Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Navigating the Shift"
with Dwight Zscheile
on September 26
Saturday, September 26 will be the first of two opportunities in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina to hear from and interact with author and speaker Dwight Zscheile. Registration is now open for this all-day event at Grace Church, Charleston.
The Reverend Dr. Dwight Zscheile is professor of missional leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. An Episcopal priest, he is the author of People of the Way and The Agile Church. His engagement with and study of the realities the 21st Century Church present a powerful interpretation of God's call to mission in the communities and neighborhoods where we live.
The September 26 conference will be a presentation of the realities of life in the Church today and the possibilities which lay before us. The second event, March 16-18 at Holy Cross Faith Memorial in Pawley's Island, will be a time to dig more deeply into the implications of being church in a time of change.
Every congregation in the diocese is encouraged to send a team to these presentations. Find a flyer with a full description of the conference and registration details here.
South Carolina at General Convention
Deputies from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina were in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Visit our blog to read what the Bishop, deputies and others from South Carolina have to say about their experiences at #GC78, and to share information with our diocese. Find it here: episcopalsc.blogspot.com
A message from Bishop vonRosenberg
July 21, 2015
Some time now has passed since General Convention, and perhaps some further reflection on that event will be helpful now. I am so very grateful to the deputies from our diocese and to Holly Behre for the helpful ways that information from Salt Lake City was shared “back home.” In fact, if you took advantage of such resources, you were kept quite up-to-date about news from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Nevertheless, I do want to add a few current words and reflections about subjects that have been raised since Convention’s adjournment.
Of course, the marriage canon and liturgies received a good deal of attention, and they will continue to do so. I call your attention to what I wrote soon after the Convention took action. (The Bishop's Message of July 2 can be found here.) I will ask the diocesan Liturgical Commission to spend some time and energy in studying the rites and in helping me formulate policies for our diocese, in response to Convention action. Corresponding to understandings from Convention, our current policy involving “blessings” remains in place until Advent I (November 29, 2015). At that point, the liturgies for marriage will be appropriate to use, as authorized rites of the Church.
Discussion about formulating a policy on alcohol use in churches has been ongoing in Diocesan Council meetings for several months. There was a resolution passed on such policies at General Convention. Therefore, that resolution will become part of the considerations at our next Council meeting, in September. I imagine that we will be prepared to publish and publicize a diocesan policy soon after that time.
Anti-racism training for clergy has been mandated by General Church canons for a number of years, and such training also has been directed for those laity in positions of church leadership as well. Once again, training in anti-racism was a matter of discussion and support at this General Convention. This is a timely topic for us in South Carolina for many reasons, and it represents an appropriate subject for special training. Prior to General Convention, we had arranged for Dain and Constance Perry to offer initial training here, in September. Information about those opportunities is available on our website, and I encourage your attention to this matter. In this regard, though, we all need to be aware that such training will not complete our responsibility to deal with personal and systemic racism in our world. Indeed, this is a life-long journey.
Finally, a matter of local interest involves a new canon dealing with a process of reinstating clergy who previously had left The Episcopal Church. We had a particular interest in this matter, because of our experiences in this regard while there was no canon yet in existence. The canon that finally came out of committee for consideration was greatly influenced by experiences in South Carolina. Indeed, the process which we formulated and put into practice here is now followed pretty closely in the canons for the whole Church.
Much of the work of General Convention – requiring a great deal of the time of many people – may seem remote and somehow removed from the experiences of the local church. Indeed, a concern I always have at General Convention is the need for links and connections between the work done in such a large setting and the people in the pews on Sunday mornings. General Convention, at its best, meets, prays, deliberates, and makes decisions on the part of the whole Church … and in service to the Church.
As I look over the topics I have mentioned in this communication, I certainly am aware that each one of them has particular, local interest and application – not just the final one listed. The General Convention has the responsibility to consider matters of local interest and concern and to formulate policy – or decide not to formulate policy – that makes sense for the Church at large. This particular Convention, perhaps more than any other I have attended, did an excellent job in valuing the local experience, while also appreciating the distinctions among us. For this reason and for many others, it was an honor to attend the Convention, representing Episcopalians from South Carolina!
The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg
Recent messages from the Bishop
On changes made at General Convention to the canons related to marriage (7/2/2015)
On the election of the Right Reverend Michael Curry as our 27th Presiding Bishop (6/27/2015)
On the tragedy at Emanuel AME (6/18/2015)
Ways to give for Emanuel AME
The City of Charleston has set up a donations web page with information and links for those who wish to give in response to the killings at Emanuel AME Church.
A contribution has been made from our diocesan budget to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund for funeral expenses and for Emanuel AME Church. There is also a second fund, the Lowcountry Ministries - Reverend Pinckney Fund, that will be used for community initiatives.
Find all the details, including ways to give online, at this City of Charleston webpage.
Hoping for reconciliation,
Episcopalians offer to settle lawsuit
June 15, 2015
Episcopalians who are seeking to end the bitter legal battle over church property in eastern South Carolina have presented a settlement agreement to a breakaway group, offering to let 35 parishes keep their church properties, whether or not they choose to remain part of The Episcopal Church.
In exchange, the proposal would require the breakaway group to return the diocesan property, assets and identity of “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina” to the diocese that is still affiliated with The Episcopal Church.
“From the beginning of this dispute, we have hoped for reconciliation with people in the churches affected by this sad division,” said the Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. “We see this offer as the strongest possible way we can demonstrate that.”
Read more here.
2015 Renewal of Ordination Vows
The clergy of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina gathered at Bishop Gadsden on February 24 for Holy Eucharist, the Renewal of Ordination Vows, and the Blessing of the Oils. Bishop vonRosenberg was the celebrant, and the preacher was the Rt. Reverend John C. Buchanan. Find his sermon, and more photos, here.
Federal false-advertising case returns
to U.S. District Court in Charleston
June 11, 2015
A federal false-advertising lawsuit against the bishop of a group that left The Episcopal Church returned to U.S. District Court today, as Judge C. Weston Houck held a status hearing on vonRosenberg v. Lawrence. Read more here.
SC Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal
April 15, 2015
The South Carolina Supreme Court today granted The Episcopal Church in South Carolina’s motion and will hear the appeal of a circuit court decision giving the name and property of the local Episcopal Church diocese to a breakaway group.
The court also denied a motion from the breakaway group for a greatly expedited schedule in the case, and set September 23, 2015 as the date for oral arguments in the case, saying that no extensions would be granted. TECSC had asked the court to take the case, bypassing the state Court of Appeals, in an effort to avoid expense and delay for all parties. Read more here.
February 4, 2015:
A Pastoral Letter
from Bishop vonRosenberg
Read the letter here.
Diocese receives $19,000 Roanridge grant
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has been awarded a $19,000 grant for 2015 from The Episcopal Church’s Roanridge Trust, one of 10 grants that were announced February 3.
Roanridge Trust Award grants are awarded annually for new and creative models for leadership development in small communities. The $19,000 grant to TECSC will be used to start a Lifelong Formation Training Program for clergy and lay people in the rural sections of the diocese.
Read more here.
An interview with
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke with the Church of Ireland Gazette on October 3, 2014. Topics in the 22-minute interview include:
The Anglican Communion (0:00-2:22);
Anglicans/Episcopalians in North America (2:22-4:45);
and the Lambeth Conference (4:45-5:40).
Find a link to the interview 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
Anti-Racism Training set for September
From September 15-19, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will offer four opportunities to engage in an important and timely film-and-discussion program to explore issues of race, discrimination and the legacy of slavery. Registration is currently open for clergy in the diocese. Lay leaders and the public will be able to sign up in August.
Learn more about these programs here.
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._
Wayne Helmly, music director of St. Stephen's, Charleston, greets Bishop vonRosenberg after giving a talk at the "LGBT in the Church" conference.
'On the Side of History'
St. Stephen's, Charleston hosted the "LGBT in the Church" conference on March 21. See a photo album of the day's events. It was the third and final part of the "On the Side of History" educational conference sponsored by the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina.
A visit with the Dean of Westminster Abbey
Our Bishop, the Right Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, spent some time with the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev. John Hall (3rd from the left), on October 30 during his first visit to Charleston. Shown with them is the Rev. Philip Bryant (second from left), Pastor of the French Huguenot Church, where Dean Hall is speaking tonight; and the Rev. Canon Michael Wright, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston. Read more about the Dean's visit.
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 PayPal. To begin, click the button below. Planning ahead for giving in 2015? 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.
Our own Bishop, the Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg, has commended this report to the people of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
Find a letter from the Bishop and the report here.
Another returning priest reinstated
through new path for reconciliation
Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg has welcomed another returning priest back into good standing in The Episcopal Church through a new process that provides a path for reconciliation for clergy who left following the 2012 schism in eastern South Carolina. The Reverend H. Jeff Wallace reaffirmed the vows he took at his ordination in 2007 and signed a formal declaration promising to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. He is the second priest to return to The Episcopal Church after the 2012 split.
Read more here.