We have just observed a wonderful time of Thanksgiving and are now moving into the Christmas season. Surely our Christian churches and our Christian brothers and sisters can come together and resolve our disputes.
Kneeling in the rear pews at St. Philip’s Church, I have asked God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help his children in both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church to forgive each other our trespasses and mediate our differences to reach a resolution with Judge Anderson on the 4th and 5th of December.
We “little people” in your churches are tired of lawsuits. Charleston has “Jasper fatigue” and “Christian church lawsuit fatigue.” How many times have we repeated Matthew 7: 3? “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Our bishop and ministers all teach us this. Do they not hear themselves?
Bishop Mark Lawrence and Bishop Gladstone Adams, and all of the smart lawyers who are leading us on the way through this, shame on you if you cannot resolve this in Christian mediation. Don’t you see the damage that you are causing to our church families?
It normally takes two weeks to two years to get over a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood; this church dispute is tearing our community apart and it will take generations to rebuild the Holy City. Resolutions have been proposed; let’s find a way. Also, there is a street-smart admonition: When you find yourself in a hole, first stop digging. More lawsuits are not the answer.
Let us pray for a Christmas season that finds us done with family feuds, and instead attending to our Christian mission of loving God and loving our fellow man, whether Episcopal or Anglican. “Lord, hear our prayer.” And, let the church say, amen.