Category : * South Carolina

An Easter Message from South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Easter

(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.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Apologetics, Christology, Easter

(Local Paper Front Page) Some bet on casinos to fix South Carolina’s crumbling infrastructure

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Gambling, State Government, Taxes, Travel

Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s April 2017 Letter

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, GAFCON

Terrell Glenn to lead St Andrew’s city church in Charleston, South Carolina

In the years since his departure from St. Andrew’s, Terrell has held a number of leadership positions on local, national and international levels. Terrell was elected as a missionary bishop in 2008 and played a significant role in the development of Anglican Church in North America. In addition to serving as Rector of St. Andrew’s he has also served as Rector of All Saints, Pawleys Island, Planting Pastor/Rector at Church of the Apostles in Raleigh, NC, and Planting Pastor/Rector at Church of the Apostles in Houston, TX, where he currently serves. As bishop Terrell oversaw a mission network of 54 churches and worked to raise up and mentor next generation leadership. Additionally, he continues to exercise leadership in the College of Bishops where he serves as Dean of College Affairs. Teresa has also been a partner in ministry with particular gifts for teaching and mentoring women. This past fall saw the release of Teresa’s new book, Becoming a Peaceful Mom: Through Every Season of Raising Your Child.

Having known Terrell for almost two decades I have seen firsthand the fruit of his life and ministry. I believe that God has gifted Terrell to be a preacher/teacher/shepherd in His Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Local Paper front Page–From the bottom to the Final4: Early struggles forged bond between Gamecocks’ Dawn Staley, Frank Martin

He’s a native of Miami who was a self-described terrible player in high school. She’s from Philadelphia and one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. But once they arrived at South Carolina, Frank Martin and Dawn Staley each started from the same place: The bottom.

Staley’s home debut as women’s head coach was a loss to Clemson played before a few thousand people, the beginning of a 10-win season in 2008. Martin arrived four years later to run the men’s team and won 14 games before crowds so small he could clearly hear conversations in the stands.

In SEC play, the numbers were far worse: Staley won two league games her first season, Martin four, and in each case the attendance numbers dwindled as those debut campaigns wore on.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Education, Men, Sports, Women, Young Adults

(ESPN) South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin reflects on the Gamecocks’ miraculous run to the Final 4

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Sports

Jeffrey Miller’s recent Lenten Teaching: “Be Faithful Unto Death” (Revelation 2:10)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there. This was presented as part of the lenten teaching series for adults at Christ St. Pauls, Yonges Island, South Carolina

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, Lent, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

Disappearing churches: Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, congregations cope with big changes

The Greater Macedonia Church building on Alexander Street in downtown Charlesston is for sale. So is the Mount Carmel AME Church building on Rutledge Avenue. The old Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church at the end of Cannon Street sits empty.

The congregation of Plymouth Congregational Church has relocated to the West Ashley area of Charleston. Shiloh AME Church is moving, too.

The Charleston peninsula is losing churches, even as new residents stream into the three-county metropolitan area.

Other religious institutions downtown are managing to hang on, even thrive, in this dynamic period of change.

Read it all from the local paper.

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

South Carolina Men’s Basketball beats Florida to make the first Final Four in Team History

Posted in * South Carolina, Men, Sports, Young Adults

(Local Paper) Newly ordained couple minister together at Mount Pleasant’s Church of the Holy Cross

When Kate and Sean Norris first set up a church together, they were surrounded by pawn shops and tattoo parlors on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

At first, Kate said she was skeptical. The call to start a church had come to her husband while she was pregnant.

“It was just a divine kick in the pants that you cannot ignore,” she said.

For a time, the couple ran their church out of a supermarket. Once, they held mass in a tattoo parlor.

Read it all.

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

Companies doing Good(II): Google equips buses with wifi and offers computers to South Carolina students who have a long ride daily

Eighth-grader Lakaysha Governor spends two hours on the bus getting back and forth to school each day. Thanks to a grant from Google, she can now use that time more productively and get her homework done.

The aspiring forensic anthropologist is one of nearly 2,000 students in rural Berkeley County who will ride to school on one of 28, Google-funded, Wi-Fi-equipped school buses unveiled Monday.

The technology giant also has given the school district 1,700 Chromebooks, the stripped-down laptops on which many schoolchildren now do their class and homework.

As more class assignments and homework migrate online, such long bus rides have generally counted as lost time in preparing for the next school day. But Google said it hopes to help expand the use of Wi-Fi on school buses in other rural areas elsewhere around the country.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Education, Science & Technology

South Carolina lawmakers considering allowing teens to get protection orders tied to dating violence

Lawmakers are considering allowing teenagers as young as 16 to get court orders of protection — without parental consent — when they are victims of domestic violence.

A proposed bill would also require teen-dating violence education in public schools and would increase penalties for those convicted of associated crimes.

Students from Ridge View High School in Columbia recently testified before a Statehouse panel supporting legislation that better defines teen dating violence.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sexuality, State Government, Teens / Youth, Violence

(NYT) South Carolina pulls off arguably the biggest win in program history, shocking No. 2 Duke

Duke, universally admired and despised, found itself engulfed by Carolinas — North and South — at the sold-out Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., on Sunday. Cheers and jeers cascaded down on the Blue Devils as they fell to South Carolina, 88-81, in a rare upset in this N.C.A.A. tournament.

The Blue Devils, the second seed in the East Region, had a 30-23 lead at halftime after the seventh-seeded Gamecocks missed 20 of their last 22 field goal attempts before the break. But as cold as it was in the first half, South Carolina was just as hot in the second.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Sports

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon-Being Exposed by the Light that Breaks Down our Walls (John 4:5-42)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

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