This coming Saturday, October 24th, South Carolina Episcopalians will gather in suburban Charleston to respond to the actions of the 2009 General Convention. Resolutions to be considered will be presented by the Bishop and the Standing Committee. As a special convention with a limited agenda, there will be no provision for resolutions from the floor.
A brief reading of the Resolutions to be discussed indicates that this Diocese is clearly out of step with the American Episcopal Church. Since South Carolina is a state in which its Supreme Court has ruled that property belongs to the local congregation if they in fact hold a deed to the property, this meeting will have long-term repercussions.
Following are a few extracts of the proposed resolutions. A full reading is available here. [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced in this article is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]
Resolution #1 Subject: First Guiding Principle for Engagement
“The Lordship of Christ and the Sufficiency of Scripture”
“In the Diocese of South Carolina, we understand the substance of the “doctrine, discipline and worship‟ of The Episcopal Church to mean that which is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Creeds, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the theology of the historic prayer books.”
Resolution #2 Subject: Second Guiding Principle for Engagement
This Diocese authorizes the Bishop and Standing Committee to begin withdrawing from all bodies of the Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions; and that the Diocese of South Carolina declares that the most recent example of this behavior, in the passage of Resolutions DO25 and CO56, to be null and void, having no effect in this Diocese, and in violation of our diocesan canon (XXXVI sec.1).
Resolution #3 Subject: Third Guiding Principle for Engagement
“Domestic Engagement for Missional Relationships”
The parishes of this Diocese are encouraged to enter into their own Missional Relationships with orthodox congregations isolated across North America and to pursue effective initiatives which are lay-led and supported.
Resolution #5 Subject: “The Rubric of Love”
This Diocese will not condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Nevertheless, we will speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends for the amendment of life required of disciples of Christ. It is love of neighbor and the abiding concern for their spiritual well being that compels such honesty and will never allow us to remain silent.