“With the Eyes of our Hearts Enlightened” – the Bishop’s Address

Click here to download a written transcript of the 2020 Bishop’s Address.

The Rt. Rev. David Reed addresses the 116th Annual Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, inviting the assembly to “Consider this Council [as giving] us the optimal lenses through which we can see more clearly—see one another, see the world, see God, see the way Jesus would have us go. Word and sacrament, music and art, friendship and work, the Church gathered and sent—all are gifts by which we might see the Lord of life come among us.  Consider the life of your church—your worship, ministries, prayer, outreach, community life. All frame your vision, allowing you to see with eyes and heart lit up by the light of Christ.”

Bishop Reed welcomed the gathered clergy, delegates, and visitors as well as visiting bishops and special guests. He reflected on the events of the past year within the Diocese, the missions and ministries of our congregations, and shared a hopeful, convicting vision for the year, and years, to come.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been born anew to a living hope. There is a promised new heart for us, the promise echoing back to Ezekiel when God says, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) And this new heart, this new life, brings with it eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to love. “With the eyes of our hearts enlightened” by the power of his resurrection, Jesus invites us to get up and follow, walking in love, keeping our eyes open—not just for the obvious beauty and goodness that surrounds us on every side, if we’ll only slow down enough to notice—but also looking more deeply for the beauty and goodness of God’s amazing grace and saving movement, even in the least likely places, in the least likely people, and even in us.

Bishop Reed concluded his address, inviting everyone present to pray together from Psalm 36.

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,*
And your faithfulness to the clouds.
How priceless is your love, O God!*
Your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
They feast upon the abundance of your house;*
You give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the well of life,*
And in your light we see light.”

Use the audio player below to listen to Bishop Reed’s 2020 Address or view the video recording at the top of the post.

“Short and Sweet” – Report of the Episcopal Church Foundation in West Texas

Dan Butt, Executive Director of the Episcopal Church Foundation in West Texas, shares the history and recent 2019 performance of the Foundation.

Dan shares, “The Foundation was created to invest for the diocese, its churches and schools and affiliated institutions. The current investment program has been in existence for a little over 20 years – with great increase over that time.”

Opening Prayers & Welcome

Prayers led by the Rt. Rev. Sue Briner, Bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA).

Following the Opening Prayers, Bishop Briner extended greetings to the assembled Council from the ECLA Southwestern Texas Synod, its 130 congregations, its Lutheran University and Seminary, its outdoor ministries, its agencies, and Lutheran institutions, saying, “It is such a blessing to be here with you today.”

Bishop Briner shares, “I want to encourage and challenge you in each of your communities, there is likely a Lutheran church somewhere. I want to challenge you – in 2020 and beyond – to think of ways in which you can deepen your relationships with one another, think about ways in which you can worship together, serve together, train and equip each other together, so that we really can continue to live into this common mission we share for the sake of the gospel.”

Council 2020 – Day Two

Welcome to day two of Council 2020 – here’s a reminder of our agenda for the day. Need help finding your way around? Here are a few quick links to the Council Map, Exhibitors Hall Map, and Workshop Locations.

Friday Morning | February 21, 2020

7:30 a.m.Friends of Bill Meeting
(Room 101)
7:45 a.m.Childcare opens
(Watergarden B)
8:00 a.m.Morning Prayer
(Rotunda, 2nd Lvl)
8:45 a.m.Council reconvenes
(Ex. Hall B)
Opening Prayers, the Rt. Rev. Sue Briner,
ECLA Southwestern Texas Synod
Episcopal Church Foundation
Bishop’s Address, by the Rt. Rev. David Reed
Church Planter’s Report
Diocesan Treasurer’s Report
The Rt. Rev. Benito Juarez-Martinez,
Obispo de Diocesis de Sureste de Mexico &
the Rt. Rev. Julio Martín,
Obispo de Diocesis de Sureste de Mexico
Noonday Prayers & Necrology
11:45 a.m.Council in recess; shuttles provided to the Omni for luncheon participants.
12:00 p.m.Bishop’s Luncheon
Dr. Scott Bader-Saye (The Omni Hotel)
12:00 p.m.Clergy Spouse Luncheon
(The Omni Hotel)

The Bishop’s Luncheon and Clergy Spouse Luncheon will take place at The Omni Hotel
(900 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401).

Friday Afternoon | February 21, 2020

1:00 p.m.Break, visit Exhibits
(Ex. Hall A)
1:45 p.m.Council reconvenes
(Ex. Hall B)
Nominating Committee Presentation
Workshop Instructions
2:30 p.m.Workshop Session 1
3:45 p.m.End Session 1, travel time
4:00 p.m.Workshop Session 2
5:15 p.m.End Session 2, travel time
5:30 p.m.Council reconvenes
(Ex. Hall B)
Constitutions & Canons Committee Report,
Resolution 2020-1 Vote
6:00 p.m.Council dismissed
6:00 p.m.Friends of Bill Meeting
(Classroom 101)
6:15 p.m.Reception
(Ballroom Foyer, 2nd Lvl)
6:45 p.m.Council Banquet
(H.G. Ballroom, 2nd Lvl)
9:00 p.m.Compline, led by Vital UM
(A.B.C. Foyer)
9:00 p.m.Childcare closes
(Watergarden B)

“Consider the Lilies, Birds, and All Things Divine – A Healing Mud”

The Rev. Becca Stevens’ Sermon from Council Eucharist

The Rev. Becca Stevens, Chaplain of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel at Vanderbilt University and the president of Thistle Farms, preached during Council Eucharist at the invitation of Bishop Reed. She shared, “To really see, to gain some insight, to take in what is around us, to be brave enough, all of us, to consider some things again, as a Church, as a community, as the leaders, as people. And this whole Lent, this beautiful whole Lenten season that we’re getting ready to embark on, is a season about what it means to have this insight.”

Good Samaritan Community Services

The Rt. Rev. David Reed shares the impact that Good Samaritan Community Services has on the diocesan community, and introduces a video telling about their ongoing ministries. As a social justice ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, Good Samaritan Community Services empowers thousands of our neighbors throughout the diocese. Under the leadership of The Rev. Michael Chalk, Board Chair and Simon Salas, CEO, and the Board of Directors, Good Samaritan is building  a strong foundation for the future while honoring the past by continuing to foster intentional programs, that focus on serving the individual. Visit Good Samaritan in the Exhibit Hall and learn more about partnering with their programs.

Learn More about Good Samaritan Community Services

“Small Miracles Happening Every Week”

Vital University Missions, Council 2020

Allie Melancon, Interim Director of College Missions, shares the ongoing campus outreach initiatives of the diocese, telling stories of the young people involved in Vital UM – Episcopal worshipping communities on campuses within the Diocese. She concludes the report saying,

What our young people want from the Church are people who are living out this kind of transformation in radical, counter cultural ways. They want a church that doesn’t look like the world. They want a Church that says, “I see small miracles happening each week – You know what I mean.” They want to witness people reconciling broken relationships and coming together to share a meal.

Guys, we can do this! Our churces are doing this, but we can do better. It has to start with us, not them.”

Thank you for your time this afternoon and your continued support of this important work in the diocese.