All posts by Laura K McGrew

Welcome to New Clergy, Seminarians, and Diocesan Staff

The Rt. Rev. David Reed welcomes clergy who have joined the Diocese of West Texas in the past year.

  • The Rev. Ernest Buchanan, Vicar, St. James’, Hebbronville
  • The Rev. William Campbell, Curate, Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi
  • The Rev. Irv Cutter, Rector, St Luke’s, San Antonio
  • The Rev. Andrew Green, Curate, Holy Spirit, San Antonio
  • The Rev. Justin Lindstrom, Associate Rector, Christ Church, San Antonio
  • The Rev. Tom Luck, Vicar, Ascension, Montell
  • The Rev. Cynthia McKenna, Associate Rector, All Saints’, Corpus Christi
  • The Rev Judith Rhodes, Associate Rector, Reconciliation, San Antonio
  • The Rev. Joyce Wilkinson, Vicar, Good Shepherd, George West
  • The Rev. Josh Woods, Assistant Rector, St. David’s, San Antonio

2017-05-19 01.37.23Bishop Reed also extends a greeting to  our seminarians Kendra McDonald, studying at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA, and Peter Thaddeus, studying at the Seminary of Southwest in Austin, TX.

He also introduces to several new diocesan staff members.

  • The Rev. Mike Besson, Archdeacon
  • Tatiana Hoecker, World Mission Program Coordinator
  • Emily Kittrell, Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Caroline Mowen, Canon for Administration and Ministry Support
  • Laura McGrew, Communications Manager
  • Lisa Wray, Camp Caper’s Office Manager

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop David Reed Introduce 2019 Diocesan Theme

The Rt. Rev. David Reed introduces our theme, saying “‘Walk in love as Christ loved us’ is our Council theme, as well as the Bible verse (from Ephesians) that will illumine and shape our mission and ministries in 2019. Throughout Council we will connect this passage to our Presiding Bishop’s call to the whole Church to engage, or re-engage, with “The Way of Love,” seven spiritual habits to strengthen our discipleship and help us do the work of the Kingdom of God.”

He explains several activities that will take place during Council 2019, including Way of Love themed bingo and conversations buttons, and then shared a video greeting from the Most Rev. Michael Curry to our diocese.

Greetings from the Most Rev. Michael Curry to the Diocese of West Texas from Episcopal Diocese of West Texas on Vimeo.

  • To access the diocesan Way of Love resources, click here.
  • To view resources from Presiding Bishop Curry, click here.
  • To join the Way of Love conversation on the diocesan Basecamp portal, click here.

Diocesan Council 2019 – Day One

Bienvenido a Council 2019!

Here’s a preview of what’s in store for us all today, Thursday, February 21.

10:00 a.m. Registration opens (Room 101A)
Exhibit Booths open (Ballroom and Lobby)
Council Prayer Room opens (Boardroom 1)

11:15 a.m. Christian Formation Educator Luncheon (Room 101C)
Commission for Women’s Ministries Luncheon (Room 103)

1:00 p.m. Business Session One (ballots to be taken throughout)
Call to Order
Report of the Nominating Committee
Presentation of New Clergy, New Diocesan Staff, and Senior Seminarians
Welcome from Hosts; Introduction to Council Theme and Bible Study
Revitalizing Stewardship in the Diocese of West Texas
Camps & Conferences Department Report
Mustang Island Waves of Growth and Promise Report
Greeting from The Rt. Rev. Benito Juarez-Martinez,
Bishop of Southeastern Mexico
TMI – Episcopal Report
Basecamp Introduction
Communications Department
World Mission Department
Greeting from The Rt. Rev. David Bailey
Bishop of Navajoland
Way of Love Conversation: TURN

5:30 p.m. Council Worship (Exhibit Hall B)

7:30 p.m. Small Church, Big Mission Dinner (Room 103)

Youth In Action 2019 – Registration Opens

sign up for youth in action!

Youth in Action 2019 has two main opportunities to serve this year:

  1. The Comfort House in McAllen – a nonprofit ministry providing end-of-life care to people no matter “their age, race, ethnicity, religion, social status, or ability to pay, taking care of loved ones as if they are their own.”
    Youth will help with outdoor painting and lawn work at the home.
  2. Emily’s Meals, A Helping hand – an ecumenical homeless ministry that prepares and delivers around 50 meals a day to people living without shelter in McAllen.
    Youth will help sort and organize donated food in their warehouse.

Sign up your youth and sponsors today and help our diocese spread the love of Christ, reaching out in His name to serve the larger community hosting our annual Diocesan Council. More details and links to register are at 

Questions about Youth In Action? Contact Katie Young ( or Susan Turlapati (

shoe_14589p.s. De-cluttering your closet this month? Bring your unused shoes to Youth In Action to donate! For the month of February, the youth group at St. John’s, McAllen (our hosts for Youth In Action 2019) is collecting gently used footwear. Shoes collected will be given to micro-enterprise start ups in developing countries; the youth group will be rewarded by the pound for shoes they collect with funds to put toward other youth group mission projects, camp scholarships, and a Confirmation retreat.

“Walk in love as Christ loved us.” (Ephesians 5:2)


A Letter from Council 2019 Host Churches

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Estimados Amigos in the Diocese of West Texas,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Upper Valley Episcopal Churches (UVEC). We are pleased and honored to serve as the host committee for the 115th Annual Diocesan Council February 21 – 23, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center in beautiful McAllen, Texas. The worshiping communities of St. John’s – McAllen, St. Peter and St. Paul – Mission, Grace – Weslaco, Trinity – Pharr, and St. Matthew’s – Edinburg await your arrival to one of Texas’ best kept secrets: The Rio Grande Valley.

In their wisdom, our Bishops have chosen a theme for council that is aligned with The Most Rev. Michael Curry’s plan for the church to seek “The Way of Love.” For Diocesan Council 2019, our theme comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “Walk in love as Christ loved us.” (Ephesians 5:2). This passage challenges us to remember our Baptismal Covenant and “proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.” (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 305). It reminds us that love is not merely a disposition or sentiment of the heart, but also an active way of being in the world. It is certainly a task that is worthy of our best efforts!

Council will begin on Thursday, February 21st, 2019 when Registration opens at 10:00 AM; council business begins at 1:00 PM. Our Council delegation will be welcomed and given some helpful information by local author and radio personality, W.F. Strong. At the close of business on Thursday, we will join together to celebrate Eucharist. Afterwards, you will be on your own for dinner. There are many fine restaurants in McAllen, and we hope you will try some of them. The Bishop’s Luncheon will be held on Friday, with guest speaker The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez, Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. After close of business on Friday, you will be treated to a “Border Buttermilk Reception” before the Friday evening banquet. After business on Saturday, Council 2019 will draw to a close.

Online registration for clergy, delegates, and alternates will open on December 21, 2018. Until then, visit for hotel and restaurant information, the agenda, nomination forms, and other helpful links. More information will be added there as council draws nearer. The UVEC is ready to welcome you to our home and do everything in our power to make your Council 2019 experience meaningful and enjoyable.

Hasta Entonces,
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The Rev. Rod Clark and the UVEC Host Committee

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
(956) 585-5005

The Bishop’s Spring Retreat at Camp Capers! (April 13 – 15, 2018)

Registration for “The Good, the True, and the Beautiful: Creativity and Spirituality” has opened! Sign up for a weekend [April 13 – 15, 2018] focused on creativity, the arts, and a life in the Spirit.

The Good, the True, & the Beautiful retreat will welcome the Rev. Becca Stevens back to the diocese, as well as her husband, Marcus Hummon, for a weekend of creative activities that will lead to the culmination of worship. Stay on site at beautiful Camp Capers for workshops, fellowship, teaching, and worship.

The Rev. Becca Stevens, Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, and Marcus Hummon, award-winning singer/songwriter, will lead group plenary conversations and individual workshops, all culminating in worship Sunday morning and focused on the Walk to Emmaus passage from Luke 24.

The retreat begins with dinner at 6:30 PM, Friday (4/13), followed by the Welcome and Plenary Session 1: “Starry Nights and Broken Dreams … Stories and Songs”. Saturday will include two more Plenary Sessions (2: “How Love Heals”, 3: “Singing with Our Truest Hearts”), free time for relaxation and fun on Camp Capers’ beautiful 188 acres, morning breakout workshops with Becca (“Justice as Worship – Creating an Economy of Love”) and Marcus (“Then Sings My Soul – The Music Workshop”), two hands-on creativity workshops in the afternoon with local artists and leaders (see list below), and evening gatherings for prayer and fellowship. Wake Sunday morning for final conversations after breakfast, then Closing Eucharist before returning home filled, refreshed, and energized by the Spirit.

Saturday Afternoon Workshop Opportunities:
1. Art: Collage, led by Patti Reed
2. Art: Lettering
3. Art, led by painter Kirk Clark
4. Cooking in the Capers Kitchen
5. Creative Writing
6. Dance as Worship
7. Drama, led Sam Carter Gilliam
8. Journaling/Memoirs
9. Music, led by Marcus Hummon
10. Photography
11. Yoga / Meditation

There are two weekend rates, determined by where you choose to stay. Sign up with your spouse or a friend and stay in the River Bluff and Meadowcross Lodges ($200/person, double occupancy) or select the Cabins ($150/person, group lodging with private bathroom). Cabin mate and lodge roommate requests accepted from all.

So clear your women’s Bible Study or men’s Life Group calendars and sign up to share a weekend experience of creativity and spirituality! Click here to sign up.

Young Adult / College Student scholarship rates available at request. Contact Camp Capers (830-995-3966) or the Camps & Conferences offices in the Bishop Jones Center (888/210-824-5387) for more information about available rooms, rates, and retreat specifics.