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Report from the President of the Standing Committee Regarding All Saints' Parish

Friday, January 09, 2004

Following the actions in December 2003 of the Vestry of All Saints' Parish, Waccamaw, to change their Corporate Charter, to leave the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee met with the members of that vestry. We met in the hope of reaching a positive resolution, and in an effort to avoid the actions that ultimately took place at the January 8, 2004 meeting of the Parish.

As evidenced by the resolutions passed at the Special Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina held in October of 2003, the Diocese, including the members of All Saints', are deeply concerned about the crisis in the Episcopal Church. We strongly believe that our working together is the best witness in this struggle.

At our meeting on January 5th, the Standing Committee, in an effort to find common ground made the following proposal:

1.) Recommend to the Bishop he consider dropping the appeal to the lawsuit filed by All Saints' against the Diocese.
2.) Recommend that seat, voice and vote be given to All Saints' at the upcoming Diocesan Convention.
3.) Recommend the reinstatement of the Vestry
4.) Recommend the restoration of Parish Status
5.) Recommend the scheduled meeting with a replacement vestry be cancelled.

We asked the Vestry simply to a) rescind their vote and to b) put on hold the proposed Parish vote on the resolutions altering their Charter and severing their relationship with the Diocese until at least January of 2005.

Following that meeting, we shared our proposal with Bishop Salmon, who immediately acted on our request by canceling the scheduled meeting with the replacement vestry. In light of the fact that the appeal of the lawsuit has already been heard, and the ruling from the court is still pending, the Bishop's discernment was to wait for the courts ruling. However, the Bishop was more than willing to engage in all manner of discussions regarding the use, and ownership of the Church property. In addition, Bishop Salmon was willing to reinstate the vestry and restore All Saints' to Parish status. He also supported the Standing Committee's recommendation that All Saints' be given seat, voice and vote ad the upcoming Convention.

Our efforts included the support of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, and Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes; as well as the overwhelming majority of the clergy of the Diocese, who urged All Saints' not to take this action. Sadly, despite the efforts on the part of the Standing Committee and the willingness of the Bishop to find some common ground, the vestry of All Saints' was unwilling to rescind their vote, or to delay the Parish meeting so as to avoid the tear in the fabric of our Diocesan Common life. We recognize this is a difficult time for all faithful Orthodox Anglicans. We continue to offer our love and prayers for the members of All Saints' Parish, whom we know to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.


The Rev. Craige N. Borrett,
The Standing Committee (END)

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