Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age
Our continuing mission is to respond to the Great Commission
by so presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit
that all may come to know Him as Savior
and follow Him as Lord
in the fellowship of His Church.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STATEMENT OF FAITH
St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
INSTITUTIONS WITH DIOCESAN RELATIONSHIP
St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, Porter Gaud School,
Canterbury House, The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul
CLERGY AND LAY LEADERSHIP SURVEY
Narrative Summary, Diocesan Strengths and Weaknesses,
Diocesan Opportunities, Conclusion
Faith Formation Ministries:
Christian Faith Formation, Student Ministry, College Ministry,
Men's Ministry, Women's Ministry, Daughters of the Holy Cross (ACNA),
Daughters of the King (Ecumenical)
Outreach, Spiritual Growth, and Service Ministries:
Church Planting, Anglican Leadership Institute, Anglicans for Life,
Anglican Missional Partnerships, Servant's Heart Disaster Relief,
Cursillo, Evangelism, Hispanic Ministries, Kairos Prison Ministry
Commission on Ministry, The Diocesan Council, The Ecclesiastical Court,
The Finance Committee, The Liturgy and Worship Committee,
The Standing Committee, Stewardship Committee, The Trustees
Clergy of the Diocese:
Priests (Active): 114
Non-parochial or retired: 19
Vocational Deacons Active: 30
Priesthood: Current Aspirants: 5
Candidates for Ordination: 3
Diaconate: Class just ordained: 5
Aspirants for next class: 12
New Congregations since 2012: 6
Church Plants in progress: 3
Canon to the Ordinary
Canon for Church Planting
Director St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
Assistant to the Bishop, Event Coordinator
Coordinator of Student Ministries
Director of Men’s Ministry
Director of Family Ministries
Coordinator of Faith Formation
Director of Finance and Administration
Finance Assistant, Payroll and Benefits Coordinator
Director of Communications
Diocesan Receptionist and Financial Assistant
In the fall of 2012, the Diocese disassociated from the Episcopal Church. Two lawsuits are still pending that arose from that disassociation, one in state court to resolve the issue of ownership of real and personal property and one in federal court to resolve the right to use trademarks that fall under the federal trademark statute. The issues in the state lawsuit are before the South Carolina Supreme Court for a second time while the issues in the federal court are before the federal Court of Appeals for a third time. A detailed description of these issues and the status of these cases will be given to nominee candidates.
In 2017, the Diocese became a member Diocese of The Anglican Church in North America, and, today, by membership, is its largest Diocese. The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina is spread across the eastern and coastal half of the state. It is divided into six deaneries: Beaufort, Charleston, West Charleston, Florence, Georgetown and Orangeburg. There are more than 20,000 baptized members worshipping in 54 active churches/congregations with an average Sunday attendance of 8,980. The most recent addition is St. Thomas Church, Mt. Pleasant, which joined the Diocese in October, 2020.
We go forward in faith, focused on “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.” Our continuing mission is, “To respond to the Great Commission by so presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that all may come to know Him as Savior and follow Him as Lord in the fellowship of His Church.”
Based in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the Diocese counts among its current members some of the oldest, operating churches in America. The Anglican Church arrived in the Carolinas with the earliest settlers and a charter granted by King Charles II that sought, among other things, the increase of the Christian religion within the province. The first congregation was formed in “Charles Town” in 1680, and the first Anglican church was completed between 1681 and 1692. When South Carolina became a royal province in 1719, parish boundaries were established by the colonial government, and parishes were assigned the care of the poor, widows, and orphans, and the responsibility of sharing Christianity with Indians, slaves and free blacks. In the early years, parish officers functioned as the only local government, even patrolling the streets at night to keep watch and protect citizens. Ordained clergy were sent from England by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. By 1776, there were a number of flourishing parish churches along the coast.
After the devastation of the American Revolution, only a few churches survived outside of the city of Charleston. In an effort to grow the church, in 1814, the South Carolina Society for the Advancement of Christianity was founded “to promote Christianity in South Carolina and encourage candidates for the ministry.”
In 1861, war again intruded on the life of the parishes. By the end of the Civil War in 1865, most of the state was impoverished, and the churches were damaged and in disarray. Some did not survive, and many could not afford clergy. Over the ensuing decades, slowly, gradually, the parishes rebuilt, and new churches were formed.
Through boon times and devastation, war, poverty, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, the people of the parishes and churches who are currently members of the Diocese have persevered and sacrificed to build enduring communities of faith for the worship and glory of God. For almost three and a half centuries, the legacy of these parish churches has provided a firm foundation for souls and for societies in South Carolina.
Writing on behalf of the churches, in 2000, Edward L. Salmon, Jr. said, “We are thereby encouraged to build for the future upon this ancient foundation.” That sentiment holds true today.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina (The Diocese) is an Anglican church in the state of South Carolina. Our Vision is to "Make biblical Anglicans for a global age." We are committed to our Mission, "To respond to the Great Commission by so presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that all may come to know him as Savior and follow Him as Lord in the fellowship of His church."
As such, we ascribe to the following as our core doctrine:
A belief in the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three distinct persons co-equal in glory and co-eternal in majesty and of one substantial Godhead, such that there are not three gods but one God.
A belief in the Holy Scriptures as divine revelation, trustworthy, carrying the full measure of His authority, containing all things necessary to salvation, and to be submitted to in all matters of faith and practice of life.
A belief in the One Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, who in His person is both fully God and fully man; of one substance with the Father as regards His Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards His manhood.
A belief in the perfect obedience of Christ; His true and actual suffering, His substitutionary and atoning death on the cross, and His bodily resurrection and ascension as the only means given for our salvation and reconciliation with God.
A belief in faith alone as the only grounds for the merits of Christ being imputed to us for our justification before God (justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone), leading to good works empowered by the Holy Spirit.
A belief in the consummate return of Jesus Christ in glory to judge the living and the dead, and a belief in the bodily resurrection of the dead and their entrance into either eternal damnation or everlasting blessedness.
A belief in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church as those souls that have been redeemed entirely by the work of Christ and called out of bondage into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of error into truth, out of death into eternal life.
A belief that historic Anglican polity organizes the visible Church under the offices of Bishop, Presbyter and Deacon. Furthermore, the Church exists to worship the Triune God and to lift up the Savior Jesus Christ before all people through the faithful preaching and teaching of the Gospel, through prayer, and through the faithful administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion or the Eucharist).
A belief in the Nicene and Apostles’ creeds as accurate representations of the essence of the Christian faith, and affirmation of the (39) Articles of Religion as a coherent and concise expression of Anglican doctrine.
We believe Christians are called beyond mere membership to the lifelong journey of discipleship, learning to faithfully live what God has revealed about us. (Matthew 7:24-29, Mark 8:34-36, Galatians 5:22)
We believe all people are created in the image of God, who wonderfully and immutably creates each person as genetically male or female. These two distinct complementary genders reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one's biological sex is in conflict with this created-ness and is inconsistent with our beliefs.
In the Church, we believe marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in Holy Matrimony, a single, exclusive, lifelong union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 10:1-9). This signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, reconciling and re-uniting two complements. God's good intention for us is that sexual intimacy is to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4.) For the blessing and protection of the bond of marriage, our families, and particularly our children, God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as His covenant relationship between a man and a woman, the Diocese will only recognize and solemnize a marriage that is between a man and a woman. Further, the clergy and staff of the Diocese shall only serve in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. The facilities and property of the Diocese shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the Diocese.
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible is the trustworthy Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of humankind. For purposes of The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Bishop is this Diocese’s final interpretive authority on matters of doctrine and their application.
In order to preserve the function and integrity of the Diocese as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the diocesan members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Diocese in any capacity, or who serve as leaders, agree to abide by this Statement of Faith. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
We are committed to biblical and classical Anglican Christianity. We celebrate and stand for the unchanging truth of the gospel as centered in the grace of Jesus Christ, in the gift of biblical revelation, and the moral vision expressed in historic, Anglican Christianity.
The Diocese is a South Carolina non-profit religious corporation.
The Finance Committee
The Department of Finance is organized by and under the Diocesan Council, with both Council and associate members. The department is responsible for proposing in January to the Council a balanced annual budget; in turn the Council adopts a budget proposal to be approved by the Diocesan Convention. The department meets additionally during the year for an exit interview with the annual auditor and for ongoing review of the income and disbursements of the diocese.
The Diocesan Council
The Diocesan Council is comprised of clergy and laity elected for a three-year term. It administers the Missionary, Educational and Social Work of the church by this Diocese and such other work as may be committed to it by the Diocesan Convention and for the initiation and development of new work between meetings of the Diocesan Convention and to receive and administer all funds raised within the Diocese subject to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese. The Bishop serves as the President of the council. The Diocesan Council meets about four times a year.
The Liturgy and Worship Committee
The Liturgy and Worship Committee is committed to promoting the mission, witness, and worship of the Anglican tradition of Biblical, classical, and credal Christianity. It serves the Diocese, the parishes, and the civic community. This committee is active but is awaiting new leadership after its head recently answered a call to serve in another state.
Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry is a group of clergy and lay people from all parts of the diocese appointed by the Bishop for a three-year term. Their purpose is to help men and women, by way of interviews and other processes, discern if they have a call to ordained ministry. They then monitor their progress as they move from Aspirant, to Postulant, to Candidate for Orders, to diaconate, to priesthood.
The Ecclesiastical Court
The Ecclesiastical Court is established by Canon, having eleven members, both clergy and lay, serving for 3 year terms. The Canon calls for a majority of the membership to be clergy, with both orders together electing a Presiding Judge each year to oversee any proceedings. In the event that charges of misconduct against a clergyman in the Diocese issues in a formal Presentment of charges from the Standing Committee, a Trial Court is convened from the members of the Court to hear the evidence and render a verdict.
The Trustees is a South Carolina non-profit corporation created by an Act of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina providing for the substitution of a Board of Trustees of the Diocese, in the place and stead of the Bishop and Standing Committee of the same, as Trustees under a former Act, approved on the 20th day of February, 1902, by the Governor of South Carolina.
There shall be a Board of Trustees, to consist of the Bishop, ex officio, and eight (8) communicants of the Church, canonically resident in this Diocese if a Presbyter, and a member of a Parish or Mission in union with the Convention if laypersons, that is to say three (3) Presbyters and five (5) laypersons, to be elected by ballot at the Annual Convention. The Chancellor of the Diocese or the Assistant Chancellor, if so designated by the Chancellor, shall be ex officio, a member of the Board, with voice but no vote.
The Bishop shall be the President of the said Board.
The Trustees were created for the purpose of holding in trust such property (real or personal) as may have been conveyed to the Trustees for the benefit of the Diocese or for the benefit of other corporations or parish churches all as stated in the conveyance documents.
The Standing Committee
The Standing Committee is composed of six laypersons and six clergy, chosen at Diocesan Convention and serving overlapping terms of three years each. The Committee is the Bishop’s Council of Advice and is the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in the absence of the Bishop. The Committee is canonically responsible for the approval of candidates for ordination and for approving parish requests to sell property and take on debt. The Standing Committee may also pass such standing resolutions as may be deemed necessary between meetings of Diocesan Convention. Within the secular realm of the Diocese’s operation, the Standing Committee is its Board of Directors.
The Stewardship Committee assists the clergy and parishes to make Biblical stewards that grow the kingdom of God in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina by offering the best written, oral, digital, and visual resources on Biblical Stewardship for the clergy and parishes of the Diocese. This committee is effectively inactive at this time.
The Journal of the Annual Diocesan Convention
The official record of the yearly legislative meeting. A copy is sent to each parish office; additional copies are offered as available to lay delegates and to anyone in the diocese. An update of the Diocesan Constitutions and Canons can be found in the annual Convention Journal or on the Diocesan web site.
The newspaper of our diocese, with a circulation of about 21,000 reaching our church members and other readers. The paper is published three times annually and is free. We depend on the church offices to keep the mailing list current.
Diocesan Web Page
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina has its own web page, found at:
The most up-to-date source of information on events in the Diocese.
Samples found at: https://adosc.org/news-events/email-newsletter/
The Diocese communicates with a broad audience through social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Bishop’s Blog.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/angdioceseofsc
Bishop’s Blog: http://bishopmarklawrence.org/
St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center is an intentional Christian ministry of the Diocese. It is located on over 314 acres of beach, maritime forests, and undisturbed salt marsh on Seabrook Island, about 45 minutes from downtown Charleston. It is owned by the Trustees and operated by the Diocese. St. Christopher is represented at Diocesan Council by the appointed Chair of the Department of Camps and Conferences, and the appointed Executive Director of St. Christopher.
The Center serves the Diocese and beyond with its ministry of Christian hospitality, sponsoring youth programs including Summer Camp (1,550 children annually), and the Barrier Island Environmental Education program (8,000 children annually). Additionally, the Center offers its own programming, has an onsite Prayer Center, and serves many rental groups. These include adult and youth organizations from other church denominations, staffs, students, faculty, and board members from local educational, social, medical, and governmental organizations. Specialty programs hosted include a camp for severely burned children, residential programs with Hospice, and several mental health organizations.
The facilities of St. Christopher include 34 structures. The newest of these structures was built in 2002, and the oldest in 1951. The Center is long overdue for a capital campaign to either replace or upgrade many of these buildings. While it has been sufficiently maintained and has operated “in the black” from 2010 through 2019, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has caused significant financial hardship with the cancellation of Summer Camp in 2020, and the loss of almost all school groups for the Barrier Island program. Personnel cutbacks have also severely restrained the abilities to effectively maintain all operations. The immediate future will be a time of needing to rebuild and restore guest groups, staff, programs, and facilities.
The Diocesan vision for student ministries is “Making Young Biblical Anglicans by proclaiming the Gospel, teaching scripture, building partnerships, and training leaders.”
The Diocese has a unique history in regard to youth ministry. Thirty years ago, the bishop declared that all churches who had the means should hire a youth minister. The rationale was that if we reach teens, we will reach their families. This led to tremendous growth in our congregations. The Diocese assisted with funds for hiring youth ministers in smaller churches. While some of those congregations could not sustain a full-time youth minister, many experienced the growth that the bishop promised. In all, two thirds of our congregations hired professional lay youth ministers under that bishop. The longer-term impact of this vision is that youth ministry has been stronger in South Carolina than any other diocese in North American Anglicanism.
In more recent years, the Department of Youth Ministries became the Department of Student Ministries with two shifts in emphasis. One is the realization that the most reachable segment of our population is children. While it was once true that reaching teens reached families, this is no longer true of teens but remains true when it comes to children. We are seeking to help churches take a more evangelistic approach to children’s ministry than ever. The second realization is that we have many churches located near college campuses that could be doing effective campus ministry. Our department is now looking to help congregations reach students in primary, secondary, and tertiary education.
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 combined with the political and social divisions across the nation have dramatically highlighted challenges today’s students are experiencing. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are increasing among teens. Divisive social concepts like intersectionality and gender issues have risen to the forefront of schools and society with dramatic speed. Youth leaders are on the front lines, helping students navigate a confusing, troubled world.
Christian Faith Formation
The Mission of the Department of Christian Faith Formation is, “Church and Home working together making disciples through the ages and stages of life.” Its focus is drawn from Ephesians 4:15-16.
The department works together to serve the Diocese to further the mission. When the church and the home are working together, there is a greater chance for faith to be passed to the next generation. Christian Faith Formation includes: Children and Family Ministries, Grandparent Ministries, and Marriage Ministry. The goal is to encourage all ages and generations to sow the seeds of faith.
Department meetings provide an opportunity to learn from each other and to see the big picture of where God is moving and working. Coming together also allows everyone to pray and encourage each other. Currently, we are working together to make our ministries more visible and accessible through the development of an online Orientation Manual.
The Bible verse that sums up the hope of who we are as a department is Ephesians 4:16. “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” NLT
Faith Formation Ministries
The mission of the Men’s Ministry of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina is “Equipping today’s men to be tomorrow’s disciple makers.” The Christian Men’s Ministry Board sponsors an annual Men’s Conference, Men’s Hikes, “Behold The Man” pilgrimage to the Holy Land, various leadership training opportunities, and more.
The purpose is to help make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age by offering the women of the diocese a program of worship, study, service, fellowship and opportunities for the development of ministries which will deepen and strengthen their own spiritual lives and lead them into service for the Church in the parish, community, the diocese, nation and world. Annual gatherings, retreats and other events are designed to enhance the spiritual lives of women, encouraging them to mentor, and be mentored.
Daughters of the Holy Cross (ACNA)
An order for the lay or ordained woman, committed to making disciples and serving Jesus through our Rule of Life: prayer, service, study and evangelism.
Daughters of the King (Ecumenical)
An order for the lay or ordained woman who, by the reaffirmation of the promises made at baptism, pledges herself to a lifelong program of prayer, service and evangelism, dedicated to strengthening the spiritual life of her parish.
Faith Formation Ministries, continued
There are an estimated 20 million college students in America of which about 2% are being reached by campus ministries. It is our desire to see that change.
St. Alban's Anglican Chapel has been in continuous operation at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina for over 80 years. For much of its history, it was a college mission of a local church. This responsibility has been shared by The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul's as well as Holy Cross Sullivan's Island, with clergy splitting their time between St. Alban's Anglican Chapel and their host parish. In 2017, the Diocese made the decision to place a full time clergyman on the campus at The Citadel.
The Chaplain at St. Alban's oversees all activities of the chapel, which functions much like a parish, but on a college campus. St. Alban’s Chapel ministers to Citadel cadets as well as students from College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University, along with many members of the community that make St. Alban’s their home place of worship. With communion worship averaging at 120 and the Christian Education program averaging at 80, St. Alban's is a thriving ministry.
While some individual parishes have their own ministries to local colleges, currently, St. Alban’s is the only ministry in the Diocese that is fully focused on being present to college students on their own turf, making it a truly missionary endeavor. In 2020, the governing board established a goal of planting at least one new college ministry, on a college campus, like St. Alban's, sometime within the next five years.
Outreach, Spiritual Growth, and Service Ministries
We have an incredible opportunity here in the Diocese. While we celebrate the established church and all the Lord has done in our midst in the past, we also are poised to become a great vehicle for planting new churches. While we are grateful for how our well-established churches continue to be a “city on a hill,” we also acknowledge the most effective way of reaching non-Christians with the love of Christ is through the planting of new churches.
While no two church plants are the same, we typically see a church planted from one of three scenarios:
An existing congregation seeks to plant a ‘daughter’ church.
A group of Gospel-focused laypeople seek clergy leadership to join their existing fellowship.
A clergy (or someone seeking ordination) feels called to reach a geographic area or specific people group with the Gospel.
Over the last five to seven years, church planting has become an increasingly important priority in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Several new churches or campuses have been started in this time frame and our first Canon for Church Planting was named in 2019. Strongly aligned with Always Forward (the church planting engine of ACNA), the diocese is working on developing processes and structures for raising up leaders and church plants as well as working collaboratively with other dioceses in South Carolina and throughout ACNA.
While much progress has been made, there are still opportunities for Diocesan improvement in this area. For instance, many of our earliest church plants were initiated without significant planning or education in the best practices for church planting, a fact that reflects our relatively new entrance into this ministry. Additionally, the diocesan budget is only slowly coming in line with the prioritized church planting goals of the diocese. Finally, the “established church” structure and culture of the diocese can make it difficult for start-ups. This is reflected, for instance, in the risk-averse approach many parishes take to church planting and diocesan requirements (such as high pension contributions) that are designed for established parishes but can be impediments in the starting of new churches.
Despite these growing pains, opportunities for church planting abound in the diocese. There is an abundance of young or newly ordained clergy who might be willing to plant and have been trained in seminaries with a focus on doing so. Financial resources exist in individual parishes that can be directed toward church planting as they recognize the importance of this work. When aligned, these resources can be utilized in one of the fastest-growing regions of the country creating an opportunity to reach an increasing number of de-churched and cultural Christians with the good news of Jesus.
Anglican Leadership Institute
The Anglican Leadership Institute is a leadership training initiative bringing future leaders in the Anglican Communion to South Carolina for periods of study, teaching, reflection and nurture. It is an outgrowth of the Mere Anglicanism Conference that had been held in Charleston, SC for several years.
The Institute offers men and women with a proven track of ministry a chance to spend a month in community under the guidance of expert leaders who have exercised faithful and effective ministry in their own contexts.
The Institute is currently in a transition phase undergoing a search for a new leader after the death of The Rev. Dr. Peter C. Moore.
Anglicans for Life
We believe God, and not man, is the creator of human life. Therefore, from conception to natural death we will protect and respect the sanctity of every human life. Furthermore, we recognize that the unjustified taking of life is sinful, but God gives absolution to those who ask for His forgiveness. By resolution at Convention, a Diocesan-wide Anglicans for Life chapter was established, which allows for voluntary representation from every parish. The goal is to organize and maintain a witness and ministry for life within the Diocese as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This ministry does not fall within a Diocesan department; however, the Bishop supports it, and it is active in some parishes.
Anglican Missional Partnerships
With the Diocese’s membership in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in 2017, the diocesan funds that supported direct international development and mission became our contribution for support of the mission of ACNA. With this change also comes the change in name and focus. While we have been blessed to invest in development efforts with financial grants, it has always been parish-based missions and relationships that yield the fruit of building up God’s Kingdom. To that end, the committee for Anglican Missional Partnerships will continue to foster the relationships and missional partnerships that remain mutually enriching throughout the Anglican Communion with the goal of having every parish in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina involved in a strategic and missional relationship.
Outreach, Spiritual Growth, and Service Ministries, continued
Outreach, Spiritual Growth, and Service Ministries, continued
Outreach, Spiritual Growth, and Service Ministries, continued
Servant’s Heart Disaster Relief
This ministry helps parishes prepare for natural disasters and mobilizes teams from other parishes to go and help communities when disaster strikes. It is active on an as needed basis.
The purpose of Cursillo is to help individual church members to understand their calling to be Christian leaders. The goal of Cursillo is the goal of the Church: to bring all to Christ. Cursillo is patterned on Jesus’ own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo); He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Cursillo Three-Day Weekend); He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day). Due to the Covid pandemic, the Diocesan Cursillo program has been effectively inactive during 2020.
“Let’s go on a mission trip,” says Canon J. John, a noted author, speaker, and media personality from the U.K. who recently spoke in the Diocese, “Walk next door. It’s cheaper.” The Evangelism Committee of the Diocese offers resources and speakers to encourage sharing the Gospel, and the mission of Evangelism is the primary focus of all Diocesan ministries.
With the growing Hispanic population in the Charleston area, a Spanish-speaking ministry has been established by the diocese. The goal has been to establish a Spanish-speaking congregation on John’s Island, tutors for English lessons, transportation to church services, doctor appointments and youth events.
Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos is a prison ministry which is active in twelve correctional institutions in South Carolina. The purpose of Kairos is to introduce Jesus Christ to inmates and to build strong Christian communities within the environment of correctional institutions.
INSTITUTIONS WITH DIOCESAN RELATIONSHIPS
St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
St. Christopher is an intentional Christian ministry of the Diocese located on over 314 acres of beach, maritime forest, and undisturbed salt marsh on Seabrook Island, SC. Additional information on St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center is included under the heading of Diocesan Resources.
Porter Gaud School
Porter-Gaud is a coeducational, independent, college preparatory day school. They acknowledge the sovereignty of God, recognize the worth of the individual, and seek to cultivate a school community that endows its citizens with a foundation of moral and ethical character and intellect. Porter-Gaud fosters a challenging academic environment that honors excellence in teaching and learning, respects differences, expects honesty, and applauds achievement. The school strives to create an environment that nurtures and protects what we value most in our children: their faith, their curiosity, their talents, their integrity, their humanity, and their dreams.
Sponsored by the Diocese, Canterbury House is a non-profit, affordable senior living community that provides modern comforts in a gracious and historic setting in downtown Charleston.
The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul
As an Anglican church in downtown Charleston, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul exists to worship God through beautiful, accessible Anglican worship. As we are formed in the gospel, we seek to love our neighbors, communities, and city. This is where the heart of God meets the heart of Charleston.
CLERGY AND LAY LEADERSHIP SURVEY
To further provide candidates insights and information about the Diocese, her clergy, and her lay leadership, an anonymous survey of all clergy and lay leaders, covering a range of issues, was conducted. The following narrative summary describes the survey results.
The survey consisted of 48 multiple choice questions for clergy, 42 for lay leadership (vestry and wardens) and 3 free form answer questions. The survey was completed between November 9 and November 19, 2020. There were 109 clergy respondents and 211 lay respondents. Most clergy respondents were directly associated with particular parish ministries (77%). As would be expected, denominational backgrounds varied considerably between clergy and lay respondents. Most clergy were from Anglican origins (65%), yet a significant percentage were from other denominations. The most prevalent were Baptist (10%), Methodist (8%), and Presbyterian (5%). With the lay leaders, only 35% had Anglican origins. Methodist, Baptist and Catholic each exceeded 10%. The total number of different denominational origins, including eight laity in a non-denominational category, was 18. When asked to choose one or more of the four classic traditions of Anglicanism, clergy felt more evangelical than the laity (72% to 45%); Anglo Catholics were roughly equal between the two groups (30% to 34%); laity felt more Broad Church (23% to 41%); and clergy believed themselves more charismatic than laity (42% to 12%)
In those questions which focused on core theological beliefs, there was remarkable unity between the clergy and the laity. On the question of faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation, 100% of clergy agreed of whom 98% strongly agreed. Similarly, 100% of laity agreed with a slight decrease in the strength of that belief, 89% strongly agreeing and 11% agreeing. Jesus’ divine conception and bodily resurrection questions produced unified responses: 99% believed them. Two questions covered God’s creation of, and power over, creation. Both groups were similar in their responses. In both groups, all (100%) agree that God is the author of all creation and 98% in both groups believe in miracles occurring as recorded in scripture.
Similar patterns of agreement were found in the questions related to the Bible. All (100%) clergy agree that the Bible is divinely inspired (96%/4%), that it contains all things necessary for salvation (97%/3%) and that it is the authoritative standard for Christian living and morality (94%/6%). Laity likewise agree with clergy but with slightly less intensity and with 2 dissents: divine inspiration (99.52%), contains all things necessary for salvation (98%) and is the authoritative standard. (99.5%)
One question approached the issue of Biblical authority from the negative side. The responses suggest some weakness in belief in Biblical authority more apparent in the laity than the clergy. Respondents were asked if some of the Scriptures were out of date requiring modification or rejection. In the clergy, 92% disagreed with 67% strongly so. Yet, 7% agreed and 1% were unsure. In the laity, 89% disagreed, 56% strongly disagreeing and 34% agreeing. Fewer agreed than clergy (4%) but more were unsure (6%).
On the issue of marriage between one woman and one man, clergy were stronger than laity yet both were quite unified. All clergy (100%) supported this statement on marriage, 95% strongly so. With the lay leaders, 94% agreed with 4% unsure and 1% disagreeing.
Two questions addressed the issue of sexual orientation and celibacy in the church. One asked if LGBT persons should be welcomed and the other if any non-celibate, non-married person should have a leadership role in the congregation. Clergy and lay leaders view this issue similarly on the first issue and differently on the second. Most clergy agree that the church should welcome non-celibate LGBT persons (69%) as do most laity (72%) but the strength of that agreement is less than in previous questions. Of the clergy, 37% strongly agree and 32% agree. Of the laity, 36% strongly agree and 36% agree. Of the clergy, 32% disagree or are unsure (17%/13%). Of the laity, 28% disagree or are unsure (13%/15%).
On the question of whether any non-married, non-celibate persons should be permitted to have leadership roles in the church, though both believed they should not, the clergy and laity significantly parted company. Most clergy (80%) believed this should not be permitted, 17% believed it is permissible and only 3% were unsure. For the lay leaders, a slight majority agreed non-celibate, non-married persons should not have leadership roles (54%) with 28% disagreeing and 18% unsure.
On the issue of whether human life begins at conception, 97% of clergy believe so with 3% unsure. Of the laity, 93% agree, 5% are unsure and 2% disagree.
While most clergy believe political opinions do not belong in the pulpit (69%), the laity are even stronger (81%). However, both clergy and laity are more equal when it comes to the strength of that position. More of each simply disagree ( 46%/ 45%) rather than strongly disagree (23%/ 36%).
Three questions raise the question of the “most important task” of churches in this Diocese (“the main thing”). The first broad question states that the most important task of a church is to reach the lost with the Gospel. The other two questions include this broad question but in terms of its relative importance to the other ministries of priests and deacons. The way these three questions interact either create a latent ambiguity or the “main thing” is no longer most important when ranked with other important ministry tasks. Clergy agree but not as strongly as might be supposed for such a central issue. Of the clergy, 95% agree (73%/23%), but 5% are unsure or disagree. The laity are similar in their belief in this statement with 97% agreeing (70% strongly and 27% agreeing). When the “main thing” is placed in the context of a priest or deacon’s daily work, there appears to be a struggle with the felt need to say that all are important resulting in a decreased view of the importance of reaching the lost when placed in the center of other Christian responsibilities. Some of the clergy and lay respondents recognized this conflict saying there should have been an “all of the above” choice. One lay leader captured the important point despite the presence of other ministries:
I believe that in saying that they are to reach people with the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of these other aspects are going to be part of that, that the ultimate goal of anyone in church, whether they are a priest, deacon or congregant is to bring the lost back home to Christ.
On the issue of women’s ordination, three questions placed the issue in the context of ordination to the diaconate, to the priesthood and women as rectors. With both groups, women’s ordination was increasingly less acceptable as the roles progressed from deacons to rectors. Presently, there are 10 women ordained to the diaconate and 8 women ordained to the priesthood, of whom 3 are rectors or vicars, 3 are in other active ministries, and 2 are retired.
Clergy and laity agreed that the ordination of women to the diaconate was acceptable: clergy, 95% (65/30); laity, 89% (41%/48%). When asked the same question about the priesthood, approval dropped significantly with clergy, 58% (33% /25%), but not that much with lay leaders 76% (32%/44%). When the question was asked about women rectors, clergy approval dropped 13% from that of the priesthood, from 58% to 45%. Lay responses continued to reflect the trend that they were more acceptable of ordained women in ministry. Lay leaders approved of women rectors (70%) but that approval was not strongly held (30%/40%). Both groups differed in the strength of their approval in all these roles. On both issues (priesthood and rectors) clergy views were more strongly held than lay views. Both with clergy and lay leaders, the level of uncertainty progressively rises in each group from deacon to priest to rector. Clergy go from 2% to 16% to 18%; laity, from 7% to 13% to 15%. Based on these responses, few clergy or laity have any reservations about women in the diaconate. However, with women as priests and rectors, clergy are more opposed than laity but lay leaders approval is less strongly held. At the request of the ACNA College of Bishops, the Standing Committee unanimously approved this statement on March 2, 2021 as guidance for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor: The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina ordains women to the diaconate and priesthood, and women are serving or have served as associates, church planters, and rectors in our parishes. We welcome candidates to the search process who are willing to work and function within the current practice of the Diocese. Should a candidate's personal views differ from our current practice, we welcome creative and Spirit-filled conversation on how these differences can be honored within the diocese.
On the question of the validity of supernatural gifts being used in the church, 94% of the clergy agreed, (64% strongly and 30% simply agree). The laity was not as strong with 78% agreeing with an even split in the strength of that agreement. (38%/40%).
Two questions were asked about the acceptance of the theology and doctrine expressed in the Articles of Religion, the Anglican BCP and the Jerusalem Declaration. One question omitted the Jerusalem Declaration, the other included in its place the Articles of Religion. All (100%) clergy agreed when the Jerusalem Declaration was omitted (Articles & BCP) (72% strongly; 28% agree) but when the Jerusalem Declaration was substituted for the Articles (JD & BCP) a small percentage were unsure (3%) or disagreed (1%). The lay response differed perhaps due to a lack of understanding of the differences. When the Articles were paired with the BCP, 83% agreed (53%/33%). When the Jerusalem Declaration was substituted for the Articles (JD & BCP), agreement was similar (81%) but the numbers of those who were unsure rose from 13% to 19%.
Three questions were asked about respondents’ personal daily devotional time, group fellowship practices and spiritual support outside the family. Almost all (94%) clergy responded that they have “daily or almost daily” devotional time which includes Bible study and prayer, (66% strongly agree/28% agree). Most lay leaders (91%) said they did so but the strength of that agreement was evenly split between those who strongly agree and those who simply agree (47%/45%). On the small group question, 76% of clergy are in a small group and 75% of laity are as well. On the question of outside the family spiritual support a strong 95% of clergy responded yes. (This question was not asked of lay leaders.)
Two questions asked whether clergy spouses are “manifestly active” in church ministry. One asked if respondents’ spouses were and 90% of clergy said they were. Lay leaders were asked about the activity of their rector’s spouse. Most said they were active (81%). The second question asked if it is important that a bishop’s spouse be “manifestly active” in the life and ministry of the Diocese. Clergy believed it is by 70% though that view is not strongly held (25%/45%). More lay leaders agreed than clergy (78%) but those views were also less strongly held (26% to 52%).
Most clergy respond that they fit well with their parish (93%), are treated well by their congregation (95%) and by lay leadership (95%). Most lay leaders say they are treated well by their rector/vicar (97%).
When clergy were asked about their future plans, a significant number (40 or 38%) responded that they see a change in their church location soon (16%) or are unsure about that (22%). Some of these responses could be because 17% (17) plan to retire in the next 5 years and another 14% (15) are uncertain about retirement.
A series of questions was asked about the spiritual and financial health of parishes and parishes’ current and future growth. When clergy were asked about their church’s spiritual and financial health (before 2020) most agreed that they were spiritually (80%) and financially (84%) healthy. Lay leaders responded (without the 2020 qualifier) that their parish was spiritually (91%) and financially healthy (81%). The two questions directed at church growth, one existing growth (past three years) and the other anticipated (“coming years”), reveal that 48% have seen growth in membership of 10-20 family units in the past three years. A slightly greater percentage (52%) have remained the same (40%) or decreased in growth (12%).
Half of the clergy do not believe there will be a decrease in membership, but half believe it will decrease (31%) or are unsure (19%). The uncertain belief about church growth continues when responding to the question about a future increase in membership. While most believe there will be an increase (57%), a significant percentage are unsure or do not (43%).
Two questions dealt with the issue of reconciliation. One addressed the spiritual truth that true reconciliation with one’s neighbor cannot occur without first being reconciled to God. Most clergy (91%) strongly agreed (63%) or agreed (21%). Most lay leaders also agreed (90%) split between those who strongly agree (48%) and those who simply agree (41%). When asked if their churches were engaged in activities to promote reconciliation, 71% of clergy said they were (20% strongly agree, 44% agree). Lay leaders agreed as well (73%).
Three questions were asked about clergy relationships with the Diocese. Most responded that the Diocese provided good ministry support (82%), and that they are a good fit with the Diocese (94%). The third question, about Diocesan medical benefits, was most notable in that 60% did not take a position on its adequacy which could be a suggestion of uncertainty or simply that that those benefits had not been used enough to test the word “adequate”.
The final two multiple choice questions (addressed only to clergy) dealt with the relationship between clergy, their congregations and ACNA. ACNA is an encouragement to 79% of clergy while 19% are neutral on this question. A similar percentage is found in the responses to whether their church benefits from its relationship with ACNA. Most (81%) believe it does, while 18% are unsure.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Two questions, asked to both groups, called for free form responses to the question, what are the strength/weaknesses of the Diocese.
On the question of diocesan strengths, 103 clergy responded (6 did not) compared to 155 lay leaders who responded (56 did not). On the weakness question, 95 clergy responded (14 did not) while 150 lay leaders also responded (61 did not).
As would be expected with any free form response, the answers were quite variable although there were common strengths and weaknesses not only within each group, but also across both groups. There were 11 categories in each group where there were at least 3 responses in common. The top four strengths were the same and they were in the same order in both groups. The Diocese’s orthodoxy was its greatest strength, 44 clergy and 55 lay leaders agree, followed by Bishop Lawrence (27/20), general leadership (19/18), and unity/stability (17/17). For the clergy, the 7 remaining categories common to 3 or more were history (13), evangelical (7), Camp St. Christopher (6), clergy fellowship (5), property (4), missional focus (3) and do not know (3). For the lay leaders, the 7 remaining categories common to 3 or more were standing firm (12), preaching/teaching (11), unsure or do not know (11), missional (8), communication (4), ministries (4) and lawsuits (opposing TEC) (4).
While there were more differences in the weaknesses between the two groups, there were some common weaknesses though with differing strengths. The greatest difference between the two groups was the category with the most common responses. The clergy believed the greatest weakness of the Diocese was that it was insular in its focus (23).* Lay leaders most frequent response was that there were no Diocesan weaknesses or that they were unsure (21/17). The next most frequent common category for both groups was lawsuits, at 16 and 18, respectively. However, the responses did not find the bringing of the lawsuit to be a weakness, rather it was its continued existence which is seen as a financial burden and a distraction. In fact, as noted above, bringing the lawsuit was seen as a strength by some of the laity. Both groups said the Diocese is not as missional as it should be, but with disagreement in the number of clergy and laity who felt that way, 11 to 7. Similarly, both groups believed there is a “Charleston centric” nature to the Diocese (6/6) and that there is a lack of support for rural churches (8/6). Both also agreed a weakness was a lack of diversity (6/13). Most of these responses related to racial diversity. The other categories in which 3 or more clergy agreed on a weakness were none or unsure (8), lacks vision (4), aging members and clergy (4), pride (3) and women’s ordination (3). The other categories in which 3 or more laity agreed on a weakness were Covid (7), insular (3), and financial issues (3).
*This category includes responses such as “insular”, “a desire to circle the wagons”, “fear of change”, “dependence on tradition”, “a focus on ‘us’ ”, “hold onto the ‘Old Ways’”, “tied to our buildings and traditions”, “ too much emphasis on stability”, “inherent parochialism”, “trapped in old ways of doing ministry”, and “set in its ways”.
CLERGY AND LAY LEADERSHIP SURVEY
Narrative Summary, continued
CLERGY AND LAY LEADERSHIP SURVEY
Strengths and Weaknesses, continued
The most significant conclusions from the survey are these:
The Diocese is strongly orthodox in its core theological beliefs. Agreement between clergy and lay respondents on 8 core orthodox theological beliefs combined is 99.5% and 99% respectively. The Diocese’s orthodoxy is seen as its greatest strength by both clergy and lay leaders in their free form responses.
The Diocese is very unified. Although the level of their agreement varied, there was no multiple-
choice question asked in which the clergy and lay leaders did not agree. Likewise, within each group there was almost always a super majority. The only two questions that failed to get a super majority were those of clergy approval of women as priests (58%) or rectors (45%) and lay disapproval of non-celibate, non-married persons in leadership roles (54%).
Broad conclusions are more difficult to draw from the 3 free form questions other than those already apparent from the summary. Nevertheless, some high level conclusions seem appropriate. Clergy and lay leaders’ responses to all three questions demonstrate strong unity. It is significant that there is substantial agreement on Diocesan strengths and weaknesses between these two groups not only on many issues but also on the strength of those issues between groups. Similarly, the expressed opportunities for the Diocese are fundamentally optimistic in spite of its weaknesses, and in particular, in spite of the lawsuits.
The last question which sought free form responses asked clergy and lay leaders what opportunities they saw for the Diocese.
Similar to the question on strengths and weaknesses, the responses were varied. As might be expected with a slightly more open issue, “opportunities”, there were many more different responses. The most common trait among them was optimism for the future. All but 7 of the responses across both groups were either positive in nature (223) or unsure (13) and only a few in each group saw the existence of the lawsuits as a hindrance to opportunities (2/6). Among positive statements were these: from the clergy: “unlimited growth potential”, “Growth!” “huge evangelistic and church planting opportunities”; “Endless”; from lay leaders: “uniquely positioned to make headway...”, “wide open”, “literally, the sky is the limit”. One member of the clergy captured much of the expectant sense of opportunity present in most of the responses:
We are in the epic center of a New Great Awakening. Out of the chaos and political divisiveness of today’s America will come thousands seeking refuge, hope and meaning for their lives. Only the love, compassion and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ presented with uncompromising certainty and conviction can and will bring peace to their lives. Amen.
Another lay leader expressed opportunity as a function of a simple truth, “Remaining faithful to scripture, then all things are possible.”
As to specific categories, most responses fell in two broad opportunity categories: church growth in all its forms and establishing and expanding provincial (ACNA) and community relationships. By far, the most frequently stated opportunity for the Diocese across both groups was that of church growth (130). This was expressed as evangelism (16/21), church planting (40/9) or simply as growth (7/37). A frequent opportunity, especially among the clergy, was that of building, and finding ways to increase, relationships between the Diocese, other ACNA dioceses and the ACNA as a whole. Finally, a common response not as frequently mentioned, but still significant, were those who saw an opportunity to both improve, and lead the improvement in diversity, particularly racial diversity.
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