"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
- Name: Texanglican (R.W. Foster+)
- 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.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
More from the Diocese of Fort Worth
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Wish they all could be California bishops?
Readers of this blog will remember that the Anglican world was on pins and needles a few months back, wondering if the diocese of California (i.e., San Francisco and its hinterland) would elect as their new bishop any of the gay or lesbian candidates who made their ballot. In the end a straight, if extremely liberal, male candidate won election, the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus. Now he has been installed, and pictures of the installation have been posted on their web site. I thought I would pass along a few highlights.
My favorite is the big puppet and dancer parade that entered the nave in advance of the clergy procession. These big puppets are now ubiquitous at left-wing political and "social justice" rallies. Its good to see that they have taken up performing at Episcopal liturgies as well. (That was said in jest, of course, my friends. I must admit, however, I rather liked the Chinese dragon. At least the dragon has a long and noble history in Chinese culture behind it, unlike these monstrous puppets!)
Then, of course, there had to be liturgical dance, since this is a left-wing diocese. I believe this scene before the altar represents St. Mary Magdalene on Easter morning (I'm not sure who the folks in white are--the angels? some of the other women who accompanied St. Mary to the tomb? SS Peter and John?).
The role of Jesus was danced by David MacCauley. 'Nuf said.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Are Orthodox Anglicans Donatists?
Thursday, July 27, 2006
More Progress--The Carpet is In!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Star-Telegram Article on Recent FW Actions
Where does the Fort Worth Diocese go if it leaves Province 7?
"It's hard to say," said Suzanne Gill, a diocesan spokeswoman. "Dioceses cannot be included in a province without consent.
"We are opting out. We have not opted to go anywhere."
Many are calling for the creation of a separate, nongeographical province for conservative Episcopalians, Gill said. The resolution notes that U.S. conservatives have asked for alternative "pastoral and apostolic care to biblically orthodox Anglicans in this country regardless of geographical location."
The entire article may be found here.
The Ecumenical Style of Pope Benedict
Ecumenism has changed considerably with Benedict XVI, says the director of an organization whose courses include a focus on interreligious dialogue. "The Pope has adopted a more episcopal model for his ministry," said Father James Puglisi, director of the Pro Unione Center in Rome. "In fact, if one looks at the first stamps, they are without the tiara and with the inscription 'Episcopus Romae.' This is of great importance for the Orthodox."
Father Puglisi, who is also general minister of the Franciscans of the Atonement, spoke with ZENIT on the occasion of a three-week course that his center offered to 16 students from the United States, England and Spain. ...
Among the topics addressed during the course, special attention was given to the present state of the promotion of Christian unity. Father Puglisi noted Benedict XVI's innovations and added: "His approvals of the Eastern episcopal elections are no longer in the Vatican Web site section 'Resignations and Appointments,' but on a separate page for relations with the Catholic Eastern Churches with the expression 'we received the decision' of a Synod and 'I accept in the episcopate.'"
Monday, July 24, 2006
This is it! The "Big One"!
WHEREAS the Archbishop of Canterbury in light of the actions of General Convention 2006 has proposed that the “best way forward” for the Anglican Communion is to have in the future both “constituent” and “associated” members, necessitating “ordered and mutually respectful separation between ‘constituent’ and ‘associated’ elements” within local Churches; and
WHEREAS the stated aim of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is to be a constituent member of the Anglican Communion as provided for in the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and,
WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee believe it necessary for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to dissociate itself from those actions of the 75th General Convention which constitute a decision of the Episcopal Church to walk apart from the Anglican Communion; and,
WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in good faith appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care so that a unifying solution can be found to preserve an authentic Anglican community of witness within the United States of America and provide pastoral and apostolic care to biblically orthodox Anglicans in this country regardless of geographical location;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, pending final ratification by its 24th Annual Convention, withdraws its consent, pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, to be included in the Seventh Province of the Episcopal Church.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
More on the Proposed "Common Cause Roundtable"/ACN Theological Statement
This revision should take care of most of my concerns about the ACN's possible endorsement of the 39 Articles as a disciplinary tool, because reading the 39 Articles in the "literal and grammatical sense" is the Tract 90 way of handling the anti-Catholic articles. And the final words of the revised proposal places the 39 Artilces in their sixteenth century historical context and highlights the fact that they are intended to be read today more for their principles than for the specific issues they addressed "way back when." If the final version reads as Christopher+ predicts, the Theological Statement should not become a club with which to attack Anglo-Catholics. Elevation of the host for veneration during the Eucharist and other traditional acts of Catholic piety should not be endangered. I hope the wiser heads prevail at the meeting next week, and they stand strong for REAL inclusivity of both Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics within the future orthodox Anglican province.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Final Class on Revelation
I am also a bit sad about finishing up the class today. This was my last major duty at St. Vincent's Cathedral Church for the foreseeable future. CPE wraps up on August 11th, and my duties resume at St. Vincent's School the following Monday. But even though I will be teaching and serving as lay chaplain at St. Vincent's School this year, I will not be an intern at St. Vincent's Cathedral for the next six months. Instead, I will be serving as an intern at St. Laurence Episcopal Church in Southlake during the Fall under the direction of a highly respected priest in my diocese, Fr. William Crary. St. Laurence is a very fine parish, and I am looking forward to being there and working with its excellent ministry team. But St. Vincent's is "home," and I am not sure when I will be back there on Sundays. A lot will depend on how things go with my ordination process. I go before the Commission on Ministry on August 5th, when I will apply for admission to Candidacy. Your prayers would be much appreciated. (Photo of today's Revelation class by R.D. Foster.)
Saturday, July 15, 2006
The Network and the Common Cause Partners
A couple of (what I hope are) minor problems:
*First, I am not sure why we need to have the caveat that "We believe the teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, and have been held by all, everywhere, at all times." (Emphasis added. What could one object to in the documents of these councils that might not be "agreeable" to Holy Scripture, or fall short of the Vincentian Canon? Surely Rome and the East have no such objections, nor do I. What might be at issue here?)
*Second, as an Anglo-Catholic I am nervous about the strong statement endorsing the 39 Articles of Religion "as foundational for authentic Anglican belief and practice and as correctives to doctrinal abuses." (Emphasis added.) Granted, the majority of the Articles are salutary and could serve as an effective check on some pernicious heresies, but at least a few of the Articles could potentially be used by Low Churchmen to suppress traditional Catholic liturgical practices (e.g., the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Reserved Sacrament, etc. See the final paragraphs of arts. XXV and XXVIII. Other liturgical problems could arise from art. XXII.). The Articles encode a strongly "Reformed" interpretation of the Faith as normative (e.g., art. XVII, among others), and a good number of Anglo-Catholics I know could not sign onto them without some pretty creative hermeneutics!
I would, if anyone cared to ask me, insist on protections for the traditional Anglo-Catholic understanding of our faith and practice before signing off on this clause. I note that a clause in the proposed "Covenant Declaration" declares the intent "to create a unity in the essentials of our Anglican faith that respects our varied styles and expressions." (Emphasis added.) This clause was surely included to insure that both Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics will be welcome to continue their customary practices and "expressions" in our reunified future. Excellent. But language should be included in the seventh paragrah of the proposed "Theological Statement" that insures any future disciplinary use of The 39 Articles will model this tolerant spirit between the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parties of orthodox Anglicanism. The potential for harm is too great if we do not.
The two documents under discussion are reproduced below. A story placing them in context may be found at the ACN web site.
Proposed Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partners
We, the representatives of the Common Cause Partners, do declare we believe the following affirmations and commentary to contain the chief elements of Anglican Reformed Catholicism, and to be essential for membership.
1) We receive the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scripture as the inspired Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation, and as the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.
2) We confess the historic faith of the Undivided Church as declared in the Catholic Creeds.
3) We believe the teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, and have been held by all, everywhere, at all times.
4) We hold the two sacraments of the Gospel to be ordained by Christ Himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, and to be administered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
5) We accept the 1549 through the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and its ordinal as the foundation for Anglican worship and the standard for doctrine and discipline.
6) We believe the godly Historic Episcopate to be necessary for the full being of the Church.
7) We affirm the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion as foundational for authentic Anglican belief and practice and as correctives to doctrinal abuses.
Proposed Covenant Declaration of the Common Cause Partners
We intend by God’s grace:
• to partner together in a renewed missionary effort in North America and beyond, driven by our passion for Jesus and His Gospel.
• to ensure an orthodox Anglican Province in North America that remains connected to a faithful global Communion.
• to create a unity in the essentials of our Anglican faith that respects our varied styles and expressions.
• to build trusting relationships marked by effective coordination, collaboration, and communication.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Progress on the Second Floor of our School
The picture above is of my new chaplain's office (finally, a place of my own in which to talk with parents and students!), while the picture below is of my classroom across the hall from my office. I will be teaching a variety of Religion, History, Geography and Western Civ classes there this year, for grades six through nine. Photos by R.D. Foster.
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war
The bishops of California, Los Angeles and San Diego are preparing presentment charges which may be filed as early as next week against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, according to three persons who attended a diocesan meeting July 8 at St. John’s Church, Los Angeles.
The announcement was made by the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt. Rev. J. John Bruno, according to the three, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the bishop.
“There is a [presentment] in the works,” said one of those who attended the meeting. “I got the sense that it was going to happen very soon. [They said] this will cost a lot of money, but they are prepared to pay the price. Property was the main thing.”
Read the entire article here.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Timetable For "Respectful Separation"?
Many orthodox Anglicans in North America were heartened a couple of weeks ago by the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks in his letter to the primates of the Anglican Communion referring to a possible "need for local Churches to work at ordered and mutually respectful separation between constituent and associated elements." For many traditionalists in the US, this was what we had been waiting for--the hint of a future endorsement from Canterbury of an "amicable divorce" between the Anglican Communion Network and the rest of TEC.
But take a look at the language about the proposed Anglican Covenant in the Archbishop's recent address on the Anglican Communion to the General Synod of the C of E (boldfaced emphasis added by me):
Mention of this leads me to say a word about my own published reflections in the wake of General Convention. In spite of some interesting reporting and some slightly intemperate reaction, this contained no directives (I do not have authority to dictate policy to the provinces of the Communion) and no foreclosing of the character and content of such a covenant. Were any such arrangement to be proposed, it would of course have to be owned by the constitutional bodies governing Provinces.
The proposed Anglican covenant would be an important part of determining who is within the "first tier" Anglican fold and is, therefore, entitled to full membership in the Communion. Presuming that the Network endorses the covenant and the rest of TEC does not, this would be prima facia evidence in working out the terms of the possible "divorce" in North America. Action one way or the other on the proposed covenant may in fact be a prerequisite to "respectful separation" within provinces. But the tone of his recent address to Synod indicates that the Archbishop is still thinking in terms of TEC's normal governing structures (i.e., General Convention) handling the issue of whether to endorse the proposed Anglican covenant or not. This means, to my reading that ABC is thinking in terms of traditionalists staying put within TEC until GenCon09--or perhaps even GenCon12 if there are "constitutional" changes involved, as seems possible. Thus the end of the uneasy Anglican status quo in North America may not come until GenCon12!
But will there be any orthodox Anglicans left within the bounds of TEC by 2012? I rather doubt many will remain six years from now. The Archbishop must realize that events have overtaken the "business as usual" procedures of constitutional church government. The Anglican world is in crisis and strong leadership is called for. If we are to avoid the mass exodus of the orthodox from the Communion, particularly in North America, definitive action must come more quickly than two General Conventions down the road!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Dummies Books for Every Taste
Friday, July 07, 2006
Russian Orthodox Exorcism
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Make That Seven Dioceses--Dallas Makes A Bold Statement
... we call upon the Bishop to appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury for a direct primatial relationship with him for the purpose of mission, pastoral support and accountability.
Further, we ask the Bishop, in concert with all who support the Windsor Process, to lead the diocese in vigilantly pursuing:
• protection of congregations, clergy and assets of the faithful who are resident in those dioceses of the Episcopal Church which oppose, in action or precept, Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998;
• effective and adequate episcopal oversight to those same congregations and clergy, and as defined by them, on a long-term basis;
• an appropriate realignment or, if it becomes necessary, an “ordered and mutually respectful separation” of congregations and dioceses who desire to “opt-in” to the Anglican Covenant, proposed by the Windsor Report and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, as distinct from those portions of the Episcopal Church which do not desire to do so.
There is an excerpt from the AP story published in today's Dallas Morning News here.
FYI, the other dioceses appealing for APO at this time are Fort Worth (Texas), Springfield (Illinois), Quincy (Illinois), Pittsburgh (PA), San Joaquin (Cal.), South Carolina and Central Florida.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
WOW!!! Is This First Official Act Establishing "The New Anglican Order"?
2. THE ANGLICAN COVENANT
Synod is satisfied with the move by the Global South to continue with its veritable project of defending the faith committed to us against present onslaught from ECUSA, Canada, England and their allies. The need therefore, to redefine and/or re-determine those who are truly Anglicans becomes urgent, imperative and compelling. Synod therefore empowers the leadership of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to give assent to the Anglican Covenant.
3. THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE
The Lambeth Conference which is one of the accepted organs of unity in the Anglican Communion is due for another meeting in 2008. The Synod, after reviewing some recent major events in the Communion, especially the effects of the ‘revisionists’ theology’, which is now making wave in America, Canada and England, observed with dismay the inability of the Church in the aforementioned areas to see reason for repentance from the harm and stress they have caused this communion since 1988 culminating in the consecration of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual in 2003 as a bishop in ECUSA. Synod also regrets the inability of the See of Canterbury to prevent further impairment of the unity of the Church. It therefore, believes strongly that the moral justification for the proposed Lambeth Conference of 2008 is questionable in view of the fact that by promoting teachings and practices that are alien and inimical to the historic formularies of the Church, the Bishops of ECUSA, Canada and parts of Britain have abandoned the Biblical faith of our fathers.
4. GLOBAL SOUTH CONFERENCE
Synod underlines the need for maintaining the age-long tradition of a ten-yearly Conference of Bishops in the Anglican Communion for discussing issues affecting the Church. It therefore calls on the leadership of the Global South and Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) to do everything necessary to put in place a Conference of all Anglican Bishops to hold in 2008 should all efforts to get the apostles of ‘revisionist agenda’ to repent and retrace their steps fail.
RWF continues: I am not certain precisely what this all means, but the final sentence in no. 3 above seems to imply that Nigeria is calling into question whether Lambeth 2008 should take place at all. (For non-Anglican readers: Lambeth 2008 is the next scheduled incarnation of the gathering of all of the world's Anglican bishops that takes place in England every 10 years.) And paragraph no. 4 above is apparently calling on the Global South to host its own world-wide Anglican bishops' conference somewhere else instead--a conference that would presumably exclude "the apostles of the 'revsionist agenda'" who have not repented and retraced their erroneous steps. Is this the new Anglican Communion we have heard so much about in the birthing?!
Tagged with a Musical Meme
Father WB of Whitehall blog has tagged me with a musical meme that is presently going around the Net. I have interpreted it to mean "List seven songs that are more or less stuck in your head at present. That is, songs that keep coming back to your mind over and over again, day after day, as you go about your business." It is a diverse list, though one heavy on religious music (no big surprise). I must admit, I am slightly nervous about admitting to a couple of these, but the answers are honest. I will tag six others in a few days.
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre,
whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must
be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your
blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 6 other people to see what
they're listening to.
- Nicole C. Mullen, Redeemer (a modern Christian contemporary “classic”--presently my "favorite song" [scoff if you like!] and may be heard here as number 1)
- Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, The Ballad of the Green Berets (I’m a Texan and I’ve loved the John Wayne movie The Green Berets since I was a little kid, and this is a patriotic season—nuf said)
- Natalie Grant, Held (more Christian contemporary, much on my mind this summer as I am doing my mandatory unit of CPE at Baylor Hospital, Grapevine, particularly since the first two fatalities I worked were infants. If you haven't heard it, its number 9 here.)
- John Chennick, composer, alt. by Charles Wesley, Lo, He comes with clouds descending (This is one of my favorite hymns of all time. I know its not Advent, but I taught a course on the Revelation to John this spring and its apocalyptic themes have also been much on my mind as I minister to folks who have lost loved one’s this summer.)
- Joseph Haydn, Nelson Mass (Missa in Augustiis) (This piece played an important role in my conversion and is seldom far from my mind.)
- Kenny Chesney, Summertime (Nice catchy country tune, on the radio a lot lately.)
- William Bryd, Te Deum from The Great Service
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