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Latest News
Bishop Lawrence Interviewed by Associated Press PDF Print E-mail

South Carolina Bishop: Episcopal Split Clarifies Future


By Bruce Smith, Associated Press

CHARLESTON - With years of angst and controversy now over, the split of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina from the national church has brought clarity and allows the faithful to look to the future, Bishop Mark Lawrence said.

“We as a diocese can begin to dream,” he said recently in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. “We can dream of how God would have us fulfill our vision. We can dream of planting new churches and strengthening existing churches and working with Anglicans around the world.”
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Diocese Seeks Declaratory Judgment to Prevent Episcopal Church from Seizing Local Parishes and "Hijacking" their Identities PDF Print E-mail

 

Lawsuit filed to defend more than $500 million in property from ‘blatant land grab’ as TEC seeks control of Diocesan holdings and parishes.

 

"Like our colonial forefathers, we are pursuing the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, not as it is dictated to us by a self-proclaimed religious authority who threatens to take our property unless we relinquish our beliefs,” Bishop Mark Lawrence.

 

St. George, SC, January 4, 2013 –The Diocese of South Carolina, the Trustees of the Diocese and congregations representing the vast majority of its baptized members today filed suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against The Episcopal Church to protect the Diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.

The suit also asks the court to prevent The Episcopal Church from infringing on the protected marks of the Diocese, including its seal and its historical names, and to prevent the church from assuming the Diocese’s identity, which was established long before The Episcopal Church’s creation.

“We seek to protect more than $500 million in real property, including churches, rectories and other buildings that South Carolinians built, paid for, maintained and expanded – and in some cases died to protect – without any support from The Episcopal Church,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary. “Many of our parishes are among the oldest operating churches in the nation. They and this Diocese predate the establishment of The Episcopal Church. We want to protect these properties from a blatant land grab.”

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Diocese of South Carolina Only Authority to Convene Convention in the Diocese PDF Print E-mail
Charleston…December 20, 2012…The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, publicly released an announcement yesterday (12/19/12) that she will be convening, on her own authority, a special convention of the “Diocese of South Carolina.”  

According to Bishop Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina, the Presiding Bishop has no authority to call any convention in the Diocese of South Carolina under its corporate bylaws and canons.  The Diocese of South Carolina is a South Carolina corporation, and accordingly, Bishop Lawrence is its only bishop and the President of its governing Board of Directors.
 
Under South Carolina law, only Bishop Lawrence and the Standing Committee, acting as the Board of Directors can call a convention of the Diocese.  “We have not called any convention for January 2013,” explained Bishop Lawrence.
 
“What the Presiding Bishop is trying to do is to organize a new diocese of the Episcopal Church in this area," he said. “We in the Diocese of South Carolina have nothing to do with that undertaking.  The name “The [Episcopal] Diocese of South Carolina” is the registered property and identity of the Diocese.”
 
Bishop Lawrence explained that the continued use of the Dioceses’ corporate name and identity by TEC is causing confusion among the members of the Diocese and the wider South Carolina public.  “This misuse of our name and identity by TEC is a violation of South Carolina law and can subject it to liability for treble damages and attorneys’ fees, he explained.   “I call upon TEC to cease and desist from the continued misuse of our name and identity.“
 
Nominating Committee Accepting Suggested Nominees PDF Print E-mail
The Clergy and other leaders of the Diocese are invited to provide suggestions to the Nominating Committee for those positions to be filled at the upcoming Diocesan Convention, which, this year, will be held March 8-9, 2013 at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence. We have expanded that invitation to participate in the process this year to include a larger representation of diocesan leaders and hope you will give prayerful consideration to those God may be calling to serve the Diocese.



The attached letter contains both a nomination form and a list of those positions to be filled at Convention. Please send your suggestions to the Chairman of the Committee,  by way of This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the Diocesan office by January 15th.  The Committee will be convening in January to make its final recommendations for distribution well ahead of Convention.  Working with the suggestions received, and often by further recruitment, the Committee will recommend a slate of nominations to the Convention.

Thanks in advance for your partnership with us in this important work of discernment.
 
Steering Committee Primates of Global South Recognize Lawrence's Legitimate Episcopal Oversight PDF Print E-mail
The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, received a letter of support, dated December 14, 2012, from the Steering Committee of the Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion. The show of support, signed by The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East; The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, Primate of All Nigeria; The Most Revd Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean; The Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, Primate of South East Asia; The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar; The Most Revd Dr. Eluid Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and The Most Revd Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone recognizes Bishop Lawrence's Episcopal orders and his legitimate Episcopal oversight of the Diocese of South Carolina within the Anglican Communion.  The text of the letter follows:
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