I am a member of and have attended Grace Episcopal Church all of my 86 years. I grew up in downtown Charleston, near both St. Michael’s Church and St. Philip’s Church, and many of my friends are members of those churches.
I have grieved since 2012 when these churches removed themselves from The Episcopal Church to follow Bishop Mark Lawrence into uncharted waters.
It has been my prayer that the time would come when some reconciliation would come between the two factions and end the legal battle.
I was surprised, but encouraged, by the proposal of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to agree to drop the part of the lawsuit demanding the return of the properties formally a part of the Episcopal Church. That seemed to me to be a fair and decent way to be good friends, save court costs and disagreeable arguments, and to show our Episcopal side for reconciliation.
Before the ink was dry on this proposal, it was rejected out of hand by the spokesman for Bishop Lawrence.
Is this it, or do the parishes have anything to say about it? I find from many of my friends that the parishes had little to say about leaving the Episcopal denomination, so I guess they have little to say in trying to be good friends with other Christians with whom they were affiliated for more than two centuries.
It is sad, and I pray for those who left the Episcopal Church and for those who remain as Episcopalians, that divisions can be healed as a part of God’s plan, not a court plan.
Thomas E. Thornhill