Consents for New South Carolina Bishop's Election Ruled Insufficient
March 15, 2007

Come & bring a friend to the Episcopal Forum - Thursday, March 22 at 6 pm

In This Issue:

Episcopal Forum - Thursday, March 22 at 6 pm

The Forum will begin at 6:00 pm at the Sr. Citizens Center 259 Meeting Street in Charleston at the corner of Meeting and Society Streets. Parking in nearby ramps or at street meters.


Please feel free to arrive early and bring a sandwich. Beverages and cookies will be provided.

This Forum will include brief presentations on the outcome of the "Consents" for election of Mark Lawrence and a report from a delegate of The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion representation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

There will then be an open discussion among those present.


RSVP by email below or leave a message at 843-209-0264

RSVP by E-mail to help with space planning

Election of Mark Lawrence to be bishop of The Diocese of South Carolina ruled null & void


I received a phone call late this afternoon from the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori giving notification that she was declaring null and void the election of The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence to be bishop of The Diocese of South Carolina. Although more than a majority of dioceses had voted to consent to Fr. Mark’s election, there were canonical deficiencies in the written responses sent to us. Several dioceses, both on and off American soil, thought that electronic permission was sufficient as had been their past accepted practice. The canons which apply are III.11.4(b), pp. 101-102 in the newly published 2006 Constitutions and Canons that require the prescribed testimonial to the consent be signed by a majority of each standing committee.

I have also notified Fr. Mark of her decision. We offer our deepest condolences to Fr. Mark and his wife Allison who have navigated this time of process with class, dignity and courage. I know that it is toughest on Allison who has had to watch her beloved spouse suffer so many indignities. We hope that they will agree to continue to be a part of the Diocese of South Carolina’s pursuit of securing our next Diocesan. Fr. Lawrence has modeled exemplary patience and calmness by enduring a level of scrutiny and persecution that is without precedent in The Episcopal Church (TEC).

Our Chancelor, Nick Ziegler has been suffering with bad health for several months. Currently our acting Chancellor, Wade Logan, is out of the country. He is scheduled to return within ten days. Upon his return we will convene both the Chancellor and acting Chancellor to discuss our options within the canons of TEC. The Standing Committee will then plot a course of action for the near future. In the meantime the Standing Committee will continue our partnership with our acting Bishop, the Right Rev. Edward Lloyd Salmon in tending to the needs of our diocese as we have for over the past 8 months. Bishop Salmon will represent us this week at the House of Bishop’s meeting to be held in Camp Allen, Texas.

I hope that this tragic outcome will be a wake up call to both clergy and lay through out TEC as to the conditions in our church. I have been blessed and encouraged by the many clergy and lay people throughout the world that have worked tirelessly on Fr. Mark’s behalf making phone calls and communicating through the electronic media in an effort to secure a majority of consents.

As I write this release I am reminded of Christ’s words in Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Our hand is to the plow, and in faithfulness to our Christ, we will not look back.

--The Rev. J. Haden McCormick
President of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina

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