The good news in Fort Worth continues, in spite of our previous bishop's continued interference in our parishes.
The latest example of his interference is Christ the King Episcopal Church.
The rector there left the Episcopal Church, along with Iker and many others, in November. When the Episcopalians at Christ the King, who are a majority on the vestry, fired him because he is no longer an Episcopalian, he was very angry. In spite of advice to the contrary, the vestry did not change the locks on the doors, preferring to err on the side of being loving.
The next morning the fired rector changed the locks. Iker then notified the vestry he was calling them in for a meeting so they could respond to charges of uncanonical actions. Yes, the ironies abound.
Since Iker is no longer the bishop, the vestry did not have to respond to his "demands." But since the rector has changed the locks, the Episcopalians of Christ the King are now getting organized to meet elsewhere. Iker then announced he has "fired" the Episcopalians on the vestry -- which is, of course, a meaningless act by an irrelevant man.
Iker and the former rector continue to spread misinformation among the members of Christ the King.
In the meantime -- and this is the wonderful good news that's come out of this affliction -- the vestry of St. Stephen's in Hurst, a parish also temporarily displaced, has voted to send $200 a month for a few months to Christ The King to help them get started in their alternative worship space, and one of their members is going to go to CTK's annual parish meeting on Sunday to share what St. Stephen's has learned in the months since November.
How wonderful it is that one displaced parish is helping another in outreach like this.
Christ the King is not the only parish making plans to continue to worship as a parish while non-Episcopalians occupy their buildings. At least three other parishes are doing the same. These are in addition to those already working reorganize the diocese.
Once we have a provisional bishop in place, I suspect many other parishes will begin to take action.
Yes, there is grief aplenty here as families have split and parishes have split. But the Holy Spirit is on the move and her presence is palpable. There is a joyousness and optimism in our gatherings now that is contagious.
Shield the joyous.