“Congregations On Fire for the Lord” – Suffragan Bishop’s Address

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, makes her annual address to Diocesan Council 2019. In her address, Bishop Brooke-Davidson discusses ongoing Congregational Development partnerships and resources by telling “a tale of two cities:” Grace, Llano and St. Matthew’s, Edinburg; inviting clergy to attend preaching retreats; and giving a preview of the College for Congregational Development, launching in the Diocese of West Texas in 2020.

Bishop Brooke-Davidson shares, “Rapid discontinuous change in a culture means that systems have to deal with adaptive challenges instead of technical problems. When life is more predictable, you can make things better by fixing technical problems. In that atmosphere, known problems have known solutions. But when life and culture and the world are changing rapidly and unpredictably, there are new problems without known solutions. Nobody knows what they are doing or what to do next. That’s the presenting problem in an adaptive challenge, and the solution probably starts with re-thinking what the real issue is. Then there’s a lot of trial and error. The line in the maze is not straight because a straight line won’t work anymore. We still need to be good at the technical fixes, but we need a lot of new ideas, too.”

She concludes her address with, “You don’t need a young priest. You don’t need a staff priest. You need a congregation on fire for the Lord. Determined to walk in love. In the place where they live.”

  • To connect with the Congregational Development team, visit dwtx.org/congregational-development
  • For information about upcoming clergy retreats at Camp Capers, Mustang Island Conference Center, and Duncan Park, visit dwtx.org/events.
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