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Judge Asks Both Sides of Diocese of SC Case to Agree on Facts for Parish Witness Testimony PDF Print E-mail

Effort to achieve consensus on facts will reduce time spent entering facts into evidence so more time can be spent dealing with critical issues


ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 11, 2014 – After listening to testimony from 18 parish witnesses in the trial to protect Diocese of South Carolina assets from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), the judge asked all parties to help expedite the proceedings by working together to determine a set of undisputed facts. This follows the parishes effort to secure stipulations of the facts of their witnesses over two weeks ago which was rejected by TEC and TECSC.

The last two and a half days of trial were spent hearing virtually identical testimony from witnesses representing 18 parishes –half of those involved – who were all asked similar questions.  During those two and a half days, neither TEC nor TECSC has objected to the introduction of evidence or exhibits.
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Day Three Testimony Shows Churches Have No Connection to TEC PDF Print E-mail
ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 10, 2014 – Testimony continued today for the third day of the trial between the Diocese of South Carolina vs The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Witnesses for the Plaintiff were called from The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, St. Luke’s on Hilton Head Island, Holy Comforter in Sumter, Resurrection in Surfside, Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg and St. John’s in Florence.

In testimony after testimony witnesses testified that their church was a registered South Carolina non-profit corporation - several chartered in the mid-1800s. None of the Parishes legal corporate documents had any reference to the national church.
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Second Day of Trial Includes Testimony from Treasurer PDF Print E-mail

Second Day of Trial Includes Testimony From Treasurer of Diocese of SC Board of Trustees

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 9, 2014 The morning was a cross examination of Canon Jim Lewis. Lewis testified yesterday how more than 90 percent of the convention clergy and delegates voted to disassociate from the national church (TEC).

The Plaintiffs called Robert Kunes, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of South Carolina, to testify about the corporate governance of the Trustees.

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Trial to Protect Diocese of SC Assets Begins PDF Print E-mail
South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein asks both sides to skip opening arguments so trial can focus on the underlying issues

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 8, 2014 – After 18 months of delays, a long-awaited lawsuit to protect Diocese of South Carolina assets from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary went to trial in a South Carolina courtroom today.

Judge Diane S. Goodstein, who presides over the bench trial, asked attorneys for the Diocese, TEC and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) to sidestep opening arguments and dive into the fundamental issues of the case.
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A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Lawrence Regarding Upcoming Trial PDF Print E-mail
The Rt. Rev. Mark. J. LawrenceBishop Lawrence requested that the following letter be read aloud in congregations across the Diocese of South Carolina in Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 1:3

I write on the eve of the upcoming trial between the Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church scheduled, God-willing, to take place in St. George, SC from July 8—18, 2014 and under the jurisdiction of the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein.  Much work by our legal team under the leadership of Mr. Alan Runyan has already been done. The staff and members from many of our parishes, as well as the diocesan staff, have logged countless hours in the detail work of discovery. Much prayer has been invested by our clergy, vestries, intercessors, and the rank and file members of our congregations. For all of this I am profoundly grateful.
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