"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.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Common Cause Potluck at St. Vincent's

Tonight our choir at St. Vincent's sang Evensong beautifully to the greater glory of God. There were about 300 people in attendance! Then following worship we all trooped to the parish hall for "Building Up the Body of Christ," a gathering of folks from the Common Cause Partnership in the north Texas area. There were even visitors from the dioceses of Western Louisiana and Newark. Bishop Ray Sutton of the Reformed Episcopal Church was our featured speaker, and Bishop Iker also addressed the gathering. There was then an extended opportunity to ask the bishops questions following their remarks.

This event was astonishingly uplifting for me, and I gather many others felt the same. With our big vote at diocesan convention now less than a week away, I found it very encouraging to glimpse the future of orthodox Anglicanism in North America made tangible over a potluck supper. We received further encouragement from representatives of Christ Church, Plano, which left TEC and is now a part of AMiA, and St. Matthias, Dallas, which now is part of the province of the Southern Cone. These brothers assured us that although it wasn't easy to leave their friends in the diocese of Dallas behind their parishes have now been freed to proclaim the Gospel. They are glad not to be hemmed in by the difficulties afflicting TEC. I can imagine it would be liberating. May the clergy and people of Fort Worth know that freedom to preach the Gospel unhindered soon!


Anonymous Ron Turner said...

Fr. Randall,
I hope you don't mind but the Dean wanted a report published on SF and I borrowed some of your thoughts and flow for the SF article.

It was a glorious night last night, wasn't it? I hope to see more of those in the future. It was also a great feeling to sing to a "full house" last night.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

"I found it very encouraging to glimpse the future of orthodox Anglicanism in North America made tangible over a potluck supper." YES!

Father Foster, I thank you for your most encouraging blog, and I often refer others to it. God bless you.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Fr. Christopher C. Stainbrook said...

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
Philosopher George Santayana

The Society of the Holy Cross (SSC) was founded over a century ago in part to provide support and comfort for catholic priests in the Anglican Tradition who were being viciously persecuted by Low Church bigots, the most extreme of whom left the Episcopal Church over catholic practices to form the pro protestant Reformed Episcopal Church.
I find it difficult, if not impossible, to form a "Common Cause" with people who,one hundred and twenty or so years ago, attempted to (and appallingly, in some cases succeeded!) put faithful priests (i.e. all SSC clergy) in prison for practices which have succored millions of souls.
Blessed Arthur Tooth, ora pro nobis!!

7:33 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Father, could not one equally say "it is difficult for southerners to make common cause with notherners who invaded our states 165 years ago," or " it is difficult to be allies with Germans or Japanese who killed our boys in battle 65 years ago"? Times do change. Everything I see tells me the REC is a very different institution today than it was a century ago. Perhaps we should let bygones be bygones, Father.

I for one have no interest in re-fighting the tired old battles of yesterday. We have a common foe [and I don't mean just 815!], and a common Lord to serve. In truth I rejoice at the rapprochement between Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals in the orthodox Anglican movement of North America. As a self-described "evangelical Catholic", I feel a tad uncomfortable with hard-liners of either stripe!

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Reed+ said...

One aspect that needs to be considered is the desire of the REC to embrace the Catholic Faith. One duty we have is to teach it, and if they are sincerely seeking to live into it, we should be there to assist them. Fr. S does bring up legitmate obsticals to Communion but it is in those conversations where conversion can take place. Just another thought in the bucket.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Julian said...

Great reply, Texanglican. I agree completely. One doesn't have to be Anglo-Catholic to be catholic. "Evangelical" doesn't have to mean low-church. If century-old grudges based on disagreements that are hardly central now are going to keep people of the same faith and such an important "common cause" apart, then what could possibly bring them together? Tex is right, why are we even talking to people on the other side of the Maxon-Dixon line? Which is more important: making it possible to be Anglican and orthodox in America, or highlighting awareness of the controversies in our history? Thankfully, both "camps" have come to a sort of peace about it these days, and it nothing else, is it not good to know that those people had enough conscience and moral courage to take their beliefs seriously? Honestly, I'm surprised that the more evangelically minded put up with all the Anglo-Papalists! Arguably, they are the ones putting up with more. Given the background, the Anglo-Catholic movement has been overwhelmingly successful. I wouldn't complain in Ft Worth of all places.

3:51 PM  
Blogger RECCHIP said...

Father Foster and all,

As a REC'r I am constantly surprised that folks worry about being in Common Cause with us (who use a traditional Prayerbook and do not ordain women) but don't seem to worry as much (Bishop Iker's comments recently notwithstanding) about being in Common Cause with people who use Modern Worship Books and DO "ordain" women. (Pittsburgh, Uganda, AMiA, CANA-studying WO, Kenya and Southern Cone which at least limits such "ordination" to the diaconate!). Our friends in the APA (including several members of the SSC) don't seem to think we are the monsters some make us out to be. Like Father Foster, many of us consider ourselves to be "Reformed Catholic". Some of our more "extreme Protestant" folks have left and have accused us of becoming "Papists!!".

Everybody in this Common Cause needs to look at each ohter carefully. I can tell you that there is some concern with Our joining with folks (mentioned above) who "ordain women".

3:55 PM  

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