With an invitation from Bishop Mark Lawrence and an endorsement and welcome from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America served as the keynote speaker at the annual clergy conference for the Diocese of South Carolina, October 19-21 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center.
Archbishop Beach urged the clergy to take care of their interior lives and minister from that foundation.
“Foley likened the interior life to the roots of a tree,” said the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon, the Diocesan Theologian in Residence, who attended the conference. “Even if you can’t see it, it’s holding the tree up.”
Beach stressed the need for clergy to manage their private worlds. One of the more moving parts of his talk, according to Harmon, was when Beach shared about what happens when a clergy person doesn’t take care of his or her interior life. “He sees first hand the damage that’s done,” said Harmon.
A portion of the conference was spent in discussion concerning the Diocese’s possible affiliation with the Anglican Church in America. Clergy were free to ask questions of the Archbishop. The discussion was frank.
‘I was encouraged by many comments from the clergy of the diocese thanking me for inviting Archbishop Beach and for this opportunity to hear his teaching and have further conversation regarding the Anglican Church in North America,” said Bishop Lawrence. “I’d summarized these by paraphrasing their comments as—“It was the right invitation at the right time.’”
During the closing Eucharist on Wednesday, Bishop Lawrence spoke on healing and the importance of bringing both physical and emotional wounds to Christ. The clergy then spent a period of time praying for one another in small groups.