The Short Answer

  • By proadAccountId-400629
  • 04 Dec, 2017

Legal Situation

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With the announcement of the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision to deny our motions for recusal and re-hearing, there has once again been significant movement in our legal situation with many questions arising. The overall situation continues to be one of uncertainty, but there are two questions I would like to answer with what I call “the short answer.” The short answer is what we often need to questions that get asked in the grocery store or at work. I want to give you the short answer to two key questions that we face currently.
What is our current legal situation?

  • In relationship to the State Supreme Court, the Diocese and parishes have lost the original case.
  • We are appealing this ruling to the Supreme Court of the United States. We have 90 days (due by 2/15/18) to petition the court for a writ of certiorari, and there is no defined period in which the Supreme Court must respond.
  • Mediation in the federal case (primarily answering the identity question for the Diocese) resumes on Monday, December 4. If the mediation is not successful, the federal case goes to trial in March 2018.
  How did we get to the point of breaking with the Episcopal church?
  • The Episcopal Church has been on a 50+ year trajectory of denying biblical authority and setting aside orthodox Christian beliefs.
  • The issues that separate St. Helena’s and the Diocese of SC from the Episcopal Church are issues of orthodox Christian belief (the uniqueness of Christ, the virgin birth of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead) and biblical authority. Human sexuality controversies (“isn’t this all about the gay bishop?”) are the issues that are usually highlighted by the media but are not primary.
  • The Diocese of SC was forced out of the Episcopal Church in November 2012 due to preemptive actions taken by the national church to remove our Bishop Mark Lawrence. We were the last of five dioceses to leave the Episcopal Church because we had sought a way to work for change from within.

 The information above does not surely exhaust the questions you have, but I hope you will continue to ask. I do not want these issues to dominate our Advent conversations, but I know that we all need the short answers to these questions as we seek to witness faithfully in our community. As I have said repeatedly, our hope is not in courts or buildings, our hope is in Christ alone. Let us continue to pray for our vision, our Bishop, and our legal team.
With hope,

A Word from Shay

By proadAccountId-400629 08 Jan, 2018

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

2018 is off to a special start. What a treat to have a snow-filled 10th day of Christmas to begin this year! The Lowcountry is always beautiful, but there is something amazing about our fair town blanketed in white. I’ve included a couple of pictures around the church property that were especially beautiful on Wednesday. As we begin this year, my heart is drawn to the vision that is guiding us. What will it look like for us to begin the next stage of implementing the vision in 2018?
There are many questions to be answered in this new year. My hope is to begin on Jan. 7 at the Rector’s Forum discussing the vision and taking questions. Many of you were still not back from summer travel when we launched on Aug. 20, so I hope you will be able to attend. On Jan. 14, we will talk about the application of the vision and our plans for 2018. All of this will be leading up to the Annual Vision Meeting on Jan. 28 between the morning services. I am so excited to share with you all of the good news and exciting plans that are before us.
Our full vision statement reads: St. Helena’s will boldly proclaim the saving Gospel and Lordship of Jesus Christ, and through intentional discipleship, will raise up servant leaders and worshipping communities in Beaufort and beyond, seeing the Kingdom come.

As we consider how this statement applies to the wider Body, we can also apply it to our own lives. Two words you are going to hear repeated a lot over 2018 are “belong” and “serve.” These words are directly connected to the vision of raising up servant leaders (serve) and worshipping communities (belong). Where do you belong at St. Helena’s? Where do you find community and accountability and a place to grow? Where are you serving on a regular basis? How are you using the gifts and talents that God has given you to build the Kingdom? These are important ways that the vision applies to us individually.
Truly, 2018 is going to be a special year! You can tell by the way it has begun. Please pray for the church and the vision. Find a place to belong and serve in this new year. The best is yet to come!
Shay +
By proadAccountId-400629 22 Dec, 2017

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a year it has been! I am so ready to gather on Sunday and to celebrate again the birth of Jesus. There is truly great hope found in Him. Whether you are traveling or will be here in Beaufort, know that your staff and clergy at St. Helena’s wish you a joyous Christmas and blessed New Year!
Also, we want to thank you for your many kindnesses over this Advent Season. It seems as if daily more wonderful food and sweets appeared in the office for the staff. Cards and gifts continue to come to us. From all of us, thank you so much. We pray that the many ways you have blessed us in this year will return to you richly in God’s blessings.
Finally, the Gaillard family wishes to thank you for all of your love and support this year. We are truly blessed to be at St. Helena’s in this exciting season.
With great hope,

By proadAccountId-400629 15 Dec, 2017

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are so excited for our second Christmas with you at St. Helena’s. This year there are many opportunities to worship the newborn King during the 12 Day Feast of Christmas. I encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to one of our celebrations for truly there is room in the inn.

One new service that is part of our Vision to “raise up worshipping communities” is our 4 pm Christmas Eve service in the Parish Hall. This will be a family celebration that reflects the style of our 5 pm Sunday service. If your little ones are rambunctious or your neighbors have never been to church, invite them to this simple, yet profound, celebration of the birth of Jesus.

I cannot wait to see how God reveals Himself in the beauty and majesty of Christmas worship. We look forward to celebrating with you.

With expectant hope,

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