Charles vonRosenberg nominated as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of SC

Special Meeting of the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina at Grace Episcopal Church on 1/26/13

In This Issue:
Charles vonRosenberg nominated as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of SC
Contingent that broke from Diocese of South Carolina files suit
Lawrence's Renegade "Diocese" Files Suit Against the Episcopal Church
Special Meeting of the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina at Grace Episcopal Church on 1/26/13
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Charles vonRosenberg nominated as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of SC
January 10, 2013

The Right Reverend Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, a retired Bishop of East Tennessee with longtime ties to South Carolina, has been nominated as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. His name will be presented for a vote on January 26 when local clergy and laypeople who are continuing with The Episcopal Church gather with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in a special meeting of the Convention.
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If elected, Bishop vonRosenberg would be installed during the special meeting January 26 at Grace Episcopal Church, and immediately take up his duties as bishop of a diocese that covers 24 counties in eastern South Carolina. Currently, at least 19 parishes and missions and six worship communities in the diocese have indicated they are remaining with The Episcopal Church, and a number of others are still deciding.

Link to The Episcopal Diocese of SC

Contingent that broke from Diocese of South Carolina files suit
By Mary Frances Schjonberg | January 4, 2013 17

[Episcopal News Service] Mark Lawrence, who led some members of the Diocese of South Carolina out of the Episcopal Church, on Jan. 4 joined with a group of those people to file suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against the Episcopal Church.

The action, the group said, was taken “to protect the diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.”

The suit also asks the court to prevent the Episcopal Church from “infringing on the protected marks of the diocese, including its seal and its historical names, and to prevent the church from assuming the diocese’s identity, which was established long before the Episcopal Church’s creation,” according to the press release......

The Rev. Jim Lewis, who serves as Lawrence’s canon to the ordinary, said in the group’s press release that its is seeking “to protect more than $500 million in real property, including churches, rectories and other buildings that South Carolinians built, paid for, maintained and expanded – and in some cases died to protect – without any support from the Episcopal Church.”..........

According to Canon 1.7.4, enacted by General Convention in 1979 and known as the “Dennis Canon,” a parish holds its property in trust for the diocese and the Episcopal Church.
A fact sheet on the Episcopal Church’s website notes: “Dioceses cannot leave the Episcopal Church. While some clergy and individuals may choose to leave, congregations and property remain in the diocese to be used for the mission of the Episcopal Church.”

Lawrence wrote on Jan. 4 that “we are saddened that we feel it necessary to ask a court to protect our property rights, but recent actions compelled us to take this action.”

Lawrence said those actions include calling a convention to elect new leadership for the diocese, designing a website using the diocesan seal and “producing material that invokes the name and identity of the Diocese of South Carolina.”

That convention, set for Jan. 26, is meant for the remaining Episcopalians in the diocese to elect a bishop provisional and choose people to fill other diocesan offices made vacant by Lawrence’s actions.

The continuing Diocese of South Carolina needs a new episcopal leader because Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Dec. 5 that Mark Lawrence had renounced his orders. She and her Council of Advice agreed that, in a Nov. 17 speech to a special diocesan convention, Lawrence said the diocese had left the Episcopal Church a month earlier on Oct. 17 when she restricted his ministry after the church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified to her that he had abandoned the Episcopal Church “by an open renunciation of the discipline of the church.”........
Link to ENS Article

Lawrence's Renegade "Diocese" Files Suit Against the Episcopal Church
SC Episcopalian - January 4, 2013 (revised 2 p.m. 1.5.13)

Ex-Bishop claims $500 million in Episcopal Church assets and property belongs to him & his PECDSC Inc.

Only half of the parishes and missions & one-third of the clergy of the Diocese have formally signed on with Lawrence and his corporation

After years of belittling Christians who attempt to resolve ecclesiastical matters in the courts, former S.C. Bishop Mark Lawrence filed a whopper of a lawsuit today against the Episcopal Church, claiming that he and his renegade "diocese" own all Episcopal Church property in the Diocese, including the seal and the names of the Diocese.

Lawrence's spokesman says the purpose of the suit is to protect parishes from a "blatant land grab," presumably by the Episcopal Church. No one in the Episcopal Church or the continuing Diocese of South Carolina has indicated that it wants to take anybody's property away from them.

However, Lawrence correctly states that the Episcopal Church has filed lawsuits in the past when rebellious leaders in other dioceses tried to make off with Church property that didn't belong to them. The courts eventually have sided with the Episcopal Church except in cases with exceptional circumstances..........

According to the lawsuit filed today, nearly twenty high-priced lawyers appear to have been hired by Lawrence and the PECDSC Inc. to serve on their legal team.

Records show that only half of the parishes and missions in the Diocese have formally taken steps to join Lawrence. About one-third of the canonically resident clergy have publicly declared their intent to leave the Episcopal Church, but very few have actually felt strongly enough to resign as Episcopal priests.
Link to SC Episcopalians Website

Special Meeting of the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina at Grace Episcopal Church on 1/26/13

CONVENTION REGISTRATION
Register now for the Special Meeting of the Convention.
Find the online registration form or a printable form here. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 21.

Schedule of events, including...
• Meet the Presiding Bishop on Friday, January 25
• Reception for Delegates, Clergy & Invited Guests
• Choral Eucharist with the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Celebrant and Preacher


Registration information is here & Schedule of Convention-related events:

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