Category : * South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, will deliver the Address at the 2017 Commencement ceremony of Cummins Theological Seminary in Summerville, SC. The Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 13, 3:00 p.m., in Bethel A.M.E. Church, 407 South Main Street, Summerville.
In September, 2016, Bishop Lawrence was elected to the Board of Trustees of the seminary by the Synod of the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of the Southeast. Also, during this academic year the seminary added three new members to the Faculty — The Rev. Dr. George Gatgounis, instructor in Biblical Hebrew; Fr. John Panagiotou, instructor in New Testament Greek, and the Rev. Dr. Charles Echols, adjunct professor of Old Testament.
It is impossible to deny that culture has shifted. In the West, the church has been removed from its privileged position and has been made one of many options for a pluralistic age. This has long been the reality in places like Europe and the northeastern United States. Yet we are increasingly feeling the effect much closer to home, even in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Now that Western Christians have lost their place at the top of the heap, we are faced with the question of how to respond – but we must first ask how we got here.
Read it all (page 14, then continued on page 16).
The South Carolina Senate has voted to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of the gas tax that raises money to fix roads, meaning the measure will now become law.
The final vote was 32-12. It came nearly two hours after the House also overrode the veto by 95-18 vote.
The move means the measure is now finally approved, and will officially become law on July 1
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 28, 2017
(Local Paper) Finding the right sentence for former policeman Michael Slager is marked with uncertainty
Michael Slager now sits in jail as a convicted felon, much like the person who occupied his cell before him.
But unlike Dylann Roof, the mass killer whose death sentence was broadly expected, Slager’s fate will remain a mystery until a judge decides it.
Much is riding on the result.
Some advocates, who point to the video of the former North Charleston patrolman shooting Walter Scott, want a stiff penalty that deters other police officers from using excessive force. But experts doubt that the prison sentence, lengthy or not, would do that.
For Those of You in Lowcountry SC this weekend–Gloria Kwashi will B guest preacher on Sunday, Apr 30 at Christ St Pauls Yonges Island
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 28, 2017
Have you ever gone to an event with little or no expectation that anything good would come out of it? A football game? A family reunion? Lunch with a friend? Mary and Mary Magdalene on the first Easter go to the tomb of Jesus with zero expectation of anything positive happening. Yet they would be in for the shock of their life, a shock that would come from nine words spoken by an angel at the tomb. These nine words transformed not only their expectation but their entire lives and the future of humanity. These nine can do the same for us today, stay tuned.
Heroin, gang activity topics of police concern at community meeting in the town where we live in South Carolina
It came as a shock to some community members when Summerville [South Carolina] police officials revealed this month during a town hall meeting, meant to address racial profiling statistics, that gang and drug activity are instead the town’s top two problems, infiltrating the area like never before.
“(The) heroin epidemic (we’re) experiencing (is the) biggest we’ve seen since I’ve worked here,” said Capt. Doug Wright. “It’s creeping into families and destroying families.”
The meeting, which took place April 18, was the third of its kind since 2015 and one Louis Smith, founder of the Community Resource Center, helped police put together after reviewing all the department’s 2016 traffic stop reports.
Smith said he found no wrongdoing on officers’ part and praised them for staying honest, cooperating with his request and remaining transparent with the community.
As a parish priest I remember telling parishioners, on more than one occasion, “When death comes into your home he brings a lot of unwanted relatives with him.” I do not mean relatives or in-laws who may come from out of town for the funeral. The relatives of death to which I refer are grief, fear, loneliness, guilt, shame, anger, depression, even anxiety. Once these come under the roof of your house it is difficult to show them the door. They tend to take up residence, over staying their welcome. Just this morning I read the story of Clint Hill, the secret service agent assigned to Jackie Kennedy during the days some refer to as Camelot. With poignant grief he recalled her words that day almost fifty years ago as the President’s wounded head lay in her lap like a modern Pieta, “They shot his head off. Oh Jack, what have they done?”
I’ve been listening to Dr. Billy Graham’s recent book Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well. He is no stranger to moments of national grief, like the one Clint Hill witnessed so painfully. At age 93 he has seen firsthand more than a little of our country’s sorrow. Yet grief when it is personal strikes even deeper. In recounting the death of his beloved wife and best friend for almost sixty-four years, Ruth Bell Graham, he writes, “Although I rejoice that her struggles with weakness and pain have all come to an end, I still feel as if a part of me has been ripped out, and I miss her far more than I ever could have imagined.” “Death”, he goes on to say, quite accurately, “is always an intruder even when it is expected.” Frankly, if there is no answer to death there is no answer to our most abiding enemy and all those blood relatives he brings with him. This, as you might imagine, brings me to Easter. I am happy to recall it. The apostle affirms, “Our Saviour Jesus Christ has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10 NEB)
Easter unflinchingly confronts our enemies, death and sin that would lock us in a self-justifying bondage, and plague our lives from start to finish. Christ’s death, however, is God’s No to sin. In the cross God reveals his hatred of sin as Christ dies to destroy it; and shows his love for sinners as he dies to free us of it. In Christ’s resurrection God speaks his Yes to life and human freedom, breaking the power of death. Donald Coggan, a former Archbishop of Canterbury put it well: “You may not like it. You may ignore it. You may deny it. But this is it. Take away the Cross and Resurrection from Christianity and you have a poor lifeless and maimed thing left…” And we must also say a dead religion dreadfully inadequate for our needs. Archbishop Coggan was right. We need to keep the Cross and Resurrection central. They tell us of God’s No, to death, and the fear that is death’s power; No, to sin and its tyranny of our lives; No, to fear that cripples us from living the dance of life freely; No, to the shame we don’t deserve and grace for the shame we do; No, to the loneliness that dogs our steps for the Risen One is with us always. Let me say again. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Great Yes of God. It has left us an empty tomb and an open door. It will in God’s good time and grace sweep our lives clean of death and the unwanted relatives it brings into our homes. Even this Sunday as we say the words, “Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” the joy of Easter may escort some these out the door. We can then live our lives in Christ, with Christ and for Christ freely, and for his sake for a hurting and broken world.
May the Peace of the Risen Christ be always with you,
–(The Rt Rev.) Mark Lawrence is Bishop of South Carolina
(Local Paper front Page) David W. MacDougall–The historic case for the resurrection of Jesus: ‘It’s the cornerstone of our faith’
Jeff Dunn, senior pastor at Christ United in Myrtle Beach, said he wouldn’t be preaching if he did not believe Christ rose from the dead. About 1,000 people worship each Sunday at his church.
“If he didn’t in fact rise from the dead, as Paul said, we’d be guilty of lying about God, and we would be wasting people’s time. Christians would be the most pitiful people on the planet.”
Dunn has been a pastor for 33 years. He said early in his academic career he was ready to abandon the idea that scripture was authoritative or historically accurate, or that it represented truth.
“I was completely beginning to embrace the idea that it was simply man’s effort to explain God.”
But before he completely bought into the idea that the Bible might or might not be true, he studied harder.
“I began looking at the evidence around Scripture and the evidence within, both from a theological perspective and from more of a scientific type perspective or investigatory perspective. It just became more and more clear to me that it was solid truth.”
With the chances of a gas-tax increase to pay for road repairs dwindling, advocates of bringing casinos to South Carolina think they have found a winning hand.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster declared last week that he would veto raising the state fuel tax for the first time in 30 years to fix crumbling roads and bridges. He favors a plan to borrow $1 billion, which would cover a small portion of the state’s repair tab and comes a year after lawmakers already agreed to borrow $2 billion for roads.
But there’s another roads-funding plan, one favored by a majority of South Carolinians, that’s on the table.
Casinos in the Myrtle Beach area and along the borders of North Carolina and Georgia could have South Carolina cashing in a potential $500 million a year while not raising gas pump prices or adding to the state debt load, legalized gambling backers say.
In our time, God is still active through his Word, the Scriptures. The Anglican Communion is a wonderful gift of God, but we see its witness degraded and confused by false teaching. What is more, the Communion’s traditional leadership responds by accommodating it. There is no hope in that direction, but at the same time, we see a new future unfolding. This is the Gafcon vision and it is being demonstrated very clearly in North America.
Last month, under the inspired and courageous leadership of Bishop Mark Lawrence, the former TEC Diocese of South Carolina voted unanimously to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). South Carolina will be its largest diocese and already has a global reach. Its annual ‘Mere Christianity’ conferences are highly regarded and its Anglican Leadership Institute is devoted to developing faithful leaders throughout the Communion. This is a very significant moment in the global realignment of the Communion. Here we see the power of the Word of the Lord: TEC recedes into history while faithful Anglican witness grows.
Commitment to growth will be much in evidence at the ACNA’s Provincial Assembly as it meets in Chicago from 27th to 30th June this year. Gafcon leaders from around the world will join Archbishop Foley Beach as over 1,000 members come together around the theme of ‘Mission on our Doorstep’; a vision for local mission which is greatly strengthened by partnerships that span the continents. I encourage all who can to make the most of this opportunity to work together and be equipped for the vital task of gospel proclamation.