"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.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bishop Iker's Report to the Diocese of Ft. Worth

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, bishop of Fort Worth, has issued a Report to the Diocese on the recent events at GenCon06. After a review of the events and the significance of Bishop Schori's election as the next Presiding Bishop, Bishop Iker concludes with the following commitment:

We have appealed in good faith, therefore, as a faithful Anglican Diocese to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Communion for alternative primatial oversight and pastoral care based on irreconcilable theological differences with the new Presiding Bishop-elect of the Episcopal Church. To date, three or four other dioceses already have joined in this appeal, and several others are considering it. We hope that this request will be granted in the interest of maintaining “the highest possible degree of communion” in this time of conflict and division. But like the question as to whether or not our responses to the Windsor Report are adequate for remaining in the Communion, this appeal is also not in our hands, but those of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Pray for him. (Additional statements about the Presiding Bishop-elect and our appeal to Canterbury may be found on the diocesan website.)

As your bishop, I renew my ordination vows to guard and defend the faith, unity and discipline of the Church, as a faithful bishop of the Anglican Communion, standing in full compliance with the Windsor Report. And I call upon each one of you to remain faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and to continue steadfastly in your life of worship, prayer and witness in the world. Whatever decisions we may be called upon to make in the days ahead – or whatever decisions others may make for us – I can assure you of this: the Word of God will continue to be truly preached and truly heard in the churches of this diocese; the Sacraments will be faithfully administered and faithfully received; and we will continue to show the power of the love of Jesus Christ to all among whom we live.

Despite what the scaremongers and alarmists may say, no one is going to take your church from you. Whatever may happen in the future, our congregations in this diocese will continue to worship and believe, serve and evangelize, fellowship and witness as we have in the past. No one is going to take from us our faith or our beliefs, our buildings or our prayer books, our
Scriptures or our creeds, our clergy or our Bishop. Our hope is built on nothing less than our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, we will remain faithful through whatever turmoil lies ahead.

Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

Read Bishop Iker's entire letter here. As a member of his flock, I am greatly comforted by Bishop Iker's confidence that the threatened take over of our diocese by national headquarters in the event of a definitive split between the orthodox and Schori's TEC will not be successful.


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