The 223rd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina opened this evening at Christ Church, Mount Pleasant with an uplifting celebration of the Eucharist punctuated by a stirring sermon on John 10:1-10 by the Very Rev. John Barr, retiring rector of Church of the Holy Comforter in Sumter and dean of the Florence Deanery. The growing unity in the far flung "Anglican Diaspora" was apparent as Bishop Mark Lawrence was joined at the Lord's Table by Bishops David Bryan (PEARUSA), Alphonza Gadsden and William White (REC), Paul Hewitt (FiFNA/Diocese of the Holy Cross), Steve Wood (ACNA), retired Bishops FitzSimmons Allison (South Carolina), Alex Dickson (West Tennessee), Alden Hathaway (Pittsburgh), and retired Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa (Tanzania/Dar es Salaam).
Inspired by a challenge issued in Dean Barr's sermon, Bishop Lawrence asked the visiting bishops to act as intercessors for communicants requesting prayer after receiving the sacrament.
The service was followed by a barbecue dinner on the grounds, during which time yours truly was able to hang out with a few distinguished churchmen.
Convention business gets underway tomorrow morning, bright and early.