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I Am Episcopalian - December 5th Episcopal Forum
November 19, 2009

TEC lay leader John Vanderstar to speak

In This Issue:
I AM EPISCOPALIAN - EFSC Forum - 12/5/09
John Vanderstar - noted Episcopal Lay Leader to speak
Directions to the 12/5 Forum at the Harbour Club in Charleston, SC
St. Mark's Chapel - In Port Royal, South Carolina
Link to Flyer about the Forum
Join The Episcopal Forum of SC
Contact Info
I AM EPISCOPALIAN - EFSC Forum - 12/5/09

This Forum will explore the positive, affirmative perspective of being a joyful member of The Episcopal Church today in spite of the dissassociation rhetoric and movement in the Diocese of SC. Come and share with other Episcopalians why "I am Episcopalian". There will be a presentation by John Vanderstar followed by a Q and A Panel Discussion


Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009, 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will be served
Place: Harbour Club
Donation: $20 at the door
Reserve a seat for "I Am Episcopalian"

John Vanderstar - noted Episcopal Lay Leader to speak

John Vanderstar is a graduate of Princeton University & Harvard Law School; he practiced for 39 years at Covington & Burling law firm. He chaired the Finance Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, was a member a member of TEC House of Deputies for 15 years and a member of TEC Executive Council for the past 6 years. He served as an officer and board member of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus from 1995-2001.

John will connect Episcopalians in SC with the positive affirmative TEC that so many Episcopalians experience outside of the 10 or so dioceses, including the Diocese of SC, which have been dominated by dissassociation rhetoric and movement away from TEC. He will share with us his perspective on the health and vitality of TEC and the real progress it is making in local dioceses and in the world.

The forum title “I am Episcopalian” is taken from the TEC website portal of that name and we are focusing people on our commitment with Episcopalians around the world with the content of that opening page which is at the link below. Several EFSC Directors will join in a Q & A following the presentation.
Link to TEC site: I am Episcopalian

Directions to the 12/5 Forum at the Harbour Club in Charleston, SC
The forum will be held in downtown Charleston in a private meeting facility at the Harbour Club. A sit down meal will be served followed by presentations and a Q & A. All seats need to be reserved in advance as seating is limited. A $20 donation to cover forum expense is suggested. Link to Directions

St. Mark's Chapel - In Port Royal, South Carolina

Who We Are and How We Came to Be

Anticipating the population growth on Ladies Island, in the mid 1990’s there was dialogue concerning establishment of an Episcopal mission in northern Beaufort County............... The interest in such a mission resurfaced following the 74th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2003 when St. Mark’s Chapel formed under the leadership of The Rev. Roger William Smith, a retired Episcopal priest. Initially, eight people met at his house and began a ministry …………… Upon Mr. Smith's recent retirement, the chaplaincy was assumed by the Rev. Robert Hansel, also a retired Episcopal priest.

Initially we were a house church that met in one another’s homes bimonthly. Realizing the need for a “consistent” location ………….. in the fall of 2007 we relocated to the Room by the Bay of the Sea Island Inn in downtown Beaufort………………… Beginning our seventh year in November, 2009, we moved to our first actual church building, the historic, 1878 Union Church of Port Royal. ……………….. When clergy are not available to celebrate Eucharist, we enjoy lay-led Morning Prayer or special lay-led services.

St. Mark’s continues to be a Total Ministry fellowship engaged in outreach……………….. we encourage all members, not just the ordained, to offer themselves to the community………….. In addition to hands-on outreach, we have provided financial support for Habitat for Humanity, mission work in the Dominican Republic, the Child Abuse Prevention Association and have been one of the leading diocesan supporters of the Episcopal Relief and Development program.

We view church as existing to support, confront and challenge members to engage the world in Christ’s name. We believe church life respects differences, openly addressing them directly while seeking resolution, reconciliation and acceptance. Accepting challenge, our chapel anticipates and welcomes change as part of God’s action. Underlying all we believe is our commitment to follow Jesus’ Great Command: Love God and love your neighbor……………

The Diocese of South Carolina is a group of primarily conservative parishes ……………. leaning toward the theology of GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans). While we respect this difference in religious perspective, this apparent departure from TEC is a major concern of ours: We have no desire to leave TEC. We believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding us in ways to live via an ever-evolving understanding of the Message of Christ.

St. Mark’s celebrated its sixth anniversary in November 2009. During those five years we have made several attempts to be recognized officially in the Diocese as a mission. Our first venture was a meeting with clergy and wardens of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church . By mutual concurrence, vast theological differences precluded such a relationship.

Our next step toward formal Episcopal status occurred in the winter of 2007 when we attended at St. Helena’s a meeting called by then Bishop Salmon ……………. Present in addition to Bishop Salmon and Bishop-Elect Mark Lawrence were the rector of St. Helena’s and his two wardens as well as their Bishop-in-Residence Alden Hathaway. The final decision about our status was passed to the hands of Bishop-Elect Lawrence who, after he was consecrated, declined to recommend to the Diocesan Convention the admission of St. Mark’s as a diocesan mission.

After that disappointment, a fruitful meeting with the vestry of All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head, resulted in All Saints’ request to the Diocese that St. Mark’s become their parochial mission. In October 2008, a delegation from St. Mark’s met with the bishop to discuss that possibility, and he, again, opposed the admission of St. Mark’s to the Diocese even as a parochial mission. Since that meeting, the members of St. Mark’s have entered into a period of discernment to explore who we are, decide where we want to go, and articulate our role in spreading the Gospel…………………….

We continue to explore ways to gain official recognition as Episcopalians as we continue to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit.

For more details go to website link below
Link to St. Mark's Chapel Website

Link to Flyer about the Forum
The link below will provide a PDF file of the Flyer pictured in ths eNewsletter. Please consider printing it and posting it where episcopalians gather. Link to Flyer

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