South Carolina to vote on joining ACNA

 

South Carolina to vote on joining ACNA

Author: 

Joy Hunter

The Diocese of South Carolina, which separated from the Episcopal Church in 2012 for theological and canonical reasons, is expected to join the Anglican Church in North America at their 226th Diocesan convention, which will be held at St. Paul’s Church in Summerville, March 10-11, 2017.  More than 350 convention delegates and clergy members from 52 churches across the eastern and coastal part of the state will participate in the annual gathering.
 
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which emphasizes church planting, was established in 2009 and is composed of 111,853 members in 966 churches and 32 dioceses spread across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
 
If they join, the Diocese of South Carolina, with 22,000 members, will be the largest Diocese in the ACNA.
 
The ACNA represents the unifying of a number of different groups in terms of theological approach and worship emphasis such as evangelicals, charismatics and Anglo-catholics. In South Carolina this new unity has a healing dimension in that the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), which split from TEC in 1873, is also a member.  South Carolina represents one of the REC’s stronger membership locations. The REC seminary in Summerville recently asked Bishop, Mark Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, to join their leadership board, and Charles Echols, a priest of the Diocese, to join their faculty.
 
The Diocese is offering a series of free workshops, which are open to the public, on Friday, March 10, prior to the official start of the convention. The workshops are on Racial Reconciliation – Bridging the Cultural Divide; Engaging Changing Cultures; God’s Global Mission – Where Do You Fit In?; Energizing the Laity to Serve; and Small Church, Big God, Great Commission.
 
The Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden, (pictured) Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church, will be the preacher for the service of Holy Eucharist on Friday, March 10 at 5 p.m. The service is open to the public.
 
On Saturday, Bishop Mark Lawrence will share his vision for the coming year as participants celebrate 226 years together as a Diocese.   Progress reports will be given from ministry leaders, and delegates will vote for representatives to Diocesan offices as well as a Diocesan budget.

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