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Latest News
An Important Message from the Chair of the Diocesan Finance Department PDF Print E-mail

10_10_10Dear Friends,

I write to you about tithing, as chairman of the Diocesan Finance Department, as a lifelong Episcopalian, and as a Christian head of my household.

Some years ago, Bishop Salmon changed the approach to giving in the Diocese, teaching and emphasizing the Biblical tithe. We preach the tithe for the spiritual health of all Christians, and we agreed to a ten-ten-ten approach. Tithe by parishioners of 10% of their income to their own parish, a tithe of 10% of parish income to the diocese, and a tithe of 10% of diocesan income to outreach, whether to the national church, or to missions outside our own.

Many, many of our friends do tithe. They have found, as my family and I have found, that it is spiritually rewarding, liberating even, to tithe. For myself, I heard early in my Christian walk that I never feel as rich as when I tithe. It has certainly proven to be true for me.

Read more...
 
Bishop Lawrence Writes to the Diocese About Disciplinary Board Decision PDF Print E-mail

The following is a letter to the Diocese of South Carolina from the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence:

November 29, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I write to you in this season of Advent when we await with eagerness the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in great glory to judge both the living and the dead, even while we prepare to celebrate his birth among us so long ago in that unlikely place and with an unimaginable wonder and unspeakable grace—the Word made flesh.  In this season of hope we also rejoice in his daily visitation.  To that end it is with such hope that I report to you that late yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from Bishop Dorsey Henderson, President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, regarding their ruling on my case which has been before them for several months.  In a conference of the board members on November 22nd the Disciplinary Board was unable to certify that I had abandoned the Episcopal Church.  While the statement leaves many questions unanswered—frankly, to my mind it appears to read like a complex statement of a complex decision in a complex time within a complex church.  Nevertheless, I believe it is best to take it at face value (even while noting that this diocese has not recognized the constitutionality of the new disciplinary canon).  For now given no more allegations from anonymous sources within the diocese it is my hope we can all get back to focusing our full attention on proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and to Glory of God the Father that the Church here in the Diocese of South Carolina may add daily to its number those who are being saved.  

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Employment Verification Requirements Effective January 1, 2012 PDF Print E-mail

The Diocesan Office recently received the following employment verification notice from McKay, Kiddy & Associates. We want to ensure that every church in the diocese is in compliance with these requirements which go into effect January 1, 2012. Note, these do not replace a background check, but are in conjunction with an I-9 which must be kept on file. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at (843) 722-4075.

Thank you,


Nancy Armstrong
Diocesan Administrator




You Must Verify All New Hires through E-Verify Effective January 1, 2012
 
Amendments to the "South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act" were signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on June 27, 2011.  The amended law requires all employers to enroll in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system beginning January 1, 2012 and to verify the legal status of all new employees through E-Verify within three business days.  Failure to enroll in and use E-Verify to verify new hires will result in probation for the employer or suspension/revocation of the employer's business licenses. 
 

Verification Requirements
 
In addition to completing and maintaining the federal employment eligibility verification form, more commonly known as the Form I-9, all South Carolina employers must within three business days after employing a new employee:

1.Verify the employee's work authorization through the E-Verify federal work authorization program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
2.Employers may no longer confirm a new employee's employment authorization with a driver's license or state identification card.
E-Verify  E-Verify is a free Internet-based system maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  E-Verify compares the information an employee provides on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against millions of government records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.  The database generally provides results in three to five seconds. If the information matches, the employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there's a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer and the employee will be allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem.  To enroll in E-Verify, go to www.dhs.gov/e-verify.
 

Employment of Unauthorized Alien Prohibited
 
Section 41-8-30 provides that a private employer who knowingly or intentionally employs an unauthorized alien violates the private employer's licenses.
 

Failure to Comply
 
For a first occurrence by a private employer, prior to July 1, 2012, of failure to verify a new hire through the E-Verify federal work authorization program within three business days, an employer must swear or affirm in writing to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that the employer has complied with the provisions of the federal law covering employment of unauthorized aliens (8 U.S.C. Section 1324a) from January 1, 2012 until notification by LLR of a violation, and comply with the state law on verification of new hires within three business days.
 
For a first occurrence by a private employer, after July 1, 2012, of failure to verify a new hire through the E-Verify federal work authorization program within three business days, the Department of LLR must place the employer on probation for a period of one year, during which time the private employer must submit quarterly reports to the agency demonstrating compliance with the law.  A subsequent violation within three years of the law's verification requirements must result in the suspension of the private employer's licenses for at least 10 days but not more than 30 days.    
 
A private employer who knowingly or intentionally employs an unauthorized alien must have his licenses suspended by the Department of LLR on a first occurrence for at least 10 days but not more than 30 days.  During the period of suspension, the private employer may not engage in business, open to the public, employ an employee, or otherwise operate.  The private employer's licenses are reinstated when the employer demonstrates that the unauthorized alien has been terminated, and pays a reinstatement fee equal to the cost of investigating and enforcing the matter, not to exceed $1,000.  For a second occurrence, the employer's licenses must be suspended for at least 30 days but not more than 60 days. Following a third occurrence, the private employer's licenses are revoked.
 

For More Information
 
To read the law and to learn about upcoming training programs across the state, go to: www.llronline
 
Brought to you proactively by
McCay, Kiddy & Associates, LLC

 
Carol of Waiting; An Advent Hymn by Canon Wright PDF Print E-mail
Advent WreathThe Rev. Canon J. Michael A. Wright, Rector of Grace Church, Charleston, has written an Advent hymn to the tune of Forest Green. Here is a brief reflection on the hymn. 

Download the Hymn

Carol of Waiting

                       
 
One of the great themes of Advent is waiting.  Advent invites us to re-evaluate this often undervalued part of our lives.  It helps to remember that waiting is front and centre in the Christian story from the beginning.  Angels, Mary, Shepherds, magi – all wait – even the Christ child waits in what seems like a permanent world of Advent.  The value of waiting is clear; it is necessary, necessary to God’s plan as much in redemption as it was from the beginning in God’s creation.  True enough, there is a reason “things” take time to grow to maturity – everything from delivering a healthy child to making a good wine.  So it is in God’s plan of redemption.  Maybe we should give waiting another good look.

This hymn is meant for Christmas Eve.  As children in our consumer culture eagerly await their visit from St. Nicholas it serves us well to know that even our jolly Christmas elf waits – or at least his sixth century true likeness does.  For in waiting we are given time to reflect on what is the true meaning of our Advent lives.  They remain unfulfilled until the promised one enters our story and with it supplies those necessary ingredients to live by all year long, waiting or not.  These are the gifts of the long awaited Messiah born in Bethlehem’s stable; love, joy, and peace.


 
 
Update from Egypt: Miracles Do Happen PDF Print E-mail

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. AnisThe following is an update from the Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. Anis, Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

13 October 2011
My Dear Friends,

In the tradition of the Coptic Orthodox Church there was a story of a Muslim Caliph who challenged the Coptic Patriarch and said "you have a verse in your Bible that says, 'by faith you can move mountains.'" The Caliph added, "Show me that this verse is true and move the mountain of Mokottam (in the south of Cairo). If you cannot move it, I will kill all the Christians. "

The Patriarch was very sad and worried because he was not quite sure that the mountain would move. He was contacted by a shoe maker named Simon who said to the Patriarch, "do not worry, let us just pray and fast for three days and our mighty Lord will make a miracle!"

The Patriarch called for prayer and fasting for three days. On the third day, the doubting Caliph came to see if the mountain would move or not. The worried Patriarch was praying with his people, and behind them, Simon was interceding with confidence.

The mountain moved! The Caliph said, "I now know that you worship the true God."

Today was the third day of fasting and prayer. Many of our staff in the Diocese of Egypt, having this story in mind, were expecting a miracle to happen today or tomorrow; a miracle that can show how God will rescue His Church!

Today I have seen a miracle. It was very much like moving a mountain. I went this morning to visit the Grand Imam of AI Azhar. I arrived a bit early and I waited at the office of his advisor. While waiting I saw a bearded Muslim man in his 50's who came to present a proposal to the Grand Imam's advisor. He said, "I am a Muslim and I live between Tahrir Square and Maspero. I came here to witness that the spirit of hatred against Christians has increased a lot. On the night of the 9th of October when the killing of Christians took place, I met a group of people who were searching for Christians to beat after they heard that Christians attacked the army."

The man added, "Hatred is on the rise and I came to witness for this." He proposed then that AI Azhar must respond to all the thoughts that promote this hatred towards Christians. He also said that, "I and a group of Muslim writers and artists are happy to devote our time in order to combat this hatred against Christians. We have a list of books we must respond to and correct the false teachings towards Christians."

The advisor of the Grand Imam said to him, "this is a very good idea. Why don't we have the idea written and I will present it to the Grand Imam."

I did not believe my ears! A group of Muslims are disturbed by hatred of Christians and want to combat this hatred! !!!

To me, this was a miracle!

Who moved the heart of these people? Certainly it is God, who hears our prayers!

Let us continue to pray.

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. Anis
Bishop ofthe Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
President Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican
Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

 
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