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Silence from South Carolina on secession: The Church of England Newspaper, September 30, 2012 p 5 October 2, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Church of England Newspaper, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence

The Bishop of South Carolina has written to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina saying the diocesan leadership has made a decision on whether it will recommend secession from the Episcopal Church, but urged his clergy to hold fast as it would not be prudent to announce what it plans to do at this time.

In his 22 Sept 2012 announcement, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence wrote the diocesan “Standing Committee and I were in agreement on a course of action regarding the future of the Diocese of South Carolina and the challenges many of us face because of decisions by the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church.”

“However, for many reasons it was then and is now, imprudent to reveal that course of action.”

On 11 July 2012, South Carolina’s four clergy and four lay deputies to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention said that that “due to the actions of General Convention” they “cannot and will not remain on the floor of the House and act as if all is normal.”

After addressing the bishops during their private session on 11 July, Bishop Lawrence withdrew from the House of Bishops as well, saying he was acting in pastoral solidarity with his deputation. “I am not leaving the Episcopal Church, but need to differentiate myself” from the actions taken this week by the General Convention, he told Anglican Ink.

Upon his return to South Carolina, Bishop Lawrence called a meeting of the clergy to discuss the implications of the General Convention vote and the place of the diocese in the wider life of the Episcopal Church.  The bishop asked his clergy not to take any precipitous steps but wait until after his return from vacation at the end of August, when the diocesan standing committee and council would review their options.

In his latest letter, Bishop Lawrence said “Things are progressing—we have not stopped or dropped the ball. Please know that I understand the level of anxiety and concern of many in the diocese. Nevertheless I must ask you all for your continued patience and prayers as we seek to deal wisely and carefully with a fluid situation that requires great discernment and sensitivity on a regular basis. I will communicate to you the details at the very earliest moment such a communication is prudent.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.



1. Jeffrey E Rahn - October 2, 2012

I wish this were about theology, but it is about power pure and simple!

Roger Barton - October 2, 2012

Not quite… it’s also manifestly about church property, as well.

2. Gary Goldacker - October 2, 2012

Don’t know which to worry about more; secession of SC or name of the ABC-to-be! Maybe just another scotch and water to calm the nerves!!!

3. Linda McVay - October 2, 2012

Where is the love?

4. brotherbob - October 3, 2012

Gee, what does the NT lectionary say about this situation?

Addie Johnson - October 3, 2012

I agree with Roger Barton. When the final decision has to be made, the inability to take whatever material goods the diocese owns becomes the trump card. And litigation upon litigation ensues.

5. Cervantes - October 4, 2012

They already issued quitcalms for the churches, so they will be able to leave.

6. Fr. George Stamm - October 6, 2012

Even before his Episcopal election there was talk of him leading the Dio. of S. C. out of ECUSA. I was told, as President of our Standing Committee, by the President of their Standing Committee, that that wouldn’t happen. That was then, now, ?.

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