Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Diocese of Fort Worth to ordain its first woman priest

As reported by Katie Sherrod on Desert's Child:

It is with great rejoicing that we make the following announcement:

Thirty-three years after the Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate, the first woman will be ordained a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
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At 5:00 P.M. on Sunday Nov. 15 in St. Luke’s in the Meadow Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Fort Worth, the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. [Ted] Gulick Jr. will ordain Deacon Susan Slaughter to the priesthood.

She will be the first woman ordained to the priesthood in the history of the Fort Worth diocese, which was founded in 1983. The Rev. Ms. Slaughter also will be the first woman rector of a parish in the diocese. The Episcopal Church approved women’s ordination to the priesthood and episcopate in 1976 and the first women were ordained priests in January 1977.

Read the rest here ... and rejoice with the Diocese of Fort Worth and with the WHOLE church at this new era of mission and ministry!

8 comments:

Marcia King said...

Hi Susan: You know, of course, this is the NEW Diocese of Ft Worth, not the one that left TEC. It's a little sloppy reporting this as if it represents a change in diocesan policy. It isn't.

Furthermore, (and I say this as an ordained Episcopal priest) the Diocese of Ft. Worth the right to refuse ordination to women. There are good people on both sides of this issue. TEC should not mandate ordination of anyone. It is wrong.

PS I realize you won't put this note on your webpage, just had to weigh in.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Thanks for taking time to comment, Marcia.

In point of fact, this is not a "new" diocese ... it's the continuing EPISCOPAL Diocese of Fort Worth. Dioceses don't leave the Episcopal Church .. people do. And there are indeed very good people on ALL sides of this complex issue. And at the end of the day, no one should force anyone to ordain anyone ... but no one should stand in the way of otherwise qualified candidates for holy orders because of race, gender or orientation. Our canons have said that since 1994. And I'm giving thanks that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is now a place where Susan Slaughter's ordination is a possibility. It's been a long time coming.

Matt from Oregon said...

I grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition and at one time believed that women should not be ordained. Now I cannot imagine a church without total inclusion of women being either effective or Christian. Allowing a diocese to prevent women called to a sacerdotal ministry because of gender is unacceptible and stunts the work of the Holy Spirit. Susan, you are very gracious in your response to Marcia's sincere opinion. However, I am convinced that we grieve God's heart when we allow priestly vocations to be considered as "an issue in which there are good people on both sides." God's will is never a mere "issue".

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

I think there needs to be room for people of good faith who don't accept the ordination of women. I think they're wrong. and mye experience is most of them change their minds when they actually experience the ministry of women clergy. what there ISN'T room for are those who hold a diocese hostage to their opinion -- contrary to the canons. that's what changed in Fort Worth ... thanks be to God!

Mitchell said...

Wow, Susan you much less radical than I first thought!

I don't know what to think?

JTurner said...

oh man--this makes me so happy I could cry. I know women who moved out of the Diocese of Fort Worth in order to pursue their vocations as priests; to know that won't be necessary any more is just amazing... :) :) :)

BW said...

This is wonderful news for the diocese and I will remember Reverend Slaughter in my prayers.

While I do agree with Reverend Russell that some "people of good faith" do not accept the ordination of women, It would seem that the Bishop of Rome is currently offering them a viable alternative to the modern Episcopal Church. That is, of course, until they too make the inevitable leap.

Sarah Beth ♥ said...

Its about time!