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Bishop Lawrence Addresses the 224th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina PDF Print E-mail
Bishop Lawrence addresses the 224th conventionThe following is the written version of the address given by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence to the 224th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina held Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Charleston Music Hall. Listen to the audio version of the address.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7

In the opening chapters of 2 Corinthians St. Paul repeatedly contrasts his frailty and weakness with the majesty of Christ and the wonder of the ministry to which he and others have been called.  Having spoken of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ which has shone in his heart, he again acknowledges this contrast:  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Similarly, I am struck by a contrast between the wondrous work to which God has called us in this diocese with our frailty and weakness as we gather today in annual convention for the 224th time. 

I begin by acknowledging a basic conviction that the most important ministry done by the Diocese of South Carolina is done in and by the congregations—our parishes and missions.  Yours is the real work; the important work; the lasting work.  The work and ministry of the diocese (that is, what we often call the diocese— diocesan staff, various committees, commissions and councils) exists primarily to help your ministry to be more fruitful.  It is we who are here to serve you; not you here to serve us.  I believe we serve you best by attending to details which are best handled corporately and by helping to keep the Big Picture before you.
Nearly 400 to Gather for Annual Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina PDF Print E-mail
223rd Diocesan ConventionThe Diocese of South Carolina will hold its 224th Annual Convention in Charleston, March 13-14. Nearly 400 clergy and delegates representing 53 churches across the eastern and coastal part of South Carolina will participate.

“We have so much to celebrate as a diocese,” said the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, 14th Bishop of the Diocese. “Coming together at the Convention gives time to express our gratefulness to God, celebrate the life and growth in our congregations and move forward in spreading the Gospel and shaping Anglicanism in the 21st century.” 

The Convention begins Friday, March 13 with a 5 p.m. worship service, open to the public, at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul. The Rt. Rev. Rob Martin, Bishop of the Diocese of Marsabit, Kenya in the Anglican Communion will be the guest preacher. Martin has previously visited the Diocese and churches in South Carolina have partnered with the Diocese of Marsabit to help build churches there.

On Saturday, March 14 at 9:30 a.m. the convention will reconvene at the Charleston Music Hall for the business portion of the meeting, at which time participants will approve an annual budget, elect officers and address other business.

Prior to the start of the Convention, on Friday, March 13 from 1-4 p.m. the Diocese is offering six free workshops, open to the public at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.
Judge Reaffirms Ruling Against TEC PDF Print E-mail


Asserts that state law protects Diocese of South Carolina against New York-based denomination’s efforts to seize property, names and symbols.

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (Feb. 22, 2015) – For the second time in less than a month, South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein rejected arguments by The Episcopal Church and its subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, that the two groups are rightful owners of the churches, symbols and other assets of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In her Order denying the motion for reconsideration she stated, “Large portions of the motion are simply the proposed orders previously submitted to the Court or reiterations of the Defendants’ positions at trial.” 

The motion had also argued that because the Diocese had argued legal positions in the All Saints case contrary to those now being presented, that Judicial Estoppel should apply.  In response, Judge Goodstein sharply noted... “The court finds that the Judicial Estoppel argument is without merit....If the Defendants’ argument in the instant action was correct, no party previously adjudicated to be wrong would be able to correct their conduct in compliance with a court’s holding.  Such a result would be contrary to all sense of justice and order...  With regards all other matters presented in Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration, they are hereby denied.”
Peace: Here and Now - an Ash Wednesday Reflection PDF Print E-mail

Bishop Mark LawenceThe words in the Ash Wednesday “Invitation” in the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer are often cited: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent….” I have read them every year of my ordained ministry which numbers almost 35 and before then as well. What does a holy Lent look like? Of course the Prayer book goes on to recite a list of spiritual disciplines to guide us in this observance: self-examination; repentance; prayer; fasting; self-denial; reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. Over the years I have practiced and taught each of these—even preached homilies on them, hopefully, benefitting others as well as myself. I’ve even observed and taught other spiritual disciplines as well, such as solitude, simplicity and silence, to name but a few. These have all played an instrumental role in my Christian life. Yet, frankly, I find Lent very different for me as a bishop than it was when I was a parish priest who needed to plan, teach and lead—even, God forbid—run Lenten programs. I suspect Lent for me is a bit more like what the lay members of a parish experience. So with this perspective in mind I offer these personal reflections.
Grateful: Bishop Lawrence Writes the Diocese Following Ruling PDF Print E-mail
February 6, 2015

Bishop Mark LawrenceDear People of God in the Diocese of South Carolina,

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers….” (Ephesians 1:16)

My last letter to you was shortly after we finished the three-week trial in St. George in order to protect our parish churches, properties, names, diocesan seal and the historic identity of this Diocese of South Carolina.

Now, as many of you have heard, we have prevailed.

In a thorough and closely reasoned order, the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein has ruled in our favor. You can read the diocesan statement regarding this ruling, as well as an additional explanation of its significance, at

I hardly need to tell you how grateful I am for this order! I am also:
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