“We’ve Moved on!” Diocese of South Carolina Looks Forward

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today, Saturday, November 17, 2012, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina met in Special Convention at the “mother church of the Diocese,” historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston. There, an overwhelming majority passed three resolutions. (View the Resolutions.)

DISASSOCIATION
The first, by voice vote, affirmed the act of disassociation taken by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese, in response to actions of The Episcopal Church (TEC).

AMENDMENTS TO THE DIOCESAN CONSTITUTION
The second resolution, also by voice vote, passed on first reading. It approved amendments to the Diocesan Constitution removing all references to TEC.

AMENDMENTS TO THE DIOCESAN CANONS
The final vote, which was by orders, was for approval of amendments to the diocesan canons, likewise removing all such reference to TEC. It passed with an overwhelming vote of 96% (71 clergy) in the clergy order, with 3 abstaining. In the lay order, the vote passed with 90% in favor (47 yes with 5 abstentions).

Read it all (and make sure to follow the link to all the resolutions).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils* South Carolina

15 Comments
Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Milton Finch wrote:

Pages 6 and 8 are flipped and cannot be read.

November 17, 9:02 pm | [comment link]
2. Milton Finch wrote:

Nevermind.  They look to be mirror images of previous pages.

November 17, 9:52 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd13 wrote:

They made the right choice, and I wish them Godspeed.

November 17, 10:01 pm | [comment link]
4. Karen B. wrote:

A great blessing and victory for South Carolina, but a tragedy for TEC and the rest of the Communion.  It’s breath-taking how far TEC has fallen in less that 10 years.  I wonder if even our boldest prognosticators back in August 2003 could have imagined or predicted just how quickly TEC would be torn apart.

But praise God that the crisis has given +Mark and the whole diocese of SC an opportunity to take such a bold stand for the Gospel.  +Mark’s address to the diocese yesterday continues to thrill and astound me as I reread it.  I’m thankful for the passion for Christ and His kingdom and His people that permeates that address.  I am truly confident that what the enemy intended for evil, the Lord will use for great good, bringing many to salvation and much glory to Himself.

November 18, 5:34 pm | [comment link]
5. "Peter in the pew" wrote:

Karen with respect it is not a tragedy for “the rest of the communion”. It really for TEC is a witness, the tragedy will be if they continue with the status quo and then like Sherman burn property and heritage. This is not only “the valley of decision” for TEC but also for those of us who have received “the faith once delivered” in The Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. I was one of those prognosticators/prophets? who saw this coming and at once rejoice at the possiblities that we now have to move on and focus clearly on Christs call to make desciples of all nations, having let go of the controversies and angst. Thanks be to God for where we are. And yes, +Mark Lawrence is the man for this time and clearly lays out the issues and response for our future.

November 18, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
6. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Karen, There were people who saw this coming much earlier than 2003.  For example, my parents saw this coming in 1977.  “This” being the decline and slow death spiral of TEC. I agree with Peter, the tragedy may very well be that the history of TEC will written and won’t be particularly kind to what has happened in the last couple of decades.  One of my favorite quotes from +Lawrence is:

While the “national” Episcopal Church has married yesterday’s fads and is quickly becoming today’s widow….

That pretty much sums up where TEC is going. “Relevant” yesterday and today, forgotten and widowed tomorrow. Sad. very sad.

November 19, 9:16 am | [comment link]
7. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

Can anyone estimate what the percentage of parishioners and clergy will determine not to relate to +ML and the Diocese?

I have my hunches but wonder what others think.

November 19, 9:31 am | [comment link]
8. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#7, As you wrote, this is a hunch. I believe the vast majority have already spoken at our diocesan convention.  My hubby was there (as a visitor) and much of what I know comes from his observations while there. I don’t know the numbers but there was easily a quorum and most likely an overwhelming majority. I believe the numbers of parishes and missions who were there and voting would be a good guideline as 90+ percentage in both orders voted in favor of the decision made by the standing committee and encouraged by our bishop.  I don’t think there has been published an official count of delegates at the special convention.  There were some parishes who were not there in an official capacity of having delegates and voting but did attend as visitors. For example, Grace Church was not there in an official capacity as delegates but parishioners from Grace including Melinda Lucka, president of the Forum were there as visitors. Rev. David William of St. Stephen’s Charleston was there but not as a clergy delegate instead as a visitor.

As to the numbers of parishioners within parishes who stay with the diocese or remain with TEC is going to be difficult to know for awhile as people decide what to do.

For me personally, I plan on staying with my parish and the diocese. For my parish, we may lose a few people but it won’t be large numbers.

November 19, 3:19 pm | [comment link]
9. "Peter in the pew" wrote:

I agree with 8, she is spot on!

November 19, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
10. Dick Mitchell wrote:

So how many churches are staying with TEC?  I learned recently, for instance, that Church of the Holy Communion, the historic Anglo Catholic parish in Charleston—and a traditionally conservative parish—would stay with TEC, if only to protect the clergy’s pensions.  Will there be much of that?

November 20, 12:10 pm | [comment link]
11. MichaelA wrote:

Interesting points, Blu Cat Lady, many thanks.

November 20, 6:34 pm | [comment link]
12. Cennydd13 wrote:

I wouldn’t be too surprised if some parishes remain in TEC in order to protect their clergy’s pensions.

November 20, 8:05 pm | [comment link]
13. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#7, Here are some numbers. I do agree with Cenydd that some parishes may decide to remain in TEC if their rector is near retirement age to protect the pension. However, that remains the parish’s decision.

On to the numbers:
From the diocesan website-
Approx. 29,000 members in 78 parish and mission churchs in the Diocese of South Carolina.
At the special convention, 41 parishes and 14 missions were present and represented by delegates. 55/78 = slightly over two thirds of our churches well beyond the number needed for a quorum.  I know that the TECcies hoped that they could convince enough delegates to stay away to prevent a quorum from being at convention. Did not happen.

I know that about dozen parishes have already said they would remain in TEC. Several more are in periods of discernment. Those are the parishes that abstained from voting. Let’s say 2 dozen (24) parishes/missions remain in TEC. That means 54 remain in the Diocese. Personally, I believe that rump diocese will have a much harder time of it financially with at most two dozen congregations.

November 21, 9:22 am | [comment link]
14. TomRightmyer wrote:

If I have counted correctly about two dozen congregations are not listed in either the Diocese’s advertisement or in the list published by those who support the present leadership of General Convention.

November 25, 9:38 pm | [comment link]
15. SC blu cat lady wrote:

TomRightmeyer, 
The ad was not an official list just a listing of many clergy and their parishes that support Bishop Lawrence.Better to go by who voted at convention: out of 78 parishes/missions- 55 were represented at the convention. With a few abstentions, all voted to uphold what the standing committee did and that means they support disaffiliation with TEC. That means 23 parishes were not there. Several of those we know are staying in TEC. I would hesitate to say that just because the parish was not represented at the Special Convention that means they are remaining in TEC. There are several congregations for which that is true but the others….. I would not be so hasty to say that the others are staying in TEC. 

Also,  Interestingly in the TECcie’s ad for the clergy day, NO parish affiliations were listed. Although I know some of them. I think that “steering committee” represents 10-12 parishes which only leaves another dozen or so that seem to not declared either way.

November 26, 12:18 am | [comment link]
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