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From the Bishop

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During the first week of January, I participated in the ACNA College of Bishops meeting held in Orlando.  It was a very busy week, full of many reports, daily worship, and small group discussions.  A more detailed account may be found in a Communiqué posted on the ACNA Web site.

Each day began with an early morning Eucharist at 7:15 a.m., followed by a session at 9 a.m. where Bishop Ray Sutton gave a series of talks on “The Office of Bishop.” This was followed by small-group reflections and prayer for one another. The afternoon sessions began at 1 p.m. with a series of talks given by Bishop John Guernsey on “The Bishop’s Prayer Life,” again followed by time in small groups.  Each day concluded with Evening Prayer at 6 p.m., followed by a free evening. 

Morning and afternoon business sessions included some very important updates from the Task Force on Holy Orders (concerning the ordination of women) and the Task Force on Anglican Unity (concerning overlapping jurisdictions). Other topics dealt with development, church planting, ministry with young people, ecumenical relations, and international church affairs. Confidential executive sessions concerned contacts with the Archbishop of Canterbury and developments in the life of the Church of England. Archbishop Foley Beach announced the appointment of a new Task Force on Marriage that will report back to us at our next meeting in late June.

It was a good week, with time well spent, and I am encouraged by the sense of unity and mission among us as Bishops.

I am looking forward to two big events coming up in the days ahead. The first is our annual Men’s Conference being held on January 16 & 17 at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Arlington. The second is our annual Clergy Retreat being led by Bishop Ray Sutton at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas on January 26-29. Please remember both of these important gatherings in your prayers.

Our next “day in court” is at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, when Judge John Chupp will hear specific objections from either side regarding the recent court filings. This will be followed by a very important hearing the next morning at 9:30 a.m., when he will hear oral arguments on the two competing Motions for Summary Judgment. Do keep Judge Chupp and our legal team in your prayers in the weeks to come.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth