“Wisdom, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Reverence”

TMI Episcopal, the Rev. Scott Brown

The Rev. Scott Brown, Headmaster of TMI Episcopal, reports on the activities, mission, and goals of the flagship school of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. He shares, “

TMI remains committed to strong academics as well as balance and wellness.  One does not come at the expense of the other.  We can and will do both.

We believe there must be even more to an excellent education. We say our intent is to “challenge and cherish” every student, and to do that, we challenge ourselves to stay mindful of The Five Tenets of the Whole Child Approach, keeping our students healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

We believe we are preparing students not just for college but for life…a better, happier, more satisfying and more useful life.”

“What Makes Episcopal Schools Different?”

The Commission for Episcopal Schools Report, Council 2020

Mary Katherine Duffy, Bishop’s Deputy for Episcopal Schools, reports on her first year serving in this role and emphasizes the remarkable ministry of Episcopal Schools. She begins by sharing what makes Episcopal Schools different, including that “the Baptismal covenant is reflected in our schools most often through the incredible service learning programs offered there – every single school in our Diocese offers some type of community service component in their program. These service learning opportunities teach our students about justice, equity and inclusion. These programs are also teaching our students to seek and serve Christ in all persons – loving their neighbor as themselves.”

She concluded by sharing the Commission’s activities in 2019, and summarizing plans for 2020 which include hosting a New Heads-of-School University in the fall, School Board Trainings, and continuing the partnership with the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools.

“Weaving New Threads”

The Commission for Disaster Response Report, Council 2020

Jennifer Wickham, Bishop’s Deputy for Disaster Recovery shares her reflection on several years of recovery following Hurricane Harvey and recommends congregational preparedness resources moving forward. Nearing the close of her time serving as Bishop’s Deputy for Disaster Recovery, the Rt. Rev. David Reed and the diocese gives thanks for Jennifer’s faithful service and hard work.

She shares, “Think of the Diocese of West Texas as a giant tapestry. There are threads that are woven together in a number of ways, ensuring that the fabric stays strong, flexible, resilient, and beautiful. Some of the threads have been there for generations, and they’ve provided a durable structure for us as we’ve grown and changed. Other threads have been interwoven alongside the length and breadth of the tapestry, providing the structure, color, elasticity, and ever-changing character of our diocese Other threads have been interwoven along the length and breadth of our tapestry, providing the texture, color, elasticity, and ever-changing character of our diocese. Some of the threads are soft, others are rough. Our threads are delicate and strong, sparkly, plain and, because we live in Texas, full of many colors. All of them together make up the mysterious tapestry we hold in our hands.”

Prefer to listen? Use the Audio Player below to hear the Commission for Disaster Response Report from Council 2020.

Camps & Conferences

Rob Watson, Director of Camps & Conferences, shared the amazing ministry taking place at the diocesan camps and conference centers, saying, “Your love of this diocese, your love of one another, your love of God, and your commitment to sharing our faith, enabled 2,250 children of God to come to camp. And of those campers, 485 children and youth who attended Camp Capers and Duncan Park and 95 families who attended Mustang Island Family Camp received additional financial support from monies raised as part of the Camps Annual Fund.” He continued to share the deep impact of the Camps Scholarship program, which allows children, youth, and families from Good Samaritan Community Services, SJRC-TX, Magdalena House in San Antonio, the Wounded Warrior Project, and diocesan congregations to participate in year-round camp sessions.

Rob reported on the successful construction of Cabin 18 at Camp Capers, two heated cabins at Duncan Park, and the remarkable progress of the Mustang Island Conference Center’s “Waves of Change,” Campaign, raising funds for additional housing and an outdoor chapel. He concluded his report, emphasizing the importance of the in-person, unconditional, loving community found at camp in the lives of young campers and staff.

The Rev. Ripp Hardaway, Co-Chair of the Camps Annual Fund with the Rev. Bert Baetz, shared the impact that attending Camp Capers as a child had on his personal faith formation, and that of his brother. He called on everyone assembled to consider donating to the Camps Scholarship Fund as an act of love and support for all families within the diocese.

Use the audio player below to listen to the full Camps & Conferences Report.

Council In Action – Metro Ministries

The Rt. Rev. David Reed welcomes Patty Clark, CEO of Corpus Christi Metro Ministries, the 2020 Council in Action partner. Corpus Christi Metro Ministries, whose mission is to feed, shelter, and build futures for our hungry, homeless, and ill neighbors in the Corpus Christi and Nueces County community.

She welcomed Diocesan Council to Corpus Christi, thanking everyone assembled for the donated Hygiene Kit items. She shares “On a day like today, when it is cold and wet, I hope you can imagine how important a pair of socks is to that homeless neighbor who is cold and wet. Or for the mother who does live in shelter, but has no heat in that home where she provides for her children. And when we do return to our usual hot weather, those wash clothes you have brought can be an incredible blessing, whether it is used to wipe their face, put it under their cap, or just use it to wipe down for a dry bath.

Every single item you have given us provides us with the opportunity to begin to restore little bits of dignity to those who have been separated from a safe place, from love and belonging, so I ask you not to see your donations as things, but as gifts of grace to the more than 7,000 people we serve every year.”

She invited everyone to visit the Council In Action booth on Friday, to help assemble hygiene kits using the donated items and to pray for the people who will receive them.

“Complementing the Familiar and Telling Our Story”

Diocesan Communications Office, Council 2020 Report

Emily Kittrell, Diocesan Director of Marketing and Communications, shares the activities of the Communications Office during 2019, which include publishing the first issue of LOGOS Magazine and conducting focus groups and an online survey to inform the development of a communications strategy, logo identity, and brand. She shared a video introducing the new logo, saying “the logo is intended to complement our diocesan shield that you are familiar with. The logo will be at the forefront of our external communications and publications, with inclusion and use of the shield when appropriate for official documents. Let me rephrase – we did not get rid of the shield. It just forgot to call ‘shotgun’ so it’s riding in the backseat.

We hope the new logo will be more usable, more versatile, more inviting, and reflective of who our Church is in 2020.”

Diocesan Logo Introduction Video

She also gave an overview of the new diocesan website, to be launched in April 2020. Kittrell closed by inviting the assembled Council to stay connected to the diocesan office. “There’s always more work to be done, and we are grateful for the opportunity to look up for a bit and give thanks for the privilege we have to do so.”

Stay Connected

  • Follow @diocesewesttx on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to the Weekly E-News.
  • Subscribe to receive LOGOS Magazine updates and annual issues.

Prefer to listen? Use the audio player below to hear what the Communications Department has been up to in 2019.

The Rt. Rev. David Reed Introduces Annual Theme

The Rt. Rev. David Reed introduces the annual diocesan theme from Ephesians 1:18 – With the Eyes of Our Hearts Enlightened.

Bishop Reed shares, “St. Paul makes clear that seeing and knowing ‘with the eyes of our hearts enlightened’ is a gift — a gift of wisdom and revelation from our heavenly Father. Like all good gifts, it can’t be kept on a shelf unused, but needs to be received gratefully and used, practiced on. Paul says ‘as we come to know’ Christ. Like all relationships, our relationship with Christ unfolds over time, over a lifetime. We have to spend time with him.”

Bishop Reed continues, “In this passage, and throughout Ephesians, Paul emphasizes power, seeing all other forms of power—rulers, political and social systems, military forces—as being surpassed by, and subverted by, the power of God revealed in the resurrection of Jesus from death. With the eyes of our hearts enlightened, we see this power of God at work within and around us.         

We can see the signs, if we look and look again. Not because of our own powers of deduction, cleverness and expensive educations, but because of the power of God working in us.                                   

Where do you see the hand of God at work in the world about us? Where in your church, in your own life, in the lives of those you love do you see Easter?

Where is it for you? How do you keep all the speed and noise of your days from blinding you to what God wants you to see: New life… renewal… revival… darkness turning to light…”

“God, St. Paul says, is bigger. God is love, and the power of his love raised Jesus from the dead and set him above all other powers in this world. And his love is so great that he entrusts it to us so that we might share with Jesus in the reclaiming of the whole creation.

When I come to your church on Sunday, if there are baptisms, confirmations and receptions, there comes that moment in the service when I’ve asked the candidates, “Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil?” and “Do you renew your commitment to Christ?” And then I turn my attention to the rest of you and ask, “Will you do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” The power I’m referring to—the power you have received and that we together have received—is nothing less than what St. Paul proclaims here: the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, and now calls us to stand up from our hiding places, move away from our shadowy fear, stretch and step out in trust. With the eyes of our hearts enlightened, may we look and look again more deeply to see the power of his love. And may we see it here and now, during this Council, and when we are home again.”

Questions to Explore the Theme:

  1. Where do you see the hand of God at work in the world about us? Where in your church, in your own life, in the lives of those you love do you see Easter?
  2. What are you hoping to see God do during Council 2020? What are you hoping to see in your church in 2020?
  3. What’s needed in order for you to see “with the eyes of your hearts enlightened”?
  4. How can this passage from Ephesians provide help in living out the Baptismal Covenant in your church and in the world?
  5. Lent is coming, and Ash Wednesday is next week. What practices might you take on that would strengthen the gift of seeing “with the eyes of our hearts enlightened?

Welcome to the Coastal Bend

“Aloha, Y’all”

The Rev. Jonathan Wickham, Rector of All Saints’, Corpus Christi, The Rev. James Derkits, Rector of Trinity, Port Aransas, and Council Co-Chairs Gail Gottlich of All Saints’, Corpus Christi and Amy Sullivan of Trinity, Port Aransas welcome all to Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend.

The Rev. James Derkits shares, “We’ve been intentional in our planning. We’re so happy to have y’all here. We hope that we’ve created a space that is focused on prayer, and lots of beauty.”

The Rev. Jonathan Wickham shares, “We hope that you’ve brought your creative energy with you and that you are already experiencing some of the blessings of being part of community. We hope that you continue to strengthen your bonds of affection in the community we form this week.”

Thank you to the Council Hosts, Leaders, Volunteers, and Clergy for months of effort to bring Council 2020 to fruition.

Presentation of New Clergy & Seminarian Placements

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

  • the Rev. Brian Fox – Curate of St. Helena’s, Boerne
  • the Rev. Ann Fraser – Associate Rector of St. Mark’s, SA
  • the Rev. Reagan Gonzalez – Rector of Grace, Cuero
  • the Rev. Eric Holloway – Rector of St. Margaret’s, SA
  • the Rev. Sam Hunnicutt – Deacon-in-Charge of Trinity, Junction
  • the Rev. Mike Michie – Rector of St. Thomas, SA

In addition, seminarians and IONA Initiative graduates were presented to Council, along with their placements, pending confirmation and graduation this spring.

  • Bryn Caddell – from Holy Spirit, Dripping Springs will serve at St. Michael & All Angels, Blanco as deacon-in-charge and also assist with the new church plant, St. Nicholas, Spring Branch
  • John Blackburn – from St. Philip’s, Beeville will serve in the Coastal Bend
  • Mikel Brightman – from St. David’s, San Antonio will serve at St. Philip’s, San Antonio
  • Dexter Lesieur – from St. Matthias, Devine will serve at St. Matthias, Devine
  • Karen Morris – from St. Stephen’s, Wimberley will serve at Emmanuel, Lockhart
  • Gerald Phelps – from St. Andrew’s, Corpus Christi will serve in the Coastal Bend
  • Arnoldo Ramiro – from St. James’, Del Rio will serve in the Western Convocation
  • Betsy Stephenson – from St. Luke’s, Cypress Mill serving at Grace, Llano
  • Susan Burnham – from St. John’s, New Braunfels will serve at St. George, San Antonio
  • Lucy Strandlund – from the Diocese of Alabama will serve at St. John’s, New Braunfels
  • Evan Hierholzer – assigned to field work at Christ Church, San Antonio will serve at Holy Spirit, Dripping Springs

Opening Prayers

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

The Venite (from Psalm 95)

            Come, let us sing to the Lord;*

                        let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

            Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving*

                        and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

            For the Lord is a great God,*

                        and a great King above all gods.

            In his hands are the caverns of the earth,*

                        and the heights of the hills are his also.

            The sea is his, for he made it,*

                        and his hands have molded the dry land.

            Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,*

                        and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

            For he is our God,

            and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.*

                        Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice.

The Lord be with you. And also with you. Let us pray.

            O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

            Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding: Be present with us now as we take counsel for the renewal and mission of your Church in West Texas. Bless all those gathered here that, by your grace, the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened to see you, love you and serve you. Teach us in all our deliberations to seek first your Kingdom. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it, and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

            Holy Father, as we come together in this city named for your Son, we give you thanks for the hard work and generous hospitality of our host parishes, All Saints’ and Trinity-by-the-Sea. By their example of loving service, may we remember the calling we all share to be your saints, and draw us deeper into the mystery of your Holy Trinity, so that we might go out to love and serve the world; this we pray in the Name of your Son Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

            Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love upon the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace. Renew us in your love in these three days, and help us pay attention, that we may love one another as you love us, and turn and bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you. Amen.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray…

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.