Friday, June 29, 2018


The reconciliation of the fractured grand old diocese of South Carolina is underway. The Church diocese, presently called the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, has legally regained 29 of the 36 parishes that had purported to leave the Episcopal Church in 2012. This was the point of the South Carolina Supreme Court decision of August 2, 2017. It is just a matter of time before the circuit court enforces the supreme court decision. 

TECSC has announced the first public steps in the restoration process for those 29 parishes, three open encounters in the Low Country. They are to be informal conversations among the people in the 29 parishes and the clergy and laity of the local Episcopal churches. They are open events and everyone is invited to attend. Find the official announcement of the three encounters here . 

There are 13,000 communicants in the 29 parishes in question. For years before the schism, in the schism itself, and ever since the 2012 break, these people have been given a one-sided picture of the schism in a massive public relations campaign. This huge misinformation tsunami worked well. Unfortunately, most of it was untrue, partially true, or misconstrued. Example: the FAQs presently appearing on the DSC website. The people of DSC were fed a highly distorted line of the events happening around them. Now is a chance for them to see the picture from the "other side" so to speak. As Bishop Adams said in the announcement "'We want to listen well and respond to their questions in order to offer a clear picture of how people can remain in their churches as part of The Episcopal Church.'"

The DSC cleverly created in the minds of their people a binary choice: us or them, the right side or the wrong. They are now telling their people you can stay in the buildings and return to false religion or you can leave the buildings and keep true religion. They are saying the Episcopal Church no longer believes in the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and no longer follows the Bible. These are outrageous untruths but they are what DSC would have people believe. The three open conversations coming up will be a good opportunity for people to know the truth. You can stay in you buildings and keep your religion. It is not a Manichean choice of God or Satan.

The three encounters are:

1-. CONWAY. Monday, July 16, 6:00-7:30 p.m. At the Conway Senior Center, 1519 Mill Pond Road.

2-CHARLESTON. Tuesday, July 17, 6:00-7:30 p.m. At the Citadel Alumni Affairs Banquet Hall, 69 Hagood Avenue.

3-BLUFFTON. Wednesday, July 18, 6:00-7:30 p.m. At the Rotary Community Center, Oscar Frazier Park, 7 Recreation Court.

These are open and informal events. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be no speeches, lectures or the like. There will be only leisurely individual conversations scattered around individual tables. There will be plenty of opportunity for people to ask questions and share experiences in a neutral environment. No one will be pressured or asked to commit to anything. Everyone will be respected equally. 

You 13,000 communicants:
Here is your chance to discover the truth of what has happened to your parishes, or at the very least to get a picture different than the one you have been given. The fact that DSC does not want you to know is that you can stay in your buildings and keep your religion.

One more point. The direct cause of the schism was the issue of homosexuality. The Episcopal Church adopted prayer book blessings of same-sex couples and then same-sex marriage. However, the Church also provided the local option. No lay or clergy person is required to support these. Indeed, no diocese is required to have these. All the church requires is that everyone respect the rights of others to have these. You can stay in the Episcopal Church and reject the reforms for homosexuals. Plenty of Episcopalians have and they have every right to do that. Do not believe the line that if you stay in the Episcopal Church you have to accept gay marriage. This is not true.

People of the 29 parishes, go to your local encounters and find out how you can stay in your beloved church homes and keep you faith in God. Do not fall for the myth DSC is pushing on you now that the parishes will not return to the Episcopal Church. The 29 parishes will return to the Episcopal Church sooner rather than later. It is a fact of the law.

(Of course, if you really want to know the schism in exhaustive [some might say exhausting] detail, read my book:  A History of the Episcopal Church Schism in South Carolina. At 546 pages and 300,000 words it will be all you need to know and then some. Get it on Amazon for as little as $10. For a long time it has been running in the top 50 books on the Episcopal Church in Kindle; at the moment #15.)