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"Enthusiastically Episcopalian" - March 6, 2010 Conference Announced
February 22, 2010


In This Issue:
Register for 3/6 - "Enthusiastically Episcopalian" Conference
Conference Information and Flyer for Printing and Posting
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori speaks to tensions in Diocese of SC
Diocese of SC has cleverly weeded out any reference to canons at all - diocesan or national - and vacated the intent of the word "discipline" in the oath of conformity."
Directions to Harbour Club
Join The Episcopal Forum of SC
Contact Info
 
Register for 3/6 - "Enthusiastically Episcopalian" Conference

This Conference will continue to explore the positive, affirmative perspective of being a joyful member of The Episcopal Church in spite of the dissassociation rhetoric and tension within the Diocese of SC. Come and share with others being "Enthusiatically Episcopalian".

There will be a presentation by The Rev. Dr. Frank Wade, a respected leader in the Episcopal Church for over 40 years, will share good news of the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. Participants will remember him as a keynoter at the EFSC conference in November, 2007.

A panel discussion with Q & A will follow the presentation.

RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY AT THE FOLLOWING LINK

Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will be served
Place: Harbour Club, 35 Prioleau Street, Charleston, SC

Donation: $20 at the door
REGISTER HERE -- or call: 843-628-1027

Conference Information and Flyer for Printing and Posting

The Rev. Dr. Frank Wade is a prominent speaker and consultant. An Episcopal priest since 1966, he is a graduate of The Citadel and Virginia Theological Seminary. After serving congregations in his native West Virginia for 17 years, he was called as rector of St. Alban’s, Washington, DC, where he served from 1983 until his retirement in 2005. At the 2000 and 2009 General Conventions, he served as chaplain to the House of Deputies.
He teaches in the doctoral program at Virginia Theological Seminary and at the General Theological Seminary as adjunct professor of pastoral theology. He is the author of The Art of Being Together: Common Sense About Life Long Relationships.
Information Flyer for Enthusiastically Episcopalian

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori speaks to tensions in Diocese of SC

Executive Council begins four-day Omaha meeting
By Mary Frances Schjonberg, February 19, 2010

[Episcopal News Service – Omaha, Nebraska] The Episcopal Church's Executive Council began its four-day meeting here Feb. 19 ……also told the council that tension is mounting in the Diocese of South Carolina over efforts to ascertain the diocese's plans for dealing with disaffected Episcopalians………

"As we go about our work I would simply encourage us to remember that our intentions are the best and our disagreements in the midst of that are an opportunity for greater engagement rather than avoidance," she continued. "Our struggles are a gift if we stay engaged; if we don't stay engaged, they become destructive."

Jefferts Schori concluded her remarks by telling council members that "things are heating up in South Carolina." She noted that Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has delayed the diocese's annual convention and attributed the delay "supposedly to my incursions in South Carolina."

"He's telling the world that he is offended that I think it's important that people who want to stay Episcopalians there have some representation on behalf of the larger church," she said, asking for the council's prayers for the people of the diocese.

In a Feb. 9 letter to the diocese Lawrence said that the convention would be delayed from March 4-5 to March 26 in order for him, the diocesan standing committee and the diocese "to adequately consider a response" to what he called an "unjust intrusion into the spiritual and jurisdictional affairs of this sovereign diocese of the Episcopal Church."

According to a series of letters the diocese has posted on its website, Thomas Tisdale Jr., a Charleston, South Carolina, attorney and former diocesan chancellor, wrote Jan. 25 to current chancellor Wade Logan III confirming a telephone conversation between the two of them. Tisdale said in the letter that during that phone conversation he had learned that Lawrence does not intend to take legal action to protect parish property with regards to what Tisdale calls "recent and ongoing actions by some congregations in our diocese that threaten to 'withdraw their parishes from the diocese and the Episcopal Church.'"

Tisdale followed up that letter with others asking for a variety of documents, including a list of recent ordinations along with copies of the required oaths of conformity that each ordinand signed, standing committee minutes during Lawrence's episcopate, parish by-law amendments made since 2006 and a number of documents related to four specific parishes: St. Luke's, Hilton Head; St. Andrew's, Mount Pleasant; St. John's, Johns Island; and Trinity, Myrtle Beach.

In the first of those letters, Tisdale refers to himself as "South Carolina counsel for the Episcopal Church."
Logan responded with a letter saying that no parishes have left the diocese and that "the bishop, as the sovereign authority in this diocese, will work pastorally with diocesan parishes and their members in ways that will seek to keep them a part of this diocese."

The chancellor refused to supply the information requested and said that "it seems transparent that the Episcopal Church is trying very hard to find reason to involve either the bishop or the diocese, or perhaps both, in an adversarial situation."

On Oct. 24, the diocese voted to distance itself from the Episcopal Church by authorizing Lawrence and the standing committee to begin withdrawing from church-wide bodies that assent to "actions deemed contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions."

The special convention also declared as "null and void" two General Convention resolutions that had been passed the previous month. Resolution D025 affirms "that God has called and may call" gay and lesbian people "to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church." Resolution C056 calls for the collection and development of theological resources for the blessing of same-gender unions and allows bishops to provide "a generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church."

When Lawrence was first elected bishop in September 2006, he faced numerous questions about whether he would attempt to convince Episcopalians there to leave the church. In a November 6, 2006 letter to the wider church he wrote that he would "work at least as hard at keeping the Diocese of South Carolina in the Episcopal Church as my sister and brother bishops work at keeping the Episcopal Church in covenanted relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion."

Lawrence did not receive the required consents to his consecration in 2007 because some standing committee consent forms were canonically improper. He was subsequently re-elected, received the consents required for all bishops-elect and was consecrated January 26, 2008.
Near the end of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, Lawrence told reporters that during a meeting of conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians in Jerusalem a few weeks earlier he had witnessed a "new prince" being born.

Lawrence said he knew that his role is now to "hold together as much as I can for as long as I can that when he comes to his rightful place on St. Augustine's throne in Canterbury Cathedral he will have a faithful and richly textured kingdom."………………

The Executive Council carries out the programs and policies adopted by the General Convention, according to Canon I.4 (1)(a). The council is composed of 38 members, 20 of whom (four bishops, four priests or deacons and 12 lay people) are elected by General Convention and 18 (one clergy and one lay) by provincial synods for six-year terms, plus the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies.

-- by The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg, Episcopal Life Media national correspondent.

Link to Full Article

Diocese of SC has cleverly weeded out any reference to canons at all - diocesan or national - and vacated the intent of the word "discipline" in the oath of conformity."

Mark Harris in 2/12/2010

Diocese of South Carolina list regarding Doctrine, Discipline and Worship.

The Anglican Curmudgeon has written an essay, "What in the World Is Going on in South Carolina? He is as puzzled as we all are as to just what is going on in the Diocese of South Carolina.

He quotes the DSC resolution regarding its understanding of the meaning of the phrase "doctrine, discipline and worship" in the oath of conformity signed by persons ordained as of the date of that resolution. Here is what the DSC understands as the content of the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of TEC.

"Further Resolved, that the following statement shall constitute our understanding of the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church and shall be read at all ordinations in The Diocese of South Carolina, and a copy of which shall be attached to the Oath of Conformity signed by the ordinand at such service of ordination:

“In the Diocese of South Carolina, we understand the substance of the 'doctrine, discipline and worship' of The Episcopal Church to mean that which is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Creeds, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the theology of the historic prayer books.”

The reader will note that there is no reference in this to the Constitution and Canons of TEC, and no reference to the question asked of the ordinand in the Presentation at the beginning of the service of ordination,

"Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of
Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in
accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop
and other ministers who may have authority over you and
your work?

Answer

I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I
do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to
salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine,
discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.

The answer is to a question involving the canons as discipline - obedience being a matter of discipline. "And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop
and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?"

So, where in the list of the Diocese of South Carolina will one find the Constitution and Canons of TEC? Not in the "theology of the historic prayer books." Rather, it is in the specific question and response in the Presentation of the candidate and in the original intent of the oath of conformity, which included obedience under the canons that we trace the presence of canon.

I have no doubt that the The Diocese of South Carolina assumes that those ordained in it will be obey the Bishop and others in authority over them and their work. I assume the ordinands know that. But bishop and priest both exercise their disciplinary relation in the context of canons. I doubt that either bishop or priests would be fully comfortable without canons that both spell out duties and limit authority.

But the thing is, the DSC has cleverly weeded out any reference to canons at all - diocesan or national - and vacated the intent of the word "discipline" in the oath of conformity. That, dear friends, is less than kosher.

I might add, and hold for another day, the fact that "the theology of the historic prayer books" essentially vacates the notion that the actual Book of Common Prayer in use in the Church constitutes a valid part of the "doctrine, discipline and worship." It turns out only the theology of the historical books do. And which might those be? If the current BCP is not among them, then its theology on many matters is not agreed to by the ordinand. Ah, great and troubled waters there!

At least that's how I read it.

Mark Harris, editor of Preludium is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Delaware, he is Assistant, St. Peter's Church, Lewes, DL, a Member Executive Council House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church.


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