Presiding Bishop to visit the Episcopal Diocese of SC for a Special Convention on January 25-26, 2013
12/9/12

Church of Our Saviour holds Referendum on affiliation with TEC

In This Issue:
Presiding Bishop to visit the Diocese January 25-26, 2013
Episcopalians on John's Island to meet Monday, 12/10
Where I Stand by: Warren Mersereau is a member of Church of Our Saviour on Johns Island, SC
Where I Stand - Rector & Senior Warden - Church of Our Saviour
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Presiding Bishop to visit the Diocese January 25-26, 2013
From: Episcopal Diocese of SC (continuing)

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, will visit the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina January 25-26, 2013 as Episcopalians in the Diocese gather in Charleston for a Special Convention to elect a new "provisional" (temporary) bishop and other diocesan leadership.

The visit will give Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina an opportunity to welcome Bishop Jefferts Schori and receive encouragement from her as they strive to continue the work of The Episcopal Church, of which our diocese has been a part for more than 200 years.

"It is an honor to have our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, visit us. We welcome the opportunity to have her with us at this important time in the history of our Diocese, and it will be a privilege to share with her firsthand the energy and diversity of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina," said Hillery Douglas, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the reorganization of the diocese and Senior Warden of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Bishop Jefferts Schori will be welcomed with a reception and other special events on Friday, January 25. On Saturday, January 26, she will convene a Special Convention at Grace Episcopal Church, 98 Wentworth St. in Charleston, and preside over the convention while delegates elect a provisional bishop and fill other vacant offices in the diocese.

Episcopalians in the diocese are without a bishop after the Presiding Bishop accepted the renunciation of Mark Lawrence on December 5 and released him from ordained ministry. The announcements by local church leaders that they have left The Episcopal Church has left the Diocese with no Standing Committee, which normally would lead a diocese in the absence of a bishop.

A nominating committee of local Episcopalians is working with the Presiding Bishop to find a nominee for Provisional Bishop, a person who already is a bishop and could immediately go to work in South Carolina to meet the needs of parishes and people here.

Provisional Bishops in The Episcopal Church have all the responsibilities and authority of other diocesan bishops, but serve for a period of time determined by the Diocesan Convention. In recent years, Provisional Bishops have been called to serve in other dioceses where groups have broken away from The Episcopal Church. They provide leadership until those dioceses are ready to call a bishop.

Details and updates on the schedule for the Presiding Bishop's visit will be posted on this website as they become available.

Bishop Jefferts Schori is the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. She is chief pastor to the Episcopal Church's 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses. She was elected at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006, and invested at Washington National Cathedral on November 4, 2006. Her last visit to the Diocese of South Carolina was in February 2008.
link to web site

Episcopalians on John's Island to meet Monday, 12/10
"Identifying Options for Episcopalians" is the topic of a meeting to be held Monday, December 10 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at The Sandcastle on Kiawah Island.

People in the John's Island area who are interested in being active Episcopalians are invited to attend.

The program includes a welcome and introductions by John's Island resident Mike Todd. The Reverend Callie Walpole, a member of the Steering Committee for the Reorganization of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, an Episcopal Advisor to the Steering Committee, will be present to discuss current events in the Diocese and answer questions.

At the Kiawah security gate, please explain that you are attending this meeting at The Sandcastle.

Link to PDF

Where I Stand by: Warren Mersereau is a member of Church of Our Saviour on Johns Island, SC
(Abstracted from: Where I Standby Warren Mersereau-12-9-12)

I will vote in tomorrow’s (December 9th) Church of Our Saviour
(COOS) referendum to remain an active Episcopalian in The Episcopal Church.

But, my vote will not count.

Neither will your vote.

The decision has already been made for us.
At the November 17th special convention called by Mark Lawrence, Rev. Clarkson and the other delegates from COOS voted to leave The Episcopal Church (TEC) based on a resolution offered by Rev. Clarkson and other clergy that read in part:

• “. . . hereby declare that we concur in the decision of the Standing Committee that we are no longer in any relationship with TEC, including union or association with in any capacity . . .”

• “ . . . the Convention of this Diocese . . . declare null and void any claim by any member or representative of TEC to have any authority whatsoever over this Diocese or any authority over God’s congregation at any of her parishes who willingly by their presence at this Convention and their vote on this resolution declare.”

There was no process of discernment involving our congregation immediately prior to this special convention. No informational meetings. No referendum of the congregation to give guidance to our delegates....................

Per minutes of COOS Vestry meetings --- When Rev. Clarkson arrived at COOS, his first significant governance act was to suspend the COOS by-laws. They were rewritten to eliminate all mention of The Episcopal Church and to give Rev. Clarkson more power in church matters. Then Rev. Clarkson invited a lawyer to meet with the Vestry to explain how to leave TEC.

So, this latest sequence --- deciding COOS’s future prior to involving the congregation and then afterwards conducting a faux referendum --- is but one more step along the path Rev. Clarkson has followed to lead COOS out of The Episcopal Church.

That said, even I am surprised at the words and tone Rev. Clarkson used at the November 25th informational meeting to present his case for leaving The Episcopal Church.

And, that is why I am writing to you.

I do not believe that Rev. Clarkson either accurately or appropriately speaks for the COOS congregation when he vilifies Episcopalians.

Here is what Rev. Clarkson said (per tape recording) about members of The Episcopal Church:

I need to say it to you now. It’s not a time for mincing words.

I believe they have operated unjustly in the name of justice.

I believe they have been intolerant in the name of tolerance.

I believe they have been hateful in the name of love.
And, they have been unrighteous in the name of right.

I believe they brought war and spoke in peace . . .
And, there is a root of greed even as there is conversation of generosity.

There is exclusion in the name of inclusion.
And, often there are lies in the name of truth.”..................

(Warren Mersereu concludes) ..... My point is very simple.

There is no reason to further split our congregation, our friendships, our neighborhoods, and our local community through accusations such as those made by Rev. Clarkson.
No one is called to follow Rev. Clarkson’s words and tone in vilifying Episcopalians, who remain active in The Episcopal Church.

Rather, we are called to follow the words and tone of Jesus Christ as he gave us his second great commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
In faith let us act accordingly.


Link to letter

Where I Stand - Rector & Senior Warden - Church of Our Saviour
The Rector and Senior Warden of the Church of Our Saviour have each published statements in the COOS Newsletter. These statements were made in anticipation of the Referendum Meeting scheduled for Sunday, 12/9/12. The congregation is invited to vote on affiliation with The Episcopal Diocese.

Read these statements on pages 6 and 7 of the Newsletter at link below.
Link to Newsletter

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This is the sole mission of The Episcopal Forum of SC.

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