Monday, January 05, 2009

More Episcopal Church Departures: Majority of South Carolina Congregation and Rector leave The Episcopal Church for CANA

Sarah Hey has the story here. The Bishop of Upper South Carolina has all ready announced his intention to retire. Sarah, who is a member of another congregation in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, writes:

Today, after the service and immediately prior to the dismissal, Father Rob Hartley of St. Johns, Clearwater, announced his resignation from The Episcopal Church. The Senior Warden and remainder of the vestry also announced their resignations.

St. John's, Clearwater, was a mission of The Diocese of Upper South Carolina and had experienced steady growth since 2003.

They will be establishing a CANA congregation in North Augusta, SC, with some 60 congregants, and have acquired access to temporary facilities for offices and worship.

Rob is a faithful priest and a friend, and I am deeply sorry for his departure. What a pleasure it has been to get to know him.

Rob has struggled with his ministry within The Episcopal Church for some years now. From my own perspective, in observing his struggle and the instigating factors of that struggle, the decisions -- and not merely the most obvious one -- of the General Conventions of 2003 and 2006 indicated a departure from the Christian view of the primacy of Holy Scripture and the person of Christ for the majority of the leadership at the highest national levels of The Episcopal Church. This was deeply troubling to Rob.

Beyond his struggle with his ministry in The Episcopal Church, there was his belief that the diocese of Upper South Carolina had not stood sufficiently or publicly against the new direction of the national leadership of The Episcopal Church. The lack of a diocese with a clear and strong identity to counter the stances of The Episcopal Church at the national level was also deeply troubling to Rob.
Read it all here.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

It IS troubling when Christians miss their a window of opportunity to boldy proclaim the radically old Good News. I think that happened in SC.

To Rob, I say "Axios!" He is worthy to serve!