Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Work Begins


The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians has been formed to assist those who wish to remain Episcopalians if Bishop Jack Iker tries to achieve his publicly stated goal of taking the diocese out of The Episcopal Church [TEC] and aligning it with another province of the Anglican Communion.

It is these Episcopalians who will, with the help of the leadership of The Episcopal Church, reconstitute the diocese after the bishop leaves TEC.

The work that led to the formation of the Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians began immediately after the adjournment of the most recent convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

At that convention, delegates passed the first of two required “readings” of canonical changes aimed at "taking the diocese out of The Episcopal Church." These actions were taken at the urging of the diocesan leadership, including Bishop Jack L. Iker. The second reading will take place at the diocesan convention in November 2008, unless re-scheduled by Bishop Iker.

In the wake of the first vote, many people immediately set to work to identify and empower those who intend to remain Episcopalians.

Primary among these has been the already-existing Fort Worth Via Media. It has been joined by daughter organizations North Texans Remain Episcopal in the northern part of the diocese and Remain Episcopal of Granbury in the southwestern part of the diocese as well as by a group in the mid-cities area and a group of diocesan clergy. Another recently formed group is Steadfast Episcopalians, organized explicitly to reach out to conservative Episcopalians. There were also individuals representing almost all parishes and missions who had self-identified as wishing to remain Episcopalian.

These groups and individuals realized they needed to work together, so they have formed an umbrella organization called the Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians. Walter Cabe is president and Courtland Moore is vice president. Margaret Mieuli is treasurer and Bruce Coggin is the committee’s clerk. Other executive committee members are George Komechak, Kathleen Wells, Victoria Prescott and Fred Barber.

According to Komechak, "The primary objectives of this combined group are to remain in the Episcopal Church and to continue the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth as a constituent part of the Episcopal Church. This umbrella organization has been officially recognized as a Texas nonprofit corporation by the Secretary of State. Bylaws have been adopted and a Statement of Mission and Beliefs has been developed for release to the public. Identifying additional persons in diocesan parishes and missions who support staying in the Episcopal Church is one of the Steering Committee’s first items of business. "

People who will remain Episcopalians can send information to Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, P.O.Box 100846, Fort Worth, TX, 76185-0846. A web site is under construction.

Media: For more information, contact:

Walter Cabe
817.563.1033 [office]

Statement of Mission and BeliefsSteering Committee North Texas Episcopalians

We are committed to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth as a fully participating, constituent part of the Episcopal Church. Recognizing that the church has need of everyone, we will work to ensure that everyone is welcome and that diversity is celebrated in this diocese. We will look for the image of God in everyone, most particularly with those who differ from us, and we will always seek to reflect in our lives the love and charity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We recognize the Episcopal Church of the United States as the American expression of Anglicanism and will remain members of it.

We affirm the hierarchical structure of the Episcopal Church as critical to its polity. We recognize the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies as central to our orderly governance. Moreover we honor the ministry of our Presiding Bishop and Primate.

We will work to identify faithful Episcopalians and provide encouragement and pastoral care for those who do not want to leave the Episcopal Church. We invite the laity to help develop our vision and to implement it in a lively partnership with our clergy. We will resist efforts to remove parishes, property or assets from the Episcopal Church.

We treasure the splendid diversity of The Episcopal Church, and we faithfully pledge to hold open a place in it for those with differing points of view. To anyone who feels torn, confused or marginalized, or who has left the church, we invite you to come home. You are needed.

We seek prayerfully to reconcile with any who contemplate leaving the Episcopal Church by inviting them into dialogue, by listening to them with open hearts and minds and by affirming that they too are valued members of this great church.

We pledge ourselves to Christian service, striving to do all such good works as God has prepared for us to walk in, and seeking always to build up the Body of Christ where we live, where we work and where we worship.

The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians (Steering Committee)

The Steering Committee represents Episcopalians in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth who in and through the Episcopal Church celebrate and proclaim the gracious love of Jesus Christ for all people. The Steering Committee governing board is composed of clergy and lay representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, including members of Fort Worth Via Media, Steadfast Episcopalians, North Texans Remain Episcopal and Remain Episcopal Granbury.


BooCat said...

I will add The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians and everyone in your Diocese to my prayers. May God bless and strengthen you all for the tough times ahead.


Brilliant! Prayers ascending for your work on behalf of the Gospel ... (and I love the logo!)

Cany said...

You are in my prayers, and ditto on the fabulous logo!

Jim Costich said...

I'm not sure how we can effectively go about letting them know, but thousands of Episcopalians all over the U.S. read about the struggles of those who want to remain Episcopalian and pray for them, and are concerned for them and look for news about them. We do so as individuals, groups, and whole congregations. They are not, by any stretch of the imagination alone. The history of the church will describe this time, and their courage.

Jim C.
Rochester, NY

Beryl Simkins said...

Prayers for you from the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Katie Sherrod said...

I'm posting this comment for Jim, who couldn't make it work:
Frankly, I don't buy much of anything Bishop Iker says. Reading about these latest comments made by him at All Saints Parish, only confirms and reinforces what I have though for some while about this poor man. Although I'm sure there must be something positive in his personality makeup, he comes across to me primarily as a narcissist with little or no self-awareness who is currently soaring on an ego trip, relishing (consciously or unconsciously) in self directed notoriety. Iker's apparent long-standing problem with women? Well, perhaps therapy might help. 'Nuf said!

Jim Kersey

Fr. Stainbrook said...

Well, if you were at the celebration of Bishop Iker's 15th Anniversary of his Consecration Sunday night you would have seen a standing room only congregation of almost 500 Episcopalians give him a (very)long standing ovation. Also there were a lot of "I like Iker" buttons in the crowd! Even though his detractors wish it weren't so, Bishop Iker is enormously popular with the vast majority of Episcopalians here and with Catholic Christians (both Anglican and Roman) around the world for his courageous stands against his opponents. One of the most encouraging (and long lasting) legacies of his episcopate is the (really quite extraordinary) large number of young priests here in Fort Worth who are willing to serve in this so called "problem diocese" at the expense of their future preferment in TEC. I am enormously impressed with the caliber and integrity of these young clerics who were formed during these last 15 years, and am even more excited about the large numbers of young postulants and candidates on the ordination track. Even my own small church has two young men pursuing Holy Orders, a fact which makes me both proud and humble.