Returning in 2020, the Rt. Rev. David Reed and diocesan staff have organized two workshop sessions on Friday afternoon, February 21st, to broaden knowledge, build ministry skills, and foster connections. Individual workshop registration is required as part of the Council registration process. All workshops will take place within the American Bank Center; more information is provided below to help individuals select which workshops to attend. For more information, contact Archdeacon Mike Besson at or Allie Melancon, Interim Director for College Missions, at

Workshop TitleRoom
Christian Formation StrategiesC104
Digital Marketing 101C102
F.I.S.H. Evangelism for Episcopalians225A
Helping Your Church FlourishC105
Listening as Military MinistryC103
Mental Illness, Mental Health, & the Good News225C
Ministry of Church PlantingC101
Plugging into Unplugging226
Practically Divine: 10 IdeasWatergarden A
Small Church, Big MusicC107
Spirituality for the Wisdom Years225D-E
Transforming Power of the Holy Spirit225B

Catalog of 2020 Workshops

Church Planting and the Ministry of the Whole Church: A Look at Ministry Renewal and Creative Beginnings through the Planting of St. Nicholas

Planting new churches is a call for the whole church. Why is church planting important? How do creative new ministries grow? What are the opportunities for renewal and revitalization? Come and explore these questions through the lens of the recent diocesan initiative of planting St. Nicholas Episcopal Church.

Led by the Rev. Beth Wyndham, founding pastor of St. Nicholas and diocesan Church Planter, and the Rev. Mike Michie, rector of St. Thomas, San Antonio. Hosted by the Diocesan Church Planting Initiative in Room C101.

Digital Marketing 101: Creating a Communications Strategy and Plan in the Digital Age

Before you promote that event, release an announcement, or craft the weekly newsletter, you should be able to articulate a communications and marketing strategy that works for your audience(s). In this workshop, participants will begin building a strategic communications plan that allows them to more efficiently generate content that reaches their audience and tells a compelling story across multiple channels. Participants will also get an inside look at workflow processes and gain resources to create clear content that fits into a strategy. This workshop is designed for both new and experienced church communicators, whether that be clergy, staff, or lay members of a congregation.

Led by Emily Kittrell, Diocesan Director of Marketing and Communications, and Laura McGrew, Diocesan Communications Manager. Hosted by the Diocesan Communications Office, in C102.

Practically Divine – 10 Ideas to Live with Enlightened Hearts in our Everyday Lives

The Rev. Becca Stevens, Council Preacher and internationally beloved Episcopal priest, speaker, and President of Thistle Farms, will share ten ideas based on the axiom that healing and justice are inextricably linked, and encourage workshop participants to create lists of their own. Everyone’s top ten might be different, but the goal is to write lists that will illuminate the beauty and wonder in everyday, ordinary life and the people we share it with. 2020 is the year to “gird our spiritual loins,” so that we are grounded and loving!

Led by the Rev. Becca Stevens – speaker, leader, Episcopal priest, entrepreneur, and president of Thistle Farms, a multifaceted, international nonprofit. Becca has visited the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas numerous times, addressing Diocesan Council, teaching at the inaugural Bishop’s Spring Retreat, and presenting at churches around the diocese. Hosted by the Diocese, in Watergarden A.

F.I.S.H. – Easy Evangelism for Everyday Episcopalians

Finding the Inspiration, Strength, and Hope in your faith story so that you can share it with others – A condensed version of the day-long F.I.S.H. workshop to introduce concepts, ideas, and resources for reaching out to others with your faith story.

Led by the Rev. Jay George, Rector of Grace, San Antonio. Hosted by the Diocesan Evangelism Department, in 225A.

Plugging into Unplugging: Discovering the Beauty and Holiness in Nature

While we’ve gained much from technological advances, the loss of our connection to God and nature has profound implications for human health, child development and the future of the natural places we cherish. The consequences of not acting on this trend are serious and urgent. In addition to the social and spiritual costs of a sedentary lifestyle, there is also the concern about raising up the innovators of tomorrow who will have the capacity, interest, and care to solve the issues that will result from climate change and biodiversity collapse. Come hear how to help sound the alarm and learn practical, safe, fun ways to help us get outside and improve our world.

Led by Rob Watson, Diocesan Director of Camps and Conferences, Kevin Spaeth, Katie Young, Johnson Jeffers, and Alida Garcia. Hosted by the Diocesan Camps and Conferences Department, in 226.

Helping Your Church Flourish: Practical Tools for Strengthening Your Life Together.

In September, the Diocese will host its first College for Congregational Development (CCD), a program for clergy and lay leaders seeking to improve leadership skills and learn ways to increase congregational vitality and effectiveness in spreading the Gospel. During Council, experience a crash-course introduction to this rich curriculum for strengthening your church and learn about the College. The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton, Canon for Congregational Development for the Diocese of Olympia, will present principles for facilitating effective meetings that your church members and staff will enjoy and benefit from, as well as other leadership skills. Allie Melancon, West Texas staff, will also share the diocesan resource portal, Basecamp, which can connect your congregation to other churches in the diocese for shared resources and digital fellowship.

Led by the Rev. Canon Alissa Newton, Canon for Congregational Development for the Diocese of Olympia, and Allie Melancon, Diocesan Interim Director of College Missions. Hosted by the Diocesan Congregational Development Department, in C105.

Listening as Military Ministry: How Hearing Can Help the Church Heal the Wounds of Veterans

Most Americans will never serve in the military or step foot on a battlefield, but many feel an obligation to support those who have. This workshop will provide a facilitated Listening Session to help bridge the gap between civilians and veterans. Participants will hear from veterans and family members about the impact of war and military service, explore ways to engage with one another, and discuss opportunities for shared ministry.

Led by the Rev. Karen Brandon, Assisting Priest at St. Paul’s, San Antonio, the Rev. Josh Woods, Assistant Rector of St. David’s, San Antonio, and Dexter Lesieur, Bi-Vocational Seminarian and Bishop’s Warden of St. Matthias’, Devine. Hosted by the Diocesan Military Ministries, in C103.

Mental Health, Mental Illness, and the Good News of God’s Compassion

Given that we all have our own “stuff,” we will talk about the broad spectrum of mental health and ask, “How do we create communities of compassion, grace and as much spaciousness as possible?” We seek a community where a person experiencing a manic episode or living on the spectrum is held as gently as someone experiencing the depression of a divorce. How do you distinguish between someone having a bad day and a real crisis? Let’s talk about how we can live into the love and delight that God holds for us all.

Led by the Rev. Cynthia McKenna, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Associate Rector of All Saints’, Corpus Christi. Hosted in 225C.

Modern and Relevant Christian Formation for Churches of Any Size

Christian Formation Strategies for Children, Youth, and Young Adults. More information to come.

Led by Sarah Kates, Director of Family Ministries at St. David’s, San Antonio and Chair of Christian Formation Committee. Hosted by the Diocesan Christian Formation Department, in C104.

Navajoland: A Closer Look at Mission Work in Navajoland and How You Can Get Involved

The Diocese of West Texas is heavily involved in an ongoing mission partnership with The Episcopal Church in Navajoland. This workshop will detail our mission efforts there and will let you know how to be involved.

Led by the Rt. Rev. David Bailey, Bishop of Navajoland, and Dr. Marthe Curry, Director of World Mission. Hosted by the Diocesan World Mission Department, in C106.

Small Church, Big Music: The Wonder of Music in Creative Worship and Shared Ministry

Music isn’t just for backgrounds. Music can call us to action, help us find peace, and bring us great joy and freedom. Marcus Hummon will share insights into his current project, creating a Eucharist service through music, and offer a space for workshop attendees to share personal worship compositions. Gene Dowdy will explore how to find, nurture, and use the talent you already have in your congregation, and community, to incorporate music and creativity into your weekly services.

Led by Marcus Hummon, award winning singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN and previous speaker at the 2018 Bishop’s Spring Retreat, and Gene Dowdy, member and musician of Holy Spirit, San Antonio and member of Down for the Count. Hosted by the Diocese, in C107.

Spirituality for the Wisdom Years

Each season of our life has the potential to bring us new revelations, new challenges, new blessings. As we enter our “wisdom years” – the last third of our life – we find that while the body diminishes, the spiritual longing for a deeper relationship with God increases. How we nurture that, individually and as a church, is the topic of this interactive workshop.

Led by Marjorie George, Consultant for Adult Christian Formation. Hosted by the Diocesan Christian Formation Department, in 225D-E.

Discovering the Transforming Power of the Holy Spirit

The Bible speaks about the power of the Holy Spirit and how encounters with the Holy Spirit transformed people’s lives. Is this power of the Holy Spirit still at work today and if so how? This workshop will consist of teaching, personal stories and a time of ministry where we believe people will be touched by the Holy Spirit. Come and be encouraged and changed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Led by the Rev. Chuck Sharrow, Vicar of St. Paul’s, Brownsville. Hosted in 225B.

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