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October 18, 2012


Diocese of South Carolina: Special Message from John Barr to his Parish in Sumter

[Received via email and posted with permission]

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
There has been a seismic shift in our relationship with the National Episcopal Church. This is the opening paragraph which appeared yesterday on our Diocesan website:

“On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012.”

I want to ask you to read the rest of it and attending documents found on the Diocesan website. www.dioceseofsc.org

I want to share three things just right now:

i) Sunday at the Sunday school time (10:00—10:45) Marcus and I want to take some time to share with you the facts of these events, lay it all before you and, in faith, offer a sense of how God is using this. We will postpone the ongoing class I was teaching Entering Fully into the Life to Come next week. (I am so excited about this class; but we will meet the next week).

ii) This morning (Thursday) I will be at an all day Standing Committee Meeting to pray, discern and seek with other brothers and sisters ways canonically, biblically, and with grace and courage to support the gospel of Jesus Christ and our bishop and our godly heritage here as the Diocese of South Carolina. The entire clergy of our Diocese will meet this Friday at St. Paul’s, Summerville with Bishop Mark. I am asking you to pray for these meetings.

iii) Finally, know this: Paul tells us in 2 Timothy: “Be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.” I believe we are here for a sovereign reason. There is no accident. God’s hand and timing have opened this door. Times like these push us beyond secondary realities to the truth of Christ himself. Our bishop cannot keep the gospel silent. We cannot compromise it. We are in for great challenges in which the gospel is newly going to lift us—hard valleys, confusing turns, new commitment, daily callings to follow and love with patient endurance. We will undergo awesome new engagements with a riveting and powerful gospel.

The Shepherd leads. He leads through the valley, never around or bypass or detour, through….. We have a through Shepherd!

Much love in Christ to all of you. Pray for all the leadership: Bishop and Standing Committee and leaders. I will see you on Sunday.

“I have learned to kiss the wave which dashes me against the Rock of Ages.”—Charles Spurgeon

John Barr iii


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7 comments

A wonderful letter of faith, offering some calm and sustenance to his people, warning them of the storm to come. God bless him, and Bishop Mark Lawrence, and all the people of the diocese of South Carolina as storm of heresy and deceit seeks to envelope them.
desert padre

[1] Posted by desertpadre on 10-18-2012 at 01:17 PM · [top]

A very fine letter indeed.  Please be in focused prayer tomorrow for this meeting, Bishop Lawrence, and his faithful clergy. 

How I would love to be a part of the diocese of South Carolina!

[2] Posted by evan miller on 10-18-2012 at 01:52 PM · [top]

I have been praying for the diocesan leadership for some time now.  Please do keep these meetings in your prayers. I think our prayers are being answered and the way forward is being revealed to us bit by bit.  I am looking at again the various Anglican TV videos of Bishop Lawrence. Such incredible foresight and clear vision of where to go and what to do over the past couple of years by +Mark Lawrence.

I agree with Evan, It is an excellent letter and I would expect no less from John Barr+.  He is but one of the many fine and faithful clergy here.

I am most grateful to be here. I wish all of you out there in Anglican blog land that want a faithful church home could just fly down here and be part of a parish. I really do wish we could offer to the laity something similar to canonical residency for clergy. I know….. I know we can’t but still….

[3] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-18-2012 at 02:51 PM · [top]

A truly faith-full letter from my dear friend John. I’ve come to love the good people of Holy Comforter over the years, as I’ve visited from Scotland - I know they’ll stand firm under John’s leadership and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Prayers for Bishop Mark as he leads them all through this….

[4] Posted by GadgetVicar on 10-19-2012 at 09:18 AM · [top]

Do individual parishes have to vote to leave TEC? What about their members? When KJS establishes her own standing committee, something will have to give.

[5] Posted by Pb on 10-19-2012 at 11:03 AM · [top]

SC blu cat lady,

I know my wife and I think of ourselves as members of the Diocese of SC in spirit.  Every time we visit Charleston we schedule the trip around a Sunday so we can worship at St. Phillip’s, where we’re unfailingly met with warmth and hospitality.  The most recent Mere Anglicanism conferenc there was the high point of my year.  Well, next to my son’s wedding, of course!

[6] Posted by evan miller on 10-19-2012 at 11:13 AM · [top]

I realise its not the most important issue, as compared to the spiritual battle taking place.

But I would be interested to know - what is this going to mean in practice, particularly for that which seems most important to TEC, i.e. the church properties belonging to Dio SC? 

As I understand it, previous attempts by TEC and its allies were rebuffed by the courts of SC, finally including the State Supreme Court.  Does this move indicate that they are going to have another go, after changing the legal relationship between TEC and Dio SC, or does it have some other purpose?  For example, is it more defensive than offensive, designed to cut +Lawrence and his clergy off from any further involement in the internal workings of TEC?

[7] Posted by MichaelA on 10-23-2012 at 10:30 PM · [top]

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