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REC Diocese Expresses Support for Bishop Lawrence and Diocese of South Carolina

REC Diocese Expresses Support for Bishop Lawrence and Diocese of South Carolina

By Charles A. Collins, Jr.
September 15, 2013

The Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America unanimously approved a resolution of support for the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Mark Lawrence as they face legal challenges and other harassment from The Episcopal Church following their disassociation last year from The Episcopal Church.

The resolution, introduced by the Rev. Charles A. Collins, Jr., Vicar of the Church of the Atonement in Mount Pleasant who also serves as the Ecumenical Representative for the Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden, Sr., noted that the Diocese of South Carolina had sought to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints despite changes to the teaching of Scripture and the Church as well as the support that they have received from Anglicans in the Global South, including the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates Council.

"We're pleased to support Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina as they stand on the foundation of Scripture," said Bishop Gadsden, who had met with other Anglican bishops at Camp St. Christopher earlier in the week to discuss ways that they could engage in ministry together.

Tracing its roots back to 1875, the Diocese of the Southeast comprises more than 30 parishes and missions in South Carolina and Georgia and also covers the state of Florida. Following the approval of the resolution, the text of which follows, prayers were offered for the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence.

A Resolution of Support

Whereas, the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and the Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America share a common heritage as Christians, as Anglicans, and as residents of this land in which God's Providence has placed us; and,

Whereas, the Diocese of South Carolina has sought to "...earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3 [ESV]) despite severe opposition and interference from The Episcopal Church as that latter body has revised Catholic teaching; and,

Whereas, on 17 October 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops of The Episcopal Church certified to the Presiding Bishop of that body that the Rt. Rev'd Mark Joseph Lawrence, D.D., had abandoned The Episcopal Church despite his earnest efforts to preserve both his Diocese's relationship to that body and its faithfulness to Scripture and Catholic teaching; and,

Whereas, those actions triggered two pre-existing resolutions disaffiliating the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church and called for a special convention of that Diocese; and,

Whereas, that special convention was held at St. Philip's Church in Charleston on 17 November 2012 and at that convention the overwhelming majority of the Diocese of South Carolina affirmed their support for this disaffiliation and Bishop Lawrence; and,

Whereas, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates Council has affirmed its support of the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence; and,

Whereas, The Episcopal Church has continued to seek legal action against the Diocese of South Carolina;

Now Therefore, we, the Forty-first Synod of the Diocese of the Southeast meeting at St. John's Church in Charleston do hereby give thanks to Almighty God for the faithful witness and testimony of the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Mark Lawrence, affirm our support of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and do now lift them up before Almighty God in prayer and heartfelt affection.

END

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