Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Episcopal Church still united

Reflection on the state of the church from the warden at St. Mark's Chapel in Beaufort South Carolina. He puts things in perspective.

Since I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church as a pre-teen, I have followed the problems and progress of my denomination and seen firsthand when a group disagrees with and leaves the organized national church. Despite the occasional disagreements, I always have been proud to be a member of this fellowship that follows scripture, tradition and reason as doctrinal foundation.

The Gazette reported about the current disagreement on the front page of its Faith section Dec. 13: "The Episcopal Church divided? Despite divisions nationally, local split unlikely." The article could leave the impression that there are many more malcontents than actually exist, and does not mention that although four bishops have left the national Episcopal Church, the vast majority of about 100 bishops remain. Even in South Carolina, there are two dioceses, not just one as the article implies: the Diocese of South Carolina, essentially south of Columbia, under Bishop Mark Lawrence, and the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, Columbia and north.

To my knowledge, there is no move afoot within the upper diocese to hold discussions with the break-away group attempting to form a new Anglican province. Your article suggests, however, that our bishop has participated in such discussions even though Lawrence said he has no plans to leave. The quote from the rector of St. Helena's Episcopal Church that "there have been no plans to leave" also was encouraging. However, he does point out that there are "a lot of issues" on which there is disagreement with the national Episcopal Church.

No comments: