Forgive the dearth of posts -- I've not only been busy, but I broke my left hand in a fall and that has hampered many things, not the least of which is my ability to type.
So here are some updates:
The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians counts 15 intact parishes and “re-organizing parishes” as participants in the continuing Episcopal Diocese and an estimated five to six thousand Episcopalians. We fully expect this number will grow in the weeks ahead, particularly following the Special Convention on Feb. 7.
There are several events planned for the Special Convention beginning with a Friday Feb. 6 evening reception for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. On Saturday Feb 7 we will have a morning Eucharist celebration, with the presiding bishop celebrating and preaching. There will be an afternoon Convention business meeting and a festive evensong.
The convention will be Trinity Fort Worth. The Eucharist will be at All Saints Fort Worth.
Bishop Katharine may propose a candidate to the Special Convention for it to either accept or decline as provisional bishop, to serve until a new bishop can be elected. This will probably take a year and half to two years.
Her office already is in close consultation with the Steering Committee re: potential candidates, and we anticipate a public announcement in advance of the special convention.
For some reason, the former leadership of the diocese continues to send out misinformation about the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, a name they illegally continue to use. Here's a recent news release that's an example:
New Diocese planned for North Texas area
December 18, 2008
According to Internet announcements, plans are under way for a new Episcopal diocese to be formed in North Central Texas. The sources indicate that an organizing meeting or convention may be held as soon as Feb. 7, 2009. The new diocese is being organized by North Texas Episcopalians who wish to be affiliated with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. A group known as Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians is initiating the organizing effort.
The announcement has appeared on the Steering Committee's Web site and on a site launched by a group leaving St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Arlington. It indicates that the probable conference site is All Saints' Episcopal School in Fort Worth, and that the organizers hope TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be present to preside.
Fr. Christopher Jambor, rector of All Saints' parish in Fort Worth, is named as the head of the organizing committee. The business of the meeting is expected to be the adoption of a constitution and canons for the new diocese, as well as the election of founding officers.
It was not immediately clear how many conferees will participate in the event, how they will be selected, or what congregations or other groups they will represent.
Director of CommunicationsThe Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
I know this can be confusing, because our former diocesan leadership continues to use the name "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" even though they are no longer in the Episcopal Church, having very publicly left it for the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
The truth is the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth continues.
- We are not forming a "new" diocese, we already are the diocese.
- We are not "adopting" a constitution and canons; we are declaring portions of the existing diocesan constitution and canons to be null and void.
- We will not be electing "founding officers." We will be filling offices left vacant by those who have left the Episcopal Church.
- We do not wish to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church; we ARE affiliated with the Episcopal Church.
- We are not 'hoping" the presiding bishop will be here, we know she will be here and that she will call the convention to order.
-The participants will be selected as canons require. Delegates to the convention will be elected at annual parish meetings held in January.
- The group is not leaving St. Albans; it is St. Albans. As is the case with several parishes in the diocese, the congregation and the rector occupying the building are no longer Episcopalians. We fully expect that we will regain that property and all the other properties now occupied by former Episcopalians for the Episcopal Church.
The announcement is also in error as to the location of the convention. It will be at Trinity Church, Fort Worth.
It will take some time for the confusion to sort itself out, but to those who are confused, here's a clue. The "real" Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is the one recognized by the Episcopal Church. That would be us, not those who left for the Southern Cone. They have done what they have wanted to do for years.
We wish them well. And we wish they would leave us and our property alone.