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Clergy worship during renewal of vows service

Bishop Mark Lawrence cautioned the clergy about “doing more for God while spending precious little time with God” in his sermon at the Clergy Renewal of Vows service held April 6 at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, in Charleston. “We are doing more and enjoying it less,” he said. “Rare is the priest who doesn’t take it as a compliment when someone says, ‘You are the busiest person I know.‘”

Preaching from John 15:1-11 he examined God’s role and ours as vine and branches. God’s work is to indwell, prune and bear fruit – especially love – in his followers. Ours is to believe, receive, hear and obey. He urged the clergy to spend time in the study of Scripture, not in preparation for the next sermon, but for their own growth in grace.

Listen to the sermon. View the photo album.

SUMMERVILLE, SC (March 11, 2017) – Today at its 226th Annual Convention, the Diocese of South Carolina voted unanimously to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

“I cast my vote to affiliate with the ACNA with eager and expectant faith,” said the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of South Carolina in his address to the convention. “I believe God has called us to this and I believe we will find a deeper richness in our vocation; fuller fellowship in the Spirit; a more zealous thrust in mission.  But most of all, I believe a door will be opened, the fresh winds of the Spirit will blow, and a caged eagle will soar.”

Affiliation with the ACNA brings the Diocese into full communion with an organization of 111,853 members in 966 churches and 32 dioceses spread across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. 

Bishop Lawrences address the 226th Diocesan ConventionThe following address was delivered by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence XIV Bishop of South Carolina, at the 226th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina held at St. Paul’s Church, Summerville on March 11, 2017.  Note: this printed version varies from the audio version. Listen to the sermon.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:14

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send Me.” Isaiah 6:8

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, … I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,”    Romans 1:1

In each of these passages, the emphasis is upon the will of God—the call of God.  From Moses through Paul the call was not something the sojourner sought for himself.  He was pressed into the service of God by the will of God.  It was not his choice.  Moses, Jeremiah, Paul all insist that theirs was not self-chosen task.  They were cornered; and caught; and then they were called.   Whatever owning there was of the call, and of course a call must eventually be owned—as we can hear in the responses of Isaiah and Mary—the owning is always secondary to God’s beckoning.  Jesus said as much to his disciples “You did not chose me but I chose you.”  But to say it again—however reluctantly in Jeremiah’s case—each of these saints owned the call; made decisions regarding the call; and took up the responsibilities that came with the call.  There would be no excuses; No blaming of others; No taking refuge in hard circumstances.  Some of you here have walked a similar path.

When was the last time you examined your spiritual "equipment," to see what kind of shape it was in? In this brief Lenten video Bishop Mark Lawrence invites us to take time for spiritual examination, reflection, prayer and repentance..

An Invitation to a Holy Lent from Bishop Mark Lawrence from Diocese of South Carolina on Vimeo.

 He urges us to set aside 20-30 minutes and go off to a “lonely place” with a pad and pencil, our Bible and prayer book and ask God, through is Holy Spirit, to search us and know us – to shine a light on those areas he wants to transform.

lenten offerings trees sunrise

The following 2017 Lenten programs and events are being offered across the Diocese of South Carolina. All are free (unless otherwise noted) and are open to the public. Note: they are listed by Deanery.

To add your parish's events or programs contact the Communications Office,


Beaufort Deanery

Lenten Parish Dinner and Video Series, St. Jude’s, Walterboro, March 8-April 15
“Who Is This Man?” by John Ortberg

On Wednesday evenings from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm St. Jude’s will be hosting a dinner and video series.  The complexity, depth, and power of Jesus’ life are unique and unprecedented. His vision of life has impacted the development of everything from art and science to government, medicine and education. Just as amazing is the revolutionary way he treasured children, honored women, and had compassion on the suffering – none of which were esteemed amidst the prejudices of the ancient world.

Come and enjoy a parish dinner of soup and sandwiches followed by a 20-minute video on the incredible life of Jesus and his impact on the world and every life he touches.

March 8: The Man Who Won’t Go Away

March 15: A Revolution of Humanity

March 22: The Power of Forgiveness
March 29: Why It’s a Small World After All

April 5: Three Days That Changed the World


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