Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service has the story of the Episcopalians who now constitute the Diocese of South Carolina.
A steering committee has been formed “to guide and assist in the reorganization of the diocese,” according to a list of its members here. Bishop John Clark Buchanan, who lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and Bishop Charles vonRosenberg of Daniel Island, both retired Episcopal Church bishops, are listed as advisers to the steering committee.
Hillery Douglas, a Charleston businessman and senior warden of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church there, chairs the steering committee. The committee hopes “to ensure that all Episcopalians in this diocese are able to remain in the Episcopal Church,” Douglas said after the Nov. 17 meeting.
Despite the votes last month and on Nov. 17, he said, “Episcopalians will continue to worship together in this diocese,” he added.
Tom Tisdale, a former diocesan chancellor who has worked for the presiding bishop in the diocese in the past, agreed. “The invitation to return will always be there without condition,” he said. “But we are looking to the future.”
The continuing diocese has created a website, which includes a listing of 12 parishes and congregations in which a majority of the members have said they are remaining in the Episcopal Church. There are 78 congregations in the diocese.
I hope the church will rally behind the people who have chosen to remain Episcopalians. My business partner and I had the privilege of working with all four of the previous reorganizing dioceses, and couldn’t help but be impressed and humbled by their faithfulness and their fortitude. Though often vilified, they remained strong in their convictions, and the church owes them a debt of gratitude. If someone in the Diocese of South Carolina asks you for a favor, please do it.