The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing.
November 11, 2012
...... our Diocese is reorganizing with renewed dedication to carry forward the work of our Lord Jesus Christ
OPEN LETTER TO EPISCOPALIANS IN SC from the Steering Committee for Reorganization of Episcopal Diocese of SC
This space advertisement as it appeared in major SC newspapers on November 11, 2012.
An Open Letter to Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina
We write to assure you that The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing. While we watch with great sadness the efforts by some to separate from The Episcopal Church, our Diocese is reorganizing with renewed dedication to carry forward the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as prior generations have done since 1789. We have much to do and many challenges to meet, but we are confident that by moving forward together in unity and faith, with God's help, we will flourish.
A steering committee of faithful Episcopalians has been formed to reorganize our continuing Diocese over the next few months. This committee will serve as the broad-based group in the Diocese that communicates with the Presiding Bishop during this period when the Diocese has no functioning ecclesiastical authority.
At our next Diocesan Convention, now set for March 8, 2013, delegates will begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry.
Your participation in this new ministry is encouraged. To receive all communications from the continuing Diocese of South Carolina, please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina always welcomes you!
We are reminded of the powerful words of a beloved bishop of our diocese, the late William Alexander Guerry, which speak poignantly to us now in this time of our rebuilding:
“We should strive for unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is mechanical, barren, unfruitful, and unprofitable. Unity is organic, living, and capable of endless growth. If we are to be truly catholic, as Christ himself is catholic, then we must have a church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living human soul.”
We will continue to improve our lines of communication with you and, in the meantime, if you have questions about the future plans for the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, or to volunteer to help the effort to reorganize, please visit our website, www.episcopaldioceseofsc.org, email email@example.com, or call (843) 259-2016.
Members of the Steering Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
Hillery P. Douglas, Charleston, Chairman
Erin E. Bailey, Mount Pleasant, Secretary
The Rev. James E. Taylor, North Charleston, Treasurer
Holly H. Behre, Charleston
William P. Baldwin, McClellanville
Charles C. Geer, MD, Charleston
Lonnie Hamilton, III, Charleston
Margaret S. Kwist, Summerville
The Rev. Richard C. Lindsey, Hilton Head/Beaufort County
Rebecca S. Lovelace, Conway
The Rev. Wilmot T. Merchant, II,
North Myrtle Beach
John O. Sands, Pawleys Island
The Rev. Calhoun Walpole, Charleston
Virginia C. Wilder, Summerville
Bishop John Clark Buchanan, Mount Pleasant
Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, Daniel Island
Link to PDF of the published statement
Anglicans to forge new paths - P & C Article
Abstracted from: Post & Courier Article: "Anglicans to forge new paths" - Two local groups to meet on future after Episcopal Diocese rift - BY ADAM PARKER firstname.lastname@example.org
The fracturing of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has left two distinct camps of local Anglicans and a number of parishioners caught straddling the gap, unsure of what it all means and what they should do, according to church officials. Both sides are holding separate meetings this week to plan courses of action.
The breakaway Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, now an independent, unaffiliated church body led by the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, announced it was holding a Special Convention at St. Philip's Church on Saturday to determine the next steps and amend its governing documents.
"Though we are already outside of TEC (the Episcopal Church), our Constitution and Canons both contain multiple references to those of TEC," officials explained in a statement. "Ours must now be amended to bring them into agreement with the present legal reality. Those changes can only be made by a Diocesan Convention."
Meanwhile, those who remain part of The Episcopal Church have set up a steering committee that will begin the task of reconstituting a diocesan administration. Eventually, a new bishop will be elected and a standing committee formed.
An open letter from this steering committee to local Episcopalians was published in today's newspaper.....
The just-formed steering committee will act temporarily as an ecclesiastical authority, communicating with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, according to the letter.
"At our next Diocesan Convention, now set for March 8, 2013, delegates will begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry," the open letter states.
The steering committee consists of 14 members from across the diocese, including five clergy. Two retired bishops living in the Lowcountry, the Rt. Rev. John Clark Buchanan and the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, are acting as advisers.
The "continuing diocese" includes at least 12 parishes and mission churches, according to church officials: Grace, St. Stephen's, Calvary, St. Mark's, Holy Communion in downtown Charleston; St. Thomas in North Charleston; St. George's and Epiphany in Summerville; Christ Church in Denmark; All Saints on Hilton Head; St. Stephen's in North Myrtle Beach; and Holy Cross Faith Memorial on Pawleys Island.
The diocese split Oct. 15 when Lawrence was restricted from performing any ministerial duties after the Episcopal Church's Disciplinary Board of Bishops found that he had abandoned his sworn duties to defend the constitution and canons of the church. That declaration triggered an automatic response by Lawrence and his administration that "disassociated" them from the church.
Church loyalists are holding a "Diocesan Clergy Day" on Thursday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church downtown. VonRosenberg, a parishioner at Grace Church, was invited to perform the Eucharist. All clergy in the diocese, active and retired, were invited to attend the information session.
The breakaway diocese objected in strong terms to the Clergy Day plans, insisting in a press release earlier this week that "the sender intentionally impersonated the diocese with an unauthorized use of our Diocesan seal and by stating that the sender was the Diocese of South Carolina. ...
The clergy meeting was organized by the new steering committee, which was formed under the auspices of Jefferts Schori in the absence of a functioning diocesan administration, according to Neva Rae Fox, public affairs officer of the Episcopal Church. The steering committee will begin the process of re-establishing an administrative body in the continuing diocese, she said.
What is clear is that the two sides do not see the situation through the same lens. Lawrence and his colleagues argue that it is the church that has abandoned them (and the rest of the Anglican Communion) by sacrificing the authority of Scripture to the whims of the secular world, and that the breakaway group is under attack by an autocratic presiding bishop......
Those loyal to the church, instead, view Lawrence as the leader of a breakaway group unable to reconcile itself to an institution that strives to balance itself on the so-called Anglican three-legged stool of Scripture, tradition and reason.
Reach Adam Parker at 937-5902.
Copyright, 2012, The Post and Courier. All Rights Reserved.
Link to P&C Article
New Website for the "EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF SOUTH CAROLINA"
The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing. Our Diocese is reorganizing with renewed dedication to carry forward the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as prior generations have done since 1789. We have much to do and many challenges to meet, but we are confident that by moving forward together in unity and faith, with God's help, we will flourish.
Your participation in this new ministry is encouraged. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina always welcomes you!
The powerful words of a beloved bishop of our Diocese speak poignantly to us now in this time of our rebuilding:
“We should strive for unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is mechanical, barren, unfruitful, and unprofitable. Unity is organic, living, and capable of endless growth. If we are to be truly catholic, as Christ himself is catholic, then we must have a church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living human soul.” (The Right Reverend William Alexander Guerry (1861-1928))
VISIT THE NEW WEBSITE AT LINK BELOW
Link to new Episcopal Diocese of SC Website
FAQ's from new Diocesan Website
Q. The Bishop and a number of clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of South Carolina have stated that they are no longer associated with The Episcopal Church. Is my parish required to leave?
A. No. Parishes and Dioceses cannot actually leave The Episcopal Church; only individual people can. The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has existed since 1789 and continues to exist today as part of The Episcopal Church. Your parish is not required to change its historical identity and affiliation.
Q. What about the special convention that has been announced for November 17?
A. A meeting of parishes has been requested for November 17. This is not a gathering of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and no parish is required to attend, participate or vote. On the other hand, if your parish is sending representatives to the meeting, it doesn’t mean your parish has “disavowed or realigned.” The Episcopal Church still considers all the parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina to be part of The Episcopal Church.
Q. Since the Bishop and Standing Committee have said they are no longer associated with The Episcopal Church, who is in charge of the Diocese?
A. At this time, there is no functioning ecclesiastical authority in the Diocese. A Steering Committee of committed lay and clergy, representative of the breadth of views and concerns of Episcopalians in this Diocese, has been formed for two purposes. First, it will serve as the communications link to The Episcopal Church during this period. Second, it will immediately take steps in accordance with Church laws and canons so the Diocese can organize and function. The regularly scheduled Diocesan Convention is now set for March 8, 2013. There, clergy and lay delegates will be able to make the decisions necessary to move forward. It's encouraging to know that dioceses elsewhere in the U.S. have faced similar situations in recent years, and we are blessed to have support and advice from Episcopalians who have weathered these difficulties.
Q. What should I do if I disagree with the direction my parish or my rector are taking?
A. Express your concerns to your Rector, Wardens, and Vestry, as soon as possible. You may do this in person, by phone, or by mail or email. Phone numbers and email addresses for each parish in the Diocese can be found HERE.
Q. My church leaders say we have left The Episcopal Church, but I want to remain an Episcopalian. What should I do?
A. Nothing has changed your standing as an Episcopalian. You are encouraged to contact others in your parish who also want to remain in the Episcopal Church. You may be able to continue to worship together and keep your parish active. If that isn’t possible at your parish, then you can be assured of a warm welcome at other parishes in the Diocese that are maintaining their ties to the Church. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, please get in touch through the contact information below.
Q. I disagree with some of the social stances and policies in The Episcopal Church. Why would The Episcopal Church want me to stay?
A. Contrary to what you may have heard, there are a lot of diverse opinions in the Church. Here in South Carolina you will find many loyal Episcopalians who feel as you do – but are staying because they believe we should continue to work through our differences together, as Episcopalians have done throughout history. We can respect each other’s views even as we disagree, when we remain focused on the mission and ministry that bind us together.
Q. How many parishes and missions are remaining active in The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina?
A. Some parishes have made it clear they want to maintain their ties to the Church. Other congregations and clergy are divided, and they have difficult and painful decisions ahead. We hope and pray that, in time, people will choose to remain a part of The Episcopal Church. The Church still sees each individual, parish and mission as a valued and important part of our Diocese.
Q. How can I contact someone for advice and consultation?
A. Email your questions to email@example.com, or use the Contact Tab from this website. Depending on the nature of your question, you will receive prompt, confidential and pastoral advice.
Q. What about pension plans for clergy and lay staff?
A. These programs are administered by The Church Pension Fund, not by individual diocese. Only Episcopal clergy and staff are eligible to participate. Please contact The Church Pension Group (CPG), www.cpg.org, for answers to your questions.
Q. If I have a question that is not covered here, what should I do?
A. Please email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the Steering Committee will be in touch to help you get your question answered.
Link to Q & A on website in PDF
Bishop Justin Welby approved as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.
Abstract of ENS Article:
....... the Queen has approved the nomination of Diocese of Durham Bishop Justin Welby as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.
As the 105th archbishop in a succession spanning more than 1400 years, Welby will assume the multi-faceted role as spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Primate of All England, and bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury.....
Before his ordination to the priesthood in 1992, Welby studied law and history at Cambridge University and then spent 11 years as an executive in the oil industry. After a decade in parish ministry, he was appointed a canon residentiary, and later sub-dean, of Coventry Cathedral. He served as dean of Liverpool Cathedral from 2007-2011......
Welby, 56, will succeed the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who will step down at the end of the year after serving as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury since February 2003. Williams has accepted a new post as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge......
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said: “I am delighted to hear of Bishop Welby’s appointment as archbishop of Canterbury. He brings knowledge of the immense challenges of the world in which the Anglican Communion seeks to partner in the service of God’s mission to heal and reconcile.”
Jefferts Schori noted that Welby has experience of churches in several parts of the Anglican Communion, “which should serve him well. The bishops of The Episcopal Church have met him and shared fruitful conversation, worship, and learning with him during a House of Bishops meeting earlier this year. We also welcomed him to our General Convention in 2009.
“I give thanks for his appointment and his willingness to accept this work, in which I know his gifts of reconciliation and discernment will be abundantly tested. May God bless his ministry, shelter his family, and bring comfort in the midst of difficult and lonely discernment and decisions.”.............
Link to ENS Article
"Radical Christian Life: Equipping Ourselves for Social Change."A TRINITY INSTITUTE WEBCAST CONFERENCE
Trinity Institute Webcast December 7-9 at Grace Episcopal Church Charleston
The Palmetto Chapter of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross is partnering with Trinity Episcopal Church Wall Street to present a webcast of the Trinity Institute Conference, "Radical Christian Life: Equipping Ourselves for Social Change."
It will be held December 7-9 at Grace Episcopal Church, 98 Wentworth Street, Charleston.
A $35.00 registration fee includes a light supper, lunch, and reception. Presenters at the conference include Joan Chittister, OSB, who will offer tools for making the vital connection between contemplation and social action. Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, will preach at the Sunday Eucharist. More details can be found at http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/faith/institute/2012/
Registration form is at link below and also at the information table in Grace Church's Atrium.
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