FROM THE OFFICE
OF THE BISHOP
By joint action of the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the diocese has agreed to join a newly formed Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes within the Episcopal Church.
The Network is being established in good faith within the Constitution of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) as a response to the unfortunate divisions within our Church resulting from the actions of the 74th General Convention. Its purpose is to bring together those dioceses and congregations which hold to the centrality and authority of Holy Scripture, and, in keeping with the Preamble to the Constitution of ECUSA, to be faithful in upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order of the Church. The Network is committed to pursuing the apostolic mission to a troubled and fallen church, nation, and world.
In the Diocese of Fort Worth, this action implements the provision adopted by Diocesan Convention to “work with those Bishops, Dioceses, and congregations and those Primates and Provinces that will now move forward with a realignment of the Anglican Communion.”
The Network is comprised initially of 13 dioceses. Each has accepted as its founding document a Memorandum of Agreement formulated November 20, 2003, and reproduced below. The Network will continue to operate in good faith within the Constitution of ECUSA, with membership open to all dioceses and congregations sharing the intent of the Memorandum of Agreement.
The Rt. Rev. Robert William Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, has been appointed Moderator and Convening Authority of the Network, and he is charged with taking the necessary steps to obtain recognition of the Network from Anglican Primates and Provinces worldwide, as well as from other churches with which we have ecumenical relationships.
The Network will, in co-operation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican Primates, participate in the provision of adequate episcopal oversight to congregations within ECUSA that request it.
An organizing convocation of the Network is to be held January 19 & 20, 2004, for the purpose of adopting a charter. Each member diocese will be represented at the convocation by its diocesan bishop, two clergy delegates, and two lay delegates. From this diocese, the Very Rev. Ryan Reed and the Rev. Thomas Hightower have been selected as clergy representatives, and Walter Virden III and Jo Ann Patton have been selected to represent the laity. All are members of the diocesan Standing Committee.
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
The undersigned bishops of the Episcopal Church ("ECUSA"), being of a common mind on the unfortunate divisions and canonical oppression within our Church, declare a need to establish a Network of Confessing Dioceses and Congregations, and to that end agree as follows:
1. The purpose of the Network is to bring together those dioceses and congregations which hold to the centrality and authority of Holy Scripture and, in keeping with the Preamble to the Constitution of ECUSA, to be faithful in upholding and propagating the historic faith and order; pursuing the apostolic mission to a troubled and fallen church, nation and world.
2. The Network shall be formed and shall operate in good faith within the Constitution of ECUSA.
3. Membership in the Network shall be open to those dioceses and congregations which share the intent of this agreement.
4. We hereby appoint the Rt Rev Robert William Duncan as Moderator and Convening Authority of the Network to be formed.
5. The Moderator shall direct the preparation of an appropriate Charter as the incorporating document for the Network for formal adoption by member dioceses.
6. The Moderator shall appoint a steering committee to provide for the prompt and orderly formation of the Network.
7. The Moderator shall take necessary steps to obtain recognition of the Network from Anglican Primates and Provinces, as well as from other churches with which we have or may have ecumenical contact.
8. The Network, in co-operation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates, shall participate in the providing of adequate episcopal oversight to congregations within ECUSA that request it.
9. The signatory parties may amend this Memorandum of Agreement by subsequent written agreement.
whereof we have fixed our hands this twentieth day of November 2003.
Bishop of Fort Worth