Sept. 5th, 2017

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  Mark 4:39.

Dear Friends,

After teaching on one side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and his disciples endeavor to journey across the water in a boat.  A storm severe enough to scare seasoned fishermen overtakes the craft (as well as the other boats that accompanied them) and the threat of sinking becomes a very real possibility.   Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat, he awakes and then commands the storm to end, and then, “there was a great calm.”  

As we have seen in our summer preaching series, God never promises that there won’t be storms in our lives, that the wind won’t blow, and that we won’t be tested.  The promise that we do have is that Jesus will be with us in the chaos and that there will always be a resurrection and a glorification of God and his Kingdom.

To quote Deacon Mary Ellen’s sermon from Esther a couple of weeks ago, “but for such a time as this,” we have been delivered to face one figurative hurricane (the law suit) and one very real physical hurricane (Irma).  It is a scary time of not knowing what the future may hold and the possibility of losing a life that we have come to know and grown comfortable in, is now threatened.  

In the face of these hurricanes, I want to inform you of what is happening (as of this writing), what plans are being made, and what you can do to help.  

Hurricane Irma

As of the morning of Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the probability that Hurricane Irma will impact the coast of South Carolina is yet to be determined but we must begin to prepare as if we will have to evacuate and still leave time for our staff to prepare their homes and finalize plans. PLEASE NOTE that this has not been ordered or mandated, but we feel it prudent to begin preparations at this time.

Fortunately we have a playbook that the staff at Church of Our Saviour is following (our Emergency Preparedness Plan).  While there are many things that we will do over the next 24 to 36 hours, we will need some help moving items and preparing the building.   We are asking for volunteers to come to church with work clothes, gloves, and any supplies that you might think helpful on Thursday at 9 am.  Our goal is to get everything secured by Thursday night so that the staff can spend Friday preparing their houses and family IF an evacuation is ordered later on.

We would also ask that if you are in a small group, to let your leaders know of your evacuation plans and where you can be reached.  We are also asking that you touch base with your leaders should we evacuate so that we can know if everyone is safe.  If you are not in a small group, please email or call the office and let us know your plans and if you need any assistance.  

Obviously all of this is dependent on Hurricane’s Irma’s path and intensity.  We are planning on returning to our normal worship schedule on Sunday, and hope that you join us for worship and fellowship.  In the meantime, continue to lift those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in your prayers and begin praying for those in the path of Hurricane Irma.  

The Current Litigation

I want to thank all of you for your prayers last Wednesday as we held a diocesan wide day of fasting and prayer and ask that you continue to lift the Bishop, the legal team, the Standing Committee, the clergy and the lay ministers of the churches of the Diocese in your prayers.  

Our appeal for a rehearing by the State Supreme Court was filed on Friday and later that evening, the news of our appeal was made public.  You can read more about the appeal here:, and you can read an analysis of the appeal at A.S. Haley’s blog;, and further information can be found at Anglican ink:  

Basically there were two appeals made; the first was made on the grounds of violation of the state and federal constitutional guarantees as well as violation of 300 years of application of the natural principles of law by the courts in South Carolina.  The second appeal for a rehearing was made on the grounds that Justice Kaye Hearn failed to disclose her personal connections to The Episcopal Church (TEC), to the newly formed diocese that is known as The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), and her membership at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Conway, South Carolina.

After the ruling was handed down on August 2nd, the Diocese of South Carolina and the joining churches, we were given fifteen days to appeal, and we were granted an additional fifteen days to respond.  Our motion to appeal was delivered on September 1st and TEC and TECSC will be given fifteen days to rebut our appeal.  They will probably ask for and be granted a fifteen day extension, meaning that the State Supreme Court would not make a ruling until the first of October.  

The hurricane metaphor holds very true in our situation as after the first of October (or whenever the State Supreme Court decides what they will do), the tract of the timeline becomes very unpredictable.  I ask for your continued prayers and remind you to not only pray for wisdom and justice but to also pray for “the other side.”    Romans 12: 14 says that we are to bless (pray for) those who persecute us and that is what I strive to accomplish in my prayer life.  It is not too late for you to reach out to others and inform them of what is going on in our diocese and the unjust ruling that we have received and I encourage you to follow your conscience and act.

The story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4 concludes in verses 40-41:  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”  

Let us not fear the unknown, but let us prepare our hearts, our church, and our home with great faith and knowledge that we serve the Lord that commands the wind and the sea and, “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.

Please don’t forget we need help on Thursday, September 7th at 9 am and that we will have our regular services on Sunday at 9:00 and 10:30.

May God Bless You and Keep You


Karl +

 Fr. Karl Burns

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