Bishop Mark Lawrence Addresses the 221st South Carolina Diocesan Convention

The rub of course is when what is right and what is wrong becomes the stuff of ecclesiastical politics; and this, unfortunately, is where we are. But, as much as I dislike it, most rank and file parishioners did not care about the details of the allegations that were brought against me, nor did they understand the questions of church polity which beggared the dispute. Such matters as ecclesiastical constitutionality reside in galaxies far away from where they live their daily lives ”“ thank God.. So after enduring this season of trials, while not entirely unscathed”¦and who knows what allegations may yet be forth coming”¦ I remain thankful for the broad unity we share as a diocese and with a strong desire that as much as possible we may move forward together. As you have just heard in the video, there is an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Together is where we need to be for what lies on the road ahead; for this is not a time for us to drift into individualistic or false realities.

I say often to congregations, “Face reality as it is: Not as it was: nor as we wish it were: but as it is.” The reality is that as the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina we have unique opportunities and unique challenges. The remarkable English scholar, missionary and bishop, Stephen Neill once commented that “To be a bad Anglican is the easiest thing in the world; the amount of effort required in a minimum Anglican conformity is so infinitesimal that it is hardly to be measured.” But he went on to say, “To be a good Anglican is exceedingly taxing business.” If we substitute Episcopalian for Anglican we have just as telling and true a statement for our challenge today. To be a bad Episcopalian is easy. Just drift with the flow of whatever cultural stream carries you and you can be an Episcopalian. I remember reading as a seminarian, Bishop Allison’s debate with O.C. Edwards on evangelism. Fitz, as you might imagine was for it. If memory serves me well, Fitz opened with the line “You can be anything and be an Episcopalian. You can be immoral, and you can be heretical; as long as you are not tacky. And apparently there’s something tacky about evangelism.” Yes, it’s easy to be an Episcopalian sitting in the pews. But to be a good Episcopalian today, well this church is no place for ostriches or for the spiritually, intellectually, or morally lazy. There is a theological, moral and demographic challenge every minute (just follow Kendall’s blog and you’ll know what I mean). I should, however, qualify the statement, when I suggest it is easy to be an Episcopalian””good one or bad one””for if we take seriously the recent Hadaway Report, the biggest challenge in many parts of our country may soon be actually finding an Episcopal parish to attend.

Read it all (pdf which includes graphs). Please note that you may find a non-pdf version there (but it doesn’t include the graphs, only links thereto).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

35 comments on “Bishop Mark Lawrence Addresses the 221st South Carolina Diocesan Convention

  1. SC blu cat lady says:

    Thanks, Kendall+, I am glad to read this in full. I must admit I got mired down in the grim stats of the national church and where the diocese is as well. This is much more hopeful and Spirit-filled than I remember- thankfully.

  2. Karen B. says:

    Yes, I know it’s Lent. (After all, I blog at a site called Lent & Beyond!). But the following section just made me shout wow and Hallelujah! 😉

    [blockquote]When a congregation through a week-long event raises in pledges $300,000 for mission and 300 parishioners pledge themselves to be personally involved in mission, as just happened at St. Michael’s Charleston, such apostolic witness for Christ and his Church is still alive and breathes with the breath of Christ among us. Three hundred volunteered to engage in mission. Three hundred thousand dollars pledged for mission. The spirit breathes among us. [/blockquote]

    That’s just awesome!
    Still reading… but thanks for sharing this Kendall, and thanks be to God for Bp. Mark Lawrence’s faithful Gospel ministry.

  3. Karen B. says:

    What a great story about the turnaround of the parish in Florence, leading to another great “quotable” quote:

    [blockquote]We can grow most parishes when Gospel commitment meets willing priest and willing parishioners who will seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and remember the words of the onetime Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, that “The church is the only organization in the world that exists primarily for those who are not its members.” When the Church decides to be missional under prayerful surrender to the Holy Spirit and building on the foundation that is Jesus Christ, she becomes contagious with good news; her young ones shall then see visions and her old ones shall dream dreams.[/blockquote]

    Amen!

  4. SC blu cat lady says:

    Karen B, Yes, I too was amazed and thrilled that St. Michael’s had such a terrific response to mission. (That was one of the first things that really came across to me as being different about this diocese [SC]- i.e. how mission oriented this diocese is. I had NO idea until I moved here). I was somewhat surprised that there was not spontaneous applause after the announcement about St. Michael’s. I am closer to the parish in Florence as I know the priest who worked diligently with All Saints parishioners to get the parish on the right road again. It was very sad time for All Saints when their rector and a large portion of the parish left to plant an ACNA parish and as the bishop mentioned they were close to closing the parish. So to be able to watch the revival of All Saint’s Florence over about a year and a half with this priest’s guidance and love has been wonderful.

  5. evan miller says:

    As a member of ACNA, it grieves me greatly that the rector and a large portion of the parishioners of All Saitns, Florence, left to form an ACNA parish. It grieves me even more that the entire parish of St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant, left the Diocese of SC to join ACNA. My old TEC parish was the only orthodox one in our diocese when 80% of us left for what became the ACNA. I can’t for the life of me think of any justification for leaving a vibrant, growing, thoroughly orthodox diocese such as SC. I know the arguments, but don’t find them at all compelling. God bless the Diocese of SC and her faithful, courageous bishop.

  6. c.r.seitz says:

    Evan–things didn’t need to go this way, did they? Would it not be possible for ACNA to have an actual policy that foreclosed an option to join if one was in a healthy and orthodox diocese? Work this out from above and in association with the Ordinary in TEC. This would also have a salutary effect in showing the wider Communion that conservatives in the US are able to work together and honor one another’s principled stands. I never understood why ABs Kolini and Tay did not have long conversations with Bishop Ed Salmon about a different outcome than the one that transpired, at All Saints. The video from Singapore in which AB Duncan invited Bishop Lawrence to come forward and stand alongside him seemed almost painful, in the light of the decision in Mt Pleasant. Could this not have been avoided? Look at the AMiA debacle as well. All very sad.

  7. evan miller says:

    Dr. Seitz,
    I agree with you 100%. It is a scandal and a very poor witness.

  8. Sarah says:

    I think the problem is . . . what do you do with all the people — Episcopalians — who cannot violate their consciences staying in a corrupt, heretical, apostate organization like TEC, despite being in a good diocese or a good parish.

    Do you just say “ah well — goodbye — there’s a good Baptist church down the road.”

    Or do you build an Anglican organization that can hold them?

    The fact is, despite Evan’s solid parish within a corrupt diocese, Evan had to go. His conscience seemingly *demanded* it.

    And despite solid dioceses within a corrupt larger organization like the TEC province, some people have to go. Their consciences demand it.

    What do you do with those people?

    Just to be clear — I’m speaking as someone who is a happy Episcopalian, who feels honored to be called here, and who obviously has no problems with being in a corrupt, heretical, apostate organization like TEC, of which around 90% of its leaders at the national end, as well as the same ratio of its diocesan leaders, do not in any way or shape believe the Gospel.

    But there are folks out there who clearly cannot stay in such an organization led by the collection of clowns, incompetents, and non-Christians aping Christianity that we have.

  9. David Keller says:

    #’s 5 and 6–I was in Upper SC, not the “lower” diocese, but I don’t think the leavings had anything to do with Bp. Salmon or Bp. Lawrence. I have left TEC from an orthodox church because one cannot deny the reality of the situation on the ground with TEC. At some point people of faith have to take a stand, though the timing may be different for each one. My parting from TEC was like the leaving of the Southern regular army officers of 1861. It was a sad and bittersweet day. But, sooner or later TEC will consume everything it touches. The inquisition against Bp. Lawrence last year was merely the pre-cursor of what lies ahead for DSC. DSC has given quitclaim deeds to all its churches for a reason–so that when the inevitable occurs, they can all join another Anglican body. What I see happening in the wake of Murphy’s departure from Rwanda is not a separation or a debacle at all, but a new beginning and a new coming together.

  10. Sarah says:

    I should add that clearly, all of the departing diocesans — like Duncan — left TEC despite their having lovely dioceses! [After all, they led them.] So I don’t think they’d be sympathetic to the idea of not assisting *other* Episcopalians who equally cannot reside in TEC to leave and found congregations, despite being in a good parish or a good diocese. Why would they want to preclude that when they themselves clearly felt that they could not remain in TEC despite their own faithful dioceses.

  11. c.r.seitz says:

    My point was to do with a failure of episcopal and archiepiscopal coordination, not with the desires of congregations. If AB Tay had said to the Rector of All Saints that the Diocese of SC was his ally in a struggle, then it would be up to the Rector to make a case to his people, under the authority of AB Tay. I had in mind a similar directive from the leadership of ACNA in the case of Mt Pleasant. This has not been forthcoming in any case I have seen. The Bishop of W-LA did speak with an African Primate about the reasons for a parish in his orthodox diocese to leave, and the decision was reached in consequence that the parish should stay. This is the sort of thing I was referring to.

  12. sophy0075 says:

    Thank you, Sarah and David.

    I live in a nearby ACNA diocese, but that does not render me unappreciative of Bp Lawrence, Father Kendall, or any of the persecuted faithful who choose to stay and fight within TEC, including those of a faithful TEC parish within my community. God bless them all!

    As for those who might consider faithful Episcopalians whose consciences required them to depart TEC for ACNA, AmiA, CANA, etc, consider an analogy – the Free French and their Norwegian counterparts, who exiled themselves to Great Britain in 1940 so they could participate in the invasion of Europe in 1944, and the Resistance fighters, who chose to stay within their country’s borders and harass the Nazi invaders. I pray that we faithful departed do not in-fight, splinter, and fail to achieve the “critical mass” to which Father Kendall alluded in his speech to the church in Birmingham earlier this month. It is exactly that in-fighting, and any vituperation between the faithful Anglicans who departed TEC and the faithful Episcopalians who carry on the struggle from within TEC, that the Enemy rejoices to see.

  13. c.r.seitz says:

    I was not encouraging ‘in-fighting’ but precisely its avoidance, by episcopal coordination. Infighting there has been and remains, and it is tragic. See AMiA.

  14. Timothy Fountain says:

    I gave thanks for the ways in which the Bishop’s vision of making global Anglicans is taking on flesh and bones in DioSC and beyond.

    I loved his simple, clear expression of the choice between following revelation or speculating. It’s a hard truth but people need to know that leaders who are speculating about everything have no idea where they are going. That’s what all that TEC data bears out, sadly.

  15. SC blu cat lady says:

    All. Sorry, perhaps I should not have mentioned it. I agree with David Keller. I don’t think the forming an ACNA parish had much to do with Bishop Lawrence. In fact, if I understand the All Saint’s situation, it had more to do with struggles within the parish than from without. That is why the revitalization of All Saint’s into a healthy and unified parish is so wonderful. You never know we all may be under one Anglican entity at some point in the future. Please… no speculation what the Diocese of SC may or may not do. If our bishop is willing to wait to see what happens in the future, so am I.

  16. RobSturdy says:

    #5,
    If you can’ think of a reason that St. Andrew’s left the Dio of S.C., I would suggest you aren’t thinking hard enough. They after all, went through an extensive discernment process of prayer, fasting, Bible-study and conversation. God bless the Dio of S.C. and its faithful bishop to be sure, but lets find a little room to bless even St. Andrew’s, who due to the consciences of its several thousand members felt compelled to leave even a good diocese. Casual dismissals of motives, lacking empathy and understanding, will do little to make room for what we all hope will be a future reconciliation.

    #6, Who gets to determine what a healthy diocese is? As # 8 makes plain, the picture even in a good diocese is quite complex.

  17. c.r.seitz says:

    #16 My suggestion was that the respective bishops sit down and determine just that. There was no reason–in my view–for Salmon, Kolini and Tay not to sit down and discuss precisely this. Greater episcopal back-and-forth, prayer, discernment, discussion *collaboratively*. That was my modest point.

  18. SC blu cat lady says:

    Getting back to the bishop’s address…. I agree #14 -revelation or speculation- stood out like a neon sign to me too.

  19. evan miller says:

    Sara,

    If not for the fact that our outstanding rector, Fr. Alan Hansen, had left to take the reins of ACTS29, those of us who left (80% including all of the vestry) would very likely have remained in our old TEC parish, at least for the time being. While Fr. Hansen was there, we were leargely left alone by +Sauls. Once we were without a rector and vulnerable, the situation changed and a small clique of +Sauls loyalists within the parish consipred with the bishop to remove the vestry, reduce us to mission status (despite our being on sound financial footing) and install his bishop’s council to run the church. At that point, we really had no options and we left. It was a terrible time and the wounds remain, despite the many blessings the Lord has showered upon our ACNA parish.

    Dr. Seitz is right. The bishops concerned should, and could have, discouraged defections such as St. Andrew’s and All Saints. The fracturing, once begun, becomes very difficult to control, makes a mockery of our pretentsions to catholicity, and weakens our Anglican witness.

  20. SC blu cat lady says:

    I am not sure the fracture of All saint’s could have/would have been avoided with a conversation between bishops. If part of the parish and the rector had left to form another Episcopal parish, would it have been ok? I just hope and pray the revitalization of All Saint’s will lead to a more unified and healthier parish.

  21. Sarah says:

    But again, Evan . . . the parish of St. Andrews Mt Pleasant in large — vast — majority wished to have no connection with TEC, AND their presiding bishop is Bishop Duncan who certainly is not going to say “hey — *I* left TEC, but not you guys.”

    Further, I’d think the parish would be rather indignant for these sorts of things to be “settled” between bishops without taking into account the parish’s clear wishes. Had Bishop Duncan and Bishop Lawrence “conferred” and left the parish with the Diocese of SC, I’d have expected the parish to leave for the AMiA, or leave and be independent, or any number of other options.

    I should add — as a related side note — that I’m not at all hopeful that “we’ll all be in organization in the end.” Nor would I wish that. The majority of folks who have left TEC have very very very very very very different values and ecclesial commitments than those who have stayed. This doesn’t make EITHER side bad or sinful or less Anglican — it just is what it is. It’s precisely why the folks who left in 2000 and created their own organization — AMiA — did not “join up” with those who had left earlier, and it’s precisely why those who had left earlier — in the early 80s and onward, did not “join up” with the REC, which left back in the late 1800s. It’s precisely why those who left for Uganda or Nigeria didn’t “join up” with the AMiA. My prediction is that the next big wave of forced departures from TEC won’t be joining ACNA either — and I hope not, since I don’t think the two groups would at all agree on the canons and constitutions, the current bishops, the predominantly charismatic theology and practice in ACNA, and scads of other things.

    The same thing has — naturally and predictably — happened with the PCUSA breakup. You had the PCA leavers, and the EPC leavers. A bunch of folks in the past 3-5 years have left for the EPC [not the PCA, mind you]. But the *latest* wave of departures have announced they’re creating their own thing to which they’ll be departing — and not going to the EPC. People leave a heretical church organization at different times because they don’t share the same commitments or values with those who have left earlier for different reasons.

    All of this isn’t because any of the parties are bad people or whatever. It’s simply that the various groups don’t share the same commitments, values, and principles. In this very thread, for instance, we’ve alternately had some view the AMiA . . . [insert word here] . . . as very sad, and catastrophic, and a bad testimony — and others view it quite blithely as nothing of the sort and all a-ok.

    The two perspectives are very — [i]very[/i] — different and spring from foundationally differing theologies, views of separation, views of unity, views of church discipline, views of authority, views of ecclesiology, and so on and so forth.

  22. David Keller says:

    I want to be clear how much I respect you, Dr. Seitz, but I think you are being overly academic. The theory of doing what you say is good, but the reality is most of TEC’s bishops are no longer orthodox and some are only marginally Christian. Ther is no longer a safe haven or a guarantee of honest brokerage within TEC. TEC is rotten to the core. TEC is cutthroat. The fact that there are a few faithful left doesn’t slove the greater problem. The posts below about Florida are a good example. Bp. Jecko was as faithful and orthodox as they come. Bp. Howard is a disaster. Because the institution of TEC itself is so corrupt, there is no guarantee how revisionist and corrupt the next bishop will be. I suspect ABp. Tay and Kolini, and Orombi for that matter, were all looking at the bigger picture–the corruptness of TEC. As for St. Andrews, they have been able to leave without the legal actions which the next bishop might, and KJS would if she could, heap upon them. Thanks be to God and Bp. Lawerence for that. The notion that leaving TEC to join Southen Cone, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda or Nigeria creates some problem with “cathlocity” strikes me as almost absurd. TEC is no longer part of the one holy a catholic and apostolic church except in name. I hope our catholicity hasn’t become “Romanized” to the point that we now believe the mere saying of certain words over an otherwise apostate preist, turns that person into a bishop, and only God can fix it in the next life. That is mere form over substance; that is TEC over Anglicanism.

  23. c.r.seitz says:

    My plea was modest. It was the orhtodox Bishops inside TEC and outside it strive to work together. I am fairly confident ABs Kolini and Tay never had any sustained discussions with Bishop Salmon on how to avoid a major split at the parish in Pawley’s Island. Maybe nothing would have come of it. Should it have been tried with all due diligence? Yes. Should there be every effort to avoid parishes leaving orthodox dioceses, and the Bishops in question doing everything to prevent that? My answer is Yes.

    I was not commenting on anything beyond this. Kindly not drag me into other discussions.

  24. SC blu cat lady says:

    I understand #23. It is a worthwhile idea to consider.

  25. c.r.seitz says:

    #21, you have Bishop Duncan say: “hey—*I* left TEC, but not you guys.”
    I do not follow that. Bishop Duncan is the Ordinary of a Diocese. He is not a parish under an orthodox Bishop. Of course he could say, “I want to discuss this at length with Bishop Lawrence, and I need to take counsel. Perhaps my view will be that ACNA should not receive such parishes, but I want to be as sure of the situation as possible. You may have your parish discernment process, but how ACNA decides to handle parishes in orthodox dioceses is something we must handle carefully.”
    This is what I believe should happen in these cases. It is not an academic concern but one of exercise of episcopal office in a time of contention.
    That is my view. I wish this sort of protocol were followed. Others believe in a different way forward in a time of contention. So be it.

  26. Sarah says:

    RE: “I do not follow that. Bishop Duncan is the Ordinary of a Diocese.”

    Right — thus Bishop Duncan could not make the claim that he was in a corrupt and heretical TEC diocese and thus had to leave TEC because of that. His need to leave was based on needing to leave *TEC itself* and thus I cannot imagine his declaring that a parish in an equally good diocese should not be allowed to depart because it has the precise same problems of staying within TEC while in an excellent diocese as Bishop Duncan did within his own excellent diocese. Such a stance would seem inconsistent with his own demands of conscience to leave a corrupt TEC.

    That’s the only point I was making to Evan.

  27. c.r.seitz says:

    #26–just for avoidance of doubt:

    “I cannot imagine his declaring that a parish in an equally good diocese should not be allowed to depart”.

    My point was not whether he was constrained not to allow something (obviously he wasn’t), but only whether there had positively been the time set aside and protocols in place to deal with the difficult circumstances of a parish in an orthodox diocese under an orthodox Bishop. I still do not see the analogy between a parish under an orthodox Bishop who is staying in TEC, and a Bishop whose jurisdiction is tied up with leaving. But my only sustained point is that I believe discussions between orthodox Bishops ought to take place and precede and guide the processes that ensue. A parish can reject that of course and do as it sees fit. Or, the Bishops after discussion can say they do not agree. But I believe every effort at collaboration, full communication, and mutual agreement ought to be sought, when it is the case of orthodox Bishops struggling with proper response.

  28. William Witt says:

    Some of the comments above seem to suggest that people like Bishop Duncan and Bishop Lawrence are on different planets, or at least have some kind of bizarre telephone systems and email providers that do not allow for mutual communication between orthodox TEC bishops and ACNA bishops. Orthodox Anglicanism in North America is an incredibly small world. I teach at a seminary of which both Bishop Duncan and Bishop Lawrence are Board Members. They are physically in the same room with with one another at least once or twice a year for days at a time doing Board business. I have personally seen them engaging in conversations with one another on numerous occasions. One of Bishop Lawrence’s sons graduated from TSM recently and another is now a student here. Of course, these people know each other and have conversations. I would be very surprised if none of those conversations ever had anything to do with such things as the current messiness.

    [Perhaps this is a different topic, but I was quite surprised by Sarah’s comment: “the predominantly charismatic theology and practice in ACNA . . .”

    I have in the last few years heard ACNA characterized as “predominantly” Anglo-Catholic, “predominantly” Evangelical, “predominantly” in favor of WO, and “predominantly” against WO. And now “predominantly” charismatic.

    My experience is that ACNA is not “predominantly” any of these. I don’t have a charismatic bone in my body, and you would be far more likely to find someone waving a thurible in the parish I attend than their arms. As far as theology, I have VERY limited participation in two of the ACNA committees (liturgy and catechesis) and neither seems to be particularly charismatic. And, of course, I teach in the seminary where most ACNA seminarians attend. There are charismatic students here, but the majority are not, and none of the faculty are charismatic in a full-blown sense. A handful attend parishes where the predominant worship style is “contemporary” worship, but just as many attend parishes where the worship is standard 1979 BCP and 1982 Hymnal.

    There are certainly bishops and congregations within ACNA that could be described as any of the above — Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, charismatic, etc.. What ACNA is, is predominantly a group of creedal Anglicans (mostly former Episcopalians, but not all) who have at this particular moment in history found themselves thrown together, either because they were forced out of TEC (as was my former parish in CT) or believe that they cannot in good conscience be members of TEC. What ACNA will become remains uncertain.]

  29. Kendall Harmon says:

    The following is posted at John Burwell’s request since we/he are having logistical complications with his being able to at present–

    If I understand this conversation correctly, the theme seems to be that All Saints, Florence declined to only 30 on a Sunday because the previous rector left and when he did, he took a large part of the congregation with him. That is not what happened. It isn’t even close to being correct.

    I am the rector whom Bishop Lawrence put in charge of the congregation at All Saints, in Florence. When I was brought on board, nobody had left to start another congregation. The previous vicar was still with me and the original plan was that the original vicar would be mentored by me and that he would take back the reigns after we got it turned around. Through a series of unfortunate events, we weren’t able to implement that plan. It wasn’t until almost three months after I arrived that the previous vicar of All Saints left to start an ACNA congregation. And when he left, he took less than ten families with him. Even though we were quite small at the time, trust me folks – ten families was not a large part of the congregation.

    God rebuilt All Saints over an 18th month period through effective Gospel preaching, through effective pastoral care, and through an outward focus called evangelism. The very stuff Bishop Allison was “for,” in the quote that Kendall pulled out of Bishop Lawrence’s address.

    In comment #15, SC blu cat lady wrote, “I don’t think the forming an ACNA parish had much to do with Bishop Lawrence. In fact, if I understand the All Saint’s situation, it had more to do with struggles within the parish than from without.” She understands the All Saints’ situation. ACNA was not the reason for All Saints’ decline. The situation in the national church wasn’t the reason. (I’m certain that it didn’t help…) The reasons behind All Saints’ decline were internal, and they happened over a dozen years or more. All Saints required a complete reboot. If I understood him correctly, Bishop Lawrence’s whole purpose in bringing up the growth at All Saints was to show that we can indeed make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age. I need to point out that this is our South Carolina vision and some of us in this diocese are working hard to make it a reality.

    I would ask you to rejoice that we in South Carolina are doing good work for our Lord (see comment #2), rather than use the occasion of Bishop Lawrence’s address to open old wounds. If you can’t rejoice that All Saints is once again strong and vital and poised for a great future, than at least be glad that an ACNA congregation has been planted in Florence, and God is being praised and worshiped by more Florence Anglicans than ever before.

    To quote my bishop: “Face reality as it is: Not as it was: nor as we wish it were: but as it is.” Friends – and to any of you who don‘t care to call me that – Friends – I beg you to please stop the bickering between ACNA and those who haven’t left the Episcopal Church. We need each other. I need you.

    In Christ,

    John Burwell+

  30. Sarah says:

    RE: “Perhaps this is a different topic, but I was quite surprised by Sarah’s comment: “the predominantly charismatic theology and practice in ACNA . . .” ”

    Well I understand. But it’s not just me that sees it that way, nor only those within TEC. Look at the worship of the big conferences and retreats, along with the chosen topics and their speakers. And then, the worship style of most of the parishes which are not within the 2.5 AngloCatholic dioceses within ACNA [sure there are outliers, like Matt Kennedy’s parish] — I’d be willing to stipulate that what I’m counting as “charismatic” is a mix of that, plus general seeker-style/contemporary worship, but that only makes my original point about the differences between those who stayed in TEC and those who left more solid.

    But still — I recognize that my way or my friends and acquaintances way of seeing ACNA’s theology and practice isn’t everybody else’s way. I somewhat doubt that there will be any kind of quantitative survey of the practices and theology of each and every ACNA parish and ACNA clergy, so we are all doomed to see what we see and to sometimes say it out loud and sometimes not.

  31. William Witt says:

    [blockquote]Friends – and to any of you who don‘t care to call me that – Friends – I beg you to please stop the bickering between ACNA and those who haven’t left the Episcopal Church. We need each other. I need you. [/blockquote]

    Agreed. I am happy to call both Bishop Lawrence and Bishop Duncan not only acquaintances, but friends. If I were living in South Carolina, I would be proud to call Bishop Lawrence my bishop. If I lived in Albany, I would be proud to call Bishop Love my bishop. I do live in Western PA, where I am proud to call Bishop Duncan my bishop. Strategically, ACNA and the Communion Partner Dioceses necessarily have different strategies, which some of us understand to be complementary, not competitive.

  32. c.r.seitz says:

    Who’s bickering? I raised the simple question as to whether there has in the past been sufficient collaboration between people like Bishop Salmon and ABs Tay and Kolini. I do not think there has been. I think this is a serious area for improvement. I see it here in Dallas as well, with a church plant from AMiA in an overly churched area of town. My plea was for protocols to deal with parishes in orthodox dioceses. I am quite confident that it strikes many in the wider Communion as very strange to see conservative parishes in conservative dioceses leaving. I do not think that is a good witness. I am not bickering.

  33. Milton says:

    #29 “a series of unfortunate events”
    Oh, dear! It can’t be as dreadful as the books… 😉

    But seriously, I think the good bishop of SC is God’s man in the right place and time and sees ACNA members and clergy within his “borders” as the true fellow Christians that they no doubt are.

  34. Sarah says:

    RE: “We need each other.”

    The good news is that we already have each other. Too many friends across the borders on all sides for the reasonable discussions and debates we have about differences, methods, goals, and other matters to make those relationships just go away.

    I don’t see most of us losing those relationships no matter where we all end up.

  35. evan miller says:

    As a member of ACNA, I would have to say I am in substantial agreement with Sara about what I see as the predominant theology and practice found within ACNA, though I would substitute Evangelical/Charismatic. I think much of the worship, choice of speakers, etc., at ACNA’s larger gatherings bear this out, with the exception being the opening Eucharist and installation of ++Duncan as Archbishop at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Ft. Worth. I’m a high churchman and definitely in the minority.