Dear All Saints' Parishioners:
I have updated our FAQs page as well as included them in this message below.
Also, another very special musical gift for your enjoyment is included here. It is the anthem from last Sunday's Evensong sung by our own Evensong Choir and led by our organist and choirmaster, Clive Driskill-Smith. Enjoy!
Q I got a letter from someone called Bp. Ryan Reed. Who is he?
A Bp. Reed is not now, nor has he ever been, a bishop in our church, The Episcopal Church. He is a former priest in our Church but left to be part of another group of Christians known as ACNA. Neither this man nor ACNA has any authority at all over the Rector, Fr. Jambor, our Vestry, or any of our parishioners. Bp. Scott Mayer is our bishop.
Q Why would Bp. Reed write a letter to members of another denomination?
A I don’t know. It is quite unusual behavior for bishops. An example would be if our bishop were to write a letter to the parishioners of, say, Holy Family Catholic Church. It simply is not done.
Q What does Bp. Reed mean by our “former leadership?”
A Well, I’m not sure. But neither his denomination nor the secular courts have the authority to dictate to our parish who is or is not the parish’s Rector or Vestry, or who our bishop is.
Q What is this group called ACNA?
A It stands for Anglican Church in North America. It is a breakaway body of mostly former Episcopalians dissatisfied with The Episcopal Church.
Q The “A” of ACNA stands for “Anglican.” Is it Anglican?
A No. They are not at all Anglican in the sense we use the term. Here’s why: An Anglican is part of what is called the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is a body of Christians all working together in common mission and ministry and who are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Q So, is ACNA a part of the Anglican Communion and are they in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury?
A No, they are not.
Q Why, then, do they represent themselves as Anglican?
A Anyone can call themselves “Anglican,” just as I could style myself Native American. But now having left the Anglican Communion, I’m not sure how accurate that description still might be.
Q What does ACNA mean by saying it is the Anglican Church in North America?
A Well, only half of that self-description is accurate. It is a body of Christians in North America. However, it is not the Anglican Church in North America. There is only one body of Christians in the world-wide Anglican Communion whose jurisdiction is “America” and that is The Episcopal Church. Just ask the Archbishop of Canterbury. Here’s a map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Communion#/media/File:AnglicanCommunionProvinces.png
Q What are we to make of the offer by Ryan Reed to just stay in the building?
A What is important to keep in mind is that when the building is turned over to ACNA, it is no longer housing an Episcopal church. It would be akin to, say, the Pentecostal Church acquiring the building and holding services in it. You can continue going to church in this building, but it would not be an Episcopal Church. As you know, the Church is not a particular building. The Episcopal Church on Crestline Road is moving to another site. What remains is a former Episcopal Church now occupied by another denomination.
Q So, what is the difference between these former Anglicans and us Episcopalians?
A Having once upon a time been in our Church, they kind of look and sound a lot like us. However, there are some significant differences, especially in the part of their denomination here in North Texas. One prominent difference is their view of women in the priesthood.
Q So, what is the local ACNA denomination’s position on the ordination of women?
A To quote from a recent article on this topic:
“The offices of headship and teaching in the family and in God’s family, the Church, are restricted to males.”
And, from another author:
“Women’s ordination may well have had a deleterious effect on society itself. Clearly, women’s ordination to the priesthood and episcopate can no longer be regarded as reasonable. It is reasonable then to hope that women’s ordination may likewise come to be viewed as an experiment that failed, a concept that seemed rational enough at first, but eventually was recognized by more thoughtful generations as hollow and counter-productive.”
"Whatever warm feelings may be generated in the hearts of those who behold a woman performing these acts, it has not yet been proved that women are sacramentally enabled to confect valid sacraments, sacramental rites and sacramentals. On the contrary, for the very reason that the sacerdotal function performed by women is of dubious validity in the minds of many, the women performing these acts not only introduce an element of doubt on the occasion, but they have reduced, rather than enhanced, the authority of the priesthood and episcopate.”
Q I’ve heard there are significant parts of our Baptismal Covenant which the ACNA group dropped in making their new prayer book. What are those?
A The most significant omissions in the composing of their new prayer book are these two promises which we Episcopalians do make in our Book of Common Prayer:
Priest Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People I will, with God’s help.
Priest Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help.
These two promises which you and I make in our Baptismal Covenant are foundational for our life in Christ. Whereas I cannot tell you why they were dropped from ACNA’s baptismal rite, it does reflect a different understanding our responsibilities to God and our neighbor.
How do I ensure my donations go to my church and not the Anglican group?
Mail your contributions to:
4936 Dexter Ave.
Ft.. Worth, TX 76107
What changes do I need to make to my will / estate planning?
Nothing at this time. If this changes, we will let you know.
What happens to my family remains in Columbarium?
The ashes of your loved ones can remain in the Columbarium. Your Agreement is still valid and in effect. Remains may not be moved until we have come to an agreement with the ACNA bishop about how this will be done. For now, if that is what you would like to do, please notify Mthr. Waltman and we will get back to you once we know what is required on our end.
How can I as a parishioner help as we move through this process?
There will be a spate of needs, many of which we won’t know until the last minute. To volunteer, email Volunteer@asecfw.org.
Will we still have Fr Jambor as our Rector?
Yes. Both the Rector and the Vestry assure you that will be the case.
Will our outreach ministries continue during this time?
Yes, although we need to figure out where and how. But, we will continue to reach out to others as always.
What prayer would help me through this process?
Almost any of the psalms. The psalmists have experienced many tragedies over the centuries and have taken their pain to God in these magnificent prayers. We also have made available here some prayers in the leaflets people can use when they come into the church on weekdays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm to spend some time in their beloved parish building.
Where will we worship?
We will worship in the All Saints Chapel at our school, All Saints' Episcopal School. Our first services there will be Easter Day, April 4th.
When do we have to leave the church facility?
We don’t know for sure. This is still being discussed, but as soon as we know, we will let you know.
Has our way of Christianity and worship been repudiated by the courts?
Absolutely not! We are The Episcopal Church in west Fort Worth…. Still!
Where will we have Sunday School and Christian Education?
The combination of the pandemic and now having to move has made it quite a challenge for our Christian Education people. But, they are working on it and plan to resume in some capacity the first Sunday following Easter, April 11th.
What about memorial gifts previously given?
We are still in discussions to find out the extent of what we will need to leave behind.
Where will our pledges and other contributions go?
Your pledges and contributions will go to support All Saints, a parish in The Episcopal Church as always. Our new mailing address is 4936 Dexter Ave., Ft. Worth, TX 76107.
Are we the Episcopal Church if they are, too?
We are The Episcopal Church. Those who left The Episcopal Church are not The Episcopal Church. There is only one Episcopal Church in this country, and it is The Episcopal Church. By the way, The Episcopal Church is an international church with congregations in many parts of the world.
What is the new mailing address of church?
4936 Dexter Ave. Ft. Worth, TX 76107
How much are we losing and how far back can they go, re: endowment?
We do not know, yet, what is staying and what is leaving.
Are we in danger of losing the Gray House, the White House, the Community Garden, and The Clements/Haddaway House (Mthr Hill's home)?
No, those properties, along with our school, have not been part of this litigation.
Will the school allow us to prepare meals in the kitchen?
We have not worked out any of those details, yet.
Will the chapel be open for parishioners to marry and have funerals?
If you are asking about the school chapel, then yes.