South Carolina speaks out on TEC General Convention

The Bishop of South Carolina, Mark Lawrence, has requested that a letter be read aloud to all congregations in his diocese today, following landmark votes at the TEC General Convention during the week –

“Given these changes in the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church the question that is before us is: ‘What does being faithful to Jesus Christ look like for this diocese at this time? How are we called to live and be and act?  In this present context, how do we make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age?’”

Read the text of his letter below – Read more

South Carolina delegates leave TEC General Convention early

“The bulk of the deputation to the House of Deputies from the Diocese of South Carolina has left General Convention one day early, following the actions of the Convention thus far to (a) add transsexual persons to the list of people who cannot be denied work at any level in the Episcopal Church (USA); (b) adopt a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions, in violation of both the Book of Common Prayer and the ECUSA Constitution; and (c) refuse to act at this time on the proposed Anglican Covenant. …”

– Story from The Anglican Curmudgeon.

South Carolina statements here

“It is with heavy hearts that Bishop Mark Lawrence and the South Carolina deputation to General Convention must report the final passage and adoption of Resolution A049, the Resolution to Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships. The Bishop and our deputation, in both speaking and voting against its passage, remain united and unanimous in our support of the historic understanding of ‘the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.’…”

Related: Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse? – Beliefnet. (h/t

“This is no longer George Washington’s Episcopal Church – in 1776 the largest denomination in the rebellious British colonies. Membership has dropped so dramatically that today there are 20 times more Baptists than Episcopalians.”

Bishop of Tasmania’s letter to the Bishop of South Carolina

The Bishop of Tasmania, John Harrower, has written (October 14) to Mark Lawrence, the Bishop of South Carolina, to offer support and encouragement –

“Dear Brother,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I received with deep concern and sadness the news of formal allegations against you and your diocese with respect to some ill-defined sense of abandoning the faith of the Church.

I write so that my recognition and support of you as a Brother Bishop in the Anglican Communion may be clear and unambiguous, and to assure you of my prayer for you and your leadership team at this time.

It has become clear over recent years, and it was certainly my experience at the Lambeth Conference of 2008: not only are the revisionist pursuits of certain parties clearly no longer bounded by the fundamental witness of the gospel in Scripture, but the means of that pursuit seem no longer bounded by the common human wisdom of good grace and fairness. The fact that current events demonstrate a willingness to impugn the fundamental character of Episcopal polity is a demonstration of their intransigence.

Nevertheless, please be encouraged in the Lord Jesus in whose sufferings you share and in whose resurrection hope we live and minister.

I note the words at the top of your diocesan website – “…that all may come to know Him…” Our Lord Jesus is indeed our sole focus, our joy, our salvation; and the knowledge of him our goal for ourselves and all those we meet. He is the head of the church and his promise to his people is secure.

May his grace and peace be with you and the faithful saints of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Yours sincerely in the bonds of Christ,

John Harrower
Bishop of Tasmania.”

– Also as a PDF file on the Diocese of Tasmania website. (h/t Will Briggs.)

South Carolina Bishop and Clergy meet to discuss ‘serious charges’

From the Diocese of South Carolina:

“the Episcopal Church is in a constitutional crisis in which its own polity is being radically altered in violation of its history and founding documents”

“In an atmosphere of prayerful solemnity, the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina gathered at Saint James Church, James Island, S.C. for more than two hours on Tuesday, October 12. In focus were the “serious charges” that have been made against Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocese under the new Title IV canons.  Read more

Allegations of ‘abandonment’ against Bishop of South Carolina

Some action by the Episcopal Church against the Diocese of South Carolina has long been expected. Here’s a report from the Episcopal News Service.

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the diocese have sent this call to prayer –

October 5, 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Thursday, September 29, 2011 the Bishop received communication from the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops that “serious charges” have been made under Title IV of the canons of The Episcopal Church. These are allegations that he has abandoned The Episcopal Church. Read more

Bishop Mark Lawrence speaks at reconvened South Carolina Convention

Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina spoke at the reconvened 219th Diocese of South Carolina Convention.

He gave an update on the events of the last few months, and his rationale on keeping South Carolina within TEC.

Watch it at Anglican TV. (See also: 219th Diocesan Convention Reconvened.)

South Carolina defiant

At the 219th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina yesterday, Bishop Mark Lawrence didn’t mince his words:

“It would be insufferable to see this great Diocese of South Carolina come under the sway of the same false gospel that has decked so much of The Episcopal Church with decorative destruction and dreadful decline.

Like those in the Church at Corinth with whom St. Paul was confronted, many within the leadership of The Episcopal Church have grown willful. They will have their way though it is contrary to the received teaching of God’s Holy Word, the trustworthy traditions of the Christian Faith, and the expressed will of the Anglican Communion—that rich multicultural body of almost 80 million Christians around the world, from many tribes, languages, peoples, and nations.…”

– and that was just the warm-up. Worth reading in full.

See also the text of key resolutions approved – including this one –

RESOLVED, That this 219th Convention acknowledges that for more than three centuries this Diocese has represented the Anglican expression of the faith once for all delivered to the saints; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we declare to all that we understand ourselves to be a gospel diocese, called to proclaim an evangelical faith, embodied in a catholic order, and empowered and transformed through the Holy Spirit; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we promise under God not to swerve in our belief that above all Jesus came into the world to save the lost, that those who do not know Christ need to be brought into a personal and saving relationship with him, and that those who do know Christ need to be taught by the Holy Scriptures faithfully to follow him all the days of their lives to the Glory of God the Father.

(Photo of Bishop Mark Lawrence: Diocese of South Carolina.)

South Carolina Resolutions to respond to Schori

The Diocese of South Carolina’s annual convention will consider five resolutions on March 26, three of which stress diocesan authority amid conflicts with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

In proposing one resolution, the diocese’s standing committee calls it a “Response to Ecclesiastical Intrusions by the Presiding Bishop.” That resolution refers to the diocese’s “legal and ecclesiastical authority as a sovereign diocese within the Episcopal Church,” adds that “the Presiding Bishop has no authority to retain attorneys in this Diocese that present themselves as the legal counsel for the Episcopal Church in South Carolina,” and demands that she “drop the retainer of all such legal counsel in South Carolina as has been obtained contrary to the express will of this Diocese.” …

– Full report from The Living Church.
(Photo of Bishop Mark Lawrence: Diocese of South Carolina.)

Should South Carolina be nervous?

From the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

“Recent actions by The Episcopal Church which impact the Diocese of South Carolina have caused the Bishop and Standing Committee to postpone our upcoming Diocesan Convention. Bishop Lawrence has written an important pastoral letter to both the clergy and laity of the Diocese which explain the actions taken.”

– Read Bishop Mark Lawrence’s pastoral letter explaining why he has postponed the diocesan convention. (PDF file.)

Diocese of South Carolina strongly protests

Diocese of South Carolina“Dear Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori:

We, as the Standing Committee and Bishop of South Carolina, write this letter to strongly protest what we recognize as a failure to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the recent depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox. …

we must respectfully refuse to recognize the depositions, and we will not recognize any new bishop who may be elected to replace Bishop Schofield, unless and until the canons are followed.”

– via TitusOneNine.

Statement on the Presiding Bishop’s visit to South Carolina

Bishop Mark LawrenceStatement from Bishop Mark Lawrence in response to the recent ENS article on the Presiding Bishop’s visit to South Carolina

I have read the recent article from the ENS regarding the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori’s visit to the Diocese of South Carolina. …

What the article failed to convey, however, is the depth of the theological chasm that lies between many of us in South Carolina (and others within the church for that matter) and the trajectory of so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church. …

Read the full statement from Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina.
(Photo: Bill Murton, Diocese of South Carolina.)

South Carolina Episcopalians get bishop

Mark LawrenceJust call him Bishop Lawrence, finally.

Mark Joseph Lawrence endured two elections in a year’s span and waited patiently for confirmation that he would be the 14th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. His election was approved in October, and on Saturday, he was consecrated in a liturgical ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in downtown Charleston. …

Story from the Charleston Post and Courier.

See also this interview on Stand Firm, in March 2007, after the first election had been declared ‘null and void’ by the Presiding Bishop.

9Marks at Southeastern Seminary: Biblical Theology

Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds has posted links to videos of five 9Marks sessions recently given at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. Details here.

(Bear in mind the videos are large files.)

Dallas and Sth Carolina question process

Kevin Thew ForresterKendall Harmon reports that the Executive Council of the Diocese of Dallas and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina have questioned the ‘election’ of a single candidate, the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester, as the bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan.

(h/t Stand Firm.) See also Bishop-elect Forrester’s answer to critics of his Buddhist practices (pdf file – direct link). Photo: Episcopal News Service.

SC Supreme Court rules some breakaway churches must return properties to Episcopal Diocese

“The S.C. Supreme Court ruled some of the parishes that broke away from the Episcopal Church more than a decade ago must hand over their properties to the national church and its affiliated South Carolina diocese.

The court’s April 20 ruling orders 14 of 29 parishes that split from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina to begin the legal process for handing over ownership of the properties to the Episcopal Church. …”

– From The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina.

See also this Pastoral Letter from Bishop Chip Edgar of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina:

“The ruling raises many issues that will have to play out in the coming weeks before any actions are taken, so our first response must be to quiet our hearts before the Lord as we pray for grace to meet the days ahead. Some of our churches are relieved that the court ruled their property does indeed belong to them. Some are grieving deeply, as the courts ruling went the opposite direction.”

This has been a very long running dispute – and not all the websites linked in our archival posts are still active, but the post summaries will give some perspective.

Bishop Chip Edgar began as Bishop of the Diocese last month, succeeding Bishop Mark Lawrence who has been Bishop of the Diocese since 2008.


Lawyer AS Haley, The Anglican Curmudgeon, has posted what may be his last of many posts on the subject

South Carolina Supreme Court Divides the Baby

His conclusion:

“There will be one final chapter to this desultory story once the federal courts dispose of the name and trademark claims, probably in ECUSA’s favor.

I shall not return here to comment; I am done with everything that involves the Episcopal Church. Let it reap what it has so assiduously sown.”

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