Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mediation update: December 4, 2017
Mediation is in recess until January 11-12 in Columbia.
We welcome your ongoing prayer as we continue in this process.
The Bishop's Advent reflection
"Advent is my favorite season of the Church year. I like the countercultural feel of it that resists the rush around us and bids us slow down. Advent is about waiting on God," Bishop Skip Adams writes in his reflection for the season of Advent. Read it here.
You can also find Bishop Adams' series of reflections for major feast days and holy days on the Church's liturgical calendar on the Bishop's blog, here. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive all the Bishop's messages via email.
The Season of Advent
Visit our Advent & Christmas page to find ways to enter into this season of prayer and preparation: A quiet day, services of Lessons & Carols, special studies, and more.
The Bishop's Address to Convention
Here's video of the Bishop's Address to the 227th Diocesan Convention, held November 10-11 at All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island. Find the text of the address and more Convention information and resources on our Convention Page.
The South Carolina Supreme Court Decision
and a Statement from Bishop Adams
November 19, 2017
Ruling in favor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court has denied two motions from a disassociated group and upheld its August 2 decision that property and assets of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and most of its parishes, must remain with The Episcopal Church.
The orders, dated Friday, November 17, can be found here:
Denial of rehearing motion
Denial of recusal motion
Friday’s rulings reject two motions that were filed by a breakaway group that left The Episcopal Church in 2012. One sought a rehearing of the case, while the other asked that Justice Kaye Hearn, one of the five justices who wrote the opinion, be recused, and her opinion vacated.
The court voted 2-2 on the rehearing motion; a majority would have been required in order to grant a rehearing. Justice Hearn did not vote.
The court voted unanimously to deny the motion seeking Justice Hearn’s recusal. Justice Jean Toal, who was serving as Chief Justice at the time the court heard the case, noted that "an adverse decision is no reason to excuse a nearly two-and-a-half year delay in making a request for recusal."
"While I make no criticism of the respondents' lawyers for filing the motions to recuse and for vacature, I am disappointed in the tone of these filings. They are unreasonable harsh criticisms of a highly accomplished judge and a person of great decency and integrity," Justice Toal said.
Statement from Bishop Adams
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
We give thanks for the clarity that the State Supreme Court’s decision provides and we are grateful for the thoughtful and difficult work the justices have undertaken in this case.
From the time this lawsuit was filed against The Episcopal Church, the hope of reconciliation has been our guiding principle. We believe this is what the Lord Jesus would expect of us and it is consistent with the teachings of St. Paul who said in his second letter to the Church in Corinth, “All this is from God, who reconciled himself to us in Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” We renew our commitment to this hard work of reconciliation in the days to come.
We understand that the many people in the parishes affected by this ruling may be experiencing pain, fear and confusion. Let me say to all that The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is committed to finding a path that will allow the people of God to continue to live their lives as a part of the Anglican Communion in and through the Episcopal Church. As a former Bishop of South Carolina, William Alexander Guerry, said more than 100 years ago, “If we are to be truly catholic, as Christ himself is catholic, then we must have a Church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living human soul.”
The Episcopal Church seeks to be an expression of faith in Christ that welcomes all to his expansive Table. Our prayer is that every person in every parish of the Diocese will join in working and praying together to bring healing to the Church, the Body of Christ, in this part of South Carolina.
The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III
Bishop, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
South Carolina Supreme Court Decision
Read the August 2 decision here.
Important facts to understand about the decision
A history and timeline of our diocese
Celebrating an Ordination
Jason Daniel Roberson was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests on Saturday, November 18 at Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island. Above, Bishop Skip Adams introduced the newly ordained Father Jason to applause from the congregation. See more photos of the day here.
Connect a student
with campus ministry
Do you know a student who's headed to college in South Carolina this fall? Help connect them with Episcopal campus ministries at their schools by visiting our College Ministry Page. You'll find links and contact information for campus ministries for both of the Episcopal Church's dioceses in South Carolina, covering public and private colleges and universities across the state.
Returning priest welcomed
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has welcomed a returning priest back into good standing in The Episcopal Church through a reconciliation process designed for clergy who left following the 2012 split in eastern South Carolina.
In a brief liturgy on November 11, 2016, the Reverend Matthew Wright McCormick reaffirmed the vows he took at his ordination to the priesthood in 2008. He also signed a formal declaration promising to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. The reinstatement liturgy, led by the Right Reverend Gladstone B. (Skip) Adams, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, took place at Grace Church Cathedral.
“It gives me great joy to welcome Father McCormick back into the fold of The Episcopal Church, Bishop Adams said. “ I take very seriously my responsibility as bishop to be a bridge builder, believing that all things are being reconciled through Christ as God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. This act by Matt is a sign of that grace and love as seen in Jesus.”
Read more here.
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has reorganized and is carrying forward the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as generations of Episcopalians in South Carolina have done since 1789, confident that by moving forward together in unity and faith, with God's help, we will flourish.
Your participation in the life of our diocese and its parishes, missions and worshiping communities is encouraged. The Episcopal Church always welcomes you!
The powerful words of a beloved bishop of South Carolina speak poignantly to us as we continue to rebuild:
“We should strive for unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is mechanical, barren, unfruitful, and unprofitable. Unity is organic, living, and capable of endless growth. If we are to be truly catholic, as Christ himself is catholic, then we must have a church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living human soul.”
The Right Reverend William Alexander Guerry
Looking for a church?
For a list of Episcopal parishes and missions, click here. The map below shows the parishes and missions of The Episcopal Church in our diocese. Click on the map for a larger view, or download a printable PDF version.
Make a donation
Your support for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is greatly appreciated! We're now able to accept online gifts to the diocese via AccessACS, our database/giving tool. To begin, click the button below. Planning ahead for year-end giving? Check out these tips on our giving page.)
Learning about The Episcopal Church
Want to understand more about the history and governance of The Episcopal Church – how it came to be, and how it makes decisions? For an authoritative look at these important topics, you'll want to read "A Primer on the government of The Episcopal Church and its underlying theology," a report offered by the Ecclesiology Committee of the House of Bishops. Find the report here.
Supporting Episcopal Relief & Development
Episcopal Relief & Development is responding in the aftermath of hurricanes in the US and Caribbean, part of its effort to 'heal a hurting world.' To make a gift directly to the hurricane relief fund, visit this link.
To mail your gift, send a check to Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
Planning a special Sunday for
Episcopal Relief & Development
Grace Church Cathedral is featured in a video filmed by Episcopal Relief & Development last spring, which is now being shown on their website as way to encourage churches to plan a special Sunday to support the work that Episcopal Relief & Development is doing to heal a hurting world.
Grace observes a special Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday four times a year, whenever there is a fifth Sunday in a month. The congregation has long been a leader among Episcopal churches in giving to the organization: Since Labor Day, people there have given more than $60,000 to hurricane relief.
Planning assistance available
Many churches find that designating a Sunday for Episcopal Relief & Development is a great way to call attention to the good work being done. If your congregation would like to do this, please contact Mary Person, at SC.ERD.Rep@gmail.com or 843-478-4762. Mary is happy to discuss resources available to you from Episcopal Relief & Development is available to speak to congregations about what this organization does.
Remembering Bishop Guerry
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina remembers William Alexander Guerry as Bishop, Reformer and Martyr each year in June, as we continue to share the remarkable story of our 8th Bishop.
Readings and prayers for Bishop Guerry's feast day are available here to be used in congregations across the diocese.
Bishop Guerry died June 9, 1928, five days after being shot in his office by a priest who had attacked the bishop’s position on advancing racial equality in South Carolina, and his proposal to install a black suffragan bishop in the diocese. The priest then took his own life. Bishop Guerry, in the hospital before he died, said of his assailant, “Forgive him, Father, he knew not what he did.”
Learn more about Bishop Guerry here.
A Prayer for Reconciliation
Gracious and loving God of justice and compassion: We pray for your church caught in a crushing schism in South Carolina. We believe that you favor reconciliation in all situations; and we ask you to be with all parties involved in the case. We pray especially for the Justices of the South Carolina Supreme Court and the attorneys arguing the case: surround them all with your love and your truth; and bring this process to a just conclusion. Give all of us strength and courage to act and pray in ways that can lead toward reconciliation. Help us be agents of your reconciliation with our friends on both sides of this dispute. We ask all this in the Name of the Holy Reconciler, Jesus your Son. Amen.