G.S. Primates Invitation taken up by S. C. Schismatics

A proposed floor resolution
for the Annual Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina
March 14-15, 2014

Resolution R-3
“Response to Offer of Provisional Primatial Oversight”
Offered by: The Anglican Communion Development Committee

Recognizing the generosity of spirit and the faithful concern for the Anglican
Communion represented by the Global South Primates Steering Committee in offering a means for bodies such as the Diocese of South Carolina to have a formal ecclesiastical connection to the larger Communion and the consequent pastoral relationship,

Be it resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina accept the offer of the newly created
Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a
diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation
and,

Be it further resolved that in this period of fluidity in the Anglican Communion we
reserve the right to revisit this decision, as a convention, should it be necessary during
this temporary discernment period, however long it may last.

Rationale:

Resolution R-2 of this Convention speaks to the beginning of a formal process of
deciding upon the final provincial affiliation of the diocese. When Resolution R-2 was
written and distributed, the Global South Primatial Oversight Council had not yet been created. This new entity was created in Cairo, Egypt, by the Global South Primates Steering Committee on February 14-15, 2014.

Because this new entity was created within a month before our Convention, and because
it speaks directly to our need by mentioning the possibility of diocesan affiliation, we
believe the timing Providential to add this resolution as a third resolution from the floor
for the current Convention.

Several aspects of this resolution need to be made clear. First, this resolution in no way
takes away from the need for, and the careful discernment of, an ultimate diocesan
affiliation for the diocese. Therefore it is to be seen as a matter of both/and rather than
either/or. Bishop Mark Lawrence has made clear that the diocesan affiliation decision
should be made neither hurriedly nor by him individually but by us corporately as a
diocese.

Secondly, there is a specific time frame for the decision, but not a named date because it
is unknown how long a process the discernment of affiliation will be. So while the time
frame is temporary it is also open. We do not want to box the Holy Spirit in.

Thirdly, the second resolved is necessary because the situation on the ground in the
communion continues to change, and, given that this latest change has just happened
before our own convention, other as yet unknown changes may emerge BEFORE our
ultimate diocesan affiliation decision has been reached.

Fourthly, this affiliation does not speak in any way about either GAFCON or ACNA, the
ministries of which we appreciate, and the relationships within which we continue to seek
nurture, cooperation and strength in the days ahead.

Most importantly, however, this resolution is the response to something others in the
communion have created, and it provides a means for us to better make biblical
Anglicans for a global age in this in between-time. We choose to see it as a providential
provision which gives us further sacramental closeness with the global Anglican family
which we so richly treasure.

Members of the Anglican Communion Development Committee

The Rev. Bob Lawrence (Chairman), St. Christopher, Seabrook Island
The Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon (ACD Coordinator), Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island
The Rev. Chris Warner, Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island
Ms. Cindy Pennington, St. John’s, John’s Island
Mr. Don Hurst, Church of the Cross, Bluffton
The Rev. Janet Echols, St. Matthew’s, Ft. Motte
The Rev. Kathie Phillips, St. Luke’s, Hilton Head
Dr. Chuck Milliken, Redeemer, Orangeburg
Ms. Lisa Holland, St. Michael’s, Charleston
The Rev. Marcus Kaiser, Holy Comforter, Sumter
The Rev. Michael Clarkson, Our Savior, John’s Island
Mr. Sam Dargan, St. John’s, Florence
Ms. Sue Harrison, St. Paul’s, Conway

Other Clergy Sponsors

The Very Rev. Craige Borrett, Christ – St. Paul’s, Yonges Island
The Rev. Wey Camp, Trinity, Edisto
The Rev. Tyler Prescott, St. Paul’s, Summerville
The Rev. Matt McCormick, Resurrection, N. Charleston
The Rev. David Dubay, Holy Trinity, Charleston
The Rev. Jimmy Gallant, St. Andrew’s Mission, Charleston
The Rev. Greg Snyder, St. John’s, John’s Island
The Rev. Shay Gaillard, Good Shepherd, Charleston
The Rev. Rob Kunes, Christ – St. Paul’s, Yonges Island
The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, Diocesan Staff, Charleston
The Rev. Mike Lumpkin, St. Paul’s, Summerville
The Rev. John Scott, St. Paul’s, Summerville

________________________________________________________________

Relevant para. from Global South Primates recent Statement on “Alternative Oversight” :

Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee, Cairo, Egypt14-15 February 2014 

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).
1. The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters.

The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.

2. We thank God for the times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer together. We also appreciated the frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”

4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:

a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective
meeting.

b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.

c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.

etc.,

This statement is approved by:
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Chairman of Global South
The Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of Global South The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar
The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi and the Chairman of CAPA
The Rt. Rev. John Chew, representing the Primate of South East Asia
The Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo, representing the Primate of All Sudan

This statement was abstained by:
The Most Rev. Nkechi Nwosu, representing the Primate of All Nigeria

______________________________________________________________

One wondered when this would happen.

Ever since the historical breakaway of former Bishop Mark Lawrence, taking his Diocese of South Carolina into schismatic severance from The Episcopal Church in North America, (TEC), he has been biding his time until one of the bona fide member Provinces of the A.C. should see fit to adopt the diocese into their provincial oversight, giving the Bishop and the Diocese of South Carolina a bona fide place within the Communion – without being a part of TEC, from which they had broken away!

Here is the relevant part of the statement from the recent Global South Primates group, which promised former Anglican Churches and Dioceses ‘protection’ from what they have determined is a departure from Traditional Anglican Church polity:

b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.

c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.”

This statement, containing, as it does, a notion of intention to defy the recommendations of the Windsor report – against ‘Border-Crossing within the Communion’ – clearly departs from the very traditions of the Anglican Communion, whose rules it says have been flouted by TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. This begs the question, How does the flouting of Windsor recommendation help in the perceived flouting of another? 

And then, Bishop Lawrence’s Machiavellian plan to join the more ‘respectable’ Provinces of the Communion (G.S.), as opposed to the moe deeply divergent GAFCON & ACNA sodalities, is explained in the following paragraph from the South Carolina  communique:

“Fourthly, this affiliation does not speak in any way about either GAFCON or ACNA, the ministries of which we appreciate, and the relationships within which we continue to seek nurture, cooperation and strength in the days ahead.”

This probably means that, Bishop Lawrence is looking for the easiest way into re-joining the Anglican Communion – under the seemingly-respectable umbrella of the Global South Primates – before deciding whether to make broader links with Gafcon and the more local schismatic entity called ACNA.

Finally, I wonder if the Archbishop of Canterbury left the G.S. Primates meeting before the G.S. Primates decided, unilaterally, to offer sponsorship to dissidents with whom they seem to be in agreement, on issues of gender and sexuality? How might his presence have inhibited the Primates in issuing this ultimatum to the rest of the Communion?

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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