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

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 17, 2018, 7:00 PM ]

Clergy Transitions


Bishop Adams and the Wardens and Vestry of St. James-Santee, McClellanville have announced that the Reverend Jill Williams will be the new Vicar of St. James-Santee beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, December 2. 

The Rev. Williams is the Lower School Chaplain at Porter-Gaud, an Episcopal school in Charleston, and will continue to serve in that capacity. Previously she has served as associate rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden, Mass., and as missioner for Christian formation for the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.
She holds a BA in Theatre and English from Florida Southern College and a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. She and her husband Andrew have two school-age sons. 

The Reverend Caroline Goodkind will continue as interim vicar at St. James-Santee until December. 

Autumn concerts and services around the diocese offer opportunities to celebrate new beginnings, mark the Feast of All Saints, and remember those who have gone before. Here are some events planned in Episcopal churches this fall.

Sunday, October 21
St. Stephen's, Charleston: Communitywide Interfaith Pride Service, with a musical prelude beginning at 4:30 pm. Service begins at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, October 26
All Saints, Hilton Head Island: Rededication Concert for the All Saints organ, with Dr. Patrick Hawkins, organist, playing works from the Baroque to 20th century. 7:00 pm. Read a news article about the concert series.

Thursday, November 1 - All Saints' Day
Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston: Solemn High Mass for All Saints at 6:30 pm.
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston: Holy Eucharist for All Saints's Day at 12:00 pm

Sunday, November 4 - All Saints Sunday
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston: Choral Evensong for All Saints and All Souls, 4:00 p.m., with the St. Gregory Choir.

Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island: 
All Saints Evensong of Remembrance at 5:00 pm, in memory of all those in the community who have died in the past year.  

Sunday, November 11
Grace Church Cathedral: Veterans' Day Concert: 'Music for the Greatest Generation,' 4:00 pm with the St. Gregory Choir.

St. Stephen's, Charleston, A Bernstein Choral Evensong with works of Leonard Bernstein, 5:00 pm

Memorandums, responses and replies have been filed as requested by Judge Edgar Dickson in the 1st Judicial Circuit, and all parties now await a hearing date on how the court will proceed with implementing the South Carolina Supreme Court decision on church properties.

The latest documents, filed on October 12 by The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, ask the court to move forward with giving control of diocesan property and the property of 29 parishes to The Episcopal Church, as the Supreme Court decided in August 2017, remitting its decision to the 1st Judicial Circuit to be implemented.

"This Court has jurisdiction upon remittitur to enforce the mandate of the South Carolina Supreme Court, not to unravel it," according to the Omnibus Reply Brief filed by TEC and TECSC.

The legal filings also note that the breakaway group now acknowledges “they have repudiated their roles as trustees” in their Opposition to Motion to Dismiss the Betterment Action.

In September, Judge Dickson notified attorneys that he plans to hear all motions and petitions during the weeks of October 22 and 29. A specific hearing date has not yet been assigned.

In preparation for the hearing, the judge asked parties to file memorandums by September 24, which they did.  Next were responses to those memorandums, which were filed earlier in October as follows:  

Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition – Petition for an Accounting
Plaintif’s Response in Opposition – Petition for Execution
Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition – Motion to Dismiss
TECSC Brief in Opposition – Complex Case Designation
TECSC Brief in Opposition – Motion for Clarification & Further Relief
Replies to the response briefs were filed as follows:  
Plaintiff’s Reply – Motion for Clarification & Further Relief
TECSC Omnibus Reply Brief – Petitions for Enforcement, Accounting, and Motion to Dismiss
If you've never watched an event on Facebook Live, here 's a short video and some information about how to join our Live Open Conversation on October 11. 
At the Smith Medical Clinic on the campus of Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island, a check is presented to Anne Faul, executive director. With the Rev. Jason Roberson and the Rev. Rob Donehue of HCFM.
Churches around the diocese are still working hard to help our neighbors in the Pee Dee-Waccamaw Deanery whose homes have been damaged or lost in the catastrophic flooding following Hurricane Florence. 

Churches in the area have been stepping up their long-standing outreach partnerships with organizations that provide food and other relief, including Helping Hands ministries in the Grand Strand area. And churches in other parts of the diocese are collecting money and goods, and beginning to organize volunteers.

On October 5, Diocesan Ministry Developer Andrea McKellar and the Rev. Rob Donehue of St. Anne's, Conway visited several sites, including the James R. Frazier Recreation Center in Bucksport, where they delivered a pallet of flood buckets donated by the United Methodist Church, and about $500 in gift cards to help people buy necessities.

According to Fr. Donehue, Bucksport is one of the hardest hit areas in the state, and many of the residents of Bucksport are going to be out of their homes for a long time. Rob and Andrea met with local leaders including the Rev. Cheryl Adamson from Palmetto Missionary Baptist Church, a long-time friend and partner in ministry with St. Anne's; Betty Gause, head volunteer and associate director at the rec center, and "Mother Mary" Moore, the Rev. Adamson's mother.

Archdeacon Callie Walpole was at St. Anne's to celebrate and preach on October 7. She and Fr. Donehue were joined by Lura Steele and The Rev. Canon Carl Andrews of Episcopal Relief & Development, who are assisting with the organization's "boots on the ground" efforts in the region and attended the service. They gave the congregation an updatte on the work Episcopal Relief & Development has been doing in hard-hit areas of the Carolinas.  

Ways you can help

A Diocesan Disaster Relief Fund has been established for donations to be used specifically within our diocese for flooding and other disaster relief. To make a gift online, click here and choose "Disaster Relief " as the selected fund. Checks also can be sent to the Diocesan Office, with "Disaster Relief" in the memo line, to PO Box 20485, Charleston, SC, 29413.

Episcopal Relief and Development also continues to collect donations for its Hurricane Relief Fund, which benefits areas in the Carolinas affected by Florence and other storm-ravaged communities. Make a donation here.

Volunteers can help with removing debris and damaged building materials at homes. People can use Episcopal Relief & Development's Ready to Serve signup form. 
The Right Reverend Gladstone B. (Skip) Adams III
Skip Adams was elected by acclamation and invested as Provisional Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina on September 10, 2016. Previously he served as the 10th Bishop of Central New York, the diocese that covers the central portion of the state of New York, retiring in 2016 after 15 years of service. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he is a graduate of Towson University and Virginia Theological Seminary. After his ordination in 1980 he served churches in New York, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maryland. He enjoys fly-fishing and fly-tying, reading, music of all kinds, camping and canoeing. He is interested in the Church and people in El Salvador, and serves on the board of Cristosal, an organization that works to advance human rights in Central America. His wife Bonnie is a registered nurse, and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. 

Hillery Douglas
Hillery Douglas is a member of the Diocesan Council. He has served as a leader and singer for many years at St. Mark's in downtown Charleston. In 2012, he joined with other Episcopalians on the Steering Committee that helped reorganize the diocese, and served as its chairman. Hillery graduated from Allen University and taught science at W. Gresham-Meggett High School on James Island, where he coached the football team to a state championship. He worked as a chemist at the Charleston Naval Shipyard for 29 years and for 21 years he has owned and operated Earth Sciences Laboratory in North Charleston. Hillery served on many community boards, including 16 years on the Charleston County School Board, four of those as chairman. He and his wife Yvette have five grown children, 16 grandchildren and a great-grandchild

The Venerable
Calhoun (Callie) Walpole

Callie Walpole is Archdeacon of the diocese and vicar and subdean of Grace Church Cathedral, where she has served since 2009. A native of John’s Island, she grew up as a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. She has taught Spanish at Burke High School and at Bishop England. Callie attended seminary at the University of the South, and served as assistant rector of Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church on Pawley’s Island from 2005-2009. She also served half-time as priest-in-charge at St. Mark's in Charleston in 2012-13 while serving as vicar at Grace. She was appointed archdeacon in March 2013, and serves as secretary to Diocesan Convention and as a resource person for other diocesan programs. Her hobbies include crabbing, reading, history, writing, and walking.

Andrea McKellar
Andrea McKellar is Ministry Developer on the Bishop’s staff. Her responsibilities include transition ministry, working with individuals and congregations through times of discernment and calling. She also is responsible for leadership development, Christian formation and youth ministry. Andrea joined the staff in January 2014 after serving as Director of Christian Formation at Old St. Andrews in West Ashley from 2011-13. Andrea grew up in coastal Virginia and moved to Charleston upon graduation from the College of William & Mary in 2000. In July, she was elected to a 3-year term on the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, and she is on the board of Forma, a national grassroots Christian formation organization. A lifelong Episcopalian, Andrea worships at St. Francis Episcopal Church in the West Ashley area of Charleston. Andrea and her husband Mark live in West Ashley with their two children. 

The Rev. William (Bill) Coyne
Bill Coyne was appointed in June 2018 as Missioner for Returning Congregations, a new staff position working directly with Bishop Adams to assist parishes and missions that are returning to The Episcopal Church. Bill has served as a priest in the diocese since August 2015, when he was called as interim rector of St. Stephen’s, Charleston. He led that parish for two years through their successful call of a new rector last summer. In August 2017 he was named priest-in-charge of The East Cooper Episcopal Church, and is continuing in that role alongside his new responsibilities. Before coming to Charleston, Bill served for 15 years as Archdeacon of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, retiring in 2013 and then serving in two interim positions before he and his wife Janet moved to Charleston. The Coynes have three grown children and five grandchildren.

The Rev. Bill Coyne (left) and Bishop Skip Adams meet to talk about preparations for the Facebook Live Open Conversation they will participate in on October 11 along with three other panelists.

​Building on the three “Open Conversations” held in Conway, Charleston and Bluffton in July, 2018, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will take a new step in the holy work of reconciliation with an online "Live Open Conversation" on October 11 on Facebook Live, the Rev. William Coyne says.

"This new event offers the possibility and promise of even more engagement from folks around the diocese and the churches of eastern South Carolina," says Fr. Coyne, who is Missioner for Returning Congregations for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

Fr. Coyne recently reported to the Diocesan Council about this exciting new opportunity to use Facebook Live as an avenue for conversations with people who have questions and concerns.

“As we await the court setting in motion the implementation plan and timeline for returning congregations, we will continue to listen, share information, and collect contacts of those who wish to be partners in building the new future together,” Fr. Coyne told the Council.

The Live Open Conversation format allows the opportunity to listen deeply and talk to people in the pews, Fr. Coyne says. In keeping with same summer Open Conversation theme, participants will be not required to identify themselves or their churches, but may chose to do so. To participate, people can simply visit the TECSC Facebook page,, on October 11 at 6:30 pm.

Contact Fr. Coyne at or 843-614-0679. You also can learn more about reconciliation in our diocese by reading the Frequently Asked Questions document.

Prayer shared on the Facebook page of Church of the Messiah, Myrtle Beach.
​Aided by private donations and an emergency grant from Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina is responding to needs in the Pee Dee-Waccamaw Deanery of the diocese as flooding continues to ravage communities in our state following Hurricane Florence.

The Rev. Rob Donehue, priest-in-charge of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Conway, served as the lead in applying for a short-term relief grant on behalf of our diocese from Episcopal Relief & Development. An initial amount of $11,000 was approved Thursday. In the application, Fr. Donehue shared needs in Horry and Georgetown counties and detailed ways that the grant could help the flooded communities.

"I spoke with one woman in her 80s who told me that she doesn’t think she’ll have a home to return to," Fr. Donehue says. "She said that most of her neighbors will have lost everything and don’t know what they’ll do, but 'by the grace of God, we’ll get through.'" (Read a report from Fr. Donehue below.)

Some of the organizations that were named in the grant are Shepherd’s Table, a soup kitchen in Conway, Helping Hands of Georgetown, Smith Medical Clinic in Pawley’s Island, and Waccamaw Animal Rescue Clinic.

Additional funding to support the area is coming from private donations, including a large anonymous gift to our diocesan Disaster Relief Fund, Bishop Skip Adams said.

"We are so grateful to this generous donor for helping us reach out to our neighbors who are suffering because of flooding," Bishop Adams said. "We're also thankful for the assistance we are receiving from Episcopal Relief & Development, and for all the people and churches here and across the Church who continue to give so generously in the aftermath of Florence."

Ways to give:
Diocesan Disaster Relief Fund & Episcopal Relief & Development 

A Diocesan Disaster Relief Fund has been established for donations to be used specifically within our diocese for flooding and other disaster relief. To make a gift online, click here and choose "Disaster Relief " as the selected fund. Checks also can be sent to the Diocesan Office, with "Disaster Relief" in the memo line, to PO Box 20485, Charleston, SC, 29413.

Episcopal Relief and Development also continues to collect donations for its Hurricane Relief Fund, which benefits areas in the Carolinas affected by Florence and other storm-ravaged communities. Make a donation here.

Volunteers may be needed soon to help with removing debris and damaged building materials at homes. People can use Episcopal Relief & Development's Ready to Serve signup form. 

A report from Conway

The Rev. Rob Donehue, priest-in-charge of St. Anne's, Conway, wrote this email Wednesday night about the situation in communities affected by flooding, and how assistance to the disaster relief fund can help.

I went today to the Whittemore Park Middle School in Conway. It has been turned into a shelter for folks who were evacuated from the Bucksport community. Bucksport is almost completely flooded - for the third time in four years. The people there are getting by as best they can, but the facilities at the school are far from adequate. For the first five days, there was no hot water. A church brought in a mobile shower unit, but it’s barely meeting the need. 

With the school district hoping to get students back in school as soon as possible, it is likely that people will have to be moved to another facility within a week. But even the Red Cross workers don’t know where that might be. The simple reality is that Bucksport residents will be in emergency shelters for many weeks before they can even begin to think about returning to their community to rebuild.

I spoke with one woman in her 80s who told me that she doesn’t think she’ll have a home to return to. She said that most of her neighbors will have lost everything and don’t know what they’ll do, but “by the grace of God, we’ll get through.”

Another Bucksport evacuee sheltering at the school told me his home was severely damaged in the flood after hurricane Matthew. FEMA gave him $12k for it, but that didn’t even cover half of the repair expenses. He took out a loan, which he is nowhere near paying off, and he only recently finished repairing his house when Florence struck. He can’t afford to take out another loan now and does not know what his future looks like. Those are just two stories from the @150 refugees at just the one facility I visited today. There are undoubtedly many similar stories.

Most of the residents of Bucksport live below the poverty line and do not have flood insurance. 

I spoke with my contacts from CAP, Shepherd’s Table, and ECHO today, and they are all worried that, even with assistance from state-run food banks, they are going to run out of food within a week. People are coming to these organizations asking for help with gas money, rent money, etc., and there simply isn’t enough funding to meet the needs. 

New Directions in Myrtle Beach is being completely overwhelmed by the calls for assistance. Their homeless shelter in Myrtle Beach is full, and they are having to turn people away. Most of the people they are seeing are not homeless in the conventional sense - they are poor and flooded out with nowhere else to go. The director of the facility said that if they had the funds to put people in a hotel even for one night, they would be happy to do that. FEMA housing will likely alleviate some of the problem, but that’s not in place yet. 

As we were wrapping up noonday prayer at the First United Methodist Church, a fawn ran across Main Street and through the churchyard where we had our service. I learned later that it crashed through a window at the Dollar General three blocks away. This story is a good example of what happens when wildlife is displaced by flooding, and I think it highlights the problems that animal shelters across the county are dealing with. When the waters rise, we tend to forget that it’s not just people that are displaced. 

The Episcopal Relief & Development grant will help us to provide some people with a sense that there is solid ground to stand on and that it hasn’t all been washed away in the flood waters. It’s a good thing to be able to tell people that we are here for them, but it’s an even better thing to be able to show them that we really mean what we say. 

I communicated with the Rev. Jason Roberson, the Rev. Randy Ferebee, Charlie Jordan, Mary Jeffcoat, and the Rev. Cn. Dr. Wilmot Merchant [leaders of area Episcopal churches] to get an idea of who needs immediate help. Their input was invaluable for identifying aid agencies in Horry and Georgetown counties that are struggling to meet people’s needs. 

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) will continue the Open Conversation series with a Facebook Live Open Conversation on October 11, 2018 from 6:30-7:45 p.m.

TECSC coordinated this live open conversation in response to the three previous Open Conversations held in July in Bluffton, Conway and Charleston.

“I invite everyone to join me and four other leaders in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina for the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas,” said the Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of TECSC. “This is an effort to keep an open flow of communication among all the people who care deeply about the Episcopal/Anglican churches in this part of South Carolina.”

The Facebook Live Open Conversation is hosted by five panel members who will respond to the most frequently asked questions, as well as questions that can be offered online throughout the live video. The panel includes:
  • Bishop Skip Adams of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
  • The Rev. Bill Coyne, Diocesan Missioner for Returning Congregations
  • Hillery Douglas of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Charleston and a member of Diocesan Council
  • Andrea McKellar, Diocesan Ministry Developer
  • Archdeacon Callie Walpole, staff member at the Diocesan Office and Grace Church Cathedral
“My hope is that this conversation and events like it will provide pathways for the Holy Spirit to act through open hearts and minds, to bring about the highest degree of reconciliation possible ‘on earth as it is in heaven,’” Bishop Adams said.  

To view the live open conversation and engage with the panel, visit the TECSC Facebook page: The online meeting with the community will be a vital step on the path to reconciliation. Information regarding the Live Open Conversation will be posted to the TECSC Facebook page.

For more information, view A Historical Timeline of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Frequently Asked Questions.
The Rev. Dr. Donald Fishburne, left, and the Rev. William Coyne, right, participate in the "Thriving in Ministry" conference in September.
Two priests from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina recently traveled to Virginia Theological Seminary to participate in a new initiative called "Thriving in Ministry," preparing them to bring training and support to the clergy who will serve congregations that are returning to The Episcopal Church.

The Rev. William Coyne, Diocesan Missioner for Returning Congregations, and The Rev. Dr. Donald Fishburne, priest associate at Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island, completed the program at VTS in Alexandria, VA earlier this month. Their training will bring clergy who serve returning congregations access to the gift and expectation that they will be active participants in a "peer group learning environment." This process will support the vitality of the congregations they serve, according to Fr. Coyne.

The Thriving Initiative, supported by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., will serve as a catalyst to form Peer Learning Groups by providing tools so that South Carolina participants can identify and pursue their learning goals in ministry. 'Thriving' trained a cohort of Group Facilitators, including Fr. Coyne, and mentors including Fr. Fishburne, in new skills,  so that along with the peer group learning experience, each participant may choose to have a mentor.  

“I’m excited by the depth and breadth of the scope of this robust initiative, and the strong resources now available to us,” Fr. Fishburne said. "This new program will initially strengthen clergy, and through them — and ultimately through expansions of the program — lay professionals and lay leaders in congregations will also benefit."
Thriving in Ministry is a strong collaboration of church practitioners and seminary leaders. The Rev. Dr. David Gortner of the VTS faculty is the Principal Investigator for the program.  Its director, the Rev. Dr. Carol Pinkham Oak, draws upon her experience in parish ministry. Imani Kane is the Program Administrator for the program with her knowledge of community organizing, mentoring teens, and not-for-profit scholarship programs. ​Learn more about Thriving in Ministry here.

For information about returning congregations and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, contact Fr. Coyne: or (843) 614-0679.