South Carolina Episcopalians
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November 16, 2018
Bishop's Call to Convention: Christ's Love Must be in the Heart of Our Diocese... and in our Lives
Bishop Adams' uses Diocesan Convention to reach out to those who once followed Lawrence, even as rebellions former bishop continues quixotic delay of the inevitable in court
'Faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is the ‘love shown forth in Christ.’ Love heals. Love sustains. Love is hope. Love is faith. It looks like Jesus. My hope is that it looks like us, and we look like him." -- Skip Adams' Convention Address
In 2012, one of Mark Lawrence chief lieutenants said that the goal of their nascent schism was to wipe out - or at least a generation - the presence of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
In many ways the 228th Annual Convention of the Diocese today and tomorrow is a celebration of the commitment of loyal Episcopalians to restoring a robust Christian witness of the Church. Today, it's the fastest growing diocese in the Church.
Skip Adams, the recently retired Bishop of Central New York, never viewed his job of Provisional Bishop in South Carolina as simply managing a wounded Diocese back to health. He believes he was called by the Holy Spirit to, not only heal the pain of the recent schism, but to a robust new Christian ministry in its wake through which which future generations will be led more deeply into the mystery of God's love.
Tonight Bishop Adams laid before the convention delegates his vision of the Diocese as one that fully reflects God's love, as makes the Gospel witness known in the way its people live out their lives.
"The love of God shown forth in Christ is not a mere sentimental feeling. It takes specific shape on a cross and explodes in resurrection hope. We are called to make that same love specific and concrete in our own day, in this Diocese. We must claim our baptismal identity." Adams said.
At no point in his address did the Bishop mention the disastrous episcopate of Mark Lawrence or the ongoing legal obstacles preventing people on both sides of his schism from moving on with their ministries.
Bishop Adams had invited each of the former Lawrence parishes to send representatives to the Convention. A few took him up on it, and were recognized and applauded.