Episcopalians pray, gather after the Texas Supreme Court Opinion

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., Bishop of Fort Worth,  has asked Episcopalians to stay focused on the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in the wake of the opinion from the Texas Supreme Court. Several parishes will open their doors tonight (Friday, August 30, 2013) for people to gather, pray, and sing. All are welcome.

Trinity Episcopal Church
6:30 p.m. Service of Unity with Eucharist
3401 Bellaire Drive South
Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817-926-4631

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
7 p.m. Service of Unity
223 S. Pearson Lane Keller, Texas, 76248
Phone: 817-431-2396 or 817-431-2689

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
7 p.m. Prayer Service for Unity
holding services at Theatre Arlington
305 W. Main Arlington, TX
Phone: 817-264-3083

All Saints’ Episcopal Church
4:45 p.m Evening Prayer, in the Chapel
5001 Crestline Road
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: 817-732-1424

A letter from Bishop Rayford High following the opinion from the Texas Supreme Court

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

On August 30, 2013 the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion that sent our case back to the lower court for reconsideration. While it is a disappointment not to have a definitive decision, as followers of Jesus Christ, we live in hope.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori joins me in acknowledging our disappointment and urging all of us to be gentle with one another during this trying time, with the important goal of continuing our worship of God and our ministries in this community in as uninterrupted a manner as possible.

Now I, other diocesan leaders, and our legal team, including representatives of the Church and its legal team, have to make decisions about our next steps.

For now, we all must don the mantle of patience and forbearance. I ask for your prayers and urge us all to stay focused on the saving gospel of Jesus Christ in the days ahead.

I remain convinced that we are right in our affirmation that we are the continuing Diocese of Fort Worth and that I am its bishop.

But in the wake of this opinion, as always, we remain committed to preaching that gospel as we celebrate the sacraments, care for those in need, and strive for justice and peace. When we began this litigation in 2009, we did so as heir and steward of the legacy of generations of faithful Episcopalians.

Let us move forward together with grace and love, guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth


Read or download a PDF of Bishop High’s letter

Episcopalians react to Texas Supreme Court opinion

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of Fort Worth; the Standing Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth are disappointed by the August 30, 2013 opinion of the Texas Supreme Court that failed to uphold the summary judgment of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. That judgment granted the Local Episcopal Parties’ and The Episcopal Church’s Motions for Summary Judgments. The Texas Supreme Court’s opinion is here  and the dissenting opinion is here.

Bishop High has issued a letter to the diocese that can be seen here. When we have more thoroughly reviewed the opinion, the Diocese of Fort Worth may issue further statements. In the meantime we hold all Episcopalians in our prayers as well as former Bishop Iker and his colleagues, and we bid your prayers as we move forward.

For more information:

Katie Sherrod
Communications Director
Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Read or download the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion

Read or download the Texas Supreme Court’s dissenting opinion

Read or download a PDF of Bishop High’s Letter

Prayer for those who Work

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


— from an Order for Compline, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 132


Prayer for the Start of School

Dear God, bless the start of school. Bless all those of any age who walk into a classroom. Bless those who teach. Bless those who learn. Bless our intellect and our freedom. Help us remember that you did not make us to never question, but so fashioned us that we cannot stop asking, cannot stop learning. School us not to follow blindly, but to think the what and why, to search each sacred mystery, to discover what we cannot deny.

–The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw, Hope as Old as Fire, August 19, 2011

Bishop High and Pat celebrate 49th wedding anniversary

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr. and his wife Pat celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary on August 29. They were married August 29, 1964. Congratulations!

O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: Send therefore your blessing upon your servants Pat and Rayford, that they may so love, honor, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.