Resolutions Offered at the October 24, 2009 Special Convention
Note: All five of the resolutions were offered by the Standing Committee and the Deans
First Guiding Principle for Engagement
The Lordship of Christ and the Sufficiency of Scripture
Whereas, The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church, is a constituent member of The Anglican Communion, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, and Whereas, recent pronouncements by the Presiding Bishop and resolutions of the General Convention have raised questions about the content and nature of the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church, and Whereas, it has never been the intent of The Episcopal Church to depart from the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Church of England as we have received them, now, therefore, be it Resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina reaffirms its commitment to live its corporate life under the authority of Holy Scripture (Articles of Religion, Art. VI and XX) and the unique Lordship of Jesus Christ (Art. XVIII) and commits to exercising all such actions as the Bishop and Standing Committee may believe edifying to the Body of Christ in bearing that witness and bringing to light such actions as contravene those essentials to “upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order” (Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States: Preamble) as we have received them: and be it Further Resolved, that the following statement shall constitute our understanding of the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church and shall be read at all ordinations in The Diocese of South Carolina, and a copy of which shall be attached to the Oath of Conformity signed by the ordinand at such service of ordination: “In the Diocese of South Carolina, we understand the substance of the ‘doctrine, discipline and worship’ of The Episcopal Church to mean that which is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Creeds, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the theology of the historic prayer books.”
Second Guiding Principle for Engagement
Whereas the governing bodies of The Episcopal Church have failed to operate within the boundaries of its canons and continued participation in such behavior would make the Diocese of South Carolina complicit in this dysfunction, be it Resolved that this Diocese authorize the Bishop and Standing Committee to begin withdrawing from all bodies of the Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions; and be it Further resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina declares that the most recent example of this behavior, in the passage of Resolutions DO25 and CO56, to be null and void, having no effect in this Diocese, and in violation of our diocesan canon (XXXVI sec.1).
Third Guiding Principle for Engagement
Domestic Engagement for Missional Relationships
Whereas the Diocese of South Carolina wishes to be in active and life giving partnership with those Dioceses and Parishes within the Episcopal Church with similar Gospel commitments, believes that it is uniquely positioned to be a source of encouragement and resource for equipping the faithful who feel isolated in other parts of the Episcopal Church and now seeks a place not only to survive but to thrive which is faithful, relational and structural; therefore be it Resolved that this Diocese, committing itself to remain focused on our gospel mission effectively to reach both the lost and unchurched, will work in partnership with such Dioceses as are willing to form Missional Relationships providing gatherings for Bishops, clergy and laity for the express purpose of evangelism, encouragement, education and mission: therefore, be it further
Resolved that the parishes of this Diocese are encouraged to enter into their own Missional Relationships with orthodox congregations isolated across North America and to pursue effective initiatives which are lay-led and supported.
Fourth Guiding Principle for Engagement
Emerging 21st Century Anglicanism
Whereas the Diocese of South Carolina has a vision of “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age” that calls us to active engagement with the larger Communion, and Whereas, as a founding Diocese of the Episcopal Church, we have the inherent sovereign authority to pursue that engagement, and Whereas the polity of The Episcopal Church affirms this authority, and Whereas we believe God has called the Diocese of South Carolina to help shape the future of Anglicanism in the 21st Century through mutually enriching missional relationships with dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion (Romans 1:11-12; 2 Cor. 9:1-15) and through modeling responsible autonomy and inter-provincial accountability (Phil. 2:1-5; Eph. 4:1-6) for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Kingdom and his church, and Whereas this Diocese, as established at its 2009 Diocesan Convention, is actively pursuing such partnerships throughout the world as will enable us to support Gospel initiatives that strengthen the Church and its witness to the redeeming power of Jesus’ “life, death and Resurrection”, and the Anglican Communion Development Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina will recommend to the Bishop and Diocesan Council where re-directed resources for mission and ministry shall be directed; therefore be it Resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina endorses the Ridley draft of the proposed Anglican Covenant, as it presently stands, in all four sections, as an expression of our full commitment to mutual submission and accountability in communion, grounded in a common faith. [View the Ridley Draft.)
The Rubric of Love
Whereas the Diocese of South Carolina recognizes we have all been created in God’s image and are precious in his sight, and Whereas we acknowledge we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and stand equally in need of his mercy and grace, we thankfully and humbly, Resolve that this Diocese will not condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Nevertheless, we will speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends for the amendment of life required of disciples of Christ. It is love of neighbor and the abiding concern for their spiritual well being that compels such honesty and will never allow us to remain silent.