Leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America, led by Bishop Mark Lawrence and Archbishop Foley Beach, came together at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, South Carolina on April 28-29, 2015 for prayer, fellowship, and conversation.
The Diocese of South Carolina was represented by Bishop Mark Lawrence, Mr. Wade Logan, Mr. Alan Runyan, The Rev. Craige Borrett, The Rev. Kendall Harmon, The Rev. Jeffrey Miller, Mrs. Boo Pennewill, and The Rev. Jim Lewis.
The Anglican Church in North America was represented by Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Ray Sutton, Bishop John Guernsey, Bishop Bill Atwood, Bishop Terrell Glenn, The Rev. Phil Ashey, The Rev. Jack Lumanog, Mr. Scott Ward, and Mr. Tad Brenner.
Our conversations reflected the mutual respect and sincere affection that we share as fellow Anglicans, and we appreciated the opportunity to speak candidly together about topics that affect our common life.
We had frank exchanges that examined the possible compatibility of the ecclesiologies of the Anglican Church in North America and the Diocese of South Carolina.
There is a wide spectrum of polities in the provinces of the Anglican Communion and these differences affect the ways in which dioceses relate to their respective provinces. Provinces such as Nigeria are more hierarchical, while provinces such as South America are more conciliar. Our conversations began exploring the practical dimensions of how a diocese and province relate in the structure of the Anglican Church in North America.
Together we openly addressed the challenges posed by the overlapping jurisdictions in South Carolina. In some cases the reasons for this overlap extend from circumstances that are less than a couple decades old, and in other circumstances the reasons reach back over a hundred years. All expressed a desire to take steps towards addressing these relational barriers with the recognition that this work is a necessary precursor to ecclesial order.
We committed to further prayer and conversation together as we seek to share the Gospel as fellow Anglicans in North America. We understand that this is only the beginning of a process, the full nature of which, and the full outcome of which, we do not know. We entrust ourselves to the mercy, protection, and guidance of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.