Online Donations – Habitat Builders for West Texas

Resolution 4-2012 of the Bishop’s Address and Online Donations

In his annual address to Diocesan Council on February 17, 2012, the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge asked the diocese to renew their commitment to the work of the Habitat Builders for West Texas by agreeing to build three new Habitat homes over the next six years. In order to fund these homes, the bishop proposed the following, which was set forth in a resolution by the Committee on the Bishop’s Address:

Resolution 4-2012 – Renew our diocesan support of the work of Habitat Builders for West Texas by a commitment of financial support to build three Habitat homes during the next six (6) years through a contribution by each of our 90 parishes of at least $300 per year. AND/OR an individual parishioner’s financial support of $2 per month/$24 per year.

To make an online donation, click here. You may also set up recurring payments in the amounts designated above.

The 108th annual Diocesan Council

The 108th annual Diocesan Council
McAllen, Texas
February 16-18, 2012

Visit the Council Live page (tab at top of this page) to read news of the events and hear and view various departmental reports.
There is video of Bishop Lillibridge’s address, as well as the Eucharist sermon by Bishop Doyle (Diocese of Texas).

Special Screening of Documentary, Traces of the Trade

“How can we begin to see, name and heal the ongoing wounds of racism in our congregations and communities?”  “Why do most of our congregations, situated in communities with large if not majority populations of people of color, remain disproportionately white?”

The Diocese of West Texas Reconciliation Commission will be offering a series of screenings across the diocese of the award-winning documentary, Traces of the Trade, between March 8th and 29th.  There will be a special screening at Council on Friday at 4:45 pm for anyone interested in hosting a screening in a parish, school or other venue in their community.  Contact Robert Woody ( or 210-771-4364) for more information.

Traces of the Trade is designed to create awareness of continuing racism in our churches and culture, and to open the door to further healing and reconciliation.  It tells the story of a prominent Episcopalian family from Bristol Rhode Island, the DeWolf’s, who discover their prominence and privilege came from their ancestors’ leading role in the slave trade.  Continue reading “Special Screening of Documentary, Traces of the Trade”

Parochial Report Information for 2012

For a church to be seated at Council, a congregation’s 2012 Parochial Report must be received in the office of the Diocese of West Texas by February 1, 2013.  A packet of all required filings was mailed to each congregation on December 20, 2012.

Now on the Parochial Report page you will find full Parochial Reporting information and Diocesan Instructions for completing all facets of  the Parochial Report and the diocesan required forms.  The complete PDF package of forms that was sent on December 20, 2012 is also available for download on this page.

NOTE:  The  forms (such as Staff Salaries, Church Officials or Worker’s Compensation Payroll Audit, etc) originally created as a Word document or an Excel file are available in this original format (.doc or .xls)  allowing completion on a computer.

2012 Theme “Abound in Hope”

FROM the Church News Council 2012 Insert at Church News

For the 108th time, clergy and laity representing the congregations and institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas – as well as many guests and presenters – will gather for our annual Diocesan Council as we carry on the work and ministry of Christ in and beyond our diocese.

Council 2012 will meet February 16-18 at the convention center in McAllen.  St. John’s, McAllen, will serve as host and will share the hosting of Council with other churches in the Valley, including St. Peter St. Paul, Mission; St. Alban’s, Harlingen; Grace, Weslaco; St. Matthew’s, Edinburg; and Trinity, Pharr.

This year’s diocesan theme, which will be introduced at Council, is “Abound in Hope.”  This is a portion of Romans 15:13 which proclaims:  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

We are called to live our lives in and with hope.  The opening acclamation in the baptismal service, from Ephesians 4.4-6, calls us to worship with the words:

Celebrant       “There is one Body and one Spirit;
People              There is one hope in God’s call to us;
Celebrant        One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
People              One God and Father of all.”

As we abound in hope, we in fact live within it and it lives within us.  As we gather at our Diocesan Council in McAllen, and as we live our lives in our congregations and in our communities, let us strengthen our relationships and refresh our call to ministry to “Be Jesus’ Witnesses” (Acts 1.8 and the ‘Core Purpose’ of the diocese).

Diocesan Council in Action to benefit Frontera Unida and Casa Bethesda

The annual Council in Action (CIA) program seeks to live out in a small way the part of our mission that calls us to care for others in a material sense.  Our 2012 theme, “Abound in Hope,” asks us to strengthen our relationships and refresh our call to ministry to “Be Jesus’ Witnesses,” the Core Purpose of this diocese.  For 2012 we focus on the Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico with two projects.

Goal #1 Frontera Unida

– Los Libros de Oracion Comun (Spanish BCP) – The diocese has joined forces with The Bible and Common Prayer Book Society of The Episcopal Church to donate 500 Books of Common Prayer (BCP) in Spanish (El Libro de Oracion Comun) to the nine Northern Mexico churches in partnership with Frontera Unida. Currently these nine churches share 50 copies of El Libro de Oracion Comun. You may purchase at or click the link below to purchase a prayer book through the diocese and complete the inscription on your bookplate; cost is $16.50 per book.

Click here to order a Spanish BCP through the diocese.

 – Sacristy Supplies – Each church is asked to clean out their sacristies and bring gently used altar items, linens, candles, and clergy vestments to give to our neighbors in Northern Mexico.

Goal #2 Casa Bethesda Orphanage

 – Adult Briefs (Diapers) Casa Bethesda is the only facility of its kind in the Piedras Negras, Mexico, area. It is a home where indigent or abandoned persons with disabilities are cared for with love and respect. The home is run by Pastor Paulino Esquivel and his wife Gilberta.  One of Casa Bethesda’s greatest expenses is adult-size diapers/briefs. They use dozens each day. This simple gift will be a blessing of encouragement to all the “family” at Casa Bethesda, said  Betty Chumney, office of the diocesan Department of World Mission.  Bring a box of adult briefs/diapers and bring hope to those at Casa Bethesda.

See the full story at Council in Action – Diocesan.

Nominees for Election at Council 2012 Online

The official Report of the Diocesan Nominating Committee to the 108th Annual Diocesan Council has been posted online.  To see the potential nominees who have allowed their names to be place on the ballot visit each of the related webpages below or on the left-hand navigation.  Each page contains:

  • The number of people to be elected
  • A description of duties
  • The current members
  • Eligible or ineligible of incumbents for re-election
  • 2012 Nominee listing

Elections include:

The nomination booklet, in printed format, will be distributed to clergy and delegates at the Pre-council meetings.

Pre-council meetings begin next week!

It’s here already.  Between Thursday, January 19 and Sunday, January 29 the bishops and staff will visit all seven convocations in preparation for Council.  Click here for the Pre-council webpage to determine when your convocation is meeting.

A special note to those who will journey to Victoria for the Eastern Convocation Pre-council Meeting next Thursday, January 19: It is NOT at Trinity Episcopal Church although they are hosting the event.  As you can see from the map below this Pre-council Meeting will be at the new Pine Street Community Center on 803 Pine Street at N East St.  The Rev Bur Dobbins has provided a map for your convenience.

Worship at Council

During Council this year we will have a chance to come together in formal worship three times.  First, we will celebrate our Council Eucharist on Thursday, February 16 at 6:00 pm in Exhibit Hall B of the McAllen Convention Center.  On Friday, the day begins with Morning Prayer at 8:00 am in Exhibit Hall B with Bishop David Reed serving as Officiant.  Finally on Saturday, we open the business session with a Morning Devotion and Youth Commissioning at 8:30 am, Exhibit Hall A.

Congregations please bring your labeled banners with stands to the Council Worship Exhibit Hall B area by 10:00 am on Thursday.  Select a representative to pick up the banner by 5:30 pm and process in to our Council Eucharist.

For Council Eucharist, our special guest preacher will be the The Rt Rev Charles Andrew (Andy) Doyle, Bishop, Diocese of Texas.  Learn more about Bishop Doyle on the Worship page or on the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Time is running out to exhibit at Council

Don’t miss out, only 3 premium and 9 standard booths are available.  After January 16 there is a late fee of $25 for each booth.  As an exhibitor, if you will need electricity or booth furnishings, contact and pay the McAllen Convention Center and CEMS respectively.  Forms are on the Exhibitors page.  Also available is the CenterPlate (convention center catering) Exhibitor Boxed Lunch Pre-order Form for Thursday and Friday.

Booth assignments have been made and will be communicated to vendors beginning Monday January 9.  A listing of exhibitors and their booth numbers will be available soon.

Council show hours are:

  • Thursday, Feb 16 – 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • Friday, Feb 17 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday, Feb 18 – 8:00 am – 12 noon