Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Last evening, Mark Lawrence made stop number three on his Last Hurrah circuit ride, at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston. Here is a first-hand account I received today:

We attended the meeting with Bishop Lawrence last night. I would guess that about 200 people were there---mainly from St. Philip's, St. Michael's and St. Paul's Summerville [these parishes claim over 4,000 communicants]. Bishop Lawrence seemed to spend the majority of the time defending his actions and trying to gain sympathy. He talked about how stressful it had been for him and was emphatic that he did not come to the Diocese with the intention of leaving the Episcopal Church. He went on and on about being served with a 200 page lawsuit which was delivered to him on his birthday. He definitely seemed to paint himself as the victim. There were a few questions taken from the floor. One member of St. Philip's asked Bishop Lawrence to consider talking to Bishop Adams and trying to negotiate a settlement rather than continuing with all of the legal cases which they continue to lose. There was more talk from Bishop Lawrence about TEC never really offering a settlement. It seemed that many in attendance were ready to move on and be done with all the legal fighting. There was, however, strong support for Bishop Lawrence as demonstrated by applause when he vowed to stay and fight. He continued to imply that they would not have to leave their buildings any time soon. He said that the judge had asked the lawyers not to use the word "clearly" in their briefs to him because there was nothing clear about the decision. There was again discussion of the Betterments Lawsuit and they talked about how long that would probably be in the court system and would prevent any physical turnover of property. Bishop Lawrence appeared to be highly insulted that TEC had asked for a financial audit. He also said that any clergy person returning to TEC would be removed from his parish, placed on probation for five years, and reassigned to another parish.


Lawrence has now appeared three times and said about the same things. The point of the road show is to rally the faithful to remain committed to following the diocesan leadership. After the last one, tomorrow night, I will offer a summary of this Last Hurrah. 

The road show continues with two more appearances, this evening in Myrtle Beach and tomorrow at James Island, a western suburb of Charleston (I once lived there).

We need volunteers to attend this evening's performance in MB and send us at least brief reports we can share here. I will not use your name, if you wish. My email address is above.