"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.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ACNA figures to grow by five more parishes next week!

There will be five new congregations welcomed into the diocese of Fort Worth next week. Assuming the diocese accedes formally to the Constitution and Canons of the ACNA at our convention next Saturday (as seems likely) this will mean five new parishes for the new province! Several of these parishes are former TEC churches, while one is a new church plant.

The Church of Christ the Redeemer will be recognized as a mission parish in Fort Worth, under its vicar, Fr. Christopher Culpepper. St. Francis Church in Dallas will be welcomed as a new parish of the diocese, while St Gabriel's Anglican Church in Bentonville, AR, will become a mission station of the diocese. And St. Matthias' Anglican Church in Dallas and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Tulsa, OK, will become parishes of the diocese under a new Parish Affiliation Agreement that has been put into place here.

Welcome to the dioFortWorth family, friends!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie Sandlin, St. Francis, Dallas

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, we've been in AAC, FiFNA, and ACNA all along, even though we were in the Diocese of Dallas, so we're not really a new ACNA parish, but it's really nice to finally be OFFICIALLY in the Dio of FW.


3:46 PM  
Blogger Robin_G_Jordan said...

Randall, is the new church plant a part of a Diocese of Fort Worth initiative? Or did another diocese or jurisdiction launch the new church and Fort Worth has taken the new church under its wing?

In late 1990s and early 2000s the then new bishop of Louisiana was interested in starting new churches in the diocese. However, the existing churches in the areas with high potential for a successful new plant were resistant to the launching of any new churches in their area, fearing that a new church would draw members away from them or attract newcomers to the area that they might have otherwise attracted. At the time I lived in western St. Tammany Parish (county), about thirty miles to the north of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain. The area was one of the fastest if not the fastest growing parish in the state. I had surved the parish for the rector of my mother's parish, my old home parish, then dean of the North Shore Deanery, and identified a number of areas of the parish that had high potential for a new church plant. When he moved on, his successor as dean and the other priests in the North Shore deanery showed no interest in church planting. The only Episcopal church at the eastern St. Tammany asked that the bishop not authorize the planting of any new churches in the area for the above reasons although the area was experiencing tremendous growth and there had been a number of successful new church plants in that area. The philosophy of that particular church was that if newcomers to the area wanted to attend an Episcopal church, they would find the church. They did not even bother to post "The Episcopal Church welcomes you" signs around the community, giving directions to the church. The only sign that the church had was right in front of the church. The church was poorly-located and hard to find. Members of the local Unitarian Universalist Association had migrated to the church after their church closed and had come to dominate the leadership of the church.

Western St. Tammany was also experiencing tremendous growth but a church split in my former parish caused the bishop to hesitate authorizing a new church plant in that area. He feared that a new church would further weaken my former parish which had lost about a third of its member households. He changed his mind after the AMiA announced that it was going to plant a new church in the area. The bishop had to use clergy from another deanery to launch the new church. The new church plant had begun to attract a sizable congregation when the Robinson consecration occurred, effectively putting the damper upon any further growth. The AMiA new church plant was not a success because of the launching of the new Episcopal church. The folks who might have been attracted to the new AMiA church were attracted to the new Episcopal church because they had friends in that church. They also knew the clergy. On the other hand, the AMiA was an unknown quantity. The AMiA church planter moved on before the Robinson consecration which might have benefited his church planting efforts. When I last visited the new Episcopal church, it still had not recovered from the Robinson consecration. It was meeting in a local Lutheran church on Sunday evenings and one of the priests from outside the deanery, who had helped to launch the church, was serving as its priest in charge as well as the vicar of the church in eastern St. Tammany. I suspect that whoever is elected the new bishop of Louisiana will affect what direction that church plant takes. The founding members were theological conservative and charimatic and they largely form what remains of the congregation.

10:33 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

The new church plant, Christ the Redeemer, is a dioFW initiative on the SW side of Fort Worth. That's a high growth area in the Metroplex, and the initiative was taken up by Fr. Culpepper a while back (a year ago, perhaps?) as part of a diocesan plan to serve that growing neighborhood better. They have reached the 50 ASA necessary now to qualify as a full mission parish of the diocese, I believe, so next week they are getting voice and vote at convention.

St. Francis and St. Matthias are both former TEC parishes, once of the TEC diocese of Dallas. I think they have both been under overseas oversight officially for the last couple of years while being sort of "honorary members" of our diocese (without a vote at our conventions, but included in most of our goings on), but now they are officially full members of our diocesan family.

I'm not sure precisely what the back story on the AR and OK parishes is, but I know they have been on the road to joining us for a while. I assume they have had some sort of affiliation in the past but do not know what it has been.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just FYI - Bishop Stanton delegated episcopal oversight of St. Francis to Bishop Iker about 2 years ago.

And again, Happy Birthday, Father.


2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the land for Christ the Redeemer was in Crowley, not Fort Worth.

7:36 PM  

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