Bishop Dan Martins of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, blogs today about the situation in the fractured Diocese of South Carolina, asking both sides to “step back from the brink.” (He has received a response from the Presiding Bishop that no one in her office has in fact made any declarations of vacancy regarding the Diocese.) To the Diocese of South Carolina, meeting in convention this Saturday, he writes:
For the love of God, step back from the brink. Lay aside that which is your right, in honor of him who laid aside everything for us, not counting equality with God something to be grasped. The entire Episcopal Church needs you, but none more so than we who have stood with you in witness to the revealed word of God and the tradition of “mere Anglicanism.” I am begging you: Do not abandon us. Let us together be Jeremiah at the bottom of the well, bearing costly witness to God’s truth. Let us together be Hosea, faithfully loving those who do not love us back, for the sake of the wholeness of the people of God.
He also urges Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to “rescind the announcements you have made about the offices of Bishop and Standing Committee being vacant. Give peace a chance. Create space for the seeds of future trust and love to at least lie dormant for a season in anticipation of future germination.” He’s updated the blog to note that the Presiding Bishop has contacted him about this:
She assures me, after checking with her staff, that no one in her office issued any announcement that the offices of Bishop or Standing Committee have been declared vacant. She does acknowledge that some members of her staff have been working with the steering committee of Episcopalians in South Carolina who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church. She professes willingness to step back from the brink if Bishop Lawrence offers a refutation of the charges of abandonment within the 60 day canonical time frame, and indicates that she intends to communicate that willingness in the form of a pastoral letter before the special convention on Saturday. I share this information in the interest of fairness and truth.
See his full post here.