UPDATED: ENS reports on convention.
"It's clear that these resolutions are an implicit intent to separate from the Episcopal Church, although the diocesan leadership all state that they have no such intention," Rob Wendt, senior warden of Grace Church, Charleston, and a lay member of the diocesan convention, told ENS following the vote.
Jefferts Schori, in a statement e-mailed to ENS, said: "I grieve these actions, but I especially grieve Bishop Lawrence's perception of my heartfelt concern for him and for the people of South Carolina as aggression. I don't seek to change his faithfully held positions on human sexuality, nor do I seek to control the inner workings of the diocese. I do seek to repair damaged relationships and ensure that this church is broad enough to include many different sorts and conditions of people. South Carolina and its bishop continue in my prayers."
The Diocese of South Carolina reconvened their convention today and passed canonical changes and constitutional changes (in their first reading) that attempt to separate the Diocese from the Episcopal Church without actually leaving.
The revisions and changes attempt to enshrine in their canons the notion that their diocese has an existence and mission independent of and not accountable to the rest of the Episcopal Church. Their Bishop and ordained and lay leaders claim that this independence does not amount to departure, but is rather an attempt to conserve a previous, historic relationship between the dioceses and the wider church.
The other thing the Convention is trying to do is to separate their disciplinary canons for clergy from the rest of the Church in advance of the implementation of the revised Title IV Canons. They are want to only accept the Episcopal Church's canons through 2006 by specific title, and not recognize (nullify) the application of the Canons of the Episcopal Church enacted since that time.
Finally, the mission of the Diocese is separated from the mission of the wider church. One constitutional change is to remove any connection between the work of the Diocese from the work of the Episcopal Church.
See the Daily Episcopalian essay by Bishop James R. Mathes responding to an earlier piece by Bishop Mark Lawrence that appeared in the Living Church.
From the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina Facebook page:All Resolutions were approved as proposed. R-6 passed 1st reading: amending diocesan Constitution to no longer accede to TEC Canons; R-8 passed: amending diocesan Canons to no longer conform with Canons of TEC, yet partially keeping the 2006 TEC Disciplinary procedures.R-10 was approved: abolishing the diocesan version of TEC "Dennis Canon," acknowledging that all parish property is to be held in trust for TEC and the diocese. R-7 was approved 1st reading, along with R-9, eliminating the requirements in the diocesan Constitution and Canons to wait for an Annual meeting in order to am...end the Constitution and/or Canons of the diocese.R-11 was approved, removing "Episcopal Diocese" and TEC from the Charter of the Diocese, profoundly changing the historical language of the Charter: "The purpose of the said proposed corporation is to continue the operation of an 'Episcopal Diocese' under the Constitution and Canons of The Protestant Episcopal Church i...n the 'United States of America.' "Today is a sad day in our Diocese. Ever since the 2003 "Chapman Letter" and the vote of the Diocese to join the "Anglican Communion Network," loyal Episcopalians in South Carolina have feared today's actions. Since that time, the hope promoted by the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, has been to maintain a United Chu...rch. We now pray for new hope.
It was also announced that Bishop Mark Lawrence has appointed Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, retired Bishop of Rochester (Church of England), as "Visiting Bishop for Global Anglican Relations." Nazir-Ali is in the US making the rounds, having already visited The Anglican District of Virginia, (aka CANA aka ACNA) and is now off to visit the former Episcopalians in the breakaway Diocese of Fort Worth.