If you keep up with Anglican News, you’ve heard that the Diocese of South Carolina was effectively kicked out of The Episcopal Church. Why? Essentially because we A) want to play by the rules and B) believe that we should be judged by the Bible not be the Bible’s judge. It’s a crazy world… but power corrupts Presiding Bishops.
So… what does this mean for Holy Cross at St. Alban’s?? Not a whole lot. We minister to students who are Anglican or Episcopal or Baptist or Catholic or Spiritual but not religious or Atheist or Agnostic. All are welcome! As John Burwell says, “We exist for those who are not yet here”.
But, if you’re still reading and care to know what the argument really boils down to, it’s the idea of following the rules of our association with a wider body when that wider body changes the rules. Here’s a great summary:
“[The National Church] can’t appoint a bishop; they can’t ordain a priest; they can’t discipline or remove a priest; they can’t marry anybody in the diocese; they can’t bury anybody in the diocese; they can’t preach to anybody in the diocese; they can’t stop the purchase of any property; they can’t stop the sale or misuse of property. . . They do not have any right to review our [diocesan] constitution or canons once we decide to change [them]. [But] we have the right to vote on whether they can change theirs.”
And, we in the Diocese of South Carolina were trying to be patient, measured, and grace filled (making a way for people to disagree even!) — but the National Church would have nothing of it. Instead, they hit the nuclear option and kicked our Bishop to the curb. Did they have any grounds to do that legally? Nope.
So… what does this essentially mean for us? Nothing less than freedom from tyranny and an opportunity to keep reaching out to the Anglican, Episcopal, Atheist, Agnostic, Baptist, Fully Committed or non-Committed, Sinners or Saints… well, simply put, anyone who wants to come and hear about Grace.