February 27, 2017

November 17, 2012

Bishop Lawrence Addresses His Convention, Which Votes to Shake the Dust from its Feet

His message to the Special Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina in Charleston was strong and clear. Here is the essence of it, in two excerpted paragraphs:

Consequently, I trust you will understand that I have striven in these past five years, contrary to what some may believe or assert, to keep us from this day; from what I have referred to in numerous deanery and parish gatherings as the Valley of Decision.  There is little need to rehearse the events that have brought us to this moment other than to say—it is a convergence of Theology, Morality, and Church Polity that has led to our collision with the leadership of TEC.  I hope most of our delegates and clergy who have heard me address these matters know in their hearts and minds that this is no attempt to build gated communities around our churches as some have piously suggested or to keep the hungry seeking hearts of a needy world from our doors.  Rather, let the doors of our churches be open not only that seekers may come in but more importantly so we may go out to engage the unbelieving with the hope of the gospel and serve our communities, disdaining any tendency to stand daintily aloof in self-righteousness.  Indeed, let us greet every visitor at our porch with Christ and while some of our members stand at open doors to welcome, still others will go out as our Lord has directed into the highways and byways of the world—across seas and across the street—with the Good News of a loving Father, a crucified-yet-living Savior and a community of wounded-healers learning, however falteringly, to walk in step with His Spirit.  Let not God’s feast go unattended.  This is our calling and our mission.

But I must say this again and again. This has never been about who is welcome or not welcome in our church.  Its about what we shall tell them about Jesus Christ, his mercy, his   grace and his truth – it is about , what we shall tell them when they come and what we shall share when we go out.

Bishop Lawrence keeps the truth of the Gospel first and foremost throughout his address. The price of staying in ECUSA cannot be the surrender of God’s Word as Christians have received and held it through the centuries:

We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of TEC.  And while some of us still struggle in grief at what has happened and where these extraordinary days have brought us, I believe it is time to turn the page. The leaders of TEC have made their positions known—our theological and creedal commitments regarding the trustworthiness of Scripture, the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ, and other precious truths, while tolerated, are just opinions among others; our understanding of human nature, the givenness of gender as male and female, woven by God into the natural and created order, is now declared by canon law to be unacceptable; our understanding of marriage as proclaimed in the Book of Common Prayer “established by God in creation” and espoused by Anglicans around the world hangs precariously in the life of the Episcopal Church by a thin and fraying thread; and our understanding of the church’s polity, which until the legal strategy of the present Presiding Bishop’s litigation team framed their legal arguments, was a widely held and respected position in this church. Now to hold it and express it is tantamount to misconduct or worse to act upon it – is ruled as abandonment of this church. While one might wish the theological and moral concerns were on center stage, it is the Disciplinary Board for Bishops misuse of the church’s polity that has finally left us no place to stand within TEC.  So be it. They have spoken. We have acted.  We have withdrawn from that Church that we along with six other dioceses help to organize centuries ago.

While I have strived to keep us from this Valley of Decision, having walked so long in its gloom myself—once forced to decide—my allegiances are firm. The doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them and the solemn declaration “that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for salvation” cannot be surrendered.


ECUSA will not be allowed to interfere in the Diocese’s mission for the sake of its machinations, which are all about property and power, and have nothing to do with salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The path for this Convention is clear, and there is no point in looking back, or reflecting on “what might have been.” Moreover, those who disagree may do so freely and without rancor or penalty; those who need more time for discernment may have all the time they need.

Nor can we embrace the new revisions to the doctrine, discipline and worship so wrongly adopted. Whether we could or could not have stayed longer, or continued to resist in the face of these recent innovations need not detain us further. An unconstitutional process has weighed us in a faulty canonical balance and found us wanting. The PB’s legal team having entered with coy excuses and without canonical authority into this diocese some three or more years ago, now emerges from the shadows, stepping boldly into the light of day.  We must of course address them and their actions; but should they look to reconciliation and not litigation, changing from their prior practice of speaking peace, peace while waging canonical and legal war, we shall meet with them in openness to seek new and creative solutions. Yet let this be known, they will not detract us from Christ’s mission. We move on.

Those who are not with us, you may go in peace; your properties intact. Those who have yet to decide we give you what time you need. Persuasion is almost always the preferable policy, not coercion. By God’s grace we will bear you no ill. We have many friends among the bishops, priests and laity of TEC, and we wish you well.

Furthermore, I bear no ill toward the Episcopal Church.  She has been the incubator for an Anglican Christianity where God placed me many years ago. Rich is her heritage and regal her beauty.  When I have quarreled with her it has been a lover’s quarrel.  For many of the precious gifts she has received from prior generations she has not maintained.  And she has left no place for many of us to maintain them either.  So I say free from malice and with abiding charity we must turn the page.

And I say this as well: to all who will continue with us: “Let us rend our hearts and not our garments.” Let us be careful not to poison the waters of our communities with our differences with TEC.

Rarely have the spiritually hungry, the seeker, the unconverted or the unchurched been won for Jesus Christ through church conflicts, denominational discord, or ecclesiastical excesses.  If we are to have the aroma of Christ we must live in his grace with faith, hope, and charity.  The apostle has described it well: the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (long-suffering) and self control. Therefore, we cannot allow either personally or corporately any root of bitterness, resentment, unforgivenness, anger or fear to take us like untied and forgotten buoys in an outgoing tide, burying our hearts and mission in some muddy marsh or to float adrift in some backwater slough. 

No, we shall turn the page with hearts wide open and love abounding for the chief of sinners – which is always us. We shall move on.

Actually, let me state it more accurately.  We have moved on.  With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation the fact is accomplished:  legally and canonically.  The resolutions before you this day are affirmations of that fact.  You have only to decide if that is your will and your emotions will follow.

The Convention voted overwhelmingly to affirm the actions of the Standing Committee. The Diocese of South Carolina is no longer a constituent member of ECUSA—but that does not make it any less “Episcopal.” ECUSA has no monopoly on that name, which simply means “headed by bishops.” The name of the Diocese, therefore, remains “the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina,” and its full description remains what it was in colonial times: “The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America in the Diocese of South Carolina.”

Ah, you ask, but if it is no longer a member of ECUSA, then it is no longer in the Anglican Communion?

The question proceeds from a gentlemens’ club mentality, which sees the “Anglican Communion” as consisting of only members whose names appear on the official membership schedule of the Anglican Consultative Council. That is today true only in a narrow, legal sense. The truth is that for a good while now, there are and have been two Anglican Communions. And a good way to tell them apart is to look at the ones who recognize Bishop Lawrence as a bishop in good standing and who pray in solidarity with his Diocese, versus those who will not:

Our vision since 2009 has been to Make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age: Helping by God’s grace to help shape emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century. Just this week I mentioned in my recent Open Letter to the Diocese that we have heard from Archbishops, Presiding Bishops, and diocesan bishops from Kenya to Singapore, England to Egypt, Ireland to the Indian Ocean, Canada to Australia.  They, represent the overwhelmingly vast majority of members of the Anglican Communion and they consider me as a faithful Anglican Bishop in good standing and they consider this diocese as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

Ah friends, this has got to comfort us as we await further guidance from God regarding future affiliation. And we need to continue conversation with the Provinces and Dioceses with whom we have missional relationships. Just yesterday I received emails from bishops in Egypt, North Africa and Ethiopia assuring us of their prayers.  I thought my gosh if those in such hard pressed environments should take an interest and intercede on our behalf is humbling. I woke this morning to see an email from Ireland, from Bishop Clarke saying we are in his prayers.  We are not alone.  Greater are those with us than any who may be against us.

I have omitted a long central passage from the address in which Bishop Lawrence discusses the state of Anglicanism in North America, and in the State of South Carolina in particular (with no less than six denominations in the Anglican tradition having bishops and clergy there!). Be sure, as the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon will tell you, to go and read the whole thing

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Alan, I think you need an edit in this sentence:

The Diocese of South Carolina is no longer a constituent member of ECUSA—but that does not make it any longer “Episcopal.”

I’m guessing you mean that does not mean it is no longer “Episcopal?”

[1] Posted by Karen B. on 11-17-2012 at 04:44 PM · [top]

I see no reason why the Diocese of South Carolina shouldn’t continue using the word “Episcopal” in their name, since they were, after all, one of the founding dioceses of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  Why should they be forced to reliquish that historically significant word?

[2] Posted by cennydd13 on 11-17-2012 at 05:35 PM · [top]

Thank you, Karen B., for that catch. I have fixed it to say what I meant: “... but that does not make it any less ‘Episcopal.’”

[3] Posted by A. S. Haley on 11-17-2012 at 06:54 PM · [top]

“The question proceeds from a gentlemens’ club mentality, which sees the “Anglican Communion” as consisting of only members whose names appear on the official membership schedule of the Anglican Communion Council.”

In the military we had an expression which I will sanitise thusly: “Couldn’t organise a drinking competition in a brewery”.  That well applies to the Anglican Consultative Council (BTW note the correct terminology). 

Who cares what the ACC thinks, about anything?

[4] Posted by MichaelA on 11-17-2012 at 08:05 PM · [top]

TEC cannot reasonably claim any kind of trademark on “Episcopal.”  There’s the REC, the AME, AME Zion, the CEC, etc.  TEC several years ago dropped the “Protestant Episcopal” part so it can’t even claim that, or so I think.  South Carolina will not be able to use any logos associated with TEC, but then, it won’t want to.

Bishop Lawrence’s address was wonderful, and the diocesan actions restrained in that no decisions about affiliating will be made for some time to come.  Very wise.  Let the dust settle and take time to consider.

[5] Posted by Katherine on 11-17-2012 at 08:18 PM · [top]

That is a bishop!

[6] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-17-2012 at 09:12 PM · [top]

I think the future for Bishop Lawrence and the people of the Diocese of South Carolina is a bright one, and I’m happy to see that they’re finally free of the fetters that bound them to what is now an heretical and apostate social organization masquerading as a so-called “Church.”  It’s hard to imagine them being called a “Church” any more, and therefore I can no longer refer to them as such. 

May God’s blessings be upon Bishop Lawrence and his people.

[7] Posted by cennydd13 on 11-18-2012 at 01:32 AM · [top]

My, oh my—I rushed this one into publication without any time for my usual proofreads, due to family goings-on today. I hate depending on others to make corrections which I should have caught in the first instance, but I am most grateful nonetheless for careful readers like MichaelA and Karen B.

There is much more to say about the strategies which are competing here, and which is the more likely to succeed in the longer run. That will have to come in subsequent posts. For now, I will just say that I expect the Presiding Bishop to look for a quick avenue to “depose” Bishop Lawrence without having to wait until next March, and without the expense of calling a special meeting of the HoB. She may well seize upon this Diocesan Address as a “statement of voluntary renunciation,” even though it was not addressed to her. (That fact did not stop her in Bishop Iker’s case, and there is no reason to expect her to feel bound by the canonical language here, either.)

At any rate, with regard to what has been written, hopefully now readers will be free to concentrate on the report itself, and not be distracted by its inadvertent infelicities. Again, many thanks!

[8] Posted by A. S. Haley on 11-18-2012 at 01:36 AM · [top]

RE: “The question proceeds from a gentlemens’ club mentality, which sees the “Anglican Communion” as consisting of only members whose names appear on the official membership schedule of the Anglican Consultative Council. That is today true only in a narrow, legal sense.”

Yes—and in the “narrow, legal sense” it is still true.  Organizations get to determine membership. It’s as simple as that.  People in “gentlemen’s clubs” even get to determine who is a member of the club and who is not, and it matters not if some of those inside the “gentlemen’s club” might have more in common with some of those without the club than within.

That’s the only note that rang false to me in Bishop Lawrence’s speech. A little shift in the language would have sufficed too. He said “we remain an extra-provincial Diocese within the larger Anglican Communion . . . “

And all he needed to say in order to be accurate was: “we remain an extra-provincial Diocese recognized as a legitimate diocese by the vast majority of Anglicans within the Anglican Communion.”

And that would have been both accurate, and all that really matters . . . for now.

Of course, for the Anglican Communion’s sake, *membership really does matter*.  That’s why The Episcopal Church should be ousted as a member of the club, and the Diocese of SC and others made members.

Claiming that it has “already happened” or that “it doesn’t matter” completely puts the lie to the wholly necessary church discipline that needs to occur.

It matters who is a member of the Anglican Communion.  The fact that TEC is a member is utterly abhorrent.

Perhaps someday that will change.

[9] Posted by Sarah on 11-18-2012 at 07:49 AM · [top]

As a member of our TEc congregation said to me “in defense” of TEc yesterday, “Bishop Lawrence is a homophobe and a hater.”

For teaching basic Christianity?

This illustrated to me the irreconcilible difference between the TEc revisionist view of +DSC and reality such that it made it easy to see why DSC must shake the dust from its feet.

[10] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 11-18-2012 at 08:36 AM · [top]

Would you rather be recognized by the Global South or Canterbury? Do you even want to be a part of Canterbury? To paraphrase the Marx Brothers, “I would not belong to any organization that would have TEC as a member. KJS has three more years to finish off TEC spiritually and financially.

[11] Posted by Fr. Dale on 11-18-2012 at 08:41 AM · [top]

There is no single controlling definition of membership in the Anglican Communion.  The oldest is that offered by the 1930 Lambeth Conference and quoted without attribution in the preamble to TEC’s constitution:

<blockquote.The Anglican Communion is a fellowship, within the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted dioceses, provinces or regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, which have the following characteristics in common:

a.  they uphold and propagate the Catholic and Apostolic faith and order as they are generally set forth in the Book of Common Prayer as authorised in their several Churches;

b.  they are particular [dioceses] or national Churches, and, as such, promote within each of their territories a national expression of Christian faith, life and worship; and

c.  they are bound together not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference.</blockquote>

The schedule of the ACC is not even recognized by the Anglican Communion as definitive.  Several churches are identified as members on the provincial directory at the Communion website that are not included on the ACC schedule, specifically extra-provincial churches such as Spain, Portugal, Bermuda, etc.  Some that are listed on the ACC schedule are not invited to Primates’ Meetings, e.g., Ceylon. 

Progressives attempt to exalt the ACC over all other instruments, but it in fact has no such status.  The Anglican Covenant, which is now in effect having been adopted by several member churches, states that each Instrument shall determine its own membership.

[12] Posted by wildfire on 11-18-2012 at 08:59 AM · [top]

RE: “There is no single controlling definition of membership in the Anglican Communion.”

I’m afraid that simply isn’t true. I went into the details of that in this article and those details are quite crushing: http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/3096

The ACC schedule is actually a trivial, last-on-the-list hoop to jump through—the other hoops are far more significant—but the ACC schedule is something that conservatives often point to in order to try to demonstrate the supposed insignificance in being a formal part of the Anglican Communion [that is, when they’re not trying to put themselves into position to be a formal part of the Anglican Communion!] 

I advocate for clear-headed honesty about membership in the Anglican Communion.  There are membership rules and there is indeed a formal application of those rules and it would be very good indeed for TEC to *not* be a formal member of same, and for other entities to *be* formal members of same.

I think the interesting thing to look for in the coming years is . . . will the new holder of the See of Canterbury acknowledge the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina as a duly constituted diocese in communion with the See of Canterbury?

Of course, I’d love for that to happen—and watch heads spin over it.  But once he does that, what he will be doing is acknowledging that geographical regions may hold more than one Anglican church in communion with his See without the permission of the original Anglican franchise holder in that region [of course there are several regions that have multiple Anglican entities in communion with the See by mutual agreement].

And what that would basically mean is “it’s open season on Anglican Communion competition with TECusa.”  And I think that would potentially cause TECusa to actually break communion with Canterbury.

I don’t think the current leaders of TEC could stomach such *Anglican Communion accepted* competition with them.

[13] Posted by Sarah on 11-18-2012 at 09:18 AM · [top]

9 & 13.  I actually agree with Sarah on the point she is making.

My intent in using the phrase “larger Anglican Communion”  rather than merely “Anglican Communion” was to imply that the majority of Anglicans (in sheer numbers) have recognized the Diocese of South Carolina as Anglicans in the One, Holy, Catholic and Aposotlic Church—nothing more.  But I did not state this clearly.  I was sloppy when I needed to be precise. My use of the word “larger” when linked with “Anglican Communion” was a wagon that could not bear the freight I was asking it to carry.

+Mark Lawrence

[14] Posted by Mark Lawrence on 11-18-2012 at 10:24 AM · [top]

Bishop Lawrence—I have watched your actions over the past years with such immense respect. I am so deeply grateful for and proud of you and your diocese [although hopefully in a godly way]—grateful that your diocese remained in TEC for so long, even as natural allies left, and grateful that you and the diocese did your utmost to differentiate from the gospel that our current TEC leaders are teaching while remaining clearly within TEC, and grateful that your diocese only departed when utter canonical destruction was threatened by TEC’s current leaders because they simply could not bear that differentiation.

I am humbled that you would comment on one of our inside-baseball debates that we periodically have over here on SF. I know that I sound like a pedant to some, but language and precision are very important and beautiful to me.

I don’t think any departing Anglican bishop has ever publicly stated that they were sloppy with their language regarding the Anglican Communion and membership, other than you, just now. 

I am completely floored and now hardly know what to say.

It would be hard for me to be more grateful than I have been, but I have been mentally preparing for aggrieved Anglicans to castigate me yet again for my desire to be clear and precise in language.

You may have saved me from that.

Thank you for your courage over the past years, and your desire for clear communication as well.

For the rest of the Anglicans on this thread . . . please keep in mind that I remain open to the call of God to leave TEC, as I have been for many years.  And if that happens, and nothing amazing has changed in the meantime, I will be outside of formal Anglican Communion membership, although in communion with millions of Anglicans within the Communion.  But I will be as happy in that place, if it’s in God’s will and with His direction, as I am in this place—and with so so much less conflict [. . . I hope, although sometimes God has a sense of humor about my future predictions].

[15] Posted by Sarah on 11-18-2012 at 11:14 AM · [top]

I thought the use of the term extra-provincial was a valid usage, meaning outside or additional to the geographical extent of a particular province.  It does not necessarily mean approved by the ACC, whose formal decision over such matters is a relatively recent innovation mainly trumpeted by the ACO.  Going back not so many years, there were a number of provincial changes which took place without any ACC approval, indeed it is not so long ago that the ACC did not exist.  I looked at it a while back, but can’t remember the details.

I suppose an interesting question is whether the Bishop of London ever disclaimed jurisdiction over South Carolina, or whether like another passport, that has just lain in abeyance.  Whatever, it seems to me that South Carolina just remains where it has always been.  The Episcopal Church has just moved away, and through its own actions demonstrated and triggered its own dissolution of the relationship with the diocese.

Moreover, while there may not have been much comment over here in England, for as British people with out history we have to be careful whether our interference will help or hinder those we wish to support, I know that Bishop Mark and his diocese are held in high regard here, and many of us pray and quietly support him, as I am sure he will have known from his recent visit to us, and where I had the immense pleasure of meeting and sharing brief fellowship with him.

Bishop Mark, may you and South Carolina be richly blessed and know that we pray for and support you in this trying, but exciting time, knowing that you do not need any of our support if you are doing the will of the Father, for He is faithful, and all the rest will follow from that.

God bless


[16] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 11-18-2012 at 12:35 PM · [top]

I suppose that one sign of whom Canterbury recognizes will be invitations to Bp. Welby’s enthronement ceremony. IMHO, if KJS was ever in Holy Orders (and not all of the Anglican Communion recognizes the validity of her 3 ordinations), she has long ago renounced her orders by her false teachings, and diabolical actions against faithful laity and clergy. So, IMHO, she ought not to be invited to the ceremony at all. If she does come, perhaps she and Bp. Andrus might share the basement.

As for Bishop Lawrence, I think it would be a Communion-divisive offense not to invite him. Oh, and ABP Duncan, too. He should walk with the other Primates in the procession.

[17] Posted by Ralph on 11-18-2012 at 01:47 PM · [top]

Your points are well taken. We may have even more clarity following the enthronement.

[18] Posted by Fr. Dale on 11-18-2012 at 03:06 PM · [top]

I expect anyone who can be bothered to make the effort to come will be welcome.  If not, Welby’s claim to be a reconciler and mediator goes down the pan, so to speak.

[19] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 11-18-2012 at 03:31 PM · [top]

Ralph, your comment

So, IMHO, she ought not to be invited to the ceremony at all. If she does come, perhaps she and Bp. Andrus might share the basement.

very definitely needed a beverage alert!  I just choked with laughter in reading that and barely managed to avoid spewing my keyboard with the guava juice I’m drinking!

[20] Posted by Karen B. on 11-18-2012 at 04:02 PM · [top]

Bishop Mark, what a treat to read your comments here, and may I add my comments of thanksgiving and gratitude for your stand.  Your address yesterday was like a cool spring in a desert land.  How amazing to read such a powerful exhortation to evangelism and showing gospel hospitality that all might share in God’s feast, a challenge to forsake bitterness, and a call to prudent and prayerful reflection about the future in the midst of such a crisis.

Truly the Lord has answered the prayers of all, myself included, who have been praying for the Lord to cause His Spirit to overflow in your life and put His words on your heart.  You are a great blessing to all of us Anglicans around the world.  May the Lord continue to encourage and strengthen your heart daily.

[21] Posted by Karen B. on 11-18-2012 at 04:02 PM · [top]

Alas,  although I am late to the discussion, I am thrilled that Bishop Lawrence was among us today at SFIF.  I am incredibly happy at Bishop Lawrence’s strong leadership and his wonderful, wise, and crystal clear words in his address to the diocese yesterday. There was no mistaking what Bishop Lawrence wants us to continue doing.

I am particularly impressed by how he described our separation from TEC by putting it into terms of a relationship. Yes, indeed.  While many are in the throes of severe grief over this, I am relieved! I have watched the decline of TEC over 35 long years into the mess of today. It has been a particularly painful and personal journey. 

I agree. It is time to turn the page. I look forward to doing my small part for our future.

[22] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-18-2012 at 06:30 PM · [top]

I believe there was a war that settled the question of whether the diocese of SC could still be considered under the Bishop of London. Now, I did find Bishop Chartres remark at Mere Anglicanism pretty funny. What he said was, I guess all has been forgiven. Now you need the context to make it funny but that statement was right after he was introduced and thanked Mere Anglicanism for the invitation to speak.

[23] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-18-2012 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Any attempt to build an objective basis for membership in the Anglican Communion falls apart as soon as it is investigated in depth. 

The fundamental problem is that all “rules” concerning the Anglican Communion derive from resolutions of Lambeth Conferences.  But successive Archbishops of Canterbury from the 19th century onwards took care never to concede that Lambeth Resolution can be binding on CofE.  They are relevant to CofE only insofar as CofE at any particular time wishes to concede them.

Numerous implications flow from that, one of which is that Lambeth Resolutions do not provide a reliable final basis for any rules of the Communion.  In other words, they are binding on members insofar as members accept them, and not otherwise. 

Does this mean they are not relevant at all?  No.  But it does mean that any attempt to formulate “rules” for membership of the Anglican Communion, and then to apply them as though they are objectively binding like an act of Parliament or an Act of Congress, is doomed to failure.

[24] Posted by MichaelA on 11-18-2012 at 06:47 PM · [top]

Bishop Mark,

May the Lord continue to bless you and all in your care. 

“they consider this diocese as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

And, in the end, that is all that really matters.

[25] Posted by tjmcmahon on 11-18-2012 at 06:48 PM · [top]

It was just a passing thought SC blu cat lady, and you may well be right.  But funny things happen in the fog of war - things get left unresolved.  If South Carolina had been an established church as for example it was in Virginia, then indeed I suppose the legal situation would have changed.  But was the church in South Carolina contiguous with the church before the Revolution, or was it a new reorganised church bearing no relationship to the former church?

I suppose I was thinking in terms of the discussion of extra-provincial status - as far as the Diocese of London was concerned, did South Carolina ever get struck off the books at any time ater the Revolution?  Or did nobody ever decide to do anything about it?  I don’t know the answer.

You do get these strange anomolies, for example a child born on a British man of war, anywhere in the world, was considered to have been born [and the birth would be registered] in the Parish of Wapping in London.    Stranger things have happened.

[26] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 11-18-2012 at 06:51 PM · [top]

From the foregoing, it can be seen why the idea that membership in the Communion depends on, among other things, recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury and listing by the ACC, is not an absolute.  Such an idea applies ONLY insofar as the various members continue to recognise it.

This is a harsh truth, but we need to face up to it.

Hence why recent Archbishops of Canterbury have done such damage to their own cause – they have forgotten that their own headship of the AC is in the final analysis built on a foundation of sand.  That didn’t meant they couldn’t retain the headship, but it did mean that if they wanted to do so, they had to be careful of taking overt action which would expose the very limitation on their own authority that they and their predecessors had imposed. 

Probably the most foolish example was by ABC George Carey in 2002 when he stated unequivocally that he would not recognise any American bishop as being in communion with him unless they are “fully reconciled” to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.  The problem with that peremptory statement was that it represented a direct challenge to fundamental beliefs held by many members of the Communion.  In fact most members of the Communion disregarded it, either actively, or in working together with those who did.

In effect, ++Carey was like an emperor who stridently demands that his subjects recognise that he is wearing clothes – such a demand will only cause his subjects to realise all the more quickly that he is not.

[27] Posted by MichaelA on 11-18-2012 at 06:52 PM · [top]

#20, sorry for the keyboard attack. Put the guava juice down, and read Joel 2:20. I think there’s a message there for DioSC.

And, more seriously, Joel 2:21. Be not afraid! Rejoice and be glad, because the LORD has done great things!

Back to the thread, I think the real question (the only question that matters) is whether God recognizes DioSC and her Bishop as part of the Holy Catholic Church, on earth. That’s a very easy question to answer.

What Canterbury thinks has become less and less important, and less and less relevant. Hence, GAFCON and the FCA.

Put +Mark and +KJS each at an altar. Let’s see who can call down the Fire, versus who gets set on fire.

[28] Posted by Ralph on 11-18-2012 at 07:49 PM · [top]

I disagreed with some of my former TEC brothers and sisters early on in regard to the “Anglican Communion” membership claim. I felt it was misleading to proclaim that our former TEC congregations were members of the Anglican Communion. Our argument, that we were part of the Communion through our relationship with the Global South churches, was rather complicated. Best not to claim a relationship that was, at best, muddled. The loss of the political and social connection with Lambeth is just part of the pain of seperation.

[29] Posted by Going Home on 11-18-2012 at 10:38 PM · [top]

Pageantmaster, I don’t know either except that both countries acted as if all the colonies and the churches therein were separated after the Revolutionary War. Now, if the Diocese of London *wants* to take us back that could be interesting. I need to go look up it in my history of the Episcopal Church.

[30] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-18-2012 at 10:41 PM · [top]

RE: “The fundamental problem is that all “rules” concerning the Anglican Communion derive from resolutions of Lambeth Conferences.”

Well no.  They also derive from the clear and public actions of the ABC, the ACC, and the Primates Meetings over decades—so, all four of the Instruments—which is precisely what we argued should occur in respect to the actions of TEC with regards to its departure from the faith.  That is, the action of Lambeth 1.10 should be mirrored by appropriate action from the ABC, the ACC, and the Primates Meeting.  At the end of the day, it was only the Primates Meeting that did so, and they were sabotaged by the ABC in his decisions regarding Lambeth and the ACC.

It’s quite clear who the members of the Anglican Communion are—and that has been made clear by actions from all four Instruments.  Otherwise we would not have all desired formal discipline to occur and for TEC to no longer be such a member and we would not have known the rules that make it so.

It will likewise be crystal clear if the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina becomes such a member again. Its bishop will be invited to Lambeth, representatives from the Diocese will be eligible as ACC delegates and various other Communion committees and commissions, and eventually the Diocese would be added to the ACC schedule—among other actions.

[31] Posted by Sarah on 11-19-2012 at 12:03 AM · [top]

I tend to agree with Ralph at #28. What really matters is whether God recognizes us (Diocese of SC) as part of God’s one, Holy, and Catholic church.

I just hope that we can continue fulfilling our Bishop’s vision: Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.

[32] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-20-2012 at 09:16 PM · [top]

“While I have strived to keep us from this Valley of Decision, having walked so long in its gloom myself—once forced to decide—my allegiances are firm. The doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them and the solemn declaration “that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for salvation” cannot be surrendered.”

Gotta love it.

[33] Posted by GSP98 on 11-21-2012 at 08:30 PM · [top]

As I read his words of hope, courage and encouragement, the thought of “Now, that is a Bishop!” echoed in my heart as well. 
Never forgetting the lessons of Christ’s teaching, keeping THEM in the forefront amidst all our human chaos.  As I leave our church property of some 50 years, I will remember:
“Rarely have the spiritually hungry, the seeker, the unconverted or the unchurched been won for Jesus Christ through church conflicts, denominational discord, or ecclesiastical excesses.  If we are to have the aroma of Christ we must live in his grace with faith, hope, and charity.”  Bishop Mark Lawrence
Men and women of faith have courage.  We TRUST in our God.
God Bless you Bishop and your Diocese.

[34] Posted by tpaine on 11-22-2012 at 07:16 AM · [top]

Meanwhile, the PB fabricates a renunciation and then decides that she will accept it. 

She then issues a press release for her 2.4 million members to read.


[35] Posted by tired on 12-5-2012 at 04:14 PM · [top]

Yes Tired,

And Narnia is plunged deeper into the cold grip of the ice ruler.

[36] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 12-5-2012 at 04:26 PM · [top]

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