Listen to the Bishop's address, the Convention sermon, view the videos and the convention photo album in the Convention media collection..
“What a simply wonderful, uplifting, exciting and spiritually led convention,” said John Benson, a lay-delegate from Prince George Winyah, Georgetown. “I was enriched by the workshops, Friday's service, the uniting sermon and, of course, the working of the Holy Spirit throughout the Saturday convention. Archbishop Foley Beach's appearance was the icing on the cake.”
“I am strongly in favor of affiliation,” said Bishop Mark Lawrence in his address to the 226th annual Convention of Diocese of South Carolina, prior to their vote. “I believe that now is the time. For if one believes as I do that we in this diocese are to make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age and to help shape Emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century there is no better place to do this in North America than the ACNA.”
Over 350 lay delegates and clergy from 52 churches in the eastern portion of South Carolina gathered for the two-day convention, which was held March 10-11, 2017 at St. Paul’s Church in Summerville.
Workshops Challenge Delegates and Visitors
The convention kicked off Friday afternoon with five workshops open to the public.
The Rev. Chuck Owens, Rector of the Church of the Cross, Bluffton, the largest and fastest-growing church in the Diocese, cast a vision for reclaiming the hope and excitement enjoyed by “followers of the Way” in a workshop on “Energizing the Laity to Serve.” “If you want God to do something new, you cannot keep doing the same old thing!” he said.
The Rev. Jimmy Gallant, the Rev. Gary Beson, the Rev. Donnel Liferidge, the Rev. David Booman and the Rev. Al Zadig used testimonial videos and spoke on “Racial Reconciliation: Bridging the Cultural Divide.” Each brought a different perspective. Gallant leads an all-black parish in Charleston and has played an active role in racial reconciliation in the community. Beson leads a church plant (an all-white congregation), which meets in a Reformed Episcopal Church (all-black congregation) led by Pastor Liferidge. The two congregations have built relationships across racial boundaries having a combined Bible Study, with the two pastors filling each others’ pulpits on occasion and the congregations combining regularly for fellowship events. Zadig and Booman from St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, spoke about the role their church played in the healing events following the Emanuel AME shooting. Booman shared his experience serving on the spiritual support team for the families of Mother Emanuel.
The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson and The Rev. Patrick Schlabs spoke on “Engaging Changing Cultures.” The Rev. Greg Kronz, who attended the workshop said, “Peet did a good job presenting an historic sociological overview in setting the framework and Patrick, because of his age and experience in ministry gave a practical presentation on the challenges we face in bringing the Gospel to unchurched millennials. They did a great job.”
Jenny Noyes, Executive Director of New Wineskins and The Rev. Bob Lawrence, Chairman of the Anglican Communion Development Committee spoke on “God’s Global Mission: Where Do You Fit In?” Noyes spoke on the four ways individuals can get involved in missions – “prayer, care, share and dare.” “It’s true we can’t do everything,” she said, “but we can all do something!”
The Rev. Janet Echols and The Rev. David Thurlow, who led “Small Church... Big God... Great Commission,” said that mission is the DNA of the church. “The church ceases to be the church if the great commission isn’t at it’s heart. They both emphasized the cross-shaped life, going deeper with Christ and reaching out to others with the gospel.
Called to be Change Agents; Bishop Gadsden Preaches
The Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church, was the guest preacher Friday evening. “God has called us to be change agents,” he said. Gadsden stressed that Christians had an obligation to carry the message to the world around them.
Greetings and Messages of Support
The Convention was blessed with a recorded greeting from the leadership of the Anglican Communion’s GAFCON movement, The Most Rev. Peter Jensen and the Most Rev. Peter Akinola. “In times like these we need to be able to partner with fellow Christians who share common faith with us,” said the Archbishop Akinola. “We need to stand together to make a difference in this world of darkness where people are deviating day by day from the standards of scripture. We know that in the ACNA we can stand together to work for the glory of God.”
Bishop Ken Clarke, the Mission Director of SAMS UK and Ireland and former Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, who was with us for the convention read a greeting of encouragement from Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the 9th Bishop of Singapore.
Bishop Lawrence’s Address
Bishop Mark Lawrence shared 10 reasons why he supported affiliation with the ACNA during his Saturday address to the convention. He likened the Diocese’s time of discernment to his own childhood experience in learning to swim. “So I say to each of us circling around this pool of ecclesial affiliation, having dangled our feet in these waters for a season, and some of us even wading into the shallows, standing on our tiptoes, it is time to join our fellow Anglicans in the ACNA as they seek to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.” Read the full text of the sermon or listen to the audio version at www.dioceseofsc.org.
Affiliation Vote Unanimous
The affiliation vote, which was done by orders, meaning every clergy person and every lay delegation was called upon to vote yea or nay out loud, was unanimous in its decision to affiliate. Following the vote the crowd rose to their feet in an extended period of applause and spontaneously sang the doxology.
Bishop Lawrence invited the Archbishop of the ACNA, the Most Rev. Foley Beach to address the crowd following the vote. “Your historic vote represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your life together as a Diocese and our life together as a Province,” he said. “You are bringing with you many gifts that will further strengthen our Province, and the larger Anglican world. And I believe we have gifts to share with you, and look forward to formally welcoming you into the Anglican Church in North America in June.”
Update from the Marriage Task Force
The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, gave an update on work of the Marriage Task Force, urging each parish to update or create (if they had not yet developed) church policies including: a statement of faith, a facilities use policy and an employment policy. During the previous year’s convention the task force was charged with developing steps parishes needed to take to protect their properties from future lawsuits. Numerous parishes have not followed through on the Task Force’s recommendation.
The Task Force was also charged with providing resources to strengthen marriages. The Rev. Tim Keller, well-known author and preacher from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC addressed the convention via a pre-recorded video commending them for their stand for marriage. The Diocese provided each parish and mission with the latest book and video course on marriage created by Keller and his wife, Kathy. These were handed out during the presentation.
Welcoming New Congregations/New Clergy
The convention welcomed 12 clergy to our Diocese since the last convention: the Rev. Ron Gauss, the Rev. Patrick Schlabs, the Rev. Jeff Falkowski, the Rev. Kate Norris, the Rev. Ned Bowden, the Rev. Richard Grimball, the Rev. Sean Norris, the Rev. Todd Simonis, the Rev. Gary Corcoran, the Rev. Jim Workman, the Rev. David Hudspeth, and the Rev. Drew Collins.
During Saturday’s business meeting, the following individuals were elected to serve in Diocesan offices and positions:
Standing Committee (three-year term): The Rev. David Dubay, (Holy Trinity, Charleston); The Rev. Marcus Kaiser, (Holy Comforter, Sumter); Mr. Brandt Shelbourne, (St. Paul’s, Summerville); Mrs. Anne Walton, (Holy Comforter, Sumter);
Diocesan Council (three-year term): The Rev. Hunter Jordan (St. Matthew’s, Darlington); The Rev. Trevor Spencer (Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island); Mrs. Sue Harrison, (St. Paul’s, Conway); Mr. Nick Rindge, (Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston)
Diocesan Trustee (six-year term): The Rev. Rags Coxe (Prince George, Georgetown), The Rev. Ted Duvall (Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant) to serve unexpired 3-year term; Mr. Frank Gibson (St. Helena’s, Beaufort)
Ecclesiastical Court (three-year term): The Rev. Wey Camp (Trinity, Edisto Island); The Rev. Mark Cooke (St. David’s, Cheraw); Mr. Wade Logan (St. Michael’s, Charleston); Mr. Bill Lyles (St. Michael’s, Charleston)
ACNA Provincial Council (five-year term): The Very Rev. Craige Borrett (Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island); Alternate: The Rev. Shay Gaillard (St. Helena’s, Beaufort); Mrs. Elizabeth Pennewill (Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island); Mr. Alan Runyan, (St.Helena’s, Beaufort); Alternates: Mr. Peter Rothermel (Saint James, Charleston); Mrs. Suzanne Schwank St. Helena's, Beaufort)
ACNA Provincial Assembly (1-year term): The Very Rev. Craige Borrett (Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island); The Rev. Karl Burns (Our Saviour, Johns Island); The Rev. John Foster (St. Bartholomew’s, Darlington); The Rev. Hunter Jordan (St. Matthew’s, Darlington); The Rev. Tripp Jeffords (St. Paul’s, Summerville); The Rev. Marcus Kaiser (Holy Comforter, Sumter); The Rev. Bob Lawrence (St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center); The Rev. David Thurlow, (Prince George, Georgetown); The Very Rev. Ken Weldon (St. John’s, Florence); The Rev. Jim Workman (Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant); Mr. John Benson (Prince George, Georgetown); Mrs. Laura Bowman (Grace Parish, North Myrtle Beach); Mr. Sam Dargan (St. Matthews, Darlington); Mr. Alonso Galvan (Cathedral, Charleston); Mr. Gerry Graves (Christ – St. Paul’s, Yonges Island); Mr. Jacob Graudin (The Cathedral, Charleston); Mrs. Karen Kusko (St. Helena’s, Beaufort); Mrs. Susan McDuffie (Holy Comforter, Sumter); Mr. Alan Runyan (St. Helena’s, Beaufort); Mr. Tom Wheeler (Our Saviour, Johns Island)
2018 Convention Announced
Bishop Lawrence closed the Convention with a prayer and invited Archbishop Foley Beach to give the blessing. The 227th Diocesan Convention will be held March 9-10, 2017, at the Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC.
For access to the full Bishop’s address, resolutions, pictures, election results and other convention details, visit www.dioceseofsc.org and click “Convention Archives.”