Episcopalians in Parker County, Texas, a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth on January 18 participated in the first Episcopal Eucharist ever openly celebrated in the county by a female Episcopal Church priest.
The former bishop of the diocese, the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, refused to ordain women as priests. Iker had said that the majority of the members of the diocese agreed with his refusal. He and the majority of the diocesan leadership and members voted November 15 to join the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
The Rev. Maurine Lewis, recently retired as rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin, presided at the Eucharist. She has also recently celebrated the Eucharist at other Episcopal churches and faith communities in the Diocese of Fort Worth.
The Episcopal Church in Parker County is a faith community founded in November 2008 under the umbrella of the Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, the group that is leading the re-organization of the diocese. The congregation, made up of worshippers formerly from St. Francis of Assisi, Willow Park; All Saints, Weatherford and Holy Apostles Church, meets in the cafeteria of McCall Elementary School in Willow Park, Texas about 20 miles west of Fort Worth. Victoria Prescott, who helped organize the gathering of about 20, told ENS in November that they chose the school because "it is located in one of the fastest-growing areas of Texas and we do intend to reach out to the community." Services are held each Sunday at 10 a.m.