A Word From the Bishop

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White conservatives – especially white Christian conservatives – should speak out openly against white nationalism and white supremacy. This is racism pure and simple, and it represents a frontal assault on the Christian gospel, a denial of human dignity and a subversion of our democracy.  -- Bruce Ashford, Dean, Southeastern Baptist Seminary, in an editorial for Fox News

We have all watched with horror the hatred and violence in Charlottesville.  Of course we defend the right of such despicable groups as the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis to demonstrate, and of course we look for  prosecution to the extent of the law for those who have violated it.  Of course we join hands, whatever our political persuasion, in rejecting the odious racism of such groups, and we look to our leaders to offer unambiguous repudiations as well.

This editorial really amounts simply to an ‘Amen’ to Dean Ashford’s comments. For he goes on to call especially upon white conservative Christians to stand up most decisively in their rejection of the racialism and provocation of such groups.  He makes it clear that this stand not simply based on political opinion but is rooted in theology.  The doctrines of the human being in the image of God, and of the Church gathered from every tribe, people, and nation, leave no room for such groups.  I would add that it becomes yet more imperative that we find ways to witness to the Gospel together as churches across racial divides in the communities where God has placed us.




Call to Diaconal Vocation

We now intend to reopen diaconal discernment in the diocese. The following notes are meant to display the distinctiveness of the diaconal order as it is worked out in a practical way.  We are making progress in finding examples of this understanding, e.g. among those with PTSD, the homeless, the incarcerated, etc.

  1. Deacons have, first of all, responsibility to be servants to those in greatest need, to encourage others to serve them too, and so to be a model for Church which imitates its Lord in His lowliness. Deacons should demonstrably serve the least and the lost.
  2. Deacons in addition have responsibilities in the liturgy, teaching, and in pastoral care.
  3. Deacons in our polity also have a share in the councils of the Church. For this reason, they need a theological education preparing them for this ministry. For this reason, diaconal candidates complete the new, streamlined, two-year Stanton diploma, followed by a one-year, online, ATS accredited diploma program through Wycliffe, Trinity in Ambridge, PA or an equivalent program.
  4. Diaconal candidates will need to complete these requirements with enough time and energy for them to fulfill their ministry.
  5. Deacons should have a faith consistent with our Prayer Book tradition as defined in our pathways documents. Prospective deacons should consult this document in all its details.
  6. Deacons should understand themselves as serving according to the direction and placement of the bishop.


The Rt. Rev. George R. Sumner

Bishop, Diocese of Dallas