Category : * South Carolina

(Diocese of SC) Matthew Rivers Ordained to the Priesthood

“It’s all about the call. It’s all about the message. It’s all about the people.” Those were words the Very Rev. John Burwell, Rector of Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg, stressed in his sermon at the ordination to the priesthood of the Rev. Matthew Rivers, Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at St. John’s Chapel in Charleston.

“It’s not a job. You can’t treat it like one,” said Burwell. “It’s a calling.” He noted that though the ordination itself would be “glorious,” the ministry entails hard, often thankless work and clergy rarely see the result of their efforts.

He encouraged Rivers, using words spoken to him personally by the late Bishop Terry Kelshaw, saying, “Preach the Word – the good news – every Sunday and your church will grow.”

Burwell also encouraged Rivers to focus on the people. Quoting his grandmother, he said, “They don’t care what you know until they know you care.” “Love the people the Lord puts in your path,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Local Paper Front Page) College requirement prepares many SC preachers for ministry but serves as barrier to some

The Rev. Rosa Young Singleton didn’t have college, but she had a calling.

Singleton started as a youth minister at a nondenominational church in 2000. But when she went back home to Georgetown’s St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2013, she was told that she would need a bachelor’s degree if she wanted to pursue a pastoral ministry.

Raising two children and working, Singleton enrolled at Allen University and commuted from the Lowcountry to Columbia for classes every week.

“I got weary,” she said. “I was like ’Lord, do I really need to go through all of this to preach your gospel?‴⁣

There are many in the faith community who contemplate whether a church has the authority to restrict a person from pursuing God’s calling based on their level of education.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education

In the Diocese of South Carolina, Grace Anglican Parish Moves into New, Larger Space

Grace Anglican Parish will begin the Advent season in a new location. They’ve outgrown the Floyd Community Center. Their new location is 10373 Highway 90, Little River. This past Sunday (November 25) after lunch, they held a painting party to prepare their sanctuary for use. New locks, new carpet and a lighted sign come next. Keep them in prayer as they begin this new season. “There is so much to do,” says Vicar, Cindy Larsen, “but we will get there quickly. We are excited, busy and joyful!”

In a recent Facebook post, vicar Cindy Larsen gave the following update on the Grace Anglican Parish’s move to a new location.

“I give thanks that we have a new home for Grace Anglican Parish! We are so busy, but very glad to be moving into a larger space where we can worship freely, without renting by the hour for every purpose.

We have signed the lease and the electricity and water are on. The sign company is preparing proofs and a quote for our new sign. Volunteers are cleaning the space today and shampooing the carpet in the parish hall and other rooms….

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Uncategorized

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–What does it mean that Jesus Christ is King?

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Mark Lawrence: Thanksgiving—the Normal Christian Life

I believe Eugene Peterson’s translation of these verses deserve a joyous reading on Thanksgiving Day:

Oh, visit the earth, /ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers, /fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden. / Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields, / soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake/ bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor, /scatter rose petals down your path,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals. / Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep, / a drape of flax across the valleys,
Let them shout, and shout, and shout! / Oh, oh, let them sing! (Ps. 65:9-13)

Here is a man gripped by God’s goodness and trustworthiness. Like Jesus, who spoke often of his Father’s goodness, and taught us to take a good look at the birds of the air and the little flowers in the fields, God’s goodness for this psalmist spills over into a life of gratitude. Fleming Rutledge puts it well, “The giving of thanks is not just an activity to be taken up at certain times and set aside at other times. It is a whole way of life.” One might even say it is The Normal Christian Life. Nevertheless, to set aside days when a people offer their Creator thanks is formational. From early on in our nation’s history it has been so. Our ancestors knew and practiced this even in days of scarcity. They learned it from the Holy Scriptures—both Testaments.

The Creator, who has filled the world with so much wonder and mystery, beauty and truth is—as Jesus revealed—our heavenly Father. He is no gloomy tyrant from whose grimy, stingy hands we have to wrench every meager gift. Yet, make the gifts of God our highest priority and moth will eat, rust will mar, thief will steal, and worry will whittle away. “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness… and all these things…” the world’s, wonder, mystery, beauty and truth, as well as life’s gifts will be added to us in due time and right order. We don’t have to worry about missing out. There is enough—always has been enough—enough and to spare.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The New TEC Diocese in South Carolina Press Release on Yesterday’s Court Proceedings in Orangeburg

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

The Latest Development In the Highly Contentious Court Battle Between the new TEC Diocese and the Historic Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

Judge Dickson Will Determine What the Supreme Court Opinions Mean

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (November 19, 2018)  –  Today, in the Orangeburg County Courthouse the honorable Edgar W. Dickson, heard arguments from the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church on motions directed to the ruling of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The judge began by asking, “Who thinks this case will be resolved today?” When one person in the courtroom raised a hand the judge indicated he hoped they were pulling for South Carolina in their upcoming game against Clemson, and concluded, “Six judges have heard this case. I’m number seven. I hope that’s a lucky number.”

While five motions are presently before the court, Judge Dickson said, “the motion I’m most interested in” is the issue of what he has to decide.

Alan Runyan argued for the Diocese that given the lack of clarity in the five separate opinions, Judge Dickson had to first decide, what, if anything, the Supreme Court decided. The slide presentation summarizing his argument may be found here. Mr Runyan noted at the beginning of his argument  that the last statements by half the Supreme Court were that “We have given little to no coherent guidance in this case” and “The Court’s collective opinions give rise to great uncertainty” in “this matter of great importance.”

Tom Tisdale, counsel for TECSC and Mary Kostel, Counsel for TEC, presented their arguments which essentially repeated their prior assertions that “the decision has been made,” by the South Carolina Supreme Court, and all that was left was enforcement of the results.

It was obvious that Judge Dickson had problems with the argument that it is clear what the Supreme Court decided.

Addressing Mr. Tisdale, he asked, “How many times have you seen a Supreme Court decision with five separate opinions?” Mr. Tisdale acknowledged that it had never happened in the history of the court.

When counsel for TEC continued to assert that the result was clear, the judge replied,  “Like through a glass darkly.”

In commenting on the present ruling he observed, “Usually when I get something remitted it’s clear what I’m supposed to do.” In this case, however, interpreting the Supreme Court ruling will entail “trying to ferret out what they meant.”

In concluding he observed, “I have to decide and whatever is decided will be appealed by one side or the other.”

The Judge indicated he would be sending follow up questions by email for both sides.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Church History, Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(Local Paper) ‘Emanuel’ documentary produced by Viola Davis and Steph Curry gets to heart of grace

Filmed in the homes of victims’ family members, and inside the church, the 75-minute award-winning documentary “Emanuel” was produced by Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis, a native of St. Matthews, and NBA basketball star Steph Curry, who started a film production company earlier this year and is outspoken about his Christian faith.

“They both love the film, not only for its message of forgiveness and faith, but also for its dedication to justice and peace in America,” Ivie says. “Their partnership is a rare one in a very divided industry, but it obviously speaks to the power of the story and the heart of these people that we are humbled to represent.”

The documentary is among a few made about the shooting, including hour-long public radio release “Eyes Closed in Prayer” and Tribune Film Festival’s “Leo Twiggs: Requiem for Mother Emanuel.” Yet, it stands apart in its search for the source of the unexpected forgiveness that touched so many heavy hearts in the wake of the tragedy.

There have been other attempts to tell this story,” says Ivie. “Many of them do mention forgiveness, but I also think what separates our telling from all the others is our theological understanding of where that forgiveness comes from. And that is the cross of Jesus Christ.”

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * South Carolina, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The God who is at Work and Who provides (1 Kings 17:8-16)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Keep our high school students in prayer this weekend…

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina

(Local Paper) The Election of Joe Cunningham to the House–A shakeup with national reverberations

A seismic shakeup in the South Carolina political landscape reverberated nationwide Tuesday night.

While the Lowcountry’s 1st Congressional District race garnered attention for months as a potentially competitive contest, Democrat Joe Cunningham’s victory over Republican Katie Arrington still stunned many political experts.

Dave Wasserman, the top U.S. House editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, sized up the result in a district Trump won easily in 2016 as the second biggest Democratic upset of the night nationwide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, House of Representatives, Politics in General

A Letter from the Bp of South Carolina seeking Prayer

The following message from Bishop Mark Lawrence was sent to the Diocese on November 7, 2018.

Dear Friends,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; and with abiding gratitude for the partnership we share in the gospel.

I write to inform you that on Monday, November 19 there will be yet another step on this long legal journey in the State case. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the State Courthouse in Orangeburg the Honorable Edgar W. Dickson will hear arguments on the various motions before him. Please pray for wisdom and clarity for our legal team, particularly Mr. Alan Runyan, Ms. Henrietta Golding, and Mr. Mitch Brown. Pray also for Judge Dickson as he decides upon the many issues before him. Indeed, pray also for those who stand opposed to us, ECUSA/ECSC, as our Lord has taught us to do.

Perhaps it will not escape your attention that this court date falls just a few days before Thanksgiving Day. In spite of the many challenges we have faced in recent months we have much for which to give thanks. Indeed, as the Holy Scriptures remind us,

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

So please note how the apostle teaches us to knit and interlace our petitions and requests with prayers of thanksgiving. It is astonishing just how enkindling of faith such grateful prayer can be.

Yours in Christ,

(The Right Reverend) Mark J. Lawrence
Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues

(Local Paper front page) Historically black Charleston churches moving off peninsula as area continues to gentrify

The Holy City’s historic core is losing houses of worship because of gentrification, limited parking and space to grow and do ministry, as well as high church maintenance costs. Shiloh, Greater Macedonia AME, Zion-Olivet Presbyterian, St. Matthew Baptist, Plymouth Church and New Tabernacle Fourth Street Baptist have either moved or have tried to leave downtown — some seeking new opportunities in areas like West Ashley and North Charleston.

Between 1980 and 2010, the peninsula’s black population dropped by more than half from about 30,000 to around 15,000. Simultaneously, its white population rose from 15,000 to just above 20,000.

This coincided with rising rents and property values. For example, the median sale price for homes north of the Crosstown Expressway has more than quadrupled since the late 1990s, from $74,500 in 1996 to $325,000 in 2014.

As the historically black communities change, local churches feel the impact. Enticed by lucrative offers from eager home buyers, some of the churches’ members sell their downtown homes, move away, and never return.

In other instances, increased development leaves congregations landlocked with no room to expand. Parking also becomes more scarce.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper front Page) Slain Florence, South Carolina, deputy was “source of hope to many’

The second law enforcement officer killed during what authorities have described as an ambush-style mass shooting earlier this month was laid to rest here on Sunday.

Mourners, more than 1,000 strong, packed into the Florence Civic Center to pay their respects to Farrah Burdette Godwin Turner, 36, who loved ones remembered by her “brilliant and courageous” smile and fierce devotion to protecting and bettering the lives of those she served, particularly children. Turner joined the Florence County Sheriff’s Office in 2006. She would go on to be named investigator of the year by the department in 2016.

Turner, a deputy with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway were fatally shot Oct. 3 at a home in an upscale subdivision outside city limits.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Police/Fire

A Fine Photo from the Recent Diocese of South Carolina Clergy Conference

Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry