The 220th convention of the Diocese of South Carolina was held in Beaufort on Saturday February 18, 2011. Ann Willis, Bill Lyles, John Sosnowski, and Bob Kunes attended as St. Michael’s Lay Delegates while Al, Hamilton, Peter, and Ted attended as Clergy from St. Michael’s and Bishop Dickson attended as a retired Bishop from Tennessee. The convention is a time for conducting diocesan wide business, but, traditionally, there is a worship service the night before the convention begins in which the tone and tenor for the convention is set. That tradition continued this year at St. Helena’s in Beaufort on Friday evening as Bishop Lawrence and the Reverend Jeffrey Miller (Rector of St. Helena’s) led a worship service with communion for all present. Bishop Michael Nazi Ali preached and the entire service was both spirit filled and unifying for those present.
On Saturday, assisted by our own Wade Logan, Chancellor of the Diocese, the Bishop called the convention to order and began the Agenda. For many present, the annual Bishop’s address was a highlight of Bishop Lawrence’s reflections on the year’s past events and the disclosing of his goals for the Diocese for the years to come. This year Bishop Lawrence stressed the need to plant new churches within the Diocese (reminding those present that while ships are safest in the harbor, ships were not built to stay in the harbor!) and the need to re-emphasize the Diocesan 10-10-10 plan (parishioners give 10% to churches that give 10% to Diocese that expends 10% back to the larger church) to support the work through the Diocesan staff, reiterated his call about Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age, and spoke passionately about the need to encourage long range financial planning within the Diocese by the advancement and reconfiguration of the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Advancement of Christianity in South Carolina, and addressed his concerns with the Title IV revisions adopted by the National Church.
When the Bishop came to the item on the Agenda to discuss the resolutions that had been approved previously, but which required a second affirmative vote, there was some passionate commentary by those present about both the merits and fears about the resolutions. However, by a roll call vote, the Convention approved all of the submitted resolutions for the second time.
St. Michael’s own Hamilton Smith was elected to the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and Wade Logan was re-appointed Chancellor.
For a link to Bishop Lawrence’s sermon, I encourage you to go to the Diocesan web site at www.dioceseofsc.org and download a copy. I promise you will be reminded of why we are so blessed in this Diocese to be led by such a mature, Godly Christian man as Mark Lawrence!!
~ Bob Kunes