Category Archives: Way Of Love

Way of Love Conversation: Rest

During Council 2019, participants are invited into seven conversations about each of the seven practices for a Jesus-centered life laid out by the Most Rev. Michael Curry. Contributors to the Fall/Winter 2018 Reflections Magazine that explored the Way of Love will introduce each Bible study conversation, either in person or via video.

Julie Raymond Chalk addresses Council and invites conversation about the practice of resting. She encourages us to prioritize moments of rest in all aspects of our life. Listen to the full discussion above, read her article, Just Accept It, in Reflections, and ask yourself, “What practices restore your body, mind, and soul?”

Prayers of the People – the Bishop’s Address Committee Response

The 2019 Bishop’s Address Committee seeks to reflect the bishop’s love for our diocese, his leadership, courage and vision and to turn those reflections into prayers for the people.

The committee, named below, encourage you to listen to the audio, and pray with and for our diocese. Carry these prayers home with you to your home congregations and use them as your own prayers of the people.

Liz Manning, Chair; Rev. Ram Lopez; Rev. Jan Dantone; Andy Knight; Vanessa Smith; Rev. Stephen Carson; Rev. Daniel Strandlund; Rev. Jeff Hammond

 

 

 

“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.

Way of Love Conversation: Go

During Council 2019, participants are invited into seven conversations about each of the seven practices for a Jesus-centered life laid out by the Most Rev. Michael Curry. Contributors to the Fall/Winter 2018 Reflections Magazine that explored the Way of Love will introduce each Bible study conversation, either in person or via video.

Claire Campbell addresses Council and invites conversation about the practice of going, “crossing boundaries, listening deeply, and living like Jesus.” Listen to Claire’s full conversation above, read her article “Into the River” in Reflections, and ask yourself, “To what new places or communities is the Spirit sending you to witness to the love, justice, and truth of God?”

Way of Love Conversation: Bless

During Council 2019, participants are invited into seven conversations about each of the seven practices for a Jesus-centered life laid out by the Most Rev. Michael Curry. Contributors to the Fall/Winter 2018 Reflections Magazine that explored the Way of Love will introduce each Bible study conversation, either in person or via video.

Watch the Rev. Mary Earle’s introduction below, and consider, “In what ways is the spirit calling you to bless others?”

“Building Trust and Building Relationships” – The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez, Bishop of Pennsylvania

The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez, Bishop of Pennsylvania, addresses Council after his keynote at the Bishop’s Luncheon. Bishop Gutiérrez was consecrated on July 16, 2016 as the 16th Bishop of Pennsylvania. Before his ordination as bishop, Gutiérrez served as Canon to the Ordinary, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief of Staff in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. Bishop Gutiérrez has focused his ministry on emphasizing the sacred presence of Jesus Christ, empowering laity, inspiring creative solutions for church growth, emphasizing the missions of the church, social justice, poverty, and ensuring that transparency is part of everything.

Bishop Gutierrez shares, “Part of the challenge is that we have to retell the story about the Body of Christ. We have to say we’re not congregationalists; we are this Body of Christ. … And we’re doing it together. It’s about building trust. It’s about building relationships.

We do have the same challenges. When the world says there’s no hope, you’re the hope. We have to live with a theology of abundance and not scarcity, courage and not fear.”

Way of Love Conversation: Worship

During Council 2019, participants are invited into seven conversations about each of the seven practices for a Jesus-centered life laid out by the Most Rev. Michael Curry. Contributors to the Fall/Winter 2018 Reflections Magazine that explored the Way of Love will introduce each Bible study conversation, either in person or via video.

The Rev. Daniel Strandlund addresses Council and invites conversation about the practice of worship, recalling the Rt. Rev. Gutiérrez’s observations at the luncheon “that everybody worships something”, whether they know it or not. Listen to Daniel’s full conversation above, read his article “I Thee Worship” in Reflections, and ask yourself, “What communal worship practices move you to encounter God and knit you into the body of Christ.”

Way of Love Conversation: Pray

During Council 2019, participants are invited into seven conversations about each of the seven practices for a Jesus-centered life laid out by the Most Rev. Michael Curry. Contributors to the Fall/Winter 2018 Reflections Magazine that explored the Way of Love will introduce each Bible study conversation, either in person or via video.

Watch Diane Thrush’s introduction below, and consider, “What intentional prayer practices center you in God’s presence, so you can hear, speak, or simply dwell with God?”

  • BFFs – Diane Thrush

“Living from the Heart: Walking in Love” – The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutiérrez

At the Bishop’s Luncheon, the Rt. Rev. David Reed invited the Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutiérrez, Bishop of Pennsylvania, to speak to our 2019 theme, “Walk in love as Christ loved us.”

Bishop Gutiérrez began in gratitude, thanking both bishops, the gathered congregations, and clergy. He shared that, “I want to recognize and bless your sacred calling, for what you do matters in this world. Your ministry has meaning, and like ripples of water on a vast sea, it touches the shores throughout the earth. Faith is inspiring, moving throughout Texas it touches Pennsylvania, the Episcopal Church, and impacts the world. Part of my family lives in Texas, and I was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Bill Frey. I have many friends in this diocese and state. So in a sense, I’ve come home.”

As he expounded on the theme of walking in love, he candidly wondered at the ways the world complicates and conceals the true, overwhelming, all encompassing love of God. “Why is it the world seems to miss the beauty of God? What do they hear when we say, ‘walk in love as Christ loved us?’ Do we take into our souls the shattering impact of that divine love? Or do we lock it in our heads, where it stays dormant in our hearts. Love – it transforms and enriches. The word carries power.” And, “at times the church has neglected to explain, embody, and walk in love. We throw out the phrase, and it becomes mechanized, structural, goal-oriented. Programs meant to inspire become stagnant, rather than transformational.” Throughout his address, the crowd nodded in agreement, listened intently, and laughed.

In a clear and conversational tone, he told stories from the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, where the sacred presence and love of God shines through, illuminating ways that we can walk in faith in the present day. Inviting the assembly to imagine what it felt like for the disciples to meet Jesus for the first time, he pointed out that when, “they encountered Jesus, they fell ‘in love’ with him, and that love deepened as they were transformed. That love then transcended all they had, and they lived differently. There is often a disconnect with the stories of love that we read in the Bible and what is actually occurring in our lives, but you are the same followers. You are the apostles of this age.

Bishop Gutiérrez called on each person in the room to remember the first half of the theme verse, not to stay in the pews in love, but to walk out into the world, in love with Christ and inspired to share that love with God’s world. “Love – the final promise that God’s love wins. For blessed are you because you are God’s beloved. Walk, walk around like you are completely in love. May you always be in love.”