I wrote the following email to our parish this afternoon and decided to share it online, as well.
For those of you who were unable to attend mass today, during announcements Father Swickard addressed the misinformation being reported by Katie Sherrod in her blog, Desert's Child, by the both the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and by many, many liberal bloggers around the world. You see, these people who are more interested in being Episcopalians than being Christians, more interested in secular humanism than in the World of God received, and they would like to get us up in arms with each other and therefore paralize us in our battle with Satan over what is happening in the Church today.
During coffee hour there were copies, with handwritten editorial commentary, of Ms. Sherrod's blog being circulated. I have no idea where they came from, but if you saw one of these, please note that it was written by a person who would like, at least, to see our diocese and our churches fail, or at most, follow her secular humanistic approach to the life, a life which is not Christ-centered. They try their best with shock and awe, but we are not fooled. We know the Devil when he raises his ugly head.
If you are interested in further understanding what is REALLY going on with regard to this or any other matters of the diocese, please go to the diocese's website, Fort Worth Diocese , and read what is happening. If you would like to speak to someone on the diocese office, please call them or fax them at these numbers: Telephone: 817.244.2885; Fax: 817.244.3363; Toll Free 1.888.777.1811, or you are welcome to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . But please do not take Katie Sherrod's, or any other person's, word alone regarding what is going on in our diocese. Please go to the source or contact Father Phelps at 817-308-6355 or Father Swickard at 940-325-1851. Raf is both St. Luke's delegate to the convention and on the Remain Faithful committee, and he can be reached at 940-682-5896.
You are encouraged to attend meetings and voice concerns. This is a time for discernment. Don't be fooled by people who want to hurt us and our church! NOTE: When we returned from church, Raf received this from Chad Bates, chairman of Remain Faithful, and we felt you would want to see it as well:
I received this early this morning from Bishop Iker and the clergy members of the Standing Committee: To the clergy, The following statement has been released jointly by Canon Charles Hough, Fr. William Crary, Fr. Christopher Stainbrook, and Fr. Louis Tobola in reference to the document released earlier this week concerning a June meeting between them and Bishop Kevin Vann. Bishop Iker and the Standing Committee have asked that it be conveyed to you via Ad Clerum. It will be sent to all convention delegates and alternates as well.
From: Fathers Crary, Hough, Stainbrook, and Tobola Date: August 16, 2008
To: The Clergy and People of the Diocese
We wish to emphasize: 1. That the documents and our conversation with Bishop Vann solely ever represented the four priests named. 2. In retrospect, we regret our choice of timing for starting these conversations. 3. We deeply regret the phraseology of the document which has caused hurt and division. 4. We remain fully committed to the goal of this Diocese, as plainly stated by Bishop Iker, to realign with an Orthodox Anglican Province.
Respectfully submitted, The Very Rev. William A Crary, Jr. The Rev. Canon Charles A. Hough, III The Very Rev. Christopher C. Stainbrook The Rev. Louis L. Tobola, Jr.
Joy and I also visited St. Andrews this morning, where we were very warmly received. Dr. Dickson read the statement as well as quoted Bishop Iker's statement to Dr. Dickson from earlier in the week that "he (Bishop Iker) would resign before leading the Diocese to the Roman Catholic Church". Dr. Dickson clearly and unequivocally announced this issue is now in the past, and it is time to move forward. After the service we had many discussions- primarily centering around the timing being ripe for us to expedite moving forward with the formation of an orthodox Anglican Province in North America. I have not met with any knowledgeable lay person who is not fully supportive of us pushing for this Province formation, and I firmly believe God is calling us to act now- rather than have delays. Your Executive Committee is united in the need for this. Strategically, it should also help with our second vote, as well as the votes in Quincy and Pittsburg as it eliminates yet another thing the revisionists try to use - and that is us joining the Southern Cone - even if it is intended to be temporary. If we can show progress even going in the direction of the formation of a new Province, it should help our cause greatly. Please all of you put this to prayer. As was announced at our Mobilizing the Faithful conference last month - Remain Faithful intends on being a strong lay voice supporting this formation. We are in the process of planning a convocation to help expedite the formation of an orthodox Anglican Province for North America for late September. More on that soon. A press release is being drafted to state our intentions and desires to move forward asap, as well. You will receive a copy when it is distributed. God Bless- Chad Bates