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

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Feb 20, 2019, 1:49 PM ]

Clergy Transitions

2/19/2019

 
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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.

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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.


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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.
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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.


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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

2/12/2019

 

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.

 
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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.
 
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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

1/29/2019

 
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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.



 
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.
 
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​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

1/2/2019

 
 
 
​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. 
 
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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.​
 


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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.
 
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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.
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