"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.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chuck Wagon BBQ at St Vincent's School

Today my brother-in-law, Dale (above), brought his nineteenth century chuck wagon to St. Vincent's School and served barbecue to the entire school community. My nieces, DeeAnna and Patti, helped out, as did Dale's wife, Tomika, and my father. A great time was had by all, despite the rain that drove the entire operation under the church car-port. Many of the students came back for "seconds," even "thirds." Thanks Dale and crew for a great time.
These photos were taken by my father, Randy, who is pictured above with DeeAnna.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I suspect this is far more important in the long term than the lawsuit the rump Dio FW has filed.

From The Living Church:

North American Bishops Meeting with GAFCON Primates in London

Eight archbishops are meeting in closed-door session at a London hotel this week to review plans for the creation of a new Anglican Communion province to be known as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Seven primates: Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Archbishop Justice Akrofi of West Africa; along with the Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney (Australia) began talks on April 14 at hotel near Heathrow airport.

Joining the archbishops in the three-day meeting are the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone and the archbishop-designate of the ACNA; the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone; the Rt. Rev. Charles Murphy; the leader of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA); the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and one of his bishops suffragan, the Rt. Rev. David Anderson; the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, Provincial Bishop Suffragan for the Anglican Church of Uganda; the Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, Bishop of All Saints Diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya; and the Rt. Rev. Don Harvey, leader of the Anglican Network in Canada.

Details of the meeting will be made public at a press conference on April 16, according to a spokesman for the archbishops, but participants told The Living Church the group, which is meeting as the GAFCON (Global Anglican Futures Conference) primates’ council, will discuss the formation and strengthening of the Fellowship of Confession Anglicans (FCA), the formation of the ACNA, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s proposed Anglican Covenant, and the on-going divisions within the Anglican Communion.

(The Rev.) George Conger

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UPDATED: Rump "Diocese" Finally Sues to Take All of our Property

A Pastoral Letter from the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., D.D.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, heir and steward of the legacy of generations of faithful Episcopalians, has this day brought suit to recover that legacy. We deeply regret that the decisions and actions of former diocesan leaders have brought us to this difficult moment.

Even before 1850 when this area was part of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, faithful Episcopalians were preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ as part of the Episcopal Church in North Texas. After the General Convention created our diocese in 1982, that work continued. Today we, with our Presiding Bishop, remain committed to preaching the gospel as we celebrate the sacraments, care for those in need, and strive for justice and peace. This litigation is designed to move quickly to confirm the historical right of Episcopalians to lead the diocese as stewards of its property as we in humility and hope continue the mission of the Episcopal Church here.

Please pray for patience while the legal proceedings go forward. These first steps are crucial in confirming the continuing diocese’s unbroken historic connection with the Episcopal Church and the church property. We will then proceed to deal more directly to recover and restore specific parish property. Be assured, however, both the Presiding Bishop and I are aware of your pain and frustration, as well as being committed to addressing your local concerns thoroughly.

We bid the prayers of all faithful Episcopalians and other Christians as we protect our legacy and fulfill the trust and dreams of those who have gone before.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., D.D.
Bishop of Kentucky and Provisional Bishop of Fort Worth

It was posted on the website of the rump "diocese" today.

The Episcopal News Service even has a picture of St. Vincent's Cathedral on its story with this blurb: "St. Vincent's Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the properties now held by former Episcopalians who aligned with the province of the Southern Cone. The continuing Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has filed a lawsuit for return of St. Vincent's and some 50 other churches and properties." Lovely.

ENS also quotes PB Schori: "We feel sorrow that the former diocesan leaders took such actions that led us to this time," according to the statement. "However, this is a necessary step in order for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, comprised of Episcopalians of the full theological spectrum, to continue its gospel work in Texas. In other court venues, the courts have ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church and we anticipate a favorable outcome in this case and a continuation of The Episcopal Church's mission priorities."

Here is the take of the Dallas Morning News on the development.

In the Star-Telegram article on this development, Ms. Wells--the rump's attorney--makes it clear that for them it is "all or nothing." Clearly they are claiming every inch of property and every penny of every bank account in every parish. Scortched earth.

April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Diocese of Northern Mexico Sends Greetings and Offers Prayers for our Diocese

The diocese of Northern Mexico of the Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, a sister diocese of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth--Anglican Province of the Southern Cone (pending formation of the Anglican Church of North America, God willing), has sent "warmest greetings" to Bishop Iker and the people of our diocese and has offered "prayers that [his] ministry will continue fruitful and faithful to our Lord" as a bishop of the Southern Cone.

"We commend you for your courage in leaving the Episcopal Church," the Rt. Rev. Marcelino Rivera, bishop of Northern Mexico, and the Rev. Juan Gabriel Hernandez, secretary of the diocesan synod, wrote Bishop Iker.

The full letter may be viewed here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father ..."

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Altar of Repose, St. Mary's Chapel at St. Vincent's Cathedral Church, Bedford, Texas

"Can you not watch with me one hour?"

Good Friday

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maundy Thursday

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. ...

When [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Saturday, April 04, 2009

SVS Seventh Grade at "Medieval Times"

As a fun part of my instruction of St. Vincent's School's seventh graders in the history of medieval Europe, I took them on a field trip to Medieval Times--Dinner and Tournament in Dallas yesterday. A good time was had by all. Special thanks to the anonymous donor who picked up the entire tab for our group, and to the two volunteer parent drivers who paid for everyone to have a copy of a photograph of the kids and I in costume (in the "official version" the green screen was turned into a medieval great hall, but my father, Randy, took the photo above in their "studio.")
As part of their studies, each student will write a short paper inspired by the visit. Topics approved include "The History of Jousting," "Medieval Clothing," "Women in Feudal Society," "Food and Kitchens in the Middle Ages," and "Heraldry." I look forward to reading these papers immensely! Good luck, friends. Work hard!

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