Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please make sure to read the text of this resolution and the rationale which are linked in the bishop's comments--KSH.

Today, March 7, 2014, Canon Jim Lewis emailed to all our diocesan clergy and the lay delegates to our upcoming March 14-15, 2014, Diocesan Convention a resolution that God-willing, and with the Convention’s consent, will come to the floor. This resolution, R-3: "Response to Offer of Provisional Primatial Oversight,” originated in the Anglican Communion Development Committee (ACD) but has also been supported by a majority of the clergy of the West Charleston deanery with whom I met at their recent clericus on Shrove Tuesday. The ACD Committee is an arm of Diocesan Council. It was established in 2009 in order to strategically establish mutually-enriching missional relationships with provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion. It has played a key role in pursuing our diocesan vision of “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.” As your bishop I fully support this resolution and for all of the reasons mentioned in the Rationale attached to it. But particularly for the reasons presented in the final rationale: “Most importantly, however, this resolution is the response to something others in the communion have created, and it provides a means for us to better make biblical Anglicans for a global age in this in between-time. We choose to see it as a providential provision which gives us further sacramental closeness with the global Anglican family which we so richly treasure.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* South Carolina

Posted March 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. tjmcmahon wrote:

We are all blessed (including those of us outside the Diocese of South Carolina) that the GS chose to implement the plan originally put forward at Dar Es Salaam.  Hopefully this will provide a bit of ecclesiastical breathing space for S Carolina.  It certainly demonstrates the true meaning of communion within the Anglican Communion.

March 7, 9:06 pm | [comment link]
2. Jill Woodliff wrote:

If the Pastoral Council and Primatial Vicar recommended at Dar es Salaam had been put into place, I estimate that approximately $30 million in litigation expenses could have been saved.

March 7, 9:59 pm | [comment link]
3. Ralph wrote:

The Holy Spirit continue to guide the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina - clergy and lay - as you walk on your bold journey of faith. God strengthen and inspire you, and protect you from further spiritual attacks. For those with the holy gift of discernment, God keep your eyes open and ears unstopped. Let the world see what is happening in this diocese. Amen.

March 7, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
4. episcoanglican wrote:


March 7, 11:09 pm | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

I am so excited for the diocese if this passes.

March 8, 1:41 am | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Prayers for the wonderful diocese of South Carolina and its encouragement.  It is good to see it is growing more churches and members and that friends around the world are supporting and praying for it.

March 8, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
7. Milton Finch wrote:

The way the Church of England is heading, I think it’s a fantastic move.  Why leave one house afire for another?  I like the way it is set up as no specific province, yet a singularity of thought.  Excellent move.

March 8, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
8. MichaelA wrote:

This sounds encouraging.  But on its face, it is only a small change from what exists now.  +Lawrence writes:

“I want you to know, also, that I have been in conversation with Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) regarding this resolution.  It is my hope that should the Diocese of South Carolina affirm this offer from the Global South Primates’ Steering Committee for Provisional Primatial Oversight that it will not be interpreted, either by those within the Diocese or across the wider Anglican Communion, as a step away from ACNA or any other more permanent provincial affiliation.”

True enough.  But then, +Lawrence and his clergy have been in regular contact with ACNA since its inception.  That won’t change. 

What +Lawrence doesn’t need to say is that this IS a step further away from TEC.  When +Lawrence, ++Duncan and +Howe attended the Global South 4th Encounter back in 2010, +Howe made a comment that is looking increasingly tenuous: “Archbishop Duncan and Bishop Howe gave a summary of recent church history in the US, and Bishop Howe noted that while traditionalists were facing hard times in the Episcopal Church, there position had not yet become untenable.” see  Seeking alternate primatial oversight, however vaguely it is expressed, is an indication that +Lawrence and his standing committee don’t see any sign of things getting better for traditionalists in TEC in the foreseeable future.

+Lawrence also writes in the article above:

“It should also be noted in this regard; this Provisional Primatial Oversight, while bringing a mutual responsibility in the Gospel, commits us to neither a hasty affiliation nor alleviates our need to continue the work of ongoing discernment for a more permanent provincial relationship.”

I am glad to see that this is being looked at soberly - I think everyone involved eventually wants to see one Anglican province in the USA, which is in fellowship and communion with other orthodox members of the Anglican Communion (whether or not that particular organisation still exists in any meaningful form).  But building a province across North America from the ground up is an enormous undertaking.  The Global South primates seem committed to the process but its going to take a long time.

March 9, 3:28 am | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

I suspect that the Anglican Communion Office will be very unhappy about this.  Not because they care particularly what Dio SC does or where it goes, but because the newly created Primatial Oversight Council of the Global South has been given a role to play with a diocese in the Anglican Communion less than 3 weeks after its inception.

March 9, 3:32 am | [comment link]
10. Luke wrote:

9. MichaelA…I’d like to think that your astute reflection was wandering around, unexpressed, in my mind, but…

I agree completely.

As well - 815 has written off DioSC, other than in its legal actions, but it will, of course, also see your point.

March 9, 8:28 am | [comment link]
11. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

A POC is certainly a positive development for traditionalists in NA and I suspect Bishop Howe is most pleased at this outcome. Anything that demonstrates the authority of Primates from the GS and the possible deployment of/reconnection to previous communion resolutions is a positive development.

March 9, 11:02 am | [comment link]
12. David Hein wrote:

Sounds good to me.

March 9, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
13. MichaelA wrote:

Good point Prof Seitz. 

My comment above could be read the wrong way.  The reason I wrote that it was becoming “increasingly tenuous” to be orthodox in TEC is that many members of TEC have written on blogs about the increasing difficulties they face.  But I did not mean to suggest that orthodox believers were dying out in TEC. 

The Global South Primates made clear in 2012 that they continue to support those who remain faithful within TEC, as well as those who have chosen to leave or been forced to leave:

“6.  We note with great sadness the passing of Resolution A049 at the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church which authorized a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions. This action confirms our disappointment that The Episcopal Church has no regard for the concerns and convictions of the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide.

7.  We stand in solidarity with our brethren in the Communion Partners who have dissented from this action. We uphold them in prayer and support them in fellowship as they continue in their commitment to the evangelical faith and catholic order of the Church, as expressed in their Minority Report known as The Indianapolis Statement.

8.  We also appreciate and support all the faithful in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as well as those in the Anglican Church in Canada who remain true to our biblical and historic faith.”


March 9, 11:44 pm | [comment link]
14. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

#13 It may be that the situation for traditionalists in NA is hard to comprehend at a distance. I can’t think of a single one who believes the situation isn’t ‘increasingly tenuous’ when seen only from the standpoint of TEC or the ACoC (maybe the former will bankrupt itself, or more legal cases will go badly for them, or the diocesan polity will emerge with greater clarity). And that is precisely why developments like the GS provision of a POC are so crucial. They are what they are on their face, but more importantly they clarify the landscape of Communion Anglicanism in ways that are congruent with the faith and polity understandings of traditionalists. And that is why not just SC but also other conservative segments of TEC ought to receive this development with encouragement and prayer.

March 10, 9:57 am | [comment link]
15. Robert Lundy wrote:

So which Primates are on the oversight council?

March 10, 10:06 am | [comment link]
16. SC blu cat lady wrote:

I just wished the Global South had done this years ago. However, I am glad that the Global South has decided to do this even if the powers that be within the WWAC won’t. To me, this POC is great way of not just stating their solidarity with the faithful in NA but to put into action what the WWAC refuses to do- i.e. provide a way for conservatives to remain in the WWAC thru an alternative Primate.  It seems to me that the WWAC is re-forming itself FBFW.

March 10, 3:03 pm | [comment link]
17. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Good news! This resolution passed unanimously at our diocesan convention. Now it will be up to the Global South Primates to figure out how it will work.

March 15, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
18. Milton Finch wrote:

Fantastic move!

March 15, 9:43 pm | [comment link]
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