Wednesday, October 18, 2017





OCTOBER 18 --- 
THE STATUS OF THE LITIGATION


Five years after the schism, we are finally nearing the resolution of the legal issues between the two sides. The litigation officially began on January 4, 2013 when the independent diocese (DSC) sued the Episcopal Church essentially claiming 1-the legal rights of the old diocese, and 2-the local ownership of the properties. This began the litigation in the South Carolina state courts. Three months later, the Episcopal Church diocesan bishop (of TECSC), sued the bishop of DSC in federal court for violation of the Lanham Act, a federal act protecting copyrights. The Church bishop essentially asked the court to recognize him, and not the DSC bishop, as the legal bishop inheriting the old diocese. This began the litigation in the United States courts.

At present, the litigation is divided into three avenues: state court, federal court, and mediation. Let's look at where matters stand in each.


STATE COURT.

DSC's suit against TEC and TECSC went to trial in the circuit court of Dorchester County in July of 2014. On Feb. 3, 2015, Judge Diane Goodstein issued a decision awarding all issues to DSC.

In June of 2015, TEC/TECSC offered a compromise settlement. The Church would recognize the 36 parishes' outright ownership of the local properties in return for the entity of the old diocese. DSC flatly rejected this offer.

The South Carolina Supreme Court held a hearing of the appeal of the circuit court decision on September 23, 2015. On August 2, 2017, the Court released its decision. It recognized the trust control of TEC/TECSC over 29 of the 36 parishes and returned Camp St. Christopher to TECSC. Otherwise, it deferred to the federal court. Thus, the state supreme court reversed the bulk of the circuit court decision.

On September 1, 2017, DSC filed three petitions for rehearing in the SC Supreme Court. The major one requested: 1-that Justice Kaye Hearn's opinion (in the Aug. 2 order) be vacated (removed), 2-that Justice Hearn be removed from participating in the petition for rehearing, 3-that if the rehearing without Hearn should be deadlocked, the Chief Justice would appoint a fifth justice to break the tie, and 4-as the alternative to the above three, the court order a new rehearing with new oral arguments before a new court (the present court instead of the court that heard the case on Sept. 23, 2015).

DSC filed a 345-page paper for its petition for recusal of Hearn. It ranged from the silly, quoting Internet blogs, to the serious, affidavits of purported authorities on judicial ethics, Lawrence J. Fox and Nathan M. Crystal. Much of the case against Hearn rested on her membership in the Episcopal Forum and in St. Anne's Episcopal Church, the continuing Episcopal congregation in Conway SC. DSC lawyers said Hearn should have recused herself from the case in view of her conflict of interest.

TEC/TECSC filed a response on September 18 basically making two counter-arguments on Hearn. They said church membership is not grounds for recusal, and DSC lawyers failed "timeliness" (they should have raised the issue to start with, not 22 months after the hearing). 

The next day, Sept. 19, two retired judges in SC filed "Amici Curiae" (friends of the court) briefs defending Justice Hearn's role in the case and denying any infringement of ethics rules.

On Sept. 25, DSC filed in the SCSC, a "Response" to TEC/TECSC's Sept. 18 paper, once again arguing Hearn was in violation of ethics rules, her opinion should be removed, and she herself should be excluded from the case.

On October 13, DSC lawyers filed a "Response" to the two judges' brief of Sept. 19 reiterating their charges against Hearn.

Thus, since August 2, 2017, there have been nine legal actions entered into the SC Supreme Court: the Aug. 2 decision of the Court, DSC petition for time extension on Sept. 1 (denied), DSC's three petitions for rehearing on Sept. 1, TEC/TECSC's response to DSC's three petitions on Sept. 18, TEC/TECSC's Amici Curiae of Sept. 19, DSC's response of Sept. 25 to TEC/TECSC, DSC's response of Oct. 13 to the Amici Curiae. Apparently (at least let's hope) this is the end of the back-and-forth in SCSC. If you are dizzy from all this, you are not alone.

We are now awaiting SCSC's response to DSC's three petitions (Sept. 1) for rehearing in the SCSC.


Will the South Carolina Supreme Court grant a rehearing?

Reminding everyone I am not a lawyer, this is what this layman sees:

Petitions for rehearing in the Sc Supreme Court occur often. The vast majority are denied. However, there was an occasion, this year, in which the SCSC responded to a petition for rehearing. It was in the case of Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc. The court originally heard the case on June 14, 2016, then rendered a written decision on January 11, 2017. Shortly thereafter, there was a petition for rehearing. On July 26, 2017, the court denied the rehearing but at the same time issued a revised written decision to supersede the original one. This was to reflect the new briefs that had been presented. I do not pretend to understand anything about this case as it involved complicated insurance laws, so I cannot say why the justices decided to revise their original decision.

Thus, as I see it, there is precedent for the SCSC to issue a new opinion to replace an old one even if they decide not to have a rehearing. 

I have also found examples in which the court granted petitions for rehearing, but the only ones I have seen dealt with corrections to small technicalities, such as dates. As far as I can tell, the court has not, at least in recent years, granted a rehearing on the issues of a case. 

What DSC is asking is unprecedented. They are requesting of the court much more than a simple rehearing. They are calling for one of the justices to discard her opinion, remove herself from the case, and have the court appoint a tie-breaking justice (who would not have been present for the hearing). And, this demand is appearing for the first time 22 months after the court hearing. This is radical. Can you imagine the precedent this would establish in the court system? If the court accepted this, justices and judges forever after would be subject to threats of retribution for their decisions. The whole integrity of the independent judiciary would be corrupted.

As I see it, it is most unlikely the SC Supreme Court will agree to anything DSC is requesting. Church membership is not grounds for recusal. Hearn was an Episcopalian and a member of the Episcopal Forum. So what? Membership does not prove a thing. In fact, it is erroneous to say that the Forum orchestrated the charges that brought the restriction of Bishop Lawrence. The case against Lawrence in 2012 was drawn up by 24 individuals (neither Hearn nor her husband), communicants of the Diocese of South Carolina. Even if they were members of the Forum, the 24 were acting on their own, not as representatives of the Forum. The Forum as an entity had nothing to do with the Lawrence's restriction or removal. As for the argument Hearn had something to gain by making the decision, where was it? The local DSC parish was one of the seven allowed to remain independent. 

When will we know? Consider the fact it took the court six months to respond to the rehearing in the insurance case this year.


FEDERAL COURT.

Judge Richard Gergel, of the United States District Court, in Charleston, is handling the case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence (has been updated to include Bp Adams). In August he set a schedule of end of discovery by December of 2017, and trial in March of 2018. However, on Aug. 30 he ordered a mediation. There is now a "stay," or recess, during the mediation period. If the mediation fails, the stay will be lifted and the process will resume in the federal court.

In this case, the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina are essentially asking the court to recognize the Church diocese as the legal heir of the pre-schism diocese (specifically asking that the Episcopal Church bishop be recognized as the Episcopal bishop). The SC Supreme Court decision gave a majority opinion in favor of this, but deferred to the federal court to decide finally since federal trademark takes precedence.


MEDIATION.

As I understand it, mediation is fairly routine, at least in cases as large and important as this. The federal court rule book says mediation can last up to 30 days with another 14 for the writing of an agreement. The first session has been set for November 6-8 in Columbia guided by Judge Joseph Anderson, the senior federal judge appointed by Judge Gergel.

Both sides have agreed that all issues, state and federal are to be considered. 

Mediation does not require settlement, but it obviously encourages the two sides to try for an agreement. Any settlement would have to be mutually agreeable. This implies compromise, or give-and-take. However, it is not occurring in a vacuum. There is already a body of legal judgment that would have to be considered in any arrangement.

If the sides adhere to the rule book (and they have not so far), we can expect to know by early December if there is not to be a mediated settlement, and late December if there is a written deal. If an agreement is reached in the mediation, it becomes final when written and signed by the parties. Along the way of mediation, all talks are confidential. The public will not know the outcome of the mediation until there is an announcement of failure, or a written agreement is produced. I imagine we can expect one or the other in December.

Between now and Nov. 6, all parties should be engaged in prayerful preparation for the negotiations that could end all of this mess once and for all.


In sum, there are three parts of litigation going on now. In the first, we are awaiting a response from the SC Supreme Court to DSC's petitions for rehearing. I doubt very much the court will agree. If not, DSC has the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is extremely unlikely SCOTUS would take a case based on state property and corporate law. They deal in national issues.

In the second, the federal case is "on hold" pending the mediation.

In the third, mediation is on and talks are to begin shortly. Whether anything will come of this is anyone's guess. The Church is going in with the much superior position. However, as long as the petitions for rehearing are pending in the state supreme court, neither side will be able to assert its demands well. There will be too much uncertainty. It is hard to see mediation working until the state supreme court issues a decision on rehearing. Given the court's slow process, we have reason to doubt there will be a decision very soon.

Nothing is finally resolved, but we are getting nearer all the time to a resolution of the legal issues of the schism in South Carolina. I still believe that chances are good it will all be over within a year from now. And, at this point, the advantage is with the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church diocese. 





Sunday, October 15, 2017





FIVE YEARS AGO


It was five years ago today that the schism in South Carolina occurred, October 15, 2012. It is appropriate now to reflect on that momentous event.

As of today, October 15, 2017, the schism is approaching its most critical period. Two monumental events are about to happen, the South Carolina Supreme Court's response to the independent diocese's (DSC), petition for a rehearing, and the initial mediation session of November 6-8. Both of these will have enormous consequences for the future of both sides of the schism. Our focus now is on the near and long term future, but in order to know how to proceed onward, one must know how one got to the present. This is why we need to review, at least briefly, what happened five years ago.


GOALS OF THE SCHISM:

The people who made the schism in South Carolina had two immediate goals:

1-to remove the diocese intact from the Episcopal Church. This would include the legal rights, assets, and properties of the old diocese.

2-to have the parishes leave the Episcopal Church owning outright their local properties.


BACKGROUND OF OCTOBER 15, 2012:

The schism was the result of creeping increments spanning a thirty year period. 

Bishop Allison (1982-1990) established an adversarial interface with the Episcopal Church primarily because of the Church's reforms in favor of the inclusion of and equal rights for homosexual persons. He cloaked this as a religious issue, old-fashioned orthodoxy, which he championed, against modernist relativism, which he said too many Church leaders advocated. Allison packed the diocese with all the "orthodox" clergy he could giving it an indelibly conservative stance.

Bishop Salmon (1990-2008) defended the institution of the  national Church while siding with the ultra-conservatives (those who refused to accept the validity of TEC's pro-homosexual reforms). He tried to enforce TEC's Dennis Canon (parish property is held in trust for the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal diocese). At the same time he promoted the ultra-conservative anti-homosexual-rights agenda.

After the 2003 General Convention, that approved of a non-celibate homosexual man as a bishop, Salmon introduced a top-down secretive decision-making process that remains in place. He also joined the Anglican Communion Network, an ultra-conservative alliance of a dozen dioceses, the forerunner of today's Anglican Church in North America.

After the 2006 General Convention, Salmon denounced the choice of the new presiding bishop and called for Alternate Primatial Oversight, that is, oversight of DSC by a primate outside of the Episcopal Church. This idea failed.

Bishop Lawrence arrived in 2008 having written articles defending diocesan "dissociation" from TEC and the submission of TEC to the (anti-homosexual-rights) majority of the Anglican Communion. Nevertheless, he vowed to adhere to the discipline of TEC. DSC continued to accede explicitly to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

After the 2009 General Convention, that set up a process to develop liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions, Lawrence presided over a convention that declared virtual independence from TEC. The special convention of Oct. 24, 2009 asserted local sovereignty and resolved to withdraw DSC from the governing bodies of TEC. The March 2010 diocesan convention gave Lawrence the sole right to interpret the constitution and canons. The special convention in Oct. of 2010 completed the de facto declaration of independence from TEC by voting to revoke the accession to the canons of TEC and by revising the corporate charter to remove TEC. After this, DSC recognized only the Constitution of TEC. 

By this point, a virtual state of war, albeit a one-sided one, existed between DSC and TEC. Victimization became a common theme in DSC, that is, Bishop Lawrence was being persecuted by the leadership of TEC who were out to remove him as bishop and flip the diocese from "orthodox" to liberal. The campaign of the victimization theme would bind the majority of communicants to defend their bishop in a siege mentality. It worked.

In 2011, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops investigated Lawrence and voted that his actions had not met the threshold for charges of abandonment of the communion.

At the very moment when Lawrence was cleared by the DBB, he issued quit claim deeds for all the parishes, in direct disregard of the Dennis Canon (convention had revoked accession to TEC's canons in Oct. of 2010).

The year of 2012 was the final stage of the long schism by increments. The General Convention of that year was sure to adopt a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions. This would cap a lengthy process in TEC of inclusion of and rights for homosexual persons in the life of the Church. After this, the issue of homosexuality was likely to fade away in the Episcopal Church. The DSC leaders prepared to make their last stand. 

In the first half of the year, the DSC leadership set the stage. Plans were made for pension and insurance coverage outside of TEC. Bank funds were shifted around. Lawrence worked tirelessly campaigning across the diocese. In addition to his usual visits, he conducted 28 "bishop's forums" to inform people of the impending crisis. The Standing Committee planned the events that the deputies would carry out in the upcoming Convention sessions. 

When the 2012 GC did meet, the DSC carried out its pre-planned actions and Lawrence staged a dramatic walk-out from the House of Bishops in protest of the reforms favoring homosexual and transgendered persons. DSC leaders returned to SC to declare a major crisis.

The DSC leadership apparently planned the action of the schism between late July and October 2, 2012. There was an ultra-secret meeting of the leadership on August 21, 2012, that, although we cannot document it at this time, apparently was the conference that laid out the plan for the final diocesan break from TEC. On September 18, the DSC Standing Committee discussed secession from TEC and asked Lawrence for authoritative guidance on how this could be done. On October 2, 2012, Lawrence, his aides, and the Standing Committee met in secret. Upon Lawrence's "authoritative" ruling in a 16-page letter, the Committee unanimously resolved to remove the DSC from TEC if TEC took any action of any kind against Lawrence, something everyone knew had a good chance of happening in light of the quit claim deeds of last November. This Oct. 2 resolution remained a tightly held secret among the two dozen DSC leaders.

The next day, October 3, 2012, Lawrence met in New York with Bishop Andrew Waldo, of Upper South Carolina, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to discuss "creative" ways to keep DSC in TEC. Lawrence did not reveal the secret plan which was actually a trap for the Presiding Bishop. The three failed to arrive at any "creative" suggestions other than to meet again. Lawrence left the meeting agreeing to meet again on October 11. Just before the 11th, Lawrence refused the meeting on excuse of a funeral in Florence. The meeting was re-set for October 22. However, on October 13, the Presiding Bishop was in Atlanta, and asked Lawrence to meet her there for talks. Lawrence refused. (In fact, Lawrence refused to meet the PB in person after Oct. 3).

Meanwhile, also in secret, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops met to investigate Lawrence a second time. Mainly owing to the quit claim deeds, which were not a part of the 2011 investigation, the DBB voted on September 18, 2012, to certify that Bishop Lawrence had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church primarily because, by issuing the deeds, he had willfully violated the Dennis Canon. The PB received formal notification of this on Oct. 10. She could not communicate it to Lawrence in person since he refused to meet her on Oct. 11 and Oct. 13. She scheduled a telephone call for Oct. 15.


OCTOBER 15:

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori had a conference call including Lawrence, Wade Logan (Lawrence's chancellor, or lawyer), and the Disciplinary Board for Bishops. The PB told Lawrence that, following the DBB decision, she had to place a restriction on him. He was not to perform any acts as an ordained person until the restriction was lifted. She placed the restriction as of 12:00 p.m. (noon) of that day, October 15. The PB also told Lawrence she wanted this to remain confidential until their meeting of October 22. According to the TEC timeline, Lawrence agreed with this. Jefferts Schori wanted a peaceful and quick solution to this problem before word could get out. Lawrence did not tell Jefferts Schori at that time about the secret Oct. 2 resolution for schism. 

Lawrence knew exactly what Jefferts Schori's call meant and he swung into action immediately afterwards. In effect, he rejected all that the PB had said as he rejected the "discipline" of the Episcopal Church. Confidentiality disappeared. He called chancellor Logan and got the green light. By 1:30 he was on a conference call with the Standing Committee relaying the news. The DSC leadership of no more than two dozen people agreed that the diocese had "disaffiliated" with the Episcopal Church as of the moment of the restriction, noon. This meant that a part of the Oct. 2 resolution kicked in, calling of a special diocesan convention in 30 days to make the required changes in the diocesan constitution and canons removing all references to the Episcopal Church. The convention was not to be called to decide on secession from TEC. The leaders declared that was already done, by the Standing Committee, as of that day. At the end of the day, the self-declared schism was still a tightly-held secret among the two dozen diocesan leaders. In the view of the entire DSC leadership, they, and the diocese itself, had all left the Episcopal Church once and for all, and had done so as of noon, Oct. 15, 2012.


AFTERMATH OF OCTOBER 15:

With the schism still secret, on October 16, Lawrence met with the convocation deans and relayed the news of "disaffiliation" to them.

On October 17, Lawrence called Jefferts Schori and announced that DSC had withdrawn from the Episcopal Church and therefore he was no longer subject to Church rules. This was the first she, and Bishop Waldo, knew of the secret plan for schism. The DSC leadership announced to the diocesan clergy and the rest of the world, the news of the diocesan break from the Episcopal Church. It was two days after the schism that the diocesan clergy were officially informed of their disaffiliation from the Episcopal Church. This situation forced the clergy and the communicants to choose between going along with the diocesan schism or staying with the Episcopal Church.

Lawrence did not meet again in person with the Presiding Bishop.

Shortly thereafter, the Standing Committee directed the diocesan lawyers to begin legal actions to "protect" the diocese against TEC.

On Nov. 17, a special convention met representing 55 of the 71 local churches. With little dissent, the delegates affirmed the "disaffiliation" of Oct. 15 and declared that Lawrence was the bishop of the diocese. The canons were rewritten to remove all references to the Episcopal Church. 

The schism was complete. 


SOME CONCLUSIONS ABOUT OCTOBER 15, 2012:

1. Bishop Lawrence was not kicked out of the Episcopal Church. He voluntarily left the Church.

2. Bishop Lawrence was not convicted of anything. He was only charged by the DBB. Had he stayed in TEC, he would have had the option of submitting a simple letter to the Presiding Bishop or pleading his case in the House of Bishops. The PB or the HOB could easily have removed the restriction against Lawrence and restored him as bishop of the diocese. 

2. The Episcopal Church did not "assault" the Diocese of South Carolina. The actions concerning Lawrence were for the bishop alone. The Disciplinary Board for Bishops and the Presiding Bishop's restriction were for Bishop Lawrence only. They had nothing to do with the diocese.

3. The Presiding Bishop tried to resolve the issue of the Disciplinary Board's charge against Lawrence quietly and quickly after Oct. 10. However, Lawrence refused all in-person meetings with the PB after Oct. 3.

4. The diocesan leaders made a premeditated secret plan to remove DSC from the Episcopal Church. This was a set-up. The plan was a trap for the unsuspecting Presiding Bishop. This was the conclusion of the victimization theme. The majority of the diocese rallied around their bishop and left the Episcopal Church.

5. The schism was made in secret by no more than two dozen people and handed down to the clergy and the communicants. This was an action of the DSC leadership. The schism did not arise from the ordinary clergy and people of the diocese.


For more on the above, see my book, A History of the Episcopal Church Schism in South Carolina. Information on it may be found here . 


Addendum, Oct. 16.    MUST READ---today's post by Steve Skardon at scepiscopalians (see it here ), "Breakaways Approaching Mediation with Guns Ablaze." It describes well the meltdown in the independent diocese since it lost in the state supreme court on Aug. 2. DSC appears to be in total disarray with its leaders flailing about madly at their perceived adversaries, primarily one of the justices on the supreme court and the local Episcopal Church bishop. So much for the Rev. Jeff Miller's pious talk of a few days ago about "the Christian way." Just exactly how this "all-guns-ablaze" attitude against the Church side is going to help DSC in the mediation talks with these very people remains to be seen. The first mediation session starts in 21 days.

       




A MOMENT OF SILENCE


Everyone should take a moment of silence today to recall five years of schism. 

The schism in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina occurred at noon on October 15, 2012. If one cannot take a minute at noon, one should take some time during the day to reflect on what has happened in the five years since that fateful time.

I for one will do that and will return with my thoughts on this somber anniversary.

Monday, October 9, 2017






THE LATEST MEMBERSHIP STATISTICS



Last month, the Episcopal Church released its most recent membership statistics, through the year 2016. Find this information here . The new figures show the year-to-year change in membership of the Church diocese, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. 

Before the schism of 2012, there were 71 local churches (parishes and missions) in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. At the schism, 21 of these remained with the Episcopal Church, and 50 left with Bishop Lawrence. Before the schism of 2012, the 21 churches that stayed with TEC held a baptized membership of 5,781. After the schism, the Church diocese counted 30 local churches. In 2014, these counted 6,387 members, an increase of 10% over 2011. The next year, 2015, these 30 counted 6,706 baptized members, a rise of 16% overall, and 5% in one year. The new figures, for 2016, show the Church diocese with 7,053 members, an overall increase of 22% since the schism, and 5% over one year. In sum, the churches of the Episcopal Church diocese in South Carolina grew from 5,781 members just before the schism to 7,053 in 2016, a gain of 22% since the schism. To recap:  2011: 5,781 members;  2014, 6,387;  2015, 6,706;  2016, 7,053. There is a clear pattern or constant rise in membership in the Church diocese.

The 50 churches that adhered to Bishop Lawrence as the independent Diocese of South Carolina, counted 21,993 communicants before the schism. Communicants were active members. In 2013, the year after the schism of 2012, these 50 churches listed 17,999 communicants, a decline of 18%. The 50 local churches of DSC lost some 4,000 members as an immediate effect of the schism (overall DSC lost 9-10,000 members in the schism, counting both the loss of members and the loss of the 21 churches that stayed with TEC). In 2014, DSC listed 16,361 communicants, a fall of 26% since before the schism. The next year, 2015, DSC  claimed 15,556 communicants, a decline of 29% since the year before the schism. Altogether, the 50 DSC churches lost 6,435 active members in the four years between 2011 and 2015. To recap: 2011: 21,993;  2013, 17,999;  2014, 16,361;  2015, 15,556. 2015 was the last year of figures for DSC. The diocese's own statistics show an unmistakable pattern of continuous loss of membership since the schism.

Overall, the Diocese of South Carolina fell from 27,670 communicants when Bishop Lawrence arrived in 2008, to 15,556 in 2015, a decline of 44%. In other words, the Diocese of South Carolina is now only slightly more than half as large as it was when Lawrence was consecrated bishop in January of 2008. Over 12,000 communicants have left the Diocese of South Carolina since Lawrence's arrival. The budget has also declined, by a third.

Nevertheless, the DSC media are still repeating the myth that the schism was overwhelmingly popular in the diocese. They boast that 80% of the people backed it. This figure is misleading. The 80% counted all baptized members in the 50 churches at the time of the schism. As we have seen 4,000 members left these 50 churches at the schism. In fact, of the 71 churches in the pre-schism diocese, 55 were present at the special convention of Nov. 17, 2012. 6 of these 55 abstained from voting, leaving 49 of the 71 to vote. Thus, about 2/3 of the local churches favored schism from TEC. While this was obviously a majority, it was not the huge mandate the leaders claimed at the time and are still asserting. 

The loses in some local DSC churches are startling. St. Michael's of Charleston lost 27 % of its members after the schism. Old Saint Andrew's lost 43%. St. Helena's of Beaufort fell 45%. St. Philip's of Charleston declined by 25%. (See my new history of the schism for detailed statistics.) Only one local church, Church of the Cross in Bluffton, has shown any significant gain in membership since the schism. Meanwhile, in the Church diocese, Grace Church Cathedral has ballooned in membership making it now the largest of all the 71 churches of the old diocese.

All of these dizzying statistics might not mean much except for the fact that Bishop Lawrence and others made a major point before the schism that the Episcopal Church was in death spiral decline. At one point, Lawrence called it a comatose patient on life support. The implication was that while "liberal" religion was shriveling away, conservative faith would boom with growth. Given the statistics we now know, the exact opposite is the truth. It is the "liberal" Episcopal Church diocese that is rising while the "conservative" independent diocese is in relentless decline in membership. Moreover, this is in spite of the well-known fact that the national Episcopal Church is experiencing long-term membership decline (it has lost about 50% of its membership since 1967). The 22% rise in the Episcopal Church diocese of South Carolina between 2012 and 2016 makes it the fastest growing Episcopal Church diocese in the United States.

What is most important about all this is that the remaining communicants in 29 parishes, now in DSC, will, in almost certainty, have to choose whether to stay with the buildings and return to TEC or leave the buildings and form communities in exile on their own with DSC.

The leaders of DSC can no longer make the credible argument to their communicants that their diocese is growing while the Church diocese is doomed to decline. Statistics do not lie. They show the opposite. This is something the communicants of DSC need to consider as they face the choice of which diocese to follow.   




Sunday, October 8, 2017





REALITY SETTING IN


The schism in South Carolina occurred five years ago. At long last, reality may be setting in on the independent diocesan side. On October 15, 2012, the leaders of the Diocese of South Carolina declared the diocese to be "disaffiliated" from the Episcopal Church. They were sure they could leave the Church with the diocese and all its properties intact. A month later, a diocesan convention affirmed this belief. It has taken a long time, but reality may be finally arriving to the officials of Coming Street and their allies. The turning point in this long haul was the South Carolina Supreme Court decision of August 2, 2017, returning 29 of the 36 parishes in question, plus Camp St. Christopher, to the Episcopal Church and the Church diocese. The majority of the Court justices declared that the Dennis Canon did indeed become effective in South Carolina, at least as the parishes acceded to it (only one of the five justices, Jean Toal, said the Dennis Canon did not become effective in SC). 

At first, the independent diocese went on a furious backlash against the state Supreme Court, even making a major effort to overturn the Aug. 2 decision by removing the decision of one of the justices, Kaye Hearn, and ultimately the justice herself, from the case. This was extreme, never-heard-of desperation. At the same time, the diocese made a major public relations effort under the banner of "freedom of religion." Exactly what they thought they were going to gain from this furious campaign remained to be seen. Attacking a justice of the Court was more likely to make the other justices rally around her in defense. The double attack appears to have fallen flat.

On August 30, the U.S. District Court judge, Richard Gergel, in Charleston, ordered a mediation between the two sides. Nevertheless, the independent diocese refused even to admit the news of the mediation. There was stony silence on that side.

Then, on October 4 (just 4 days ago), the independent diocese finally admitted to mediation as it announced the organizational meeting for mediation that took place on the 4th. All of a sudden, the whole attitude of Coming Street seems to have changed. From attacking the Episcopal Church, they are now talking conciliation.

Nothing points out this reversal more than the writings of the Rev. Jeff Miller, the rector of St. Philip's Church, in Charleston. In the midst of the all-out barrage in the public relations campaign of August and September for "religious freedom," Miller published an op-ed in the Charleston Post and Courier, "Court Ruling Imperils Freedom to Worship, Sanctions Confiscations." Read it here . The title tells it all, but I encourage you to read it. It was hard-hitting against the Episcopal Church, and even against the Court, at least implying the Church, aided by the Court, was trying to seize the property of the people.

After the mediation meeting of October 4, the whole attitude of the independent diocese apparently changed, and no where more than in Miller's writing. The Rev. Miller wrote a letter to his parishioners at St. Philip's calling for prayers for the Episcopal Church. Absent was the denunciation of the Episcopal Church, of Justice Kaye Hearn; gone was hard-hitting talk of religious freedom. Read Miller's letter to St. Philip's here . Kendall Harmon reprinted it on Oct. 7 under the heading "The Rector of Saint Philips, Charleston, writes his Parish about the proposed mediation process in the South Carolina Anglican-Episcopal Dispute." 

Why the reversal of attitude? Obviously, mediation is a give-and-take process that relies on the good will of both sides to make a compromise. The independent diocese is in the inferior position in litigation. The state supreme court ruled against them. The federal court is likely to side against them. It behooves the diocesan leaders to appeal to the good nature of the other side if they want to gain anything in mediation. Keeping up an all-out attack against their opponents would be self-defeating in mediation. Moreover, it is highly unlikely the state supreme court will agree to a rehearing of the case as DSC is asking. So, having lost in state supreme court, and facing a probably loss in federal court, the diocese needs to make the best deal they can in the mediation. It is their best hope for the future.

This apparent reversal of attitude is stunning. In the first place, Miller told his parishioners not to expect to "prevail": It would be unwise to assume that this will necessarily resolve the litigation or guarantee that we will ultimately prevail. In other words, do not assume the independent diocese will keep the buildings.

In the second place, Miller called on the faithful to pray for the Episcopal Church side! To my knowledge, this is the first time since the schism of five years ago that a leader of the independent diocese has called for this. It may not seem to be much, but from my perspective this is major news. Miller wrote:

Please remember Bishop Lawrence and our legal team as you pray, but also include Bishop Skip Adams and the legal representatives from TEC. It may be difficult to bless our adversaries and pray for those who appear to persecute us, but it is the Christian way. It is our hope that in ALL things Jesus Christ may be glorified, so pray especially that God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven...

To this, we can only say Amen, and thank you to the Rev. Jeff Miller. Even though one may take issue that the Episcopal Church has "persecuted," or is persecuting anyone, (I for one would take issue with that unfounded assertion), surely Miller is right that we all should pray for both sides in the month before mediation begins. Everyone should be glad to see bitterness and hatred being replaced by "the Christian way." It is long overdue. Better late than never.

As I have said before, I think we are at the beginning of the end of a long and sad chapter in an otherwise very long and glorious history of the great Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. One must not let exhaustion cloud the view of a brighter future.


Saturday, October 7, 2017





IT'S OFFICIAL (AGAIN):
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA
IS  NOT IN
THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION


The primates of the Anglican Communion have adjourned their meeting of 2-6 October 2017, in Canterbury. On Oct. 6, they issued an official communiqué, available here . It contained this paragraph:

It was confirmed that the Anglican Church of North America is not a Province of the Anglican Communion. We recognised that those in ACNA should be treated with love as fellow Christians.

This rejected the aspiration of ACNA as an Anglican "province" and gave de facto confirmation that the Episcopal Church is the one and only province of the Anglican Communion in the United States.

33 of the 39 primates of the Anglican Communion attended the conference. Three boycotted the meeting in protest of the presence of the Americans: Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda, the three hardest-line provinces opposing equal rights for homosexual persons. Three other primates were absent for other reasons. This means that a majority of the GAFCON/Global South primates were present. At this point, we cannot know the role of these primates in the meeting, but obviously the majority of Anglican primates approved of the communiqué. 

Actually, the primates had rejected the ACNA in their "gathering" of January 2016. At that time, GAFCON/Global South abandoned the ACNA, with Foley Beach present. They said if the ACNA wanted to join the Anglican Communion, it would have to go through the Anglican Consultative Council, but at the same time they discouraged the ACC from admitting ACNA. When the ACC met in Lusaka in April of 2016, there was no mention of ACNA. Meanwhile, the Jan. 2016 gathering issued "consequences" (punishments) for the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada. These were roundly ignored by the ACC. The consequences were inconsequential.

The primates' meeting of this week slapped the same "consequences" on the Episcopal Church of Scotland because of its support of same-sex marriage. However, enforcement of such was left up to the Archbishop of Canterbury: The Archbishop of Canterbury will take steps within his authority to implement this agreement. In fact, the ABC has no authority to intervene in any province of the AC. He is only a figure-head.

As a strike against the ongoing ultra-conservative incursions into progressive Anglican provinces, the communiqué strongly denounced unauthorized invasions by Anglican bishops into other dioceses. This was clearly a reprimand of the GAFCON/Global South coalition cross-border interventions that have been going on since the year 2000 and have gained strength in view of the rise of pro-homosexual policies in the North American and European provinces.

In general, the primates reaffirmed their unity while admitting differences: In our last meeting in January 2016 we made a clear decision to walk together while acknowledging the distance that exists in our relationships due to deep differences in understanding on same-sex marriage. We endorsed this approach, which we will continue with renewed commitment.

It was also interesting to note what the communiqué did not say. It did not mention the "consequences" for the Americans and Canadians. The consequences (sanctions, or punishments), of 2016, had a term of three years which means they remain on the books until the year 2019. The meeting this week ignored the earlier "consequences" for the Americans and Canadians.

In sum, the Anglican Communion, and the Archbishop of Canterbury have won another victory for union. The crisis of schism in the Anglican Communion, that came to a head in January of 2016, has passed. The GAFCON/Global South Anglican sub-set has failed to split the Communion into two groups, fundamentalist-leaning (anti-homosexual rights) and progressive (pro-homosexual rights). In effect, the Anglican Communion has reaffirmed its historic nature as 39 independent churches, each left to decide its own policies and procedures. The ultra-conservatives' 20-year effort to recreate the Communion into a fundamentalist-leaning confessional church has failed. I think we have to give a lot of credit for this to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This year, the independent Diocese of South Carolina joined the ACNA. The leaders of the diocese repeatedly called the ACNA "Anglican" and a "province." No doubt, many of their followers believe they are in a province of the Anglican Communion. This is not true. Such a notion has now been officially refuted, once and for all, by the Anglican Communion. The Diocese of South Carolina is not in the Anglican Communion and has no prospect of ever being in the AC. This is something the communicants of DSC need to consider as 13,000 of them, in 29 parishes, will soon face the choice of returning to the Anglican Communion or remaining adrift at sea.

  






Thursday, October 5, 2017




MEDIATION DATES


Mediation will begin on November 6-8, 2017. According to the U.S. District Court rule book, mediation may last up to 30 days with another 14 days for preparing a written agreement. However, the court is not strictly adhering to the rule book.

The two sides are: the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina on one side and the Diocese of South Carolina on the other. Both sides have agreed that all issues are on the table for negotiation.

Within the month before mediation starts, there is a good chance that the Supreme Court of South Carolina will respond to DSC's three pending petitions for rehearing. I think it is all but certain the court will deny these petitions. What DSC is asking is unheard-of. A response from the court will help greatly to prepare the way for a possible deal between the two sides. IF the court decision of August 2 stands, TEC/TECSC will hold 29 parishes and Camp St. Christopher. It will also be in the superior position in the federal court since the SCSC has explicitly deferred to the fed court to settle the diocesan issue with opinion in favor of TEC/TECSC.

It is a fact that mediation will begin in a few weeks. However, mediation does not require an agreement. If the two sides fail to reach a mutually acceptable deal, the mediation will end and the litigation continues in court.

Going into mediation, the Church side is in the superior position. The DSC side has the least to lose and most to gain from a compromise agreement. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017




A HISTORY OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH SCHISM IN SOUTH CAROLINA 
NOW AVAILABLE 



My new book, A History of the Episcopal Church Schism in South Carolina, is available for purchase at the Grace Church Cathedral bookstore in Charleston and at online sources.

The book is an extensive, detailed, well-documented narrative history of the causes, events, and effects of the 2012 schism in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. It was published on August 9, 2017.

The publisher, Wipf and Stock, of Eugene OR, have posted the book on their website for ordering online. For online orders, the book is discounted from $62.00 to $49.60. This is the paperback edition. 

To see more information on the book and/or to order it online:




For those who do not want to order online, the book may be ordered on the telephone at Wipf and Stock, 541-344-1528.



The book may also be ordered from Amazon and other online suppliers.

At the moment, only the paperback edition is available at Wipf and Stock. The hardback and e-book editions will appear within a few weeks.



CHRONOLOGY


By Ronald J. Caldwell, PhD, Professor of History Emeritus


(last revised October 14, 2017)

  
 A listing of events in chronological order apropos the Episcopal Church schism in South Carolina. This will be constantly expanded and refined as a working frame for a scholarly study of the topic.
Additions? Changes?  Please e-mail me at:

ronaldcaldwell1210@gmail.com

 _______________________________



1973


Nov. 14---The State of South Carolina issued a Certificate of Incorporation to The Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina: "The purpose of the said proposed Corporation is to continue the operation of an Episcopal Diocese under the Constitution and Canons of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America."

1975

--- What is now known as Trinity School for Ministry Ambridge, Pennsylvania, was established as a conservative, evangelical school in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition. Mark Lawrence was an early alumnus. In time, many strong ties developed between Trinity and the Diocese of South Carolina and numerous alumni moved to serve as priests and deacons in the diocese. These ties became strongest in the episcopate of Mark Lawrence.

1976



---GC passed AO69 declaring homosexual persons to have "full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church."


1979

---The General Convention (GC) of the Episcopal Church (TEC) passed Resolution 3:  "There should be no barrier to the ordination of qualified persons of either heterosexual or homosexual orientation...we believe it is not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual..." Forty-four bishops signed a statement rejecting the resolution.

---GC also adopted the Dennis Canon into the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church: "All real and personal property...is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese..." The Diocese of South Carolina renewed this as the first article in its Constitution and Canons every year until the DSC convention of Oct. 15, 2010 voted to remove it from the diocesan Constitution and Canons.


1980


 May 17--- Christopher FitzSimons Allison (b. Mar. 5, 1927) elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of South Carolina (DSC)

Sept. 25---Allison consecrated Bishop Coadjutor.

1982


Jan 1--Retirement of Bishop Gray Temple.

Jan. 2---Allison became Bishop of DSC.

1985

---GC defeated a resolution:  "No one shall be denied access to the ordination process in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation..."; passed DO82 calling for "support" of homosexuals.
September 26-28---The Diocese of South Carolina (DSC) meeting in its One-Hundred Ninety-Fifth annual convention, in Charleston, passed a resolution:  "That the 1985 meeting of the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina respectfully notify the Presiding Bishop-Elect that we do not approve the ordination of practicing homosexuals."

Dec. 1---George Edward Haynsworth became Assistant Bishop of DSC.

1987

---TEC issued a booklet "Sexuality: A Divine Gift." Critics were outraged. Bp Allison condemned it.
  
1988

---DSC annual convention requested the Presiding Bishop (PB) to withdraw "Sexuality: A Divine Gift." It was withdrawn.

1989

Sept. 7---Edward Lloyd Salmon, Jr. (b. Jan. 30, 1934) elected Bishop.

Dec. 16---Bishop John Spong, of Newark, ordained Robert Williams, an open and partnered gay man, to the priesthood. 

1990

February---In Jubilate Deo, the Rev. Kendall Harmon, Assistant at Holy Comforter, Sumter, posted an editorial strongly denouncing Williams' ordination, Bp Spong's part in it, and even the Presiding Bishop's failure to intervene. 

Feb. 22-24---DSC annual convention: Bp. Allison condemned the ordinations of homosexuals; convention passed a resolution that it "deplores the ordination of Robert Williams by Bishop Spong as a violation of the teaching of scripture and the Episcopal Church" and asked the House of Bishops to take disciplinary action against Spong; another resolution called on the House of Bishops and the Presiding Bishop to "censure the Bishop of Newark."

February 24--Bp Allison retired. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., consecrated Bishop of DSC (served until 2008) with Presiding Bishop Browning as chief consecrator.
April---In Jubilate Deo, the Rev. Kendall Harmon, Assistant at Holy Comforter, Sumter, posted a book review of Dirt, Greed, and Sex in which he denounced homosexuality among other expressions of sex.

Fall --- the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, Assistant Bishop of Newark, ordained Barry Stopfel a deacon in the Diocese of Newark. Stopfel was an open and partnered homosexual man. In 1991, Stopfel was ordained a priest by the Rt. Rev. John S. Spong of Newark.

Oct. 19-20---Episcopalians United, a self-styled traditionalist group, held a conference in Charleston at St. Philip's and St. Michael's.

Dec. 31---Bp Haynsworth retired.

1991

--GC, meeting in Phoenix AZ, dominated by widely competing views on sexuality in contentious sessions; no consensus on the ordination of homosexual persons. It called for deeper dialogue on human sexuality.

Nov. 8---the Episcopal Synod of America, a traditionalist group, met in Fresno CA (Diocese of San Joaquin) and formed a "missionary diocese." The Presiding Bishop asked them not to implement their plan as it would lead to schism.

Nov. 14---Canon Michael Malone and Mrs. Rosemary Drakeford conducted a workshop in Pinopolis for parish facilitators to discuss the issues raised by the GC.

1992

March 13-14---DSC annual convention passed a resolution including: "Genital sexual expression is to be understood and taught as God's gift exclusively for men and women united in Holy Matrimony."

1993

April 20---DSC Standing Committee voted to direct its President (Rev. Ladson Mills III) "to respond to S.J. [sic] George's Parish, Maplewood, New Jersey expressing grave concern over their calling an openly practicing homosexual as their rector and allowing him and his partner to live in the rectory."
  
1994

---GC met in Indianapolis and amended Canon I.15.5 to read: "No person shall be denied...equal place...[in] this Church...because of...sexual orientation." It also issued a study document on human sexuality affirming only heterosexual relations. At the meeting, 106 bishops, including those from SC, signed a statement that said in part:  "Marriage is a union of husband and wife, one man and one woman..." and "Sexual relationships between members of the same sex are also a denial of God's plan, and cannot be condoned by the Church."

1995

February---Ten conservative bishops filed charges of heresy against Bishop Righter. On May 15, 1996 a Church court dismissed charges against Righter holding that neither the doctrine nor the discipline of TEC prohibited the ordination of a homosexual person in a committed relationship.

Oct. 7---the Very Rev. William Skilton elected Bishop Suffragan over four other candidates.  



1996

---the Rev. Kendall Harmon joined the "Editorial Advisory Board" of Jubilate Deo, the DSC newsletter. He remained on the Board until 2002 when he became "Editor."

Mar. 2---Skilton consecrated Bp Suffragan; served until 2007.



1997

Jan. 23-26---SEAD (Scholarly Engagement with Anglican Doctrine) met at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul. This conservative group had met annually at Virginia Theological Seminary. Later this was replaced by Mere Anglicanism.

Feb. 28-Mar. 1---At DSC annual convention, Bp Salmon declared "We expect Holy Matrimony to be the context for sexual relations." and "We do not bless single-gender relationships as Holy Matrimony."

---GC met and passed resolution apologizing to homosexual persons "for years of rejection and mistreatment by the Church."


September 8-9 --- Representatives of various traditionalist groups met at All Saints, Pawleys Island. Host was Chuck Murphy. Issued "First Promise" denouncing the 1997 General Convention on: new presiding bishop, ordination of women, and sexuality. Attendees included Bp Allison, Dow Sanderson, Kendall Harmon.

October --- The Council of DSC adopted three resolutions in reaction to TEC General Convention:  1-local churches could withhold money to TEC, 2-seek associations outside TEC,  3-opposition to the mandatory ministry of ordained women in every diocese.

1998

Feb. 27-28---At DSC annual convention, Bp Salmon deplored the recent vote of GC "which now makes the ordination of women mandatory" and added that many voices were calling to "...remove funding from the National Church..."
---Lambeth conference issues statement that homosexual practice was contrary to Scripture: "cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions."

Aug.-Sept.---Bp Salmon announced that he and thirty other conservative bishops had signed a "Declaration to the Church" dissociating from "John Spong and his '12 Theses' as they in no way represent the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church." Spong was a leading liberal bishop.

1999

Mar. 5-6---DSC annual convention passed a resolution endorsing the Lambeth statement: "...hereby accept and declare that this Diocese...will not enact or continue in force any policy or take any action in conflict with the above said Resolutions of Lambeth 1998."


Oct. 1 --- Cambridge Accord defended equal rights for homosexual persons; signed by many Anglican bishops around the world.


  
2000

  
Jan. 29--- Allison one of six bishops to consecrate as bishops Charles H. Murphy, III, rector of All Saints, Pawleys Island, and John H. Rogers, Jr., dean emeritus of Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge PA, in Singapore. The Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC) expressed grave disappointment. the Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, said "I am appalled."

Feb. 11-12---at DSC annual convention, Bp Salmon recognized Murphy as a bishop and said that while he was not officially a priest of DSC, he continue on the staff of All Saints, Pawleys Island.

---GC approved: Resolution DO39 to "acknowledge" homosexual couples; and CO43 supporting the Cambridge Accord (Oct. 1, 1999) promoting rights for homosexuals.
August --- Murphy and Rogers form Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) under the auspices of Rwanda and South East Asia.

September --- DSC filed notice that All Saints, Pawleys Island, holds its property in trust for DSC and TEC. All Saints sued to claim the property.

Nov. 27-29---US Anglican Leader's Summit met in Atlanta. The Rev. Frank Limehouse III represented DSC at the request of Bp Salmon. It was meant to rally and unify "orthodox," or traditionalist Episcopalians and Anglicans.

2001

  
Jan. 4 --- DSC Standing Committee gave consent to election of the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori as Bishop of Nevada.


March 8-10---at the annual DSC convention a resolution was offered: "Diocese of South Carolina's strong objections to the actions of the House of Bishops and the General Convention of 2000 and warns that if further action is taken to implement the proposed changing of the Book of Common Prayer to include a "marriage" service for same-sex couples, the blessing of same-sex couples and the authorizing of non-celibate homosexual persons...South Carolina will be forced to reconsider its relationship with the Episcopal Church..." This resolution was tabled and therefore not passed.

June 24 --- Allison one of six bishops consecrating two new bishops for AMiA in Denver. Bp Salmon wrote in Jubilate Deo, "I profoundly regret the decision of the Anglican Mission in America leadership to take such a step."

Oct. 15 --- a state judge ruled against DSC in All Saints, Pawleys Island, case. DSC appealed.

2002

Jan.---the Rev. Kendall Harmon became Editor of Jubilate Deo, a post
he kept until 2009 when be became Assistant Editor.

Mar. 12---Salmon, Skilton, and Allison among 19 bishops issuing "An Appeal for the Preservation of Godly Union" ["traditional orthodox faith"] at the House of Bishops meeting, Camp Allen TX.

2003

  
March 18---the House of Bishops adopted a report, "The Gift of Sexuality: A Theological Perspective," compiled by its Theology Committee:  "Because at this time we are nowhere near consensus in the Church regarding the blessing of homosexual relationships, we cannot recommend authorizing the development of new rites for such blessings."  While it took no explicit stand on the ordination of homosexual persons, it implied opposition: "we believe it is imperative that the Episcopal Church refrain from any attempt to 'settle' the matter legislatively." 

June 7---Diocese of New Hampshire elected Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay and partnered priest, as its next bishop.
---Salmon, Skilton, and Harmon issued a letter strongly condemning Robinson's election.

June 9---Salmon, Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh, and Harmon issued a joint statement strongly advising the rejection of Robinson's election.

July 15---Salmon, Skilton, and Allison among 24 bishops issuing a statement declaring "impaired communion" with the Canadian Diocese of New Westminster that had recently approved liturgies for the blessings of same-sex unions.

July 23---Salmon, Skilton, and Harmon attend conservative meeting in Fairfax VA calling on GC to reject Robinson.

Aug.-Sept.---in Jubilate Deo, Bps. Salmon and Skilton denounced the election of Robinson as "clear repudiation of the teaching of Holy Scripture and the tradition of the church" and called on GC to reject the election.


---GC revised Canon III.1.2 to read: "No person shall be denied access to...any ministry...in this Church because of...sexual orientation..."

Aug. 5 --- House of Bishops (HOB) at GC voted 62-43 to confirm Gene Robinson as the next bishop of New Hampshire. Before the vote, deputy the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence, of San Joaquin, spoke on behalf of the minority report composed by himself and two others. Their report condemned same-sex relationships.

Aug. 6---the Rev. Kendall Harmon made a speech on the floor of the House of Deputies at GC calling the vote on Robinson "catastrophic."

Aug. 18---Salmon met with the clergy of DSC on a "deadly serious situation" [Robinson].


Aug. 18 --- DSC Standing Committee passed a resolution to call a special diocesan convention in the Fall; passed another resolution declaring the acts of the recent GC on Robinson and blessing of same-sex unions "in conflict with the Canons of the Diocese of South Carolina and have no binding effect in the Diocese."


Oct. 2 --- DSC held a special convention to condemn the actions of General Convention (GC). Bp. Salmon said "The General Convention has endorsed a new religion." The Standing Committee offered a resolution: "Episcopal Church has exceeded its authority and departed from its constitution, in confirming the election, as bishop, of a non-celibate homosexual man and in permitting same-sex blessings..." and "urges recognition by the International Primates, of those orthodox dioceses and parishes...as the legitimate expression of the Anglican Communion ...in the United States." The first part condemned the confirmation of Bp Robinson; the second part called for splitting TEC.

The Rev. Tommy Tipton, of Holy Cross/Faith Memorial in Pawleys Island, presented a statement protesting the resolution signed by 19 clergy. Steve Skardon also presented a substitute resolution. All were voted down. With the change of one word, "apostasy" to "actions" the resolution passed.

Oct. 7-9---American Anglican Council held a meeting of "orthodox" leaders at Plano TX.

Oct. 18---80-page report issued by panel of 17 called by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams called on the 50 bishops who consecrated Robinson to express regret but did not expel TEC from the AC. Kendall Harmon said this was not sufficient.

Oct. 23---Kendall Harmon attended meeting of conservatives at Truro Episcopal Church in VA that agreed to form a "network of confessing dioceses and parishes."

Nov. 2---Robinson consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire. Kendall Harmon sent as representative of American Anglican Council alternative meeting of 500 protesters.

Nov. 4---Salmon, Skilton, and Allison among 38 bishops issuing a statement condemning Robinson's consecration.

Nov. 20---Salmon one of four bishops issuing a "Memorandum of Agreement on Establishing a Network of Confessing Dioceses and Congregations in the Episcopal Church" at "The Mainstream Meeting." The statement of the meeting called on the Global South primates to recognize the Network, to separate from the Archbishop of Canterbury if he did not support them, and to campaign in the Anglican Communion against TEC. The bishops said "We commit to the guerilla warfare of the next year."


Nov. 25 --- DSC Standing Committee passed resolution to join the "Network of Confessing Dioceses and Congregations." SC one of four dioceses forming the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, in opposition to Robinson.

Dec.---Group of five friends met and resolved to set up organization to keep link between TEC and DSC: Barbara Mann, Marcy Walsh, Tom Myers, Dottie Pagliaro, and Lynn Pagliaro. Episcopal Forum of South Carolina formed with stated goal "to insure that the Episcopal Diocese of SC continues to exist in full participation with ECUSA..." Lynn Pagliaro served as first president.


Dec. 23 --- Bp Salmon reported that only St. Stephen's of Charleston, and Holy Cross/Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island, may want to transfer to another bishop while Grace Church, Charleston, and All Saints on Hilton Head were divided.


Dec. 28---The Chapman Memo, by Rev. Geoff Chapman, rector of St. Stephen's, Sewickley PA, Diocese of Pittsburgh, on behalf of the American Anglican Council and its Bishops' Committee on Adequate Episcopal Oversight (AEO):   "Our ultimate goal is a realignment of Anglicanism on North American soil...We believe in the end this should be a 'replacement' jurisdiction [to replace TEC]. It then laid out a plan in three stages to accomplish this goal. The Memo was secret and stressed keeping it secret while passing it around only "orthodox" clergy (the Memo was immediately leaked). It is possible that the Chapman Memo became the blueprint for the parochial and diocesan secession movement that exploded after Robinson's affirmation.

2004


Jan. 8-9---"The Future of the Anglican Communion" conference met at St. Philip's, sponsored by the Anglican Communion Institute, an orthodox think tank. This evolved into the annual conference in Charleston called Mere Anglicanism.

Jan. 19-20---Bp Salmon attended the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Congregations meeting in Dallas (Plano). SC one of twelve dioceses represented. The group elected Bishop Duncan, of Pittsburgh, its moderator, and drew up a Ten Point Plan opposing the recent decisions of GC. Chapman (see Dec. 28, 2003) addressed the conference. This group was soon commonly called the Anglican Communion Network. Salmon and Harmon soon figured prominently in the leadership of ACN. DSXC delegation in Plano: Rev. Steve Wood, Rev. John Burwell, Bp. Skilton, Lydia Evans, and Clayton Burroughs.

--- All Saints, Pawleys Island, voted to withdraw from TEC and DSC and align with AMiA, under Province of Rwanda.
Feb. 23 --- Episcopal Forum of South Carolina hosted a meeting "Seeking Unity in Diversity" in Charleston seeking common ground after the disagreements on Robinson.

March 3---The Barfoot Memorandum called for alternative primatial oversight from overseas as a step to replacing TEC.

Mar. 5---The first newsletter of the Episcopal Forum of SC suggested that the ACN may well be schismatic.

Aug. 27-Sept. 11---The Anglican Communion Network, which formed in reaction to Robinson's approval, held meetings at St. Philip's, Church of the Cross in Bluffton, and Church of the Holy Comforter in Sumter led by prominent conservatives in opposition to the decisions of TEC. (While Episcopal Forum represented the pro-TEC forces, the ACC came to represent the anti-TEC side). Jubilate Deo began carrying frequent news from ACC.

Oct. 18---The Windsor Report was issued:  recommended a moratorium on acceptance of homosexual persons as bishops and on the blessing of same-sex unions; recommended an "Anglican Covenant" whereby provinces would consult with the AC; recommended those promoting "disunity" to "express regret"; did not recommend discipline against TEC.

Nov. 1---Standing Committee voted resolutions supporting the Windsor Report and calling on bishops who supported Bp Robinson to "express regret" and remove themselves from "representative functions in the Anglican Communion." At the same time it brushed aside the cross-boundary interventions as "...actions to be of lesser concern..."

2005

Jan. 12-13---House of Bishops met in Salt Lake City. Salmon served as chief spokesman for the Anglican Communion Network that denounced the affirmation of Robinson. Salmon, Skilton, and Allison among 29 bishops who issued a statement criticizing the HOB for it weak stand on the Windsor Report and strongly endorsing the Report.

March 4-5---at the annual DSC convention, Bp Salmon endorsed the Windsor Report. The Rev. Greg Kronz was appointed to head a bishop's search committee. Resolution passed: "this Diocese honor the moratoria, as expressed in the Windsor Report, 1)the consecration of all candidates to the episcopate who are engaged in same-sex relationships..., 2)the blessing of same-sex relationships, and 3)...we will neither encourage nor initiate cross-boundary interventions..." The Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon offered two resolutions that passed identifying DSC with the wider Anglican Communion.

The bishop's search committee:  Rev. Greg Kronz, chair; the Very Rev. Craige Borrett; the Rev. Paul Fuener; the Rev. Anthony Kowbeidu; the Rev. Jeffrey Miller; the Very Rev. John Scott; the Rev. David Thurlow; John Bowden; Lydia Evans; Martha Flowers; Frances Fuchs; Keith Lackey. All but Lackey came from parishes that later "disassociated" from TEC. [Lackey later left the parish, DSC and TEC for the Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church.]


April 18-20---the Anglican Communion Network met in Bedford TX. SC was represented.

July 18-21---Salmon one of 19 bishops meeting in Los Angeles. No agreement.


Nov. 11-12---the Anglican Communion Network met in Pittsburgh. SC represented. A group associated with ACN issued a DVD that was distributed to the 2000+ attendees. It followed the themes of the Chapman Memo in strongly denouncing TEC and clearly suggesting that Episcopalians should abandon the Church. Harmon was a featured speaker on the DVD. It also included two videos, "Choose This Day" and "The Decision." Lawrence reiterated the themes of the videos in his two essays below of 2006.

2006

  
January---Bishop Salmon reached the mandatory age of retirement. At the request of the Standing Committee, Salmon continued to serve as the acting bishop of the diocese until Lawrence's consecration on Jan. 26, 2008.

Jan. 30---Rev. Mark Lawrence, rector of St. Paul's, Bakersfield, issued "A Prognosis for This Body Episcopal" that called for the end of the independent Episcopal Church:  "Our very survival, let alone our growth, necessitates the surrender of our autonomy to the governance of the larger church--that is, the Anglican Communion."


Feb. 27 --- DSC Standing Committee noted that All Saints, Pawleys Island, had rejected two offers of a compromise settlement.


March ---at a service in St. Paul's, Bakersfield CA, where he was rector (1997-2007), Mark Lawrence said he received a revelation from God that he was to embark on a journey. In May he allowed his name to be submitted for bishop of SC.

May 10-14---ACC held meetings in Holy Comforter Sumter, St Helena's Beaufort, and St. Philip's, to discuss issues in the upcoming GC.

June --- Katharine Jefferts Schori elected Presiding Bishop (PB) of TEC.

---GC passed: BO33 calling on dioceses to "exercise restraint" by not consenting to homosexuals; A167 affirming equality for homosexuals; AO95 calling for civi protection of same-sex couples.

June---Bps Salmon and Skilton published a pastoral letter revealing shock at the election of Bp Jefferts Schori and dismay at GC's failure to conform to the Windsor Report. 

June 21---Salmon, Skilton, and Allison among 24 bishops issuing statement condemning the "failure" of GC to take adequate action.

July 23---Rev. Lawrence posted an essay "Remaining Anglican: In Defense of Dissociation" holding that TEC was hopelessly in error and endorsing "alternative primatial oversight" [outside of TEC].

June 26 --- DSC Standing Committee voted unanimously to request from the Archbishop of Canterbury an Alternative Primatial Relationship. This was approved by resolution of the DSC convention of Nov. 9-10.


July 6 --- DSC Standing Committee interviewed four candidates for bishop: Mark Lawrence, John Burwell, Ellis Brust, and Steve Wood. Lawrence, Brust and Wood were approved.


August 26 --- DSC Standing Committee received a petition to make the Rev. Dow Sanderson a candidate for bishop. The Committee unanimously rejected it.


Sept. 11-13---Salmon among conservative bishops meeting in New York at invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop. No agreement. (See Nov. 27)

Sept. 16 --- Special convention of the DSC. Mark Lawrence elected bishop of over Ellis E. Brust (chief operating officer of the American Anglican Council) and Stephen D. Wood (rector, St. Andrew's, Mt. Pleasant). [all three later left TEC]. TEC rules allowed 120 days after formalities to receive consents from the majority of 111 dioceses (minimum of 56).

Sept. 22---Salmon among 21 bishops who met at Camp Allen TX and sent a letter to HOB supporting the Windsor Report and endorsing the Anglican Covenant.

Sept. 28---Episcopal Forum held a meeting in Charleston.

Oct. 19 --- Via Media USA, affiliated with Episcopal Forum, sent letters to all dioceses stating that Lawrence would be a threat to the unity of the church.

Oct. 27---The Bishop of Dallas withdrew his request for Alternate Primatial Oversight.

Nov. 9-10 --- Annual meeting of the DSC. In his Bishop's Address, Bp Salmon criticized the new PB for her theological "relativism" and her philosophy of social gospel. The Convention passed Resolution # 1, "in requesting from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Alternative Primatial Relationship" (see June 26).

Nov. 27---Outcome of Sept. 11-13 meeting, PB and bishops issued a proposal for a Primatial Vicar to serve those dioceses that requested Alternative Primatial Oversight. The proposal was sent to the ABC and the petitioning bishops.

Dec. --- Bp Suffragan Skilton resigned office (effective Dec. 31) at the request of the DSC Standing Committee upon its agreement with the bishop-elect. Skilton wrote "I believe my departure will enable Father Lawrence to create a diocesan staff that will more effectively respond to is developing vision..." As Bishop of SC, Lawrence did hire a new staff, a new Canon to the Ordinary, and a new Visiting Bishop.

Dec. 26---St. Stephen's Church, Anson Street in Charleston, adopted a resolution to support TEC.

2007

  
March 7---Lawrence sent a letter to the Standing Committees of TEC: "...my intention is to remain in The Episcopal Church."

March 12---deadline for consents from Standing Committees for election of Lawrence as Bishop. 56 was the minimum number for approval. As of 3-3-07 46 consents had been made. 55 received by 3-12-07. PB added three days to deadline.

March 15 --- PB declared Lawrence's election null and void. Several dioceses had submitted electronic consents when the Canons required written signatures. PB announced that 50 votes were legal, six less than required. Lawrence blamed his loss on smear campaign of liberals.

April 9---HOB Task Force on Property Disputes issued a report, "Connecting the Dots," detailing a well-organized plan among conservatives to remove property of TEC.

April 17---DSC Standing Committee resolved unanimously to reconvene the diocesan convention in June.

April 26---Salmon one of seven bishops calling themselves "The Steering Committee of the Windsor Bishops" who wrote the ABC affirming their strong support for Windsor.

May 5---the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence addressed the annual meeting of the Episcopal Church Women in Beaufort.

June 7---Episcopal Forum sent a letter to the PB asking her to appoint an interim bishop. (Salmon had retired at mandatory age of 72.)


June 9---meeting of "Re-Convened 216th Convention" that decided on a new convention to elect a bishop to be held on Aug. 4.

June 11-14---The Executive Council of TEC resolved: -every diocese is required to give unqualified accession to the Constitution and Canons of TEC;  -any amendment to a diocesan constitution that attempts to change this is null and void. 

August 4 --- DSC convention elected Lawrence as Bishop. His was the only name on the ballot.


Sept. 18 --- DSC Diocesan Council passed a resolution inviting Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori to the diocese in February of 2008.


Sept. 19---PB announced that 8 bishops had agreed to serve as "episcopal visitors" to dioceses that had requested pastoral oversight other than the PB. [see Sept. 20]

Sept. 20-25---HOB met with ABC in New Orleans. Salmon issued a letter criticizing the meeting and rejecting the PB's offer of alternative oversight [Sept. 19] as not meeting the "needs of those who asked for it."
Oct. 29 --- PB announced Lawrence had received the consents necessary for him to become the next bishop of DSC.

Nov. 3---Episcopal Forum held a conference at Middleton Place.

Dec. 8 ---Diocesan convention in San Joaquin voted to leave TEC for the Province of the Southern Cone. Mark Lawrence, of St. Paul's in Bakersfield, was not present as he was on sabbatical in North Carolina. St. Paul's voted for secession.

2008

  
Jan. 11---PB inhibited Schofield (Bp of San Joaquin).

Jan. 26 --- Lawrence consecrated Bishop of DSC at Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston. The PB was not invited. Chief consecrator was Bp E. Clifton Daniel, of East Carolina. David Booth Beers present to guide officials in legalities.

Feb. 25-26 --- PB visited DSC. Lawrence met with PB.

March 7-12 --- Lawrence attended meeting of HOB. Discussion of Windsor Report.

March 12--- Bp Schofield of San Joaquin deposed by vote of the House of Bishops.

Mar. 27 --- DSC Standing Committee and Bp Lawrence sent a letter to PB protesting the deposition of Schofield. [Almost all minutes of all meetings of the DSC Standing Committee are still held secret, unavailable to the public; only a few selected lines have been released.]

May 14-17---Lawrence at Trinity School for Ministry (Ambridge PA) for Board of Trustees meeting.

May 21-24---Lawrence at Nashotah House in Wisconsin to receive an honorary doctor's degree and meet with conservative bishops on the Board of Trustees.

June 3-4---Lawrence attended Province IV bishops' meeting at Kanuga. Discussion of upcoming Lambeth conference.

June 23-27 --- Lawrence attended the GAFCON conference [GAFCON I]in Jerusalem. Conference issues "The Jerusalem Declaration" that includes: "marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family" and "we reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith [e.g. The Episcopal Church]." Many bishops at GAFCON refused to attend Lambeth.

July 6---Lawrence journeyed to England for meetings.

July 17-Aug. 3 --- Lawrence attended the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.

August 3---Lawrence was quoted as saying GAFCON was the heir apparent to assume leadership of the AC.

Sept. 11---Lawrence meets with the DSC clergy and stressed building bonds with Anglicans beyond TEC.

Sept. 17-19 --- Lawrence attended a meeting of HOB in Salt Lake City and protested the depositions of Schofield and Duncan. HOB deposed Duncan by vote of 88 yes, 35 no and 4 abstaining.

Oct. 1-3---Lawrence in Ambridge PA for Board of Trustees meeting of Trinity School for Ministry

Oct. 6-8---Lawrence in Sewanee TN to receive honorary doctor's degree and meet with Board of Trustees.

Nov. 6 ---DSC Standing Committee unanimously passed resolutions:  -supporting the Jerusalem Declaration as set forth in the GAFCON Conference,  2-non-recognition of the deposition of Duncan.

Dec. 3-5---Lawrence attends Province IV bishops' meeting in Jacksonville FL.

Dec. 3---Common Cause Partnership, led by Robert Duncan, formed the Anglican Church in North America, an association of various independent conservative groups.

Dec. 8-9 --- Lawrence attended the Anglican Communion Network convention in Overland Park, KS. [This is the tenth meeting Lawrence attended in 2008 outside of SC.]

2009


 Feb. 16-18---Lawrence in Belleville IL for a Men's Conference and Clergy Pre-Lenten Retreat for the Diocese of Springfield.

March 12-13 --- In his first address to an annual convention of DSC, Lawrence denounced TEC for what he called "compromises toward the Uniqueness of Christ, " "non-Canonical actions,"  and "controversies regarding Human Sexuality," but gave no specifics. In the same moment, he first publicly raised the idea that DSC might not continue to accede to and adopt the Constitution and Canons of TEC.
---In the convention, the Revs. Borrett and Harmon introduced a resolution to "Request that General Convention be suspended." This was defeated in the house of clergy. [This was the last resolution to be defeated in Lawrence's tenure.] However, resolutions were passed supporting the proposed Anglican Covenant and the Uniqueness of Christ.
---Convention also approved the office of Canon to the Ordinary. Bp. Lawrence appointed the Rev. Jim Lewis.

March 15-18---Lawrence attends House of Bishops meeting at Kanuga.

March 30-April 1---Lawrence in Bakersfield CA for ordination of his son Chad at St. Paul's Anglican Church, where Lawrence had been rector 1997-2007. St. Paul's was one of the parishes of San Joaquin that had left the Episcopal Church in 2007 under Bp Schofield. (St. Paul's returned to TEC in 2013.) 

April 15-17---Lawrence in Houston TX for meeting of Anglican Communion Partners and the Anglican Communion Institute.

April 22 --- Lawrence and 14 other bishops released 13-page document "Bishops' Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church" asserting virtual sovereignty of the individual dioceses.

May 18-21---Lawrence at Lake Logan NC for College of Bishops meeting.


May 29-30 --- DSC Standing Committee approved transfer of $3.5m in property to an irrevocable trust at St. Andrew's Church, Mt. Pleasant. This passed after Lawrence offered prayers for the discernment of the Committee.


June 2-4---Lawrence at Kanuga for Province IV bishops' meeting.

June 22---Anglican Church in North America formed. Robert Duncan chosen archbishop.

July-7-18---Lawrence in Anaheim CA for General Convention. GC passed DO25 and CO56 favoring homosexuals in the ministry and the blessing of same-sex unions. Lawrence one of several bishops of the Communion Partners writing the Anaheim Statement, issued on July 16, condemning the resolutions; 35 bishops signed the Statement.
July 19-21---Lawrence in Bakersfield CA to attend St. Paul's Anglican Church.

July --- St. Andrew's, of Mt. Pleasant, transferred property worth $3.45 million into a land trust.

July 28---Lawrence, DSC Standing Committee, deans, and Harmon met in wake of GC. Drew up resolutions to present at Oct. convention (see Oct. 24).

Aug. 13 --- In response to GC, Lawrence addressed the clergy of DSC condemning "the false gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity [rights for homosexuals]" and calling on DSC to distance itself from TEC.

Sept. 1-3 --- In the wake of GC, Lawrence and other Anglican Communion Network bishops met with the Archbishop of Canterbury in London.

---In late 2009 the final draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant was sent to the Anglican provinces for approval.

Sept. 18 --- SC Supreme Court reversed the trial court's decision and ruled in favor of All Saints, Pawleys Island, against DSC. The Court said All Saints held title to its property and the Dennis Canon had had no effect on that.  Neither DSC nor TEC appealed to the US Supreme Court. [see Feb. 12, 2010.]

Sept. 21-23---Lawrence in Albany NY to address a clergy retreat in the Diocese of Albany.

Oct. --- Lawrence invited Tom Tisdale to lunch; 2 1/2 hour conversation on issues in the DSC.


Oct. 20 --- DSC Standing Committee discussed resolutions for upcoming special convention; Calvary Church, Charleston, sent letter opposing withdrawing from governing bodies of TEC; Committee spent much time rewording R-5, "The Rubric of Love" and offered an amendment.


Oct. 22 --- Bonnie Anderson, president of TEC House of Deputies, sent letter to DSC--decisions of General Convention are binding on the dioceses.

Oct. 24 --- DSC held special convention and voted  -to begin withdrawing from all bodies of TEC that are in error,  -declared DO25 and CO56 null and void in DSC.

Nov. 3-4---Bishops and other representatives of seven conservative dioceses, including SC, met in Charleston to plan strategy.
Nov. 17--- Attorney Alan Runyan formally retained as counsel for DSC; became lead lawyer for DSC in litigation 2013+.

Dec. --- David Booth Beers retained Tom Tisdale as counsel for TEC in DSC.


Dec. 1 --- St. Luke's, Hilton Head, voted to remove all references to TEC.

Dec. --- Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach, voted to remove all references to TEC.

Dec. 5 --- Mary Glasspool elected by Diocese of Los Angeles to be Suffragan Bishop. [Consecrated in May 2010]. She was the second openly homosexual person to be made a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Dec. 5 --- Episcopal Forum held a symposium in Charleston, "I an Episcopalian."


Dec. 12 --- Andrew Waldo elected bishop of Upper South Carolina. John Burwell was also a candidate (DSC Standing Committee had unanimously rejected consent to Waldo's election).


Dec. 17 --- St. Andrew's of Mt. Pleasant voted as a congregation to leave the Episcopal Church for the ACNA.  [see Mar. 28, 2010.]

Dec. 31 --- Tisdale met Wade Logan for conversation.

2010

  
January --- Mere Anglicanism conference in Charleston with theme of gender, identity, and sexuality focused on the evils of homosexuality.

Jan. 25-29 --- Thomas S. Tisdale, attorney for TEC sent 9 letters requesting information on certain parishes. Logan showed letters to Lawrence. Lawrence declared a crisis. DSC refused to give any information to Tisdale.

Feb. 9---Lawrence announced he was postponing diocesan convention from Mar. 4-5 to Mar. 26.

Feb. 12 --- Vestry of All Saints Episcopal Church, Pawleys Island, filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court for appealing the SC Supreme Court decision on All Saints Waccamaw. Neither DSC nor TEC joined.

Feb. 19-22 --- PB met with the Executive Committee of TEC. Discussed SC. No agreement.

Feb. 22-25---Lawrence in Birmingham AL to preach at Cathedral Church of the Advent, Very Rev. Frank Limehouse, dean.

Mar. 6 --- Episcopal Forum hosted conference in Charleston, "Enthusiastically Episcopalian."

Mar. 17 --- Lease agreement between the Trustees of DSC and Mark Lawrence. Episcopal residence at 50 Smith Street, Charleston, leased to Lawrence for one dollar a year for five years with option for another five years. In effect regardless of his status as bishop. [Entered as Exhibit DSC-28, Circuit Court trial, July 8, 2014]
---Trustees also adopted new Bylaws naming the Bishop as the President of the Corporation (see Jan. 4, 2013).


Mar. 19-24 --- Lawrence attended the HOB meeting in Camp Allen TX.
-----The Theology Committee of the HOB issued a report "Same-Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church," an 87-page study from leading authorities on both the "Traditionalist" and "Liberal" sides. This report is to date the most scholarly, balanced discussion of this topic but it drew no conclusions.
-----Andrew Waldo (bishop-elect of Upper South Carolina) and Lawrence had 1 1/2 hour get-acquainted meeting at HOB.


Mar. --- All Saints Episcopal and All Saints Anglican, Pawleys Island agreed on settlement: property valued at $10m and name to Anglicans, $375,000 to Episcopalians. All Saints Episcopal dropped appeal to Supreme Court [see Feb. 12].

Mar. 26 --- DSC convention met after being postponed (from Mar. 4-5). Demanded PB withdraw her attorney; declared DSC a "sovereign" diocese.

Mar. 28--- St. Andrew's, of Mt. Pleasant. Vestry formally enacts disassociation from DSC and TEC (congregational vote of Dec. 17).

April-May---Episcopal Forum held five regional meetings around diocese. 

April 17-32 --- Lawrence attended the Global South to South Encounter, in Singapore, a meeting of conservative Anglican bishops.

May 12-14---Lawrence in Sewickley PA for Trinity School for Ministry Board of Trustees meeting.

May 15---Mary D. Glasspool, consecrated as Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles. Glasspool was the second openly homosexual person to be made a bishop of TEC.

May 20---Lawrence at Nashotah House, Wisconsin, to attend commencement.


May 22 --- Andrew Waldo consecrated bishop of Upper South Carolina in Christ Church, Greenville. Lawrence did not attend.


July 16 --- DSC Standing Committee resolved non-recognition of Mary Glasspool as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.


August 25-26---Lawrence at Virginia Theological Seminary; Washington DC where he met a group at the Heritage Foundation; and Sewickley PA.


Sept. 2 --- Clergy conference, St. Paul's Summerville. Alan Runyan made a presentation attacking the Title IV revisions in the canons of TEC. These charges were background to the six proposed resolutions for the next diocesan convention.


Sept. 9 --- Standing Committee met and approved the six proposed resolutions for the next convention. All alter the basic documents of the diocese: constitution, canons, and corporate charter. Resolutions published.


Sept. 15-19---Lawrence in Phoenix AZ for House of Bishops meeting.


Sept. 22 --- Episcopal Forum sent a letter to the Executive Council and to each member of the HOB asking for an investigation of Lawrence.

Sept. 23 --- Lawrence sent a letter refuting all charges made by Forum.

Sept. 30-Oct. 7 --- Lawrence in Cairo, Egypt to address the Diocese of Egypt... in Cairo strengthening his ties with conservative Anglican Bishop Mouneer Anis (Egypt and North Africa and the Horn of Africa).

Oct. 13 --- Lawrence sent a letter to PB. PB sent back an e-mail.

Oct. 14 --- Lawrence sent an e-mail to PB and drafted a letter to her that he did not send.

Oct. 15 --- Reconvened Diocesan Convention passed six resolutions amending the DSC constitution. These assert the independent self-rule of DSC and removed accession to the canons of TEC. The Dennis Canon was removed from the DSC Constitution and Canons. The corporate charter was amended to drop TEC.


Oct. 19 --- DSC officially amended its charter with the state of SC to remove all references to the Episcopal Church.


Oct. 21 --- DSC amended its Bylaws: -Standing Committee to be known as "Board of Directors"; Lawrence is the President of the Corporation; Directors have sole authority to choose a bishop; only Directors can remove any members of the Board; Lawrence can be removed only by unanimous vote of the Board. (see Dec. 16)

Nov. 9---Episcopal Forum sent a letter to the Province IV bishops appealing for help in defending TEC in DSC.

Nov. 15-16 --- Lawrence attended meeting of Communion Partner bishops, a conservative league, in Orlando.

Nov, 18-19---Lawrence attends Province IV bishops' meeting in Miami FL.

Dec. 16 --- DSC amended its Bylaws: Board of Directors (Standing Committee) have sole authority to determine identity and authority of the Bishop; Board may make an employment contract with the Bishop (see Feb. 1, 2011); Bishop can be removed only by unanimous vote of the Board; Bishop's employment contract may be terminated only by unanimous vote of the Board and the calling of a special convention of the diocese where two-thirds of both orders approve the termination.

2011

  


Feb. 1 --- Bishop's Employment Agreement. Standing Committee made agreement to employ Lawrence as bishop and/or chief executive officer in perpetuity and regardless of his status as bishop. Could be terminated only by death, total disability, Lawrence's request, or the terms of the Bylaws (see Dec. 16, 2010). Salary set at base $121,170 plus family medical insurance, annual annuity of $10,000, retirement contribution equal to 18% of income, and $35,000 travel (near $200,000 package). If he were removed as bishop his employment would continue as chief executive officer of the diocese. [Entered as Exhibit DSC-29, circuit court trial, July 8, 2014].


Feb. 18-19 --- DSC convention passed a second time two resolutions from the Oct. convention removing accession to the Canons of TEC and removing "annual" before "convention."


Feb. 19 --- Lawrence meets with Standing Committee.


Mar. 1 --- Lawrence complained to DSC Standing Committee about upcoming Episcopal Forum meeting and its "false statements and misrepresentations."


Mar. 10 ---Episcopal Forum held "Enthusiastically Episcopalian: conference.

Mar. 18-19---Lawrence in Springfield IL for the consecration of Bp. Daniel Martins.

Mar. 28-29 --- Lawrence attended HOB meeting, Kanuga NC and discussed the pending Anglican Covenant, a cause he strongly advocated.

May 13---Lawrence in Ambridge PA for Trinity School for Ministry Board of Trustees meeting.

May 25 --- Melinda Lucka wrote to PB and Executive Council of TEC outlining charges against Lawrence.

June 2 --- Lawrence reads book by Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice.

June 6-8 --- Lawrence attends meeting of Province IV bishops, Kanuga NC and makes talk he entitles "Sex and Salvation."

July 1 --- Title IV revisions to the TEC Constitution and Canons became effective. New Disciplinary Board for Bishops established (10 bishops, 4 priests or deacons, 4 laypersons).

Aug. --- Executive Council of TEC informed Lawrence that votes of DSC to override the C and C of TEC were null and void (see June 11-14, 2007).

Sept. 26-27---Lawrence in Washington DC for China-USA Church Leaders Forum.

Sept. 28 --- Lawrence sent letter rejecting the Executive Council's ruling.

Sept. 29 ---Lawrence was informed by the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops (Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, Jr., former bishop of Upper SC) that he was being investigated on charges of abandonment of communion. Committee collected 63-page document of evidence against Lawrence. 12 allegations.

Sept. 30 --- Josephine Hicks, attorney for the DBB wrote to the Standing Committee of DSC requesting documents.

Oct. 4 --- Lawrence met with Standing Committee, 11:30-4:00.

Oct. 7 --- Wade Logan, Chancellor of DSC, wrote to Hicks challenging her credentials.

Oct. 11 --- Lawrence held meeting of DSC clergy.

Oct. 14 --- Hicks recused herself from the case. Replaced by Jack W. Burtch.

Oct. 21 --- Convention of Diocese of Upper South Carolina passed a resolution calling on the PB and Lawrence to meet.

Oct. 24 --- Bp Waldo, of Upper SC, met with Lawrence in Columbia SC to deliver the resolution.

Nov. 1 --- Lawrence meets with Standing Committee, 10:30-4:00. The SC unanimously voted to call a special convention of DSC within 30 days of any action of TEC against Lawrence. The purpose of the convention would be to disassociate from TEC.

Nov. 2 --- Bp. Waldo, of Upper SC, met with the PB in NYC.

Nov. 15 --- Lawrence announced he had issued quitclaim deeds to all parishes in DSC. Logan sent letters to parishes on Nov. 16.

Nov. 22 --- DBB met by conference call.

Nov. 28 ---DBB announced that it could not certify that Lawrence had abandoned the communion.

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 --- Provincial bishops met and discussed the quitclaim deeds. Lawrence did not attend.

Dec. 5 --- Bp Clifton Daniel, of East Carolina, wrote to Lawrence asking for a meeting.

Dec. 6 --- Lawrence met with Standing Committee, 10:30-5:00.

Dec. 9 --- Standing Committee of DSC sent a letter to Daniel challenging his right to "interfere" in DSC.

Dec. 14 --- 6 bishops met with Lawrence in Charleston to discuss the quitclaim deeds, 1:00-3:30 p.m. No outcome.

2012

  
Jan. 10 --- Standing Committee met 10:30-3:30.


Jan. 14 --- Church Pension Fund presentation 10:00-4:30.


Feb. 2 --- Diocesan Council met 10:30-1:15; Deans met 1:15-3:45.


Feb. 7 --- Standing Committee met 10:30-4:15.


Feb. 8-11, Lawrence in Virginia to meet with students and faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary.


Feb. 19-23 --- Lawrence in Pennsylvania to visit Trinity School for Ministry.


March 10 ---at the annual DSC convention Bp Lawrence criticized TEC on issues of "Fatherhood of God, the Uniqueness of Christ, liturgical innovations, the ordination of women, the blessing of same-sex unions, communion of the unbaptized," but emphasized "The possible departure from Christian Teaching on Marriage is the most disconcerting of all." Resolution passed: ..."we commit ourselves to the defense of Christian marriage as it has been traditionally understood..."


Mar. 13 --- Lawrence in Toronto, Canada, as guest of Ephraim Radner.


Mar. 15-19 --- Lawrence in Camp Allen TX for House of Bishops.


Mar. 21-24 --- Lawrence in Orlando for consecration of Greg Brewer as new bishop of Central Florida.


Mar. 23 --- Melinda Lucka, an attorney in Charleston, sent a letter of Complaint against the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence to the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, Bishop for Pastoral Development, of TEC, charging Lawrence had operated DSC in violation of the canons of TEC, specifically Title IV, Canons 3 and 4. This Complaint was advanced to the Disciplinary Board for Bishops. It was signed by: Robert R. Black, Barbara G. Mann, David W. Mann, Robert B. Pinkerton, Mrs. Benjamin Bosworth Smith, the Rev. Colton M. Smith, III, John Wilder, Virginia C. Wilder, Eleanor B. Koets, John Kwist, Margaret S. Kwist, M. Jaquelin Simons, Patricia P. Riley, Thomas W. Riley, Charles G. Carpenter, Margaret A. Carpenter, Frances L. Elmore, Cynthia L. Harding, Flint Harding III, Dolores J. Miller, Warren Mesereau, Eleanor Horres, and the Rev. Roger W. Smith. This letter became the basis for the action of the DBB; on Sept. 18 the DBB voted to charge Lawrence with abandonment of communion.


Mar. 26-27 --- Standing Committee held retreat at Camp St. Christopher.


April 23-27 --- Lawrence attended GAFCON Leaders Conference in London; Lawrence addressed the Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship of the Church of England Evangelical Council on Apr. 25.


May 1 --- Standing Committee met 10:00-3:00; directed delegates to GC to: file a minority report, refrain from worship, and walk out immediately after the passage of the same-sex blessing rites. Committee also discussed a booklet by Greg Snyder, "When Should We Divide?"


May 2 --- Lawrence met with deputies to General Convention, 2:00-4:15.


May 22-25 --- Lawrence traveled to Wisconsin for Nashotah House meetings.


June 5-7 --- Lawrence attended the Province IV bishops' meeting at Kanuga, NC.


June 9 --- Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) named Steve Wood, rector of St. Andrew's, Mt. Pleasant, as bishop of its Diocese of the Carolinas.


June 11 --- Lawrence in Atlanta for Summit on Immigration.


June 15 --- Standing Committee of DSC issued statement condemning the upcoming blessing of same-gender unions in the GC.


June 17-22 --- Lawrence took vacation to mountains of VA and TN.


June 26 --- Lawrence met with deputies to General Convention, 1:00-3:00.


June 30 --- TEC started disciplinary proceedings against 9 bishops including former SC Bp Salmon for their role in supporting court actions against TEC in the case of Ft. Worth.


July 3 --- Lawrence in Indianapolis for General Convention.

July 10 --- DSC delegates spoke in opposition to Resolution AO49, the authorizing of liturgy for the blessing of same gender unions. Resolution adopted. The rite was to be optional at the discretion of the diocesan bishop.

July 11 --- Lawrence and 5 DSC delegates walk out of GC. 2 remain. 12 bishops drew up a declaration condemning the passage of the same-sex blessing resolution; Salmon and Skilton signed, Lawrence did not.


July 12 --- Lawrence returned to Charleston.


July 13 --- Lawrence wrote letter to the diocese.


July 15 --- Lawrence's letter was to be read in all churches in DSC. Condemned CO29, AO49, DO02, DO19 (the first deals with communion, the others with rights for homosexuals and transgendered persons).


July 16 --- Lawrence met Council of Advice (Standing Committee), 1:00-5:30.


July 17 --- Lawrence met Standing Committee, 10:30-1:30.


July 18 --- Lawrence met deans, 1:15-3:45.


July 25 --- Lawrence met with clergy of DSC at St. Paul's of Summerville, 1:00-4:15. He reported that he told the House of Bishops in executive session at the GC that he could no longer in good conscience continue in the convention and that he had grave doubts that he could continue as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He told the clergy that TEC had crossed a line he could not cross, and announced a few weeks absence "on mountaintops and in deserts." Lawrence thus made it clear to the clergy that in all probability he would not continue in TEC.


July 30-August 15 --- Lawrence on vacation in California, Utah, Colorado, Nevada in "discernment for diocese and my ministry."


Aug. 21 --- Lawrence met with DSC Standing Committee, 10:30-3:00 and with his lawyers 3:00-4:00. Lawrence presented a plan of action. The Committee unanimously approved it. No other information was revealed at the time. All of the meetings of the bishop and his executive committees between August 21 and Oct. 18 were private and the proceedings were kept secret except for selected leaks. The decisions of the committees were not revealed to the public, even to the clergy of the DSC, before Oct. 19. Thus by all appearances the move to "disassociate" from TEC came in August and September from Lawrence himself. It was approved by the small diocesan leadership at the top. No one else was consulted at the time.


----- Members of the Standing Committee ("Board of Directors") 2012-13: Rev. Paul Fuener, Chair; Clergy: John Barr, Tripp Jeffords, Greg Snyder, Ken Weldon, Andrew O'Dell; Laity: Reid Boylston, Ed Mitman, Elizabeth Pennewill, Bill Lyles, Ann Hester Willis, Suzanne Schwank.


Aug. 22 --- Lawrence met deans, 1:30-4:00, apparently to give them the Standing Committee's resolution.


Aug. 25 --- Lawrence attended, but did not participate in, the consecration of Steve Wood as bishop of the ACNA Diocese of the Carolinas.


Aug. 27 --- Lawrence and Wade Logan met in Columbia SC with Bishop Waldo and Belton Ziegler. Lawrence agreed to talk with the PB. Afterwards, Waldo arranged a meeting of Lawrence and Waldo with the PB on Oct. 3. Lawrence did not tell Waldo about the "secret plan" of Aug. 21.


Aug. 28 --- Lawrence met the Diocesan Council, 10:30-2:00.


Sept. 9 --- Cathedral church of St. Luke and St. Paul voted 55-10 to break from TEC.


Sept. 13 --- Lawrence met Board of Trustees, 11:00-2:00.


Sept. 18 --- the DBB certified that Lawrence had abandoned the communion of TEC on three counts: 1-having presided over a diocesan convention , Oct. 10, 2010, that voted to remove accession to the canons of TEC, 2-having amended the corporate charter on Oct. 19, 2011 to remove reference to the Episcopal Church, and 3-having issued quit claim deeds he showed open renunciation of the Episcopal Church.


Sept. 18 --- Lawrence in conference with Logan and Runyan; Lawrence met Standing Committee; Standing Committee requested of Lawrence an interpretation of Canon XXXVII, concerning right of diocese to secede from TEC [Lawrence presented a response to SC on Oct. 2]. Lawrence announced to Committee suspension of ordinations "because of the vow to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."


Sept. 19 --- Lawrence met Bishop Waldo, 11:00-1:15, had lunch in Waldo's home. Lawrence did not reveal his secret plan to Waldo.


Sept. 22 --- Lawrence issued a statement saying he and Standing Committee were in agreement on a plan of action. No other information was released to the clergy or the general public.


Sept. 27-30 --- Lawrence in Fort Worth TX to lead a retreat.


Oct. 2 - a.m. --- Lawrence met his lawyers and Standing Committee 9:30-12:30. Lawrence presented a 16-page response to questions from standing committee of Sept. 18: he ruled DSC is sovereign and free to secede from TEC. The Committee unanimously voted in secret session to leave TEC if any action were taken by TEC against Lawrence. The DSC "withdraws its accession to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and disaffiliates with the Episcopal Church by withdrawing its membership from the Episcopal Church. The decision shall be effective immediately upon the taking of any action of any kind by any representative of the Episcopal Church against The Bishop..." This was the action that prompted Lawrence's rejection of TEC measures on Oct. 17.


Oct. 2 - p.m. --- Lawrence traveled to NYC.


Oct. 3 --- 10:00 PB met with Waldo and Lawrence in NYC. Lawrence did not reveal the Standing Committee resolution to the other two [they learned of it on Oct. 17]. Discussed "creative solutions" to a way forward. No specific proposal. Lawrence flew to Pittsburgh in the evening.


Oct. 4-5 --- Lawrence in Pennsylvania for Trinity School for Ministry board meeting. He returned to Charleston on the evening of the 5th.


Oct. 9 --- PB asks for private meeting with Lawrence in Atlanta on Oct. 13. On Oct. 10 Lawrence rejected the offer of the meeting. (Nick Zeigler, former Chancellor of DSC, died on Oct. 8. His funeral was on Thursday, Oct. 11 at St. John's of Florence, Lawrence participating. Lawrence told an assembly at St. John's on Oct. 27 [I was present] that Zeigler's death was "providential" because it gave him a reason to decline the proposed meeting with the PB.)  Thus, the final in-person meeting of Lawrence and PB was on Oct. 3.


Oct. 10 --- Lawrence met Council of Advice (Standing Committee), 10:00-12:45.


Oct. 10 --- PB received a certification from DBB on Lawrence.


Oct. 11 --- Lawrence in Florence for funeral of Nick Ziegler.


Oct. 11 --- PB requested a phone call with Lawrence and chancellor of DSC Oct. 15-17.


Oct. 15 --- 12:00 p.m., Lawrence in conference call with Presiding Bishop, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, and Wade Logan. PB placed a restriction on the exercise of ministry by Lawrence. Hard copies sent. PB asked this to be kept confidential and she wanted another meeting. This restriction temporarily removed Lawrence from all ministry in TEC. He would have 60 days in which to make a written appeal to the PB who could remove the restrictions at her discretion; or he would be formally tried by the HOB at its next meeting, in March 2013. A meeting of PB was to be held with Lawrence, Waldo and their chancellors in NYC on Oct. 22. Lawrence immediately ignored all that the PB had said.

By rejecting the PB's order, Lawrence abandoned his consecration vow to conform to the discipline of TEC.
--- 1:30 p.m., Lawrence held a conference call with the Council of Advice (Standing Committee), ending confidentiality. Apparently Logan, Lawrence and Standing Committee agreed that the diocese automatically disassociated from TEC under terms of the resolution of Oct. 2. That afternoon proceeded with bishop's duties.


Oct. 16 --- Lawrence met deans 10:30-12:30, and Council of Advice (Standing Committee), 2:00-6:30.


Oct. 17 --- In phone call, Lawrence told PB that confidentiality was impossible because of previous secret resolutions of the Standing Committee; announced to PB the resolution's "disassociation" of the diocese from TEC retroactive to noon on Monday October 15, the moment of the "restriction." Thus, Oct. 15 was the time of the schism. Since Lawrence remained as bishop of the "disassociated" diocese, he made a de facto renunciation to the PB on Oct. 17 of all ties to the Episcopal Church as of Oct. 15. He did not make a written renunciation.
p.m.--- Lawrence released to the public the news of the "disassociation" of DSC from TEC. Press release from the DSC office announced the call of a special convention to be held November 17, St. Philip's, Charleston "for relevant constitutional and/or canonical changes."


---News of Disciplinary Board action and of the purported disassociation first publicly announced, posted on major Internet outlets. 
---The names of the members of the committee making the complaint (see Mar. 23) to DBB were revealed by Lucka.


Oct. 19 --- Lawrence met with clergy of DSC and informed them of the restriction of the PB, which he called irrelevant, and the previously made secret resolution of the Standing Committee that had automatically severed ties of DSC and TEC. He announced to the clergy that the DSC had already separated from TEC. Thus, the clergy had had no input into the decision to leave TEC. He also said he had cancelled a scheduled meeting with the PB on Oct. 22 (see Oct. 15).


Oct. 20 --- the Rev. Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian of DSC, issued a press release for DSC declaring "The Diocese of South Carolina is no longer part of TEC." 
---3:45, Lawrence spoke by phone with PB.
--- The Rev. Canon James B. Lewis released a news report that the committee of 14 represented the Board of the Episcopal Forum. Thus, he asserted, the "attack" on Bp Lawrence was initiated and directed by the Forum. This was not correct.


Oct, 22 --- Lawrence held a conference call with Council of Advice (Standing Committee).
--- 1:00 Lawrence spoke by phone with the PB.


Oct. 25 --- Letter of support for Lawrence from the Chair and the Secretary of the Global South Primates Steering Committee, the Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis and the Most Rev. Ian Ernest.


Oct. 26 --- Representatives of PB met with a group of laypeople and clergy to discuss steps for a Steering Committee to reorganize the ongoing TEC diocese of SC. Tisdale was leader in setting up the Committee.


Oct. 27 --- Lawrence held a "forum" at St. John's of Florence where he announced "I am no longer an Episcopalian" and went on to say "I am a bishop in the one holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church," therefore entitled to conduct services. He declared he was in an all-out war with TEC. Afterwards, he presided at the altar and conducted a confirmation in disregard of his "restriction.'. [I was present.]


Oct. 29 --- DSC Standing Committee (meeting as Board of Directors) amended the Bylaws of the Corporation (see Dec. 16, 2010). Ruled out any "outside influence" (TEC) over the Board.


Nov. 6 --- 10:30-4:00, Lawrence met Standing Committee. Committee directed Runyan to take all legal measures necessary to "protect" the diocese and its property.


Nov. 7-9 --- Lawrence at clergy conference, Camp St. Christopher.


Nov. 7 --- an e-mail was sent to most of the clergy of DSC announcing a Clergy Day for the Diocese" at Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston. It used the seal and names of the DSC. Retired Bp vonRosenberg (vonR) [retired Bp of East Tenn] was to attend the meeting as "advisor."


Nov. 8 ---DSC office issued a statement denouncing the Nov. 7 e-mail. Holy Communion declined to host the meeting.
DSC filed petition in Office of Patents and Trademarks in the U.S. Department of Commerce to trademark the titles of Diocese of South Carolina. Later dropped.

Nov. 9 --- TEC issued on "Perspectives." a "Fact Sheet: The Diocese of South Carolina."

Nov. 11 --- Several newspapers published a letter from the Steering Committee of the ongoing Episcopal diocese. Members of the committee:
Hillery P. Douglas, Chair; Erin P.Bailey, Secretary; Rev. James E.Taylor, Treasurer; Holly H. Behre, William P. Baldwin, Dr. Charles C. Greer, Lonnie Hamilton III, Margaret S. Kwist, Rev. Richard C. Lindsey, Rebecca S. Lovelace, Rev. Wilmot T. Merchant II, John D. Sands, Rev. Calhoun Walpole, Virginia C. Wilder.

Nov. 14 --- DSC published in newspapers an open letter from Lawrence, co-signed by 69 clergy denouncing TEC and calling meeting of Nov. 17.

Nov. 15 ---Conservative Bp Daniel Martins, of Springfield, called on Lawrence to "step back from the brink."
PB issued a pastoral letter "to the saints in South Carolina." She declared that a diocese could not leave TEC "by its own action," that the clergy would be bound by the canons, and TEC would support the ongoing diocese.
Continuing diocese held a clergy day at St. Mark's, Charleston, presided over by vonR. 60-70 in attendance.

Nov. 17 --- special convention of DSC, St. Philip's, Charleston. 42 parishes and 12 missions were represented by 170 lay delegates. Lawrence announced DSC had withdrawn from TEC but remained "an extra-provincial diocese" in the Anglican Communion. Three resolutions passed   1-ended all ties to TEC and reaffirmed Lawrence as bishop,  2-changed diocesan constitution to remove all references to TEC,  3-likewise amended the canons of the DSC.


Nov. 20 --- DSC Standing Committee passed resolution directing Runyan to file a lawsuit against TEC.


Nov. 27 --- Lawrence met Board of Trustees.
--- The Anglican Communion Institute, a conservative think tank strongly critical of TEC, sent an open letter to the bishops of TEC denouncing the PB and leadership of TEC while defending Lawrence.


Nov. 28 --- Lawrence officiated at the funeral of Rt. Rev. Haynsworth in chapel of Bishop Gadsden (Church retirement home, James Island). Bp Allison gave eulogy. By Skilton attended. By Salmon did not attend.


Nov. 30 --- Lawrence held conference calls with Trustees and Council of Advice (Standing Committee).


Dec. 4 --- Lawrence met Standing Committee, 10:30-2:30.


Dec. 5 --- 12:45 p.m., PB informed Lawrence by phone that she had accepted his renunciation of the ordained ministry in TEC and had released him from all Holy Orders in TEC effective immediately. She issued an official "Release and Removal." This was based on Lawrence's actions and words of Nov. 17. She had consulted with all the heads of the provinces of TEC and found a majority vote among them to support the decision. In spite of official revocation of ordination as a bishop, Lawrence and DSC insisted Lawrence was still a bishop, and the only legitimate bishop of DSC.
--- Lawrence issued a letter to DSC rejecting the PB's assertions as "superfluous" and proclaiming continued function as the bishop of DSC.


Dec. 8 --- the ongoing diocese announced a special convention on Jan. 26 at Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston, to elect a provisional bishop. The PB was to attend.


Dec. 11-16 ---Lawrence in CA (Lawrence's mother died on Dec. 12).


Dec. 19 --- PB announced the call of the special convention of the diocese on Jan. 26, 2013.


Dec. 20 --- DSC issued a statement denouncing the PB's use of term "Diocese of South Carolina" and claimed ownership of the term.


Dec. 27 --- "Gay Christian Movement Watch, a Blog Upholding Biblical Standards of Sexuality" named Lawrence to its "12 Heroes of the Faith" list for 2012 along with the likes of Don Cathy, owner of Chick-fil-A.

2013

  
Jan. 3 --- Lawrence reported to Standing Committee that LARCUM (consortium of Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Methodist bishops in SC) had told L he could not read scripture or say prayers in their meetings. L announced he would not attend. Bishop vonR was later recognized by LARCUM.


Jan 4 --- DSC filed suit in state Circuit Court (The Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit), in St. George, Dorchester County, against TEC claiming ownership of all official titles and seal and property. Co-signed by 17 parishes. This was the first lawsuit: DSC sued TEC.

Jan. 4 --- DSC Trustees issued new Bylaws naming Mark J. Lawrence personally (rather than as bishop) as the President of the corporation (see Mar. 17, 2010).

Jan. 8 --- The Living Church magazine announced that a petition was online asking for non-litigious resolution of the problem in SC. It called for 1,000 signatures. Two months later, 220 had signed.

Jan. 10 --- ongoing Episcopal Church diocese announced the nomination of vonR as provisional bishop to be elected by the special convention of Jab. 26.

Jan. 22 --- DSC entered an Amended Complaint in the Circuit Court (see Jan. 4) adding 15 parishes and St. Andrew's of Mt. Pleasant as plaintiffs. This brought the number of parishes participating to 32.

Jan. 23 --- Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein issued ex parte a Temporary Restraining Order barring anyone from using official names of the DSC except Lawrence and 24 others. Hearing set for Feb. 1. The Order was personally served to TEC faithful:   George Hawkins, Virginia Wilder, Callie Walpole, Lonnie Hamilton, James E. Taylor, Erin Hoyle, Barbara Mann, Melinda Lucka, Charles vonRosenberg, John Buchanan, Steve Skardon, and Michael Wright.

Jan. 25-26 --- Visit of the PB. Jan. 25, Special Convention of "The Episcopal Church in South Carolina" at Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston.
Special Convention [I attended]:
Festival Choral Eucharist with the PB as Celebrant and Preacher [sermon followed by loud protests from Lawrence's supporters who claimed she maligned him].
The election and investiture of the Bishop Provisional, vonR.
Election of the Standing Committee, 6 clergy and 6 lay (Revs. Richard Lindsey, David Williams, Colton Smith, J. Michael A. Wright, Wilmot T. Merchant II, Calhoun Walpole;  Virginia C. Wilder, Melinda A. Lucka, Hillery P.Douglas (Chair), Rebecca Lovelace, Erin Elizabeth Bailey, Lonnie Hamilton III).
Election of the Diocesan Council, 6 clergy and 6 lay (Revs. Mark Brinkman, George Tompkins, Roy Hills, Wil Keith, Jeff Richardson, John Zahl, Nancy Bailey, Holly Behre, Alesia Rico Flores, Mary Ann Foy, Dr, Charles Geer, Barbara Mann).

Jan. 31 --- Judge Goodstein issued a Temporary Injunction extending the Jan. 23rd Temporary Restraining Order indefinitely. Both parties had agreed to this earlier in the day. vonR has until April 4 to respond. The Injunction was personally served to:  Charles vonRosenberg, Melinda Lucka, and Michael Wright.

Feb.-Mar. --- about 11 parishes and missions remained in "discernment" as to which of the two bishops to follow. Typically both bishops visited, separately, the local churches. Old St. Andrew's was one. It printed a 15-page transcript of Lawrence's remarks. It voted 189-64 on Feb. 24 to follow Lawrence.

Feb. 27 --- the DSC lawsuit of Jan. 4 was amended to include The Episcopal Church in South Carolina(ECSC) as a defendant. TEC and ECSC have until April 4 to respond. This is the Second Amended Complaint (Jan. 4 and Jan. 22). It added 3 parishes as plaintiffs for a total of 35, including the non-DSC parish of St. Andrew's, Mt. Pleasant. The Second Amended Complaint was personally served to:  Thomas Tisdale, Charles vonRosenberg, and Virginia Wilder.

March 5 --- vonR filed suit ("Complaint") in the federal court in Charleston (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division) against Lawrence asking the court to declare vonR has authority to act as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina and not Lawrence. The Complaint is 21 pages.

March 7 --- vonR filed a motion for a preliminary injunction (Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction) with the U.S. District Court in Charleston against Lawrence (see also Mar. 5). Court papers totaled 276 pages. Lawrence has until Mar. 25 to respond. Lawrence asked to have until April 13 to respond. The Motion asked for an injunction to prevent Lawrence from acting as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Mar. 8 --- TEC issued a press release that an Accord had been reached in the matter of Conciliation involving the dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy. Salmon was one of the nine bishops who signed the Accord.

March 8-9 --- annual convention of ECSC at Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston. 42 clergy present, 18 parishes, 12 missions, 5 worshipping communities. St. Mark's Chapel, Port Royal, was admitted as a mission. The Episcopal Church Executive Council approved grant up to $185,000 to the diocese. The Executive Council granted a line of credit of $250,000. Resolutions to return accession to TEC C and C.

March 8-9 --- annual convention of DSC, in Florence. 35 parishes and 13 missions present; 2 worshipping communities (North Charleston and North Myrtle Beach). Preacher at Mar. 8 Eucharist was the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, Bishop Vicar of the [Anglican] Diocese of Quincy. Resolutions to remove all accession to TEC C and C and to support "Anglicans for Life," an anti-abortion group.


--- DSC Standing Committee (meeting as Board of Directors) 2013-14: Rev. Greg Snyder, Chair; Clergy: Shay Gaillard, Tripp Jeffords, Arthur Jenkins, Andrew O'Dell, Ken Weldon; Laity: Dorothy Bowen, Frank Kirk, Ed Mitman, Elizabeth Pennewill, Suzanne Schwank, Bill Lyles.


March 19 --- DSC filed a "Motion for Partial Summary Judgment" in the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit (state, County of Dorchester). This was a "move for partial summary judgment that the control of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina...is in its duly elected and authorized Board of Directors all as alleged in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint." Served to Tisdale, vonR, and Virginia Wilder. [Note-there has been no response to this motion. Apparently pending.]

DSC filed a "Motion for Contempt on Behalf of the Plaintiffs the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a South Carolina Corporate Body," a move for a "citation of contempt" against TEC, ECSC, and "persons in active concert or participation with them" [these persons were not enumerated]. [Note-there has been no response to this motion. Apparently pending.]

March 28 --- TEC filed "Answer and Counterclaims of the Episcopal Church to Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief," in the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit (state court, Dorchester County). ECSC filed "Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and Counterclaims of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief" in the same court.

March 28 --- Lawrence filed "Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Abstain or Stay Proceedings" and "Defendant Lawrence's Memorandum in Support of his Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Abstain or Stay Proceedings" in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Charleston Division. Lawrence claimed the right of state jurisdiction. (See Mar. 5 and 7, 2013).

April 3 --- ECSC filed "Notice of Removal" from the Court of Common Pleas, County of Dorchester, First Judicial Circuit, State of South Carolina to United States District Court, District of South Carolina (Charleston).

April 7 --- vonR began sending out letters to the canonically resident clergy of the old Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina asking for clarification of each one's allegiance and gives a two-week period for response. vonR offered to meet with each of the clergy persons. The majority of the recipients who had adhered to Lawrence refused to respond to the letters.

April 10 --- the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina (DSC) and co-plaintiffs filed "Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand" and "Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Remand" in U.S. District Court. Lawrence argued that this is a property dispute and must properly be decided in state court. (See Mar. 5 and 7, 2013).


April 16 --- DSC Standing Committee resolved to compose a letter for all clergy to return to vonR as a mutual response (see April 7).


April 22 --- vonR filed "Reply to Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction" in the U.S. District Court. (See Apr. 10, 2013).

April 29 --- ECSC filed "Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand" in the U.S. District Court arguing in favor of First Amendment protection.

June 6 --- Hearing was held in U.S. District Court, in Charleston, by Judge C. Weston Houck on the issue of whether the court lawsuits should be continued in the U.S. District Court (federal) or in the Circuit Court (state). In the 45-minute hearing, Houck heard arguments from the two sides and asked questions of the lawyers. vonR was present with four lawyers. Lawrence was present with 25-30 lawyers. Lawrence's lawyers, primarily Alan Runyan, argued that the issue was a local one that should be decided by state court under "neutral principles of law." This implied the matter was essentially about ownership of properties. Presumably this would lean to the Lawrence side. vonR's lawyers argued the issue was a federal one as a national religious organization claimed first amendment rights to manage its own affairs. This implied the matter was essentially about the rights of an hierarchical church. Presumably this would lean to the vonR side. Houck concluded that he expected to provide a written ruling within about a week.

June 10 --- Judge Houck issued an Order granting the Plaintiff's (Lawrence) motion (of March 28) to remand the lawsuit to the Circuit (state) court. Houck rejected vonR's claim of a First Amendment issue and cited the All Saints Waccamaw (All Saints, Pawleys Island) ruling of 2009 applying "neutral principles" regarding religious denominational property disputes. The Order means that the adjudication will proceed in the Circuit (state) court where the DSC side expects to have the advantage.

June 10 --- The Executive Council of TEC voted to respond to a request from ECSC and expand the credit line to ECSC by $300,000 to a total of $550,000 by the end of 2013. Council members also asked the presiding officers to appoint a covenant committee to report on the work of ECSC to the council's Joint Steering Committee on Local Ministry and Mission. The Council also allocated an additional $785,000 for San Joaquin.

June --- Hearing set in Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial Circuit (Dorchester County, Judge Diane Goodstein) for July 11, 2013. Five actions were pending before Goodstein at this point:
1-DSC and 35 parishes v. TEC and ECSC for legal status as Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (see Jan. 4).
2-DSC "Motion for Partial Summary Judgment..." (see Mar. 19).
3-DSC "Motion for Contempt..." v. TEC, ECSC, and "persons in active concert..." (see Mar. 19).
4-TEC "Answer and Counterclaims..." (see Mar. 28).
5-ECSC "Answer, Affirmative Defenses..." (see Mar. 28).

June --- Hearing set in U.S. District Court (Judge C. Weston Houck) for August 8, 2013. Two actions were pending before Houck:
1-vonR v Lawrence for legal right as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (see Mar. 5).
2-vonR "Motion for a Preliminary Injunction..." v Lawrence to prevent Lawrence from acting as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (see Mar. 7).

June 21 --- Lawrence attended the Anglican Church in North America's Provincial Council meeting and House of Bishops meeting at Nashotah House in Wisconsin announcing "we are presently an 'extra-provincial' diocese, not in any formal or officially ecclesial way..." thus postponing indefinitely a union of DSC with ACNA or any other "Anglican" group.

June 21 --- the Standing Committee of ECSC voted to initiate action against the 103 priests and deacons of the old diocese who had not adhered to vonR. vonR then sent a Notice of Restriction on the 103 clergy. These clergy have 60 days in which to declare loyalty to the Episcopal Church and its representative vonR or be removed from the ordained ministry of TEC. Sixty days would end on August 20.

June 23 --- ECSC announced its list of "Clergy in Good Standing in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina as of June 21, 2013." The list contains names of 63 priests and 11 deacons, about one-third of the pre-schism diocese. The names include: the Rev. Ladson Mills II, a frequent critic of TEC at virtueonline.org; the Rev. Dr. Robert Munday, a former dean at Nashotah House, a rector of a DSC parish, and an assistant rector of a DSC parish. 

June 25 --- vonR issued a letter giving a Notice of Restriction on the 103 clergy of the old diocese found to have abandoned TEC.

June 26-27 --- Meeting of the bishops of TEC Province IV, the twenty dioceses in the southeastern U.S., in Charleston. Twenty-five bishops and one bishop-elect announced their intention to attend, including retired Suffrigan Bishop of SC, Skilton.

July 10 --- virtueonline.org, a conservative website, posted a copy of the June 25 letter from vonR stating that the Standing Committee of ECSC had voted to declare that 103 priests and deacons of the old diocese had abandoned the Episcopal Church. Names were listed in alphabetical order.

July 11 --- Judge Goodstein set a timetable allowing 90 days to complete written discovery and allowing 120 additional days for the taking of depositions, concluding Feb. 5, 2014. After that, a trial date will be set. Goodstein asked the two sides if they would settle with mediation. Tisdale and Beers agreed; Runyan refused.

August 8 --- Judge Houck of the U.S. District Court in Charleston heard arguments from both sides on Lawrence's March 28 motion asking the court to dismiss or to abstain from the March 5 suit of vonR against Lawrence. Houck did not hear arguments on vonR's March 7 motion against Lawrence. Houck announced he would rule in about a week on Lawrence's March 28 motion.

August 23 --- Judge Houck issued an "Order" dismissing the suits filed by vonR against Lawrence (Mar. 5 and 7) stating "the Court Declines to exercise jurisdiction over this action in deference to the pending state court action." However, the ruling left the door open for vonR to reinstate the case if the state court does not dispose of all issues involved. Houck stated in his Order that Lawrence had renounced his ordained ministry and that the Episcopal Church is hierarchical.

August 23 --- the Standing Committee of ECSC met and approved vonR's recommendation that the 103 restricted clergy be "released and removed" rather than "deposed." (Under Title IV, Canon 16 (8), Section 4 of the C and C of TEC.

August 26 ---this week, Notice of Removal letters, signed by vonR, were sent to the 103 previously restricted priests and deacons (app. 60% of old diocese).

Sept. 9 --- Lawrence met at Camp St. Christopher with bishops of four Episcopal splinter groups, ACNA, Reformed Episcopal Church, PEARUSA [Rwanda], and Diocese of the Holy Cross, all with interests, and overlapping jurisdictions in the Lowcountry. Apparently Bishop Charles Murphy, of Pawleys Island, was not present.

Sept. 16 --- vonR filed a "Motion for Reconsideration" in the U.S. District Court in Charleston asking Judge Houck to reconsider his August 23 ruling. 

Sept. 19---ECSC made a motion in Circuit Court to compel DSC to produce all correspondence between Lawrence and Alan Runyan prior to Nov. 17, 2012. (denied on Nov. 7, 2013; see below)

Sept. 30 --- vonR filed a motion to vacate the Temporary Injunction (see Jan. 21) in the Circuit Court.
 --- vonR filed a motion in Circuit Court asking for an injunction to stop DSC from using official names and marks of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Oct. 2 --- Judge Goodstein, of the Circuit Court, denied a motion of ECSC to add as defendants twenty-three persons of the Standing Committee and Trustees of DSC stating that this was not necessary and that these individuals are immune under state law from being sued.

Oct. 11 --- Judge Goodstein, of the Circuit Court, denied vonR's motions (see Sept. 30) to vacate the Temporary Injunction against ECSC and to make an injunction against DSC.

Oct. --- Lawrence attends GAFCON II conference in Nairobi, Kenya (Oct. 21-26). On Oct. 23, the Archbishop of Canterbury made a video address to the assembly defending western attitudes towards sexuality: "We all live in different contexts and the challenge overlaps but is slightly different wherever we live. We are dealing with very rapid changes of culture in the Global North and the issue of sexuality is a very important one. How we respond rightly to that - in a way that is holy, truthful, and gracious - is absolutely critical to our proclamation of the gospel." On biblical literalism, he said "It doesn't mean being unanimous, all saying exactly the same thing in exactly the same way." Both of these points are scarcely veiled criticisms of the distinctly conservative attitudes of Third World oriented GAFCON, a potential rival to the traditional Anglo-centric Lambeth conferences.

GAFCON issued two statements: GAFCON 2013: The Nairobi Communique," and "The Nairobi Commitment." These created a new administrative structure in the Anglican Communion for conservatives and reiterated their condemnation of homosexuality.

Nov. 7---Judge Diane Goodstein, of the Circuit Court issued "Order Denying the Defendant TECSC's Motion to Compel Dated September 19, 2013 (see Sept. 19 above). (See Jan. 13, 2014 for the appeal of this order.)

Nov. 25---ECSC filed a motion in the First Circuit Court of Common Pleas (state court) to have four names added as parties in the lawsuit filed by DSC (see Jan. 4) against TEC: Mark Lawrence, Jim Lewis, Jeffrey Miller, and Paul Fuener. It contained two very serious charges that could potentially change the whole trajectory of the litigation:  "In or around 2006, Lawrence made an agreement with members of the Standing and Search Committees of the Diocese to lead a scheme to withdraw the Diocese from The Episcopal Church in return for their votes electing him Bishop of the Diocese;" and "Beginning in or around 2009, the Additional Parties began executing a conspiracy to take away the Diocese's assets..." Thus, the motion holds that Lawrence and the others carried out a premeditated conspiracy to defraud the Episcopal Church and should be held liable. (Judge Goodstein denied this motion on Dec. 30. see below)

Dec. 18  ---The Rev. Thomas M. Rickenbaker made an affidavit for the Circuit Court stating that in 2005, when he was rector of St. Paul's, in Edenton, North Carolina, he was visited by the Rev. Gregory Kronz, the chair, and the Rev. Paul Feuner, a member, of the SC Bishop's Search Committee. In interviewing him for possible candidacy, he said they made it clear they wanted the new bishop to lead the diocese out of TEC and to take the property along. He rejected the idea and was dropped from consideration. Feuner disputed this claim in a Charleston Post and Courier interview of Dec. 30, 2013.

Dec. 27 --- ECSC filed in Circuit Court "TECSC's Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Join Additional Parties," 14 pages.

Dec. 30 --- DSC filed in Circuit Court "Plaintiff's Response to Defendant the Episcopal Church in South Carolina's Notice and Motion to Join Additional Parties," 14 pages.

--- Judge Goodstein, of the Circuit Court,   1-denied ECSC's motion to add four names as parties;  2-set the date of May 2, 2014, for the conclusion of the discovery phase;  3-said that July 2014 would be the earliest time she could announce a date for the trial.

2014

Jan. 9---U.S. District judge Patrick Michael Duffy ruled that the Church Insurance Company of Vermont must provide coverage for ECSC in the lawsuit brought by DSC against the Episcopal Church and then ECSC (see Jan. 4, 2013).


Jan. 13---Attorney Tisdale, for ECSC, filed "Appeal from Dorchester County, Court of Common Pleas," in the Court of Appeals, state of South Carolina (in Columbia, SC) seeking to have Judge Goodstein's order of Nov. 7, 2013, overturned. If the appeals court should agree, all correspondence between Lawrence and Runyan prior to Nov. 17, 2012 would have to be turned over to the lawyers of ECSC. (See Mar. 18; court rejected ECSC appeal.)


Jan. 14---Judge C. Weston Houck, of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division," issued an "Order denying ECSC's motion (September 16, 2013; see above) for reconsideration of Houck's ruling of August 23, 2013.


Jan. 15---DSC filed a motion in the Court of Appeals, state of South Carolina to dismiss ECSC's motion of Jan. 13. This leaves two official motions pending in the appeals court 1-ECSC's motion to overturn Goodstein's ruling of Nov. 7, and 2-DSC motion to dismiss ECSC's motion.


Jan. 17---Judge Goodstein, of the circuit court, denied a request from the DSC lawyers to proceed with the taking of depositions from persons on the pro-ECSC side pending a ruling from the appeals court (see Jan. 13).


Jan. 24---ECSC filed a response to the DSC motion of Jan. 15 in the Court of Appeals.


Feb. 5---ECSC filed an appeal of Judge Houck's Jan. 14 ruling in which he refused to reconsider his decision of Aug. 23, 2013. It was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. ECSC made the original lawsuit in the U.S. court on March 5, 2013 (vonRosenberg v. Lawrence).


Feb. 6---DSC asked the SC Supreme Court to intervene in ECSC's appeal to the SC Court of Appeals. DSC claims that Judge Goodstein's ruling is "unappealable" and that ECSC is only using delaying tactics. ECSC did not oppose this motion.


Feb. 21-22 --- ECSC held its annual diocesan convention at All Saints, Hilton Head. Delegates voted again to restore all ties to TEC. Five missions were admitted into union with the diocese: The Episcopal Church on Edisto, Good Shepherd of Summerville, St. Anne's of Conway, St. Catherine's of Florence, and St. Francis of Charleston (West Ashley).


Mar. 5 --- U.S. District Judge Patrick Duffy denied a motion to reconsider his Jan. 9 ruling.


Mar. 15 --- DSC held its annual convention at Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant. Resolutions offered: R-1, join Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and affirm the Jerusalem Declaration of 2008; R-2, Bishop will appoint a discernment committee to recommend an affiliation; R-3, Global South oversight council; C-1, standards for clergy; C-2, standards of parish membership; C-3, the rector has authority over the parish, including property; C-4, on removal of parishes and missions from union with DSC; C-5, worship by TEC service books only; C-6, standards for lay pensions. All passed unanimously or nearly so except for C-3 that gave the rector control of the property. It was tabled, that is, withheld from vote.


Mar. 18 --- The SC Court of Appeals rejected ECSC's motion of appeal entered on Jan. 13, 2014. Soon thereafter, DSC asked Judge Goodstein to lift her "stay" order of Jan. 17. Goodstein did not respond.
--- DSC began issuing subpoenas "commanding" depositions from at least 14 persons on the ECSC side: Holly Behre, Robert Black, Bishop John C. Buchanan, Lonnie Hamilton III, George M. Hearn, Jr., Bishop Dorsey Henderson, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Melinda Lucka, Barbara Mann, Steve Skardon, James E. Taylor, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, Callie Walpole, Michael Wright.


Mar. 25 --- ECSC filed a Petition for Rehearing of the Order Dismissing the Appeal with the South Carolina Court of Appeals on the grounds of the merits of the case (see Jan. 13, Jan. 15, Jan. 24, Mar.18).


Mar. 25 --- The Episcopal (TEC) Diocese of Fort Worth announced a plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the Texas Supreme Court's Mar. 21 decision against the TEC diocese. The deadline to apply in the U.S. Supreme Court is June 19, 2014. If the high court chooses to accept the case, their decision would have immediate impact on the South Carolina litigation.


Mar. 27 --- DSC filed a motion with Judge Goodstein to lift the stay (see Mar. 18).


Mar. 28 --- ECSC filed an opposition with Judge Goodstein on the DSC motion of Mar. 27.


Mar. 31 --- On or about Mar. 31, lawyers for DSC issued 14 subpoenas (see Mar. 27) commanding persons on the ECSC side to appear and give official depositions to DSC lawyers in preparation for the trial set in the Circuit (state) Court in July 2014. Subpoenas were officially sereved to: 1-George M. Hearn, Jr. (Apr. 11), 2-Holly Behre (Apr. 30), 3-Robert Black (Apr. 29), 4-Bishop John C. Buchanan (Apr. 16), 5-Lonnie Hamilton III (Apr. 29), 6-Bishop Dorsey Henderson (Apr. 24), 7 "Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (Apr. 23), 8-Melinda Lucka (Apr. 30), 9-Barbara Mann (Apr. 28), 10-Steve Skardon (Apr. 14), 11-James E. Taylor (May 2), 12-Bishop Charles vonRosenberg (Apr. 22), 13-Callie Walpole (Apr. 21), 14-Michael Wright (Apr. 25).


Mar. 31 --- ECSC filed "TECSC's Notice and Motion to Quash Subpoenas Issued by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina and the Trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina and to Hold Them in Contempt of Court" with the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit (state court, Dorchester County, Judge Goodstein). This asked Judge Goodstein to 1-stop DSC's subpoenas for depositions (see Mar. 18) and 2-hold DSC in contempt of court for ignoring Goodstein's "stay" order of January 17.


April 1 --- ECSC filed "Certificate of Service" with the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial Circuit (see Mar. 31). This was to certify that ECSC had sent notices of the action on Mar. 31 to all forty lawyers of DSC and its parishes.


April 4 --- The Supreme Court of South Carolina issued an Order that the ECSC appeal to the SC Court of Appeals be moved to the SC Supreme Court.


April 7 --- ECSC filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (Richmond VA) an "Opening Brief of Appellant" (vonRosenberg) for its appeal from the U.S. District Court in Charleston (Judge Houck) (see Feb. 5). The brief is 53 pages. It argues that Lawrence violated the Lanham Act and relies heavily on a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church v. Milvojevich in which the court deferred to a hierarchical church.


April 8 --- Judge Goodstein announced a trial date of July 7 and 8, 2014, in the Circuit Court, Dorchester County Courthouse, St. George, SC. This is the suit originally brought by DSC against the Episcopal Church, Jan. 4, 2013.


April 8 --- ECSC filed with Judge Goodstein, "TECSC's Notice and Motion for Immediate Hearing" requesting immediate action on ECSC's motion of Mar. 31.


April 11 --- The first deposition of a person on the ECSC side was scheduled for this day: George M. Hearn, in Myrtle Beach. 13 other depositions have bee scheduled until May 2. Hearn was subpoenaed and "commanded" to appear for the deposition.


Apr. 18 --- Through her law clerk, Judge Goodstein advised all the attorneys on both sides that because ECSC's petition for reconsideration (see Mar. 25, Apr. 4) is before the SC Supreme Court, the proceedings in her court are stayed, or suspended until the Supreme Court issues a ruling. This means that for the time being, DSC will not be allowed to take depositions from the other side (see Mar. 31).


Apr.23 --- ECSC announced its next annual diocesan convention will be Fri. Nov. 14 and Sat. Nov. 15, 2014, at Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston.


Apr. 27 --- GAFCON Primates' Council issued a "Communique" denouncing homosexuality and equating the backlash against the new Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda to the earthquake in Chile and terrorist violence in Kenya. Abp. Duncan of ACNA signed the Communique.


Apr. --- Bp vonRosenberg one of five bishops in South Carolina to sign an open letter to the people of South Carolina entitled "Statement on Public Education" giving their unqualified support to public education in the state.


May 2 --- The virtueonline website reported that Bishop Nazir-Ali, Visiting Bishop in DSC, told a conference in PA "I think it is very unlikely that the Archbishop of Canterbury will recognize the ACNA [Anglican Church in North America] in any formal sense." DSC is the only one of the five secessionist dioceses that has not joined ACNA.


May 3 --- Episcopal Forum hosted conference "Enthusiastically Episcopalian in South Carolina," Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, Pawleys Island, led by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, Bishop vonRosenberg, the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, and a delegation from the Episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh.


May 7 --- The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an "Order" denying ECSC's request for a rehearing of the dismissal of the appeal in the SC Court of Appeals (see Mar. 25 and Apr. 4). The proceedings can now resume in the Circuit Court, Dorchester County.


May 8 --- Bishop Andrew Waldo, of Upper South Carolina, announced a process by which clergy of the diocese may perform blessings of same-sex unions. (see July 10, 2012). Waldo called Lawrence and informed him of the new policy.


May 16 --- Judge Goodstein  issued an order denying ECSC's motion to add four individuals to the suit. (See Nov. 25, 2013). ECSC filed a motion to reconsider with Judge Goodstein (see June 6).


May --- Bp Lawrence appointed the Task Force for Provincial Affiliation:  Craige Borrett, chair, Bruce McDonald, Peet Dickinson, Elizabeth Pennewill, Tripp Jeffords, John Benson, Jeffrey Miller, Karen Kusko, Ken Weldon, John Foster, David Thurlow, Julius Thompson. 8 of the 12 are on the standing committee and diocesan council. 10 of the 12 are males (the 2 women are on the standing committee). 7 of the 12 are clergy. The chair serves at Christ/St. Paul's with Kendall Harmon.


June 3 --- Lawrence made a deposition in Thomas Tisdale's law office for the Circuit Court. The process lasted five hours. The transcript of remarks ran to 188 pages. Entered as Exhibit D-24 in the court trial on July 23, 2014.


June 6 --- Bishop vonR led a large delegation to TEC Province IV synod at Kanuga NC and presented a report.


--- Judge Goodstein denied ECSC's motion to reconsider her denial (May 16) of their motion to add four individuals to the suit (see June 23).


June 19 --- Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth announced it had filed an appeal of the Texas Supreme Court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.


June 23 --- Separatist diocese of Ft. Worth waived right to respond to TEC appeal of June 19.


June 23 --- ECSC filed an appeal with the SC Court of Appeals seeking to overturn Judge Goodstein's denial of request to add four individuals to the suit (see May 16, June 6).


July 3 --- Judge Goodstein ordered that the trial in the Circuit Court must begin on July 8.


--- SC Court of Appeals dismissed ECSC appeal of June 23 as well as the appeal submitted on July 3. This cleared way for trial in the Circuit Court.


July 8 --- Trial began in Circuit Court, Judge Goodstein presiding, Dorchester County Courthouse, St. George, SC. Plaintiffs opened first questioning of witnesses on the independent diocesan side.
--- Bp vonR issued a letter announcing the permission of the rite for the blessing of same-sex unions in the Episcopal Church diocese.


July 21 --- The Episcopal Church in SC (ECSC) diocese joined the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church in submitting an amicus brief in support of the Episcopal Church diocese of Ft. Worth in its appeal to the United States Supreme Court against the secessionist element claiming to be the legitimate Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth. The Greek Orthodox Church also joined.


July 24 --- Regarding the secessionist case of Quincy, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, ruled on TEC's appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County denying the appeal and upholding the lower court's ruling that followed "neutral principles" and found in favor of the secessionist diocese of Quincy.


July 25 --- The trial in the Circuit Court (see July 8) ended today after fourteen days of proceedings. Judge Goodstein announced it would be at least ninety days before she would hand down her ruling.


July 28 --- The U.S. Supreme Court requested a response from the separatist diocese of Ft. Worth to the June 19 appeal of TEC. (See June 19, June 23). Answer due by August 27. The TEC appeal is on the official docket of SCOTUS for the Conference scheduled for September 29, 2014. The justices will decide whether to take the case. (see August 19)


August 19 --- The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order extending the deadline for response (see July 28) to September 26, 2014.


August 21 --- The Most Rev. Mouneer Anis (Chair of Global South, Primate of Jerusalem & Middle East) and the Most Rev. Ian Ernest (Secretary of Global South) issued a letter to the independent diocese to "welcome" the March diocesan convention's (see March 15) resolution asking for primatial oversight from Global South. Lawrence sent a letter to diocese announcing this. Neither letter gave any detail about the arrangement which remains a complete mystery.


Sept. 16 --- the Rev. H. Dagnall Free, Jr. was reinstated as a priest in good standing in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Free had been removed and released as a priest in 2013 after his decision to leave the Episcopal Church in the schism of 2012. He had remained on the staff of St. John's, Johns Island, one of the schismatic parishes.


Sept. 26 --- Separatist diocese of Ft. Worth filed a response in the U.S. Supreme Court (see Aug. 19). Court removed the Ft. Worth case from Sept. 29 Conference docket pending a reassignment.


Sept. 29 --- The U.S. Supreme Court let stand the decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the same-sex marriage law in Virginia. The Fourth Circuit includes South Carolina.


Oct. 3 --- The Archbishop of Canterbury said in an interview that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is "not part of the Anglican Communion."


Oct. 9 --- Lawrence participated in the consecration ceremony for the new archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America held in Atlanta but did not serve as one of the chief consecrating bishops.


Oct. 15 --- The Episcopal Church petition (see Sept. 26) to the U.S. Supreme Court distributed for the Oct. 31 Conference for a decision of the justices on whether to accept.


November 3 --- The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Episcopal Church petition on Fort Worth. (see June 19 and after).


Nov. 14-15 --- The Episcopal Church in South Carolina held its annual diocesan convention at Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston. Three new missions admitted, making a total of 30 local churches in the Episcopal Church diocese: Church of the Messiah in Myrtle Beach, East Cooper Episcopal Church at Mt. Pleasant, and the Episcopal Church in Okatie. 


Nov. 19 --- Legal same-sex marriages begin in SC. On Nov. 20 the US Supreme Court denied SC's appeal leaving the way clear for the marriages to proceed.


Nov. 26 --- Illinois state supreme court refused to accept TEC's appeal of the Illinois Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal decision favoring the secessionist diocese of Quincy.


Dec. 2 --- Bp vonR informed the Rt. Rev. William Skilton that he was not to administer the sacraments in ECSC. Skilton had been Suffragan Bp of DSC 1996-2007, and remains an Episcopal bishop. After the schism he had continued to celebrate Eucharist in DSC. By self-declaration, DSC severed all ties to TEC as of the schism of Oct. 15, 2012.


Dec. 3 --- ECSC announced that it had reached a settlement with the Church Insurance Company of Vermont. U.S. District judge Patrick Duffy had ruled on Jan. 9 in favor of ECSC and had reaffirmed his order. Settlement details undisclosed but apparently favorable to ECSC which is a self-sustaining diocese.


Dec. 4 --- DSC issued an e-newsletter stating that DSC originally estimated its litigation against TEC and ECSC to cost $2m, apparently all of which will have to come from its app. 21,000 communicants. It declared unilaterally that God is on DSC's side: "God's love and grace has permeated all we have done and said in the litigation process." DSC said it is raising $1.5m from parishes and is asking at least $500k from individual communicants. This is in view of the fact that DSC initiated the lawsuit against TEC (thus ignoring St. Paul).


Dec. 10 --- Lawyers for DSC and for ECSC submitted "Orders" or requests for judgment to Judge Goodstein of the circuit court. This  cleared the way for the judge to issue an official decision soon.


Dec. 12 --- Professor Wesley Hill, an assistant professor at Trinity School for Ministry and an openly homosexual man, gave a presentation at St. John's (DSC) on Johns Island. Hill holds that homosexuality is in-born and that gay persons should remain celibate while developing "spiritual friendships." Hill's view contradicts the traditional evangelical view that homosexuality is a choice, not a natural state.


Dec. 15 --- DSC website posted an open letter from Bp Skilton, a letter from vonR to Skilton and a letter from Skilton to vonR. (see Dec. 2 above). On Dec. 2, Bp VonR withdrew Skilton's right to administer sacraments in ECSC.

2015

  
Jan. 21 --- Mark Lawrence, bishop of the independent diocese, requested, and received, the resignation of Haden McCormick as rector of St. Philip's (DSC) parish, Charleston, effective in April of 2015. This came after a five months discussion among bishop, vestry, and rector. McC had been rector for 15 years and a stalwart ally of Lawrence.


Jan. 28 --- The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Richmond, Virginia, heard oral arguments in the case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence. ECSC had appealed the decision of U.S. District Judge Houck from August 23, 2013. Houck had refused to take the case in deference of the ongoing litigation in the state circuit court. ECSC had asked the U.S. District Court to recognize vonR and not Lawrence as the legitimate bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The Fourth Circuit will issue a decision in a few months either dismissing ECSC's appeal or accepting it and sending the case back down to the U.S. District Court in Charleston to be reconsidered. The panel of three judges at the hearing on Jan. 28 were: Diana Motz (chair), Roger Gregory, and James Wynn, Jr.


Feb. 3 --- Judge Diane Goodstein, of the state circuit court, issued her "Final Order" in the lawsuit of DSC (the independent diocese) against TEC (the Episcopal Church) and ECSC (the Episcopal Church in South Carolina) (see Jan. 4m 2013). She ruled entirely in favor of DSC and against TEC and ECSC. The Order awarded all the property, names and insignia to DSC following the "neutral principles" standard. The trial in this case was held in July of 2014 (see July 8, 25). TEC and ECSC are most likely to appeal this to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.


Feb. 6 --- In official statements from DSC, Canon Jim Lewis and Bp. Lawrence declared the Feb 3 court decision to be the work of God. Lewis: "It should be observed that it is God's grace that has brought us to this day. Legal counsel has affirmed repeatedly that they have experienced God's grace at work in this litigation from start to finish." Lawrence: "Most grateful for the Mighty Hand of God throughout the whole ordeal...move forward with our God-given dreams and missions..."


Feb. 13 --- Lawyers for ECSC and TEC filed a 182-page "Defendant's Notice and Motion for Reconsideration of Final Order," with Judge Goodstein (see Feb. 3) requesting a reversal of her "Final Order." Goodstein's rejection of this request would clear the way for ECSC and TEC to make an appeal of the Final Order to the SC Court of Appeals. (See Feb. 23).

Feb. 18 --- DSC released statistics for diocese, parishes, and missions for the year 2013, the first full year after the schism of Oct. 2012. At the end of 2013 DSC reported 23,181 "baptized members" (23,532 in the same churches in 2011) and 17,999 "communicants" or active church members (21,363 in the same churches in 2011). [Some DSC churches still count TEC members and others as "baptized members" but not as "communicants." This explains the discrepancy in the DSC statistical tables between the near flat line in reported "baptized" and sharp drop in "communicants," or active members.]


Before the schism, DSC listed 26,976 communicants. In the period around the schism, DSC lost a total of 9,829 communicants (5,113 stayed with TEC, 4,716 left DSC churches). As of Dec. 31, 2013, DSC retained 65% of the active membership of the pre-schism diocese. The DSC churches with the largest losses of active members after the schism were: Holy Cross on Sullivans Island (-1,336), St. Michael's of Charleston (-651), Old St. Andrew's of West Ashley (-433), St. Philip's of Charleston (-365), St. Helena's of Beaufort (-353), St. John's of Florence (-277), Trinity of Myrtle Beach (-212), Holy Comforter of Sumter (-126), Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul (-116), St. James of James Island (-112), Church of the Cross in Bluffton (-102).


Feb. 23, 11:55 a.m. --- Alan Runyan, lead lawyer for DSC, filed in Judge Goodstein's court "Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Rule 95(e) Motion to Reconsider." This is a five page response to the TEC and ECSC "Notice..." of Feb. 13. It is mostly a reiteration of trial transcript text. Attached was the harsh order of the Eighth Circuit Court of Illinois, Adams County from Feb. 20, 2015 that reprimanded TEC entirely in favor of the secessionist diocese of Quincy.


Feb. 23, 5:07 p.m. --- Judge Diane Goodstein issued "Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration," a terse two-page rejection of TEC and ECSC's Notice of Feb. 13. Having relied on the 2009 All Saints/Waccamaw decision in her Feb. 3 ruling, Goodstein now declared "The All Saints matter is a separate and distinct matter..." TEC and ECSC lawyers are expected to file an appeal of Goodstein's Feb. 3 decision within 30 days to the SC Court of Appeals.


Feb. 27 --- DSC announced that its Legal Defense Fund had created "The 1785 Society." [1785 was the year Episcopal churches in SC formed a state association.] Anyone can join for $1,785 in exchange for a lapel pin and a group dinner with Bishop Lawrence. The point is to raise $300,000 for DSC's upcoming court costs. DSC reports spending $2,000,000 on legal expenses already.


March 2 --- Judge John P. Chupp, of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, TX, issued an "Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment." It denied the request of the Episcopal Church side and granted that of the secessionist diocese of Ft. Worth. The Order was a terse four sentences without any explanation. (In Jan. of 2011, Judge Chupp had granted the motion of the Episcopal Church side. The secessionists appealed that decision to the TX supreme court which then ruled that the case must be sent back to the lower court to be reheard under "neutral principles." The hearing, very brief, was on Feb. 20, 2015. In effect, the TX supreme court forced Judge Chupp to reverse his original pro-Episcopal Church ruling.)

Mar. 14 --- DSC held its annual convention, Charleston. 5 resolutions presented and passed:   1-Resolution R-1, "Required Bonding of Treasurers" (passed by voice vote);   2- Resolution R-2, "A Resolution Tasking the Standing Committee to Adopt Marriage and Employment Policy" (SC to develop policies promoting traditional marriage only; yes-226, no-4);   3- Resolution R-3, "A Resolution Directing the Task Force to Develop Parish Resources" ("Marriage Task Force" to develop materials for parishes promoting traditional marriage only; yes-235, no-1);   4-R-4, "A Resolution to Adopt a Standing Resolution on Marriage" (a-marriage is only between one biological man and one biological woman, b-changing biological gender opposes God's purpose; yes-216, no-13);   5-R-5, "Resolution to Rescind Standing Resolutions regarding Sewanee" (canonical change to drop trustees to Sewanee; yes-208, no-2). 3 of the 5 resolutions concerned enforcement of "traditional" marriage.


No action on 1-affiliation, 2-resolution tabled last year on giving rector control of local property.
In a "workshop" talk on affiliation, Lawrence suggested DSC would expand beyond its old limits to upper SC and nearby states.


Mar. 24 --- ECSC lawyers filed: 1-"Notice of Appeal" with the SC Court of Appeals, Columbia. This appealed Judge Goodstein's final order of Feb. 3 and denial of reconsideration on Feb. 23. 2-"Motion to Certify" with the SC Supreme Court, Columbia. This requested the transfer of the case from the appeals court to the state supreme court. If the supreme court grants this motion, the case will go directly to the SC Supreme Court.


Mar. 24 --- The Rev. H. Jeff Wallace reinstated as a priest in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the second priest to return after the schism.


Mar. 31 --- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, issued an order overturning Judge C. Weston Houck's decision of Aug. 23, 2013 in which Houck deferred to the state court. A three judge panel unanimously agreed that Houck used the wrong principle for abstention. The order directed the District Court, in Charleston, to rehear the case following the Colorado River rule that requires federal courts to adjudicate cases except for very rare and extreme circumstances. The District Court can 1-abstain but only after clear cause of exceptional circumstance, or 2-render a judgment on the lawsuit.


April 2 --- This week (Holy Week), DSC sent letters to its mailing list containing two items: a note from Mark Lawrence dated Mar. 5 asking support for the 1785 fund, and a letter from the 1785 Society repeating its earlier announcement soliciting donations for the Legal Defense Fund (see Feb. 27).


April 14 --- Lawyers for DSC filed a petition with the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing of its March 31 decision to remand the case to District Court under the Colorado River rule.


April 15 --- The South Carolina Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the circuit court decision (Feb. 3, 2015). The Court denied DSC's motion to expedite the case and set the date of Sept. 23, 2015, for oral arguments before the court with no possibility of extension. The two sides will present briefs to the court in the near future. The case will bypass the state court of appeals. South Carolina thus becomes the first time that a state supreme court will issue a judgment on the matter of the legal relationship of the Episcopal Church and one of its dioceses (PA, TX, and IL state supreme courts all refused to judge the issue and left it to the lower courts).


April 16 --- Rev. Jim Lewis, DSC Canon to the Ordinary, posted a letter to his diocese making serious charges against TEC and ECSC: --DSC was engaged in settlement discussions when DSC left TEC in 2012, --TEC has never made a settlement of a lawsuit, --DSC told TEC lawyers in 2013 that it would consider a written offer for a settlement, and there has been none from the TEC/ECSC side. Lewis offered no evidence for these charges.


April 21 --- William Oldland installed as rector of St. Bartholomew's, in Hartsville. He had served for eight years as rector of St. David's, in Cheraw. He left there in late 2014. Following decline in membership after the schism, St. David's found it could not afford a full-time rector. St. David's was one of numerous small parishes and missions affected by the declining membership in DSC.


April 28-29 --- Lawrence and other leaders of DSC held a conference with Foley Beach and other leaders of the Anglican Church in North America at Camp St. Christopher to discuss possibilities of the affiliation of DSC with ACNA. The meeting ended without a statement.


April 29 --- The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Order denying DSC's petition for rehearing (see Apr. 14). This means the U.S. District Court in Charleston must reconsider Judge Houck's decision of abstention (see August 2013).


May 15 --- Attorneys for TEC and ECSC filed an initial brief in their appeal to the SC Supreme Court (hearing set for Sept. 23, 2015). The 51-page paper criticized Judge Goodstein's circuit court Order of Feb. 3 on process, procedure, and findings and suggested that since Goodstein's decision was so replete with errors the state supreme court should start over (de novo) with the case. The DSC side has 30 days to file a response.


May 19 --- Bishop Hector Zavala, primate of the Anglican province of South America and member of primates' committee of Global South, met with the DSC Diocesan Council "so you can continue being part of the Anglican Communion."


May 20 --- DSC hosted informal receptions in Summerton and Charleston for the public to talk with Bishop Zavala. Zavala: "I'm here with you today with the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury." He may have implied the ABC approved of Global South's primatial oversight of DSC. He said the majority of Anglicans in the world "recognize" DSC as "part" of the Anglican Communion.


May 25 --- Lambeth Palace, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, announced that the ABC had been informed of the Global South primate's decision to set up primatial oversight when he joined them for their final day (Cairo; Feb. 15) and that the ABC had had discussions "exploring the exercising of pastoral, not episcopal oversight by Bishop Zavala."


May 29 --- Church Times, the official Church of England newspaper, published the announcement that Lambeth Palace had sent by e-mail to this author on May 25.

June 1 --- Thomas Tisdale, chancellor of ECSC sent a letter to the DSC lawyers offering to negotiate a settlement. He offered to surrender all claims to the properties of the 35 parishes in the lawsuit against TEC and ECSC in return for the legal rights, property, and assets of the pre-schism diocese. He said the Presiding Bishop had approved the offer. (see June 15)


June 11 --- Judge Houck, of the U.S. District Court, in Charleston, held a procedural hearing with the attorneys of DSC and ECSC. DSC lawyers had already filed a motion with Houck to dismiss the case. Houck gave DSC attorneys until June 30 to present a brief in support of their motion (see June 30). He also gave ECSC attorneys 15 days afterwards for them to submit a response brief (see July 15). Houck is under direction of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (see Mar. 31) to reconsider the case following the Colorado River standard that requires federal courts to adjudicate federal law except for rare circumstances. The case in federal court charges violation of a federal law, the Lanham Act. See: Mar. 5-7, 28, June 6, 10, Aug. 8, 23, 2013.


June 15 --- DSC rejected Tisdale's offer of June 1 to negotiate a settlement and issued press releases denouncing what they saw as the malevolent motives, policies, and procedures of the TEC side.


June 15 --- Attorneys for the independent diocese submitted their response brief (see May 15) to the South Carolina Supreme Court basically arguing that the court should affirm its 2009 decision in the All Saints case which overruled the Dennis Canon and recognized the All Saints, Pawleys Island, claim of local ownership of the property.


June 17 --- gunman massacred nine persons in Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Calhoun Street in Charleston. The next day, bishops vonR and Lawrence issued similar statements calling for prayers, fellowship of grieving, support for the whole community, self-examination, and a seeking of ways forward in healing, reconciliation and peace in Charleston and in South Carolina.


June 25 --- 78th General Convention of TEC (June 25-July 3) opened in Salt Lake City. ECSC delegation: Bishop vonR, Clergy: Jim Taylor, Wilmot T. Merchant, II, Richard Lindsey, Michael Wright; Laity: Thomas Tisdale, Lonnie Hamilton, Mary Ann Foy, Andrea McKellar. SC delegation enthusiastically participating in GC for first time in three decades. Two former bishops of South Carolina, Salmon and Skilton, attended GC but did not take seats with the SC delegation. 


June 25 --- TEC and ECSC lawyers filed "Initial Reply Brief" with the South Carolina Supreme Court in response to DSC lawyers' brief of June 15 (see May 15, June 15). The 25-page paper argues the circuit court's decision (see Feb. 3) violates the First Amendment and neutral principles.


June 26 --- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legality of same sex marriage in the U.S. DSC issued a statement affirming its stand for heterosexual marriage only.


June 26 --- President Obama delivered the eulogy at the funeral of the Rev. Clamenta Pinckney at College of Charleston. The vice president, a delegation from Congress, and Hillary Clinton also attended.


June 27 --- The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, was elected 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He won 70% of the vote on the first ballot (121 of 174). He will be the first Presiding Bishop who is African American.


June 30 --- Attorneys of Mark Lawrence filed "Memorandum in Support of Defendant Lawrence's Supplemental Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay Proceedings" in the U.S. District Court in Charleston (see June 11, 2015). They argued that the state court (see Feb. 3, 2015) had already settled the issues at hand and asked the court to either dismiss this case or issue a stay pending the upcoming state supreme court decision. (See ECSC response of July 15, 2015).


July 1 --- General Convention of TEC adopted same-sex marriage for the Church. Two resolutions passed House of Bishops (June 29) and House of Deputies (July 1)overwhelmingly to provide for trial liturgy and canonical change allowing same-sex marriage in the Episcopal Church starting Nov. 29, 2015 in places where civil law permits this. Bishop vonR and the ECSC delegation voted unanimously in favor of both resolutions.


July 2 --- "Communion Partners Salt Lake City Statement" issued by 18 bishops in dissent of July 1 actions by GC on marriage equality. While criticizing the resolutions, the Statement declared loyalty to TEC. 2 who signed were Salmon, retired bishop of South Carolina, and Skilton, retired bishop suffragan of South Carolina. (Skilton voted against the resolutions favoring marriage equality in the House of Bishops on June 29. Salmon was not on the list of bishops voting). In response to the Communion Partners Statement, the House of Bishops issued a declaration, "Communion Across Difference" emphasizing the diversity and unity of the Episcopal Church.


July 4-7 --- GAFCON elements denounced the TEC resolutions on marriage equality. These were prominently displayed on the Titus One Nine website, the quasi-official site of DSC. On July 4, Global South issued a statement declaring TEC had contradicted God's plan. It was signed by nine Anglican primates of Africa, Asia, and South America (Zavala). On July 6, GAFCON issued a statement under the signatures of the primates of Nigeria and Kenya denouncing TEC's action and reasserting its support for the replacement Anglican Church in North America. On July 7, the Anglican primate of Uganda strongly criticized TEC's reform and "their imperialist commitment to export it to the rest of the Anglican Communion." (General Convention had passed resolution AO51 "Support LGBT African Advocacy" directing TEC to act in aid of "(LGBTI) sisters and brothers in Africa.")


July 15 --- Attorney Tisdale filed "Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Supplemental Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay the Proceedings" in the U.S. District Court in Charleston (see June 11 and 30, 2015). Tisdale argued that the state court action was not parallel to the federal court's and that the court must follow the Colorado River principle as directed by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.


July 21 --- Bp vonR announced that same-sex marriage will begin in ECSC on November 29, 2015. (See July 1)


July 24 --- Judge Chupp, district court, Tarrant Co TX, 141st district, issued "Final Judgment," a terse four-page statement finding all in favor of the secessionist diocese of Ft. Worth (see March 2, 2015). The TEC diocese of Ft. Worth is expected to appeal this decision to the 2nd Court of Appeals, a state appeals court of 7 justices (6 women, I man; all elected) located in Ft. Worth with jurisdiction over 12 counties. This court has not considered this case. Chupp's original decision favoring the TEC diocese was appealed directly to the TX Supreme Court which sent it back to Chupp with orders to follow neutral principles, hence today's ruling. (see Dec. 3).


Sept. --- DSC announces creation of Anglican Leadership Institute offering a first semester in Jan. 2016 and a second semester in Sept. 2016. Its purpose is to train "orthodox" Anglican "leaders." Applicants must sign a statement rejecting both marriage equality for homosexuals and the Episcopal Church.


Sept. 2 --- Rev. Jim Lewis, assistant to Mark Lawrence, issued a press release for DSC calling for prayers for courtroom victory in the upcoming state supreme court hearing and giving an official prayer for DSC: "It is our prayerful hope that the state Supreme Court will uphold this decision [Goodstein's] in its entirety." Lewis continued the theme (see Feb. 6, 2015) that God is on DSC's side: "Recognizing that divine favor which has overshadowed us from the beginning..."


Sept. 21 --- Judge Houck, of the U.S. District Court, in Charleston, issued "Order" granting Lawrence's motion to stay proceedings pending the resolution of the state supreme court case. (See June 11, June 30, and July 15, 2015)


Sept. 23 --- The South Carolina Supreme Court held a hearing on the TEC/ECSC appeal of Judge Goodstein's Order of Feb. 3, 2015. In time, the justices will issue a written decision.

Oct. 6 --- DSC Standing Committee adopted "A Statement of Faith," from the Marriage Task Force. The Statement declared: --the Bible the "final authority," --the bishop the "final interpretive authority," --God assigned gender to all human beings, --that altering one's gender is "in conflict" with God's will, --marriage is only for one woman and one man for lifetime, --sexual intimacy "is to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other," --and all employees and "leaders" of the diocese must "agree to abide" by the Statement of Faith.
Committee also adopted "Additions to Diocesan Employee Handbook," also from the Marriage Task Force, requiring "all persons employed by the Diocese in any capacity, or who serve as leaders" to sign an oath of allegiance to the Statement of Faith, and giving the bishop the right to "discharge" employees at will.  


October 10 --- Mark Lawrence "ordained" to the priesthood Martha Horn, the first woman he has ordained to the priesthood and the first woman ordained priest in DSC since the schism of 2012.


October 14-16 --- Global South primates met in Cairo: agreed to attend Jan. meeting called  by the Archbishop of Canterbury; condemned the Episcopal Church; praised Mark Lawrence; recognized Anglican Church in North America and made its Archbishop a member of the Primates' Council.


October 19-21 --- Foley Beach, Archbishop of ACNA, addressed the Fall Clergy Conference of DSC: "the discussion was frank."


October 19 --- Thomas Tisdale, chancellor of ECSC, filed "Notice of Appeal" with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond) appealing Judge Houck's "Order" of Sept. 21 granting a stay in the suit of VonRosenberg v. Lawrence that had been remanded to Judge Houck by the U.S. Court of Appeals (see Mar. 31; Sept. 21)


Nov. 1 --- The Most Rev. Michael Curry installed as XXVII Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church at the Washington National Cathedral. A delegation of 11 communicants from ECSC attended.

Nov. 3 --- DSC Standing Committee adopted "A Facilities Use Policy" requiring anyone using church facilities to sign an oath recognizing the Statement of Faith and giving the bishop approval over all facility usage. This is meant to prevent same-sex marriage ceremonies on DSC church properties.

Nov. 5 --- ECSC, Diocesan Future Committee formed to study models for future development of diocese and report to annual convention.

Nov. 13-14 --- ECSC held its diocesan convention at Holy Cross/Faith Memorial Church, Pawleys Island. St. Mark's, Port Royal, admitted as a parish (mostly refugees from schismatic St. Helena's of Beaufort); Grace Church, Charleston, designated as the cathedral of the diocese.


Nov. 29 --- Same-sex marriage began in the Episcopal Church, at the discretion of the local bishop, and in ECSC.


Dec. 3 --- The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth and the Episcopal Church filed briefs in the Court of Appeals, 2nd District of Texas asking overturn of July 24 decision.

2016

Jan. 4 --- DSC began its first month-long "semester" of its Anglican Leadership Institute with 14 students. Applicants could get full scholarships, but all applicants were required to sign a pledge rejecting both marriage equality and the Episcopal Church.

Jan. 11 --- The Archbishop of Canterbury opened a meeting of the 38 primates of the independent provinces of the Anglican Communion, in Canterbury. It is scheduled to last for five days.


Jan. 12 --- In the primates' gathering, Uganda made a motion to ask the withdrawal of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. The motion failed to carry. The Ugandan primate left Canterbury.


Jan. 13 --- In the primates' gathering, a motion was made to remove TEC from AC for three years; voted down 15-20. An agreement was adopted to impose sanctions on TEC for three years [one report said vote 26-yes, 3-no, 6-abstentions].


Jan. 14 --- Bishop Charles vonRosenberg announced he will retire as bishop provisional of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina soon after June 26, 2016.


Jan. 14 --- At their Canterbury gathering, the Anglican primates released an official statement. It prescribed "consequences" (punishment) for the Episcopal Church: suspension from official functions in the Anglican Communion for three years. The offense identified causing this "consequence" was TEC's disturbing the unity of the AC by alteration of its marriage canons to allow same-sex marriage.


Jan. 15 --- Presiding Bishop Curry and House of Deputies president Gay Jennings said TEC will not change any policy on homosexuality. Jennings said she would attend the Anglican Consultative Council in April and participate fully.


Jan. 15 ---- Final Communique of primates' gathering issued, Canterbury Jan. 11-15: --set next Lambeth Conference at 2020, next primates' meetings for 2017, 2019, --rejected criminal sanctions against homosexual people (but not against homosexual acts), --refused to admit the Anglican Church in North America to AC and referred question to the Anglican Consultative Council with discouragement; ACNA archbishop denied recognition as a primate.


Jan. 15 --- ABC held press conference: --apologized to gays on behalf of church, --insisted on word "consequences" for TEC not sanctions or punishment, --stressed unity of AC, --on key questions said "I don't know." --ABC accompanied by 2 primates (Hong Kong and Southern Africa) while 33 were absent including all of GAFCON.


Feb. 15 --- Archbishop of Canterbury made an address to the CofE General Synod giving criteria for membership in the Anglican Communion.


Feb. 11 --- ECSC Standing Committee met Bishop Clay Matthews, of the Office of Pastoral Development (TEC) and resolved to seek a new provisional bishop for ECSC. ECSC will make a nomination of a candidate to be approved by a special convention.


Feb. 22 --- ECSC filed "Opening Brief of Appellant the Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg," in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond). This supported ECSC's appeal of Judge Houck's decision (see Oct. 19, 2015) to abstain. The brief presented two main arguments against Houck's abstention: the court did not adhere to the Colorado River standard for abstention, and the federal court was wrong to see this case as parallel to the state court action.

Feb. 23 --- DSC Marriage Task Force issued report establishing condemnation of and diocesan institutional opposition to marriage equality through resolutions of the Standing Committee. Adoption of 4 policies: 1-"A Statement of Faith" (for DSC) (SC Oct. 6, 2015), 2-A Statement of Faith (for parishes), 3-"Additions to Diocesan Employee Handbook" requiring all employees and "leaders" to sign a pledge of allegiance to the Statement of Faith and giving the bishop the right to terminate employment at will (SC Oct. 6, 2015), 4-"A Facilities Use Policy" (SC Nov. 3, 2015) requiring anyone using church facilities to sign an oath not to violate the Statement of Faith and giving the bishop authority over use of the church facilities. This would prevent same-sex marriage ceremonies on all DSC diocesan and local church properties.    

March 12 --- DSC held its annual meeting of the convention in Bluffton. Closed to the public. The task force on affiliation, chosen by Mark Lawrence two years ago, recommended DSC join the Anglican Church in North America. Since this would require the votes of two successive convention meetings, a special convention will be called in the Fall of 2016 and the second and final vote will come in the annual convention of 2017. The ACNA is not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Anglican Communion.


April 5 --- The 5th District Court of Appeals in California rejected the appeal of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin. This left standing Judge Donald Black's May 5, 2014 decision finding all in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. All of the rights and assets of the pre-schism diocese are to be relinquished to the EPSJ. ADSJ may ask for a rehearing or appeal to the California Supreme Court. (see 20 April).


April 8-10 --- The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, visited ECSC. He participated in services and programs at several Episcopal churches in Charleston. Details:  www.episcopalchurchsc.org/presiding-bishop-currys-visit-2016.html . The Very Rev. Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral also participated in the visit.


April 8 --- Anglican Consultative Council opened meeting in Lusaka, Zambia (Anglican Province of Central Africa). TEC represented by three delegates. 3 of the 38 provinces boycotted the meeting (Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda) to protest TEC. The ABC, the Anglican Secretary-General, and the president of the ACC all defended TEC. Meeting to continue to 19 April.


April 11 --- DSC hosted "Voices of the Anglican Communion" at Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, 6-8 p.m. 10 speakers, 6 from Uganda; all from provinces opposed to rights for homosexuals and hostile to TEC.


April 18 --- Anglican Consultative Council (see Apr. 8) rejected the primates' statement (see Jan. 14, 2016) imposing punishment, called "consequences", on TEC.


April 19 --- GAFCON Primates' Council met in Nairobi (until 23 April). Council: Chair, Eliud Wabukala (Kenya), Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria), Stanley Ntagali (Uganda), Henry Isingoma (Congo), Onesphore Rwaje (Rwanda), Daniel Bul (Sudan), Hector Zavala (South America), Foley Beach (Anglican Church in North America).


April 19 --- Texas Second Court of Appeals, in Ft. Worth, held a hearing in the case of the Episcopal Church's appeal of 141st District Judge John Chupp's July 24, 2015 judgment awarding all to the secessionist diocese of Fort Worth.


April 20 --- Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin filed "Petition for Rehearing" with the California Fifth District Court of Appeals (see April 5, May 13).


April 22 --- GAFCON Primates' meeting (see Apr. 19) issued "Nairobi Communiqué 2016," blasting TEC for "deliberately walking away" and the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting for its "inability" and "damage."

April 28 --- ECSC Standing Committee heard report from its search subcommittee on recommendation of candidate for new bishop. Once the nominee is announced, a special convention will be called for election.

May 13 --- Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin filed a petition with the California Supreme Court on appeal of Judge Black's May 5, 2014, decision that found all in favor of the Episcopal Church side. (see April 20). Since the state appeals court declined to take the case, it is unlikely the state supreme court will accept it. The CA Supreme Court has until July 14 to announce whether it will take the case. If it refuses, Black's decision will stand as the law. (see July 13).

June 29 --- The Rt. Rev. Edward Lloyd Salmon, Jr., died. He was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina from 1990 to 2008. Although a conservative critic of the Episcopal Church, he opposed secession from the Church.

June 30 --- Episcopal Church in South Carolina announced new nominee to be next provisional bishop, Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. "Skip" Adams III, soon to retire bishop of Central New York. Election will be in special convention, Sept. 10, at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston. If elected, he will replace Bishop vonRosenberg.

July 13 --- Supreme Court of California denied Anglican petition for review of lower court decision (see May 13). This ended 7 years of litigation in the case of San Joaquin and ended it on the side of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Menees of the Anglican diocese of San Joaquin acknowledged legal defeat and announced the surrender of all properties to the Episcopal diocese.

September 10 --- The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. "Skip" Adams, III, elected and installed at special meeting of the convention of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, at Grace Church Cathedral, in Charleston. He succeeded the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg as bishop provisional of ECSC. Bishop vonRosenberg succeeded Bishop Mark Lawrence who abandoned the Episcopal Church on October 15, 2012, and was released and removed as a bishop of the Episcopal Church on December 5, 2012.

November 11-12 --- ECSC held its annual meeting of the convention at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston.

November 11 --- the Rev. Matt McCormick rejoined the Episcopal Church diocese of South Carolina after having abandoned the Church in the schism of 2012. He was the third priest to leave the schismatic side in South Carolina to rejoin the Episcopal Church.

November 28 --- ABC Justin Welby wrote to the 37 other primates inviting them to convene in Canterbury Oct. 2-7 and reiterating his theme of walking together: "Our battle is not against flesh and blood, least of all against each other...We are all in the one boat."

December 9 --- Hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit (Richmond), on the appeal of TEC/ECSC of Judge Houck's stay of September 21, 2015 (see Oct. 19, 2015, Feb. 22, 2016). (See Feb. 21, 2017).


2017

February 15 --- Synod of the Church of England rejected a bishops' report that declared marriage to be only between a man and a woman.

February 21 --- The U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, remanded the case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence to the U.S. District Court in Charleston for adjudication. The three appeals judges ruled unanimously that the District Court had erred in refusing to hear the case. (see Dec. 9, 2016).

March 11 --- DSC convention voted to join the Anglican Church in North America. Vote was unanimous after Bp Lawrence, Peter Jensen, secretary general of GAFCON, Peter Akinola, "founding father" of GAFCON, and Foley Beach, archbishop of ACNA all lobbied for passage.

March 17 --- the Rev. Catharine Moore Norris was ordained to the priesthood in the DSC, at Holy Cross, Sullivans Island. She is the second woman to be ordained in DSC since the schism. Norris was ordained by Bp Hobby, of the Anglican Dio. of Pitt. Bp Lawrence has ordained only one woman to the priesthood, Martha Horn.

June 8 --- The Episcopal Church of Scotland resolved to allow same-sex couples to marry in its churches.

June 27 --- The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America voted to admit DSC to the ACNA.

July 9 --- The Synod of the Church of England resolved to welcome transgendered people and to explore new liturgies to support the tendsgender process.

July 19 --- Judge Charles Weston Houck died. He was the U.S. District judge, in Charleston, who had handled the federal actions in the Church case (see Feb. 21, 2017). Judge Patrick Duffy assumed the case in the U.S. District Court. The case was later assigned to Richard Gergel.

August 2 --- South Carolina Supreme Court overturned most of the circuit court decision of Feb. 3, 2015 (the hearing was on Sept. 23, 2015). The Court:
1-recognized legal rights of TEC and ECSC, by way of the Dennis Canon, over 29 of the 35 parishes in DSC. 
2-left 7 parishes in local hands. 
3-said Camp St. Christopher belongs to the Episcopal Church diocese.
4-deferred to the federal court the decision on which of the two dioceses should have the legal rights of the old diocese.

August 4 --- ECSC held meeting of all diocesan authorities, clergy, and parish officers, and representatives of the nine missions in exile, at Grace Church Cathedral, to discuss legal issues.

August 8 --- In the U.S. District Court, in Charleston, Judge Gergel (see July 19) issued a scheduling order in the case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence. Discovery is to be completed by December of 2017. Trial is to be held in March of 2018.

August 9 --- Publication of A History of the Episcopal Church Schism in South Carolina by Ronald James Caldwell. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 523 p. $62.00.

August 15 --- The Episcopal Church filed a motion to be enjoined with ECSC in the vonRosenberg v. Lawrence suit in U.S. District Court, Judge Gergel. (see Aug. 8).

August 22 --- DSC filed an opposition to TEC's motion of Aug. 15.

August 23 --- Judge Gergel, issued an "Order and Opinion" granting TEC's motion (see Aug. 15) and dismissing DSC's claims in opposition (see Aug. 22).

August 30 --- With agreement of the two parties, Judge Richard Gergel, of the U.S. District Court, in Charleston, ordered mediation. He appointed as mediator U.S. District Court senior judge, Joseph Anderson. (Court rules direct mediation to begin within 30 days of order.) 

September 1 --- DSC lawyers made request in the South Carolina Supreme Court for a time extension to file Petition for Rehearing. In the request, the lawyers revealed the news that Judge Richard Gergel, on agreement of the two parties, had ordered mediation on August 30. Court denied request for time extension. DSC lawyers then filed three motions of Petition for Rehearing, one for Church of the Good Shepherd, of Charleston, one in general, and one asking for retroactive recusal of Justice Kaye Hearn and vacancy of her opinion in the August 2 Court decision.

September 7 --- South Carolina Supreme Court asked the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to file a response to DSC's petitions for rehearing, of Sept. 1, and to do so within 10 days.

September 18 --- Church lawyers (see Sept. 7)  filed a "Return" with SCSC arguing that DSC's request for rehearing (Sept. 1) was mostly a rehash and that Justice Hearn had a right to judge the case. They asked the SCSC to dismiss DSC's three petitions for rehearing.

September 19 --- TEC side filed "Amici Curiae Brief of The Honorable (retired) William T. Howell and The Honorable (retired) H. Samuel Stilwell in Opposition to Respondents' Motion to Recuse" with SCSC. These retired judges argued that Justice Hearn had every right to participate and that she had broken no ethics rules.
This paper included two addenda: 1-"Affidavit of Rebecca Lovelace" refuting the Rev. Tripp Jeffords' affadavit; 2-"Affidavit of Expert Opinion of Dr. Gregory B. Adams." Adams was a University of SC law professor and specialist in judicial ethics. He argued that Hearn had broken no ethics rules.

September 25 --- DSC filed in SCSC, "Reply in Support of Motion to Recuse the Honorable Justice Kaye G. Hearn..." in response to TECSC's "Return" of Sept. 18. This mostly defended the timeliness of the motion and again called for Hearn to recuse herself.

October 4 --- Organizational meeting for mediation, in Columbia. The two sides, TEC/TECSC and DSC, met with senior U.S. District Judge Joseph Anderson and agreed to set the first mediation session on November 6, 2017. 

October 2-6 --- Anglican primates met in Canterbury. Three boycotted the meeting: Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Primates issued a Communiqué declaring the Anglican Church in North America not to be a province of the Anglican Communion.

October 13 --- DSC filed with the SC Supreme Court, "Response to Amicus Curiae Brief of the Honorable William T. Howell and the Honorable H. Samuel Stilwell." (See Sept. 19).



__________________________________________


IMPORTANT DATES AHEAD




Pending --- Response of South Carolina Supreme Court to DSC lawyers' three petitions for rehearing submitted to Court on Sept. 1, 2017.

Pending --- Decision of the TX 2nd Court of Appeals in the Ft. Worth case (see Apr. 18, 2016).

November 6-8, 2017. Initial session of mediation between TEC/TECSC and DSC, in Columbia, led by Judge Joseph Anderson. All issues in contention in state and federal litigation are on the table for possible agreement.

November 10-11, 2017. Annual meeting of the convention of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, at All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head.

December 2017. Discovery phase to end in case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, in U.S. District Court, Charleston, Judge Richard Gergel.

March 2018. Trial scheduled in case of vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, U.S. District Court, Charleston, Judge Richard Gergel.

March 9-10, 2018. Annual meeting of the convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant. 

June 17-22, 2018. Meeting of GAFCON, in Jerusalem.

July 5-13, 2018. 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, in Austin TX. Theme: "The Jesus Movement, Loving, Liberating, and Life-Giving."

2019. Official meeting of the Anglican primates.

2020. Lambeth Conference.