CHARLESTON, S.C. -- “We are still here and by God’s grace we shall not only endure we shall prevail,” was the message in an open letter from The Right Reverend Mark Joseph Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina to parishioners around the state.
Thirty-four Rectors and Vicars who affirmed their support of and stand with the Bishop signed the letter. Originally only Rectors were invited to sign onto the message and as clergy request it, their names are being added.
The open letter, which is being distributed to South Carolinians by email, by individual parishes and in a full-page advertisement the Charleston Post & Courier addresses, “an intentional effort by the ill-advised [The Episcopal Church] organization to assume our identity, one that we have had since 1785,” and clarifies that “we continue to be The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, known also to our parishes and the wider community as The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and more simply, the Diocese of South Carolina of which I am the XIV Bishop in succession.”
On November 17th, the Special Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina will meet at St. Philip’s Church in Charleston. The calling of this Convention and the disassociation of the Diocese of South Carolina from the Episcopal Church are two actions, which happened automatically when the Episcopal Church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops claimed to “certify” that the Bishop Lawrence had abandoned the Church and the Presiding Bishop restricted his ministry.