On Friday morning Judge South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edgar Dickson filed his decision on our motion for clarification and other relief related to the August 2017 ruling of the South Carolina Supreme Court contained in 5 separate opinions (“Collective Opinions”). This ruling determined that the disassociated parishes are, “affirmed as the title owners in fee simple absolute of their respective parish real properties”. Judge Dickson further ruled that ownership to Camp St. Christopher remain as titled to the Trustees of the Corporation as stated in the 1951 deed.
I will write more about this decision in my next Sunday Letter, but if you would like to know more about the ruling you may visit our diocesan website at ADOSC.org and there is an excellent article by A.S. Haley on Anglican.ink explaining the ruling.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 13:12-13
We have joined many churches in capitalizing on the year 2020 and the reference of 20/20 vision. As we are finishing out the first half of the year, I think we would all agree that the vision we have experienced in 2020 has been less clear and more like looking into a mirror dimly.
I had planned this week to be able to spend some time in Sabbath, reading, prayer, and reflection. On Sunday, that changed pretty quickly as my son-in-law began seeing more and more patients that had tested positive for COVID-19. Please know that he is being tested regularly and all is well, but it became necessary for him to self-quarantine. His being isolated has placed a large physical and emotional strain on the family. It was decided by all that it would be best for Mikah and the grandchildren to come to South Carolina for an extended stay. Susan and I left on Tuesday morning and rendezvoused with Mikah and the four grandchildren in Mobile, Alabama. We returned home early Thursday morning. We are excited and thrilled for this time, but it has and will continue to impact every phase of our lives over the next several weeks.
Routines, schedules, and plans will give way to the necessity of being able to adjust on the fly, react as needed, and to put self needs way down on the itinerary. The next couple of weeks had been coming into focus, but now I see into a mirror dimly. I don’t know everything that God knows, nor do I understand how he works. I do know, however, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am filled with faith, hope in His plan for my life, and the love He has for me. In this, I am rejoicing that Susan and I now have the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter and grandchildren, which we had been praying about for weeks!
As we walk in the wilderness together and begin to understand what it means to fully and completely submit to the will of God. In submitting to His will, we do not lose our identity or personal autonomy, but rather the opposite is true. It is in submission to God that we begin to fully live into our creation and purpose: to glorify God and enjoy Him now and forever. There is tremendous freedom in knowing that God is at work and will unveil to us His purpose and plan on a need-to-know basis.
In Matthew 6:33-34, Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
During my time driving the past two days, I have pondered this scripture quite a bit and have sought ways to practically apply this to my life this week and in the weeks ahead. Let me share with you a couple of those thoughts.
1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you with faith, hope, and love. You may pray something like, “Lord, I don’t know what is going to happen, but you do. Thank you that you know all things, you also know me, and love in ways that I can’t even begin to understand. My hope is not in what I can or want to do, but in what you are doing in and through me. Help me to love you above all things and then to love my neighbor as myself.”
2. Connecting with God is the most important thing you will do today, so I ask that you examine your “to-do” list” and see where this is prioritized. Connecting with others is the next priority. How will you love your neighbor today and how will you love others as Jesus has loved you?
When we respond to the leading of the Spirit, the temptation will be to listen to the lie that what we are doing is not enough, not productive, or not helpful. In loving God by surrendering to His will, we can have faith He will work all things according to His purpose.
3. Find delight in the mystery of God working in your life. Let’s not waste time asking why, or when or how, and instead let’s watch and be amazed! Pray for a childlike wonder at the love God has for us, for His creation, and His plan to unite us in His eternal Kingdom.
Even as I am tempted to end this letter with some “nugget” of wisdom or at least something witty, I surrender myself to His will and Word. I am freed from this anxiety and have renewed faith that His word is far better than anything I can give you.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:6-11 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Blessed to Be Your Rector,