's decision is here.

UPDATE: Don't miss Allan Haley's analysis of this decision at Anglican Curmudgeon


[47] However, the deference approach is unavailable where the determination of a church's hierarchical structure is not easily discernible. See Maryland & Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, Inc., 396 U.S. 367, 369-70 (1970) (deference approach is permissible only where the governing church body can be determined without extensive inquiry into religious policy). Here, the trial court declined to apply a deference approach, concluding it could not "constitutionally determine the highest judicatory authority or the locus of control regarding the property dispute to which it would be required to defer." The court's conclusion is not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

[48] A review of the evidence presented in this case, including testimony from Dr. Mullin, the Church's own witness, does not clearly demonstrate the existence of a hierarchical relationship between the Diocese and the Church. Indeed, the Church's authority is not readily ascertainable without an impermissible investigation into matters of polity. Moreover, the central matter underlying the parties' dispute is: "who owns the disputed property." Determining whether the Diocese could leave the Church or identifying the leaders of the continuing diocese is unnecessary for purposes of answering that question. Again, such determinations would necessarily involve an extensive inquiry into church polity. With regard to the issue of the disputed property, however, we agree with the trial court it can be resolved by applying neutral principles of law.
----------------------------

[54] An examination of the evidence reveals nothing to demonstrate an express trust, an implied trust, or any other interest vested in the Church. As stated, neither the deed nor the Discretionary Agency Agreement provides for an express trust in favor of the Church. Further, our review of the Diocese's constitution and canons does not suggest diocesan assets were ever impliedly held in trust for the Church. After Jones, the Church adopted a trust canon (Title I.7.4, referred to by the parties as the Dennis Canon). That canon provides parish property is held in trust for the Diocese and Church and restricts a parish's ability to dispose of its property. However, it appears undisputed the Church's canons do not contain similar language with respect to diocesan property being held in favor of the Church. In addition, Bonner testified the Dennis Canon does not apply to property owned by a diocese. Our review of the record reveals nothing to suggest the opposite conclusion. Accordingly, the trial court's findings in this regard are not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

[55] In sum, the evidence presented demonstrates title to the funds and real property lies with the Diocese. Following our review of the record, we cannot say the trial court's findings were arbitrary, unreasonable, or not otherwise based on the evidence. Nor can we say the opposite conclusion is clearly apparent in this case. As a result, the court did not err in finding in favor of the Diocese. We commend the trial court for its detailed order, which we found quite helpful in reviewing this matter.

III. CONCLUSION

[57] For the reasons stated, we affirm the trial court's judgment and deny the Church's motion to substitute party.

[58] Affirmed; motion denied.


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

12 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:49 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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




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