"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bishop Iker of Fort Worth Comments

Today the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, bishop of Fort Worth, released a statement about the future of the Anglican Communion Network dioceses. It reads, in part:

If by the vote of a significant majority of the clergy and laity of a Network diocese, the decision is made to terminate its relationship with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, what will be the consequences and what will be the cost? What becomes of those clergy, laity and congregations that do not wish to remain in the diocese? What is the relationship of that diocese with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest of the Anglican Communion? What becomes of the assets and properties of the diocese? Should they somehow be divided among conflicting entities? What about pensions and insurance and all the rest? The lawyers would have a field day to no end!! And what of those who have already left ECUSA, but want to remain Anglican? How would they be incorporated into the new realities?

At the same time, it must be asked, "What are the consequences if the diocese votes to stand and witness from within ECUSA, and no separation occurs?" Will congregations and clergy continue to leave us, one by one? Will we be able to “practice what we preach” with any integrity? Will we be seen by the rest of the Communion as part of the problem rather than the hope for the future of an orthodox province of the Anglican Communion in North America?

Let us continue to count the cost and consider all the options. Only then can we prayerfully decide how God would have us proceed. Extraordinary times require that extraordinary care be given to discerning the best way forward before acting. But once the decision is made, we will act decisively and boldly.

Read the entire statement here.


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