Lydia Evans: Setting the South Carolina Episcopal record straight

This letter, from the letters section of today’s local paper here, is so important that it is reproduced below in full:

As a member of the standing committee conversant with the facts regarding recent events with the Diocese of South Carolina, I write to clarify several misleading statements contained in two March 30 articles.

First of all, the lead article misquoted the rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant. Regarding future litigation, the Rev. Steve Wood had, in fact, stated his belief that the Bishop of South Carolina was not interested in pursuing legal action against the parish. The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence has exercised considerable forbearance in diocesan matters, consonant with his role as the ecclesiatical authority in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Also on Tuesday, in a separate article regarding the resolution of the All Saints-Pawleys Island litigation, Adam Parker suggested that last week’s settlement with the AMIA congregation was predicated on a recent action by the Supreme Court of the United States. Clearly, the author failed to account for the protracted nature of the SCOTUS appeals process, as the petition for writ of certoriari had been filed less than six weeks earlier.

In point of fact, last week’s settlement originated with the vestry’s decision to withdraw the petition. I view the conciliatory agreement between parties as a reflection of St. Paul’s counsel that the church in Corinth ought to seek reconciliation rather than litigation.

Finally, an earlier article in The Post and Courier (March 27) included comments which I believe misrepresented the tenor of the 219th Diocesan Convention.

I take issue specifically with Barbara Mann’s characterization of the convention as ‘antagonistic’ and ‘angry.’ Perhaps her misconstrual is due to the fact that she was not actually present on the floor of the convention.

Likewise, Grace Church parishioner Steve Skardon was quoted as suggesting the situation is merely a ‘shadowbox war.’

While Skardon is quick to offer his opinion in print, he chose not to bring his concerns to the floor of Friday’s convention.

As a lay leader, elected by the diocese and present at Friday’s gathering, I can witness to the spirit of concord and conciliation evident in our desire to stand together under the authority of God and in solidarity with our bishop.

For a number of years, some members of the Episcopal forum have adopted a posture of confrontation and discord.

During this Holy Week, I invite them to take a second look at their brothers and sisters in Christ ”” the Episcopal Church in South Carolina welcomes you.

Lydia Evans

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

3 comments on “Lydia Evans: Setting the South Carolina Episcopal record straight

  1. GMS says:

    What a great letter! I noticed that the article mis-quoting Steve was changed by the evening. Good job!!

  2. SC blu cat lady says:

    Well done, Lydia! Thank you so much for writing this letter on behalf of the diocese and our elected delegates to set the record straight. My husband was a delegate from our parish. He would agree that the spirit of the convention was as you described. However, our parish delegation was seated in front of the delegates from Holy Cross Faith Memorial. He noticed that some (perhaps most) of their delegates sat sullenly with arms crossed over their chest for most of the convention. They may have been the only delegates that did not join in the applause when Bishop Lawrence announced that the All Saint’s case was over. Then Bishop Lawrence had Father Ed Kelaher and delegates from his parish come up to be recognized by the convention- again to much applause.

    While most of the delegates are in agreement, not all are in agreement with our bishop. Both of us agree with you that some members of the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina have adopted a stance of “we don’t want discussion” at the very least and some do come across as confrontational. Among them are ardent PB supporters.

  3. saints says:

    Ed Kelaher threatened to leave All Saints Parish, Waccamaw if they did not settle the lawsuit [for $375,000.00] which was at the steps of the SCOTUS.
    Now he is in Chevy Chase, Maryland at All Saints Episcopal Church…so he left after all. What does that tell you about the priest who was there to help us??? Holy Cross knew something you did not know and that is why they folded their arms.