Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beaufort County Episcopal church reactions vary to bishop's letter on same-sex blessings

From South Carolina-

Not all local Episcopal Church leaders agree with a recent letter from the diocesan bishop strongly opposing same-sex blessings, but they said they will comply.

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina circulated the letter to his Lowcountry congregations Sunday, condemning the actions of the national Episcopal church on same-sex blessing and gender issues and said he would open talks this week about the future of the diocese in the U.S. church.

The letter from the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence is the clearest indication yet that he does not believe the conservative diocese can tolerate the latest changes in church doctrine approved at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church that just concluded in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Jeffrey Miller, rector of The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort, and the Rev. Charles Owens III, rector of The Church of the Cross in Bluffton, said they fully support and approve of Lawrence's letter and views.

"Where we stand is very simple," Miller said. "We stand foursquare behind the bishop, and we're in total agreement with the letter that he wrote.:

The Rev. Gregory Kronz, rector for St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island, was on a mission trip and could not be reached. In the past, the three churches have issued joint letters and statements opposing same-sex blessings.

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