Bishop Chip Edgar recently appointed clergy to step into two newly created positions as Diocesan Canons, beginning January 1, 2024.
The Rev. Dr. Sandi Kerner, who is on staff at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, will serve as Diocesan Canon for Prayer and Healing and the Rev. Newman Lawrence, who is the Rector of St. Jude’s Walterboro, will serve as Canon for Men’s Ministries. This will bring the total number of canons serving part-time in the Diocese to seven. In this model, each canon is employed part-time by the Diocese while also holding a position in a church or other organization.
“Having canons for certain ministry areas needing diocesan emphasis and support—is a strategic way for our diocese to capitalize on the wisdom of someone in the trenches,” says Bishop Edgar. “Compared to full-time diocesan ministry staff, it’s more cost-effective, increases cooperation between parishes and the diocese, and allows us to focus on a greater number of potential ministry emphases.”
As Canon for Prayer and Healing, Sandi Kerner will work to “raise up and encourage healing prayer ministry in all of our churches and communities.” She will serve as a resource in healing prayer for parishes, provincial ministries, and other ecumenical partners in ministry.
In her role at the Cathedral, which she began in February of 2023, Sandi serves as the Canon for Prayer and Pastoral Care. She is responsible for leading and developing the Cathedral prayer ministry and giving oversight to the pastoral care ministry of the Cathedral through recruiting, training, and deploying lay prayer ministers, offering private prayer ministry and spiritual direction appointments, creating special prayer services and other events.
Kerner came to the diocese in 2019 to serve as the Chaplain and Director of Programs for St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. She received her MDiv from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmod, VA and her DMin from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2005 and served for 14 years as a rector in several parishes in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. She is a seasoned chaplain in the Order of St. Luke and serves on the national board for OSL. Previously she had been Director of Healing Prayer and Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville, FL with Francis and Judith MacNutt.
Newman Lawrence, who will become our Diocesan Canon for Men’s Ministries, looks forward to working with Jay Crouse our Diocesan Coordinator for Men’s Ministry as together, with their committee, they strengthen and expand ministries to men. “I am most excited about connecting with guys across the Diocese,” says Lawrence. He also seeks to find ways men can be involved in mission together. “My biggest hope would be to add feet to our repertoire of events. … we need opportunities to go on mission trips together. Missions are an important part of ministry and they put hands and feet on the words that feed us in conferences and retreats.”
Newman has served as the Rector of St. Jude’s, Walterboro since September 2020. Prior to being called to St. Jude’s he served as the Assistant at Church of Our Saviour on Johns Island where his ministry focus was on families and children’s ministries. Newman is married to Trish Sosnowski Lawrence and they have twin sons, Hank and Huck, and a daughter Mary Margaret. Newman currently is completing a three-year term on Diocesan Council and is an active member of the Diocesan Men’s Leadership Team. Prior to seminary, Newman was a member of St. Michael’s Church, Charleston since 2002. While there, he volunteered in the areas of Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry/ Hikes, Alpha, and was a Lay Reader. In the midst of that time, Newman and Trish spent two years in Uganda working for One World Health as the Project Director for their Masindi-Kitara Clinic/ Hospital. He graduated with an MDiv from Trinity School for Ministry in May of 2019 and a BS in Education from The Citadel in June of 2006.
Look for interviews with both Kerner and Lawrence in the upcoming Jubilate Deo.
The others serving as ministerial Canons in the Diocese include: The Rev. Canon Laura Bowman Canon for Safe Churches, The Rev. Canon David Dubay, Canon for Hispanic Ministries; Canon Hunter Myers, Canon for Student Ministry; The Rev. Canon Todd Simonis, Canon for Church Planting and The Very Rev. Canon Ken Weldon, Canon for Clergy Care.