The newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas
Episcopal Diocese of West Texas P. O. Box 6885 San Antonio, TX 78209 www.dwtx.org Send address changes to The Church News, P.O. Box 6885, San Antonio, TX 78209
● The Report on the 108th Diocesan Council begins on page 5. ● Church of the Holy Spirit Breaks Ground, page 4 ● The Bishop’s Address: Abounding in Hope, page 6 ● Abounding in Hope with Habitat for Humanity, page 7 In Every Issue: ● Around the Circuit, page 11 ● Calendar of Events, page 12 The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, bishop of the diocese, breaks ground for the new facilities for the Church of the Holy Spirit, San Antonio.
On the Bishop’s Mind
In the News
The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge Bishop of the Diocese
News and Features
2 On the Bishop’s Mind: “Customs” 4 Church of the Holy Spirit, SA, Breaks Ground 5 Report of the 108th Diocesan Council 6 The Bishop’s Address: Abounding in Hope 7 Abounding in Hope with Habitat for Humanity 8 Bishop Doyle Delivers the Eucharist Sermon 8 Council in Action Summary 9 Bishop Bauerschmidt: Hoping Against Hope
3 From the Editor 11 Around the Circuit 12 Calendar
is published six times a year by the Dept. of Communication Episcopal Diocese of West Texas P. O. Box 6885 San Antonio, Texas 78209
Volume 69 Number 2 March / April 2012 USPS 661-790 The Diocese of West Texas is a family of 27,000 members in 90 congregations across 60 counties and 69,000 square miles in South Central Texas.
Editor: Laura Shaver Laura.Shaver@dwtx.org
Bishop of West Texas: The Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge
Deadline for news and advertising is the 15th of the month preceding publication.
Bishop Suffragan: The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed
Periodicals Postage paid at San Antonio, TX and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Church News P.O. Box 6885 San Antonio, TX 78209
The Bishop Jones Center 111 Torcido Dr. San Antonio, Texas 78209 Telephone: 210/888-824-5387 FAX: 210-824-2164 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.dwtx.org
Communication Department Staff: Barbara Duffield: writer and departmental assistant Marjorie George: editor, Reflections Magazine and ReflectionsOnline Laura Shaver: communications officer
Much of the time I find myself preaching on something that I need to hear myself. And, I must say in all honesty, that I know there have been weeks when I have worked hard on a sermon and other weeks where I have not given the sermon the preparation that it needed and, moreover, deserved.
This brings me to the topic of “worship” in general. When you worship, I think it is very important that you expect God to speak to you. This is true for both those leading worship in their preparation and for those who attend a worship service. If you don’t expect to hear anything, chances are you won’t.
Cover photo by Laura Shaver.
I’ve preached a bunch of sermons in the soon-to-be 30 years that I have been ordained, although I actually have no idea how many. I hope that the majority have been meaningful to the hearers even as they have been meaningful to me as I prepared them.
Sermons consist of two main parts—the “preaching” and the “hearing.” If either of these is done poorly, a significant spiritual opportunity is missed. The congregation deserves a sermon that the preacher has prayerfully considered and carefully prepared. The preacher deserves a congregation who is carefully and prayerfully listening. Sadly, one or both of these things might be missing on any given Sunday.
In Every Issue
On the other hand, if you expect to hear God speak to you, there will be no end to your hearing. Expectant worship is a necessary posture for every Christian’s personal practice and piety. I hope that your Lenten discipline includes regular and expectant worship. Regular participation in worship follows Christ’s own example. In Luke, we read, “When he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom” (4:16). Lent is a good time to think about one’s own “customs” (we could also use words such as practices, routines, and disciplines, of course). Using the scriptural phrase in this passage, there are many “customs” in observing a faithful Lent. Certainly prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are in the “top 10.” When I think about these three, I am reminded of the complex web of relationships I face every day. For example, prayer reminds me of my relationship with God. I pray to confess, to intercede, to praise, and to thank. While the focus of prayer is on my relationship with God, it is through this relationship that I can then begin to focus on my relationships with others. Fasting reminds me of my relationship with self. Abstaining from “wrong and unhealthy” things and behaviors is not fasting—this is known as “obedience.” Spiritual fasting means abstaining from things that might be perfectly permissible. The aim of fasting is multidimensional, but one purpose is to help a person realize independence from
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On the Bishop’s Mind
Almsgiving reminds me of my relationship with others. Your relationship with others reveals your relationship with God for, as Jesus noted in the parable of the sheep and goats, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). God. Self. Others. These can be complex relationships, and yet from a biblical perspective they are all related, one to another. Lent provides a wonderful opportunity for reflection and redirection as we live out our discipleship in these areas. If you are in the midst of consciously observing an expectant Lent, keep at it. If not, it is not too late to turn your attention to spiritual “customs” for Lent. In fact, it’s never too late to begin, no matter what the season. Adopting a life-long pattern of spiritual “customs” is at the heart of faithful discipleship. To paraphrase Martin Luther, baptism takes only a few minutes to do, but a lifetime to finish. At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the importance of active “hearing.” I remember Jesus’ comment in a brief sermon he gave in the synagogue one day: “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). To apply these words to our own daily lives, Jesus is saying that the word from the Lord comes alive through our hearing, and indeed the Gospel regularly is about looking and listening; eyes and ears. I have found that if I listen expectantly, there is always a word from the Lord that helps me in my life in the days to come. May you develop the “custom” of actively listening in worship and discover, or rediscover, that God draws near.
From the Editor
Radiant Hope During one of our
recent staff meetings, Bishop Reed shared a story from his visit that past Sunday to one of our smaller churches in the Valley. As he celebrated Communion, a young lady, originally from Vietnam and a grad student, came to the altar to receive a blessing. The family with whom this young lady attends church told Bishop Reed that this was her first time to walk forward for a blessing in the months she had been attending. In seeing her do so, the family had renewed hope that one day soon this young lady may choose to be confirmed. Bishop Reed said he witnessed the growth of hope that particular Sunday. In one small congregation, hope spread in their midst. The young lady came to the altar to find Jesus, to meet Jesus, and to participate in the hope of his resurrection. Hope abounds across our diocese. Hope abounds in the world at large, though it is truly hard to see at times. I recently heard that Jesus loves each and every human individually, and that is different from simply loving humanity in general. And when one human finds Jesus, hope grows. When one human finds Jesus because a neighbor has led him to Him, hope abounds.
students in Christian fellowship, and when we help foster a relationship between Jesus and a friend. After Bishop Reed shared his story at our staff meeting, Bishop Lillibridge said, “Few people can remember what you say, but they can remember how they felt in your presence.” If we are a people of hope, it will radiate through our actions and in our words. If we are a people of hope, others around us, be it co-workers or bystanders, will experience the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ. As hope abounds in our midst, it can be felt within our ministries and within our daily encounters. I am blessed, during this time in my life, to experience the hope of our creator as I feel my unborn child wiggle around each and every day. I pray that this child continues to hold onto Jesus’ hand as he grows and develops. I imagine his glorious creation, and will rejoice on the day that I see God’s image in him. This reminds me daily of the hope found above, and I, too, pray that this revelation radiates from me to those around me. It’s hard to not witness faith, hope, and love around the formation and the blessing of new babies. Yet, even outside of this miracle, I can see hope in many corners and in many ministries where we, as a church family, abound and grow. Blessings to you as you radiate hope in your daily encounters.
We are called to love our neighbors, to witness, and to testify. We are called to live in the hope of Jesus’ resurrection, and we choose to share it. We share this hope when we break ground for a new church property, when we spend quality time with college
Lent Through the Eyes of the Artist Cathedral House Gallery at the Bishop Jones Center 111 Torcido Dr., San Antonio, 78209 Artwork by artists from around the diocese on display through April 7
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Images of artwork by (l to r): Terry Gary Puckett, Edwin Sasek, and Puckett.
anything that might take the primary place of God in our lives. Fasting also serves to remind us that Godly discipleship includes denying ourselves from time to time.
Church of the Holy Spirit, San Antonio, Breaks Ground On a rather cool but incredibly sunny win-
ter’s day in February, the Church of the Holy Spirit, San Antonio, broke ground for its new church facilities. Under a wealth of oak trees and on a 10-acre plot, over 200 people gathered to dedicate the new sacred space and the site of a 30-year hope, a permanent church home. The Rev. Jason Roberts, vicar of Holy Spirit, welcomed the crowd and led the procession from the forefront of the land down a short path to the future sight of the sanctuary. He dedicated the service to the youth and children, thanking them for their presence and for the future they provide. He asked each to pick up a single brick from a stack on a card table and place it on the makeshift altar, where the dedication service took place. “The bricks that remain to be placed are to represent those who have yet to come to Holy Spirit, and we are thankful for them as well,” said Roberts. The journey to this sacred space began in September 2009, when Holy Spirit sold its buildings and land to pursue the building of a place to worship, serve, pray, and come together in fellowship. Since then, the congregation has gathered at Pedrotti’s Northwind Ranch in Helotes. In April 2010, the new land was purchased, and church members held a service on the land to commission the Sacred Space Team. St. Michael’s, San Antonio, joined together in Common Mission with Holy Spirit in September 2010, joining spiritual resources.
Photos by Laura Shaver.
Scattering seeds and sowing hope was the theme woven into the dedication ceremony. On the cover of the bulletin, member
An informal church sign appears on the processional path. Oak trees abound on the new property for Church of the Holy Spirit.
Youth, members, and visitors to the dedication service placed bricks on the makeshift altar. Julie Hogenauer wrote, “Some years ago, the Sower scattered seeds in the dirt that became Holy Spirit’s first sacred space. A little later, the Sower scattered more seeds in the dirt that became St. Michael’s first sacred space. And a few years later, the young seedlings of these two congregations were combined… [They] started to blend and grow, and the Sower saw that it was good.” The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, bishop of the diocese, delivered the homily. He referenced his crosier, the pastoral staff carried by the bishop’s chaplain, saying it was a gift to Bishop Capers in 1919. Capers left the staff to the diocesan bishops that would follow him. Lillibridge pondered on the many groundbreaking ceremonies the crosier has attended, standing as a physical witness to the sowing of spiritual seeds across our diocese. Lillibridge said to the congregation, “This sacred space is not just a place where you have scattered your seeds, it is also a place where you will send others out to go forth and scatter.”
first recognized and gave thanks for the clergy in attendance who had guided Holy Spirit at one time, including the Rev. Reese Friedman, currently in Brownsville, and the Rt. Rev. James Folts (ret.), among others. Lillibridge, with the gold shovel in hand, turned the dirt three times and blessed the sacred space in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Roberts blessed the crowd that had gathered but did not give a dismissal, saying everyone had to return in hopefully 11 months time, to be dismissed rightly from the official first church service in the new facilities. Children and adults gathered around for a chance to turn the dirt. Each attendee was given a packet of donated wildflower seeds to either scatter on the site or scatter where he chose. Laura Shaver
During the singing of the hymn “Holy Ground,” the Sacred Space Team, including the architects from Overland Partners and a representative from Pape-Dawson Engineers, joined Roberts and the Rev. Kelly Conkling, assistant vicar for pastoral care, around the site for the breaking of ground. Lillibridge
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The 108th Diocesan Council February 16-18, 2012
Hosted by St. John’s, McAllen
All reports can be found on the Council Live page of the Council website in either written or audio form: http://council-dwtx.org/ council-live/. Christian Faith in Action Luncheon During the Christian Faith in Action luncheon, held Thursday, February 16, before Diocesan Council convened, the Rev. Andy Lobban, chaplain to the Good Samaritan Community Services (GSCS) delivered a talk on GSCS and beyond. “The Church Beyond the Sanctuary” was the title of Lobban’s talk, and he began by saying how the ministry of GSCS is iconic of the movement that is occurring, and that is necessary, so that we may serve as witnesses of the love of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. Lobban acknowledged the fear of moving outside physical sanctuaries, where
beauty resides and comfort runs deep. However, the focus of the church of this era should be based on the Great Commission (Matthew 28), “to go not come, but go out and serve,” said Lobban. Lobban continued his talk incorporating the five questions of the Baptismal Covenant, to which the reply is “I will, with God’s help.” Lobban said of GSCS and the Church as a whole, “If everyone ministering in it is living by the five statements of the covenant, than we are truly witnessing.” Committee on Status of Parishes and Missions The Rev. Ed Dohoney, deployment officer of the diocese, presented two resolutions to the Council floor (Resolution 3-2012 and 4-2012) asking for the admittance of St. Luke’s, Cypress Mill, and St. Margaret’s, San Antonio, as parishes in the Diocese of West Texas. Representatives and members of both congregations joyfully walked up to the stage while the St. John’s Contemporary Band played “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Dohoney read the resolutions, and they were both seconded and approved, with applause from the Council floor. The Rev. Tommy Bye, now acting rector of St. Luke’s, Cypress Mill, spoke to Council, saying it was by God’s grace that growth came to the church “in the middle of nowhere.” The Rev. Philip Cunningham, now rector of St. Margaret’s, San Antonio, then took the stage and delivered a humorous history of St. Margaret’s. He said of St. Margaret’s, “With God’s mercy, there will always be something about the place that cannot be explained by who happens to be there at the time, be it laity or a priest.” New Clergy and Senior Seminarians The Rev. Ed Dohoney, deployment officer of the diocese, welcomed the following new clergy to the diocese:
The St. John’s, McAllen, contemporary worship band.
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The Rev. Michael Bertrand, vicar, St. Peter and St. Paul, Mission;
The Rev. Kelly Conkling, assistant vicar, Holy Spirit, San Antonio; The Rev. Andy Lobban, chaplain, Good Samaritan Community Services; The Rev. Liz Montes, assistant rector, Trinity, Victoria; The Rev. James Nelson, rector, St. John’s, McAllen; The Rev. Beverly Patterson, rector, St. Andrews, Port Isabel; The Rev. Richard Elwood, acting rector, Grace, Llano Bishop Lillibridge recognized and welcomed the following seminarians: Michael Koehler from the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee. Michael will serve as assistant to the interim rector of St. Stephen’s Wimberley. He will be ordained to the diaconate on May 31 at St. David’s, San Antonio. Nancy Springer from Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada. Nancy will serve as assistant to the rector of St. John’s in McAllen. She will be ordained to the diaconate on June 11 at St. Thomas, San Antonio. Bishop’s Golf Tournament 2011 Donning new yellow, navy, and red striped golf pants, Mike Horridge, co-chair of the annual bishop’s golf tournament, gave some statistics and announced the winners of the 2011 tournament. In the six years of this ministry, over 840 people have participated in the golf tournaments from 55 churches. $192,000 has been raised, including $130,665 in youth scholarships for camping programs, given to youth who may not have the opportunity to attend a camp session without assistance. In 2011, $30,000 was raised, surpassing the goal of $25,000. The grand champion in 2011 was St. Thomas, San Antonio, who received a check worth Continued on page 9.
Photo by Laura Shaver.
The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge called the 108th Diocesan Council to order at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, February 16, 2012. Lillibridge introduced the theme of Council and the theme for 2012, “Abound in Hope,” from Romans 15:13, asking the Council delegation to “put yourselves in an orientation of hopefulness.” Sam Carter Gilliam, professor of drama and arts at Trinity University, presented the opening act of “Abundance,” a three-act drama, written by Gilliam, that concluded on Saturday morning. It continued the story of Mrs. Barrington and the struggles within her beloved church’s community, St. Aidan’s Episcopal. This dramatic act was a hit at Council 2011 and was enthusiastically welcomed back this year. Churches will soon receive the DVD of Gilliam’s drama to use at their discretion.
The Bishop’s Address: Abounding In Hope Audio and video of the bishop’s address can be found on the Council Live page of the Council website: http://council-dwtx.org/council-live/
The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge delivered his
address to the 108th annual Diocesan Council in McAllen on Friday morning, February 16. Lillibridge integrated the diocesan theme for 2012, “Abound in Hope,” into all areas of his address, which focused on the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion at large, growing ministries in the Diocese of West Texas, and continued leadership development. Lillibridge extended thanks to Council for his “spirit-filled and restful” sabbatical in 2011. In June of this year, Lillibridge will observe 30 years of ordained service, and this first full sabbatical taken last year was well appreciated. Announcing “Abound in Hope” as the diocesan theme for the year, which comes from Romans 15:13, Lillibridge reflected on biblically grounded hope. He said, “It is confidently expectant and is rooted in and sustained through a sacred commitment between God and human beings. Abounding in hope is not a pious platitude; it is the deliberate action of truly believing in the promises of God. Abounding in hope is an active verb.” Lillibridge said being hopeful in everyday life is an orientation, and he reminded Council that Jesus set this example. In the first chapter of Mark, Jesus proclaims, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news.” This proclamation came after his cousin John’s arrest and unrest was present. Lillibridge said, “Christ possesses the ability to see through bad news to a much broader belief in good news, the Good News. If we are going to grow up into the full stature of Christ, surely that includes being a person with an orientation, a posture, fixed on hope.”
Turning toward “Abounding in Hope” in the big picture, Lillibridge stated these are still challenging times in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Covenant continues to be considered across the globe, though it will be a few more years before all the provinces submit responses. The Diocese of West Texas passed a resolution at Diocesan Council 2011 in support of the Covenant. However, when The Episcopal Church (TEC) gathers at General Convention this summer in Indianapolis,
Lillibridge believes TEC will not sign it in its present form. At General Convention in July in Indianapolis, discussions will include restructuring ministries in TEC and in the way General Convention is structured. The Diocesan Executive Board is co-sponsoring a resolution “which calls for the Church to engage this conversation with the hope of best positioning ourselves as a Church for mission and ministry as we move into the coming decades,” said Lillibridge. A resolution from the Episcopal Church Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music will also be considered at General Convention, which will recommend a three-year trial use of rites for same-gender blessings. As General Convention draws nearer, Lillibridge and the Rt. Rev. David Reed, bishop suffragan of the diocese, will be in communication with members of the diocese about the issues to be presented. Lillibridge said he and Reed are “counting on the leadership and membership of our diocesan family to engage subsequent conversation and responses with Godly wisdom, Christ-like compassion, and the grace of the Holy Spirit.” Lillibridge referenced Colossians 1:17 quoting Paul who said, “Jesus is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” He said we must all ask ourselves this question: Am I in Christ? The deputation elected to General Convention at last year’s Diocesan Council will be mindful of this question while in Indianapolis and communicating back to their diocesan family. Lillibridge then turned his address to ministries within our diocese, beginning with “Abounding in Hope” in Habitat for Humanity. In our decades-long partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we have raised over $1.3 million and built 29 homes. The Habitat Task Force has been re-energized with a new vision, which includes a new name: Habitat Builders for West Texas. Lillibridge asked Council to renew their commitment to Habitat for Humanity and to commit to building three homes in the next
six years, a build every other year, in 2013, 2015, and 2017. The in-between years will be spent raising money and working with local Habitat affiliates. The Habitat Builders for West Teas has determined that the first home will be built in Beeville, working with St. Philip’s. Lillibridge gave suggestions for how each church can raise funds to support the planned homes, and said he and Bishop Reed will lead the way with a combined $5,000 donation. Our Camps and Conferences ministry is “second to none,” said Lillibridge, and we are “Abounding in Hope” with it. Lillibridge said Council would hear about the major renovations and improvements plan for Camp Capers in the Camps and Conferences Department’s report. Phase I of the plan, which includes improving Steves Hall, a common gathering area, a new health center, and many other site improvements is moving forward with commitments of $1,767,000 of the $2,900,000 goal amount. Lillibridge asked Council to set aside Sunday, March 25, the fifth Sunday in Lent, as Camp Sunday, during which all churches will educate their congregations about our camping programs at Camp Capers, Mustang Island Conference Center, and the Colorado adventure program. Lillibridge said, “We reach almost 2,000 individuals through our summer camping programs, and during September to May, both of our conference facilities are booked, and these ministries continue to expand.” As part of Camp Sunday, he asked that the offering be donated to the Good Samaritan Community Services (GSCS) camp scholarship fund, so we may continue to offer the opportunity for the children of GSCS to attend a camp session.
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We “Abound in Hope” in our diocesan leadership development. The clergy conference held this past October yielded ongoing discussions on the traits of effective leaders, after the presenter at the conference challenged the clergy to examine their leadership styles. Lillibridge said he is encouraged by the serious engagement of the clergy in this discussion. The annual seminarian retreat will continue for its fourth year. In May, the seminarians will come together with the examining chaplains to focus on and discuss ordination. This retreat continues to be a valuable time for our seminarians, and Lillibridge said, “This is an area in which our efforts are being shared with the wider church and there is a growing interest from other dioceses to learn more about what we are doing.” For other continued leadership development, ten of our youth ministers will engage in a year-long coaching program that will address professional and personal spiritual growth. Also, the Diocese of West Texas has been selected by the Episcopal Church Foundation to participate in the Barnabas Project, “a pilot program dedicated to identifying, shaping, and forming leadership in the coming years,” which requires “clergy participants that have been ordained five years or less,” said Lillibridge. The Barnabas Project includes laity as well, with each participating clergy person asking two lay leaders to participate with him or her.
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The Standing Committee, the Discernment Committee, and the Examining Chaplains continue to come together in conversation about the discernment of vocation, which relates closely to Christian formation and Christian education. Lillibridge said, “In these conversations, we are considering what discipleship looks like, what leadership looks like following Christ’s own example, and what the diocese and the Church needs in terms of current and future servant leaders.” Lillibridge asked all congregations to consider questions such as: “Is there just one meaning of Church? How multi-dimensional is it and how do we embody what we believe it is? What are we called to be? To do? To deliver in this world? How will we measure faithfulness, discipleship, and progress?” We have new frontiers to witness to all around us, with the development of the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas industry bringing thousands to our diocesan areas, with the Latino population continuing to grow in south Texas, and with the ministries of the Good Samaritan Community Services and the Cliff Maus Village in Corpus Christi rising to the growing educational and economical frontiers. In terms of missional work and the continuation of being a missional church, Lillibridge said, “This is the kind of creative thinking your diocesan leadership is undertaking, and I encourage you to engage the subject in your own life and in the life of your congregation. As we do it, may we always ‘Abound in Hope.’” In addition to the diocesan theme “Abound in Hope” for the year, Lillibridge also asked that the diocesan family study First and Second Corinthians. A Bible study on these books by the Rev. Drs. Jane Patterson and John Lewis will be available after Council. In his closing remarks, Lillibridge returned to a reflection he quoted early in his address by William Carlos Williams, paraphrasing, “Yes, there may be a lot to worry about in this life, but there’s also a lot of beauty and goodness around. As people who profess the Christian faith, we have an obligation to hold on to hope… with God as our guide and Christ as our companion.” Laura Shaver
Abounding in Hope with Habitat for Humanity The Committee on the Bishop’s Address set forth the following resolution: Resolution 4- 2012: Abound in Hope through Action WHEREAS, to abound in Hope is to witness a true belief in the promises of God through deliberate Christ like action. Now therefore be it resolved by this 108th Council that in furtherance of our continuing resolve to witness our mindset of service to others, each congregation in the diocese shall: 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 $300.00 per year. Donating to Habitat Online In his address, Bishop Lillibridge stated that if 1,250 members of our diocesan family (about 13% of our total membership) each gave $2.00 a month for six years, we could raise the $180,000 needed to fund three homes. In response to Resolution 4-2012 and Lillibridge’s suggestion, you may make an online donation to the work of the Habitat Builders for West Texas to help fund the next six homes. Visit the diocesan website (www.dwtx. org) and under “Diocese” click on “Committees and Commissions” and then choose “Habitat for Humanity.” Please call Laura Shaver at 210-8245387 with questions.
Photo by Marjorie George.
Focusing on youth and young adults, Lillibridge said we are “Abounding in Hope” on our college campuses. The diocesan Ministry in Higher Education is getting a fresh look in 2012 as we seek to reach the 300,000-plus college students within our diocese’s borders. Lillibridge said, “Ministry in Higher Education is a challenging, cutting-edge ministry, and we need to give it the attention, the thoughtfulness, and the resources that it deserves.” As was noted at the pre-council gatherings, 37 percent of our proposed Reaching Out budget for 2012 (approximately $600,000) is directly tied to ministry with children, youth, and young adults. Lillibridge called on congregations to allocate money in their budget for youth programs and imagine the possibilities. “Dream big and be creative. Talk to young people about their hopes, their dreams, and their concerns. Ask them about global issues, and the world they hope to see, and what it means to be the heart, the hands, and the feet of Christ,” said Lillibridge.
Bishop Doyle Delivers Council Eucharist Sermon The Episcopalians who gathered in 1839 to
form the Episcopal Church in Texas wrote in the minutes of their first diocesan council: “We are united, we are formed, we are styled, and we are known as the Episcopal Church.” That remains true, said the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle, current bishop of the Diocese of Texas, in his sermon during the Council Eucharist. “Today,” said Bishop Doyle, “we stand on the shoulders of bishops, clergy, and laity who were steadfast in their faith.” It is important, said Doyle, to see that regardless of our own sin and brokenness, we have continued to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the people of Texas. Doyle’s message was one of encouragement. He reiterated the words of Bishop Robert W. B. Elliott, first bishop of the Missionary District of Western Texas, to the first Council of West Texas in 1875: “Let us remember that it is our mission as brethren banded together for the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Those first members of the Missionary District of Western Texas had a vision of a thriving Episcopal Church in Texas, said Doyle. “With faith,” he said, “we look back, at a living and encouraging word.”
Photos by Laura Shaver and Marjorie George.
Doyle reminded the congregation of several ways we can glorify God in our own time.
First, he said, we are to “bring our lives alongside the scriptures.” We are to live our lives under the grace of God and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must be accountable for our successes and our failures, said Doyle, and we must remember that we are God’s missionaries “if we hope to offer anyone anything of value.” We are, said Bishop Doyle, “to generously invite, generously love, generously value, generously welcome, and generously bring into the family of God, his lost sheep.” Doyle reminded the congregation that the most common command in the Bible is: “Do not be afraid. Fear can easily become paralyzing instead of motivating, habitual instead of sporadic,” said Doyle. However, we can all be reminded that “God really is big enough to take care of us,” said Doyle. Christ also calls us to encourage one another, said Doyle. “The temptation in our culture is to demean one another instead of encourage one another,” he added. St. Paul calls us to live in harmony, he said. “I encourage you to stop seeing each other as different from one another and begin to see one another unified by the blood of the lamb.” Doyle also encouraged the congregation to be leaders of the diocese. “We are bound
Bishop Doyle delivers the sermon at the Council Eucharist service on Thursday evening.
together by a common missionary spirit,” said Doyle. “We are brothers and sisters and friends in Christ Jesus, and we have been called into leadership at this time to glorify God and make his name known.” Marjorie George A video account of Bishop Doyle’s sermon and Bishop Bauerschmidt’s luncheon speech (see article on page 9) are available on the Council Live page of the Council website at http://council-dwtx.org/council-live/.
Council in Action You were called to be an agent of hope. You responded. As of Saturday morning, February 18, over 575 Spanish Books of Common Prayer (los Libros de Oracion Comun) had been purchased and donated for the churches in the Diocese of Northern Mexico, our partners in ministry through Frontera United. In addition to the BCPs, “lots and lots” of sacristy supplies were brought for the nine churches in Northern Mexico. Approximately 1,500 adult briefs/diapers had been donated for Casa Bethesda Orphanage in Mexico, including 20 cases donated by Hope Medical Supply, Inc. of San Antonio.
The Rev. Scott Brown, rector of St. Alban’s, Harlingen, delivers copies of los Libros del Oracion Comun to the Rev. Raymundo Castillo, San Francisco, Monterrey; and el Muy Rev. Pbro. Serge F. Villalobos Mendez of Northern Mexico.
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“Hoping Against Hope” Council delegates and clergy welcomed the Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee, as the speaker at the Council luncheon on Friday, Feb. 17. Bauerschmidt continued the Council theme in his talk, “Hoping Against Hope.” Bauerschmidt reminded the luncheon guests of the story of Abraham, whom God said would be the father of many nations although he had no heirs. After the birth of Isaac, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham acted in hope, said Bauerschmidt. “Hope,” said the bishop, “is when one cannot visualize the route from the way things are to the way they might be.” That is what hope is about, said Bauerschmidt, “when you can’t see the way forward.” He spoke of hope being a belief and expectation that we will arrive, though we do not know the road that will take us there. “It is being unable to see what the future will look like but believing in a future goodness anyway.” In the church, said Bauerschmidt, we see that the old is passing away, yet we have hope that God will make a new way. Though we are tempted to accept, cope, and manage with the way things are, hope breaks that open and we see things we did not think possible. Marjorie George
The Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee, speaks at the Council luncheon on Friday.
The Report on the 108th Diocesan Council, continued $1,400 for their youth program; second place and $500 was awarded to TMI - The Episcopal School of Texas. The team from Porter Loring placed third. Jonathan Dear, member of the team, decided to return the amount, and match it, to one of our churches in need of youth funding. Horridge then presented a $500 check (with other funding from gener-
The 2012 Bishop’s Golf Tournament will take place once again at Canyon Springs Golf Club in San Antonio on Friday, November 2.
members of the diocese that have recently participated in mission trips. Each gave a story on the hope that abounds in other areas of the world because of the dedication of the diocesan Department of World Mission and all who venture out to foreign lands. The stories centered on hope abounding in Russia; Ethiopia; Piedras Negras, Mexico, and Vietnam.
Camps and Conferences Report
Resolutions of Council 2012
Rob Watson, executive director of the diocesan Department of Camps and Conferences, brought Council news from the Gulf Coast, the Guadalupe River, and the mountains of Colorado, by reporting on activities at Mustang Island Conference Center, Camp Capers, and the Colorado Adventure Program.
Please read the following resolutions on the Council Live page at http://council-dwtx.org/ council-live.
ous donors) to the Rev. Richard Speer from Grace, Weslaco. Speer accepted the special youth award, thanking Karen and Maria (youth directors) who “work their tails off to make it happen,” said Speer.
Watson reminded Council that March 25 is Camp Sunday, as was noted in Bishop Lillibridge’s address. Camp Capers Program Director, Brian Kates, delivered news of Capers and announced the 65th anniversary celebration to be held on May 26. Mustang Island Program Director, Johnson Jeffers, invited all to particpate in Family Camp this summer, as Mustang Island celebrates ten years of ministry. World Mission Report Mike Horridge reveals the 2012 Council golf pants.
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Marthe Curry, director of development for World Mission, brought to the stage a few
Resolution 1-2012 - passed Proposed Amendment to Canon 7 Episcopate Endowment Fund of the Constitution and Canons Resolution 2-2012 - passed Amendment to Article Fifth of the Charter of the Episcopal Church Corporation in West Texas Resolution 5-2012 - passed Recognition of Dr. Artemisia Bowden Bishop Lillibridge said Resolution 5-2012 is “an excellent example of the good work of our diocesan Historical Commission.” Susan Johnson, chair of the Historical Commission, said, “I am very excited to bring Dr. Bowden Continued on page 10.
Photos by Marjorie George.
Continued from page 5.
Church News Continued from page 9.
into the community of this Council. She worked for 52 years at St. Philip’s College, bringing it from four young African American women to one of the largest campuses in the Alamo Colleges community college system in San Antonio. She was such a saint, and it’s been a joy to ‘get to know her’ by working on this [resolution].” To read more about the legacy of Dr. Bowden, please view the article “Artemisia Bowden Nominated for Calendar of the Church Year” by Marjorie George on the Council Live web page. Christian Education Cathy Villani and Ann Allen, volunteer cochairs of the diocesan Christian Education (CE) department, focused their report on communication amongst the Christian educators in our churches. They announced the CE page on the diocesan website (www.dwtx. org) was rebuilt last year with a “resource of the month” section. They told educators that all are invited to join the diocesan CE listserve, an interactive email list, and to join the National Association of Episcopal Educators with a national email listserve. Membership in this organization is paid for by the CE department. Soon Villani and Allen will implement a diocesan CE Facebook page to further enhance communication and networking.
Photos by Marjorie George.
Episcopal Church Foundation Dan Butt, executive director of the Episcopal Church Foundation in West Texas, told Council the theme for 2011 was volatility, just like it was in 2010. “In 2010, the volatility ended up producing nice investment gains. In 2011, even though the fourth quarter ended on a strong note, the year as a whole was flat,” said Butt. The Foundation achieved an investment gain of only $165,000, or .4 of one percent; however, the peer group universe experienced a 1.4 percent loss. Butt explained each quarter in 2011, which fluctuated between gains and losses of similar amounts. “It was a wild ride, and I was plenty happy to be in the black by the end of the year,” said Butt. Butt said at year-end, the Foundation had total assets of $46.2 million in 165 accounts. The diocesan-level accounts will contribute $717,000 to diocesan programs this year.
Jesus, discover who they have been created to be, and watch them flourish. “I get the chance to witness this life-changing experience all the time,” said Richards. Our diocesan college ministry is actively involved with college students on a variety of campuses, meeting once a week at each. There are different levels of effectiveness and engagement. Richards travels to each campus every week and engages the students in prayer and worship, and they also eat together and play together. The diocesan Ministry in Higher Education is undergoing new visioning in 2012 as was noted in the bishop’s address. The task force is headed by the Rev. Jason Roberts, vicar of Holy Spirit, San Antonio. Richards recently attended a national college ministry conference and said, “We have an amazing chance to shape the direction of our church and not just locally. College ministry genuinely has the opportunity to produce a whole new section of leadership in our diocese.” Hope in Lake Corpus Christi Bishop Lillibridge called Marilyn Knox, member of St. Michael’s, Lake Corpus Christi, to the Council stage. As Knox appeared, not knowing anything of the invitation, Lillibridge said Knox represents a living, breathing example of abounding in hope. She was once, and recently, the only communicant of St. Michael’s. Knox kept the little church going, by moving out into her community. Lillibridge said, “Bishop Reed and I have a proclamation to thank her for her work; she could’ve gotten very discouraged. It is still not milk and honey, but she presses on.” Lillibridge read the proclamation and said Knox embodies accomplishment, dedication, and an example of servanthood to which the Lord calls all of us. Serving has led her to developing the St. Michael’s thrift store, occupying the church building and providing for those in need.
Greg Richards, coordinator of diocesan college ministry, delivered the program’s report. Richards said he is so thankful for his opportunity to watch young people encounter
Over 100 youth walked on to the Council floor Satur-
10 March/April 2012
day morning to a standing ovation. Bishop Lillibridge read from Mark’s Gospel (9:3337), “This Gospel lesson shows a human tendency, despite our good intentions, to lapse into thinking that we are more important than we are,” said Lillibridge. He went on to say that in Luke’s Gospel, the story of the argument of the apostles is told a bit differently. In Luke’s Gospel, the argument follows the Lord’s Supper. Lillibridge said, “When we remember the offerings of Jesus at the Eucharist, we re-member the components of the story. We put together the story of God’s people.” And yet, after this holy moment, the apostles went on to argue about who was the greatest. Lillibridge said this is what we do, but, “when we live in servant leadership as Jesus did, we lead other people to abound in hope.” Lillibridge told the youth that our diocesan theme this year is “Abound in Hope.” He said, “We do that much easier when we remember the story, when we put it together.” In these moments, we are not thinking of our own importance, but of Jesus’ example of laying down our life for someone else. Lillibridge then commissioned the youth to go out and paint buildings on the campus of Good Samaritan Community Services – Rio Grande Valley in Pharr. The youth and their sponsors went out with the full support of Council.
Bishop Lillibridge commissions the youth for Youth in Action.
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Around the Circuit
Executive Board Clergy: The Rev. Philip Cunningham The Rev. Chris Caddell The Rev. Chris Cole (one-year unexpired term) Lay: Nancy Barton Gayle Gottlich Susan Johnson Dawn Goldammer Trustees of the Episcopal Church Corporation
Church News The Ministry in Daily Life Committee of St. Mark’s, San Antonio, presents “This Episcopal Life,” audio ministry. “This Episcopal Life” is a monthly podcast focused on faith in the workplace with thoughtful interviews of diverse parishioners of St. Mark’s. The goal is to offer insights for living faithfully where we spend the bulk of our time—whether office, home, school, or community. Emmet Faulk, community formation director, serves as the interviewer. You can find “This Episcopal Life” on the St. Mark’s website at http://stmarks-sa.org under the “Home” tab and then by clicking on “Audio/Podcasts”.
Clergy: The Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson Lay: John Mason Trustees of University of the South Lay: Kathy Young Trustees of TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas Lay/Clergy: The Rev. Ram Lopez Elizabeth Black The Rev. David Chalk (2-year unexpired term) Peter Gooding (1-year unexpired term) Standing Committee Clergy: The Rev. Ram Lopez Lay: Thurma Hilton
Book of Remembrance The Books of Remembrance and Thanksgiving are ways to honor and remember those who have died or to give thanks for special persons or special events in our lives. The donations made are used to help fund scholarships for seminarians in the Diocese of West Texas. Donations made from July 2011 to January 2012 have now been posted on the diocesan website, www.dwtx.org. Click on “Book of Remembrance” found under the “Prayer and Spiritual Formation” menu tab.
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TMI Teacher Published in Christian Reference
Audio Ministry at St. Mark’s, San Antonio
Jacob H. Friesenhahn, Ph.D., chairman of the Religious Studies department at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, is one of the contributors to The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, published in January by Wiley-Blackwell. Friesenhahn’s article on the problem of evil appears in Volume II of the reference work. He is also the author of The Trinity and Theodicy: The Trinitarian Theology of von Balthasar and the Problem of Evil, a study on this concept in the work of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, published in 2010 by Ashgate Publishing.
Camp Capers’ 65th Anniversary The 65th anniversary of Camp Capers will be celebrated at Camp Capers on Saturday, May 26. Come see people you haven’t seen in years. Registration is now open; visit the Special Events page on the diocesan website at www.dwtx.org. Feel free to invite any and all Capers alumns. For more information, please contact Jean Beere at email@example.com or 210/888-824-5387. Dig Out Those Fishing Poles... The Annual Fishin’ for Mission Fishing Tournament Returns Anglers from all over the diocese and beyond will converge on St. Peter’s, Rockport, to intimidate the trout and redfish, see old friends, and make new ones. The annual Fishin’ for Mission fishing tournament will take place Friday-Saturday, June 22-23. The $125 dollar entry fee ($75 for youth under 17) includes a wonderful al fresco dinner at St. Peter’s on Friday at registration, entry to the tournament on Saturday, and a yummy smorgasbord of goodies when you get back to weigh in at the Saltwater Pavilion at Rockport Beach Park (a destination of its own). In addition, fishermen will have an opportunity to win all sorts of raffle prizes, and best of all, proceeds go to support diocesan World Mission projects. There is a guided division for those without a boat or gear. If you are not a fisherman but would still like to contribute, consider sponsoring the tournament. Grab your fishing buddies (up to four on a team) and make plans to join the fun. If you haven’t discovered Rockport yet, or met the friendly folks at St. Peter’s, it’s high time. For more information check the Diocesan website at www.dwtx.org, or call St. Peter’s at 361-729-2649 or Michael Glick at 210-382-3206.
TMI staff photo submitted by Paula Allen. “Fishin’” photo submitted by Cindy Glick.
Election Results of the 108th Diocesan Council
FYI - Seminars, Conferences, Workshops, Retreats For details and online registration (when available) for these events, visit the diocesan website at www.dwtx.org and click on “Special Events” or “Church and Other Events” located under the “Events and Calendar” tab, unless noted otherwise.
EfM (Education for Ministry) Mentor Training will be held March 23-25 at Camp Capers. For more information, please contact Ada Sutherland, diocesan coordinator for EfM at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 361-572-4816 or 361-564-8492.
Cursillo #256, May 3-6 Cursillo #256 will be held at Mustang Island Conference Center, May 3-6. John DeMontel, Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi, will serve as lay rector, and the Rev. Tommy Bye, St. Luke’s, Cypress Mill, as spiritual director.
Annual Altar Guild Workshop, March 25-28 The annual Altar Guild workshop is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and some of our diocese’s Altar Guild members will attend. “His Table” will be held Sunday, March 25, through Wednesday, March 28, at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. For more information, contact Fran Schrader with the Diocesan Altar Guild at 210-692-1851.
April Spring Women’s Gathering, April 13-15 at Camp Capers The Commission for Women’s Ministry will host the spring women’s gathering, “Callings, Then and Now” at Camp Capers on April 13-15, 2012. The Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson will be the speaker, and the Rev. Patricia Reardon Riggins will serve as chaplain. This retreat is for all women ages 18 and older. Vocare #28, April 13-15 at Wessendorf Ranch Vocare #28 for college students and young adults will be held April 13-15, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday and ending at 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $35.00. Retreat will be at the Wellspring Retreat Center on the Wessendorf Ranch near New Braunfels. For more information, contact Greg Richards at email@example.com.
Daughters of the King General Assembly, May 4-5 The DWTX Daughters of the King General Assembly will be held Friday and Saturday, May 4-5, at St. Mark’s, San Antonio, with the theme “Consider it Pure Joy” from the Book of James. The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, bishop of the diocese, will be the speaker. Cost for both days is $40 or $30 for Saturday only. 99th Spiritual Retreat for Recovering Alcoholics, AlAnons, and Adult Children of Alcoholics, May 4-6 The 99th Spiritual Retreat will be held at Camp Capers May 4-6. Check-in begins at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The Rt. Revs. James “Jim” Folts and Robert Hibbs will serve as the co-leaders. Cost of $125 includes all meals - supper Friday night through breakfast on Sunday - and accommodations for two nights. Scholarship assistance is available. Please contact Joyce C. at 210-824-7959 or Barbara Baugh at 210/888-824-5387. Camp Capers 65th Reunion, May 26 The 65th anniversary of Camp Capers will be celebrated at Camp Capers on Saturday, May 26. Come see people you haven’t seen in years. Registration is now open on the Special Events page online.
Trinity by the Sea Benefit Golf Tournament, April 27 Trinity by the Sea, Port Aransas, will host their 4th annual benefit golf tournament on Friday, April 27, at Newport Dunes Golf Course in Port Aransas. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Player fees are $125 per player, which includes a box lunch and a light dinner along with beverages. Players can register by contacting Nana Ward at nanaward@ Centurytel.net or Charles Thompson at Chasthompson2002@ yahoo.com, or by calling 361-749-6448. Proceeds from the golf tournament will fund the Day School Scholarship Fund.
12 March/April 2012
St. Luke’s, Cypress Mill (above), and St. Margaret’s, San Antonio (left) celebrate their admission as parishes in the Diocese of West Texas at Diocesan Council on February 16.
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Photos by Laura Shaver.
Nails and Prayers Men’s Retreat, April 20-22 The 2012 Nails and Prayers Men’s Retreat will be held at Camp Capers on Friday, April 20, through Sunday, April 22. The Rev. Jay George will serve as chaplain, and Bryce Boddie will lead the music. All men ages 18 and over are welcome. Cost is $45. For more information, contact Chris Mitchell at 210-452-1432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.