Monday, January 14, 2013
The Right Reverend Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, a retired Bishop of East Tennessee with longtime ties to South Carolina, has been nominated as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. His name will be presented for a vote on January 26 when local clergy and laypeople who are continuing with The Episcopal Church gather with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in a special meeting of the Convention.
Bishop Jefferts Schori will convene the special meeting in Charleston so local Episcopalians can elect new leadership. The diocese was left without a functioning ecclesiastical authority after its former bishop, Mark Lawrence, and other diocesan leaders announced that they were no longer affiliated with The Episcopal Church. The Presiding Bishop accepted Mark Lawrence’s renunciation as a bishop in the Church on December 5, 2012.
If elected, Bishop vonRosenberg would be installed during the special meeting January 26 at Grace Episcopal Church, and immediately take up his duties as bishop of a diocese that covers 24 counties in eastern South Carolina. Currently, at least 19 parishes and missions and six worship communities in the diocese have indicated they are remaining with The Episcopal Church, and a number of others are still deciding.
A provisional bishop has all the authority and responsibility of other bishops, but serves for a limited period of time until a diocese is ready to call a permanent bishop.
Bishop vonRosenberg and his wife, Annie, already reside in the Daniel Island community of Charleston, where he retired in 2011 after serving for 12 years as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee. Since October he has served on a voluntary basis as advisor to the Steering Committee that formed in October to help reorganize the Diocese.
For many years, Bishop vonRosenberg served in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, as rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Greenwood and later as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the Bishop) of that diocese from 1989-1994.
Born in Fayetteville, N.C., on July 11, 1947, he graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a bachelor of arts in 1969. He earned his master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1974. Early in his episcopate, the University of the South's School of Theology awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity.
Ordained as a priest in 1975, he served as rector/vicar of four small churches in and around Bellhaven, N.C. He was vicar and rector of churches in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina from 1976 until 1989. After serving as canon to the ordinary of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, he accepted a call to be rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C.
As Third Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, he oversaw an area of 34 counties in Tennessee and three in North Georgia, with 45 congregations and five worshiping communities and nearly 16,000 active members.
Bishop vonRosenberg served in the House of Bishops, and ex officio on the board of trustees of the University of the South. He was also was elected to the university's board of regents. In 2008 he attended the Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops, and participated with other bishops in a "Walk of Witness" through central London to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals, which target poverty reduction around the world.
His tenure in East Tennessee was marked by a measured approach and a focus on reconciliation and relationship. Bishop vonRosenberg worked to acknowledge diversity and build a spirit of openness in the diocese, initiating a Bishop's Committee on Inclusivity in 2009 to encourage “reasonable and holy conversations” on same-gender relationships. He also was noted for putting a priority on pastoral sensitivity and responsiveness, especially to clergy, their families and churches.
He and Annie, a native of Alexandria, Va., married in 1973 and they have two sons and families, including six grandchildren. For recreation, Bishop vonRosenberg enjoys playing golf, sailing, reading, walking and spending time with his family.