"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.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Responding to the "Steadfast Episcopalians"

It appears that virtually all members, lay and clerical, of the Episcopal diocese of Fort Worth received a letter in the mail from a group calling itself "Steadfast Episcopalians" during the last week. It seems the Steadfast Episcopalians, whomever they may be, have taken our addresses from old member directories of the parishes of the diocese, as mine was addressed to "Mr. Randall W. Foster" (n.b., the most recent directory from St. Vincent's was printed before I was ordained last year).

The content of the letter was largely unobjectionable, indeed some of it was even laudable. This moderately conservative tone was clearly intended to make the Steadfast Episcopalians' goal of remaining within TEC seem reasonable to orthodox fence-sitters in our diocese who are still unsure about which way to turn during and after our upcoming November vote on disaffiliation from General Convention and the leadership at 815. It seems the letter's author or authors wanted to convey the idea that since there are plenty of "orthodox" Episcopalians left in our diocese the leftward drift of the national TEC over the last few decades shouldn't trouble us enough to make us want to bolt for another province. "Jesus wants us all to be one. Besides, since things are more or less OK around here locally in Fort Worth why should we risk taking any decisive action that might get us into trouble?," they seems to be saying.

The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed, dean of St. Vincent's Cathedral here, has written a crystal clear response to the Steadfast Episcopalians' letter. I commend it for your reading.


Blogger Father Nelson said...

It should be noted that their language regarding the Trinity amounts to material heresy. Material because they don't know enough to know the mistake they made.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Julian said...

The letter is really not that well written and could have used an editor... were they in a hurry? The tendency (even among the orthodox) to quote the BCP as a sort of final authority is something I find disturbing.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Julian said...

@ Nelson, yeah, it looks like somebody might have (unwittingly?) "divided the substance." I really hope that was a layman's confusion of technical language or early church controversies and not what they actually think! Pretty bad document in which to make such a slip ;D

1:22 AM  

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