By The Rt Revd Chip Edgar, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
In the past several years, our Diocese’s commitment to church planting for the growth and vitality of the church has been steadily increasing.
That’s due, in no small part to my predecessor, Bishop Lawrence’s, decision to appoint (the Rev’d) Todd Simonis to be Canon for Church Planting.
Bishop Lawrence could have appointed a full-time Diocesan Director for Church Planting, but instead, with his selection of Simonis, he capitalized on the wisdom of someone in the trenches, doing ministry as a church planter.
That model—having Canons for certain ministry areas needing diocesan emphasis and support—seemed to me a strategic way for our diocese to move forward. Compared to full-time diocesan ministry staff, Canons are more cost-effective, increase cooperation between parishes and the diocese, and allow us to focus on a greater number of potential ministry emphases.
I determined to move to that model in the coming years, planning to fade out our full-time positions over time.
With the financial uncertainty introduced by the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision, I determined that the calendar for the change needed to be advanced, so I have ended our two full-time diocesan ministry positions to begin the process of appointing Canons for various ministry areas. I am grateful for the years of service in the areas of Student Ministry and Faith Formation that Dave Wright and Peter Rothermel, respectively, have offered the diocese. Both are good and godly men who have advanced those ministry areas across the diocese during their tenures. I, together with the whole diocese, am grateful for their work.
In the coming months we will begin moving forward in the calling and appointing of Canons for various areas of ministry important to our diocese. In consultation with diocesan leaders, I will announce developments as they are made.