Both Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, have sent assurances of their affection, support and prayers.
Michael Curry’s letter
Dear Bishop Mayer, Clergy and People of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth,
I recall with great fondness the time not so long ago when I was blessed to make a pastoral visitation with you. We worshipped God together, visited several of your ministries, had opportunity for conversation and fellowship. That time was such a joy.
Today I write on behalf of The Episcopal Church, in a moment of genuine sadness in light of the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Texas. This is a great disappointment for you and for all of us in The Episcopal Church.
In 1st Thessalonians St. Paul speaks of the painful reality of death. He affirms the importance of grieving as necessary for us when we are sorrowful. Then he says, grieve, “but not as others do who have no hope.” (4:13). Grief, sorrow and heartache are real. But hope is a greater reality. Our hope is in the love of God that we have come to know in Jesus Christ, once crucified and now raised from the dead and reigning in glory.
No matter what, the power of that love of God can lift us and guide us and see us through anything! “For I am convinced,” writes St. Paul elsewhere, “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God love you. God bless you. And may God hold you and the entire human family in those almighty hands of love.
Gay Jennings’ letter
Dear Deputies, alternate deputies, and beloved friends in the Diocese of Ft. Worth:
Since 2009, when I first had the good fortune to visit you as we planned CREDO’s Strength for the Journey program, the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth has held a special place in my heart. For more than a decade, against all odds, you have proclaimed God’s vision of Beloved Community for all people, and I have looked forward to every opportunity to see first-hand the energetic rebirth you have brought about in your congregations and worshipping communities. Your witness helped inspire a movement that has brought the entire Episcopal Church closer to justice and full inclusion, and I am deeply grateful.
I wish I could be with you in person to share the disappointment of the Texas Supreme Court’s decision. Instead, let me assure you that I, along with deputies across the church, are with you in spirit, praying for you and supporting you as you discern your future. Your ministry—truly blessed by the gifts of laypeople, clergy and your faithful bishop—is a gift to the entire Episcopal Church and a testament to our hope in the Risen Christ.
During the days and decisions to come, know that we and generations of faithful Episcopalians who have gone before us are walking with you in solidarity and love.