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Continuing The Conversation
April 10, 2010

Episcopal Forum - Sunday - April 11 - Johns Island - 4 to 6 PM

In This Issue:
JOHNS ISLAND FORUM... Sunday, April 11, 2010 ..... 4 PM – 6 PM
Report on the 3/26/10 Diocesan Convention - Barbara Mann
"I am enthusiastically Christian, less enthusiastically Episcopalian" - The Very Rev. Dr. Peter C. Moore
Episcopal News Quarterly debuts as another means to tell church's story in print
Join The Episcopal Forum of SC
Contact Info
 
JOHNS ISLAND FORUM... Sunday, April 11, 2010 ..... 4 PM – 6 PM
•No Registration Required • • • No Charge for Forum

Sunday, April 11, 2010
4 PM – 6 PM
Berkeley Electric Co-op
3351 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, SC

A panel of lay people and clergy will discuss issues which are important to all Episcopalians after viewing video clips from the 3/6/10 Enthusiastically Episcopalian Conference conference with Frank Wade.

• There is an Enthusiastically Episcopal Church out there.
• House of Bishops meeting actions/reports.
• Diocese of SC Convention actions/reports.
• Implications of St. Andrews vote to leave TEC
• The Diocesan leadership's stated position on these issues.
• Activities of The Episcopal Forum of SC.

All Are Welcome • Bring Your Questions • Bring Your Friends

No Registration Required • No Charge for Forum

The Enthusiastically Episcopalian Conference explored the positive, affirmative perspective of being a joyful member of The Episcopal Church in spite of the disassociation rhetoric and tension within the Diocese of SC.

The Rev. Dr. Frank Wade, a respected leader in the Episcopal Church for over 40 years, shared good news of the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. He was also a keynote speaker at the EFSC conference held on November, 2007. A copy of his presentation notes can be read at the link below.

A spirited panel discussion with Q & A, "What in The world is Going on in The Diocese of SC", follow the presentation. A DVD of the conference will be available at these Forums

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.


JOHNS ISLAND EFSC Forum Flyer

Report on the 3/26/10 Diocesan Convention - Barbara Mann
By: Barbara Mann, President of The Episcopal Forum of SC – 4/9/10

The most recent Diocese of South Carolina Convention on March 26, 2010 continued the process of separating the Diocese from The Episcopal Church. This process has been going on for some time now. It started under the Episcopate of Bishop Fitzsimmons Allison, continued under Bishop Edward Salmon, and appears to be coming to fruition under our current Bishop Mark Lawrence. One mark of this separation is that in recent history the Diocese has given less that 1% of its income to TEC to further its ministry. The norm is 20%. This is very tangible evidence of lack of support for the mission of God through The Episcopal Church.

Last fall a special convention of the Diocese passed a resolution which stated in part “That this Diocese authorize the bishop and standing committee to begin withdrawing from bodies of The Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ ………”. The overriding theme of the March convention was that we are a “sovereign” diocese and the Bishop, and the standing committee in the absence of a bishop, is the sole authority within the Diocese.

Following the fall 2009 convention, there was a meeting between a former chancellor of this Diocese, Tom Tisdale, and the current chancellor, Wade Logan. During that meeting Mr. Tisdale asked Mr. Logan for information regarding a few parishes that seemed to be taking steps to separate from The Episcopal Church. Mr. Logan suggested that Mr. Tisdale write to him and enumerate his requests. There followed a flurry of letters between the two lawyers and later an attorney hired by the Diocese. Bishop Lawrence followed these up with a pastoral letter to the diocese denouncing this “incursion into the affairs of the Diocese of South Carolina” and announcing the delay of diocesan convention to allow the standing committee and him to prepare a response.

At the March 2010 Diocesan Convention the major items of business were the bishop’s address, elections to various diocesan offices and five prefiled resolutions.

The bishop’s address started out praising various projects in the diocese and the settlement out of court of the dispute between All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Waccamaw and All Saints’ Church of the Anglican Mission in America. He then quickly went into denouncing TEC, its actions, trajectory, and leadership. He asserted his absolute authority in the Diocese and stated that after several discussions with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori they stood “looking at one another across a wide, deep, and seemingly unbridgeable theological and canonical chasm.” This does not bode well for the future of the Diocese in TEC. In his conclusion to the address the Bishop talked about “the winds of war” blowing over the country prior to the revolutionary war and the struggle many had with the eventual separation from The Church of England. The parallels are distressing.

All five pre-filed Resolutions in their entirety are appended to this report. The first four resolutions were passed overwhelmingly with only five parishes voting against them. The fifth, a housekeeping resolution, was passed unanimously.............. Three of the resolutions will be highlighted here.

Resolution 2 is titled “Response to Ecclesiastical Intrusions by the Presiding Bishop” and reads as follows:
RESOLVED, That this 219th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina affirms its legal and ecclesiastical authority as a sovereign diocese within the Episcopal Church, and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Convention declares the Presiding Bishop has no authority to retain attorneys in this Diocese that present themselves as the legal counsel for the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That the Diocese of South Carolina demands that the Presiding Bishop withdraw and terminate the engagement of all such legal counsel in South Carolina as has been obtained contrary to the express will of this Diocese, which is The Episcopal Church within its borders.

There was an amendment proposed to change the word “demands” in the third resolve to “requests.” It was soundly defeated. This resolution seems to say that the Presiding Bishop has no interest in the Episcopal property within the Diocese of South Carolina.

Resolution 3 gives to the Bishop and in his absence the Standing Committee, the sole and absolute power to interpret the diocesan Constitution and Canons.

Resolution 4 adds the following language to diocesan canons:
"It is within the power of the Ecclesiastical Authority of this Diocese to provide a generous pastoral response to parishes in conflict with the Diocese or Province, as the Ecclesiastical Authority judges necessary, to preserve the unity and integrity of the Diocese."
Among other things, this permits the Bishop, at his discretion, to let parishes that are unhappy with TEC to just leave the Diocese and The Episcopal Church with all their property. The implications for the future of the Diocese are quite scary.

The committee on the Bishop’s Address gave a report at the end of the convention which was very supportive of the Bishop and his leadership. They presented four resolutions which were adopted overwhelmingly by the convention. The language and tone of these resolutions were quite bellicose. The word battle was invoked at least three times in these resolutions. It was distressing to end the convention on such a note.

In conclusion, the March 2010 Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina continued, made more open and perhaps sped up the process of the separation of the Diocese from The Episcopal Church.


About the author: Barbara Mann moved to Charleston, S.C. from Asheville, N.C. twelve years ago, and is a member of Grace Church, where she chairs its Discernment Committee. She is a Director of the Episcopal Forum of SC and has held parish, diocesan and provincial leadership positions in the Diocese of Western North Carolina. A deputy or alternate to five General Conventions, she was elected to the National Executive Council in 1997, and chaired its Audit Committee. She also served on the National Episcopal Standing Commission on Stewardship and Development and recently completed a term as Chair of the Standing Commission on the Structure of the Church. For the last 15 years she has served as the Treasurer of Province IV. Barbara is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Link to Full Report

"I am enthusiastically Christian, less enthusiastically Episcopalian" - The Very Rev. Dr. Peter C. Moore
SOUTH CAROLINA: Former Trinity Seminary Dean Blasts Episcopal Church Leadership

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
March 17, 2010

A former dean of one of The Episcopal Church's eleven seminaries, committed evangelical, author and Episcopal priest for nearly half a century, says that a recent attempt to drive a wedge between orthodox and liberal Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina avoids the truth about the Episcopal Church.

The Very Rev. Dr. Peter C. Moore, now theologian-in-residence at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, said a recent full-page ad in the Post and Courier newspaper, by a group calling themselves The Episcopal Forum of S.C., left him "unpersuaded" by their arguments. He also stated that theological and moral innovations by Episcopal Church leaders across the country are forcing Episcopalians to find spiritual shelter in new Anglican jurisdictions.

"In its description of 'I am an Episcopalian' the forum touches on many issues with which I have great sympathy: the dignity of every person, our ancient liturgy, women's ordination, lay involvement and the world-wide body of 70 million members of which we are a part.

"What it does not say as clearly as it ought is that this worldwide body, the Anglican Communion, is profoundly upset with the current activities of the Episcopal Church, to the point that a majority of its Primates (chief bishops in each international province) consider themselves in broken communion with it, and increasingly are officially recognizing the newly-formed Anglican Church of North America as a more authentic representative of true Anglicanism in this continent.

"Why?

* Leading bishops and theologians of the Episcopal Church, including the presiding bishop, will not affirm Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God and the only way to salvation.

* While the Bible is mined for interesting theological ideas, TEC is unwilling to submit to the clear teaching of Scripture on many issues, including those of marriage and sexuality.

* TEC has consistently sided in its affirmations with the pro-abortion forces within government and society.

* Far from honoring differences, as the forum says, TEC is involved in more than 60 lawsuits against its own churches and dioceses whom it considers unEpiscopalian because they cannot follow present leadership of TEC because of its lack of adherence to traditional Christian beliefs.

* TEC's presiding bishop has consistently assumed powers that are uncanonical, and thereby unlawful under TEC's own laws and constitution, and freely removes bishops and clergy who openly differ with her.

* In flagrant refusal to submit to worldwide Christian opinion, it has ordained a noncelibate homosexual as a bishop and is poised to ordain others as bishops who similarly live in relationships that disregard the biblical norm for sexuality.

* TEC's House of Bishops will not discipline fellow members who widely disseminate outrageously unChristian views with impunity.

"I believe that the vast majority of Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina question the forum's understanding of the Faith and Order to which we all have pledged allegiance.

"Rather, we stand firmly and lovingly with our bishop [Mark Lawrence] and those clergy and laity who carry on effective ministries in Christ's name throughout this Diocese."

A legal battle between the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church will loom closer if a series of resolutions are passed at the diocese's annual convention March 26. Three of five resolutions seek to tighten control over the diocese by the diocesan bishop and urge the Presiding Bishop to drop legal counsel.

If passed, the 219th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina will affirm its legal and ecclesiastical authority as a sovereign diocese within the Episcopal Church, will declare the Presiding Bishop has no authority to retain attorneys in this Diocese that present themselves as the legal counsel for the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and will demand that the Presiding Bishop drop the retainer of all such legal counsel in South Carolina who have been obtained contrary to the express will of this Diocese.

The Diocese of South Carolina had scheduled its convention for March 4-5, but Lawrence wrote to the diocese in early February saying that the convention would be delayed until 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."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the church's Executive Council on Feb. 19 that Lawrence had attributed the delay "supposedly to my incursions in South Carolina."

Anticipating that Lawrence might be inhibited and deposed, an addition was made to Canon XXXVII saying that the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese is the Bishop. "If there is no Bishop, the Standing Committee is the Ecclesiastical Authority."

END

Link to Article

Episcopal News Quarterly debuts as another means to tell church's story in print
March 16, 2010

Episcopal News Quarterly, a 12-page compilation of news and analysis from Episcopal News Service, debuted with its first edition on March 15, a press release from the Office of Public Affairs announced.

The successor to Best of Episcopal Life, Episcopal News Quarterly is a condensed collection of news which appears on the Episcopal News Service's website.

"Each issue is meant to provide a slice of the life, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church," said the Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg, editor. "Episcopal News Quarterly will also feature the thoughtful voices of church leaders."

The inaugural issue of Episcopal News Quarterly features stories on the church's response to the earthquake in Haiti, a Minnesota priest's use of pop art to challenge Native American stereotypes, the Church Pension Group's work on implementing a denomination-wide health plan, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's Easter message and a column by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson.
With an initial circulation of 25,000, eight dioceses have partnered with the Office of Communication for Episcopal News Quarterly: Arizona, Eastern Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (six pages), Southwestern Virginia, Spokane, and Utah. Episcopal News Quarterly is available only through dioceses.

Episcopal News Quarterly joins its sister publication Episcopal News Monthly, which was first published in February with 22 partners (20 dioceses and two parishes) and a 108,000 circulation.

For subscription information, contact Larry Moore, business manager: lmoore@episcopalchurch.org
Link to Info on Episcopal News Quarterly

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