A Place to Stand: Declaring, Preparing

Oct. 7 – 9, 2003, in Dallas
Conference sponsored by the American Anglican Council (AAC)


 
The conference was attended by more than 40 Episcopal bishops, 800 priests, 40 deacons, 100 seminary students, and over 1,500 lay people. Fr. David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, Plano, was the host of the conference, which issued a statement (below) on Oct. 9 that received more than 2,400 signatures. Fr. Roseberry will deliver the signed statement to the Primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion at their meeting in London Oct. 15-17.

   

The conference hall during dinner break on Tuesday.

 

 
On the first evening of the conference, Bishop Jack Leo Iker of the Diocese of Fort Worth and Bishop James M. Stanton of the Diocese of Dallas were concelebrants at a service of Holy Eucharist which was attended by over 3,000 people, including approximately 900 clergy in procession.
 

Fr. Johnson Shannon

Fr. Louis Tobola
and Fr. William Crary

Fr. David Klein

Canon Charles Hough

 
   

Bishop Stanton and Bishop Iker at the altar.

 

   
   

Deacon Lana Farley prepares the table for Eucharist.

 

   
 

 

 
 

Canon Hough introduces the panel.

On Wednesday morning, Canon Charles Hough of the Diocese of Fort Worth chaired a panel discussion on the topic of possible intervention from Anglican leaders outside the Episcopal Church to mediate between the revisionists and traditionalists in the church.

Participants in the panel were Canon Bill Atwood, founder of Ekklesia, and international organization; Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; and Canon Martyn Minns of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va.

Bishop Duncan's address is available on the AAC Web site.

 
   
           
 

During the conference, several messages came in from friends outside the Episcopal Church. On Wednesday just as the afternoon session was about to end, Anthony Clark, a deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Fort Worth, was called on to read one of the messages.

The crowd rose to its feet as he announced that the message had been sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, chief assistant to Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

Mr. Clark pauses to acknowledge the crowd's reaction.

 
 

From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Vatican, on behalf of Pope John Paul II

I hasten to assure you of my heartfelt prayers for all those taking part in this convocation. The significance of your meeting is sensed far beyond Plano, and even in this City from which Saint Augustine of Canterbury was sent to confirm and strengthen the preaching of Christ’s Gospel in England. Nor can I fail to recall that barely 120 years later, Saint Boniface brought that same Christian faith from England to my own forebears in Germany.

The lives of these saints show us how in the Church of Christ there is a unity in truth and a communion of grace which transcend the borders of any nation. With this in mind, I pray in particular that God’s will may be done by all those who seek that unity in the truth, the gift of Christ himself.


With fraternal regards, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,


+Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Reading the Cardinal's message.

 
       
 

On Thursday morning, the conference endorsed the following statement:


A PLACE TO STAND: A CALL TO ACTION

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


As Anglican Christians committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, under the authority of Holy Scripture, and members of God’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church:

1. We proclaim our Lord’s Great Commandment and His Great Commission to be our life’s highest calling.

2. We repudiate the 74th General Convention’s confirmation of a non-celibate
homosexual to be a bishop of the Church, and its acceptance of same-sex blessings as part of our common life. These actions have broken fellowship with the larger body of Christ and have brought the Episcopal Church under God’s judgment.

3. We repent of our part in the sins of the Episcopal Church, and we pray for all those who are being hurt and led astray by these actions.

4. We call the leadership of the Episcopal Church to repent of and reverse the unbiblical and schismatic actions of the General Convention.

5. We declare our commitment to the Lord’s life-giving teaching about sexuality and marriage embraced by Christians throughout all ages, and as affirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference. We celebrate God’s unconditional love for all people, and we proclaim God’s transforming power for everyone seeking sexual purity and wholeness.

6. We redirect our financial resources, to the fullest extent possible, toward biblically orthodox mission and ministry, and away from those structures that support the unrighteous actions of the General Convention. We will support our partners in the Anglican Communion.

7. We appeal to the Primates of the Anglican Communion to intervene in the Episcopal Church to:

a. Discipline those bishops in the Episcopal Church who, by their actions have departed from biblical faith and order;
b. Guide the realignment of Anglicanism in North America;
c. Encourage orthodox bishops as they extend episcopal oversight, pastoral care, and apostolic mission across current diocesan boundaries; and
d. Support isolated and beleaguered congregations and individuals in their life and witness as faithful Anglican Christians.

 

To the glory of God. Amen.

 

   

For more reports from the conference, go to the American Anglican Council Web site.