Worship and prayer groups for those Episcopalians who wish to continue to be a part of the Episcopal Church under the continuing Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina have been established in many areas around our Diocese!
We have joined Pee Dee Episcopalians with many members from St John's, All Saints, St Matthew's and Christ Episcopal Church. Currently, we meet on Sunday afternoons for dessert and coffee and informal worship services and discussion in a private home. We have been offered the use of Cross and Crown Lutheran Church as our group has grown. Some of the other area groups in our Diocese meet in college chapels, fellowship halls and homes as well.
Paul and I have NOT changed our membership from St Bart's and do not intend to do so. This is simply a prayer and worship group that offers fellowship and support to those who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church. We have been very encouraged and uplifted by the love and support of this group!
For more information, anyone can contact us at home 332-0650, and we encourage anyone with questions to visit http://www.scepiscopalians.com or http://www.episcopalforum.org or the Diocesan website http://www.episcopaldioceseofsc.org
We would encourage you to read the beautiful letter from TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the first page of the Diocese website. It never hurts to be fully informed before making a decision. Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested.
[See Rector Michael Rigill's response in blue box to the right.]
As members of the National Altar Guild Association, Frances Elmore and I have sat through our share of workshops about natural disasters and the damages they cause to churches and their sacristies. But, what if the disaster is man made? No piles of storm tossed linens, no dented or missing silver vessels, just nothing... nothing at all with which to prepare the table for Sunday, December 23, and the Episcopalians of Florence Deanery’s first Holy Eucharist together?
Unwilling to impose any further on the generous hospitality of Cross and Crown Lutheran Church by asking to use supplies, EFD would simply have to do its best. With the help of many members and EFD friends, that is exactly what happened.
Edith Robertson led off by volunteering to bake Eucharistic Bread (unleavened and scored with the sign of the cross). Then, Jane Lewis came up with a treasured family heirloom, an engraved silver goblet...and there was a Chalice (footed cup used at the altar to hold the elements of water and wine for consecration and communion)! Another trip to her storage closet produced a silver bread and butter plate, ideal as a Paten (small plate matching the chalice, upon which the priest’s wafer or eucharistic bread is placed). Paul and Rebecca Alford volunteered to donate the Wine (identified as Christ’s blood of the new covenant in the institution narrative).
Meanwhile, at the Elmore-Miller household, dainty, bridge-size, linen napkins were rinsed in icy water, ironed and finger folded into small Purificators (used in medieval days to strain insects or bits of cork out of the wine and, in modern times, to wipe the chalice rim). Dinner-size, linen napkins received similar treatment and became one Corporal (a 9-fold square designed to protect fair linen and to catch any consecrated particles or drops of wine which may fall) and one Lavabo Towel (a 6-fold rectangle used in ceremonial cleansing).
Two antique, cut glass perfume bottles and a small glass container, all with stoppers, became Cruets (to hold wine or water during the celebration of the Eucharist), while a small silver and cut crystal bowl became the Lavabo Bowl (see above).
Then, the impossible happened. From EFD’s wonderful friends and support group in Fort Worth, Texas, arrived a lovely Burse (a case placed on top of the veiled chalice to hold extra purificators) and Veil (matches the vestments worn by the celebrant and is a covering for communion vessels) in the appropriate purple for Advent, which went well with the Lutherans’ navy hangings, also a liturgical choice of color for Advent.
With all things in place on the Credence Table (small shelf at side of the altar) and Altar (focal point of eucharistic celebration) EFD’s first Holy Eucharist unfolded under the expert guidance of Fr. Jeffrey Richardson, St. Alban’s, Kingstree, and with glorious organ music provided by Robert Mason and the soaring voice of talented Ann Lewis, it was a service to remember! Thanks be to God!
From Summerville ...
We are so glad to join the continuing Episcopal parish of St. Paul’s, Summerville. The joy of being back home is incredible. Our little parish is full of good energy, loving community, and hope for the future.
Someone said after our first Eucharist, “We are a new people!” Yes, we are, and we often find ourselves weeping with tears of joy.
And, yet, we are aware of other tears being shed. Faithful people are confused about whether to leave the parish they’ve known for most of their lives and are sad to see their friends choosing to continue with The Episcopal Church. We share their sadness at this separation, weeping with them as well. We pray for one another, remembering that our loving relationships will transcend all dividing and that we are all one people following One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Holiday times accentuate the sadness of losing our home church after our clergy announced their "disassociation" from The Episcopal Church. Adult children are home for the holidays, wondering where we will worship Christmas Eve. They have grown up at St. Paul's and known that as nurturing community.
We are still figuring that out ourselves, but after the gradual chipping away in recent years, we are finding a new joy in affirming our faith as Episcopalians. We have recently gathered in homes for Compline, Evening Prayer, study, singing, Morning Prayer, and thanks to the availability of retired clergy, Holy Eucharist. Where two or three are gathered in my name ... We don’t know exactly what’s ahead, but we trust that God is in the midst of it. Out of that trust, we move forward into new possibilities for serving Him.
From Edisto Island ...
We are pleased to announce that there is a continuing Episcopal presence on Edisto Island with regular opportunities for worship. The continuing worship community of Trinity Episcopal Church was formed so we could continue aligning ourselves with the national Episcopal Church and embrace its policy of inclusion of all people who strive to live out their faith in Jesus Christ.
We meet each Sunday at 11 a.m. in private homes, and all are welcome. We hope soon to have a permanent place to worship. The weekly location can be confirmed by going to www.episcopaldioceseofsc.org. Click on “who we are” and then “parishes and missions.”
Our service follows the Book of Common Prayer and the Episcopal Church hymnal. We are blessed to have two retired Episcopal priests conducting our services, and we will also use guest supply priests when necessary.
We are very grateful to Grace Church in Charleston for its strong show of support and love as we forge this new path together.
Gretchen M. Smith
From St. Mark's, Port Royal
In a world in which our understanding of God's love is still unfolding, we at St. Mark's are a diverse, welcoming, total ministry, Christ-centered community engaged in Ministry always shaped by The Episcopal Church's example of love and service for all throughout the world.
We meet at the historic Union Church, 1004 11th Street in Port Royal (29935) every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for Holy Eucharist, followed by a period of fellowship. Children begin with Sunday School and rejoin their parents for communion.
We hope you can join us in our worship of praise and thanksgiving.
Worship that welcomes your participation.
Theology that invites questions and requires our intelligence as well as our discerning hearts.
Heritage founded on the authority of scripture, tradition, and reason.
Fellowship that welcomes diversity and differences of opinion.
Devotion to the Biblical Sacraments instituted by Jesus, in all their awe and mystery.
A sense of ministry that is the privilege and obligation of every baptized person.
An insistence upon morality (what is good and loving) and an avoidance of moralism.
The heritage of Apostolic faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the Apostolic order which He gave the Church.