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Scripted and Unscripted: A Christmas Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence
Listen to Bishop Lawrence's Sermons
March 24, 2015: Clergy Renewal of Vows Service, "Where to find your contentment, joy and confidence."
September 7 2014: How the Church is to Deal with Failure, Holy Trinity, Grahamville
April 1, 2014: Clergy Renewal of Vows Service, "Do the Work of an Evangelist."
Clergy Conference October 2014
The Rt. Rev. Ken Clarke, retired bishop of the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh and now President of SAMS—Ireland spoke to the clergy of the Diocese October 27-29, 2014 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
Bishop Ken Clarke: The Double-Vision of Jesus
Bishop Ken Clarke: Failure is Not Final
Bishop Ken Clarke: Do You Love Me?
The Rev. Mike Lumpkin, the retiring Rector of St. Paul's, Summerville, preached on "Living in Relative Obscurity," summarizing insights gained from over 30 years in parish ministry.
Bishop Lawrence's address to the 223rd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
Note the audio version of the 222nd address was damaged and not recoverable. The print version is available.
Bishop Lawrence's address to the 221st Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina.
Bishop Lawrence's address to the 220th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina.
A Message from Bishop Lawrence at the Close of the Trial
July 27, 2014
St. George, Utah
Dear Friends in Christ,
“… suffering produces endurance and endurance produces hope and hope does not disappoint us for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit….” Romans 5:3-4
Having spent much of the last three weeks at the Dorchester Courthouse in St. George, South Carolina it is rather serendipitous to be sending this from a Starbucks in St. George, Utah (a gateway to Zion National Park). Allison and I will be traveling during the next few weeks in Utah, Nevada and California on vacation. She’ll have some much needed time for relaxation and fun and I’ll be climbing the mountains and hiking the trails. Nevertheless, I want to send you this report on the last three weeks.
Firstly, I’m glad to say our legal team led by Mr. Alan Runyan and Ms. Henrietta Golding, supported by a stellar cast of attorneys from the various congregations across the diocese, presented a strong case and did so in a professional, forthright, and convincing manner. The teamwork was marvelous to observe and was only exceeded by what seemed to be the outstretched arm and the mighty hand of God moving again and again in a most timely manner. I was proud to have them representing us from the Diocese of South Carolina. Frankly, having sat through all fourteen days I have to say it was a trial of tediously presented evidence by TEC fortunately punctuated during cross-examination by our attorneys with moments of sheer drama and stunning admissions.
Bishop Charges Clergy to "Do the Work of an Evangelist."
“The clock is ticking,” said the Bishop. “There are seven billion people in the world – three times as many as when I was born – Seven billion trying to eke out a living and experience a meaningful life. Can you digest a fact like that and not hear the clock ticking?”
Teaching from the Gospel passage John 4:5-35, known as “the woman at the well,” the Bishop urged the clergy to follow Jesus’ example and:
“That’s our job!” said Lawrence. “We may not have the gift of evangelism but we have to lead the church to be God’s agent for evangelism. Everything else we do is like rearranging the furniture when the house is on fire—everything else pales.”
“Give us a passion and desire to reach the lost,” prayed the Bishop at the close of the service. “Set a fire within us!”
The sermon is available online at http://your-cathedral.org/bishop-lawrences-sermon-at-the-clergy-reaffirmation-of-vows/
Bishop Lawrence's Address to the 223rd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
Bishop’s Address to the 223rd Annual Diocesan Convention
“The Church exists by mission as fire exists by burning.” So wrote the Swiss theologian, Emil Brunner, several generations ago. And it was clearly under the burning fire of the Holy Spirit that the apostles moved out to engage the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. For what God had done in Jesus Christ for the world must be made known to the world. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?” wrote St. Paul. “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!’ … faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10: 14-17) So these early Christians sent out and so they went out. Pressing on, as one missionary statesman has written, “… going from city to city as heralds of the King, not staying to argue with gainsayers….” We spend too much time arguing with those within the church who do not believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed to all people while we remain in guilty silence about the Gospel in the presence of its many cultured despisers. It was not so for the early disciples. Inflamed as they were with a saving message and filled with an unspeakable joy they brushed off the dust of those who had rejected their message and moved on looking for the next opportunity. The Holy Spirit never allowed them to let the need to consolidate what they had gained to replace the need to advance. In fact advancement became the method of consolidation. I am gripped by these words from Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, writing about the church’s need to press forward “… both to the ends of the earth and the ends of the world, rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God.” Of the Church’s need to press on in the strength of the Holy Spirit, living by grace, turning outward to engage the world, resisting the constant temptation to play it safe, he writes:
Mice in the Palace - Sin in the Heart; An Ash Wednesday Reflection from Bishop Mark Lawrence
Bishop Lawrence's Address to the 222nd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
The following address was given by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, XIV Bishop of South Carolina at the 222nd Annual Convention of the Diocese held at the Francis Marion Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, March 9, 2013. It has been edited slightly for readability. Download a printable version.
Bishop’s Address – 222nd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh and wither it goest: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 (Jesus speaking to Nicodemus.)
A young rabbi once asked an older rabbi, “What do you have to do to make God smile?” The wise elder replied, “Just tell Him the plans you have made!” Indeed. Who could have envisioned all that has transpired in the Diocese of South Carolina since our Annual Convention on March 10, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul? Frankly, since last summer’s General Convention of The Episcopal Church there has hardly been a week in which the landscape has not changed in significant and dramatic ways. This week was no exception. On Thursday afternoon I was served a summons to appear in Federal Court as the defendant in a civil suit brought against me by the Rt. Reverend Charles von Rosenberg. You are most likely aware The Episcopal Church has agreed to the state court’s injunction not to use the name of our diocese. Yet now in a self-contradictory move, Bishop von Rosenberg, the Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has used our name, the name of our diocese in bringing a lawsuit against me. I will leave it to our legal counsel to respond to these matters further. It is, however, an opportunity for us to remember that this legal road will take us down many twisting turns. There will be many ups and downs before it is concluded and at times it may test our resolve. We need to remain steadfast in our faith, firm in our conviction and resolute of will as God gives us strength. None of it however should dissuade us from our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ to live in confidence of the good news of his death and resurrection, to continuously put our fingers in the nail prints in his palms; our hands in his side – Do not doubt but believe – to remember his glorious ascension to the right hand of God the Father exalted over all principalities and powers that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father – remembering his promise to come again in Glory at the close of the age. None of it should detract us from being obedient to Christ’s Great Commission – to Go and make disciples. So undeterred we press on.
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