Report on the Convention of The Episcopal Church in SC - 1/26/13

Highlights, links and videos of the joyous events

In This Issue:
Visit the web site of The Episcopal church in SC for full coverage of the Convention.
ENS - Delegates elect leadership, change name to comply with court order
P & C - Continuing S.C. Episcopalians install new bishop, welcome leader of church, look to rebuild
SC Episcopalians: Episcopalians in South Carolina have a New Bishop!
Both sides agree to a temporary extension of Judge Goodstein's controversial restraining order
Join The Episcopal Forum
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Visit the web site of The Episcopal church in SC for full coverage of the Convention.

Excerpts from Website:

Presiding Bishop visits South Carolina, The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, was celebrant and preacher at a Choral Eucharist that opened the Convention. After his installation, Bishop vonRosenberg addressed the Convention. The Reverend Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church, also spoke. She was one of many Church leaders from across the nation who traveled to Charleston to show support for continuing Episcopalians in South Carolina.................


The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is continuing. We are 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 always welcomes you!

The powerful words of a beloved bishop of South Carolina 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

Visit TEC in SC Website for Full Coverage & Videos of the Convention Eucharist & Installation

ENS - Delegates elect leadership, change name to comply with court order

By Mary Frances Schjonberg | January 26, 2013 127 | ENS

The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, newly elected bishop provisional of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, promises during a Jan. 26 gathering at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, to “observe, and to the utmost of my power, fulfill, the responsibilities and obligations of this office, striving in all things to be a faithful shepherd to the flock of Christ.” ......

Continuing Episcopalians from around what is known as the Lowcountry portion of South Carolina met Jan. 26 at Grace Episcopal Church, which was festooned with flowers and overflowing with people. Many participants expressed the desire for healing and new beginnings.

The day began with Holy Eucharist, during which Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the congregation in her sermon that “we all have a responsibility to be shepherds, to help others find their way through the gate of abundant life.”

Referring to the Good Shepherd portion of the Gospel of John, she urged Episcopalians who encounter people who have left the Episcopal Church to “consider that some of the sheep may think they’re listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd.”

“Some are also simply exhausted. What about the sheep who aren’t in the fold, who don’t know there is a feast to be found, rest for the body and soul, and partners who are willing to wrestle with the dictates of petty deciders or wolves who masquerade as sheep?”

Jefferts Schori told the story of a glider pilot who local authorities accused of flying too near a nuclear power plant and then arrested, despite lacking any authority to take him into custody. She said the story was “indicative of attitudes we’ve seen here and in many other places.”

“Somebody decides he knows the law and oversteps whatever authority he may have to dictate the fate of others who may in fact be obeying the law – and often a law for which this local tyrant is not the judge,” she said.

“Most of us don’t live in a world where one person is the ultimate decider – because, over and over again, we’ve discovered that better decisions are made when they’re made in communities with appropriate checks and balances,” Jefferts Schori said. “Power assumed by one authority figure alone is often a recipe for abuse, tyranny and corruption.”

However, she said, “the question is less about who’s right and who’s wrong in the midst of the current controversies.”
“It’s more about how we deal with those who disagree – the other sheep in the flock and the variety of shepherds around us,” she said.

Noting “God’s feast doesn’t need ‘keep-out’ signs,” Jefferts Schori said: “The banquet table is spread with abundance for all, even though it’s hard to join the feast if you’re busy controlling the gate.”.............

Link to ENS Article

P & C - Continuing S.C. Episcopalians install new bishop, welcome leader of church, look to rebuild

Post & Courier Article by Adam Parker Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 12:25 a.m.

Members of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina met Saturday to elect and install a provisional bishop and reconstitute its administration after the Diocese of South Carolina, under the leadership of Bishop Mark Lawrence, left the church late last year.

The special convention, hosted by Grace Church downtown, drew hundreds of enthusiastic Episcopalians who came not only to conduct official business but to welcome the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, who offered words of encouragement to worshippers loyal to the church throughout the eastern half of the state....

The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, who had previously been named as the likely new bishop of the continuing diocese, was officially nominated, elected by acclamation and installed. He made a plea for tolerance and understanding during a schismatic period.

“There is no place for self-righteousness here, but there is much room for humility,” vonRosenberg said. Jesus Christ provides the foundation upon which the church can rebuild in this part of the state, motivated by the spirit of humility and love. This effort will be challenging, he added, offering four cornerstones in an effort to get things started.

“We are not alone,” he said. “We are part of The Episcopal Church,” and by extension part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The continuing diocese makes no claim of sovereignty. “We are part of something bigger than ourselves.”

“The tent covering The Episcopal Church is wide and broad,” and it includes something like a very large family (which doesn’t always agree on everything), he said.

The sources of authority are scripture, tradition and reason, he said. “We give thanks for classic Anglicanism and Episcopal theology.”

Finally, the church must emphasize its mission work and outreach to the rest of the world.

VonRosenberg’s remarks were a clear alternative to the views held by leaders of the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina, who have asserted that Scripture alone contains all that’s necessary for salvation and have withdrawn from The Episcopal Church because of what it calls its too-liberal theology and intrusive politics.

Last week, a circuit court judge issued a temporary restraining order against The Episcopal Church, preventing it from using the names and seal of the independent Diocese of South Carolina.....

At a news conference Saturday, Jefferts Schori would not speak about current litigation or future court battles over property that are almost certain to ensue.

“The challenge is always to recognize that our work is God’s work,” she said. “The work of the courts is to help resolve differences when faithful people haven’t done that themselves.” Church property, she said, “is a legacy, it’s a trust” that transcends generations and particular conflicts.

In her sermon, she included a strong defense of the democratic and inclusive nature of her church.

“Most human communities, from churches to governments to families, function more effectively in response to shared decision-making,” Jefferts Schori said. “Over and over again, we’ve discovered that better decisions are made when they’re made in communities with appropriate checks and balances. Power assumed by one authority figure alone is often a recipe for abuse, tyranny and corruption.”

Convention delegates passed eight resolutions that made the proceedings legitimate, cleared the way for nominations, earmarked money collected at the offering for Episcopal Relief and Development and declared null and void recent changes the now-independent diocese had made to its constitution and canons.

This last resolution restored the continuing diocese’s unqualified accession to The Episcopal Church and, when passed, was met with loud applause and cheer.

Delegates also voted for members of a new standing committee, secretary (Hillery Douglas), diocesan treasurer (the Rev. James Taylor), chancellor (Tom Tisdale), diocesan council and trustees of The University of the South....

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the church’s House of Deputies, told attendees that comprehensiveness is a gift from God, citing the Anglican “middle way.”

“Follow the Anglican middle way and it will guide you between extremes in the company of Christians from all walks of life and all gifts of the Spirit,” she said. “The middle way is seldom the easiest path. It is easier to walk apart, surrounded by people who look like you, and think like you, and believe like you. But if you travel the middle way, you will find the fruits of the Spirit.”

Read Full P & C Article HERE

SC Episcopalians: Episcopalians in South Carolina have a New Bishop!

SC Episcopalians | January 27, 2013|

- Cheers, tears, & applause mark the election of Charles vonRosenberg as new bishop to follow ex-bishop Lawrence

Overflow crowds enthusiastically embrace Presiding Bishop, as they set about to rebuild a Diocese torn apart by dissenters

CHARLESTON - During a joyous, celebratory weekend in Charleston, South Carolina Episcopalians confidently charted a new course for themselves and the future of the Episcopal Church in the eastern half of the state with wild enthusiasm for a new bishop and the full support of the Episcopal Church around the world.

Without any hesitation, they swiftly reversed years of angry and hostile actions by secessionist leaders who tried to drive a wedge between them, the Church & worldwide Anglican Communion, and took aim at the long journey ahead to rebuild one of the most important an dinfluential dioceses in the Episcopal Church...............

The centerpiece of the weekend was Special Convention that culminated in the election of the Right Rev. Charles vonRosenberg as successor to ex-bishop Mark Lawrence, whose tumultuous and divisive episcopate ended last fall when he renounced his ministry in the Church..........

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, presided over Saturday’s convention exactly five years to the hour that Lawrence had been consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

........ Charleston businessman and civic leader Hillery Douglas, the chairman of the Diocese’s Steering Committee, was recognized by the Presiding Bishop and nominated vonRosenberg to be the new leader or the Diocese. At that moment, there was an explosion of applause from delegates who leaped to their feet, and within a moment the Presiding Bishop declared that he had been elected. ..........

Saturday morning’s convention was preceded by a celebratory Eucharist with a congregation of nearly 750, many of whom arrived as many as two hours early to be sure to get a seat. Anticipation was so high that even the introit by twenty-members of Grace’s young children’s choir earned sustained applause of the congregation...........

In her sermon, the Presiding bishop urged an end to divisive actions in the Church that grieve the heart of God. “Our task is to heal the breach … The banquet table is spread with abundance for all, even though it’s hard to join the feast if you’re busy controlling the gate. The Gate himself has already done that work, and the word is out, “y’all come! Come to the feast!” ................

Just as the Presiding Bishop’s sermon was the high point of the early worship service, Bishop vonRosenberg’s comments following his election were equally as exceptional and inspiring.

The new Bishop urged Episcopalians to go forward striving for unity and humility. “Christian humility needs to have a place in the foundation on which we are rebuilding,” the new bishop proclaimed. “There is no place for self righteousness here ... but there is much room for humility. May we, therefore, claim the Christian virtue of humility as an important part of our foundation.”

Read all SC Episcopalian coverage HERE

Both sides agree to a temporary extension of Judge Goodstein's controversial restraining order

SC Episcopalian |

...... A full hearing on a restraining order issued last week by a controversial Dorchester County Judge has been postponed by mutual agreement between the Episcopal Church and the renagade group headed by ex-bishop Mark Lawrence. No reason was given.

S.C. Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein had scheduled the hearing for tomorrow in Columbia, but both parties agreed to an indefinite delay. A new date has not been set for the hearing, but either party may request it at any time.

Goodstein issued the order ten days ago at the request of the embittered Lawrence and his breakaway "diocese" as way of disrupting last Saturday's election of his successor, and embarrassing the Presiding Bishop who participated in the weekend of celebration in Charleston.

Lawrence and his followers convinced Goodstein that they own the names "Diocese of South Carolina," "Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and "Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina Inc," and its corporate seal even though they claim they are no longer in the Episcopal Church.

Lawrence renounced his ministry in the Episcopal Church and, by association, the worldwide Anglican Communion last October. However, he still believes himself to be an Episcopal Bishop in an Episcopal Diocese, just not one in the Episcopal Church.

No ecclesiastical (church) or judicial authority (court) in the world has bought into this fantasy except Goodstein, who issued the restraining order without even allowing the Episcopal Church to be heard on the matter.

Read full article Here

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