New provisional bishop Rayford High issues a pastoral letter
The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., instituted today as the third provisional bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, has written a pastoral letter that he would like to have read at all services on Sunday, November 3.
“To the saints who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…He destined us to be His sons and daughters… “ Ephesians 1:1-5
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As the Diocesan Convention has ended in Stephenville, I wanted to share with you all several thoughts as we begin our life together.
First and foremost, I must say again how truly humbled I am at being called as your Third Provisional Bishop. I am very excited and confident about our future as we work together for Christ and His Mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
It was good to see the convention say farewell and express appreciation to Bishop Wallis and Sheila Ohl for their ministry among you.
Second, after I retired as Bishop Suffragan of the East Region of the Diocese of Texas, my wife Pat and I decided to move to Foft Worth to be near our three children and six wonderful grandchildren. For the moment, however, we are living at our river house, south of Houston on the San Bernard River, until our new home is finished in January.
Third, my schedule: as our time together begins this month, I will be at St. Elisabeth’s, Fort Worth, on All Saints Sunday; and St. Mary’s, Hamilton, the following Sunday the 11th, with visitations also scheduled for December. During the last two months of 2012,I will be meeting with several diocesan committees, the diocesan staff, presenting the Executive Council Retreat, and ordaining a new priest. I already have several requests for Sunday visits in the new year.
As your Provisional Bishop, I am working fifteen days a month, with two/three Sunday visitations per month. I am really looking forward to getting to know you all in this great Diocese during my days in seruice. The diocesan office knows my schedule, khows when I am available, and will make sure we have a chance to visit. Also, in urgent or emergency situations, the office will know how to contact me.
I am aware that a lot of hard work has been done as this diocese reorganizes and rebuilds. I also am aware of the work the clergy and laity have been doing on reconciliation in hope of reunion with sisters and brothers from whom you have been separated. We will continue that work as we move forward together.
Finally, I wish to say again how pleased I am to be seruing as your Bishop. We have exciting times before us and some will be challenging. Let us not forget we have been and are being led by God’s Holy Spirit to build up the Kingdom in this diocese we call home.
Faithfully in Christ,
+Rayford B. High, Jr.