Category : * South Carolina

Blessed Epiphany to all Blog Readers

Posted in * South Carolina, Epiphany, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography

(Local Paper Editorial) Martin Luther King Jr.: A legacy and our future

For too many, this is not a moment of comfort and convenience here in the Charleston area. Nor has it been over the past few years.

This time last year, a young man had just been sentenced to death for the murder of nine black men and women at Emanuel AME church. The fate of a North Charleston police officer accused of murdering a black man and now serving a 20-year federal sentence remained to be decided.

Our community is finally moving on from those painful tragedies. But there is more work to be done. And today, we look to Dr. King as an inspiration to meet those challenges head on.

In too many ways the Charleston community remains starkly divided by race.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, History, Race/Race Relations

(Local Paper) Charleston, South Carolina, mayor reaches out to religious leaders to build relationships, promote good deeds

Shortly after Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg took office in 2016, he reached out to several pastors for counsel.

He had been thinking about how the city fared following 2015’s Emanuel AME Church massacre, about how a web of strong relationships helped Charleston shine during one of its darkest hours.

Tecklenburg hoped that this gathering of religious leaders not only would build on those relationships but also find new ways to promote good works.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, City Government, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(The State) Cindi Ross Scopp–South Carolina Needs Thoughtful Overall Tax Reform not Simplistic Tax Cuts

Like a good stock portfolio, a good tax system relies on a balance, with different types of taxes behaving differently throughout the economic cycle, and affecting different types of people in different ways. For both stability and fairness, economists agree that the best state tax system relies about equally on the income tax, the sales tax and the property tax. South Carolina already relies less on income taxes than the sales or property tax. Cutting income taxes by more than 15 percent would further unbalance our tax system.

Our sales tax, by contrast, is the 16th highest in the nation. The main reason it’s so high is that it’s all about mollifying special interests by giving them special tax breaks. We exempt more than we tax: We have around 120 exemptions written into law, and on top of that we tax far fewer services than most states. House members say they can cut the state sales tax from 6 percent to 3 percent if they address both of those problems, and technically that’s true. The problem is that they’re not going to tax all goods and services, and they probably shouldn’t, because some prevent taxing the same thing twice, and some of the biggest exemptions (think electricity and groceries) serve primarily to make the sales tax a little less regressive than it otherwise would be.

Still, any effort to eliminate some exemptions and tax more services — and use the additional revenue to cut the tax rate — would be a smart step toward a lower, flatter tax system, one that is less volatile and more fair. Which is the opposite of where cutting the income tax rates — and creating yet another large tax exemption — would take us.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, State Government, Taxes

(Yesterday’s Local paper Front Page) South Carolina lawmakers consider electrocuting death row inmates if lethal injection drugs unavailable

South Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow the state to execute death row inmates using the electric chair — something that hasn’t been done since 2008 — if lethal injection drugs are not available.

Under current law, criminals sentenced to the death penalty in South Carolina can choose to die by lethal injection or electrocution.

Like other states, South Carolina has not had access to the necessary drugs to attempt a lethal injection since the last of its stock expired in 2013. That has left the state unable to carry out the ultimate punishment.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, State Government

Rob Sturdy’s sermon (from this Morning) on the Baptism of Jesus: How exactly does the Trinity unsin us (Mark 1:4-11)?

You can listen directly here and download the mp3 there.

You may read more about Rob’s ministry there.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Soteriology, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology: Scripture

Morning Snow Update from Summerville, South Carolina

Posted in * South Carolina, Photos/Photography, Weather

A Kendall Harmon Sermon-Finding Hope in Epiphany and Jesus’ Baptism

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Epiphany, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

When winter comes to Summerville, South Carolina

So lovely to be reminded of the magic of snow–KSH.

Update: You can find 35 photos from the local town paper there.

Posted in * South Carolina, Weather

Summerville, South Carolina, Turned into a Winter Wonderland with 6 1/2 inches of snow from the Latest Storm

Posted in * South Carolina, Climate Change, Weather, Photos/Photography

Kendall Harmon’s Christmas 2017 Sermon–Will We Grasp the Real meaning of Christmas (Luke 2:1-20)?

You can listen directly here and download the mp3 there. “Christmas is a subversive story in a subversive book written by a subversive God.”

Posted in * South Carolina, Christmas, Christology, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

(Local Paper) Volunteers to deliver Christmas presents to bereaved kids in Charleston, South Carolina, area

Christmas Commandos tailor the presents to each child’s needs. The nonprofit relies on guidance counselors, teachers and hospice workers to nominate children in the tri-county area and provide the necessary details to make their Christmas personal.

If a child wants a bicycle but doesn’t have a covered place to store it, the commandos will provide a lock and a tarp. If a toddler has lost his mother, volunteers will buy shoes a half-size up that can be worn in six months. This year, each child will receive a pillow along with his or her gifts.

One special memory stands out from Deacola’s seven years of volunteering. She and other commandos were in the middle of delivering presents when a man opened his front door and asked what they were doing. The commandos explained that they were there to deliver gifts for his three grandchildren who had lost their mother that year. He let them bring the presents inside.

“He saw bikes and everything coming in. He was holding onto the chair and steadying himself and he was like, ‘I just can’t believe this,'” Deacola said.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Stewardship

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Will You be Ready When Christ Comes? Learning from John the Witness (John 1:9-28)

You can listen directly here and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Advent, Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

Inspiring Story from the front page of the local paper–Recovering addict gives hundreds of coats, hot meals to needy

Wanda Lopez grew tired of seeing children shivering at the bus stops.

She set aside a couple thousand dollars and purchased hundreds of brand-new coats. With the help of local organizations, she assembled 250 hot meals, 200 turkeys and boxes of canned food, and put it all out on display Friday in a North Charleston parking lot.

Lopez worried the frigid rain would keep people away. But within hours, all of the food and most of the clothes were gone.

“This is blowing my mind,” Lopez said. “So many people need hats, coats, gloves, boxed food. Basic things.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues

Mediation Process between the Historic Diocese of South Carolina and the new TEC in SC Diocese Recessed Until January

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today a further session of mediation with Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. was conducted.  Mediation is now in recess until January 11-12 in Columbia.

The clergy of the Diocese are reminded that Judge Anderson is allowing no discussion, outside of mediation sessions, of what has been said there.

As the Diocese continues to faithfully journey through this process of litigation at multiple levels, I ask your continued prayers for wisdom and discernment on the part of the Bishop, legal counsel and all the Diocesan leadership.

In Christ’s service,

–The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis is Canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina