Special Convention Update

Posted: November 17, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion

Diocese of South Carolina Turns the Page; Looks Forward
Special Convention Approves Canonical and Constitutional Amendments Regarding Disassociation

Today, Saturday, November 17, 2012, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina met in Special Convention at the “mother church of the Diocese,” historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston.  There, an overwhelming majority passed three resolutions. (View  Resolutions.)

Disassociation
The first, by voice vote, affirmed the act of disassociation taken by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese, in response to actions of The Episcopal Church (TEC).

Amendments to the Diocesan Constitution
The second resolution, also by voice vote, passed on first reading. It approved amendments to the Diocesan Constitution removing all references to TEC.

Amendments to the Diocesan Canons
The final vote, which was by orders, was for approval of amendments to the diocesan canons, likewise removing all such reference to TEC.  It passed with an overwhelming vote of 96% (71 clergy) in the clergy order, with 3 abstaining. In the lay order, the vote passed with 90% in favor (47 yes with 5 abstentions).

“It’s Time to Turn the Page,” says Lawrence

“We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Lawrence in hisaddress.  “…I believe it is time to turn the page.”

The Bishop called those gathered to look forward. “I will be calling together a task force to link stronger parishes with congregations and missions in the diocese that may suffer the loss of members due to this departure from the Episcopal Church.  If a smaller parish has lost 10, 20 or 30 percent of its membership it may not be able to afford a full time priest.  So while continuing to keep the door ajar for disaffected parishioners to return, we need to find ways to enable that congregation to continue to support their rector or vicar; and not merely in order to keep ply wood from the windows but in order to reach their community for Christ and to grow his Church.  That is what it is about. Let’s get on with it.

The Bishop said, “We need to explore new ways of preparing young men and women and even middle-age ones for ministry; especially those who know how to travel light.  It is a new day and new ways of proclaiming the old truths need to be adopted.”
“Finally,” he said “I turn to our place in The worldwide Anglican Communion…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… We are not alone.  Greater are those with us than any who may be against us.”

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