A SILVER LINING
Readers, please indulge me in a moment of unabashed parental pride. Here is the most beautiful bride in the world, my daughter, and my new son-in-law.
Miss Elizabeth Anne Caldwell and the Rev. Mr. Philip Grantham Emanuel wed on June 25, 2016, in Holy Cross/Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, at Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The service was conducted by the Rev. Alex Barron.
Elizabeth is a reference librarian at the Florence SC public library and Phil is a supply priest with the Episcopal Church in South Carolina serving several missions and worshipping communities in the north of the diocese.
At the family dinner following the wedding I offered the following toast that I will now share with you:
As some of you know, I have a blog about the Episcopal Church schism in South Carolina and am writing a history of the schism which is mercifully nearly finished. The state supreme court decision will make a closure. The schism has been a terrible thing. It has left so much hurt and division. It is a dark cloud hanging over the church history of South Carolina. But every dark cloud has a silver lining. Our silver lining is that the schism brought together Elizabeth and Phil. Without the schism they probably would have never met. They met when Phil was serving as a supply priest at St. Catherine's of Florence. So here's to silver linings. Here's to Phil and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth used to be a communicant of St. John's of Florence. I happened to be visiting Elizabeth when Bishop Lawrence appeared at St. John's for a "bishop's forum" on October 28, 2012. Lawrence had been suspended from all ministerial rights 13 days earlier but had disregarded the Church authority, (that he had vowed to obey at his consecration). He proclaimed to an adoring crowd, "I am no longer an Episcopalian." They later gave him a standing ovation. We knew then St. John's was no longer Episcopalian either. After the service, we stood by the Episcopal Church flag in St. John's and promised we would return when the Church returned. Shortly thereafter St. John's congregation voted to abandon the Episcopal Church. Elizabeth then joined a dozen or so other resolute Episcopalian refugees from St. John's to start a house church that became a worshipping community that became a mission of the Episcopal Church diocese. St. Catherine's of Florence is now a large and vibrant community devoted to the Christianity of indiscriminate inclusivity. The wonderful people of St. Catherine's and their priest, the Rev. Jeff Richardson, are all my heroes and I would trust my life to any one of them.
I am sure my readers, friend and foe, will want to join with me in expressing very best wishes to my daughter Elizabeth, and her husband Phil.