We in the continuing Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth are still figuring out what our budget will be, but we are sure of one thing -- we are rich in friends.
People in San Joaquin have shared surplus liturgical items from the many sent to them last year.
People in Pittsburgh have written encouraging notes and letters.
And today, this wonderful letter was found by the treasurer of the Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians when she checked the P. O. Box.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
6538 Northumberland Hwy
Heathsville, VA 22473
Dear North Texas Episcopalians,
We wanted to write to you to express our support and encouragement for you as you continue to live your faith as Episcopalians under very difficult circumstances. We are the parishioners of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia. In December of 2005 the rector and a majority of the congregation voted to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church in Nigeria. The Nigerian congregation is now occupying the buildings while the property issues are in litigation. We reorganized ourselves to continue as an Episcopal congregation, and even without our property we have continued to worship God, to serve the poor, and to love our neighbors. Our journey has not been easy, but we have found a new awareness of God's grace and love, a deepening of our faith, and even a rich sense of joy.
We know that your situation is different from ours, and much more difficult than ours. Since there have been many people who have worked to isolate you, we want you to know that we are praying for you, and cheering you on from Virginia. May you find God's blessings even in the worst of times. We are thankful for your courage, hope, faith and determination!
Grace and peace,
The Rev. Lucia K. Lloyd, Priest-in-Charge
What a great gift of hope and community. Until Nov. 15, one of the hardest thing about being in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has been the ongoing efforts of the former leadership to isolate parishes one from the other and certainly from the national church.
The continuing Diocese of Fort Worth is working to keep parishes connected and certainly is reaching out to the larger church. How wonderful to find yet another example of the larger church reaching back.
And St. Stephen's Virginia has been added to our prayer list.