What's Happening at Calvary

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/first-black-episcopal-church-leader-will-continue-his-fathers-teachings/2015/10/14/bede82e2-72b2-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html http://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/lent-2016.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/episcopal-church-installs-its-first-african-american-bishop/2015/11/01/d9b7c44c-80d2-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.htmlhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/episcopal-church-installs-its-first-african-american-bishop/2015/11/01/d9b7c44c-80d2-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.html

READINGS AND GOSPELS: Sunday, June 16, 2019

posted Dec 10, 2016, 12:55 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 11:37 AM ]

First Sunday after Pentecost

Occasion: Trinity Sunday

Sunday, June 16, 2019
Year (cycle): C

The Collect: 

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

1 Does not wisdom call,
   and does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights, beside the way,
   at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,
   at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
4 ‘To you, O people, I call,
   and my cry is to all that live.

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
   the first of his acts of long ago.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
   at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
   when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
   before the hills, I was brought forth—
26 when he had not yet made earth and fields,
   or the world’s first bits of soil.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there,
   when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
   when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
   so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30   then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
   rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
   and delighting in the human race.

Psalm 8

1 O Lord our Governor, *
        how exalted is your Name in all the world!
2 Out of the mouths of infants and children *
        your majesty is praised above the heavens.
3 You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *
        to quell the enemy and the avenger.
4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
        the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
5 What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
        the son of man that you should seek him out?
6 You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
        you adorn him with glory and honor;
7 You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *
        you put all things under his feet:
8 All sheep and oxen, *
        even the wild beasts of the field,
9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
        and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
10 O Lord our Governor, *
        how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Romans 5:1-5

1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

John 16:12-15

12 ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.


Daily Readings ...

posted Jul 4, 2016, 6:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 11:43 AM ]

The daily readings expand the range of biblical reading in worship and personal devotion.  These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect on and digest what they heard in worship on Sunday; Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead.

Source:  http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=C#id264

Note: For the readings after Pentecost: the first reading pairs with the semi-continuous strand of texts; the second, with the complementary.

Sunday, June 9, 2019: Day of Pentecost


Sunday, June 16, 2019: Trinity Sunday


Note: For the readings after Pentecost: the first reading pairs with the semi-continuous strand of texts; the second, with the complementary.


Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the Daily Readings is available though Augsburg Fortress.

Calvary News and Announcements ...

posted Jun 15, 2016, 4:07 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 12:27 PM ]


Beginning on Sunday, January 6, 2019
and the 1st Sunday of each month
Volunteers are needed to sponsor and present the Repast after service
Please see Robin Blunt or contact her at (843) 813-3754


The JOY/Crafts group will meet from
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Tuesdays
during the shortened daylight period.


The Gatherers Around The Table will meet from
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm on Tuesdays
during the shortened daylight period


Coastal Carolina Fair Ribbons for crafts group at Calvary

A crafts and knitting group (formerly known as the JOY Group) that meets at historic Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston is celebrating the achievements of its members and the fellowship that their weekly meetings have fostered. The group gathered in December for an informal Christmas party and to view an array of handcrafts that their members entered for judging at the recent Coastal Carolina Fair.

Led by Veronica Sheppard and Pat Williams, who offer instruction to the group, Calvary members earned 22 ribbons at the annual fair.

The members also are taking on new projects to benefit others. Calvary's Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Matt McCormick, has connected the group with the Medical University of South Carolina to create special blankets to be used for the burial of infants.

​The group meets every Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm at Calvary, and is always looking for new students and members. They recently welcomed a new member from nearby St. Mark's Episcopal. For information contact group member Andrea Lawrence at redhatladyandrea@icloud.com.



House of Deputies Medal Awarded to Lonnie Hamilton

Lonnie Hamilton with the President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings,
onstage with the rest of the South Carolina deputation and Bishop Skip Adams.

On July 10, 2018,  the House of Deputies Medal was awarded to Lonnie Hamilton III, a lay deputy for South Carolina. House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings presented the award, honoring Lonnie's leadership and witness in serving the Church through a time of division and the ongoing reorganization in our diocese. Our deputation and Bishop Adams accompanied him to the stage as he received a standing ovation from more than 800 people present in the House of Deputies.

Watch the video here - the presentation begins at about 17:00 minutes.

Here is the text of President Jennings' presentation:

Now, back in 2012, we had a little excitement at General Convention. ... At that convention, held in the great diocese of Indianapolis, some of those gathered among us decided to leave the convention and, ultimately, to leave the Episcopal Church. Just one loyal Episcopalian from the former Diocese of South Carolina remained, and he is a gifted educator, a civil rights advocate, and an astonishing jazz saxophonist and clarinetist who has also been a faithful member of our church for more than 60 years. And through it all, he has never stopped working and praying and hoping that the people of his former diocese will find a way to come back together so that we all may be one."

Deputy Lonnie Hamilton of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has been a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston for 57 years and served on the vestry, as choirmaster, and in many other leadership roles. He has served on the Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council in South Carolina, and this is his sixth General Convention as a deputy or alternate. He is a retired administrator with the Charleston County School District and served his community as a member of Charleston County Council for more than 20 years. He was the first African American to serve on that body and was twice elected as its chairman.

The House of Deputies is not, as you can imagine, the first organization to honor Lonnie’s faithful ministry. When he received the Dean’s Cross Award from Virginia Theological Seminary last year, the citation noted that Lonnie has “a reputation not only as a gifted educator but also as a charismatic figure who was popular with students and who could help ease tensions at Bonds-Wilson and other North Charleston area schools resulting from the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, he led the diocesan Community Housing Development Organization, which has converted dozens of properties into affordable housing units.”

As if all this weren’t enough, Lonnie toured with the Jenkins Orphanage Bands in the mid-1940s and played with his own band, Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats, which was the signature jazz band in Charleston for decades.

For his distinguished service to the Episcopal Church and to the community we serve in Charleston, South Carolina, I am honored to award the House of Deputies medal to Deputy Lonnie Hamilton.


Our own Mr. Lonnie Hamilton III has been awarded the prestigious DEAN'S CROSS award by the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Established in November 2008, the Dean’s Cross award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”  Selected annually by the Seminary Dean in consultation with the Chair of the Board, the Honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the Seminary Chapel cross, and a certificate.  

“Our work here at Virginia Seminary is formation,” said the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary, “and this award celebrates the well-formed life, which involves living out the values of the baptismal covenant and making a difference in society.”

   Past Recipients of the award include:

   December 7, 2014
  • Ms. Madeleine Albright from Washington, D.C.
    Former (and the first female) Secretary of State of the United States of America

   December 6, 2015
  • Mrs. Barbara Bush from Houston, TX.
    Former First Lady of the United States of America

ECW  FISH FRY on February 23    
The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) will host a  FISH FRY on Friday, February 23 from 4 - 6 pm.
Tickets are $10

Location: Calvary Church Parish Hall, 104 Line Street, Charleston SC 29403

The Episcopal Church Women will host their annual Oyster Roast on April 7, 2018 from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. 
Tickets are $20 adults and $10 children ages 6-12 years.
Location: Calvary Church Parish Hall, 104 Line Street, Charleston SC 29403

EpisComm18 is coming to Kanuga April 17-20

The national Episcopal Communicators Conference will be April 17-20, 2018 at Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center near Hendersonville NC. Registration is now open, and I am planning to attend this as well.  

Please consider attending (or sending someone to) this important national conference - both for the excellent workshops and speakers, and for the opportunity to meet people from all over The Episcopal Church who are doing this kind of work, too. You will come home with fresh inspiration, exciting ideas, and new friendships. 


Our own Mr. Lonnie Hamilton III has been awarded the prestigious DEAN'S CROSS award by the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Established in November 2008, the Dean’s Cross award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”  Selected annually by the Seminary Dean in consultation with the Chair of the Board, the Honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the Seminary Chapel cross, and a certificate.  

“Our work here at Virginia Seminary is formation,” said the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary, “and this award celebrates the well-formed life, which involves living out the values of the baptismal covenant and making a difference in society.”

   Past Recipients of the award include:

   December 7, 2014
  • Ms. Madeleine Albright from Washington, D.C.
    Former (and the first female) Secretary of State of the United States of America

   December 6, 2015
  • Mrs. Barbara Bush from Houston, TX.
    Former First Lady of the United States of America

Fr. Joseph Smith, Rector, and Members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA  were in the Charleston area on July 23 for a mission trip with a group called Home Works. They worked primarily on John's Island, bringing around 22 youth and adults. Calvary extended our warmest welcome to these travelers to worship with us that Sunday. 



This was a return visit for the Youth Group and group leaders of St. Mary's to do their mission work on John's Island. 
Follow the link below to see pictures from last  year's visit.


NEWS BLOG - AROUND THE DIOCESE - Events, Resources, Services

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 28, 2019, 9:42 AM by joan bonaparte ]

The official dates for our next Diocesan Convention have been set: November 15-16 at the Mariott Hotel in North Charleston. The churches of the West Charleston Deanery will be the co-hosts for our 228th Convention, which is the annual "business meeting" and family reunion of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.The official "Call to Convention" will go out in August, with more details and information on how to register.

Staff Transitions


PictureHolly Votaw
Holly Votaw, Diocesan Director of Communications, has notified Bishop Skip Adams that she will be moving to North Carolina this spring. The Bishop and Diocesan Council are in the process of reviewing this part-time position and its job description with a goal of opening a search process for a new Director of Communication in the next few weeks.

Mrs. Votaw will continue to serve as Director of Communications throughout the transition, working remotely via computer and internet in coordination with the Bishop and diocesan staff. She also plans to be present at diocesan events such as the Renewal of Clergy Vows, Diocesan Clergy Conference at Kanuga, and the Under One Roof II conference on May 18, where she will be one of the presenters. People can continue to contact her for communication needs at hvotaw@episcopalchurchsc.org or 843-345-8011 (mobile).

Mrs. Votaw and her husband, the Rev. Alastair Votaw, will be making their home in the Pisgah Forest community near Brevard, NC. She has served as Director of Communications for the diocese since January 2013. An announcement will be made to the diocese when a formal search process begins.

Your prayers and presence are requested as two candidates for Holy Orders from our Diocese, Lauren Kay and Charles Jenkins, are to be ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, June 15 at 11 am at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston. Charles is completing his studies at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and Lauren is preparing to graduate at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Please keep them both in your prayers as their ordination date approaches.
Our planning team for Under One Roof II is making plans for a great diocesan-wide resource day on Saturday, May 18 at Porter-Gaud Episcopal School in Charleston. Co-chairs Nancy Ezell Suggs (center) and Warren Mersereau (right) held a planning meeting today with staff liaison the Rev. Bill Coyne, Missioner for Returning Congregations, at the Diocesan Office.

Every parish and mission inThe Episcopal Church in South Carolina is asked to send a team of clergy and laypeople, staff and volunteers, to learn, share experiences and resources, and network with others. Some 20 workshops are being planned in the areas of leadership, administration and finance, Christian formation, welcoming ministry, communications, and more.

Registration will include coffee and lunch. Please save the date, and watch for registration information coming soon!
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) and The Episcopal Church today filed a petition asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to order the Dorchester County Circuit Court to enforce the high court’s 2017 decision and return control of diocesan property and 29 parish properties to The Episcopal Church and its local diocese, TECSC.
The Petition for Writ of Mandamus asks the high court to require Circuit Judge Edgar W. Dickson to take action and execute the decision that the justices remitted to Judge Dickson 16 months ago.
The disputed properties currently are under the control of a group led by Bishop Mark Lawrence that left The Episcopal Church in 2012 and then sued the church in an attempt to keep the property. The delay in enforcing the high court’s decision is continuing to cause harm to TECSC, the petition says.

“The extraordinary remedy sought [a writ of mandamus] is therefore necessary given the long delay and misdirected undertaking of the Circuit Court to attempt to revisit the merits, while the property to which Petitioners are entitled is being wasted, misused, and depleted,” the petition says.

“That property includes unique real estate, historic buildings, and artifacts that cannot be replaced, along with accounts held in trust that are being depleted as this litigation is being improperly prolonged,” the petition says.  With no action taken by the court on requests for enforcement, “petitioners have no adequate remedy other than to seek a writ from this Court.”

The state Supreme Court issued a decision in August 2017 to return the diocesan property and 29 parishes to the Episcopal parties. In November 2017, that decision was remitted to Judge Dickson to be executed. The Episcopal Church and TECSC have filed motions asking the court to return the property and assets, and have also requested a full accounting. 
No action has been taken on those requests. To date, the court has held one scheduling conference and one hearing on a motion for “clarification” filed by the breakaway group.
The petition filed today emphasizes that the state Supreme Court sent the decision to the Circuit Court on “remittitur” rather than on “remand.” A remittitur means the circuit court “has a duty to follow and enforce the mandate from [the Supreme Court’s] final and dispositive decision.”
“The Circuit Court has unduly delayed and appears to be reconsidering the case on its merits, exceeding its jurisdiction on remittitur,” the petition says.
Attorneys for the breakaway group have told Judge Dickson that that decision is too unclear to be enforced. However, the petition notes that the breakaway group repeatedly acknowledged that the decision was final in the legal documents they filed trying to get the decision reversed: First when they asked the state Supreme Court for a rehearing, and again in their unsuccessful petition to the United States Supreme Court.
For example, in their petition for rehearing to the state Supreme Court they stated about the ruling: “As a result, the majority would transfer the real and personal property of South Carolina religious organizations” to The Episcopal Church. The high court, in denying the rehearing, expressly stated that “the opinions previously filed in this case reflect the final decision of this Court.”
Under South Carolina law, a petition for a writ of mandamus has to meet four criteria, and the petition spells these out and notes how each condition has been met:
  • A duty of the court to perform the act.
  • The “ministerial” nature of the act, a legal term meaning that it is directly commanded by law.
  • The petitioner’s specific legal right for which discharge of that duty is necessary – in this case, the right to the diocesan and parish property awarded by the Supreme Court ruling.
  • A lack of any other legal remedy.
Parishes whose property is subject to the Supreme Court’s August 2017 ruling are:

All Saints, Florence
Christ Church, Mount Pleasant
Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island
Church of the Cross, Bluffton
Epiphany, Eutawville
Good Shepherd, Charleston
Holy Comforter, Sumter
Holy Cross, Stateburg
Holy Trinity, Charleston
Old St. Andrew’s, Charleston
Church of Our Saviour, John’s Island
Redeemer, Orangeburg
Resurrection, Surfside
St. Bartholomew’s, Hartsville
St. David’s, Cheraw
St. Helena’s, Beaufort
St. James, James Island
St. John’s, John’s Island
St. Jude’s, Walterboro
St. Luke’s, Hilton Head
St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston
St. Matthew’s, Fort Motte
St. Michael’s, Charleston
St. Paul’s, Bennettsville
St. Paul’s, Summerville
St. Philip’s, Charleston
Trinity, Edisto Island
Trinity, Pinopolis
Trinity, Myrtle Beach
The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church took a "deep dive" into the Way of Love, discussed the upcoming Lambeth 2020 Conference, worshiped and shared fellowship together at their spring meeting at Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC March 12-15. Bishop Skip Adams attended this meeting with fellow bishops from across the Church. Here are some links to Episcopal News Service coverage of the meeting:

House of Bishops opens spring meeting with exploration of the Way of Love (March 12)

The Way of Love's scope expands beyond The Episcopal Church at HOB Meeting (March 13)

Bishops consider response to Lambeth decision not to invite same-sex spouses (March 14)

Bishops object to Archbishop of Canterbury's decision; majority of bishops say they will attend (March 15)

A "Mind of the House" Resolution from the House of Bishops (March 15)

Music around the Diocese: Spring 2019


Churches in our diocese are observing Lent and Holy Week and celebrating Easter with a variety of musical events. Please save this link and check back as we add new events to the calendar through the spring.

March 24: Mid-Lent Celtic Evensong
Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island, 5 pm.
Join the HCFM Parish Choir for a special Celtic Evensong featuring harpist Rebecca Nissen. 

March 24: Lenten Recital & Evensong
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 4 pm.
A contemplative service based on Plainsong chant, sung by the Chamber Choir. Evensong
begins with a 30-minute organ recital.

April 7: Lenten Choral Evensong
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, 4 pm.
Grace's St. Gregory Choir will sing this service of Evening Prayer set to music for the Fifth Sunday in Lent.

April 14: Chilcott Requiem
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 4 pm
A concert of music for Holy Week, sung by the Parish Choir, featuring the Chilcott Requiem with a woodwind chamber orchestra and organ. A $20 donation is suggested.

April 28: Choral Evensong
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, 4 pm. 
Grace's St. Gregory Choir will sing this service of Evening Prayer set to music on the Second Sunday of Easter.

May 30: Choral Evensong for the Feast of the Ascension
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 7 pm. 
This service, sung by Voci Sacre in the Hay Chapel, celebrates Jesus' Ascension.

More than 80 youth and adult leaders spent the weekend at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island for Happening #1 March 1-3, the restart of Happening for youth in our diocese, and plans are already under way for Happening #2 in 2020.

Happening is a spiritual retreat for high school students, a youth led experience that has been offered in many Episcopal dioceses for decades. Our diocese held Happening retreats until around 2001.

Last year, a pair of old high school friends, Jay Hart and Ian Bonnet, who had participated in Happening together in the late 1980s began working to restart and renew Happening for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, hoping 
to make Happening possible for their own high school-age children.

With support from the diocese and with leadership from clergy, staff and youth at Grace Church Cathedral, they formed a team that spent months working to offer Happening to youth from all across our diocese. Mr. Bonnet and Mr. Hart served as Lay Directors for Happening #1.

The Episcopal dioceses of Atlanta, Upper South Carolina and North Carolina also played a big part in this effort, sending teams to support this weekend's event as well as welcoming our youth to their own diocesan Happening events for training. In addition to a big youth presence from Grace, youth from St. Thomas, North Charleston; St. George's, Summerville, St. Stephen's, Charleston; and Calvary, Charleston participated.

A Happening Weekend includes talks done by the youth, lots of singing and praying, and a few surprises along the way. 

Mark your calendars for March 27-29, 2020 for Happening #2. If you are interested in helping, or have stories of your own Happening experience to share, please be in touch with Andrea McKellar, Diocesan Ministry Developer, at amckellar@episcopalchurchsc.org.

The next diocesan youth event is the Bishop's Lock-In at Grace Church Cathedral April 12-13. For details on that and other upcoming opportunities for youth, check out our youth page at episcopalchurchsc.org/youth and on Instagram at @tecscyouth.
View and share photos in our Facebook Page album here.

More than 150 clergy and lay leaders gathered under the ancient oaks of Middleton Place near Charleston on February 28, walking the ‘sacred ground’ where enslaved Africans and white Europeans lived and died for generations, and where their descendants continue to grapple with their shared history and the present-day realities of race and discrimination.
The Diocesan Racial Awareness Day brought together people from the 31 congregations of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, as well as guests from other dioceses and other denominations.

The focus of the day was a viewing of the one-hour film produced by Middleton Place called Beyond the Fields, which includes dozens of interviews with descendants of enslaved people and owners who lived and worked at the historic plantation.

Middleton Place offers a unique opportunity to share that history. Its foundation has worked for decades to research and tell the story of its African and African American residents, including the work of slaves in its demonstration areas, and opening Eliza’s House, a former slave dwelling, as a museum house in 1990. Since 2000 Middleton has offered tours focusing on the everyday life of enslaved people. Beyond the Fields, first as a book published in 2008 followed by the documentary film, are part of that ongoing commitment. Much more information is available at https://www.middletonplace.org/beyond-the-fields/ , including a link to watch the documentary online.
“It was significant that we met at Middleton Place for our conversations regarding racial healing and reconciliation,” said Bishop Skip Adams, who attended as a participant. “Being on the grounds where plantation life flourished and where we know so many enslaved people lived and worked was not lost on any of us.

“My hope is that God uses our time together for the ongoing healing of our diocese and nation, conformed more and more to the mind of Christ, and as we participate in the grand sweep of justice in history,” the Bishop said.

Ongoing training in racial reconciliation, justice and healing are required for Episcopal Church clergy and staff and highly encouraged for all others under actions adopted by General Convention. But as the group assembled around tables to begin the day, Bishop Adams said that while those requirements are important, the Racial Awareness Day represents something more.

“This is not just about fulfilling commitments or checking a box. It’s about building a culture of awareness about who we are called to be as a people of God,” he said.

Archdeacon Callie Walpole, who organized the event on behalf of the diocese, offered thanks to Middleton Place for hosting, including Tracey Todd, CEO of Middleton Place and producer of the film Beyond the Fields, and Charles Duell, Middleton’s Steward and a member of St. Stephen’s, Charleston.

The facilitator for the day’s conversations was the Rev. Dr. Kylon Middleton, pastor of Mount Zion AME Church in Charleston and executive director of the Charleston Illumination Project. He reminded participants that as they walk around the historic plantation, “you are on sacred ground.”

Dr. Middleton is also a partner with Archdeacon Walpole in the Episcopal/AME Book Study hosted each Tuesday at Grace Church Cathedral. Many members of that study attended the Middleton event.

“Every week there is a collision at the intersection of Glebe and Wentworth,” Dr. Middleton said, describing the book study. “And it is a good collision, because we come together weekly grappling with tough issues of systemic injustice, racial disparities, embedded inequities in our culture.... We feel there is a moment where we are illuminated. We don’t necessarily have to agree, but we are at least enlightened and we are aware, and we are better for having sat together and talked one with another.”
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been ‘the other,’ but it’s certainly not a good place to be,” Dr. Middleton told the group. “We have come to combat and stamp out those othering experiences that exclude, that marginalize, that push to the periphery those who have historically been left out.”
To drive home that point, at one point in the discussion, he asked participants to identify one individual at each table who was different from everyone else at their table -- for example, the only woman, the only clergy person – to serve as the leader and spokesperson.

After Noonday Prayer and a lunch of fried chicken, barbecue, collards and other regional favorites, participants had time to walk the grounds of Middleton, reflecting and writing in journals.

Several churches sent teams of clergy and lay leaders to the Racial Awareness Day. A group of 15 attended from Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island, including their priest associate, the Rev. Donald Fishburne.
“As a Charleston native, I felt during the pilgrimage day not so much guilt or shame, but sorrow and heartache for the cruelty of the past that continues to find expression even today,” Fr. Fishburne wrote afterward in a report for his church newsletter.
The Episcopal Church on Edisto team was joined by the Rev. Chick Morrison, pastor of New First Missionary Baptist Church, the historically African American congregation that worships next door to the Edisto Episcopalians, and has given them use of their historic sanctuary for the past six years.
Pastor Morrison told the group during the discussion period that while understanding the past is important, it’s also important to look toward the future. “We don’t fight fire. We fight fire with love,” he said.

After the event, Archdeacon Walpole offered the following reflection:

“The Reverend Dr Kylon Middleton, AME minister and Director of the Charleston Illumination Project, who facilitated our Racial Awareness Day at Middleton Place, calls the grounds at Middleton ‘sacred.’ It might seem incongruous (perhaps anywhere but in South Carolina) to hold a racial awareness day at a plantation known as America’s oldest landscaped gardens, where thousands of enslaved Africans toiled ceaselessly to make South Carolina Britain’s wealthiest colony. The film Beyond the Fields produced by Middleton Place delves into this history, featuring numerous Middleton descendants and local personalities speaking in strikingly non-dramatic, matter-of-fact, tones about a divergent but shared heritage and the pressing task for us all today to seek unity in diversity – and truth. The past is not dead but rather confronted and acknowledged—on the way to a future of full redemption –transformation – communion.”
PictureBishop Rob Wright
 The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker at our 2019 Diocesan Clergy Conference May 6-8 at at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. 

Held annually, the conference is an opportunity for all clergy of the diocese to pray together with Bishop Adams and one another, sharing in fellowship and Sabbath time. 

(Diocesan clergy, register for the conference at this link)

Bishop Wright was elected in 2012 to serve the Diocese of Atlanta, which covers north and middle Georgia and embraces 110 worshiping communities. He had previously served as rector of St. Paul’s, Atlanta, and on the staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.

Since becoming bishop, Bishop Wright addressed the Georgia legislature about gun control, spoke up for Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal and active opponent of the death penalty in Georgia. In commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, he prayed with a City of Atlanta sanitation crew before taking an early morning shift on the back of a city garbage truck. In January 2015, he was named among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by GeorgiaTrend magazine.

Bishop Wright was born in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was adopted at 9 months of age. After graduating high school, he served five years in the U.S. Navy. While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., he worked as a child advocate for two mayors. He earned an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary, and he has been awarded honorary doctor of divinity degrees by the Virginia seminary and Sewanee: The University of the South.

He is married to Beth-Sarah Wright, Ph.D., and they have a grown daughter and four school-age children. To see Bishop Wright's detailed biography, click here.

PictureThe Rev. Dr. Gary Mason
The Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, the director of a conflict transformation organization in Northern Ireland where he has played a key role in the peace process, will visit Pawleys Island and Charleston this month for three speaking engagements March 20, 21 and 24.

At each event, Dr. Mason will share learnings and engage in conversations about racial awareness and reconciliation, as well as reconciliation among Christian groups. Dr. Mason, who is aware of the Racial Awareness Day held February 28 in our diocese, will be available to stay after each of his appearances to answer questions and engage in dialogue. 

All are welcome to attend each of these events:

Wednesday, March 20
In Pawleys Island, Dr. Mason will speak at 10 am in the Waccamaw Library, 41 St. Paul Place. Please register by email to donald@donaldfishburne.net.

Thursday, March 21
In Charleston, Dr. Mason will speak at 12:30 pm at Grace Church Cathedral's Third Thursday luncheon. Please contact Bunny Martin at 843-723-4575 or bmartin@gracesc.org to reserve a spot. The cost of the lunch is $10.  

Sunday, March 24
Dr. Mason will lead the 10 am Adult Education program at St. Stephen's, Charleston, and will be the preacher at the 11 am service. 

Dr. Mason, a Methodist minister who spent 27 years in parish ministry in Belfast, has an intense story to tell. He played a key role in the Northern Irish peace process. He was a leader in establishing Skainos in Belfast, an urban center built in a post-conflict society as a model of co-existence. His work facilitating negotiations among Protestant ex-combatants, paramilitaries, and government officials was formally recognized by the Queen in 2007.

Dr. Mason directs a conflict transformation organization based in Belfast called "Rethinking Conflict." In 2009, his church was the stage from which Loyalist paramilitaries announced their weapons decommissioning. 

Dr. Mason has lectured in political and academic forums throughout Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and the United States on lessons from the Irish peace process. He has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, ITV and various radio programs. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Ulster, completed his theological studies at Queens University, and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Studies from the University of Ulster. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Florida Southern College for his role in peace building in Ireland.
He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University in Ireland. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, lecturing on reconciliation, peace building, the history of the Northern Ireland conflict, racism, sectarianism, and conflict transformation.

Dr. Mason also is a faculty advisor and partner to the Negotiation Strategies Institute, a Harvard University program on negotiation.  

Read an Episcopal News Service report about Dr. Mason's visit to the Carolinas.

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) will host a public Open Conversation in Florence on Sunday, March 17 from 3:00-4:30 pm at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 3123 W Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29501.
TECSC is offering the Open Conversation to provide information, listen, and answer questions about the life and ministry of our diocese and faith communities.
Led by Bishop Skip Adams of TECSC, the Open Conversation will include other clergy and lay leaders, including Archdeacon Callie Walpole and the Rev. Bill Coyne, Diocesan Missioner for Returning Congregations.

The event is open to the public, and will be of special interest to people who attend Episcopal/Anglican churches in the region, including those affected by the 2017 state Supreme Court decision to return the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and 29 parishes to The Episcopal Church.  

“We hope people will bring their questions and concerns to this Open Conversation,” said Fr. Coyne. “It’s an opportunity to engage with one another with an open heart as we walk the road toward reconciliation together.”

Information regarding the meetings is posted on the TECSC web page. For more information, view A Historical Timeline of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Frequently Asked Questions.

Clergy Transitions


Voorhees College and the Rev. Dr. James Yarsiah have announced that he will conclude his service as Voorhees Chaplain and Vicar of St. Philip’s Chapel at the end of this semester. Fr. Yarsiah was called to Voorhees in 2011 and was instrumental in restarting the Canterbury Club, bringing the Voorhees Choir to General Convention in 2015 and reaching out to the Denmark community through annual Thanksgiving baskets. The college is beginning its search for the next chaplain of the college.


The Rev. Jon Coffey has announced that his last Sunday at The Episcopal Church in Okatie will be March 3. He has served as priest-in-charge of the congregation for the last two years through a time of growth and discernment.


The Rev. Mike Jones will be serving as interim at The Episcopal Church in Okatie while the congregation searches for its next priest-in-charge. Mike has previously served at Okatie during short periods since the congregation organized in 2013.

This article was graciously shared with members of the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops, written by Dan O'Mara, Communications Coordinator of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Nearly 100 people gathered in Allendale to share their hopes and concerns about the future of Allendale County schools – and what that means for the future of their children, grandchildren and the community as a whole.

At the “Listening Post” event – hosted February 11 by the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops’ Public Education Initiative – parents, educators and local residents told bishops and other church leaders about their frustration, anger and disappointment at the state of their school system, which the state Department of Education took control of in June 2018.

Almost person-for-person, however, they also delivered a message of hope, confidence in the future and support for local schools, teachers, administrators and – most of all – for the children themselves.

“No matter where I go, I defend Allendale,” said Valaree Smith, who represents Allendale and four other counties on the State Board of Education. “We’ve got to love where we live, and don’t let anybody talk about our house.

“When you have that passion for your community, and start valuing education again, and start teaching your children to value education – that’s when change takes place.”

The Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops is a special ecumenical relationship among churches led by bishops of the African Methodist EpiscopalAfrican Methodist Episcopal-ZionChristian Methodist Episcopal, Episcopal (The Diocese of Upper South Carolina and TECSC), LutheranRoman Catholic and United Methodist churches.

The bishops collectively have been advocating for public education since April 2014, when they issued a joint pastoral letter pledging “our commitment to support the full flourishing of public education in South Carolina.” They expressed concern after the state Supreme Court in November 2017 dismissed a landmark school equity lawsuit, filed in 1993 to force the General Assembly to improve educational opportunities in the state’s poorest public schools.

The Fellowship has scheduled two “Public Education Advocacy Days” for Feb. 19 and March 21, during which training will be offered for those who want to advocate on behalf of children and their education, and attendees – including bishops, other church leaders and volunteers – will go to the State House and lobby their own elected representatives on the issues.
The Rev. Jason Roberson recently returned from attending the annual meeting of the board of directors of the Dominican Development Group (DDG) in Santo Domingo. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is a companion diocese of the Dominican Episcopal Church, and Fr. Roberson, who is Assistant Rector at Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island, has been appointed by Bishop Adams to serve as our diocesan representative on the DDG board.  

Over the past 20 years, our diocese has had a consistent presence on the DDG board as well as with mission work in the Dominican Republic. For more information, visit the DDG website, www.dominicandevelopmentgroup.org or the Dominican Episcopal Church website, www.iglepidom.org. For information about diocesan mission opportunities in the Domincan Republic, please email Fr. Roberson at jroberson@holycrossfm.org.

The Rev. Jason Roberson (back row, third from left) with members of the DDG Board, including the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada Mota, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic (center in Bishop's collar).

U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel has set May 1 as the earliest date when a trial could begin in the federal false-advertising and trademark infringement lawsuit against a breakaway group that left The Episcopal Church.

The order, issued Wednesday, represents a two-month extension from the previous schedule the judge set in August, which had called for a trial "on or after" March 1.

Currently, Judge Gergel is considering several complex motions seeking summary judgment in the case. A motion for summary judgment is a request for the court to rule that the other party has no case, as a matter of law, because there are no facts at issue. If summary judgment is granted, a trial would not need to take place.  

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and The Episcopal Church have asked the court to issue a ruling and call a halt to the “pervasive” public confusion caused by a group that broke away from the church, yet continues to use Episcopal names and marks.

The lawsuit, known as vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, was filed in March 2013 by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, who was the only bishop recognized by The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina at that time. Bishop vonRosenberg retired in 2016, and his successor, Bishop Gladstone B. Adams III, was added as a plaintiff in the case. The Episcopal Church and its local diocese, TECSC, also joined the case as plaintiffs.

In April 2018, Judge Gergel ordered the expansion of the lawsuit, adding as defendants to the case the diocesan organization and trustees who are operating under Bishop Mark Lawrence, and the 54 parishes that followed him after the 2012 split. Those groups have been operating under the names “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” and "Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina," and the confusion created by that is part of the trademark infringement and false-advertising claims.  

In a separate case in state court, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in August 2017 that property of the diocese and 29 parishes must be returned to The Episcopal Church and TECSC. That decision resulted from a state lawsuit filed by the breakaway group in 2013 against The Episcopal Church and TECSC.

Dr. Myers named to work with Commission on Ministry



Bishop Adams has named clinical psychologist Dr. deRosset Myers, Jr. to work with the Diocesan Commission on Ministry, performing evaluations required during the discernment process for people who are seeking to enter or return to the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church.

In making the announcement, Bishop Adams expressed gratitude on behalf of the diocese for the work of Dr. Amy Webb of Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island, who recently retired from the post, having served the diocese and the Commission on Ministry since 2013.

Dr. Myers earned his AB in Sociology from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Carolina. He completed his internship at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and a post-doctoral residency in pediatric oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Myers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He worked with hospitalized children and adolescents at the W.S. Hall Psychiatric Institute and with adults, children, and adolescents as outpatients at the University Specialty Clinics for the 25 years. He has been active in the W.S. Hall Psychiatric Institute pre-doctoral Clinical Psychology Internship Training Program where he served as Director of Training from 2005 until 2010 when he joined Lake Psychological Services, a small private practice in Columbia. He also sees patients at the Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community in Charleston and has conducted evaluations of candidates for holy orders for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston for the past 20 years. 

Dr. Myers is married to Felicity Myers, who is also a clinical psychologist; they live on Wadmalaw Island. Dr. Myers is a lifelong Episcopalian whose brother and father-in-law are priests. The Myers are members of Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston.

Andrea McKellar, center, with Bill Campbell, Executive Director of Forma, and Director for Formation, Youth and Young Adult Ministries for The Episcopal Church.
Diocesan Ministry Developer Andrea McKellar recently returned from the 2019 Forma Conference and has written this report.

I had the pleasure of spending a week in Indianapolis in January at the Annual Forma Conference. Forma is the Network for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Church and beyond. This year’s conference theme was “Formed to Proclaim: Conversations on Liturgy and Evangelism.” This was my sixth year attending the conference and I love the diverse group of voices from across the Episcopal Church it brings together. (Many people in our diocese attended the 2018 Forma Conference that our diocese hosted in Charleston.)

Some of the highlights that I want to share from the 2019 Forma Conference:
  • My main take-away was when the Rev. Paul Fromberg, one of the speakers who is the Rector of St. Gregory’s of Nyssa in San Francisco, said that church should not be comfortable. That isn’t to say that church isn’t and shouldn’t be comforting, but to live our lives like Jesus we have to be always working to change the world. Sitting comfortably in our pews and not engaging the outside world is not the work of the Jesus Movement. That resonated with me and I see that good work happening in our diocese and hope to encourage even more of it.
  • Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta was part of a Q&A one of the evenings about her life and work. I highly recommend it, especially to those who will be attending the Racial Awareness Event later this month. You can watch it online here.
  • Lauren Kay, seminarian from our diocese at Seminary of the Southwest, was one of the 15-minute speakers. Their talk can be seen starting at the 6:30 minute mark on the video here.
  • - So many people want to hear about what is going on in our diocese. The prayers, love, and support that we receive from the wider Episcopal Church is ongoing.

​Next year’s Forma conference will be in Atlanta on January 20-24, 2020. I hope you will mark your calendars and plan to join me for another inspiring event.
Clergy renew their ordination vows with Bishop Adams at the 2018 liturgy at Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston.
​Each year in Lent, the clergy of the Diocese gather with the Bishop to renew their ordination vows and bless the oils used for baptism and healing. Everyone is invited to attend this special service of Holy Eucharist and join in praying for our bishop, priests and deacons.

Please save the date for Tuesday, April 2 at 11 am at St. George's, Summerville. Clergy are invited to vest in choir dress (cassock, surplice and tippet).

Clergy Transitions


The Rev. Paul Gilbert has announced he will retire from active ministry and conclude his service as priest-in-charge of The Episcopal Church on Edisto effective June 2. Fr. Gilbert has served at Edisto since August 2015 and has been active in ordained ministry for more than 40 years. Previously he served in our diocese as director of the Little School at Grace Church Cathedral and as a priest associate at Grace.

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is inviting church leaders from several communities in our diocese to attend a gathering in Summerville on Saturday, March 2 as part of the planning for the return of 29 area churches to The Episcopal Church.

The meeting is designed specifically for "parallel leaders" those who serve congregations in areas where there are churches affected by an August 2017 state Supreme Court decision. The Episcopal congregations being invited to send parallel leaders to the meeting include Good Shepherd, Summerville; Messiah, Myrtle Beach; St. Francis, Charlestton; St. Catherine's, Florence; The Episcopal Church on Edisto; The East Cooper Episcopal Church in Mount Pleasant; and the Cheraw Episcopal Worship Group.

"These congregations are presently actively engaged in God's mission in communities where a congregation – people, property, and purpose – will be returning to TECSC," says the Rev. Bill Coyne, Missioner for Returning Congregations for the Diocese.

"This is an opportunity to share best practices, concerns, hopes and dreams, and next steps," Fr. Coyne says.

The goal of the diocese is for there to be no interruption in worship when the returning churches come back, Fr. Coyne says. Beginning on the very first Sunday, the doors will be open with an Episcopal priest leading worship.

At the Parallel Leaders' Meeting, each congregation will be asked to tell its story and share its journey of faithfulness since the split in the diocese occurred in 2012-13. Leaders also will talk about their plans for engaging with returning Episcopalians.

The meeting will take place at Church of the Good Shepherd, 119-B West Luke Ave., Summerville from 9:30 am-12:30 pm. To learn more about the meeting and register to participate, please contact Fr. Coyne at wcoyne@episcopalchurchsc.org or 843-614-0679.
Join with other diocesan leaders on Thursday February 28, 2019 at Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston. Registration and coffee will begin at 9:30 am. The program will begin with the showing of the film at 10:00 am followed by discussion with a panel including various persons featured in the film Beyond the Fields, a powerful one-hour documentary produced in late 2017, which debuted on PBS, depicting the story of slavery and the story of America and its 21st century impact.  The film raises important questions for our own day as well as our future.

Tracey Todd, CEO of Middleton Place, and executive producer of the 60-minute documentary that debuted in late 2017, notes, "It was time to take the interpretation of the slave experience and bring it to a new medium, with new insights from present-day historians, researchers, preservationists and historic site interpreters, along with descendants of the Middleton family and of African Americans with roots at Middleton Place. They provide a much needed and fresh perspective on what life was like here when slaves built and sustained Middleton Place, Charleston, and, for that matter, the economy of the entire region.” 

Speakers and facilitators include, among others, The Reverend Dr Kylon Middleton, Pastor of Mt Zion AME Church in Charleston and Project Leader of the Charleston Illumination Project and Co-Founder of the Clementa Pinckney Foundation, as well as a number of persons featured in the film.
The day will include time for personal retreat and reflection and the opportunity to walk the grounds at Middleton Place, concluding at 4:00 pm. Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch.

Registration is now open here.

Download a flyer to share with your congregation.

Episcopal Church parties respond to defendants' motions in Federal Lawsuit


The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) on Friday, January 11 filed briefs with United States District Judge Richard Gergel, responding to the motions filed by the Lawrence Diocese and its Parishes.
Each brief, or “Memorandum of Law,” supports a different aspect of the matters before the court: Joint Opposition to Parish Motions, Joint Opposition to Expert Exclusion Motions, Joint Opposition to Genericness Motion, TEC Opposition to Lawrence Diocese Motion, and TECSC Opposition to Lawrence Diocese Motion.
The state Supreme Court decided in August 2017 to return diocesan and parish property to The Episcopal Church and its local diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
​The Rev. Dr. John DeWitt Stonesifer has been called as the Interim Rector at All Saints, Hilton Head Island. He will begin his work with All Saints in February.
While a priest for over three decades, John has focused on serving as a professional interim priest for the last 18 years, working with over 20 parishes in Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, New York, West Virginia, Illinois and New Jersey.
John graduated from Clemson University, and from there went on to study at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1984.  Upon graduation he served in parish ministry for six years; and then for nine years for two Episcopal Schools as chaplain, assistant to the head of schools, and leader of religious curriculum – earning his M.B.A. during that time.  Now his emphasis is on interim ministry and clergy coaching.
John and his wife of 34 years, Susan, recently took up residence in New Castle, Delaware. They have two grown children. In his free time, John enjoys playing music in a band (he’s a drummer) and taking part in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). We look forward to welcoming him to The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

Ribbons for knitting group at Calvary


​A knitting group that meets at historic Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston is celebrating the achievements of its members and the fellowship that their weekly meetings have fostered. The group gathered in December for an informal Christmas party and to view an array of handcrafts that their members entered for judging at the recent Coastal Carolina Fair.

Led by Pat Williams, a knitting expert who offers instruction to the group, Calvary members earned 22 ribbons at the annual fair.

The knitters also are taking on new projects to benefit others. Calvary's Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Matt McCormick, has connected the knitters with the Medical University of South Carolina to create special blankets used for the burial of infants.

​The group meets every Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm at Calvary, and is always looking for new students and members. They recently welcomed a new member from nearby St. Mark's Episcopal. For information contact group member Andrea Lawrence at redhatladyandrea@icloud.com. 
New adult education opportunities are beginning in January in churches around the diocese. Here are some of the offerings. (If your church would like to add to this list, please email info@episcopalchurchsc.org)

All Saints, Hilton Head Island
A Thursday book study will begin January 10 and run through April 18 at 11 am, based on the book Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words by Brian McLaren. The group will discuss a different word each week. Details and a schedule are available here.

Grace Church Cathedral
"History of the Christian Church" – On Wednesdays from January 23-February 27, from 12:00-1:30 pm, the Very Rev. Michael Wright and Steve Rhodes will lead six classes at Grace  focusing on the history of the Christian Church during the medieval era, based on Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. Lunch is provided.​

Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island
A Community Book Study organized by the Health & Well Being ministry, led by Rev. Jason Roberson and Rev. Johnny Ford, will meet Thursdays at 5 pm at Holy Cross Faith Memorial beginning January 3 and continuing through February 7. The group will discuss The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.  Joining the community onversation are House of God Church and St. Peter's Lutheran Church. 

St. Stephen's, Charleston
"Global Mission in The Episcopal Church" is the title of a January series on Sundays at 10 am starting January 6 at St. Stephen's, Charleston. Session 1 will be an overview of global mission in the Church. On January 13, parishioner Magi Griffin will share her experience as a long-term Episcopal missionary to Tanzania. January 20: The Rev. Adam Shoemaker shares his experience as a Young Adult Service Corps missionary to Brazil. January 27: The Rev. Jason Roberson of Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island will talk about our diocese's companion relationship with the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic. Child care is provided.

The new year brings a new calendar of musical events to churches around our diocese. Here's a listing of events planned in early 2019. Save this link and check back as we add new events to the calendar through the spring.

January 18: Classical Guitar Concert
 All Saint's, Hilton Head Island, 12 pm. 
Acclaimed guitarist Dr. Brian Luckett of Jacksonville, Florida performs a varied program of classical guitar. A $20 donation is suggested.

January 20:
Organ Dedication Concert
​with 'Deux Voix' 

St. Mark's, Charleston, 4 pm.
The concert will feature the trumpet-organ duo Deux Voix.

January 20: 'Music for the Seasons' Winter Concert 
St. Stephen's, North Myrtle Beach, 4 pm. 
The program features Kim Carey (flute) and Roberta Rowland-Raybold (piano, harpsicord and organ). A reception will follow. Details here.

February 3: Choral Evensong 
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, 4 pm.
Grace's St. Gregory Choir sings this service of Evening Prayer set to music for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple (Candlemas).

February 8: Handel & Bach Concert 
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 7 pm.
Featuring Handel’s Organ Concerto in G minor, Op 4. No. 3 & Bach’s Solo Cantata for Soprano Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen sung by Rebecca Flaherty; both with chamber orchestra. A $20 donation is suggested.

February 22: All Saints on Broadway
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 6:30 pm. Members of the parish choir will perform an
array of music from Broadway. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served during the performance. Tickets are $25.

March 3: Mardi Gras Blues Choral Evensong
St. Stephen's, Charleston will offer a Mardi Gras Blues Choral Evensong on the last Sunday of Epiphany, with a New Orleans-style band and choral works by William Dawson and Jester Hairston. A festive Mardi Gras reception will follow. 

March 24: Lenten Recital & Evensong
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 4 pm.
A contemplative service based on Plainsong chant, sung by the Chamber Choir. Evensong
begins with a 30-minute organ recital.

April 7: Lenten Choral Evensong
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, 4 pm.
Grace's St. Gregory Choir and St. Nicholas Choristers will sing this service of Evening Prayer set to music for the Fifth Sunday in Lent.

April 14: Chilcott Requiem
All Saints, Hilton Head Island, 4 pm
A concert of music for Holy Week, sung by the Parish Choir, featuring the Chilcott Requiem with a woodwind chamber orchestra and organ. A $20 donation is suggested.
The Reverend Bob Diehl, a retired priest who served as supply clergy for several congregations in our diocese, died this morning after a prolonged illness following heart surgery in October.

The combined congregations of Good Shepherd and St. George’s in Summerville will celebrate his life with a requiem Eucharist at St. George’s, 9110 Dorchester Rd., on Friday, December 21 at 11:00 am. (Please note the time of the service, which has been updated from the initial announcement.)

Fr. Diehl and his wife the Rev. Jane Diehl, a deacon, have been attending Church of the Good Shepherd. Born in Detroit on December 29, 1941, he was ordained in 2008 and was canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan.
Rest eternal grant him, O Lord; let light perpetual shine upon him.

Episcopal Church parties seek summary judgment in federal lawsuit

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) and The Episcopal Church have asked the U.S. District Court to grant motions for summary judgment and call a halt to the “pervasive” public confusion caused by a group that broke away from the church, yet continues to use Episcopal names and marks.

The motion asks U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel to prohibit false advertising and the use of confusing names and marks by the breakaway group and its affiliated churches. A motion for summary judgment is a request for the court to rule that the other party has no case, because there are no facts at issue.

“The public confusion resulting from Defendants’ conduct is pervasive,” according to a memo filed by TECSC on December 7 in support of the motion. “It is undeniably causing irreparable harm to The Episcopal Church, and more locally, to TECSC and its Bishops. All that the Plaintiffs seek in this action is declaratory and injunctive relief, not damages (for which they could easily make a case).”

The lawsuit, known as vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, was filed in March 2013 by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, who was the only bishop recognized by The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina at that time. Bishop vonRosenberg retired in 2016, and his successor, Bishop Gladstone B. Adams III, was added as a plaintiff in the case. The Episcopal Church and its local diocese, TECSC, also joined the case as plaintiffs.

In April, Judge Gergel ordered the expansion of the lawsuit, adding as defendants to the case the diocesan organization and trustees who are operating under Bishop Mark Lawrence, and the 54 parishes that followed him after the 2012 split. Those groups have been operating under the names “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” and "Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina," and the confusion created by that is one facet of the trademark infringement and false-advertising claims. The court has set a target date of March 1, 2019 for a trial to begin.

The federal case is aimed primarily at resolving federal trademark infringement and false-advertising issues raised by the split. In a separate case, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in August 2017 that property of the diocese and 29 parishes must be returned to The Episcopal Church and TECSC. That decision resulted from a state lawsuit filed by the breakaway group in 2013 against The Episcopal Church and TECSC.

The memo filed December 7 by TECSC cites the state Supreme Court's 3-2 ruling that TECSC, not the group led by Mark Lawrence, is the true Episcopal diocese in the eastern half of South Carolina.  According to the memo, TECSC has the right to all the diocesan names and marks, including the historic seal of the Diocese of South Carolina.

"The use of all of the diocesan names and marks, and the goodwill that arose from such use over many years, inured to the one and only historic diocese at issue. That goodwill in the diocesan names and marks cannot be divvied up, pursuant to the following well-established principles of trademark law," the memo says.

The Episcopal Church filed a separate Motion for Summary Judgment and a supporting memo on December 7. “Defendants have purported to disaffiliate from the Church, but continue to use the names they used when they were part of the Church and/or continue to hold themselves out as belonging to the ‘Episcopal’ diocese led by the ‘Episcopal’ bishop. These actions are not only likely to cause confusion, but, as we detail below, have caused confusion over and over again,” the memo says.

Defendants in the breakaway group also have filed counterclaims and motions with the federal court in connection with the case.

PENTECOST and the Season Afterward: The 50th Day. June 10, 2019 - November 30, 2019

posted May 23, 2016, 3:48 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 12:25 PM ]



The term means "the fiftieth day." It is used in both the OT and the NT. In the OT it refers to a feast of seven weeks known as the Feast of Weeks. It was apparently an agricultural event that focused on the harvesting of first fruits. Josephus referred to Pentecost as the fiftieth day after the first day of Passover. The term is used in the NT to refer to the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), shortly after Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension. Christians came to understand the meaning of Pentecost in terms of the gift of the Spirit. The Pentecost event was the fulfillment of a promise which Jesus gave concerning the return of the Holy Spirit. The speaking in tongues, which was a major effect of having received the Spirit, is interpreted by some to symbolize the church's worldwide preaching. In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is now the seventh Sunday after Easter. It emphasizes that the church is understood as the body of Christ which is drawn together and given life by the Holy Spirit. Some understand Pentecost to be the origin and sending out of the church into the world. The Day of Pentecost is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year in the Episcopal Church (BCP, p. 15). The Day of Pentecost is identified by the BCP as one of the feasts that is "especially appropriate" for baptism (p. 312). The liturgical color for the feast is red. Pentecost has also been known as Whitsun or Whitsunday, a corruption of "White Sunday." This term reflects the custom by which those who were baptized at the Vigil of Pentecost would wear their white baptismal garments to church on the Day of Pentecost. The BCP provides directions for observance of a Vigil of Pentecost, which begins with the Service of Light (p. 227). The Hymnal 1982 provides a variety of hymns for Pentecost (Hymns 223-230) and the Holy Spirit (Hymns 500-516).

The Season After Pentecost

The Church fulfills the Great Commission
The Season After Pentecost lasts from the day after Pentecost to the day before Advent. Thus it begins on 10 June 2019 and ends on 30 November 2019.
In most churches, the decorations are green to symbolize the growth and life of the Church. You can read more about color in worship
Scripture Readings:
The Revised Common Lectionary appoints Scripture readings for use in worship during the Season after Pentecost.

View the Scripture Readings for the Season after Pentecost

The East:
In Orthodox churches, this season lasts from the day after Pentecost through 14 November.
Special Days:
See below.

The Season After Pentecost is essentially the part of the year that is left over after everything has been accounted for. The name of this season varies widely from church to church—it can be called Kingdomtide, Dominiontide, or Ordinary Time. In most churches, the general theme of the Bible readings and sermons concerns the church’s mission in the world.

The Season After Pentecost begins on 10 June 2019, the day after Pentecost. In the western Church, it ends on 30 November 2019, the day before the First Sunday of Advent. In the eastern Church, it ends on 14 November.

The main holy days during this season are as follows:

The Western Church

  • Trinity Sunday (16 June 2019) is the Sunday after Pentecost, the celebration of the Holy Trinity.
  • The Transfiguration. In many churches, 6 August is the commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor. The Revised Common Lectionary moved it to the Last Sunday After the Epiphany.
  • Holy Cross Day (14 September of every year) is originally commemorated the alleged discovery of the true cross in Palestine in the fourth century. In Lutheran churches, it is the occasion for preaching on the theology of the cross.
  • Reformation Day (31 October of every year) is the day on which Martin Luther posted 95 theses on a church door, an act that led to the Reformation. Don’t imagine him angrily vandalizing the church door by forcefully nailing his theses to it as onlookers gasped. Instead, imagine him humming to himself as he casually tacks up his invitation on the church door as passers-by hardly give him a second glance. After all, they couldn’t read it because it was in Latin. It was customary for a scholar to set up a debate and invite the others by nailing an announcement in Latin on the thick wooden church door. This much was routine. On this occasion, however, someone took the debate topics down from the church door, translated them from Latin into German, and distributed them among the general public. What Luther intended to be a debate among scholars turned first into a public debate and then into the Reformation.
  • All Saints’ Day (1 November of every year) is the Christian Memorial Day on which all who died for their testimony of Jesus are remembered. Many American churches use All Saints’ Day as an educational, Christian alternative to the secular Halloween, by having a party and a special service for children, who dress in costumes to represent heroes of the Christian faith. The practice of having a harvest festival to avoid the secular Halloween is ironic, since that puts us right back into the pagan things we were trying to avoid. The word Halloween itself is a contraction of All hallows’ evening, which is the original English-language Christian term for All Saints’ Eve. (‘Hallow’ is an old word for ‘holy’ and ‘saint.’)
  • Christ the King Sunday (30 November 2019) celebrates Jesus, the King of the universe, who rules over all things to our ultimate benefit.
  • The Reign of Christ (30 November 2019) is an equally valid alternate name for Christ the King Sunday. The terminology puts the emphasis on the throne rather than the King.


also known as



Pentecost is, as the name denotes, the fiftieth day (Greek: pentēkostē) of Easter, the last day of the Great Fifty Days. Although it does, like Ascension Day, commemorate its own major event in the history of salvation (i.e., the coming of the Holy Spirit), it cannot stand alone. Properly speaking, it is not the beginning of a new season of the Church year. Rather, it is the end of a season, the last hurrah, as it were, of the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Descending Dove, stained glassNevertheless, Pentecost (or Whitsunday as it has been known in England) has traditionally been treated as a new feast. In effect, the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church observed an octave of the feast, appointing propers that focused on the work of the Holy Spirit for the weekdays between Pentecost and the following Sunday. (Curiously, though, the week was still described as being part of Eastertide.) This was also reflected in older Anglican practice where The Book of Common Prayer used to provide propers for the Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun Week. Furthermore, the Ember Days which were observed at the end of the week also focused implicitly on the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, however, Ember Days have become a liturgical footnote and most modern Anglican use no longer explicitly connects the week to the feast day that begins it. On the day after Pentecost, ferial (non-festal) time begins. The numbered Sundays after Pentecost do not constitute a season of Pentecost. Rather, Pentecost, the last day of the previous season, is just a convenient marker to begin counting from. Oddly enough, if Pentecost has a season at all, it consists of the nine days that precede it. Both biblically and liturgically, the novena which is properly Ascensiontide is a period of preparation for Pentecost.

Even without all of this confusion about the status of Pentecost, it does at times seem to be on the verge of going the way of the dodo, or at least the way of Ascension Day. It has traditionally been regarded as equal to the two principal feasts of our Lord:  Christmas and Easter Day. It is, along with those feast days, one of the three days each year on which the faithful were expected to receive Communion in order to maintain their status as communicants in good standing in the Church. But it is no longer a day on which one can expect church attendance to spike. Indeed, it is a day which has become much like any other Sunday, distinguished only by the red vestments of the clergy, but with no other customs or traditions to distinguish it.

It was not always so. There are both liturgical and non-liturgical customs that once characterized Whitsunday and some of them are worth reviving in our ongoing effort to restore a truly homely divinity to Anglican practice.


Liturgy is drama. It is not playacting, but it is a dramatic presentation of the Gospel, replete with script, costumes, choreography, and a stage. Every Eucharist is a presentation of the essential drama of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That service enacts his Incarnation at Christmas (and throughout the year). That service enacts his Resurrection presence at Easter (and throughout the year). That service enacts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (and throughout the year). Whether the ceremonial is simple or elaborate, humble or grand, that service enacts the drama of salvation through the year. Often, the essential drama is enriched with action that calls to mind a particular occasion or theme: the procession to the crèche at Christmas, the imposition of ashes at the beginning of Lent, the Palm Sunday procession, the lighting of the Paschal Candle at Easter, and so forth. Pentecost, too, has had its unique liturgical expressions.

The particular events of Pentecost are described in the Acts of the Apostles: When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:1-4) This is a story full of action and symbol, and one with tremendous potential for dramatic expression.

In some ways, the technology of the middle ages may seem primitive to us--until we stop and think for a moment about the tremendous accomplishments of medieval architects, building massive stone edifices without the benefit of modern machinery. Green Man, Ceiling boss in Canterbury CathedralLiturgists were equally ingenious in their use of these buildings. Visitors to medieval churches will be familiar with the elaborately carved keystones (or "bosses"), such as this Green Man from Canterbury Cathedral, that look down from the center of the stone vaulting of the church ceiling. The observant visitor may also be aware that sometimes, near the east end of the church, there is a large hole where a carved boss would normally be. This is the "Holy Ghost hole" which had a special function on Whitsunday. In the middle ages, a dove descended from this hole as the story of the first Pentecost was read. The dove could be either live or a model lowered by ropes. As it appeared, the sound of the rushing wind was imitated either by the choristers shuffling their feet or by the blast of trumpets. And the show did not end there, for next there would shower down from the Holy Ghost hole, "tongues of fire"--either red rose petals or pieces of burning straw.

The dove derives, not from the story of Pentecost, but from the story of the Baptism of Jesus. Its use in the liturgy of Pentecost makes a visual connection between two important stories about baptism, the Baptism of Jesus and the baptism on the first Christian Pentecost of some three thousand converts to the faith. The baptismal motif is the source of the traditional English name of the feast. On Whitsunday, literally "White Sunday," those who had  been baptized on Easter Day once again put on the white clothing which they had worn for the first time on the day they were baptized, thus ending the feast as they had begun it and reminding the whole congregation of their own baptisms. Traditionally, Whitsunday had a Vigil much like the Great Vigil of Easter. The Whitsun Vigil also celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, gathering into the membership of the Church those children who were born during the Great Fifty Days and those adult catechumens who may not have been ready for baptism at the beginning of Easter.

Modern churches are not likely to have Holy Ghost holes and the facilities for a deus ex machina, but it would be possible to hang a figure of a dove over the nave or over the altar, as in this photograph. (The dove in the photo is actually a hanging pyx (a vessel containing the reserved sacrament) at St. Barnabas' Church, Southfields, London--that is a subject for another time.) During the reading from Acts, the choir or the congregation can shuffle their feet at the appropriate time or perhaps the organist could provide a suitably windy effect--encourage her/him to be creative, but not to drown out the voice of the reader! If there is a way to have something shower down from above, we recommend rose petals rather than burning straw--your insurance company may not approve of the latter. The trick in things like this is to pull it off "decently and in order." Liturgy is drama, but its purpose is to engage and involve the congregation, not to entertain them. Liturgy should be joyful, but it is also serious. If the net effect is going to be that the people respond by giggling, it should not be done. However, one of our parishes did try the feet shuffling last year and it really worked, because they were prepared and took it seriously.Wild Columbine

Doves present many possibilities, in church, in church school, and also at home. In the middle ages, families in some parts of Europe had wooden doves that they suspended from the ceiling in their homes during Whitsuntide. An origami (folded paper) dove would be a relatively easy modern substitute for this custom. Here is a link to a site that shows you how to make origami doves. This would be a good project for children in church school. The doves could be brought into church and blessed before they are taken home. If the children (or some adults) are really ambitious, they could make enough doves to distribute to everyone in the congregation. Or you might have origami doves, rather than rose petals, shower down during the reading of the story of Pentecost. Another dove-related decoration for church or home at Whitsuntide is columbine. This flower got its name from the Latin word for dove, columba, because the flowers were thought to resemble a dove in flight. Columbine is the Whitsun flower and, if it blooms in your area at Pentecost, it would be wonderful to have it in profusion in the church, at home, and in gardens. Another flower that is sometimes in bloom on Whitsunday is the peony. For that reason, the Germans know it as the "Pentecost rose."

Back to the liturgy: clearly Whitsunday is a day for celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. We do not know many parishes that have a Vigil service for Pentecost. Since the feast itself has, for the moment, lost some of its former luster, reviving the Vigil is likely to be a hard sell, though we do hope that the day will come when the Church once again keeps this feast in all its splendor. Nevertheless, whether at a Vigil, as at Easter, or on Sunday morning, this is one of the days when baptisms are particularly appropriate.

Another way of enacting the events of Pentecost in the liturgy is to have the Lesson from Acts or the Gospel of the day read in different languages. In Acts, Luke tells us that visitors who had come to Jerusalem from different lands and spoke a variety of different languages exclaimed "in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." (Acts 2:11) We would suggest that the idea of having various people read the lesson or the Gospel in various languages only makes sense if each language that is read is a living language and there are people in the congregation who understand it. No one speaks Latin today or classical Greek, so it is meaningless to read a story about the life-giving gift of the Holy Spirit in those venerable, but dead, languages. On the other hand, it is quite possible, and even likely, that a congregation in a typical American community will have some people present whose first language is Spanish. We know an urban parish that has had a large Chinese contingent for many years and a Midwestern parish that welcomed Hmong refugees from Laos. Even though these immigrants may now speak English, many of them probably still speak their first language among family and fellow immigrants. It can be a potent sign of the universal appeal of the Gospel to continue to proclaim it on this particular occasion in the various tongues that are still alive in a parish.

On certain major feast days, the Church has a hymn called a "Sequence Hymn," which is sung just before the reading of the Gospel. The name actually comes from the first words which used to announce the reading of the Gospel, "The continuation (sequentia) of the Gospel according to...." The Sequence Hymn appointed for Whitsunday is a particularly fine Latin poem, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, composed in the 12th century, and known as "The Golden Sequence." It is found in various English hymnals in different translations. There are actually two translations (really paraphrases) in The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. However, we particularly like the slightly altered translation found in The Hymnal 1940, which was made by the Tractarian, and later convert to the Roman Catholic Church, Edward Caswall.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte caelitus
     Lucis tuae radium:
Veni, pater pauperum;
Veni, dator munerum;
     Veni, lumen cordium.

Consolatur optime,
Dulcis hospes animae,
     Dulce refrigerium,
In labore requies,
In aestu temperies,
     In fletu solacium.

O lux beatissima,
Reple cordis intima,
     Tuorum fidelium:
Sine tuo numine
Nihil est in homine*,
     Nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
Riga quod est aridum,
     Rege quod est devium,
Fove quod est languidum
Flecte quod est rigidum
     Sana quod est saucium.

Da tuis fidelibus
In te confidentibus
     Sacrum septenarium;
Da virtutis meritum,
Da salutis exitum,
     Da perenne gaudium.
            Latin, 12th century

Come, thou Holy Spirit, come!
And from thy celestial home
     Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, thou Father of the poor!
Come, thou source of all our store!
     Come, within our bosoms shine!

Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
     Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
     Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessèd Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of thine,
     And our inmost being fill!
Where thou art not, man hath naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought
     Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
     Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
     Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess thee, evermore
     In thy sev'nfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them thy salvation, Lord;
     Give them joys that never end.
                 Tr. Edward Caswall, alt.

*The original text had lumine, but this was later changed to homine.

In addition to its rich contribution to the liturgy, this hymn gave rise to a lovely non-liturgical custom. From these words in the fourth verse, "Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour thy dew," there arose the custom of walking barefoot through the dewy grass on Whitsunday morning. Coming from above, like the Spirit on Pentecost, and recalling the water of baptism, this custom was thought to bestow a special blessing on those who practiced it and is a truly homely way to begin the feast.

Finally, in our catalogue of Pentecostal liturgical ideas, we have a suggestion about the Gospel reading. The traditional reading in the Western Rite is from John 14, the section of the Last Supper discourse in which Jesus promises to ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit after he is gone. However, more recent Eucharistic lectionaries, including those of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Church of England, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, assign John 20:19-23, generally as the preferred reading, or at least as an option. We agree with this preference, for two reasons. First of all, the story in John 20 is a resurrection appearance and its use underscores the fact that Pentecost is a continuation of the celebration of Easter. Secondly, as Reginald Fuller points out in Preaching the Lectionary, this story is about baptism: "forgiveness of sins is baptismal language (see Luke 24:47), and what we have here is the Johannine version of the tradition, which includes in the appearance stories the command to baptize." (p. 100)A bishop baptizes on Pentecost

A Red, White, and Green Whitsun

The usual liturgical color for Pentecost in the West is red, the color of the fire which descended on the apostles on that day. In modern times, laypeople have also adopted the custom of wearing something red to church on Pentecost. Although the alternative name for the feast is Whitsun, the custom of the newly baptized wearing white on Pentecost seems to have disappeared, except in the case of those who are actually baptized on the day of Pentecost and may then be wearing a white christening outfit. In the photograph at right, the bishop is vested in red for the feast and also wears the mitre which represents the tongues of fire that were seen over the heads of the apostles on Pentecost. The newly baptized child is clothed in a traditional white christening gown.

There is another color that rightly belongs to Whitsun, and that is green. In the Orthodox Churches, green, the color of life, is the color of the vestments on Pentecost and churches are decorated with both cut and live greenery.  Green also has a place in the spectrum of Pentecost in the West. It is, in some ways, a tenuous connection. Nonetheless, it is one that should not be overlooked. The Hebrew feast of Pentecost, Shavuoth, fifty days after Passover, was a harvest festival, the occasion for the offerings of the first fruits of the wheat harvest. In northern Europe and Britain, the Christian feast of Pentecost attracted to itself elements of various celebrations which celebrated the greening of the land in late spring and early summer. In some northern areas, Pentecost takes the place of the Mayfest. For example, in Silesia the Maypole was not erected until Pentecost and greens were gathered from the woods and fields to decorate churches and homes in a celebration of new life that reflects the church's celebration of new life given by the Spirit. Often, the gathering of greens was accompanied by a search for a figure who embodied in a personal way the idea of new life, a man known by different names in different places, but eventually dubbed the "Green Man." Covered with greens and a mask of bark, he would be escorted into town to preside over the Whitsun games and feasting.

Carvings of the Green Man appear in British churches beginning in the 12th century. His prototype, of course, is much older. His origins are to be found in the ancient god of the woodlands who was known as Sylvanus by the Romans and Cernunnos by the Celts and was related to Dionysos, Misericord (choir seat) - 17th century Belgian, now in the Cathedral of All Saints, Albany, NYthe Greek god of the vine and its fruit. He first appears as a human face in the midst of foliage, but in time the foliage seems to grow from his face and, finally, to grow out of his mouth. Early Christian representations of the Green Man treat him as a demon, a pagan spirit to be resisted. In time a transformation takes place: the Green Man becomes a generally more friendly character, as in the boss from Canterbury, above, a symbol of the goodness of creation and the fruitfulness of the land which spring and summer festivals celebrated. But there always remains a grimmer side to him, as in the misericord at the left, which reminds us that nature also has the potential to harm if it is not properly used and respected. 

The remarkable assimilation of the Green Man into Christian symbolism is particularly well-illustrated by an Easter Sepulchre at the Minster in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Christ reposes behind the stone tracery of the sepulchre, mourned by his friends, while each corbel on the canopy above is decorated with a Green Man. The gods of the soil who die and rise again annually have come to mourn the true God who died but once and rose again. The marriage of the two similar, yet very different, worlds encapsulates the full meaning of the Incarnation, for when God puts on human flesh in the Incarnation, he unites himself with the whole created order in order to redeem that which is fallen and to restore that which has been corrupted by the Fall of humankind. Although the ancient gods are discredited as gods in the new creation, the cycles of life which they represent continue on with renewed vigor and the ancient symbols are infused with new meaning.

Pentecost is the day on which the Church is empowered by the Spirit and, as we read in Acts, it does indeed spread and bear much fruit, proclaiming the Gospel of the One who died and rose again. As we recognize and welcome the Green Man into our celebrations of the feast, we should not confuse him either with Jesus or with the Holy Spirit, or even with the human race. The Green Man is neither divine nor human. Rather, he is the world in which the drama of salvation takes place, and as such he deserves and even requires our attention and respect. He is cause for celebration as he symbolizes the good creation in which God has placed us. He is cause for celebration as he represents all of the fruits with which creation nourishes us. And he is cause for celebration as his ancient character calls forth in us a spirit of joy and wonder. But he is also cause for concern. He is a reminder of our responsibility as stewards of creation and he is a reminder that we have not always been good stewards. The grimmer Green Men who peer at us from stone and wood in medieval churches look out at a world that has too often exploited the created order and as a result stands in danger of damaging it beyond repair.

How we choose to live out our vocation as Whitsun stewards of the Green will vary, but a full homely divinity compels us to move beyond both church and home to the world beyond to celebrate the good gifts that ultimately come from above and to ensure that the creation which provides them is properly cared for.

Green Man, cast metal, unknown provenance


posted Mar 13, 2016, 11:55 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jan 25, 2019, 8:14 PM ]







ECW CRAB CRACK, Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Tickets $20

posted Feb 1, 2016, 4:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 11:50 AM ]

Frequently Asked Questions is now available online.

posted Oct 26, 2015, 8:07 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jan 22, 2019, 12:20 PM by joan bonaparte ]

(Updated January 9, 2019)
Read, download and share here.


We invite you to explore our new “Frequently Asked Questions” supplement. This is offered to provide information and share hope for a future that remains grounded in the love of God in the reconciliation in the diocese and the churches of eastern South Carolina.. ​
Read, download & share it here. >

The "Frequently Asked Questions" document published by our diocese in May has been updated, and is now available online. The new version includes important updates, such as the contact information for our Missioner for Returning Congregations, the Rev. William Coyne. Please read, download and share this supplement with anyone you know who has questions.

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Upcoming Events Around the Diocese: Events, resources & services

posted Oct 23, 2015, 9:04 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Feb 12, 2019, 6:53 PM ]



Bishop's Lock-in new date:
​April 12-13, 2019

 The 4th Annual Bishop's Lock-in has been moved to April 12-13, 2019, to allow more of our youth to attend. Register here!

Theme: A Walk Through Holy Week

Middle and High School youth and church youth leaders are invited to Grace Church Cathedral in downtown Charleston for a fun night of games, fellowship, and worship with Bishop Adams! $30 includes dinner, breakfast, and a t-shirt. There must be a signed medical release and community covenant on file with the diocese before youth can be dropped off for the lock-in. Scholarships are available. Please contact your youth leader, priest, or warden for information. 

Absalom Jones Day at Voorhees College

February 12 at Voorhees College, Denmark, SC
Voorhees remembers Absalom Jones, the first African American priest ordained in The Episcopal Church, at an annual service in historic St. Philip's Chapel. 

Diocesan-wide Racial Reconciliation Training Day

February 28 at Middleton Plantation near Charleston 
This all-day event provides mandated training for all clergy, canonical and licensed, and for elected diocesan leadership, as mandated by Resolution B049 from General Convention 2000. Other lay leaders are also strongly encouraged and invited to attend. Please save the date; further details will be shared in early 2019.

Happening Weekend for Youth at Camp St. Christopher

March 1-2 at St. Christopher Camp & Conference Center, Seabrook Island 
High-schoolers (grades 9-12) are invited to this spiritual weekend for youth, led by youth. Find details here.
Registration is full for 2019!

Clergy Renewal of Vows

Tuesday, April 2
This annual service, held during Lent, is a time for clergy to renew their Ordination Vows and includes the blessing of oils used for baptism and healing. All are welcome to attend the liturgy at St. George's, Summerville, starting at 11 am. Clergy are invited to remain for lunch and time with the Bishop following the service.

Annual Diocesan Clergy Conference

May 5-8 at Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center
Clergy of the diocese will gather with Bishop Adams for this annual conference, held again this year at Kanuga near Hendersonville, NC. Details and registration information will be shared in early 2019.

Fall Youth Retreat

October 4-6 at Camp St. Christopher
Save the date for a diocesan-wide youth event for middle school and high school students. Watch for details at our Youth Page.

The Gathering at the Table Group meets on Tuesdays 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

posted Sep 28, 2015, 2:19 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Mar 5, 2019, 11:12 AM ]

The Gathering at the Table group was formed in October, 2015, through the initiative of Judith Ewing, an Episcopal deacon who served at East Cooper Episcopal Church at that time.  She sought out the Rev. Michael Burton, a supply priest at Calvary, about setting up an initial gathering.  Members of Calvary Episcopal Church and members of East Cooper Episcopal Church meet in the Calvary Church Parish Hall each Tuesday evening to share their perspectives on matters of race - past and present. 

Originally scheduled to meet for four weeks in October, 2015, the group has bonded and grown in their commitment.  They continue to meet today, entertaining lively and healing discussions.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.

  • The Gatherers presented an evening of enlightening conversation and hors d'oeuvres on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm. at Calvary's Parish Hall.

    Our guest speaker was Dr. Mellicent Brown, an independent consultant with Lightbright, LLC.  Dr. Brown spoke on  the planning of the International African American Museum in Charleston. The discussion was lively and informative. It left the group's members and their guests yearning to learn more.
  • The Gatherers visited the National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC on August 28 - 30, 2017.
  • The East Cooper Episcopal Church has a new home. They now hold Sunday services at 10:00 A.M. at the J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel at 1494 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
  • The Gatherers attended the dedication ceremony at the Penn Center in Beaufort, SC and were excited to speak with The Honorable James Clyburn after his presentation.
    Members pictured here left to right: Wallace and Joan Bonaparte, Congressman Clyburn, Hannah Heyward and Masha Britten.

  • The Gatherers viewed the movie 13th and are holding ongoing discussions.


'Gather Around the Table'

Friday, June 17, 2015 was the night a gunman took the lives of nine people at Emanuel AME Church. As we remember this anniversary, may we pause in prayer for the people who died, for those who still mourn, and for every life that was irrevocably affected by the tragedy of that night in 2015.

The following article represents one way in which people in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina are responding after Emanuel to seek a path toward understanding and reconciliation. In the days ahead, we encourage others to share their stories, too.

O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the pains of our woundedness, confusion and great sorrow, and continue to bring peace to our community, peace to your Church, peace among peoples, and peace in our homes. And may the balm of your reconciling love lived out among us continue to soothe our suffering hearts. All this we pray in name of our wounded and risen Savior, God with us, Jesus Christ. Amen.

​It’s a June evening in Charleston, and the back door of the church is unlocked. People come in at their own pace, embracing, smiling, setting down plates of cookies on the big table in the parish hall.

No one speaks of it yet, but on everyone’s mind is a June evening in Charleston almost one year earlier, when nine people were shot dead just a mile away at Emanuel AME Church, in an African American congregation that opened its doors and invited the killer into their weekly Bible study.

The horror of June 17, 2015 and the days that followed gave way to deep grief, and deep questions. How could this have happened? What could I be doing to change that? How can we find bridges across the barriers of race?

Every Tuesday night, a small group from two local Episcopal churches, East Cooper and Calvary, have been meeting to see if they can find some answers. The name they have given themselves reflects the simple agenda for the group: “Gatherers Around the Table.”

After the massacre at Mother Emanuel, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina accelerated its plan to offer anti-racism training for the diocese – training that is required by Episcopal Church canons, but was never offered until a rift in 2012 brought new leadership. Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg, who took office in January 2013, immediately put anti-racism training on his  short-list of needs for the reorganizing diocese, and the first one was on the calendar when the Emanuel tragedy struck.

In September 2015, Calvary hosted one of four “Traces of the Trade” conferences offered around the diocese. Each event encouraged people to open their minds and hearts to conversations about the legacy of slavery and racism.

Judith Ewing, an Episcopal deacon who serves at East Cooper, was at the Calvary program. “I realized how ignorant I was,” she said. “I realized the importance of relationships, of just getting to know each other. I just knew we needed to gather at the table.”
She quickly sought out the Rev. Michael Burton, a supply priest at Calvary, about setting up an initial gathering. The first one happened in October: Six people from each congregation, who committed to meeting every Tuesday for a trial run of six weeks.

Like Emanuel, Calvary has deep roots in Charleston’s history, founded in 1847 for “religious instruction” of enslaved African Americans. For years, it housed the only preschool and kindergarten for African American children on the Charleston peninsula, and many leaders passed through its doors. The first black jurist to serve on an appellate court in the United States, Jonathan Jasper Wright, was buried in its churchyard in 1885.

By comparison, the East Cooper Episcopal Church is in its infancy. Approved as a new mission congregation at Diocesan Convention in 2014, it serves the predominantly white suburbs across the Cooper River from Charleston. It was formed by Episcopalians who were left without a place to worship when churches in that area went with the breakaway group that left The Episcopal Church in 2012.
With widely different backgrounds, the two groups shared one common characteristic: Curiosity, and a desire to learn about each other.
Their first meeting was planned as a simple Bible study, “because that would be sweet and safe and nobody would say anything that will upset anybody,” Ewing said. “But I said, ‘Maybe we need to say things that upset people.’”
Artist and educator Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook was there, and had the same reaction. Ewing recalls her saying: “I’ve been to many Bible studies, and nobody ever mentions the elephant in the middle of the room. Why can’t we mention the elephant in the room?”
Eight months later, the elephant is still loose. Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray. The challenges of growing up in a mixed-race family. Assumptions about intelligence. Co-workers who act friendly, but never get close. The Spoleto production of “Porgy and Bess.” Ethnic foods they like and dislike. It’s all on the table when they gather.
“We’ve never put aside anything, or say ‘We mustn’t talk about that.’ We talk about everything,” Deacon Ewing says.

Along the way, others have joined. One member recently moved from New York after years in churches that were active in social justice issues, looking for a community in Charleston where that could keep happening. Another regular Gatherer is a social worker from another church who came with an East Cooper friend.  “I thought I knew almost everything about black culture, especially in Charleston,” she says, laughing. “But I don’t.”

Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook, a Calvary member in her 80s, has become the group’s matriarch and historian. On the recent Tuesday night in June, she gave them all an assignment: Come up with a personal statement about why they came to be “Gatherers Around the Table,” and then create a small journal-quilt to illustrate it. A few skeptical looks were exchanged around the table, but the group quickly warmed up to the task of explaining why they come to the meetings week after week.
The Tuesday before the Emanuel anniversary, they were putting the final touches on their letter-sized pieces of fabric art filled with color, symbols, and words like Curious, Sharing, Understanding, Love, and Hope. Beside an image of Emanuel, one proclaims: “Hate Will Not Win!”
As a child growing up in Charleston, Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook says, “I could not go three blocks without passing a church. I remember asking my mother, ‘I would like to know what they’re praying for.’ With all the inequities and oppression, I wondered, were they praying for something that black churches were not praying for?”
Decades later, those questions persist. “I wanted to be a part of this group because for a long, long, long, long time, I wanted to be comfortable in a group of caucasians and blacks where we can actually, openly, honestly and safely discuss what happens, and why it happens,” she says.

As the members of the group went around the room, the words “safe place” came up again and again.
“When we started, we said we weren’t’ going to judge, or say “You shouldn’t be saying that,” Deacon Ewing says. “We were going to accept each one in our knowledge and our ignorance, and love each other anyway.”
As the gathering wraps up, the group continues to share their ideas as they pass the plates of cookies around the table. “When you eat with somebody, it changes the whole dynamic,” one woman says. “It gives me a lot of hope.”
In the words of Anne Nietert’s journal quilt: “Anger exploded into the Palmetto night, but, in the shadows, a new day is dawning as we Gather at the Table to learn, to listen, and to love.” 
Holly Behre, Director of Communications
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

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