Bishop Scott Mayer has issued this message to the diocese in the wake of the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States not to hear our appeal of the decision of Texas Supreme Court that awards more than $100 million in Episcopal Church property to a group that broke away from The Episcopal Church.
Watch the video on YouTube or below.
Read the text of the bishop’s message
The news that the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear our cases landed in the midst of the pandemic that’s already killed 500,000 Americans.
It came on the heels of freezing weather, power outages, and broken water lines when we are already tired and anxious.
It came as the Season of Lent began.
So it’s no wonder that responses of shock, anger, and grief will be playing out for a long time as we all struggle to come to terms with what to many seems unimaginable.
So let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other we work to understand and deal with our new reality.
As the people of this diocese know, it’s when things, when people, are broken that the Holy Spirit tends to show up, slipping in through the cracks.
One clue that that’s happening, is when we notice that the questions are changing.
When we don’t ask “what do we have,” but rather “what do we have to offer?”
When we stop counting our losses and start to take stock of our resources.
The last time that our diocese faced something like this you had not yet learned to trust one another. I’m told that last time, you didn’t know each other. Clergy and lay people hadn’t yet learned the power of shared leadership. You had not yet begun to mine the incredible creativity and courage and vision that resides in all of you.
This time is different. No less hard, but it is different.
You come to this current crisis fully equipped with knowledge, not only of your own gifts, but of God’s unconditional love.
Episcopalians in North Central Texas may not be rich in buildings, but we are rich in talents generously offered for the larger good. We are rich in generous faith-filled lives.
I know that the pandemic itself will change us in ways we can’t see now. The conclusion of this court case will change us as well. We are stepping out together on a path toward a new reality only dimly seen right now.
I believe we are once again called to bear witness to the gospel here and now in a new and previously unimagined way. I don’t know what shape or form that will take, but I do believe that together — and with God’s help — we will make amazing things happen.
After all, I’ve seen you do it before.
But for now, be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with one another. Breathe. Easter is on the way.