Exhibitors start your engines. . .

. . . and check your mailboxes.  An invitation to exhibit at Council 2013 was mailed on Thursday, November 29th to all previous and potential Exhibitors.  As we return to AmericanBank Center, Corpus Christi in February, the exhibits will again be in Watergarden A beside the business session.  And of course, the hospitality area is positioned at the back to insure a steady flow of attendees past our 62 exhibits.  After all, who can resist our tradition of free cookies and coffee?  Back by popular demand, the host church committee will again offer the “Daily iPad Give-away” during Council.  Vendors don’t forget your stamp or sticker to help attendees fill their “iPad card.”  Online exhibitor registration will open Wednesday, December 12, 2012, and complete information including the booth map and committee invitation letter is now available on the Exhibits page at http://council-dwtx.org.

Council 2013 planning begins!

It’s that time of year.  Time to begin preparing for Council 2013.  This year we will meet in Corpus Christi at the AmericanBank Center, with the first business session beginning at 1:00 pm on Thursday, February 21, 2013.  We’ll be staying at the Omni Bayfront Hotel, and with 400 rooms we’ve got space for everyone.  Hosted this year by the people who are St. Bartholomew’s, their plans have focused first on the location for our Friday night banquet.  And what a location it is!  You won’t want to miss an evening on the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier, with great food, tours of the ship, flight simulation and more.

Details will be added to this website as they develop.  But for now, pages just updated are:

Now it’s time for you to begin your plans.  Make your hotel reservations, mark the calendar for your PreCouncil meeting date, and consider nominating someone to serve at the diocesan level.

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.

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 (rwoody@churchofreconciliation.org 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 council-dwtx.org 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).

Episcopal Diocese of West Texas