Standing Committee resolves to leave Province VII  

July 24, 2006

The following Resolution was unanimously adopted today by the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and will be presented to the Diocesan Convention in its annual meeting on Nov. 18, 2006.

WHEREAS the Archbishop of Canterbury in light of the actions of General Convention 2006 has proposed that the “best way forward” for the Anglican Communion is to have in the future both “constituent” and “associated” members, necessitating “ordered and mutually respectful separation between ‘constituent’ and ‘associated’ elements” within local Churches; and

WHEREAS the stated aim of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is to be a constituent member of the Anglican Communion as provided for in the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and,

WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee believe it necessary for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to dissociate itself from those actions of the 75th General Convention which constitute a decision of the Episcopal Church to walk apart from the Anglican Communion; and,

WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in good faith appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care so that a unifying solution can be found to preserve an authentic Anglican community of witness within the United States of America and provide pastoral and apostolic care to biblically orthodox Anglicans in this country regardless of geographical location;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, pending final ratification by its 24th Annual Convention, withdraws its consent, pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, to be included in the Seventh Province of the Episcopal Church.


A Letter from the Standing Committee on the Proposed Resolution before Diocesan Convention: “Withdrawing Consent for Membership in Province VII”
A state of “broken Communion” exists within the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA). It is no longer “business as usual.” 

Even within Province VII, of which we are at present a member, the historic faith and practice of the Church is no longer shared by its member dioceses. The previous Bishop of Kansas authorized same-sex unions in his diocese in 2002. The current Bishop of Arkansas announced just last week that he is now allowing same-sex blessings. The Diocese of Texas recently elected a woman as bishop. The Lay and Clergy Deputations of Northwest Texas, the Bishop of Oklahoma, the Bishops and Lay Deputations of Kansas and Western Missouri, and the Bishop and Clergy Deputation of Arkansas all voted in favor of giving consent to Gene Robinson’s election as Bishop of New Hampshire. Bishop Wantland, our own Assisting Bishop and a retired Bishop in good standing who lives in Oklahoma, has not been allowed to function sacramentally in the Diocese of Oklahoma by Bishop Moody who, together with Bishop Wolfe of Kansas, has filed presentment charges against Bishop Cox, the retired Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, for ordaining men for another Province of the Communion.  It is not “business as “usual.”

Because of this state of “broken Communion” within Province VII, we are asking Diocesan Convention to withdraw its consent to be part of this Province. Provinces in the Episcopal Church, not to be confused with Provinces of the Anglican Communion, are voluntary associations of Dioceses. 

The role of a Province in the Episcopal Church and its limitations are outlined in Title I.9.8 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. Membership in a Province, as defined in this Canon, is subject to the provision in Article VII of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, which states that Dioceses voluntarily consent to be part of a geographic province within The Episcopal Church: Article VII states “that no Diocese shall be included in a Province without its own consent.” (Constitution and Canons, p. 7) 

The current structure of nine provinces in the Episcopal Church is based primarily on geographic proximity. To withdraw from this or any other geographic province would have no effect on our standing in The Episcopal Church, or in the Anglican Communion. Like the Diocese of Pittsburgh, it is our hope that we can associate with a new Tenth Province based on a shared faith and practice rather than mere geographic proximity. The Anglican Communion Network has been functioning the last three years as a Province within The Episcopal Church, and we believe our Provincial relationships will be best served by our association with the Network.

We also desire to send a message to both the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church that it is our desire to remain a “constituent member” of the Communion, should The Episcopal Church continue to “walk apart.” Withdrawing our consent for membership in Province VII will provide the Anglican Communion with further evidence that we, as a Diocese, do not desire to “walk apart.” 

We ask the Lay Delegates and Clergy of the Diocese to prayerfully consider this resolution presented by your Standing Committee.  Members of the Committee will be present at each of the Pre-Convention Deanery Meetings to discuss the resolution and its impact on the Diocese of Fort Worth.
The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed
President of the Standing Committee
July 29, 2006



Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s complete statement:

“Challenge and Hope
for the Anglican Communion”