Reorganized Episcopal Diocese commemorates 5th anniversary Saturday

Posted Friday, Feb. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

If you go

• Fifth anniversary of the reorganization of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, University Christian Church, 2720 S. University Drive. Attendees will include the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. The gathering will end with a Eucharist at 3 p.m. by the Right Rev. Rayford B. High Jr., bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese.

• Jefferts Schori will also speak at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, 223 S. Pearson Lane, in Keller.

• The Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, will speak at 10 a.m. Sunday at St. Luke’s in the Meadow Episcopal Church, 4301 Meadowbrook Drive, in Fort Worth.

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Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will speak Saturday during a daylong commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the reorganization of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

The change occurred after most churches in the Fort Worth Diocese joined Bishop Jack Iker in 2008 by voting to leave the New York-based Episcopal Church, saying it had strayed from biblical teachings in many areas, including accepting gay priests and bishops.

Iker’s group — which also claims to be the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth — and the group aligned with the national church have long been involved in a legal dispute over who should own diocese property.

Jefferts Schori, who in 2006 became the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will speak at University Christian Church in Fort Worth on Saturday and at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Keller on Sunday.

Fort Worth Episcopalians who remained faithful to the national church reorganized in 2009 under a new provisional bishop, and Jefferts Schori was on hand for the reorganization.

The theme of the anniversary celebration at University Christian is “Re-imagining Our Church,” which corresponds with an initiative approved at the church’s 2012 general convention.

During a luncheon Saturday, Jefferts Schori will confer with youths in the Fort Worth Diocese. The Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, a main governing body of the Episcopal Church, is also scheduled to take part in anniversary events.

Afternoon panel discussions will focus on the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission.

The sessions will end with a Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Rayford B. High Jr. of the Fort Worth Diocese and a homily by Jefferts Schori.

Under Iker, the Fort Worth Diocese was one of the few in the nation not ordaining women as priests, even though the national church had long ruled that gender should not be a barrier.

Iker’s group is aligned with the Argentina-based Southern Cone, a province of the Anglican Communion, and the Anglican Church in North America, a coalition of churches that have broken away from the Episcopal Church.

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