By SUE SEIBERT
Many of you, over the past year, have asked what is going on with our church and, in some cases as with First Presbyterian, you have offered to help us in whatever way you can. We at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church appreciate your concern and interest, and I thought that since we have just held the 30th annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, I would highlight what we know thus far.
Thirty years ago our diocese was formed from the western part of the Diocese of Dallas. Then only a few years ago our diocese left the Episcopal Church of North America, TEC, over differences in beliefs. TEC has stated that Christ is not the only way to salvation and, further, they do not believe that the Bible contains all things necessary for salvation. Well, we believe both.
So, as soon as we voted to leave TEC, they began a lawsuit, as they have with five other dioceses in America, to secure our money and buildings for themselves. We, on the other hand, allowed any church in the diocese to stay with TEC if a majority of the members wanted to do so.
Now our battle has been taken to the Texas Supreme Court, where oral arguments were presented on Oct. 16, and we are waiting for a judgment which will come, we hope, sometime before May 31.
As we wanted to stay a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Province of the South Cone in South America, is sheltering us at the time. We are very thankful for their assistance.
What will happen if the Texas Supreme Court finds against us? Well, we will lose our property and our money, but we will not lose our church, for we are the church, and we will continue to be the church with or without the property. We pray that God will guide and protect the justices of the Supreme Court, but mostly we pray that God’s will will be done for all. That is really all we can ask for.
We who have left TEC are striving to continue to be firm in our faith, and our mission is to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
It means a great deal that many of you have and are continuing to pray for us and that you have offered us a place to worship should we need it.
I hope I have answered some of your questions, but if you have others, please let me know.
God bless us, everyone!
Sue Seibert is an author, columnist, genealogist and a frequent contributor to the Index and its publications.