Called to Serve: 2015 Diocesan Theme

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘For even I, the Messiah, came not to be served but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many’ ” (paraphrase of Mark 10:42,45).

Jesus’ ministry was dedicated to service. He healed, he taught, he formed, and he loved. He demonstrated God’s deep caring for all people; in listening to their concerns and in reaching out to them in whatever way was appropriate for their particular situation.

We are called to serve our neighbor in many, many ways. As a diocesan family, we join together to serve those in our own communities of all sizes. We are called to serve those with whom we live, work, go to church, volunteer, as well as those persons who live outside our comfortable boundaries just as Jesus himself reached out to those on the margins of society.

The 2015 diocesan theme “Called to Serve” reminds us of our mission. In this community of faith, ministry opportunities abound and continue to be formed so that each one of us can serve. In community we are challenged to fulfill our call to serve, to reach beyond ourselves and leave behind our own desires: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2.3).

This is the gift of a community of faith – a gift of unconditional love. At the 111th Diocesan Council and throughout the year, we will explore how we are called to share that with others.

Exhibit Registration Opens Monday 11.17.14

Online registration for exhibits opens next Monday November 17, 2014.  All information and the link to the online registration form can be found on the Exhibits Page.  The layout for booths in the Spring Lake Ballroom and the corridors of the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center (San Marcos) remains the same, as does the pricing.  During the registration process exhibitors can identify their preferred location, and final assignments will be made  on a first-come, first served basis in mid-January.

We will have a “Daily Mobile Phone” drawing during Council to encourage attendees to visit the exhibits. Exhibitors will receive cards to give to attendees who visit their booths. If an attendee makes a purchase, the exhibitor may give them an extra card. Attendees will write their names, telephone numbers, and email addresses on the cards and submit them for chances to win a mobile phone.

Exhibitors don’t delay.  Start next week with a Monday morning cup of coffee, a computer and our Exhibits page as you reserve your spot at Council 2015!

Embassy Sold Out

Our room block at the Embassy Suites and Conference Center in San Marcos is sold out.

Visit the Other Hotels page for alternative lodging options.  The Diocese has reserved 65 additional rooms at four area hotels.

Act quickly.  We have competition for rooms from the “2015 StickStar I-35 Showdown Lacrosse Tournament” at Texas State University, San Marcos beginning Feb 27, 2015.

Bishop Reed Elected Bishop Coadjutor

Reed-DavidThe Rt. Rev. David Mitchell Reed was chosen Bishop Coadjutor-Elect of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas at the Special Council of the diocese on Saturday, October 25, 2014, held at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio. Reed, age 57, is currently the Bishop Suffragan (assistant) of the diocese, and was one of six nominees. Now as Bishop Coadjutor, Reed will continue to serve alongside Bishop Gary Lillibridge and upon the retirement of Lillibridge in 2017, Reed will become the tenth bishop of the Diocese of West Texas.

In order to be elected, a candidate needed to receive a simple majority of votes from both the clergy and the lay delegates, voting separately as “orders” on the same balloting round. Reed secured election on the first ballot, receiving 66 clergy votes and 207 lay votes, with 63 and 157 needed, respectively, for election.

Pending consents of the Bishops and the Standing Committees of the majority of the dioceses in The Episcopal Church, Reed will be recognized as Bishop Coadjutor during the worship service at Diocesan Council in February 2015. The service will be held on Saturday morning, February 28, in San Marcos, and the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will preside.

Reed is the first Bishop Suffragan of the diocese to be elected Bishop Coadjutor and then to go on to serve as Diocesan Bishop. Reed was ordained in 1983 when he graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Reed served as Assistant Rector of St. Alban’s, Harlingen, from 1983-1987; as Rector of St. Francis, Victoria, from 1987-1994; and as Rector of St. Alban’s, Harlingen, from 1994-2006. Bishop Reed was elected Bishop Suffragan of the diocese in 2006.

The other nominees were the Rev. Scott Brown, the Rev. Ram Lopez, the Rev. Jim Nelson, the Rev. David Read, and the Rev. Robert Woody.

Election of a Bishop Coadjutor

The Rt. Rev. David Reed was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of West Texas on the first ballot.

First Ballot

Nominating Ballot

The nominating ballot of the Special Council serves to place in official nomination the names of candidates (potential nominees) for Bishop Coadjutor.

The Official Nominees are:

The Rev. Scott Brown, St. Alban’s, Harlingen

The Rev. Ram Lopez, St. George, San Antonio

The Rev. Jim Nelson, St. John’s, McAllen

The Rev. David Read, St. Luke’s, San Antonio

The Rt. Rev. David Reed, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of West Texas

The Rev. Robert Woody, Reconciliation, San Antonio

Next comes the first electing ballot. To reach an election, an official nominee must receive a simple majority of votes (50% + 1) in both the clergy and the lay order on the same ballot.

Bishop Lillibridge’s Special Council Homily

In his homily during the opening worship service at the Special Council, Bishop Gary Lillibridge spoke of the duties of a bishop, canonically in The Episcopal Church and also scripturally. Canonically, the election of a Bishop Coadjutor, the purpose for which this Special Council was called, requires the diocesan bishop to state the duties he will assign to the newly elected once ordained.

Lillibridge announced during his homily that the Bishop Coadjutor will begin to oversee three areas of ministry, in addition to sharing the annual visitation schedule and other daily duties. The three areas of ministry are: the discernment process for ordination and the overall responsibility of the Commission on Ministry; clergy deployment in the congregations of the diocese; and the Department of Congregational Development and the strategic, future planning that goes with this area of both diocesan and local mission and ministry.

Lillibridge said, “These three areas of ministry constitute a full plate, yet they only begin to scratch the surface of the responsibilities in the bishop’s office.”

He also quoted some of the day’s readings, an excerpt from Hebrews 5 that says, “Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God…is able to deal gently with those who are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness” (paraphrased). Also, from Philippians 2, “In humility, value others above yourselves… In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus who did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, but took upon himself the nature of a servant” (paraphrased).

Lillibridge offered a few characteristics he believes important for a bishop, so that when the bishop is present in his community (the diocese) others will “know and believe that the Kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9, paraphrased). He said, “We are looking for a combination of current abilities and gifts, as well as potential to grow in areas of service in our next bishop, or making sure the Holy Spirit has enough room in which to work.”

To read Lillibridge’s homily in its entirety, click here.



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