Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
South Carolina at General Convention
Deputies from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina are in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. We've launched a blog so you can 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. Read and follow it here: episcopalsc.blogspot.com
A message from Bishop vonRosenberg
July 2, 2015
One of the actions of General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, includes changes made to our church canon on marriage. In terms of timing, this change will take effect on Advent I (November 29, 2015). Therefore, we have some time to prepare for this change and to anticipate its effects. This, then, is my initial communication to our diocese about the matter, but as we continue to pray, confer, and plan, it surely will not be the last one.
At the outset, we clearly affirm the presence and participation of faithful gay and lesbian Episcopalians who have been important participants in the mission and ministry of our church through the years. Of course, that affirmation has not always been the case. By this action at General Convention, we repent of previous exclusion, and we indicate our intention to practice full inclusion in the future.
In addition, this canonical change renews our commitment to continue to engage the society into which God has called us. The Episcopal/Anglican tradition calls us into such dialogue with our world and with the particular context in which we are blessed to live. As we know, the law of the land has changed in terms of marriage. This canonical modification keeps The Episcopal Church in the conversation about marriage in our society, and it indicates our intention to position ourselves within the flow of history on this matter.
As has always been the case, a clergy person may choose to decline to officiate at any marriage. Thus, it is important to understand that this canonical change gives permission to officiate at same-sex marriages, but it does not indicate that clergy must do so. In other words, the change in canons is permissive but not directive in nature.
Another aspect of this canonical change – one that is frankly unpredictable – involves the effect it may have on our church's relationship with other bodies. As we know, The Episcopal Church itself includes dioceses outside this country, and in some of those places, same-sex marriage is not the law of the land. In those cases, the liturgy for blessings will continue to be available, but the liturgies for same-sex marriage will not be applicable.
Further challenges will emerge in our ecumenical relationships, and in those within the Anglican Communion. Once again in the United States – our context in the Christian journey – we find ourselves in the forefront of social change. This position can be exciting, or it can be lonely and uncomfortable. Sometimes it is all of those things. Our call as The Episcopal Church is to be faithful – faithful, first of all, to God as revealed in Christ and as known through the Holy Spirit; faithful to the Spirit’s movement in our particular time and place; and faithful to the commandment of our Lord to love God, neighbor and self, with the open heart of Jesus himself.
- The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg
Recent messages from the Bishop
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.
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.
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.
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.
All Saints, HHI gives $20,000 challenge gift
for Diocesan Endowment Fund
All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island has presented an initial gift of $20,000 to The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the first installment in a $100,000 pledge for an endowment fund for the diocese. Members of the All Saints Capital Fundraising Leadership Team presented the check January 30 to Bishop vonRosenberg.
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
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.)