Myrtle Beach Congregations Grieve Split

Posted: January 25, 2013 by boydmonster in Anglican Communion, Thought and Practice in the Diocese of South Carolina

Steve Jones has written this article for the Sun News.  I am grateful to him for allowing Trinity’s voice to be heard in part and to clear up some misconceptions that had been spreading in the last few weeks.  Overall, he has tried to listen to both sides of the story.

That being said, there are a few points I would like to address concerning this article.  First, there were a few inaccuracies.  The report that 300-400 members were not at the annual parish meeting where the vote was made is simply false.  There were somewhere near 150 members present out of a little less than 350 members.  Notice was sent out to each member via first class mail as well as multiple email reminders, announcements at services, and at least 5 public meetings beforehand where the annual parish meeting was announced as well.  Unfortunately, this level of attendance is fairly typical for this sort of meeting.  The idea that the rest of the church wasn’t there through some sort of malfeasance is simply false, and I would suspect the vast majority of those who disagreed with the vote would agree with that.  

Furthermore, there was no rigging of the vote.  Robert’s Rules of Order were followed diligently during the meeting with ample time for discussion from anyone who wished to speak up.  A motion could have come from the floor to table the discussion, which would have stopped the vote from happening.  No one chose to do so.  Furthermore, the idea that scores of vestry candidates were waiting to be nominated, but that they were restricted from doing so is almost comically inaccurate.  Just like every year I’ve been at Trinity, we had to scour the earth to find people willing to serve on vestry.  In fact, some of those nominated declined to serve.  I’m grateful that we were able to find a group of people who were not only willing, but excited to serve.  In my time as a priest, I have sat through several controversial votes both on the parish and diocesan level.  Every time, there are some people on the minority side who feel cheated and so they cry ‘foul’ regardless of whether any misdeeds were done.  I feel confident that the silent majority at Trinity feel the same way.

Also, while I am grateful to Mr Jones for giving Trinity a voice, I have to say that the article seemed a bit unbalanced.  It seemed as if only those who were left behind at St Stephen’s and only those who left Trinity were affected by this.  I have spoken to some of those who left St Stephen’s, and while they aren’t making any accusations against my former colleague Wilmot, they are hurt by his decision not to stand up to The Episcopal Church.  Wilmot is grieving because he’s lost people to whom he’s been a priest, but they are grieving because they feel like they’ve lost their priest.  I might add, that Trinity is feeling grief over the loss of those who have departed here.  It is not entirely fair to say that only those who are remaining loyal to TEC are grieving and feel hurt.  

Finally, I have to add that the description of the church in The Sun News is not one I recognize when I look at Trinity.  Trinity continues to be a place where the Gospel is working to change people’s lives.  It continues to be a community of love and care.  And it continues to be a community seeking to welcome people from all walks of life to taste and see the goodness of the one who loved them and gave Himself for them.  It is my sincere hope that we won’t lose sight of this in the midst of the cloud that seems to be hovering over us right now.  

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Comments
  1. Dan Farley says:

    Well stated Fr. Iain. God bless you and allthe members of Trinity Church

  2. Melissa Daniels says:

    I am

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