The Vestry and Parish of Saint Andrew’s, Mount Pleasant Votes Overwhelmingly to depart TEC

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:

This morning at 7.15 am the Vestry of St. Andrew’s Church ~ Mt. Pleasant met and unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED that the resolution unanimously adopted by the Vestry on March 28, 2010 for this church corporation, parish, and congregation to withdraw from and sever all ties with The Episcopal Church in the United States and to transfer its canonical residence to the Anglican Church in North America or another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion be ratified by the members of this church corporation.

The Parish then met in a Special Meeting at 12.15 pm for the purpose of ratifying and concurring with this decision of the Vestry to withdraw from The Episcopal Church.

Read the whole blog entry from rector Steve Wood.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* South Carolina* Theology

Posted March 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Poor Bishop Lawrence,

Just what he needs at this juncture.

March 28, 5:46 pm | [comment link]
2. Calvin wrote:

Situation:  Folks from St. Y’s Episcopal Church (a conservative parish in the conservative diocese of SC) want to join in a ministry initiative with St. Andrew’s.  Is that still possible?  Why or why not?  What actually is going to change at St. Andrew’s?

I was a part of a conservative parish in a very liberal diocese, and we left TEC.  My family has had to physically move and now we worship with a conservative Episcopal parish, again in a liberal diocese.  Both parishes were in a situation very different than what St. Andrew’s had and continues to have in South Carolina.

Another Situation:  Fr. A.B. who is a young assistant at St. Y’s Episcopal Church (again, a conservative parish in conservative DioSC) is looking for a new job after serving at St. Y’s, his first stint out of seminary.  He checks the deployment pages and makes some calls.  But he sees there is a position open for an associate at St. Andrew’s Anglican, Mount Pleasant.  Can he go back and forth without impugnity?  Ok, let’s say he leaves TEC for this job.  Could he later take a job in the conservative diocese of Dallas or Central Florida or Albany?  For argument’s sake, let’s say he does some how get a TEC position in Dallas after being at St. Andrew’s Anglican.  Why not say after that post in Dallas he serves in the AMIA in Washington DC. 

How fluid is the membrane?

I guess what I’m trying to highlight - from lots of angles and scenarios - is the issue of geography.  The real application of what happened today is that a conservative parish left a conservative diocese.  Read into that all kinds of things (they should have left; they shouldn’t have left).  But what should happen now?  The reality is that creative efforts are needed in low country SC to keep the good folks in DioSC and the good folks in ACNA working together for the Kingdom. 

I think the Anglicans in South Carolina (whether DioSC or otherwise) are up to the task.  Let’s learn from them, and see the future.

March 28, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
3. Chris wrote:

is this going to be like CC Plano (ie amicable)?  Has +Lawrence said anything yet?

March 28, 7:03 pm | [comment link]
4. Grandmother wrote:

Much earlier, re:  St. Andrews vs TEC, I noted that someone asked, “How does one leave TEC, and still stay “in communion” with the Bishop of SC?”... I took the question as referring to St. Andrews.  Still it begs the question… I do not believe that there is (at least not yet) any hard feelings between St. A’s, and + Lawrence.  I find the timing VERY intriguing, but then that’s me..

God Bless St. Andrews, hopefully we will follow their example..

March 28, 7:13 pm | [comment link]
5. Carolina Anglican wrote:

[Comment deleted by Elf]

March 28, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
6. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Folks from St. Y’s Episcopal Church (a conservative parish in the conservative diocese of SC) want to join in a ministry initiative with St. Andrew’s.  Is that still possible?”

I don’t see why that is any different than folks at St. Y’s wanting to join in a ministry intiative at First Baptist.  That kind of thing happens all the time between denominations and entities.  So of course it would be “possible” . . . why not?

March 28, 8:14 pm | [comment link]
7. Calvin wrote:

Good point Sarah.  I thought of that after posting it.

What would you say to my other scenario.  What about interchangability of clergy?  This goes a lot further than jobs for priests.  Our clergy often set the dynamic for our parishes.

Situation: The assistant rector of St. Andrew’s (btw I don’t know this parish at all, or any staff member) decides he feels called to move on.  He sees a job at a conservative Episcopal parish in the diocese of Dallas.  Can he even interview for this?

I wonder if we’re going to have people in certain parishes staying in those parishes for quite a long time.  If your parish left the Episcopal Church with a particular middle-aged priest, he might be with you for the rest of his career, possibly 20yrs.  And why?  Well… where else is he going to go?  Anyone new coming in?  Well there’s no room.  I, for one, think a change up is good every 10 yrs or so.

Please know that I don’t say this to deter people from leaving TEC (far from it).  Its just a reality we’re going to face.  Something to chew on IMHO.

March 28, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
8. Ian+ wrote:

Why is St Andrew’s so intent on seceding when it’s in such a solid diocese with such a solid bishop? Don’t they see how strong the Dio. of SC’s position is, and how much stronger that parish is as part of that diocese? Makes no sense to me. But what do I know? I’m just a simple parish priest plugging away under an increasingly hostile bishop in an increasingly liberal diocese in a very liberal national church (Canada) whose primate badly wants to be the TEC Presiding Oceanographer’s best buddy.

March 28, 9:46 pm | [comment link]
9. mannainthewilderness wrote:

Amen, Ian.  It seems hard to see how God’s hand was at work in this decision when so many parishes are really under attack/marginalization by liberal bishops . . .


March 28, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
10. andrewesacolyte wrote:

I believe the recent finding of the SC Supreme Court that the Dennis Canon is not enforcible in the state precludes Bishop Lawrence from filing lawsuits which would be considered frivilous.

March 28, 11:22 pm | [comment link]
11. The_Elves wrote:

[We do ask commenters to stick to the thread article and not to indulge in off-topic or wild speculation, omniscient as some commenters apparently are - Elf]

March 28, 11:59 pm | [comment link]
12. bettcee wrote:

It seems to me that the parish of St. Andrew’s Church could be leaving because they don’t want to participate in the cat and mouse game the Presiding Bishop has planned for them.  I can understand why PB Shori’s special South Carolina lawyer’s demanding actions could have convinced them that they should shake the dust off their shoes and leave now.

March 29, 4:09 am | [comment link]
13. Dorpsgek wrote:

It seems to me that the parish of St. Andrew’s Church could be leaving because they don’t want to participate in the cat and mouse game the Presiding Bishop has planned for them.

Oh, by this very action, they have probably made themselves into the cudgel that the PB will use to attack Bp Lawrence.  Volunteering to be a hockey puck is seldom a good idea.

March 29, 8:32 am | [comment link]
14. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Why is St Andrew’s so intent on seceding when it’s in such a solid diocese with such a solid bishop?”

In the past, the other parishes that have left orthodox dioceses have done so in large part because they cannot bear theologically with being a part of TEC as a whole.

Although obviously I’m not that sort of person, I can see where if one is that sort of person—that is, if their conscience tells them that they should not be a part of a corrupt heretical denomination—then one must leave.

March 29, 10:15 am | [comment link]
15. Ian+ wrote:

I bet this is what’s going through +KJS’s mind as she reads of St Andrew’s secession: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

March 29, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
16. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Two sympathetic rectors can a fluid membrane make for transfer of laity.
Two sympathetic bishops can a fluid membrane make for priests or deacons. 
However, the president of the House of Bishops has allowed the fluid to drain from the membrane for transfers of bishops.

March 29, 5:23 pm | [comment link]
17. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

“Why?” and “Why now?”

For theological and biblical reasons in context of continued fellowship, Steve and vestry members now and past, have been talking of secession well before the first of the two elections of Mark Lawrence.
Given just the first South Carolina episcopal election where +Mark was elected on the first ballot, one could easily surmise that Steve and his other fellow nominee were perceived as ready to pull the trigger on pushing the whole diocese to leave TECUSA - in contrast to Mark’s vision.
I applaud Bp Lawrence for keeping St Andrew’s in the diocesan boat this long.  But after the “study” and the straw vote in 2009 in the parish, it seemed a foregone conclusion, and even Steve allowed as such.
A direct relation between the end of the All Saints troubles, the South Carolina Supreme Court’s setting aside of the Dennis Canon, and this vestry and parish vote seems easily connected.
Although this was extremely quick on the draw following the Waccamaw resolve, and I personally wish they would have given it a few more months (I see the resolve does not include the word “immediately”), I don’t blame them for wanting to get an official vote accomplished prior to any back door legal shenanigans fired off by the Presiding Bishop’s chancellor and litigation machine.

It is so much more sad and debilitating that we must consider what we must do before any might sue.  Thus, may the quickness of their vote have been truly prompted by the Holy Spirit.

March 29, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
18. bettcee wrote:

The Presiding Bishop probably expected a longer, more drawn out, time for her enforced inquisition than she will have now that St. Andrews is withdrawing but I have to wonder if she considers the results of her inquiry a success and intends to conduct more inquisitions in other Dioceses’.

March 29, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
19. bettcee wrote:

13. Dorpsgek, I think you ascribe too much power to PB Schori, I doubt that even she can transform Bishop Lawrence into a hockey puck.  He does not seem puckish at all to me.

March 29, 10:48 pm | [comment link]
20. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

In (17) I noted that the resolve did not include the word “Immediately.”  Clearly, as Steve+ has now stated in his blog following the official counting, the departure from TECUSA (and choice of Bp Guernsey as their new father in God) is intended to be, in reality, immediate.  Just wanted to make that further note.

March 30, 3:43 am | [comment link]
21. Dorpsgek wrote:

#19 I was referring to St Andrews as the hockey puck.  If Bp Lawrence fails to take legal action against St Andrews, they will be used as Exhibit A in the PB’s charges against him.

March 30, 9:04 am | [comment link]
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