Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Historic Day in Fort Worth

Today, at 5:00 pm Central Time, Deacon Susan Slaughter will be ordained to the priesthood and installed as rector of St. Luke's in the Meadow in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. This will be the first time a woman has been ordained to the priesthood in that Diocese since its creation in 1983.

Here is more information about this historic event. To grasp the full significance of this day, consider the summation of the history of the Diocese offered within the above linked press release:

...The Diocese of Fort Worth was formed from the western part of the Diocese of Dallas, in part out of opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood. The founding bishop, A. Donald Davies, and both his successors, Clarence C. Pope and Jack L. Iker, all left the Episcopal Church over women's ordination. Under those bishops, women feeling called to the priesthood either had to give up their call or leave the diocese to be ordained elsewhere. At least fifteen women have done so—and all have been invited "home" for the ordination.

The diocese reorganized after Iker's departure and elected Bishop Gulick as provisional bishop in February. Under his leadership two women priests have been licensed to serve in the diocese—the Rev. Ms. Maurine Lewis who retired to Fort Worth from the Diocese of Milwaukee in 2008 and does supply work among the displaced parishes; and the Rev. Ms. Melanie R. Barbarito, who was hired in August by All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Worth as parochial associate for evangelism and engagement. She came to Fort Worth from the Diocese of Missouri. She is the first woman to be hired on the staff of a parish here.

But the Rev. Ms. Slaughter is the first woman from this diocese to be ordained a priest, an event that marks a historic turning point in the life of diocese and perhaps more than any other one event, signals what a new day it is in the Diocese of Fort Worth...
If you would like to help with the expenses of this event, or desire to send Susan a card or a letter, please see Katie Sherrod's post Celebrate With Us for instructions.

The Diocese will be streaming the ordination live over the Internet through their diocesan website. You can find the live stream here.

Congratulations to Deacon Slaughter and all the people of Fort Worth!

Let us pray:

Oh God of unchangable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; the the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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