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The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is a welcoming, Christ-centered community of congregations committed to a radical hospitality. We are committed to sharing the faith that has changed our lives. We are committed to welcoming ALL people. We have no barriers to participation because of race, gender, or sexual orientation. We are committed to embracing the diversity that God has created. We welcome seekers, embrace inquiry, and offer a wide variety of worship styles grounded and unified by the liturgy in our Book of Common Prayer. We try to take our Christian beliefs and put them to work outside of where we worship. We invite you to any of our churches to join in worship and service.

Education resources

In addition to worship and legislation, General Convention always features an exhibit area with all kinds of resources. Take a look at a few below.

Norm visiting an exhibit
Norm visits a booth hosted by the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf and visits with a representative about their ministry.

Hope shopping at an exhibit

On the last day exhibits were open, Hope Benko took some time to look at some of the many books and other resources on display.


Forma – Christian Formation

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Forma, an organization dedicated to Episcopal Christian Formation resources, had a booth to show curricula and other resources. Take a look at Forma’s YouTube channel for several short videos on aspects of faith formation.


Education for Ministry

Hope Benko passes by the Education for Ministry booth
Hope Benko passes by the Education for Ministry booth

Education for Ministry (EfM) is one of the adult learning resources profiled in the exhibit hall.  The ministry of theological education celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. If you haven’t been through the EfM program, check it out on our diocesan website and find a group near you.


Forward Movement

The Forward Movement publishes several popular formation resources such as Daily Devo devotionals for families, Confirm, Not Conform resources for confirmation classes, and the Forward Day by Day devotionals that are often found in the tract racks and back tables of churches throughout The Episcopal Church.

In addition to all of these, Forward Movement is involved in the immensely popular Lent Madness. If you haven’t made a bracket of saintly souls and voted on your favorites, try it this coming Lent.

Jordan Haynie Ware stops for a photo with the winner of this year's Golden Halo - St. Francis of Assisi.
Jordan Haynie Ware stops for a photo with the winner of this year’s Golden Halo: St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is wearing a purple scarf in support of more women bishops in higher offices of The Episcopal Church.

 

Removing the Confederate battle flag from churches

The House of Deputies adopted resolution D044 – Removal of Confederate Battle Flag. The proposer of the resolution, the Rev. Betsy Baumgarten spoke on behalf of the entire Mississippi deputation. “We felt as deputies of Mississippi we need to speak to this issue, but it’s not just our issue.”

“Symbols are important; they help to shape our belief and our continued understanding of God… We believe it is time we remove that symbol which for some is claimed as a symbol of heritage but for many more has been and continues to be a symbol of slavery, racial injustice, and, now more than ever, a sign of the white supremacist movement.” – The Rev. Betsy Baumgarten

Read the story from Episcopal News Service about this vote.

Help fill in the asset map

Episcopal Relief and Development, in its US Disaster Program, is creating an asset map. Take a look at this video to see how it can help us help each other in our ministries.

Ethan Lowery and Katie Mears of Episcopal Relief and Development
Ethan Lowery and Katie Mears of Episcopal Relief and Development

Ethan Lowery, who works with the Episcopal Asset Mapping initiative, says that our own Tracie Middleton is one of his favorite people to work with.  Katie, who coordinates disaster relief in the United States through Episcopal Relief and Development is a longtime friend of Canon Waggoner.

You can see from the photo below that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is participating in the asset map.

20150629-asset map

We need help filling in the details of what’s going on at each of our churches. Help us out – take a look at our volunteer job board and click on “Map your congregation’s assets.”

Go now in peace… General Convention is adjourned

General Convention has now concluded. Watch for articles to continue to be released detailing some of the events of this very full nine-day session.

Adjournment in the House of Bishops

The Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase presented a courtesy resolution honoring The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 78th General Convention voice its profound thanksgiving for the leadership and ministry of the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori as she soon completes her nine-year term of office as the 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, and;

Be it further resolved, she has served this Church as Presiding Bishop and as Bishop of Nevada with great distinction and faithfulnessness, and;

Be it further resolved, she has represented The Episcopal Church in the councils of the Anglican Communion with humility and generosity of spirit, and,

Be it further resolved, her witness has inspired us to see the world through the eyes of one who loves all of God’s creation, and,

Be it further resolved, this 78th Convention offers her our fervent prayers and best wishes as she embarks on her continued ministry after she resigns her office on All Saints’ Day, 2015.

The House stood to applaud for quite some time.

20150703-Standing O for KJS

20150703-applause for KJS

The chaplain concluded with a litany, referencing the words of the Gospel: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

My sisters and brothers, now that your work here is done, we send you back to the fields where God calls you to work – to your people, the people you were chosen to serve.

God, your world is broken, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your people are living in fear, and many are hopeless and lonely, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your people need help, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your children are suffering from the effects of violence, racism, human trafficking, poverty, discrimination, and injustices of every kind, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know you need someone to be a light in a dark world, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know you need someone to bring hope and good news to your people, to announce salvation, to proclaim that you reign, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know that you need to send someone, so we respond: Here I am; send me.

Bishop Shannon then led the House in singing “Abide with me.”

The Presiding Bishop then blessed those present, praying, “The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you this day and forever more. Amen”

After the dismissal, Jefferts Schori said,

We are now adjourned.


 Adjournment in the House of Deputies

Not long afterward, the President of the House of Deputies, Gay Clark Jennings, rapped the gavel in another room and proclaimed

20150703-PHOD gavel

Sine Die!

20150703-sine dieAnd the House of Deputies’ chaplain, Lester McKenzie, prayed to close the day:

20150703-Lester McKenzie

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past. Be our companion in the way; kindle our hearts and awaken our hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in scripture and in the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Then, he added, “I want you to look around as I sing a song to you,” and the House joined him in singing

Go now in peace. Go now in peace. May the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.

20150703-go now in peace

20150703-go in peace2

 

What’s happening on the last day of General Convention?

On the last day of General Convention, deputies and bishops will have a 10:30 am legislative session and a shorter, final session from 2:30 – 5:30 pm.

The worship service will be a little earlier this morning, at 8:30 am in Salt Lake City, which is 9:30 am our time.

You can also watch legislative sessions in the House of Bishops or the House of Deputies live on the General Convention Media Hub. Here’s what they’ll be talking about:

House of Deputies – view the calendars.

House of Bishops – view the calendars.

Since it’s the last day, the only additional event, besides children and young adult programs, is:

5:30 PM – Joint Adjournment Sine Die

What’s happening on Wednesday, Day 7 of General Convention?

Legislative committees are meeting Monday through Thursday this week from 7:30 to 9:00 am, with worship at 9:30 am (Utah time).

Join the service live at 10:30 am our time on the Media Hub.

The House of Deputies and the House of Bishops will meet separately for the morning legislative sessions, from 11:15 am – 1:00 pm and for the last half of the afternoon session, from 3:45 pm – 6:15 pm. Since the General Convention is a bicameral (or two-house) body, whatever legislation one of them passes must then be sent to the other for concurrence.

In the early afternoon, the deputies and bishops will meet together for a Joint Session on Program, Budget and Finance from 2:15 – 3:15 pm.

You can watch either session live on the General Convention Media Hub. Here’s what they’ll be talking about:

House of Deputies – view the calendars.

House of Bishops – view the calendars.

Today, the exhibits will close at 3:00 pm.

There are numerous other activities going on today. Here are some that are scheduled:

All Day – Children’s Program
All Day – Episcopal Relief & Development: I believe that no one should live in poverty
All Day – Murals from Haiti
All Day – Young Adult Festival at General Convention
1:00 PM – AA/Recovery
1:30-2:30 PM – Tea with Bp. Li, Diocese of Taiwan
2:15 PM – Joint Session PB&F
3:00 PM – Exhibits Close
3:15 PM – Photo Day
3:45 PM – Legislative Session
7:00 PM – Diocese of Utah Event
9:00 PM – Black Caucus
9:00 PM –  Latino Caucus

 

How to… Submit a resolution

Both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies are debating and voting on resolutions that have been submitted by various people or groups. There are so many, on a dizzying range of topics, that it can be overwhelming. Here is a little information to help.

Resolutions are catalogued with a letter and number. The letter tells where the resolution originated:

  • A” Resolutions are those submitted by CCABs.  (What’s a CCAB?)
  • B” Resolutions are those submitted by Bishops.
  • C” Resolutions are those submitted by Provinces or Dioceses.
  • D” Resolutions are those submitted by Deputies.

Each resolution is also categorized by its topic, by the committee it’s assigned to, and by who proposed it.

How does a resolution get submitted?

A resolution must also be vetted and approved by the Resolutions Review Committee of the House that will be hearing it before it can be voted on, to make sure that it follows certain guidelines and, if it passed, it wouldn’t be in conflict with the Constitution or Canons.

Resolutions are fluid documents, and the more complex or contested ones often undergo many changes on their way to the floor of either house. At legislative hearings, the resolutions are more extensively discussed; deputies may suggest amendments – or even entire substitute resolutions – to the proposer or author.

Many of the topics taken up at General Convention this year are part of continuing conversations.  The Archives of The Episcopal Church helps keep track of legislation from previous conventions that relates to resolutions at this year’s convention on a Legislative Research Services page.  Pick a resolution currently being considered, for example, A037, which is one of the resolutions on marriage, and the archives will show resolutions from previous years that are directly or indirectly related, with the text of those resolutions included.


All this discussion reminds David Madison of something from his childhood…

 

Evangelism in the digital age

On Monday, the House of Deputies adopted resolution B009, related to digital evangelism; now it goes to the House of Bishops. This topic seemed to energize several deputies and other Episcopalians using Twitter, to the point that their internet friends who are not Episcopalian started tweeting to ask about it. Watch the Twitter conversation unfold in the slideshow below. Watch the discussion on the floor of the House by clicking play in the video on the 3rd slide; move the slider at the bottom to about 3:05:00 to begin near where the discussion on B009 starts.


Despite his wariness of technology, the Rt. Rev. Scott Mayer decided to try Twitter. This decision was met by a chorus of support from Episcopalians and his fellow bishops on Twitter, and he had coaching from the most qualified member of the Fort Worth deputation, @GodWelcomesAll, the Rev. Jordan Haynie Ware.

Heads up, Episcotweeps – @jscottmayer is in the House (of Bishops)!

 

Commemorating James Weldon Johnson

The worship service on Tuesday, June 30 remembered the life of James Weldon Johnson, poet and hymn writer.

Eternal God, we give thanks for the gifts that you gave your servant James Weldon Johnson: a heart and voice to praise your Name in verse. As he gave us powerful words to glorify you, may we also speak with joy and boldness to banish hatred from your creation, in the Name of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A combined choir of students from St. Augustine’s University and Voorhees College led the singing.

The Rev. Kimberly Jackson, Chaplain and Vicar of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center in Atlanta preached.

Listen to the sermon online.

20150630-preacher

“We are called to reject the notion that some people’s lives are of greater value than others’.”

20150730-listening to sermon

 

What’s happening on Tuesday, Day 6 of General Convention?

Legislative committees are meeting Monday through Thursday this week from 7:30 to 9:00 am, with worship at 9:30 am (Utah time).

Join the service live at 10:30 am our time on the Media Hub.

Today, the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops will meet together after worship, from 11;15 am – 1:00 pm for a Joint Session to talk about Mission.

The House of Deputies and the House of Bishops will meet separately for the afternoon legislative sessions. Since the General Convention is a bicameral (or two-house) body, whatever legislation one of them passes must then be sent to the other for concurrence.

You can watch either session live on the General Convention Media Hub. Here’s what they’ll be talking about:

House of Deputies – view the calendars.

House of Bishops – view the calendars.

There are numerous other activities going on all day today. Here are some that are scheduled:

All Day – Children’s Program
All Day – Episcopal Relief & Development: I believe that no one should live in poverty
All Day – United Thank Offering Blue Box
All Day – Young Adult Festival at General Convention
1st Half of lunch break – CPG Lunchtime Learning: Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud
2nd Half of lunch break – CPG Lunchtime Learning: Staying Active
1:00 PM – AA/Recovery
2:00 and 4:00 PM – ECW Triennial Workshops 2015
This evening – Seminary Gatherings
6:45-9:15 PM – Traces of the Trade
7:30 PM – Association for Episcopal Deacons Reception
9:00 PM – Deputies of Color Meeting