People at General Convention are already asking that question, so let me tell you…
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is Going Strong!
Over the course of the past 2 years, ALL of the congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth GREW!
- All of our congregations except for one grew by at least one of the following measures:
- Average Sunday Attendance
- Communicant Members
- Operating Revenue
- The single congregation that did not grow by any of these measures hired a new priest, had a complete turnover in staff, completely renovated the house that (long ago) was the rectory, and is in the process of mentoring our first bi-vocational priest prior to his deployment.
- In the first six months of 2015, in our 16 worshipping congregations (15 missions and parishes, and one new church start) over 100 people have been baptized, confirmed and received.
Over the course of the past 2 years, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has blossomed!
- The purpose of the diocesan office has been clarified: it exists to serve our congregations and to facilitate ministry. This is its sole purpose and focus.
- More than half of the clergy in congregations are new in the past two years.
- Deaneries and congregations are working together better than ever.
- Bishop Rayford High, provisional bishop of the diocese, is known for loving his priests and people, and has gone above and beyond the call in being present to the congregations, making 2-3 visitations each year to each congregation.
- The diocese has started a monthly gathering for Clergy in New Cures for the six leaders of congregations who have joined the diocese since last October.
The future of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is bright!
Bishop Rayford High will retire on June 30. (This is his second retirement; his first was as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Texas.) Though his presence all around the diocese will be missed, Bishop High will continue to live in Fort Worth near his three children, and he has been invited by the new bishop to help out from time to time.
Bishop J. Scott Mayer, Bishop of the Diocese of Northwest Texas, will become provisional bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, effective July 1. Bishop Mayer has already been present in the diocese, working with diocesan leadership and staff to ensure a smooth transition. Bishop Mayer’s presence will ensure continuity of leadership for a good long time to come. Everyone is excited about the grace, passion, and wisdom Bishop Mayer brings to the post, as well as deep familiarity with the area; Fort Worth is his hometown!
The diocese is in the process of launching a Funding for the Future campaign with the goal of raising at least $3 million to grow current congregation, plant new churches, support youth and campus ministry, and support the episcopate and leadership development.