This week, after much prayer and discussion as well as consultation with legal counsel, the Trustees and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina unanimously decided not to seek a rehearing of the April 20 opinion from the South Carolina Supreme Court. Many of the parishes have reached this same conclusion, although eight* of those named in the lawsuit filed a petition yesterday for rehearing, based on their specific and unique circumstances. Several questions remain about how this decision will be implemented, including that of the betterments statute, which may have implications on how these issues are finally resolved.
Nevertheless, we are preparing for the next steps in bringing this dispute to a resolution and charting a creative path forward for the entire diocese, especially our affected parishes and our summer camp. These ministries will continue. Ministry does not depend upon geography as much as it depends upon the faithfulness of the Lord and the Spirit working in the people of God.
This news will no doubt be met with mixed emotions. While we are thankful that many of the parishes in the lawsuit have retained their property, we grieve as we face the loss of sacred spaces where generations have worshipped and met Jesus.
In his pastoral letter, Bishop Edgar reminded us that “the ministry of this diocese to a confused and broken world is dependent on God’s mercy and call, not on our property and resources.” This truth does not lessen our grief, but we grieve as a people with hope (1 Thess 4:13). God remains faithful, Christ still sits on the throne, and our mission remains clear – to proclaim the death, resurrection, and Lordship of Jesus. We will continue to do so boldly, even as we grieve, certain of our strong bonds of fellowship and the Easter hope of the resurrected Christ.
The Rev Tyler Prescott, President
The Standing Committee
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
Anglican Church in North America
126 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29413
* Parishes filing Petitions
1. Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant
2. Good Shepherd, Charleston
3. Holy Comforter, Sumter
4. Holy Cross, Stateburg
5, Old St. Andrews, Charleston
6. St. Jude’s, Walterboro
7. St. Luke’s, Hilton Head
8 Trinity, Myrtle Beach