For years, those in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth who are loyal to the Episcopal Church have been told that the Episcopal Church was losing membership because of the heretical actions of the church in ordaining women and in including all the baptized in the life and ministry of the church , ie, not demonizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians.
But here's some interesting data from the former bishop of Fort Worth himself.
The Bishop's Report of Official Acts 11/11/07 - 11/1/08, distributed in the delegate packets and reported officially by the bishop at the diocesan convention, notes 25 baptisms, 254 confirmations, 43 receptions, and 12 reaffirmations.Even using these official diocesan numbers, the 5 parishes with established rectors that are remaining in the Episcopal Church (not including all the parishes in exile from their property and those others which will remain Episcopal parishes but do not yet have rectors and other parishes who will soon declare their allegiance) account for 98 of the 334 official acts, or 29.3% of the entire diocese of 56 parishes and missions in the past year.
Note: This report does not include the 11 confirmands and two receptions that Bishop Iker confirmed at Trinity Fort Worth [my parish] on 11/1 (though the report says through 11/1), which if added in shows that the five parishes actually account for a whopping 32% of the entire diocese during the past year.
Former diocesan leaders claim that giving and attendance is down because people have left because of the heretical Episcopal Church. Well, not in the parishes that are strongly and publicly Episcopalian. In fact, folks are by comparison flocking to the Episcopal parishes in this diocese, even though they have had to work very hard to avoid the parishes which actively and constantly denigrate and undermine the Episcopal Church and have had to overcome the steady diocesan-sponsored drumbeat of diatribe railing against the presiding bishop specifically and TEC in general.
And if we add in only 1/2 of the confirmations, etc. reported from the additional parishes that remain, the continuing diocese as of today accounts for a whopping 40% of the official acts.
The steady growth in membership of and donations to those parishes who have publicized their allegiance to the Episcopal Church since Nov. 15 is heartening indeed. It appears the Episcopal Church is alive and well in the continuing Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
I think all of this is cause for thanksgiving.
I wish you and yours a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day.