In a special convention, the Houston-based Episcopal Diocese of Texas has voted overwhelmingly in favor of union with the Episcopal Church in North Texas, formerly the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. North Texas will vote on the union in a special convention scheduled for June 18th.
Last year, the Episcopal Church in North Texas lost its 12 year legal case with a breakaway group over control of its property and name. For several years, episcopal leadership has been provided by the Rt Rev J. Scott Mayer, who is also the bishop of Northwest Texas. After the Supreme Court refused to review the property case, Bishop Mayer called together a discernment group to determine the future of the diocese. That group came to the conclusion that union with the Diocese of Texas was the best path forward.
The former Diocese of Forth Worth was founded in 1983 from parts of the Diocese of Dallas. Both Dallas and Fort Worth were known bastions for traditionalist theology and clergy. The Diocese of Dallas had been formed in 1895 from a missionary district, that had previously been part of the Diocese of Texas.
At a vote of its Standing Committee in April, the Diocese of Texas agreed to explore the possibility of reuniting together with North Texas. Now, each diocese has called a special convention to vote on the matter. Yesterday (May 10), The Diocese of Texas voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution to reunite; 526 for, 14 against. They also voted in favor of a resolution allowing The Rt Rev Andy Doyle, Bishop of Texas, to appoint a Bishop Assisting to aid in work in the former diocese of North Texas.
Bishop Mayer has called for a special convention in North Texas for June 18th to allow that diocese to vote on reunification. If approved, the reunion will have to be approved by both houses of General Convention at their meeting in Baltimore in July.
image from Facebook page of the Episcopal Church in North Texas