Fort Worth's 2nd Report on the possibility of re-aligning with the Province of the Southern Cone

Provincial Polity
Instead of having a cumbersome General Convention that meets every three years for three weeks at great expense, with four clergy and four lay deputies from each diocese in the House of Deputies and all bishops in the House of Bishops, as in The Episcopal Church, there is a Provincial Synod (Canon 5) of the Southern Cone that meets every three years for three days. It is comprised of the Bishop and one clergy and one lay delegate from each diocese in the Province. This would be a much smaller legislative body on the provincial level, producing considerable cost savings and a council of far more manageable size for conducting business. Also, as a member diocese we would have a seat on the Provincial Executive Council (Canon 6), helping to direct program and budget. Our Bishop would have the right of voice at Council meetings, even if we were already represented on the Council by a priest or lay person.

Presiding Bishop/Primate
The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, also referred to as the Primate or Archbishop, is not a separate, full-time, salaried position, as in TEC. Instead, the Bishop elected as Primate continues to serve as a diocesan bishop, like all the other bishops of the Province. There are no “national church offices” staffed with a bureaucracy of paid church employees. This makes for a much smaller structure and budget and keeps the emphasis for mission and ministry on the local diocesan level.

Provincial Budget
The budget of the General Convention of TEC was set at just under $50 million for 2008. Most of this funding comes from an “asking” from each diocese, in the amount of 21% of its annual income. The remainder comes from investment income and other sources. The annual budget of the Province of the Southern Cone totals less than $100,000 and is funded by the member dioceses on a proportionate basis, with contributions ranging between $2,000 and $6,000. Additional support comes from overseas partners. The funds are used mostly for basic costs of administration and communications. This minimal provincial cost keeps the focus and funding for ministry in the local dioceses.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

12 comments on “Fort Worth's 2nd Report on the possibility of re-aligning with the Province of the Southern Cone

  1. Jeremy Bonner says:

    “Each diocesan bishop determines matters of worship and Prayer Book usage in his diocese.”

    As a matter of curiosity, which Prayer Book do the other Southern Cone dioceses use now and which Prayer Book are the Bishops of San Joaquin and Fort Worth going to propose for their jurisdictions? (I presume there is no intention of retaining the American 1979 BCP?)

    I know we keep insisting that it is agreement on the essentials that matters, but liturgy has (or is supposed to have) theological implications.

  2. Cennydd says:

    Jeremy, as far as I know, no decision has been made yet………still too early to tell. I have no idea of which Prayer Book any of the dioceses use. I assume that, for the moment, we will use the one we have.

  3. star-ace says:

    Also, no ban on Womens Ordination or Gay/Lesbian Ordination. It’s left up to the individual Dioceses (just like TEC). (Read the Diocese of Fort Worth rationale.) What’s the difference between PSC local option and TEC local option.

    Isn’t the diversity within TEC (and no central authority) one of the main reasons for disaffiliation. I’m confused.

  4. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “It’s left up to the individual Dioceses (just like TEC).”

    Are you kidding me? Judging by the difficulties in getting someone like Mark Lawrence approved, do you really believe that another non-WO bishop will ever be consented to by TEC standing committees and bishops?

  5. Irenaeus says:

    Best of all, the advantages excerpted above are just fringe benefits of belonging to an organization that believes in furthering the gospel instead of having it spayed, neutered, titrated, sanitized, and skewered.

  6. Loren+ says:

    Local option is only an issue when the anchors of history, catholicity and scripture are abandoned. The Proposed Covenant reaffirms the Lambeth Quadrilateral and other statements which affirm the authority of scripture and catholic tradition. Those who hold onto those anchors can affirm local option on ministry approaches knowing that the various dioceses will not violate the creedal faith–and when they do so, they will repent and heed correction. TEC has demonstrated that we are abandoning the anchors and are unwilling to repent and heed the correction voiced by the instruments of unity. Our current crisis is primarily about two views of scripture and of God. The other issues flow out of the first. Fix the first, and then address the second.

    I appreciate the Dio’s attempt to consider all the implications, thus attempting to avoid the greener grass syndrome. That is a fruitful model of godly discernment.


  7. Paul Powers says:

    #1: Bishop Iker states in his customary that the 1979 BCP is the prayer book of the Diocese of Fort Worth and that a parish or mission wishing to use the 1928 prayer book may do so provided they’ve obtained the Bishop’s permission first.

    The overwhelming majority of parishes and missions use the 1979 prayer book. There’s been no indication that this would change after a move to the Southern Cone.

  8. texanglican says:

    Star-ace, on page 2 of the PSC Constitution under “3 Rules” it states that a diocese can “provide necessary selection and training of clergy” “related to the local situation, provided they are not in conflict with other Anglican norms.” Lambeth Res. I.10 from 1998 is the unambiguous “Anglican norm” on homosexual conduct. Hence, there is no danger under this constitution of a diocese going the TEC route on the ordination of non-celibate gays at priests.

  9. star-ace says:

    #8 No – A Lambeth “resolution” cannot be an Anglican Norm. The Lambeth meeting is consultative only. No declarations can be made (unless things have changed).

    The Brits did not want to have Lambeth at all. It was forced on them by the “colonials” who had an urge to meet and talk.

    As a precondition to the first (1867) Lambeth Conference, +++Longley of Canterbury warned, “It should be distinctly understood that at this meeting no declaration of faith shall be made and no decision come to that shall affect generally the interests of the Church, but that we shall meet together for brotherly counsel and encouragement … I should refuse to convene any assembly which pretended to enact any canons or affected to make any decisions binding on the church”.

    This is probably why Lambeth is meaningless, except for High Tea and Cucumber Sandwiches with +++ABC.

  10. CanaAnglican says:

    #9 Star-ace, If any diocese adheres to Scripture it will minister to gay people, but will not ordain them. In most of the world Scripture is still an Anglican Norm.

  11. Phil says:

    And there was a point, star-ace, when Luther had every intention of being a faitfhul Roman Catholic. Things change – haven’t you noticed?

  12. Irenaeus says:

    “The annual budget of the Province of the Southern Cone totals less than $100,000”

    How much would you guess ECUSA spent on its executive committee’s little junket to Quito?