Dallas becomes 7th Diocese seeking alternative oversight

The Diocese of Dallas is seeking direct oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury, becoming the 7th Diocese to seek some sort of alternative oversight since the Episcopal Church's General Convention in late June. This move follows the announcement of Christ Church, Plano TX, the largest congregation in the Episcopal Church, that it would "disassociate" from the national church. The other six dioceses to take such a step are Central Florida; Fort Worth, Texas; Fresno; Pittsburgh; Springfield, Ill., and South Carolina, and it is likely that a couple more Dioceses and a number of individual congregations will follow suite in the coming months.

This appeal for alternative oversight is being seen as a step short of a true schism, since all of the churches involved are still (at this point) members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In fact, depending on how this plays out, a network of dioceses and parishes that seek alternative oversight may end up functioning like a seperate American denomination from the ECUSA, much like the Anglican Mission in America does.

This whole Episcopal mess has been both fascinating and very sad to watch unfold. Certainly it shows that fundamental disagreements in worldview within a church, such as come to the surface quickly when we start talking about sexuality, have the power to break a church that stayed together even through the American Civil War when others did not.



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