This post will remain at the top of the blog page for the present time. Any other relevant documents will be posted just below it. Please see the Vicar's commentary on Bishop Lawrence's letter posted just below.
On August 13th, our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, addressed the clergy of the Diocese of S.C. His paper was distributed, and he read it aloud word for word to the gathering. Below is the link to his paper (on the diocesan web site). It is closely argued piece of writing and bears study.
Bishop Lawrence was under an extreme amount of pressure to make a significant statement, and I believe he has done just that. In his comments to the clergy, he said it was his desire to begin a conversation with the clergy and people of the Diocese of SC, and, in his paper, he has laid out a description of the landscape as he presently sees it along with his thoughts about how to proceed from this point.
The paper has received quite a bit notice, and the reaction has been all over the map. Bishop Allison (SC XII) said during the Q & A time that "“No living bishop that I know, in my opinion, is capable of having the faith, the scholarship, the courage, the wisdom to put out this paper.”
Here are some responses from a variety of perspectives:
The Living Church - http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2009/8/13/sc-bishop-proposes-diocese-withdraw-from-tec-governing-bodies
ENS (Episcopal News Service) http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/81803_113306_ENG_HTM.htm
From David Virtue http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=11020
My hope is to offer some personal commentary and analysis shortly. I look forward to our congregational discussion Sunday (the 23rd). I will publish my commentary here after our discussion.
Yrs in Christ,
PS. I've posted David Stoney's synopsis below.