We, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, have recently conducted two meetings with clergy and lay leaders of the diocese. This was done in accord with our decision, announced in May, to continue to seek Alternative Primatial Oversight as requested by vote of the 2006 Diocesan Convention. The meetings allowed us to explore the options before us. All active parish clergy resident in the diocese were invited to attend one of the two meetings. The junior and senior wardens of each congregation also were invited to attend, to represent the concerns of the laity.
The purpose of the meetings was to give each participant an opportunity to share personal feelings and opinions on the crisis facing The Episcopal Church and the relationship of this diocese to General Convention. The meetings were characterized by a spirit of charity and openness, as well as anxiety and grief. We heard sincere and faithful voices from all points of view. It was the opinion of all that, regardless of what course of action is taken, there will be tremendous cost at all levels. At the same time, we were encouraged by the honest discussion during this time of listening.
Three general options for the future were identified in May. During the whole course of both meetings, we heard two or three persons voice support for a path of complete accession to the positions taken by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. There was a little more support for continuing the current course of staying and witnessing within The Episcopal Church. The overwhelming opinion expressed by those who spoke was that it is time for the realignment to move forward, as we committed ourselves to doing at our Diocesan Convention of 2003.* Sadly, no other solution to the crisis could be identified. With faith and renewed hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, we will move forward.
We appreciate the contributions made by all who participated, and we pray for the life and direction of this diocese.
The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed
on behalf of the Standing Committee