Differentiating Ideas from One Parish in the Diocese of South Carolina
[Hat tip: T19]
I like some of these strong differentiating actions—from a letter from St. James, James Island:
We believe that the option of ìleavingî TEC will only produce the fruit of making many lawyers busy. We also believe that trying to remain the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina at any cost diminishes our witness to the Gospel and will only produce the fruit of slow death. We would rather die more quickly in the faith and hope of Resurrection. We believe that we have come under Godís judgment due to our complacency. We at Saint James recognize our part in this sin. We repent of and confess our sin of complacency.
It has seemed that any small voice we may have would just be lost in the wind and ineffective. Yet, we also recognize the example of Jeremiah who, by his prophetic call from God, continued to cry out, ìthe Babylonians are coming, the Babylonians are coming,î to no avail. He was thrown into the pit and continued to cry, ìthe Babylonians are here, the Babylonians are here,î also seemingly to no avail. The fruit of his sacrifice, his obedience, was that a remnant was saved. Israel lived while Babylon ultimately fell. We too understand that our small voice may not have any effect, but we want to be faithful and pleasing to God, no matter the cost.
The plan of action to which we want to encourage you is one of differentiation and radical discontinuity with TEC with these specific suggestions:
- Enact Resolution #2, 2009 Diocesan Convention and immediately and publicly withdraw from all provincial and national bodies of TEC. We ask that you request a public letter of resignation be offered from each individual who holds these positions and post them on our Diocesan website. Saint James’ encouragement is that we resign from all bodies: from the House of Bishops to Provincial bodies and more, i.e., National EYC, Church Periodical Club, United Thank Offering, Daughters of the King, Cursillo and the Episcopal Church Women and more.
- Establish meaningful relations with ACNA, The Reformed Episcopal Church and other orthodox Anglican entities.
- Encourage meaningful Lay Missional actions ignoring diocesan boundaries within TEC.
- Continue to establish International Provincial Relations, i.e., Uganda, Ireland and more.
We see these as defensive actions responding to the actions of TEC and GC2012.
There is further clarification of one of these actions in the rector’s letter to his congregation:
Our first suggestion is to enact Resolution #2 passed by our Diocesan Convention in 2009. In that resolution the Diocese resolved to withdraw from all provincial and national bodies associated with The Episcopal Church (TEC). In our list you will see several organizations listed that we hold dear at Saint James. Please know that this does not mean that we will disband our parish chapters of Episcopal Churchwomen, Daughters of the King, Episcopal Youth Community, Cursillo and more. Also, we expect these same organizations to continue within our Diocese and in association with other Anglican bodies. It does mean that we will disassociate our selves with the TEC and these national organizations as a sign and symbol of our disagreement and faith stand. We can do no less. Even though we all know good and faithful people in these organizations outside our diocese we must draw a clear line of our disagreement as was directed by Diocesan Convention in 2009.
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