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Diocese Seeks to End TEC Stalling Tactics by Asking State Supreme Court to Hear Appeal PDF Print E-mail


Diocese’s motion aims to prevent further delays to adjudication of core issue: Property ownership

CHARLESTON, SC, February 6, 2014 – The Diocese of South Carolina today asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene in an appeal filed “primarily for the purpose of delay” by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

TEC’s appeal challenges a lower court ruling on the process both sides may use in discovery leading up to a trial that will decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. The diocese argues that TEC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.

“[TEC and TECSC] are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” says the diocese’s request for Supreme Court action. “Their strategy of appealing an interlocutory order is evidence of that intent. This is the same strategy that caused eight months to be wasted at the start of this case in federal court where they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction.”
Federal Judge Denies Second TEC Request to Seize Diocese of South Carolina Identity PDF Print E-mail
CHARLESTON, SC, January 15, 2014 – U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ‘rehash’ previously presented arguments. … As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”
Diocese of South Carolina Wins Again Against Episcopal Church PDF Print E-mail

For the Second Time, Court Rejects Efforts to Expand Lawsuit

St. George, SC, December 30, 2013 – South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein today denied efforts by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) to expand its lawsuit by adding claims against four diocesan officials.

The judge, who had only a few months ago rejected efforts by the national Episcopal Church to drag literally all of the diocese’s officers into the suit, said there was no reason to single out the specific members of the clergy for acting consistent with the wishes of the Diocese as approved by literally thousands of members of the diocese.

In November, TECSC had asked the judge to expand its suit to include Bishop Mark Lawrence and three other clerics, alleging that actions they took to withdraw the diocese from the denomination were outside the scope of their legal authority and violated state law.  In denying the motion, Judge Goodstein briefly referenced a last minute TECSC affidavit that asserted an early conspiracy to leave TEC. The Very Rev. Paul Fuener, a priest named in the affidavit, observed, “I am confident that his recollection of our interview is seriously in error, if not worse.”
A Christmas Message from Bishop Lawrence PDF Print E-mail
December 23, 2013
Dear Friends in Christ,

My mother died last year shortly before Christmas.  It was a gentle death and so for her perhaps the best of Christmases.  I recall, however, that during my childhood and early adult years, she was always hoping for the perfect Christmas Eve.  It was a misplaced hope from the beginning.  Sometimes the failure exceeded human control—the lemon pies didn’t set up, the meat was tough, the turkey dry.  On one occasion the culprit was my father having stayed too long at a local watering hole.  Sometimes it was my brother Porter who was the spoiler—high on drugs one Christmas, in prison for two, and dead on a third.  One year it was her son, Mark, who played the troubler of Israel—declaring himself an agnostic and having no interest in attending the midnight service.  So far as I know my mother’s perfect Christmas Eve never came in this mortal life. 
New Church Plant: Grace Parish, North Myrtle Beach PDF Print E-mail
Bishop to Visit New Church Plant in North Myrtle Beach

North Myrtle Beach, SC, November 5, 2013 – Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina will be in North Myrtle Beach on Sunday, November 10 for the official launching of a new church.

Grace Parish is the newest congregation in the Diocese of South Carolina. Bishop Lawrence, will commission the church plant team and perform a service of confirmation at 3 p.m. at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center at 1030 Possum Trot Road in North Myrtle Beach.

“We may be small,” says Vicar Linda Manuel, who leads the parish locally, “But our God is big, and we believe that small things done with great love will change the world!”

Manuel found herself leading the small group of worshippers when they were left without a church home.  Most had belonged to St. Stephen’s, North Myrtle Beach but didn’t feel comfortable staying with it after the church voted to separate from the Diocese of South Carolina and stay with the theologically liberal Episcopal Church.

At first the group began meeting in homes. Then they were offered the use of a chapel in Lee Funeral Home. “They were wonderful at Lee, but we decided we needed additional space to grow and wanted to be able to offer Bible Studies and outreach events during the week,” says Vicar Manuel.

The Community Center is surrounded by condos, and a golf course. “The space is working great for us,” says Manuel. “Everyone is pitching in, bringing items from home. Other churches have been helpful, too. Prince George – Winyah in Georgetown has been wonderful to us. They’ve given us altar linens and hangings,” says Manuel.

In addition to Sunday worship at 9 a.m. Grace offers a co-ed weekly Wednesday Bible Study from 3:30 – 5 p.m. in the Community Center rotunda.  “We’re beginning to reach out,” says Manuel, “focusing on evangelism and sharing our faith. In all that we do, we pray we will exalt the Risen Lord Jesus, and offer to others the place of acceptance, love, hope and forgiveness that we have found.”

This coming Sunday, November 10, they will not be having their regular 9 a.m. service instead asking everyone to come at 3 p.m. for the Bishop’s visit.

“I am gratified by the progress Grace Parish is making,” says Bishop Lawrence. “This is what we need to be about as a diocese—growing existing congregations and planting new ones.  This commissioning service will focus on the chief work that lies ahead for this new congregation, to grow Christ’s church with transformed souls not merely transferred members.”
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