Sunday, November 13, 2016

Following the political disaster of last week, I am desperate for some good news; and here it is. Another priest of the pre-schism diocese who abandoned the Episcopal Church to follow Mark Lawrence has returned to the Episcopal Church. On November 11, the Rev. Matt McCormick reaffirmed his ordination vows and rejoined the Episcopal Church becoming part of the Episcopal Church diocese of South Carolina. Read about it here . McCormick said, '"I love the Episcopal Church, I am a cradle Episcopalian who has been nurtured by this church, and my orders to call as a priest were issued in the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church has always been my home, and now it is time to come home."'
In 2013, Bishop vonRosenberg released and removed 104 priests and deacons of the pre-schism diocese who had abandoned the Episcopal Church to follow former bishop Mark Lawrence in the schism of October 2012. Three have now returned to the mother Church: H. Dagnall Free, Jr., Jeff Wallace, and now McCormick.
The schismatic Diocese of South Carolina continues its troubles and decline. It has lost members every year since the schism of 2012. It has failed to find meaning and identity. Apparently, there is trouble about joining the Anglican Church in North America. Last March the diocesan committee on affiliation, hand-picked by Lawrence, recommended the diocese join the ACNA. They predicted a diocesan convention would be called in the Fall of 2016 to pass the first vote. Since then, we have heard nothing of a convention. Apparently, there is unexpected opposition in the breakaway group about joining ACNA. If it were a sure thing, DSC would have called a convention by now. Two conventions will have to vote approval before it can join ACNA. After four years, the schismatic diocese is still a rudderless ship lost at sea led by a crew equally lost. It is not in the Anglican Communion and will not be even if it joins ACNA. The idea of making ACNA a province of the Anglican Communion has been abandoned by GAFCON. ACNA will never be a province of the Anglican Communion.
So, I say to the DSC, as the Rev. McCornick said, It is time to come home. You have no other home but the Episcopal Church and if you have not realized this by now, you will in time.