Episcopal News Service has this report by Mary Frances Schjonberg FORT WORTH: Bishop, Standing Committee give preliminary approval to joining Southern Cone province.
Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and the diocesan Standing Committee said January 9 that “the structure and polity of the Province of the Southern Cone would afford our diocese greater self-determination than we currently have under the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.”
Iker and the committee came to that conclusion in a “preliminary report” issued in response to a resolution passed at the diocese’s November 17 convention. The resolution, which thanked the province for its invitation, asked for a report within 60 days on “the constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting this invitation.”
…Iker and the Standing Committee said that they reviewed the South American province’s constitutions and canons — an English-language version of which is due to be released soon, according to the report.
…Early on in the two-page report, Iker and the Standing Committee accuse the leadership of the Episcopal Church with threatening the diocese “with false claims of canonical power to correct and discipline us while condoning or even promoting in other dioceses false teaching and sacramental actions explicitly contrary to Holy Scripture.”
…Episcopalians who do not agree with the direction in which Iker and the rest of the diocesan leadership is headed have been gathering and exchanging information through the Fort Worth Via Media organization. The group is a member of Via Media USA, an alliance of Episcopal laity and clergy formed in 2004 to offer a counterpoint to efforts to “realign” the Episcopal Church along more conservative lines.
Fort Worth Via Media sponsored a visit to the diocese September 8 by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson. After Iker issued a letter criticizing Anderson’s visit, the group said Iker sees disagreement as disobedience and disrespect and he did not object to the meeting in mid-July when he was invited to attend.
On January 19, the organization plans a workshop, titled “What is at stake for Episcopalians in the Diocese of Fort Worth?” The leader will be the Rev. Tom Woodward who recently retired as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas, California, a part of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Woodward, who now attends St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, has opposed the “realignment” efforts…
Details of the Fort Worth Via Media workshop can be found here.