Whither South Carolina?


Later this week, on August 13th, the Diocese of South Carolina is expected to announce its response to the actions of the most recent General Convention. Having announced the date of that the response will be made public, many are looking to see how this self-described conservative body within the Episcopal Church will chart its future course.

Apparently there’s not a clear sense of unanimity within the diocese of how to respond.

According to an article in a Charleston newspaper quoting The Rev. Canon J. Michael A. Wright, rector of Grace Episcopal Church:

“(The Episcopal Church) has always been autonomous, we don’t have to run from that.” It’s a consequence of a church polity that mirrors the democratic government of the United States, he said. Independence, however, does not preclude the need to respect and cooperate with the rest of the Anglican Communion.

“Like Jesus, we want to be faithful to the gospel as he was, living it out in a particular time and place,” Wright said.

Another priest in the diocese, Steve Wood, seems to take a different view:

So then, how in the wide, wide world of sports is the departure of a diocese or a local congregation from TEC – while remaining a part of the larger Anglican Communion – in anyway thought of as schismatic (except in the tortured rationalizations of the stay-at-all-costs crowd)?

Canon Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina over on Titus 1:9 has had a number of posts on the subject.

Terry Martin, writing as “Father Jake” weighs in too.

Update Bishop Lawrence has issued this statement about the August 13th meeting saying, in part,

… to alleviate whatever unnecessary anxieties that may be out there, I thought it best to give you a glimpse into my thinking about the day and lay out at least the format for our gathering. Please know several things as we anticipate our time together—and it may be helpful to know that some are in response to expressed concerns which have come to me:

• You will not be asked to make a decision or vote on any resolution at this meeting. This is not a legislative gathering, nor even primarily a meeting to vet resolutions.

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