Diocese of South Carolina: Special Message from John Barr to his Parish in Sumter
[Received via email and posted with permission]
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
There has been a seismic shift in our relationship with the National Episcopal Church. This is the opening paragraph which appeared yesterday on our Diocesan website:
“On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012.”
I want to ask you to read the rest of it and attending documents found on the Diocesan website. www.dioceseofsc.org
I want to share three things just right now:
i) Sunday at the Sunday school time (10:00—10:45) Marcus and I want to take some time to share with you the facts of these events, lay it all before you and, in faith, offer a sense of how God is using this. We will postpone the ongoing class I was teaching Entering Fully into the Life to Come next week. (I am so excited about this class; but we will meet the next week).
ii) This morning (Thursday) I will be at an all day Standing Committee Meeting to pray, discern and seek with other brothers and sisters ways canonically, biblically, and with grace and courage to support the gospel of Jesus Christ and our bishop and our godly heritage here as the Diocese of South Carolina. The entire clergy of our Diocese will meet this Friday at St. Paul’s, Summerville with Bishop Mark. I am asking you to pray for these meetings.
iii) Finally, know this: Paul tells us in 2 Timothy: “Be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.” I believe we are here for a sovereign reason. There is no accident. God’s hand and timing have opened this door. Times like these push us beyond secondary realities to the truth of Christ himself. Our bishop cannot keep the gospel silent. We cannot compromise it. We are in for great challenges in which the gospel is newly going to lift us—hard valleys, confusing turns, new commitment, daily callings to follow and love with patient endurance. We will undergo awesome new engagements with a riveting and powerful gospel.
The Shepherd leads. He leads through the valley, never around or bypass or detour, through….. We have a through Shepherd!
Much love in Christ to all of you. Pray for all the leadership: Bishop and Standing Committee and leaders. I will see you on Sunday.
“I have learned to kiss the wave which dashes me against the Rock of Ages.”—Charles Spurgeon
John Barr iii
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