Parish reactions to bishop's letter on same-sex unions vary

Not all South Carolina congregations share the opinions of their bishop.

While some of the congregations in the SC Lowcountry area publicly agree with Bishop Lawrence, Erin Moody of the Beaufort/Port Royal Reporter writes of at least one differing understanding:

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina circulated the letter to his Lowcountry congregations Sunday, condemning the actions of the national Episcopal church on same-sex blessing and gender issues and said he would open talks this week about the future of the diocese in the U.S. church....

All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island, staked a more moderate stance, but the Rev. Richard Lindsey, the church's rector, said the congregation will comply with Lawrence's views.

"I stand solidly behind the (national) Episcopal Church," he said. "That's not to say I'm not loyal to my bishop, but I tend to disagree. ... We will honor where he stands because we are part of his diocese and he is our bishop."

The church's website states it is a "welcoming, inclusive" church, and Lindsey said he was not surprised with the General Convention's decision because it is the direction the national church has been headed for more than a decade.

"This is the tip of the iceberg," he said. "The real issue is about how we read scripture, about how we interpret God's Word today. God has given us indications we need to have a broader understanding of creation and a broader understanding of how humans are formed."


Comments (4)

Sounds to me like these parishes should take Jay Johnson's course at CDSP on Same Sex Blessings. They have much to learn.

Carole, given a character like the one Lawrence has demonstrated, Lindsey's remarks are almost full-on rebellion-on-the-barricades-waving-a-banner.

He disagrees with his bishop and believes we need a broader understanding of Scripture, and said so in public. Outright refusal to comply with Lawrence would just mean another good man done gone from the pulpit.

- Mark Brunson

Why do I get the feeling that +Lawrence's "talks" about the future of his diocese in TEC don't involve actual discussion and listening, particularly with the national hierarchy?

Eric Bonetti

So, +SC has finally revealed what he intended to do all along. Despite his assurances that he would not take his diocese out of TEC, he has now (with the encouragement of Nazir-Ali, surely) begun the "consultations" that he will use to justify his departure. Another round of acrimonious litigation, complicated by the state Supreme Court's earlier decision. Why did we ever trust him?

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