Hey Church, as many of you already know, the convention of the Diocese of South Carolina is coming up this weekend. I still remember travelling to one of my first diocesan conventions as a junior at The Citadel (interestingly, that convention was held here at Trinity. It was my first time here!) Before we left, my chaplain, Doug Petersen, looked at me and said “Iain, just remember, laws are a lot like sausages. Everyone knows they’re good, but nobody should ever have to see them get made.” I assure you, diocesan conventions in South Carolina aren’t just legislation machines! This year’s convention will begin with a series of workshops with some top notch presenters. These are open to the public, so feel free to register and come on down! http://www.diosc.com/sys/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=554:223rd-convention-workshops&catid=144:conventionnews&Itemid=257
Also of note are three particular resolutions the convention will be voting on. Resolution R-1 is a resolution for the diocese to become a member of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans by signing onto the Jerusalem Declaration, a statement of faith addressing contemporary issues of faith for global Anglicans today. I see this as a very positive step as Anglicanism was originally constructed as a confessional and liturgical church centered around the 39 Articles and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Over the years, many have drifted away from these standards. It is heartening to see them returning to the central place they deserve. Not only that, this aligns us with literally millions of Anglicans around the world who desire to stand together in proclamation of the gospel.
In the meantime, the second resolution calls for the formation of a committee to be made by Pentecost of this year to begin the discernment of our future affiliation as Anglicans. You can see both of these resolutions here: http://www.diosc.com/sys/images/documents/conventions/223_conv_resolutions.pdf
The third resolution of note is a resolution from the floor, Resolution R-3. This resolution is in response to happenings that have developed since the first resolution was proposed. The Global South Primates have offered primatial oversight to The Diocese of South Carolina. What this means is that while South Carolina discerns its pathway for affiliation in the future, (to be prayerfully sought out by a committee formed by resolution R-2) we will have pastoral oversight from the archbishop of another province of the Anglican Communion.
I see these resolutions as encouraging steps towards what Anglicanism is at its best. For centuries, Anglicanism has been known as a sort of Reformed Catholicism. We are reformed in our doctrine, which is to say that we are a church that looks to the Scriptures as the supreme authority over faith and life and see in those same Scriptures the centrality of Jesus Christ and the gospel. And we are a church in catholic order, which is to say we have a polity like the historic church with Bishops in communion with one another in global fellowship. It is my opinion that these three resolutions honor these commitments to reformed and gospel centered faith and catholic order. If you have further questions feel free to call or contact your convention delegates, John Ed Copeland, Tom Webb, Danny MacDonald, and Bob Bell. In the meantime keep me and your delegates in your prayers!