Bishop Steve Wood 2019 Synod Address

Thank you to Filmore and All Saints, Thank you David, Thad, Terrell, Thank you Maddy, Thank you Phillip Clark – Dio Chancellor, Thank you for your prayers for St. Andrew’s Church. We have seen God at work in all.

The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas exists to equip clergy and congregations to fulfill the Great Commandments (Mk.12:29-31) and the Great Commission (Mt.28:19-20) by leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through evangelism, personal discipleship, and the nurturing and planting of congregations.

We have an opportunity in ACNA – The average congregation in ACNA is less than 100. Our diocese has huge leadership development possibilities with the Simeon Fellowship led by Dean Chip Edgar and Ridley Institute led by Randy Forester.

In ACNA, Andrew Williams is being consecrated in New England today. Succeeding +Bill Murdoch. There will be a season of leadership transitions in ACNA as many current Bishops are nearing retirement.

Village Church

Today in our diocese we are admitting Village Church of Greenville, SC as a parish. Seth Cain+ and his wife Ashley have led well and we are thankful for them.

We welcome the new people that are apart of the diocese include Lucy Albert, Church of the Good Shepherd – Deacon, Kyle Holtzhower, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Caleb Burr, Holy Trinity Church – Priesthood, Phillip Wilson, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Dave Libbon, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Ben Snyder, Wilmore Anglican – Priesthood, Jordan Kologe, Church of the Good Shepherd – Priesthood, Jeremy Roseman, Resurrection Anglican – Transitional Diaconate, Chase Edgar, St. Paul’s Church – Transitional Diaconate. Those transferred into ADOC: Joel Pinson, King of Kings – Rector, Wright Wall, Holy Trinity Church – Clergy Associate for evangelism and equipping.

College Ministry

We now have connections to College Ministry in the Carolinas. Madison Perry is at the North Carolina Study Center at UNC and Justin Hare and Jonathan Furst are associated with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) @ Clemson University and University of South Carolina.

The ADOC Task Force on Women in Ministry 

I am excited to introduce ADOC Task Force on Women in Ministry. I have charged this committee with making recommendations for how the Diocese of the Carolinas can best fulfill the commitment made by the College of Bishops “to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole church to her God-given mission” – especially discipling and equipping “female [members], lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God’s kingdom.”

The particular work of the Task Force is to identify the ways in which women, both lay and ordained, might exercise roles of service and leadership within the diocese, and in local churches, and make recommendations for how to support them in carrying out the priesthood of all believers.

Specifically, the Task Force will address the following questions:

·       What is the definition of ministry?

·       What roles have been assumed to be male-only?

·       What opportunities have not been open to women?

·       What can we do practically to fulfill the commitment made by the College of Bishops?

·       What can a church do to encourage women in ministry?

·       What pathways need to be in place for women to obtain credentials and training?

·       How best to recruit and mentor women for ministry in the church?

·       What materials need to be developed so that the recommendations of the Task Force can be implemented in a small, medium, and large church?

To do this work I propose the following men and women to serve on the Task Force:  The Rev. Lucy Albert, Executive Assistant, Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Davidson, NC, The Rev. Gary Ball, Rector, Redeemer, Asheville, NC, The Rev. John Hall, Senior Pastor, Christ the Redeemer, Clemson, SC, The Rev. Virginia Mussellmann, Deacon, Church of the Holy Cross, Raleigh NC, Mrs. Van Weston, former staff member Christ Church, Murrells Inlet, SC, The Rev. Joshua Yoder, Rector, Christ Church, Washington, NC.

Build Together Campaign

The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas will begin a Build Together Campaign. Build Together is an annual diocesan campaign to help churches of the Diocese of the Carolinas that are making the critical transition into their initial permanent location/building.  One Sunday a year would be designated as “Build Together Sunday” and churches would share information (inserts, slides, videos) provided by the diocese with their congregations and receive designated gifts/pledges that Sunday. The Standing Committee of the Diocese would oversee the development of criteria, administration and distribution of these funds to churches who make appropriate an application and request. We are now stronger together in the Diocese of the Carolinas and this is a tangible and very strategic way we can advance the kingdom of God in the Carolinas.

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Bishop David Bryan 2019 Synod Address

It is so good to be together as a diocese… to worship together, to be encouraged by one another, to grow together in our common vocation of proclaiming the riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to every man, women and child in the communities God has placed us.

It continues to be a privilege for me to serve alongside Bishop Steve, as well as Bishops’ Thad and Terrell, and all of our rectors, clergy and congregations in the Carolinas.  One of the distinct privileges of traveling the diocese is seeing all the ways God is at work in our parishes…seeing the dedication, the creativity and the passion for the Gospel in the local churches that make up our diocese.  Our shared conviction is that local church is the frontline of mission and ministry and that the diocese exists to multiply (plant churches) and to serve and enrich the life of our congregations (not the other way around).

I want to take a minute or two and highlight some of the things that have happened this past year and are happening in our diocese:

In the Fall we had a Flourishing Outposts Conference with Kevin Martin for Pastoral Sized Churches, graciously hosted by All Saints, Pawleys Island (thank you Rob Grafe and co.).  We had 30 rectors/lay leaders come together to learn together how we can be better equipped to flourish in the life, mission and ministry of this particular size dynamic.  Folks went away pleased…and we want to do more things like this…

On another front, we have just begun a new Simeon Cohort at Apostles in Columbia which Chip Edgar and I lead and facilitate.  This, along with the Fellows program at Holy Trinity, Raleigh and the Ridley Institute, the Asbury/Wilmore Anglican connection and other initiatives around our diocese highlight the importance of next generation leadership development.

Related, our new Credentialing path/process in the diocese is now in full swing.  In addition to the 6 priests and 3 deacons ordained this past year, we have 6 aspiring permanent deacons, 9 aspiring transitional deacons and 6 aspiring priesthood folks somewhere in our process.  This is a community effort and we are very thankful for the those who serve on parish and regional discernment teams as well as our Examining Chaplains: Randy Forrester, John Hall, John Yates III and Chip Edgar.  Also thankful for Maddy Donaldson and Nancy Bryan who help administer this process

One critical aspect of our diocese is helping our congregations in transition and the calling of new rectors.  This past year we did this at King of Kings in Charlotte and we are currently doing this with Holy Trinity, North Augusta and Christ Church, Murrells Inlet.  Eric Speece did a fabulous job as Interim Rector at King of Kings prior to Joel Pinson’s arrival as their new rector and Thad Barnum is interim at Christ Church and is ‘rocking the house’ in a great way in Murrells Inlet.   Please pray for these processes, these are critical moments in the life of these congregations!

Speaking of Thad, I just want to take a moment to hold up the amazing work God is doing through him in the area of Soul Care.  Thad has just started his 4th year of doing this ministry and averages about 60-70 face to face or Skype-type appointments a month.  Thad works with pastors, leaders, seminarians and those in the ordination process.  His focus is not what we do, but who we are in Jesus.  The conviction is that if we are not healthy in the Lord– body, heart, mind, soul, it impacts every area of our life and ministry.  So, Thad provides a safe place for us to go and the Holy Spirit is at work in amazing ways.  There is no reason for our leaders to walk alone.  Appointments can be scheduled at call2disciple.com…most are video conferencing and there is no cost, because this ministry is funded by All Saints, Pawleys, our diocese and private donors and churches.  Can we take a moment and thank Thad for this ministry?

Church planting is a core conviction and value for the Diocese of the Carolinas.  As we will hear later nearly half of our diocesan budget go back into mission, in the province, but mainly in church planting.  This is only possible if our churches are growing in their giving to the diocese.  Our church planting arm is Kardia with Winfield Bevins as Canon for Church Planting, John Hall, Seth Cain, Gary Ball and me.  We are working together with our church plants, providing coaching and developing new church planting curacies around the diocese.  Again leadership development with a very missional edge.  We are going to hear more from Winfield later, but let stay in step with the Spirit in this important work of church planting in our diocese!

Lastly, I have a piece of business I’d like to offer.  We have a simple change which has been proposed to our diocesan canons to bring them into conformity with the provincial canons of ACNA.  You should have the proposed changes in your packets to Canon 5 Section 1 and Canon 8, section 4.  Very simply it adds the language of an accounting “review” where the canons before only prescribed an audit.  Audits are very costly and so we want to provide the option for churches to have reviews.  Now the Canon 8, Section 4 already requires the diocese to provide instructions to our churches for the regularity of these audits and reviews.  So after we pass this change, our finance committee with propose to the Standing Committee, recommendations for the regularity of audits and reviews based on the size of church budgets.  For instance we may say if your budget is over 300,000 we want you to have an audit every 5 years and in the other years to simply have a review, etc.  So expect to see that in the next few months.  Meanwhile, we also want to clean up the spelling of the word “worshippers” in Title 1, Canon 6, Section 3h…we are Anglicans, not Anglophiles, so we want to spell this the American way!  Having said all that, I’d like to make a motion we make the canonical changes as presented as a group.

So, that’s it from me.  Thank you Bishop Steve, thank you diocese, it’s great to be your Suffragan bishop!

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Building Projects across Diocese of Carolinas

“Healthy things grow. Growing things change. Change challenges us. Challenge forces us to trust God. Trust leads to obedience. Obedience makes us healthy. Healthy things grow…”

St. Andrew’s forging ahead on their new ministry center.
Giving thanks for the last seven months and the construction moving along at St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant, SC  #beautyfromasches

Cathedral Church of the Apostles completed their Ministry Center Expansion this fall. Giving thanks for growth in the Diocese. Healthy things grow!

All Saint’s Pawleys Island Women’s Study Draws Hundreds

Women in the Word, led by Dina Clarke and Beth Sprinkle, is a community Bible Study in Pawleys Island that attracts 250 women weekly, with 60% from outside All Saints Church.  The bible study focuses on helping women grow as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and is in its 13th year. Each week women gather to worship the Lord, hear from His word, pray, and meet in small groups to apply what the Lord revealed to our own lives and circumstances. Lives are transformed by His grace as they seek to learn who they are in Christ and how to live it out in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The All Saints women’s teaching ministry has its roots with discipleship teacher The Rev’d Erilynne Barnum. Erilynne began teaching at All Saints in 1997 and her ministry grew from there to a national ministry (call2disciple.com). Erilynne also discipled the current teacher Beth Sprinkle and eventually Dina Clarke joined the team.

The two are a dynamic duo with two different teaching styles. The Lord is at work and now the desire for discipleship is so great that mini sessions led by Van Weston have been added to the calendar. Women in the Word seeks to help others know Jesus, to love God’s Word, and to daily live out His truth in their lives.
This ministries’ Scriptural foundation is from the letter to the Colossians 1:28:  “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” To listen to their current teaching series on Exodus go to http://www.allsaintspawleys.org/Exodus or to their facebook page here.
Teachers Dina Clarke and Beth Sprinkle

One Family’s Adoption Story

For 14 years we talked about adoption.  Off and on, here and there.
And then it got personal. Some friends adopted. Just ordinary people–Some with children, some without.  It got our attention, and we decided that maybe we could actually adopt, not just talk about it. It was contagious! There would be work, distress, waiting and then…joy!  We wanted it all.  And so, we began, one paper at a time.

Nine months, two weeks and a stack of paperwork about 2 feet high found us leaving for China where we met our one year old daughter, Mei Mei.  But We were hooked, so without so much as a conversation, we knew we wanted to go back and do it again.  Another eighteen months later, which included anew the work, the distress the waiting and the joy, we were back in China meeting our 2 ½ year old daughter Liza.

That’s the short version of an adoption story–Our adoption story.

What is your version? You might be surprised to realize that you have an adoption story already. So many people were part of our adoption story, and thus have their own story.  And I truly believe that they are part of God’s plan for our girls just as much as we are.  As Corinthians 12:4-7 tells us: ‘Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.’

Take heart! Adoption is a great example of the people of God using the gifts and services and activities they have been given to care for orphans.  We completed the paperwork and underwent government scrutiny.  Family members gave us money and cared for our other children while we were gone.  Friends made us dinner and carted our kids around.  One friend even kept our big old dog for two weeks!  These are not small things.  Each one of them was a huge support to us in the moment and truly made it possible for us to do our part in the story. Truly.

Next time you are listening to someone talk about adoption, don’t feel guilty if you haven’t adopted a child.  Think of the ways you have helped someone who has, and then do it again!

Every little bit helps. And that is the truth.  A fellow ADOC family recently adopted and when I went to their Go-Fund-Me page I scrolled through, amazed at all the gifts there.  Some were large, but most were not. Each small gift together raised a huge sum of money in mere days. You know what God can do with a few fish and some bread!  Watch him do it again and again through His people.  Just talk to anyone who has adopted and they will have crazy stories of how the money and the physical support were there when they needed it.  Our family had many people support us in our adoptions, but one stands out. An old man who I did not know knocked on my door one day while we were working on our second adoption.  Part of me did not want to answer the door as I saw him coming up the sidewalk, but I opened the door. He asked if I was Mrs. Edgar and handed me an envelope, he said someone had asked him to give it to me.  He walked away. It had $1000 in it.

I know that God loves adoption.  And it is a tangible reminder of how we are adopted as sons and daughters into the family of the God of the Universe.  My poor heart’s attempts at fiercely and tenderly loving my adopted girls is a mere hint at what our perfect, loving God feels toward us, his adopted children.  And that is unfathomable to me.

Let it be contagious!

Beth Edgar worships at the Cathedral Church of the Apostles, Columbia, SC where her husband Chip Edgar serves as the Dean.