South Carolinians affirm decision to leave Episcopal Church

By Sarah Moïse Young
Posted Nov 17, 2012

[Episcopal News Service – Charleston, South Carolina] The majority of South Carolina Episcopalians who attended a special convention at St. Philip’s Church here Nov. 17 affirmed actions by Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocesan Standing Committee a month ago to disaffiliate the diocese from the Episcopal Church.

Those actions took place after Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori restricted Lawrence’s ministry on Oct. 17 after the church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops certified to her that he had abandoned the Episcopal Church “by an open renunciation of the discipline of the church.”

On that same day, the Standing Committee announced that the action of the Disciplinary Board “triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the diocese from the Episcopal Church and called a special convention.”

Jefferts Schori issued a pastoral letter Nov. 15 to Episcopalians in South Carolina offering prayers and support for those who wished to remain in the Episcopal Church.

“The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina continues to be a constituent part of The Episcopal Church, even if a number of its leaders have departed,” she noted. “If it becomes fully evident that those former leaders have, indeed, fully severed their ties with The Episcopal Church, new leaders will be elected and installed by action of a Diocesan Convention recognized by the wider Episcopal Church, in accordance with our Constitution and Canons.”

Lawrence referred to the special convention as “the Valley of Decision” during his address and asserted, “It is time to turn the page.” He referred to attempts to prevent separation of the diocese, and his oft-mentioned issues of theology, morality and disagreement with church canons.

“So be it…We have withdrawn from that church…We have moved on. With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation, the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically,” he said.

While the bishop referred to numerous letters of support from church leaders, he did not announce any open offers of affiliation with the Anglican Communion, and he confirmed that for now the separatist diocese will affiliate with no one. In a conference call following the convention, he confirmed that alignment is not on the table at present.

However, during his address, he claimed that “for now and the foreseeable future, having withdrawn from our association with TEC, we remain an extra-provincial diocese within the larger Anglican Communion.”

Such a designation requires action by the Anglican Consultative Council, which concluded a 12-day meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on Nov. 7. No action on South Carolina was taken during that meeting and the council will not meet again until May 2016.

Following his address, Lawrence called upon the convention to vote on three resolutions. The first resolution affirmed the actions of the bishop and the Standing Committee and stated “that we are no longer in any relationship with TEC, including union or association with in any capacity.” The resolution also had the convention declare that Lawrence is the diocese’s “rightful bishop.”

“By stating this, we declare that as God has sent Bishop Lawrence to be our bishop, only he [God] has the authority to declare otherwise,” the resolution continued.

The resolution also said the convention “repudiates actions of TEC purportedly taken against our bishop and declare null and void any claim by any member or representative of TEC to have any authority whatsoever over this diocese or any authority over God’s congregation at any of her parishes who willingly by their presence at this convention and their vote on this resolution so declare.”

A second resolution amended the diocesan constitution, removing all mention of the Episcopal Church, including any reference to the “accession clause,” in which a diocese declares that it accedes to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. That declaration is required in Article V, Section 1 of the church’s constitution.

The diocesan convention had previously revised its constitution limiting the accession clause by saying it would accede to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church only they were not “inconsistent with or contradictory to” the diocesan constitution and canons.

The resolution also removed any reference to the General Convention, making its only governing body the diocesan convention. The third resolution removed all references of the Episcopal Church from the diocesan canons.

Forty-two parishes attended the special convention along with 12 missions, sending a total of 170 lay delegates. There are 78 congregations in the diocese.

The first two resolutions were accepted by acclamation. The third resolution to change the church canons passed with a 90 percent majority on a roll call vote — including a vote by Lawrence. The vote on the resolution, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, included several abstentions.

According to a fact sheet posted on the Episcopal Church’s website: “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.”

Additional ENS coverage of the convention is planned.

— Sarah Moïse Young is a freelance reporter based in Charleston, South Carolina.


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Comments (115)

  1. Mary Morrison says:

    If the Diocese of SC wants to break away from TEC, then go! Form your own church in whatever space you desire. Just don’t you dare take my church, my building, where five generations of my family have worshipped and been baptized and confirmed and married and buried. Don’t you dare take my Episcopal upbringing in my space away from me. My church is my Episcopal heritage. It is NOT an Anglican church–it is Episcopalian. Do you think for one minute if you told the rector of St. Michael’s or St. Philip’s that they had to move to another building — a warehouse — or wherever, that they would go? No! The prestige of being at an historic church in Charleston is too great. What does the Gospel of Jesus Christ have to do with this? Nothing! No matter what side you are on, Jesus is not a part of this. And that is the sad truth.

  2. Ingrid McCord says:

    The whole thing is very sad. People who do not agree with the direction of the Episcopal Church should go to where they are more comfortable. But for a Bishop to work the whole dioceses into leaving the church seems to be working against his word as a Bishop of the Episcopal Church. I live next to the Dioceses of San Joaquin. This diocese was totally wrecked by its bishop, BP Schofield. He also removed millions of dollars from the budget into his private bank account. Congregations were closed against their will per the Bp orders. Priests who refused to bow down to Bp Schofield were removed. People who had belonged to churches all their lives were suddenly thrown out of their buildings. Somehow the core of many congregations hung together worshiping in homes and other churches. Unfortunately, the national church is not able to help these people avoid such a disastrous time. These people felt abandoned. But now the faithful Episcopalians are rebuilding and the others have moved to a bishop that is not even in the Anglican Communion. It has been a travesty for all concerned.

  3. Ingrid McCord says:

    PS Bishop Lawrence served under Bishop Schofield. That is where he learned his divide and conquer technique.

  4. Christopher Cleveland says:

    May God continue to bless the good and principled efforts of Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina! What an inspiration you are to me and to so many for your robust and costly defence of the Faith once delivered to the saints.
    For all practical purposes TEC has become an organization of interfaith spirituality and social work in Catholic garb. A new and orthodox Anglicanism is needed now that TEC has abandoned the historic faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
    Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy

  5. Christopher Cleveland says:

    I know of no church claiming to be Trinitarian since the Ecumenical Councils of the first millennium whose leader has gone to such an extent in denying the church doctrines of the resurrection and the divinity of Christ as The Episcopal Church, nor of any world group claiming to be Trinitarian Christians like the Anglican Communion, to seat a church leader who as done so amongst its highest level of leaders as we have done in our Primates’ Meeting. It seems to be that we have brought about a situation which is truly unique in world history.
    http://anglicanecumenicalsociety.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/what-do-people-mean-when-they-say-that-presiding-bishop-schori-has-denied-the-resurrection-or-the-divinity-of-christ/

  6. Kathleen Chipps says:

    I would like to suggest that Bp. Lawrence and those who follow him and claim to uphold orthodoxy and tradition are a modern day equivalent of Pharisees and you know what Jesus thought of them. One passage in particular comes to mind: (Matthew 23;23ff “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”NRSV And farther down the chapter he calls them a brood of vipers. It is helpful to remember that Jesus was radical in leading people into a new understanding of the wideness of God’s mercy and love. He overturned tables and ancient customs such as not talking to women in public and touching sick people. He was about extending the kingdom of God, not contracting it by exacting standards. It is far more difficult to live by the law of love than by the law of the Pharisees, but that is what Jesus calls us to do.

    1. Fr. Will McQueen says:

      You are exactly right Ms. Chipps, it’s very difficult to follow the law of love, and tell someone that you love them so much that you want to save their soul and confront them that the path they are on leads to death and eternal damnation. It’s very difficult to lovingly say that, but it is far more diabolical to say nothing, and leave them in their own sinfulness, and place their soul in jeopardy. This isn’t the law of the Pharisees, it’s the what God has revealed through Holy Scripture and His Son Jesus Christ. You may reject that, but you do so to your own peril.

      1. Bruce Bogin says:

        This comment strikes me as the height of arrogance. What makes you think that you can judge that someone’s path will lead them to death and eternal damnation. Who died and made you God? I suggest that you look after your own soul and leave others to look after theirs. What makes you think that your interpretation of what God has revealed in Scriptures is correct?

        1. Fr. Will McQueen says:

          Mr. Bogin, I’m simply standing on the faithful interpretation of Holy Scripture that has been handed down through the church for the past 2,000 years. I stand with catholic Christians worldwide who have never wavered in their belief that homosexual PRACTICE is incompatible with the revealed Word of God, it is condemned in both the Old and New Testament, that Jesus himself affirms the design for the family as espoused in Gen. 2 and actually strengthens it by his command those whom God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. St. Paul’s admonitions are abundantly clear that those who engage in such shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. How much clearer does Scripture have to be? How does one explain that away? I am most definitely working out my own salvation in fear and trembling, but as a priest in Holy Orders I’m bound to look after the cure of the souls of those in God’s name I’ve been entrusted. So I do have a bounden duty to instruct the faithful regarding what it means to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ. I’m not depending on my interpretation, I’m standing on the shoulders of the apostles and those who have gone before, echoing their call toward holiness and sanctification.

          1. Bruce Garner says:

            You and so many others conveniently leave out the “history” of marriage that doesn’t follow what you want to believe. The Biblical standaard of marriage is NOT one man and one woman but one man and as many women as he chose. Look at the patriarchs and their “arrngements” for families. The ones we uphold usually had more than one wife and if not kept concubines. Solomon had 700! David committed murder to obtain a woman with whom he committed adultery.

            There is no wedding story in either of the creation narratives. There is a clear recognition that humans need comanionship. I can’t recall any marriage ceremonies mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. And if you look closely, the part attributed to Jesus is a quote that does’t fit with the rest of the narrative at all.

            Even in the New TEstament, having more than one wife is not prohibited except for deacons and bishops. Women were property, to be traded and sold like other property. Contrast that to the absence of any woman having more than one husband. We seem to have a slight discrepancy in treatment here.

            Will, do you follow all the proscriptions found in Leviticus and the rest of the purity code? If you do not, what is your basis for imposing only part of it. Read Paul’s writing closely, he is condemning relationships that are abusive, coercive or exploitive. He also speaks using words that don’t have clear English euivalents.

            Remember the story of Peter’s dream in the book of Acts? God tells Peter not to call anything that God has created profane, including human beings.

            If we want to use Scripture, let’s do so honestly.

  7. TEC has no more abandoned the Faith by welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people than we did when we recognized that the Earth orbits the Sun. And those who claim that they are defending the Faith by denying scientific knowledge are failing to use the brains that God has given them.

    1. Fr. Will McQueen says:

      Fr. Yeager, what “scientific knowledge” are you referring to here?

  8. Bruce Garner says:

    Ever thought about that from the point of someone who is forbidden to marry? I don’t just mean same-gender couples. It hasn’t been very long since people of different races were also forbidden to marry each other. Swap lenses and see how it feels.

  9. Hugh Hansen, Ph.D. says:

    I commend the ENS for providing this forum for interested people to present a point of view. I think it would be helpful for the PB to make a statement to clarify the TEC’s position. I understand from previous litigation the logistics of the TEC in the departure of churches. What is not clear to me is: “What is the theological basis for the TEC approach? How are we as members, enthusiastic members, of the TEC to understand these actions with respect to Christian faith? What would be our response to one who we might be sharing our Christian faith through the lens of the Church?

  10. J M Stevenson says:

    Where is the “grace” in all of this? All I see is acrimony.

  11. Sarah Hey says:

    RE: “So Sarah, to what do you attribute the same decline in every other denomination? Even the church of Rome would have fewer numbers were it not for immigration.”

    Oh there are plenty of reasons. And one of them that accounts for a big percentage of the decline is that the mainlines are no longer preaching a Christian gospel. It’s fun to compare the *rate of decline* in TEC of the past 20 years. At a certain point, TEC was actually slightly growing. But no longer. And it’s largely for one reason — it’s no longer selling a product that those who believe the Gospel want.

    RE: “What you have yet to comprehend Sarah is that the folks under a certain age will not sign on to a faith community that is so hypocritical as most have become.”

    More wishful thinking, I see. The youngest church in my region is a conservative PCA church, growing like a weed and the vast vast majority of its people are extraordinarily young, such that older members — like, you know, fleeing TEC members — feel a little out of place. It’s a good problem to have.

    RE: “All the clergy who are trying to argue your point that ALL of TEC is wrong and Mark Lawrence is the ONLY one that is right—-you sound like you are more concerned with the idolization of Mark Lawrence.”

    I’m not certain what on earth this person is talking about. Of course, “ALL of TEC” doesn’t believe at all the same gospel that our current leadership does. There are hundreds of clergy and many thousands of laity who have not accepted the particular customizable little gospel that the national church’s leadership does, and even a dozen or so bishops.

    It’s certainly true that there are two antithetical foundational worldviews and gospels represented in TEC — but not *ALL* of TEC believes as our current leadership does — not by a long shot.

    Ultimately, however, it’s been clear since 2003 that the two groups represented in TEC will not continue in the same organization. I look for TEC to be about half its size ten years from now — that will put us at an ASA of around 400,000.

    Sarah Hey, an Episcopalian

    1. Chris Walchesky says:

      Sarah,

      Thank you for your witness. Excellent thoughts on why the true gospel churches are growing. Jesus (the Son of God crucified for us and revealed to us through the gospels, not the made-up Jesus who lived for the lifestyle of the current TEC leadership) is truly present in our church the rightly preach the gospel and administer the sacraments.

      Thanks again,
      Chris Walchesky, a 20-something that belongs to a “hypocritical” ACNA parish

  12. Doug Desper says:

    Here – in some comments – we can find a reason that this Diocese voted to leave and not look back; that is, a dismissive, sarcastic response by too many in TEC to genuine concerns and problems of conscience. One commenter called people in the diocese a perjorative (“white boys”), another insinuating that the diocese is occupied by dupes who blindly follow a cult leader yet another saying “failing to use their brains”. That’s been the issue all along; that it is beyond the comprehension of some of our TEC leaders that people have reasonably weighed their leadership actions and found them wanting. Folks, these people are gone and aren’t coming back. Throwing stones at them tells a great truth about why they chose to do so.

    1. Michael Raczynski says:

      Well said Doug.

  13. Rebecca Alford says:

    Perhaps you should read this article and watch this video. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/fashion/matthew-vines-wont-rest-in-defending-gay-christians.html?smid=pl-share

    I don’t believe you “love someone” by condemning them to hell, “death and eternal damnation” because you are so narrow of mind and lacking in understanding and compassion that you put yourself on an equal plane with God and take it upon yourself to decide another human beings life for him. Complaining that TEC has become about spirituality and social work….umm, I thought that’s what Christianity was all about. There is plenty of scientific and medical evidence that has determined that homosexuality is not a choice nor a mental illness. Maybe the focus should be on purging the hate and discrimination from the churches and refocusing our efforts on loving others as Christ loved us. What are you so afraid of? Do you even really know or try to understand anyone who is different from you? Haven’t we learned anything from history? NO PERSON shall use the Bible or religion in general to justify exclusion and malevolence! It is not acceptable and should never be tolerated.

  14. The Rev. Ken Brannon says:

    The Presiding Bishop is a godly woman. She was elected by the people of the Episcopal Church and. like the apostles before her, understands herself to be an imperfect vessel being redeemed by God’s grace. You may not like her decisions, but that doesn’t give you the right to assassinate her character. We would all do well to choose our words carefully in these difficult times.

  15. Robert G. Harp PhD says:

    Thanks for pointing out the salient issues here, Bruce. It was obviously Lawrence’s plan to lead SC out of the Episcopal Church and he never intended to keep his pledge of fealty to the national church. Having seen their influence dwindle on several fronts, “the white boys,” as you called them, have now chosen to be led by Lawrence’s monstrous ego. The day on which he styles himself “archbishop” cannot be far off. Nevertheless, let them go in peace, but NOT with church property.

  16. John Andrews says:

    I am deeply sadden by the actions of the good people of the Diocese of South Carolina. I had hope, no prayed, that they would remain at the Table. On a personal note I will missed those from the lower part of South Carolina when we gather at Kanuga for Province IV meetings and also at General Convention time. Let us all pray for those who are our neighbors, whether we agree or disagree we all need to say our prayers and and ask God’s blessings on all of them.

  17. Bruce Bogin says:

    Finally in all these comments Rebecca had the courage to articulate what I consider to be the truth: you can claim that you are standing for orthodoxy or traditionalism or anything you choose to call it, but the bottom line is that people who wrap themselves in Scripture and discriminate against other people because of race, gender or sexual orientation are nothing but bigots. I owe no bigot respect for his or her views. The views of a bigot simply are not worthy of respect notwithstanding that he claims Biblical support. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot whether the object of his bigotry are Jews, blacks, women, homosexuals, Latinos or whatever, he is still a bigot. Wrapping himself in Scripture will not hide that fact.

    1. Robert G. Harp PhD says:

      Amen.

    2. John Clemens says:

      amen again!

    3. Benjamin Uchytil says:

      TRUE!

  18. Ronald J. Caldwell says:

    What happens now in SC? It appears that about two-thirds of the diocese will leave. They believe that –they are the only legitimate Episcopal diocese there, –they are part of the Anglican Communion and –each local parish owns its own property. They are wrong on the first two and most likely wrong on the last. In the cases of San Joaquin and Pittsburgh, corts ruled absolutely that TEC is an hierarchical institution entitled to set and enforce its own rules. The secessionists lost all rights to the claims of the Episcopal diocese. As for the Communion, the ABC recognizes only TEC as the constituent member of the Anglican Communion in USA. Use of the word “Anglican” does not denote legitimacy. As for the property, Lawrence et al are counting on the SC supreme court ruling in the Pawley’s Island case that gave the property to the local congregation. However, that case was based on facts peculiar to that one parish. It is entirely unclear whether the SC supreme court would rule the same way for the rest of the parishes. In fact, there is an overwhelming body of judicial opinion solidly on the side of TEC concerning the property (read the judgments in San Joaquin and Pittsburgh). At least Lawrence’s group will spend many years and many millions of dollars trying to take the property away from TEC. I should not bet on their winning.

    1. Chris Walchesky says:

      The Denis Canon is dead in SC. Get over it.

  19. Mary Morrison says:

    It’s interesting to note that many people in the SC Diocese have actually been “brainwashed” into believing what their clergy is preaching to them. The level of intense dislike, and blame that is being placed on Bishop Katharine is appalling. At some churches during the Prayers of the People, she is not even mentioned! They truly believe that she is the problem. I am heartbroken about all of this.
    If someone belongs to an organization and doesn’t like the rules set forth, that person usually leaves and goes to another organization that is more suitable to their beliefs. Why can’t the people who don’t like the direction that TEC is taking do the same? Then the Episcopalians of the Diocese of SC can get back to their main business of spreading the Gospel and the love of Christ.

  20. Sarah Hey says:

    RE: “I owe no bigot respect for his or her views.”

    Lol. Why would the bigots desire your respect? ; > )

    Anybody defining “bigots” that way simply reveals how radically opposing and antithetical the foundational worldviews are within TEC — and how powerless and amusing the word “bigot” has become. Nobody cares what word revisionists call them, any more than the revisionists care what they are called. We don’t define the most basic of words in the same way and for someone of the revisionist activist worldview to call someone of my worldview a “bigot” merely brings a chuckle.

    Doug Desper — your comment is right on the money. This thread is an awesome thread that simply demonstrates that the two different groups of Anglicans — whether inside TEC or outside — don’t share the same faith. Eventually, at some point in the future, all of us will be in two separate organizations, and there will be a whole lot more peace, and a whole lot less influence and power for TEC as well, as their membership and attendance continues to auger into the ground.

    There’s no shame in that — it is what it is. We don’t share the same faith, or foundational worldview, or values, or basic definitions of words.

    I think what’s crystal clear to we conservatives in TEC is that the current leaders of TEC simply would not allow the Diocese of South Carolina to differentiate itself from the faith of those current leaders, while remaining within TEC. They *had* to attempt to totally destroy any such differentiating diocese, and that was always my prediction, even when people claimed that the current leaders would ultimately leave the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina alone. My prediction was always that — since they’re revisionist activists — their rage and hatred simply couldn’t allow them to behave sensibly.

    They also — in order to eliminate a differentiating diocese — *had* to go after the bishop — there was no other way. To depose Bishop Lawrence would mean that the Diocese would then have had to elect yet another bishop with precisely the same differentiating theology as Bishop Lawrence, and the sad and silly spectacle would have continued. Then TEC would have either 1) consented to such a bishop and the differentiation would have then continued and the angry bitter revisionist activists would still have been outraged and upset over the differentiation, or 2) refused to consent, in which case the Standing Committee would have announced departure, or re-elected the same bishop, or whatever it chose to do.

    But the fact is, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina doesn’t share the same faith as the current leadership of TEC, and that current leadership had to decide if it would continue to allow the Diocese to remain, and continue differentiating itself from our TEC leaders’ faith — or not.

    The current leadership of TEC chose not to allow it and here we are.

    I’m thrilled and proud of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Mark Lawrence, the Standing Committee, the clergy, and the laity. They’ve been brave, honest, and clear.

    This thread is, of course, only so much “spitting in the wind” on both sides. Obviously those of the two faiths represented here aren’t going to convince the other and exchanging assertions, while fun for a while, is essentially meaningless when one doesn’t share the same values, faith, foundational worldview, or definitions of basic words.

    But I’ve enjoyed the exchanges, nonetheless. And I know there are plenty of Episcopalians out there quietly reading the thread, choosing not to comment, cheering what I’m saying and some of the others on this thread have said, and sending me emails. ; > ) Thanks guys — it’s fun stuff to watch, isn’t it?

    Chippers,

    Sarah Hey, an Episcopalian

    1. Debbie Walker says:

      But Sarah, not all the churches in the Diocese were represented at the Convention on Sat. Where is their voice? What is their opinion about what is happening? Bp. Katharine will be working with them to remain in the TEC, yet their opinions have not been included in this discussion. I believe that instead of the churches withdrawing, the individuals should just have gone to another church. How does it serve anyone for a part of the Diocese to leave? I would like to know how what this group who wants to leave will re-constitute itself and after that how it will witness to God’s children. Will it discriminate against some? Will the orthodoxy be more important than serving others? I’m having trouble understanding why the group is withdrawing instead of individuals going to other churches.

      1. Michael Raczynski says:

        Debbie the TEC ought to hold South Carolina to its word. If any parish wishes to stay affiliated with the TEC it can do so. That is what the Bishop said. Just like at the General Convention the majority of each parish should rule. Go with SC or go with TEC property and all. It is why quit claims were given to each parish. The TEC would never do that, but SC did. The problem is that there was no longer any room in TEC for any dissenting theology. If you do not believe in the modern gospel then you need to go or you will be forced out. Why should they not take the properties they have built and cared for with them? The TEC has given them little except insults and soon litigation.

  21. Austin Turney says:

    There will be a contiuing diocese of South Carolina within the Episcopal Church. It will focus on the Gospel and the Great Commission.
    There are now in the United States a congereies of splinters from the Episcopal Church. Time will tell which ones survive and when they are willing to be reconciled. There are no extra-territorial dioceses within the provinces of the Anglican Communion.

  22. Jane Bock says:

    South Carolinians are not strangers to sesession. But this time I hope the re-unification comes through peaceful means with love and help from sincere Episcopal members around the US and the world.

  23. Ronald J. Caldwell says:

    What we are seeing in SC is a prime example of what happens when one faction gains a monopoly and excludes everyone else. Conservatives gained control of the DSC twenty years ago and came to monopolize all the apparati of the diocese. They are the ones who brought in Lawrence from the original breakaway diocese. They played on the innate cultural conservatism of the Lowcountry to build on their power. They brought in clergy from a newly formed fundamentalist seminary, Trinity. The Robinson episode gave them a good excuse to pick a fight with TEC which they built up constantly. The churchpeople of DSC are no different than those in North Carolina, Georgia, or other nearby states, but the leadership is. This was a revolution from the top down. Those in SC who had been excluded had no choice but to go to TEC for help. They did and the instant the DBB acted, DSC broke away from TEC to keep its exclusion of non-conservatives intact. Just yesterday in his address, Lawrence lamented the loss frpom his departing train the African Americans, the Anglo Catholics, and the multi-cultural congregations. No one should be surprised. So now to solidify their reactionary world view, the conservatives are taking away two-thirds of DSC to keep it pure. Their pawn Lawrence used to love to rail against TEC and its “indiscriminate inclusivity.” He and his friends should have practiced it as well as Our Lord did.

  24. Andrew Sorbo says:

    Reading all the bitter and nasty comments here makes me wonder, “where is the sporit of Jesus in so many of my fellow Episcopalians?” As. Gay Episcopalian living in a little town in Connecticut, a man of faith who lost his spouse/oartner/soulmate of 30 years to cancer 3+ years ago, I think you all need to understand that your LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ are watching this ugly debate over pensions, property and canon law knowing that it really all comes down to US and the refusal of some of our fellow Episcopalians to accept US as deserving of the same rights and respect as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. That’s what this is all about. Shame on Bishop Lawrence and his South Carolinian brethren who are repeating the actions of their ancestors who fired the cannons at Ft Sumter in the defense of slavery – needless to say believing that they were backed by passages from the Bible. As a gay man, Bishop Lawrence should know how hurtful his actions are to me. I do take it as a personal slap in the face.

  25. Rev. Margaret Ayers says:

    My prayers are with those who have decided to leave the TEC and those who have stayed.
    I believe I am to pray for my enemies as well as my friends so it seems hardly a stretch to pray for those with whom I disagree. I hope that all who post remarks denigrating anyone on either side of this issue will take time to pray for that(those) person(s) every day for a month or even longer; then you may see the image of God indelibly marked on those with whom you disagree. Wouldn’t that be a more restorative tact to take than bickering over who is Jesus’ favorite. I believe that type of arguing did not work out so well for James and John (the sons of Zebedee).
    This has helped me realize that I am as broken as the one I malign and has enabled me to be a more humble Christian disciple.

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