“Stewards of the Mysteries and Manifold Grace of God” – Diocesan Bishop’s Address

The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, makes his annual address to Diocesan Council 2019. In his address Bishop Reed expands on staff transitions in the diocesan office, expresses thanks for diocesan clergy, welcomes special guests, adds detail to the diocesan scripture theme, reflects on last year’s initiative to study to the bible, shares the good news of the church planting initiative, extends an invitation to revitalizing stewardship, comments on budget changes, and addresses immigration at the diocesan border.

Bishop Reed shares, “I’ve spent a great deal of time this morning, as I should, talking about the Diocese of West Texas, planned and ongoing diocesan ministries, diocesan staff, diocesan budget, diocesan initiatives. Please understand clearly that I have been talking about you, about all of us together. I prepared this address with you all in mind. The diocesan center is not ‘the diocese,’ though it is beautiful and important. The diocesan staff is not ‘the diocese,’ beautiful and important though they are. I am not ‘the diocese,’ though a primary part of my call, shared with Bishop Brooke-Davidson, is to help you remember that the diocese is all of us, all of our congregations, knit together by the one Spirit, and members of the one Body, of which Jesus Christ is the head.

Your own churches, scattered across 60 counties, and living and serving in an amazing variety of circumstances—you are the Diocese of West Texas and the local, embodied, fleshed-out, Spirit-enlivened Body of Christ in and for your towns and cities. If you get nothing else from this Council—and I think there is a great deal for you to get here—but if you get nothing else, I hope that the act of being scooped up into this place together will help you remember that we—all of us, together—are on this Way of Jesus. We are the Diocese called together and sent for and toward the Kingdom. You—and we together—are called to the most wondrous stewardship: ‘stewards of the mysteries of God’ (I Cor. 4:1) and ‘stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (I Peter 4:10)— empowered by the Spirit to be the bearers of Good News of the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, salvation, hope and eternal life. By God’s grace and mercy given in Christ, we have received everything we need to be the Body of Christ here and now.”

Full Text Script of the Diocesan Bishop’s Address available here: Bishops 2019 Council Address