Friday, 22 August 2014

South Carolina affiliates with the Global South

This announcement has been made jointly by the Global South Primatial Steering Committee and the Diocese of South Carolina led by Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Diocese of South Carolina: Global South Welcomes Diocese of South Carolina

…As you will recall the 223rd Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina meeting at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant on March 14-15, 2014 unanimously accepted the offer of the Global South Primates Steering Committee for Provisional Primatial Oversight.

Now this morning we receive with gratitude this letter from the Global South Primatial Steering Committee. It is their acceptance of our request for this gracious relationship. I trust you will be heartened as I have been by their welcome of us “… as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.” It is my joy to share it with you…

Letter from Archbishops Anis and Ernest: Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina.
Also available at Global South Anglican.

…The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014.1 A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 3:23pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | ECUSA

I wonder what the affiliation is? Interesting that they did not join the ACNA. I assume by doing this they feel will tie them directly within the Anglican communion.

Posted by: josh L. on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 4:09pm BST

No-one should be surprised by this. It is another example of the North American ecclesiastical civil war being visited on the rest of the Anglican Communion as American conservatives try to infiltrate by the back door. If they are so pure, wholesome and by definition exclusive why do they want to be associated in any way with the rest of us even via GAFCON - imperialistic hubris?

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 4:12pm BST

So, Dr. Welby,

Provincial border-crossings....

Your views?

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 5:25pm BST

He promised that if made a bishop he wouldn't take the diocese out of the Episcopal Church. There was active opposition to his election across the Episcopal Church and he made this promise to calm the controversy. Obviously, he lied. He didn't misspeak or react to changing circumstances or something like that. Nothing has happened to change anything since his election. This was planned from the beginning. He never intended to keep his word. Some bishop.

Posted by: Dennis on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 6:04pm BST

will there be flying bishops to minister to those persons and congregations who do not wish to part ways with ECUSA?

Posted by: Nathaniel Brown on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 6:04pm BST

The breakaway diocese of South Carolina is not a part of ACNA or the Episcopal Church because it sees itself as their own denomination, free of all accountability except to itself.

They only fall back on the structures of Episcopal authority when it suits them to enforce conformity with comprehension. Yet they cannot accept for themselves what they demand from others. And so they remain Anglican in name only but not in substance.

Posted by: Andrew Gerns on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 8:03pm BST

The parishes and people who remain within the Episcopal Church have no need of a flying bishop. The Rt. Rev. Charles Glenn vonRosenberg was nominated and affirmed as bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina after Mark Lawrence and his followers departed from TEC.

Posted by: June Butler on Friday, 22 August 2014 at 11:51pm BST

The lead attorney for the diocese of Mark Lawrence, and one of the principal strategists of secession, is one C Alan Runyan, the Nigerian-born son of Southern Baptist missionaries, who converted from the Sn Baptist Church to the Episcopal Church in the mid-90s.

Those with interest in the lower SC situation and the patience for protracted sermons will get more than a whiff of what is going on if they listen to the lengthy personal testimony which Runyan gave to the 2013 convocation of Mark Lawrence's clergy.

Incidentally, Alan Runyan's son Cameron, a city of Columbia (SC state capital) councilman, has recently been active in the War on the Homeless, hatching a plan to offer the homeless the alternatives of quitting the city; compulsory housing in an out-of-city concentration camp, or being jailed. Last year, the scheme year garnered Columbia national and international attention. The scheme was eventually shelved, but only after city council, which had first approved the plan, came to its senses (Cameron excepted) and repealed the scheme.

Posted by: Roger Mortimer on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 1:06am BST

"as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion"

No. That's not how the Anglican Communion is organized. The territory encompassed by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina is part of The Episcopal Church and by that relationship a part of the Anglican Communion. Lawrence's group claims the same territory, but claims to be independent of The Episcopal Church. It cannot be a part of the Anglican Communion.

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 3:15am BST

"Bishop" Mark Lawrence can affiliate w/ anyone he chooses. He just needs to vacate *Episcopal Church* property while doing so.

"Thou Shall Not Steal"

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 3:34am BST

We are one in Jesus Christ.

May God bless this man and those who align themselves with this provision.

Let's just get on with worshipping God, seeking grace, opening our hearts to love, praying and serving.

I don't really care who self-defines as Anglican. In the end, we are Christians (or not - respect to those on this forum who don't identify that way).

Let Christian be sufficient, and may we find grace in the diversity of expressions that loving Christ may take.

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

And come, let us worship.

For You, beloved God, are gracious: your mercy is everlasting, and your love endures from generation to generation.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 10:13am BST

Ms. Clark,

Mark Lawrence’s theology or view of Anglicanism is not the point. His deception and theft is. Let him return the property, and he will be free to be any church he wants to be.

Lawrence’s church is no more a part of the Anglican Communion than is the Church of Sweden, which, of course, is in communion with the Church of England, which is in the Anglican Communion. To the degree that he or his minions tells folks that they are in the Anglican Communion, he is lying. Fine behavior for a “bishop”!

Posted by: Lionel Deimel on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 6:50pm BST

Yes, Mark Lawrence said he would not take his diocese out of TEC, but dishonesty is not exactly a new thing for the secessionists.

My favorite example comes from Bob Duncan's standard sales talk during his schism campaign. He would raise his eyebrows and declare, lips trembling in righteous indignation, that TEC had fallen so far into heresy that our own prayer book says "we are worthy to stand before you."

Of course, having used that same prayer book for decades, Duncan knew perfectly well that it actually says, "You have made us worthy to stand before you."

That is perfectly orthodox Christian teaching, of course, which would hardly have served Duncan's desire for a grandiose new title and all that real estate, hence the need for some, um, revision.

Posted by: jpm on Sunday, 24 August 2014 at 3:26pm BST

Is this the challenge of GAFCON - via the 'Global South Primates' - to take over the 'orthodoxy' of world-wide Anglicans? It may seem a very small step to host a schismatic diocese under its wings, but does it constitute a challenge to Western Anglicans?

The next Lambeth - if, indeed, it happens, could be an interesting one. However, the G.S. and their friends in GAFCON may have already have stated their claim to have taken over the brand. In which case, perhaps the rest of us can just be left alone to continue with the Gospel of God's love and acceptance of ALL God's children.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 25 August 2014 at 11:30am BST


I would consider myself in communion with Mark Lawrence and the members of that part of the church community.

The issue of property is a matter of legality to be determined by the state as far as I'm concerned.

Admittedly, I am far from these disputes and not familiar with the details, but as far as I'm concerned, all Christians are in communion with each other, because if they are 'in Christ' then they must be, whether they like it or not.

Besides, whatever a person's theology, we can wish them well, in terms of grace and God's safe keeping.

As Christians, we are so diverse, each person called uniquely to be who they are becoming in Jesus Christ.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone can self-identify as being part of the Anglican communion, since that is a part of the worldwide communion in Jesus Christ. We are all brothers and sisters, and members of the eternal household and good estate of God.

Having said all that, I hugely identify with the Episcopal Church in the US which I regard as a beacon of justice and decency. I probably identify more with that Church than with the Church of England.

But in the end, I just think we are all Christians.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Monday, 25 August 2014 at 2:56pm BST

Mr. Deimel,
Its interesting that you say Bishop Lawrence's theology is not the point and go on to imply he is a thief.

Posted by: Robert Lundy on Monday, 25 August 2014 at 3:13pm BST

I don't think, Mr. Lundy, that there was any implication, but an outright statement. He is a liar, and, by any moral understanding, a thief.

Posted by: MarBrunson on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 4:56am BST

Dear Susannah, you normally speak a lot of sense on matters of gender and sexuality in the Church and I feel a commonality with you. However, on the matter of the Global South's 'protection' of Bishop Mark Lawrence's schismatic diocese; they are taking the opposite side to your normal arguments, which - as far as I can see from your posts - call for the acceptance of LGBTI people in the Anglican Communion. S.C. and the G.S. are working towards the exclusion of LGBTI persons in the Church

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 6:37am BST

Susannah is faced with something of an impossibility, Fr. Ron.

In the U. S., there is this strong undercurrent of "we can't sink to their level" which is, in fact, detrimental to the liberal/progressive agenda. What it boils down to, de facto, is a sense of being "better than" the opposition. If we embrace the idea that Mark Lawrence NEVER should've been given the chance to show what a liar he is, then we are "on their level."

Of course, what is overlooked is we *are* on their level. We are not better, our goals are, our beliefs are, our values are. Realizing we are not better is not beautiful, and is frequently ugly, and gets us called all sorts of names by those we oppose - Nazis, fascists, tyrants, anti-christs - but actually *gets things done!* If we had put aside our personal sense of superiority to do the dirty, sweaty and collectively responsible work of denying the episcopacy and the power to abuse it to Lawrence and his cronies, we'd be in a better position, now.

Like most self-delusion, it's reinforced by reaction against "sinking to their level" by censure, moral outrage, and all kinds of social wrist-slapping and shaming. All this is because it might make us face the fact that we are stroking our egos at the expense of doing what is right and needful, a devastating realization.

However, we humans love to feel special, but don't have a theology of being specially chosen over "them over there" so we sacrifice communal well-being to a self-aggrandizing idea like "we can't sink to their level." This doesn't make us bad, or any more selfish than anyone else, just blind to our ourselves. It's a so pervasive, one really feels it is a moral high ground, unless one actually looks at its fruits, and the implied psychology of self-aggrandizing behind it.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 8:19am BST

Rather Ron,

I, in turn, have great respect for your views and opinions, seen here over the years.

My point is, that just because someone "takes the opposite side to my normal arguments" and views, does not mean they are excommunicated by Jesus Christ.

I would still regard myself in communion with them, through the unity I share with them in Jesus Christ, even if they and the entire Global South were dismissed by the rest of the Anglican 'Communion'.

The same would apply if the admirable Episcopal Church was removed from 'Communion' (as they still could be). I would still accept their self-definition as Anglicans.

More importantly, I regard both parties (those I agree with, and those I don't) as Christians. As such I am in communion with them.

I am also in communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church (even though it does not endorse gender transition. I self-identify as Catholic.

I am still in communion with the Orthodox Church.

I am still in communion with the Pentecostal and Baptist Churches of various denominations.

We are One in Jesus Christ.

I don't really recognise the idea that Christians can sub-divide their Union in Jesus Christ into kind of clubs!

But I could be wrong on some of this, and I reserve the right to change some of my statements as I reflect further.

I just think we are all included by Jesus Christ, and I am resistant to the concept of exclusion, even if I disagree with someone. Admittedy, sometimes people self-exclude' themselves, but even then - as Christians - they are actually still included.

I guess my point of difference with many here, is that I don't really accept or recognise the concept of 'denominations', and I don't seek a 'uniformity' of view for those who operate in the Anglican tradition. Which is all I see it as. Tradition. Communion is eternal and universal.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 10:02am BST

I have heard that a number of parishes in the various schismatic dioceses that left, have now quietly returned to the TEC. Thus, the schismatics are actually shrinking (as they say, dead wood splits....) Does anyone have real data about this?

Posted by: IT on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 4:34pm BST

Certainly hasn't happened in SC. Hardly at all in Dallas or CFL (where the former PB allowed Bishops to negotiate with parishes to resolve disputes); or Quincy. 40% of all TEC dioceses are under 3000 ASA, so yes there is plenty of shrinkage. The General Convention wants to shrink 815 and there has been some serious discussion about the role of PB as well.

Posted by: cseitz on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 8:30pm BST

Dear Susannah; you may want to be in communion with 'them', but do they want to be in communion with you? the actions of S.C. and G.S. on this issue tell us quite clearly, they do not want to associate themselves with 'us' - you and me. We cannot enforce communion - just because it makes us feel better. That's what the culture of intentional schism is really all about.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 10:07pm BST

"I just think we are all included by Jesus Christ. . ."

In that respect, I agree with Susannah.

It isn't a matter of forcing communion. They have no choice, nor do we, as communion is through Christ, no matter how hard we squinch our eyes and clench our fists and swear it's all about canon law. Jesus don't give a hang about who we are "in" or "out of" communion with. We are in Him and through Him, and that's that.

It's like insisting that, because gravity has been outlawed in some backward state, gravity no longer binds us all to the earth. They can insist, we can insist on "respecting" their viewpoint - it still isn't true. We may not be allowed to walk around on their ground, but we still are all bound by gravity, regardless of the laws we try to make.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 5:06am BST

I agree with Susannah and Mark that you cannot choose who you are in communion with. Our brother and sisterhood is a given. All we can do is withdraw to our bedrooms, slam the door and say that we'll never play with each other again.

But the second part of this conversation is that there is an official Anglican Communion, and if people leave that, they are no longer part of it.

Maybe we're talking cross purposes here?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 9:11am BST

"40% of all TEC dioceses are under 3000 ASA"

Me thinks that is wildly false. I'm surrounded my many Episcopal parishes and I only know of one schismatic in the Denver metro area and one in Colorado Springs. Not that I would know them all, but traditional TEC parishes are the overwhelming norm. With a fair number doing Same Sex Blessings… Somehow that doesn't look like 40 percent here.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 2:28pm BST

This is widely available information.

Posted by: cseitz on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 5:14pm BST

According to my scan of The Episcopal Church website, for 2012 (the latest year available) the ASA was under 3000 for 27 domestic dioceses (which excludes all those outside the 50 states as well as the Navajo Missions) out of approximately 100 domestic dioceses. You can do the math.

Many of these dioceses are in very rural areas. They have never had high ASAs.

Posted by: dr.primrose on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 7:21pm BST

decade ending in 2010

1: -25% 4: -17% 7: -26%
2: -23% 5: -25% 8: -25%
3: -27% 6: -28%

Figures for 2013 will show 40 Dioceses with less than 3000 ASA.

TEC is very good at keeping these important statistics. Tragic would be leaders and laity who simply don't know this. Then there could be no proper planning on how to survive.

Posted by: cseitz on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 8:36pm BST

"This ['40% of all TEC dioceses are under 3000 ASA'] IS widely available information." seems to be grammatical inconsistent with "Figures for 2013 WILL show 40 Dioceses with less than 3000 ASA."

Posted by: dr.primrose on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 2:02am BST

cseitz, I find your comments interesting. Can you tell us which side of the TEC/ACNA divide you want to identify with. This would help some of us make more sense of your remarks. My guess, from your remarks here, is that you are part of ACNA. Am I Wrong in assuming this affiliation?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 11:03am BST

Surely you are not saying that 40+ dioceses hovering around 3.5 and well under in 2012, given overall rates of decline around 25%, will reverse direction? SC itself isn't included in your 2012 count! And yes, as you have shown this is all widely available data.

Posted by: cseitz on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 11:57am BST

"TEC is very good at keeping these important statistics. Tragic would be leaders and laity who simply don't know this. Then there could be no proper planning on how to survive."

Given the well publicized losses of the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptists here in the U.S., apparently, losses are more complicated than simply citing liberal versus conservative theology. Any church that thinks it's going to flourish simply because it has the "proper" theology is kidding itself, TEC included. Although, there's no reason whatsoever why TEC can't grow, a plan is needed.

Posted by: Doug18 on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 2:29pm BST

Fr Ron, I take it when you refer to 'us' you really mean 'me.'

I have always wondered where you get your rough-and-ready categories, but that may be the fault of blogdom (or a lazy mind).

Are you not aware that there is more to Anglicanism and episcopalianism in the USA than what you call a TEC/ACNA divide? I might have thought you were a more careful student of other provinces than your own.

I count seven TEC clergy in three generations of my own immediate family. I teach Anglican polity. ACI has been asked to provide amicus briefs in several lawsuits which have fared extremely well in pointing out how recent Episcopalians have no grasp of our historical polity. They have made up a church in order to prosecute various popular causes. This includes the invention of a new role for the PB, and the lavish spending of off budget dollars.

I am solidly TEC and count as colleagues several very strong dioceses. Increasingly, even liberal dioceses have questioned the recent overreach of certain TEC operatives.

You seem to do a similar thing when you confuse the GS with Gafcon. I am never sure if you do this on purpose or whether you just have such rough-and-ready categories because that suits a simplistic outsider take on other provinces. Maybe you can explain?

Posted by: cseitz on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 8:02pm BST


There are certain dominionist elements in the U. S. that operate to take down moderate, mainstream Christianity from the inside. To do that, they have to insist they are "loyal members" of the denomination they seek to destabilize. They are masters of parsing and misdirection, obfuscation and obscuration to try to nuance their position of absolute opposition and goals of destruction. We have often had ranks swollen by right-wingers who come in to "save" us, and then, finding they have less success than in the right-wing takeover of the Baptists, leave, presenting that as proof of our eminent demise.

This is what happened to a great extent in SC. Numbers won't give you that, because they are only numbers, not truth. You certainly won't get anything like truth from some of the sources you're trying to press for truth.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Saturday, 30 August 2014 at 7:31am BST

TEC is thriving by C of E standards...proportionately if baptized persons participated on the same scale , there would be 9 million Anglicans in England at Church on Sunday.

As for ACNA, its " 100" thousand, includes 13, 000 Reformed Episcopalians who leftTEC in 1873.
Indeed it also includes the 3,000 members of ACNA in Canada.

Posted by: Robert ian williams on Monday, 1 September 2014 at 11:04pm BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.