"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, August 31, 2008

Waning Days of Summer

Here in North Texas it is still hot. The high on Labor Day is expected to be 98 degrees Fahrenheit. But the "traditional" end of Summer is Labor Day, so I thought I would post a nice image that my father took last Friday of the garden of two of our parishioners at St. Vincent's, George and Marion Midgley. I am credibly informed that this fine garden is Marion's work alone. (She is pictured with me above.) It was lovely to visit their home, and Marion prepared a fine meal for my dad and I as well. Thanks for the hospitality, Marion and George!

I would also like to take this chance to offer a prayer for all those folks along our Gulf Coast in the path of Hurricane Gustav. May God extend His protective hand over the region and its people, and keep them safe, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prayer Requested for Schools

Please remember the students and teachers of our nation in your prayers as they return to school. Tomorrow is our first day back from summer vacation at St. Vincent's School. It is going to be an exciting year!

O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities, and especially St. Vincent's School, that they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This photograph of the campanile of St. Vincent's Cathedral was taken by my father, R.D. Foster, this morning--otherwise known as "the day before school starts."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

St. Vincent's Cathedral Mystery Dinner

Tonight at St. Vincent's Cathedral we had our annual Murder Mystery Dinner. Many of our parishioners did a great job performing their roles as murderous gangsters, crooked politicians, and jilted lovers. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Thanks to all who acted and served, and especially to the Midgleys and Susan Fry, who brought the whole thing off brilliantly!

Ordination of Deacon Francesco Giordano

Belated congratulations to the Rev. Deacon Francesco Giordano, a friend of many readers of this blog. Francesco was ordained a deacon in Christ's holy, Catholic Church by the Roman Catholic bishop of Albenga, Italy on July 5, 2008. God willing, he will be ordained a priest in January.
May God bless your ministry richly, Deacon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Orthodox Anglican Pilgrimage to Israel, June 2009

Fr. Randall Foster of St. Vincent's Cathedral and School, Bedford, Texas, will be leading a pilgrimage tour to Israel beginning June 4, 2009. The tour will include 10 days in Israel, visiting holy sites all over the State of Israel and spending a good deal of time in and around Galilee and Jerusalem. The price of this trip should be about $3259 per person (plus any landing fees and fuel surcharges imposed by the airlines). This quite reasonable price includes first-class hotel accommodations, three meals per day and fees to enter attractions. It also includes roundtrip airfare from New York to Tel Aviv. (You would need to arrange your own travel to and from New York.) The lectures by Fr. Foster are, of course, free. (But remember, you get what you pay for! ;-) RWF+)

While these details are still subject to change, this ten day trip should be a marvelous one. Do please contact Fr. Foster at St. Vincent's if you are interested in finding out more about our trip next June.

Fr. Randall Foster
St. Vincent's School

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The Dallas Morning News recently ran an article claiming that certain priests of the diocese of Fort Worth "may be looking at Catholicism."

In response to that area newspaper report, Bishop Iker has issued the following statement:

I am aware of a meeting that four priests of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth have had with Bishop Kevin Vann of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth on June 16, 2008. After a year of studying various agreed statements that have come out of ecumenical dialogues between Anglicans and Roman Catholics on the national and international level, these clergy expressed an interest in having a dialogue on the local level and asked my permission to make an appointment to talk with Bishop Vann. The stated goal of these official Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogues (which have been going on for over 40 years) has been full, visible unity between the two communions.

The priests who participated in this meeting with Bishop Vann have my trust and pastoral support. However, in their written and verbal reports, they have spoken only on their own behalf and out of their own concerns and perspective. They have not claimed to act or speak, nor have they been authorized to do so, either on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth or on my own behalf as their Bishop.

Their discussion with Bishop Vann has no bearing upon matters coming before our Diocesan Convention in November, where a second vote will be taken on constitutional changes concerning our relationship with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. There is no proposal under consideration, either publicly or privately, for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to become part of the Roman Catholic Church. Our only plan of action remains as it has been for the past year, as affirmed by our Diocesan Convention in November 2007. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth intends to realign with an orthodox Province as a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

By God’s grace, we will continue to work and pray for the unity of the one holy catholic and apostolic church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
August 12, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Good Shepherd, Granbury

This morning I was pleased to be invited to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd in Granbury, Texas (which is actually in Acton, just up the road from Granbury proper) and preside at their Sunday morning worship for the second time this summer. It is a beautiful church building and I met many very kind people there.
Sadly, there is apparently a significant contingent of the "Remain Episcopal" organization active in the parish. It seems they are no longer participating in the worship life of their parish. ("Remain Episcopal" is a group of die-hard 815 loyalists who have pledged fidelity to the national denominational structure, no matter what atrocities it might endorse.) These pro-815 folks are now meeting elsewhere on Sundays for a service of Morning Prayer. I am just guessing, but it is likely that the Remain Episcopal group will attempt to set up an entirely separate entity if the diocese of Fort Worth votes to complete our separation from TEC in November. The number of worshippers present at Good Shepherd this morning was about thirty people fewer this morning than when I visited in early July. While a part of this decline in attendance was clearly due to families travelling before the summer ends, I was told that at least some of these absentees were at the alternative "Remain Episcopal" gathering. Very sad.
Just across the street from Good Shepherd is a curious site of historical interest. It is the grave of the widow of Davey Crockett, a hero of the battle of the Alamo. After her husband's death Mrs. Crockett was awarded a land grant by the Republic of Texas that today comprises the entirety of Somervell County. Her grave site, which is a fenced area approximately 20 feet by 20 feet, is actually its own official Texas State Park! Obviously, it is the smallest state park in the Lone Star State, perhaps in the nation!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bishop Iker Writes His Clergy

The bishop's letter reporting on his activities while on sabbatical this summer is posted on the diocesan website. A few highlights (boldfaced emphasis added by RWF):

GAFCON came along and so I was off to Jerusalem for that very important international meeting that lasted for a week. I am very encouraged by what came out of the GAFCON experience. The meeting itself, along with the pilgrimage aspect of visiting a number of holy places, was very inspirational and renewing. The Conference has offered a helpful and faithful vision for the future of Anglicanism, and I am excited that our diocese will be a part of it.

After a few days back in Fort Worth to catch up on bills and mail, we were off to Canterbury in early July for two-and-a-half weeks at the 14th Lambeth Conference of Bishops. I must say it was very different from the last Lambeth I had attended in 1998, which had been a big boost and blessing to me as a bishop. This one was an exercise in frustration, with long days of endless discussion and reports, in a carefully orchestrated and highly controlled agenda that would not allow for any decisions to be made. We met in a highly contentious time in the life of the Communion, which has been divided and torn as never before by actions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada. This was underscored by the absence of nearly 25% of the Bishops of the Communion, representing more than half of the entire membership of the Anglican Communion, who boycotted the conference as a protest against the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to follow through with proposed disciplinary measures. At the end of the day, nothing was decided or accomplished by way of settling the divisions. Instead, it was hoped that we might continue to work and talk together as the future unfolds.

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