Diolog Dec2017 Volume 7 Number 4

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DEC 2017



The Texas Episcopalian


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Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian (since 1874) is an official publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Our mission is to share the stories of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the broader Episcopal Church; to inform, to inspire. PUBLISHER:

The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle

EDITOR: Carol E. Barnwell, cbarnwell@epicenter.org DESIGNER:

LaShane K. Eaglin, leaglin@epicenter.org


Paulette E. Martin, pmartin@epicenter.org

Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian (PE# USPS 10965, ISSN# 1074441X) is published quarterly (March, June, September and December) for $25 a year by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, 1225 Texas St., Houston, TX 77002-3504. Periodical postage paid at Houston, TX. Address changes may be emailed to: txepis@epicenter.org POSTMASTER: Address changes: Diolog: The Texas

Episcopalian, 1225 Texas St., Houston, TX 77002-3504 © 2017 The Episcopal Diocese of Texas

Member of Episcopal Communicators and Associated Church Press Diolog: Winner of Award of Excellence — The Polly Bond Award for Special Achievement in Church Communication.

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas



In This Issue: 04 EDITOR’S LETTER Carol E. Barnwell

08 HEALTHY COMMUNITIES The focus at Episcopal Health Foundation is on improving health, not simply providing healthcare. They are committed to transforming the health of the communities.

The Good Samaritan 5

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES 06 Bishop’s Column 08 It’s About Health Not Just Healthcare 10 Angel’s Story: Addressing The Root

Causes Of Poor Health

12 Small Churches Make Big Impact 14 There is a Connection Between Racial

Reconciliation and Health

16 The Power Of Mental Health First Aid 18 Closing the Gap in East Texas 20 Developing Congregational Leaders In Health PROFILES

Luminary, Dr. Roland Goertz page 22

26 HOLY CURRENCIES MODEL Find out which six congregations in our Diocese are developing a partnership with EHF to grow healthier communities.

The Arts, Faces of the Health Crisis in Texas page 24 Advocacy, Holy Currencies Model page 26 Congregation, St. John's, La Porte page 28 42 CALENDAR & PEOPLE

Hurricane Harvey Relief 31

Cover and Inside Cover Photo: The Good Samaritan, Vicent Van Gogh


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After seven years of quarterly publications, Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian will become an annual publication in 2018. The Diolog followed nearly 165 years of regular publication as the Texas Churchman and The Texas Episcopalian newspaper, sharing the stories of our congregations and ministry in the Diocese of Texas from the Church’s founding in the Republic of Texas. We will continue to write and film these stories, sharing them online through the diocesan website at www.epicenter.org and through links in our weekly digital news. This final issue is focused on the extensive work of the Episcopal Health Foundation, which was founded on the legacy of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. SLEH was sold in 2013 and the proceeds of more than $1 billion dollars became the corpus for Episcopal Health Foundation, expanding a ministry of health from the Texas Medical Center in Houston throughout the 57 counties of the Diocese. Episcopal Health Foundation, under the expert leadership of CEO and President Elena Marks, does not seek to be a grantor for clinics and health care outlets, rather it is a robust foundation that helps congregations discern where each can make a transformational difference tackling issues that undermine their community’s health. When scripture tells us to “love your neighbor as

yourself,” we might wonder “who is our neighbor?” Jesus was clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan: the neighbor is the one who showed mercy to an injured man after he had been passed up by several religious leaders of the day. Episcopal Health Foundation brings neighbors together for the benefit of the neighborhood, for the community. The Foundation gathers and trains congregational representatives and non-profit leadership to enhance a positive impact for the most vulnerable people in our midst. Health not just healthcare. Bishop Andy Doyle encourages each of us to look beyond the church campus, into the community, to discern where we as Christians can carry out the Gospel to have the most impact, to bring health and wholeness, to be a

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neighbor helping neighbor. You may only be able to do something small by yourself, but together with others in your congregation, amplified by the resources and expertise of Episcopal Health Foundation and community partners, each person is a mighty agent of transformation. Hurricane Harvey tried to drown a large part of our Diocese, and where one congregation of older parishioners could not tear out sheetrock and heave soaked furniture to the curb, they could come up with casseroles to feed those who did. They gathered to organize, feed and encourage. They gathered to hold a prayer vigil, to buy clean socks and towels for those in shelters. Others called their friends, donned masks and gloves and began the grinding work of mucking out. As the raindrops mounted into a deep flood, so did the response gather momentum to bring hope and healing. We will continue the work of the Gospel, through our congregations and with our partners to make sure we are the neighbors Christ would have us be. My gratitude to you for being faithful readers over the years, and to Brian Sasser and the staff of Episcopal Health Foundation for their help with this issue of Diolog. They are amazing professionals with a wealth of expertise. Blessings and please visit us online at epicenter.org,

Carol E. Barnwell



NEED TO CONTACT US? Now there’s an easier way to find exactly who you need to talk to. Go to epicenter. org/who-to-contact and search by topic or department.

The Good Samaritan

(after Delacroix), oil on canvas (73 × 60 cm), 1890, by Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a lawyer asked Jesus how to attain eternal life and when Jesus answers that he is to love God and to love his neighbor as himself, the lawyer presses further, wanting to know who might merit the lawyer’s neighborly love (and presumably who might not). Jesus answers with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A priest and a Levite, two supposedly holy men, passed by an injured man, who was eventually helped by a Samaritan. Jesus’ response suggests that “being neighborly is about the capacity to be compassionately moved to action to assist anyone who is in need,” said the Rt. Rev. Melissa Skelton in a 2013 sermon on the painting and the parable. Painted while Van Gogh resided at the St. Paul’s psychiatric asylum in southern France, it is this act of compassion, that Vincent Van Gogh depicts on the cover of this issue of Diolog. The painting is a mirror image of an earlier work by Eugène Delacroix. Van Gogh, exhausted, ill and spurned by villagers in Arles because of his mental illness, had checked himself into the asylum in May of 1889. One can imagine that he felt a human reflection of the parable as well, someone who had experienced being left at the roadside. In her sermon, Skelton sees the priest and Levite “depicted as a clear and lifeless choice.” She wonders at the identification of the Samaritan with the wounded man, as a fellow human being, asking, “Is the insight that our neighbor is ourselves, that strangers are our brothers and sisters?” We have seen in the response to Hurricane Harvey a profound attitude of neighbor helping neighbor, in ways small and large. In the work of Episcopal Health Foundation, ministry is guided by the same attitude of openness and awareness of the most vulnerable among us and so it was this image we chose for the cover.

Skelton’s full sermon can be found at tinyurl. com/ycgng525. Diolog

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The Jesus we follow calls us to look beyond perceived boundaries and to care for the health and well-being of all people. In Mark's gospel, Jesus tells us the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." He says, "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."' In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we learn we are to be neighbors to people in our community. Like the Samaritan, the Jesus we follow calls us to look beyond perceived boundaries and to care for the health and wellbeing of all people. The parable is a clear description of who God is and how we are to be in community. Since its inception in 2013, the Episcopal Health Foundation has become a strong voice for health in Texas. Our mission is focused on improving health, not just healthcare—especially for the poor and people with few resources. Episcopal Health Foundation is also part of a larger voice that continues to build and strengthen a different kind of community in our part of Texas. We build true communities when we talk to, listen to and respect one another, engage and serve together to make healthier communities. This new kind of community is defined by our mutual desire to reflect the love that Christ Jesus has for us, rather than what separates or divides us. This new kind of community reflects the parable of the Good Samaritan, not what has been described as "toxic charity" of doing something just because it makes us feel good. We have a health crisis in Texas. Our state ranks near the bottom when it comes to the health of our children, parents and families. We have the highest number of people without health insurance in America—more than 4.6 million. One quarter of Texas children live in poverty. The number of Texas children suffering from asthma is enough to fill every seat in Houston's NRG Stadium eight times over. Eight times over!

Church and Episcopal Health Foundation are making changes today. We are investing in innovative solutions to address the root causes of poor health. Our research expertise helps communities across the Diocese better understand their unique health needs and challenges. We’re building partnerships with those most affected by our work so, going forward, communities are able to begin to take charge of their own health. This is a dynamic approach and promises improved results because of the strength of the research and the partnerships we continue to build. All of this work isn't done inside of a church building or in our offices in Downtown Houston. It's done at weeknight health coalition meetings in Waco and Beaumont. It's helping a mother in Austin access affordable health services, instead of being on the outside of the health system looking in. And, it's partnering with more than 150 Episcopal congregations across 57 Texas counties to organize and focus our efforts to have the greatest impact on each of our community’s unique health needs. Episcopal Health Foundation is the Episcopal Diocese of Texas at work, engaging a mission of healthy communities. We are bringing the very best practices, research and understanding about what actually changes the health of a community into our work of serving. Jesus invites us to support the well-being and health of those around us and we have embraced that invitation with a robust response. Like the Good Samaritan, our one mission removes boundaries and becomes immersed in a new kind of community that removes the barriers to good health. Episcopal Health Foundation’s work now, and moving forward, is to model what it means to be "neighbor" to those within the community, so that we become healthier together. And you are invited to be an active part of that.

Texans will be better off tomorrow because the Episcopal


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It’s About Health Not Just Healthcare

by Elena Marks

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You’ll hear it at every community meeting we lead, see it written on almost everything we publish and find it in the forefront of nearly every decision we make. We even created a hashtag to stamp it on social media #HealthNotJustHealthcare.

to the reconciliation and restoration of communities to wholeness. EHF’s concept of a healthy community encompasses physical, mental and spiritual health, as well as the relationships, mindsets and practices that contribute to a person’s health.

Our focus at Episcopal Health Foundation is on improving health, not simply providing healthcare. That’s because we believe ALL Texans deserve to be healthy and we are committed to transforming the health of our communities by going beyond the doctor’s office. And that means focusing on much more than medical care.

For example, many of our communities are in desperate need of racial reconciliation, and that need creates a pathway to a healthier community. Too many families live in poverty, and its impact is worsened when we flow through our days isolated from those who are struggling. In living out our Gospel call, we create the very conditions and relationships critical to advancing health and wellness in our own communities.

A recent nationwide poll found that Americans viewed healthcare as the most important issue facing the country. Debates in the halls of Congress and the State Capitol have focused on access to health insurance, repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148), and cutting or expanding important benefit programs like Medicaid. These vitally important healthcare policies matter. These decisions can mean the difference between a family having access to affordable medical care or going without. It is the difference between a pregnant mother getting necessary prenatal care or a disabled person having a chance at a productive life. That’s why EHF works to provide accurate, fact-based, non-partisan, non-political data so we can inform the conversation on health reform. Our research, looking into the plight of the uninsured and other vulnerable populations, has sparked ideas for change and helped find ways to improve access to care for those most in need across Texas. But improving the health of our communities must go further than focusing on healthcare alone. The poor health outcomes across Texas and our diocese didn’t happen overnight. The focus of Texas’ healthcare system must shift from simply delivering medical care to promoting health and wellness in the communities they serve. Not enough resources are being directed at the social challenges that directly affect the physical and mental health of Texans: poverty, food insecurity, substandard housing, social connections, community safety and more. EHF is convinced that simply building more clinics to serve more people won’t heal a broken health system. Our focus on health, not just healthcare, creates a unique opportunity for Episcopal congregations to contribute

Photo: Brian Sasser

We need a new mindset for understanding how health is either created or undermined, and what we can do as individuals and congregations to think differently. With a solid focus on mission and serving communities, congregations already have many of the building blocks to advance community health. And when churches participate in this effort, they can add even more value to what they’re already offering their communities. EHF helps congregations organize and focus their efforts to have the greatest impact on their communities’ health. Over the past three years, EHF has worked directly with more than 110 Episcopal congregations across the Diocese in a diversity of projects that moved beyond the church campus and out into the communities. This work is guided by a conviction that healthy communities are created when diverse people join together to develop community-driven, people-centered, health-oriented systems. Through this work, we hope to raise the voices of all people and build connections that transcend difference and make real the Kingdom of God for everyone in our Diocese. We see every grant, program, research project and church endeavor as a chapter in our story of change. We are focused on long-lasting and transformative improvements in community health. We invite you to learn more about how the Episcopal Health Foundation can work with your congregation, other nonprofit partners and communities at Episcopalhealth.org. And we believe focusing on health, not just healthcare is a great place to start. Marks is the President and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation.


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ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSES OF POOR HEALTH by Brian Sasser Angel Berrones loves soccer. And all of the neighbors at his North Houston apartment complex know it. Almost every afternoon, the 14-year-old is kicking a soccer ball around the front porch of his apartment. “Everybody loves Angel,” said Luis Berrones, Angel’s brother. “He’s always laughing and saying hi to everybody.” But Angel spends more time with doctors than he does with teammates on the soccer field. Along with hearing loss and diabetes, Angel battles severe, recurring asthma attacks. “Whenever we play soccer outside, that’s when he gets tired,” Luis said. “That’s when he starts wheezing and it’s hard for him to breathe.” Angel isn’t alone. More than 600,000 Texas children suffer from asthma. That is enough to fill every seat in Houston’s NRG Stadium eight times over. At Northwest Assistance Ministries’ children’s clinic in Harris County, many of these children show up with asthma. But they are having more reoccurring attacks that sometimes become so severe they have to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room. As these events increased, the clinic personnel knew something had to change. Treating a child’s asthma was no longer enough.

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the causes and preventing attacks in the first place. The clinic set out to discover the root causes of its young patients’ asthma which begins in their homes. Addressing environmental conditions (carpet, ventilation, mold) where children live may be the most effective prescription for improving their health. Under a new outreach program, trained teams go room to room in homes and apartments, ask questions and perform environmental tests to discover conditions that can spark a child’s asthma attack. These are not the answers medical professionals can see in an exam room. During Angel’s home visit, teams found the apartment’s old carpet, his worn mattress and mold in the bathroom were all contributing factors in his recurring asthma attacks. “We had suspicions, but when they came and inspected the house, we began to understand what the problems were,” said Marcelino Berrones, Angel’s father. The asthma home visit program is funded by a $120,000 grant from Episcopal Health Foundation, just one example of the foundation’s effort to go beyond the doctor’s office and transform the systems that shape the health of Texans.

“When a child is using an inhaler every single day, there’s something triggering it,” said Sharion White, former director of the children’s clinic. “We had to find what’s triggering [the asthma] and making it worse.”

“This is upstream, preventive work,” said Elena Marks, Episcopal Health Foundation’s president and CEO. “It’s like a puzzle. Medical services are just one of the pieces. There are many factors that impact whether a person or a community will be healthy.”

The key to better health for Angel and other kids isn’t always more medical care after an attack. It’s understanding

After the home evaluation, Angel got a new mattress and the clinic worked with the apartment owner to change the


Photos: Brain Sasser

The key to better health for Angel and other kids isn’t always more medical care after an asthma attack. It’s understanding the causes and preventing attacks in the first place.

Angel Berrones

carpet and fix leaks causing the mold. This groundbreaking program demonstrates the critical need to focus on improving health, not just healthcare in Texas. It’s an effort that allows Angel more time on the soccer field, and gives his entire family a fighting chance to live a healthier life.



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BIG IMPACT by Lisa Madry

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Some of the Diocese of Texas’ smallest churches have had an enormous impact collaborating with other churches, civic leaders and community members. Each church has responded to their unique set of circumstances in order to gather just the right partners for an exponential response to the needs of each community. While small in numbers, St. Phillip's, Hearne; Trinity, Jacksonville and St. John’s, Palacios have all formed partnerships within their communities to build stronger, healthier neighborhoods far beyond what they could do as individual congregations. After dwindling to just three members in 2013-14, St. Phillip’s reorganized as a missional “sister church” of St. Andrew’s, Bryan. The congregation slowly rebuilt their worship group and wanted to serve as a model for the reconciliation that needed to take place in the wider Hearne community. St. Phillips’ goal was to identify a way to bring people together to benefit Hearne and the surrounding community. With support from Episcopal Health Foundation, they invited Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) to help them bring together diverse representatives in the community, build relationships and learn skills for working together. “It introduced us to the community in a way that we wouldn’t have become known otherwise,” said the Rev. Nandra Perry, vicar of St. Phillip’s. But Perry admits it hasn’t been easy. Years of racial strife and political dysfunction presented unique challenges and some participants barely spoke to one another outside of the meetings. Despite that, the group decided to address a specific community need: improving the poor condition of houses in the area. In Northeast Texas, Trinity, Jacksonville partnered with a nearby Presbyterian church to address entrenched poverty in Cherokee County. This group also started with training from TRLP. “The program helped us realize the skills and resources we have among us to make positive changes,” said Jacksonville resident Tricia Thompson, a member of the community group. “We were taught how to listen more and talk less; how to ask sincere questions of members in our community to find out what needs to be done to move forward; how to analyze the pros and cons and arrive at the best solution; and how to build and lead a team of

Photo: Jason Evans

community members who are excited and inspired to to improve the well-being of our community.” Once the Jacksonville group became organized and recognized by the community, more opportunities appeared. They were approached by UT Tyler to help with a comprehensive community needs assessment. The group helped conduct 486 interviews with residents that were then analyzed by UT Tyler and the East Texas Human Needs Network. The collaborative effort helped prioritize areas of concern and establish working groups to address challenges in education, employment, healthcare, housing and transportation. The coalition now meets monthly to work toward specific goals pinpointed by the community surveys. Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, Palacios is a small rural community with a population of less than 5,000 in Matagorda County. A group of community members recognized that while Palacios is diverse, it’s not particularly integrated. The community faces issues of respect, acceptance and cultural understanding. Through the involvement of St. John’s, Palacios, Episcopal Health Foundation supported church and community leaders in TRLP’s training specifically focused on deliberative dialog and asset-based community development. The result was working groups on community safety, mental health, youth activities and the area’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. They have also organized a Mental Health First Aid training for the community, several events and forums, and implemented youth projects. All three communities benefitted from TRLP’s expertise in training community leaders from rural areas. TRLP executive director Ronnie McDonald noted the Episcopal priests and lay people he worked with in each of these communities provided a model for compassionate servant leadership that helped them build bridges across traditional lines of division. Church leaders habitually limit their thinking to what leaders in their congregation might accomplish. However, some of the smallest churches in the Diocese are showing that with strong and collaborative partnerships, congregational leaders can serve as a catalyst for a much broader and deeper impact in their communities. Madry is a congregational engagement officer for Episcopal Health Foundation.


There is a Connection Between Racial Reconciliation and Health by Eric Moen

The turmoil and sadness of racially charged exchanges in Charlottesville, Virginia and other places remind the Church that we have a calling to bring healing and reconciliation to all people. Episcopal Health Foundation is uniquely positioned alongside the Diocese of Texas to partner with congregations to build bridges of health and wholeness into communities with this work. Recognizing our Gospel call to seek and serve Christ in all persons, together we will listen, advise and work to build healthy communities.

RACISM AND HEALTH Racial discrimination and systemic racism have profound effects on the health and well-being, not only of minority populations, but of our broader communities. Racism can surface in individuals or systems, and often operates in ways people don't consciously recognize. The consequences result in a lack of basic necessities and social exclusion, which affects health in both physiological and psychological ways. For example, children who grow up in environments marked by racial strife have life-long health impacts related to heart disease and other chronic conditions. By engaging a process of racial reconciliation, we can begin to address this systemic inequity in both direct and indirect ways.

MOVING FORWARD THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS Episcopal Health Foundation works through a discernment process with our congregations, our Kitchen Cabinet group of lay and clergy advisors, the Diocese of Texas and broader Episcopal Church. We want to educate congregations and communities on issues of racism, undo processes of systemic racism and build community solidarity to advance well-being and health for everyone. This work is transformational on several levels: it addresses a root cause of poor health, it can reshape a community and change mind sets that break down the hidden ways we often operate that sustain health inequities. The Kitchen Cabinet Working Group on Racial Reconciliation and Health wants to ensure that lay and clergy leaders of African American 14 |


and Latino churches are engaged in this work. The group is focused on helping communities deal with trauma related to racism, as well as creating an environment of restoration and wholeness for communities, structures and systems.

POVERTY AND RACE In addition to race inequities, many people are caught in poverty, which only exacerbates the health impact. Traditional charity-based ministries such as food pantries and utility payment support are attempts to lessen the immediate effects of poverty but do not change the factors that lead to poverty. Effective strategies that impact both race and poverty include: • relationship building to advance a collective community effort, particularly involving school leaders, employers, local government and community focused non-profits • training that helps participants better understand the dynamics that cause and keep families in poverty, from the individual to the systemic levels • training for truth-telling events and listening sessions to identify priorities among low income groups and minority groups within a community that lead to walking and working together

Relationship and trust are key factors in moving both the race and poverty needle in the right direction for everyone. Neighborhoods become healthier when we step out and say hello to one another and build avenues for inclusion, give voice to our brothers and sisters and create an environment of restoration and wholeness Episcopal Health Foundation has established a partnership with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and Becoming Beloved Community, a national program focused on racial reconciliation and developing a long-term strategy centered on racial injustice. We hope to establish Texas as an innovation hub to advance racial reconciliation and provide a model to the larger church. To that end, Episcopal Health Foundation plans, not only to partner on implementation of work, but to evaluate its impact in order to replicate the model within the Diocese and nationally. Several programs and different training sessions will create a “big tent� approach and allow congregations and communities to enter the conversation at their own level. Some communities may benefit from an introduction to the history of race and racism, while others will want

to focus on connections between race and health. Other communities are already prepared for training to help them move into action.

THE POWER OF TRUTH TELLING Sharing personal stories makes it possible to move beyond barriers we may not even fully recognize. Our hope is that creating opportunities for courageous truth telling between races and ethnicities with Becoming Beloved Community will extend beyond congregations and into the community. In September, Constance and Dain Perry shared Traces of the Trade their documentary that follows the family’s slave-holder history. They led thoughtful conversations centered on themes of story sharing, which led to specific small groups now addressing the unique challenges and assets around inequities in different small towns. To learn more, listen to a recent podcast series with Dain and Constance here: tinyurl.com/legacy-of-slavery. Moen is Congregational Engagement Officer at EHF.

If your congregation is interested in learning more about the history of racism, structural racism or has an interest in developing dialogues on racism in your community, please send an email to: congregations@episcopalhealth.org. Diolog

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THE POWER OF MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID Since 2016, the Episcopal Health Foundation has certified more than 250 people in their Mental Aid First Aid training sessions in a dozen congregations across the Diocese of Texas. Participants report that they now feel confident to reach out to someone dealing with a mental health problem and many show increased mental wellness themselves.

Teachers, first responders, community leaders have joined clergy and parishioners for the training, as well as those who work with youth, members of the military, veterans and their families.

“Now I better understand family issues, friend problems and have a good idea of what I can do to help," said a participant at a session at Trinity, The Woodlands.

“I’m going to be more open about communicating that everyone is susceptible,” said a participant from Trinity, Baytown who now plans a Sunday School class focused on mental health awareness.

Hosted by Episcopal churches, the eight-hour certification training is designed to equip people with tools to help someone with a mental health need or who may be experiencing a crisis. The training is especially useful because churches are often the first point of contact for people looking for assistance and support.

Many participants said they wanted to use the training to increase mental health awareness in the community as well.

Over time, the skills learned will build a critical mass of individuals who can implement sound mental health strategies in our churches and throughout our communities.


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by Brian Sasser Seven patients. Two clinics. One elementary school. That’s the typical day for therapist Stephanie Knott. She works for Burke, a mental health agency serving low-income adults and children across 12 East Texas counties surrounding Nacogdoches and Lufkin. Every patient Knott visits was previously one of the hundreds of people in a mental health crisis waitlisted for care because this particular region has an average of one mental health provider for every 10,000 residents. Eighty-eight percent of Burke’s clients are from households that earn less than $20,000 a year. But thanks to a one-of-a-kind partnership between Burke, the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) and Seminary of the Southwest (SSW), low-income families in East Texas now have easier access to desperately needed mental health services. “It is such an awesome process to see clients come in at some very low and dark point in their life, and be able to teach them to help themselves throughout the therapy process,” Knott said. “It's truly a powerful transformation to see them come out on the other side as a much healthier and happier person.” Knott was one of the first two Seminary of the Southwest counseling graduates accepted into the Bishop Dena A. Harrison Fellows Program in 2015. The program is named in honor of Harrison, a bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Texas, an alumna and chair of the Seminary's board. Episcopal Health Foundation’s investment in the program allows Harrison fellows to earn a salary and benefits at Burke while they complete 3,000 hours of required on-the-job training to become fully-licensed therapists. During the training, fellows work with disadvantaged, rural families at no cost to Burke’s clinics. The seminary discovered many counseling graduates wanted to serve disadvantaged families while they completed their required post-graduate training, but most nonprofit post18 |


graduate programs were unpaid. "We found very few graduates were working with the underserved because they couldn’t afford to," said Dave Scheider, director of the Seminary's Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation. "We never had the funding before to be part of the solution. Now, in partnership with Episcopal Health Foundation, we believe we're the first graduate school to offer this kind of program to hire our own graduates and send them to work in these rural counties." The majority of Knott’s clients don’t have health insurance. Their mental health needs vary from depression and anxiety to post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. She works with adults, families and young clients inside local schools. She says the Harrison fellows program allowed her to follow her faith, give back to others and focus on something bigger than herself. In addition to the immediate impact, a key goal for the Harrison fellows program is for students to continue their work with underserved families following completion of their training. That’s exactly what Knott did. She became an “official” full-time Burke therapist in September. “I feel a responsibility to stay and work here because this is an area that lacks resources,” said Knott. “This works gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.” Knott’s decision demonstrates the program’s potential for building an ongoing supply of mental health providers in an area with a severe shortage of mental health professionals. Seminary of the Southwest believes recruiting students from East Texas to participate as Harrison fellows may be the best way to get therapists to remain in these same communities when they finish their training. “We believe this is a model that will thrive and it will become part of the solution,” Scheider said. Photos: Alex Shaw


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DEVELOPING CONGREGATIONAL LEADERS IN HEALTH by the Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis A “Kitchen Cabinet” group of clergy and lay leaders are serving as advisors and ambassadors to help congregations build healthier communities. Some people grieved when the Diocese of Texas sold St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System as a loss of Episcopal care and healing. However, we soon learned this change provided our churches with a unique opportunity to address health in our communities in a new and different way that moves far beyond healthcare. Episcopal Health Foundation was born from the proceeds of the sale in 2013. The foundation’s overlap in mission with the church is undeniable. Since June 2016, 18 clergy and lay leaders from across the Diocese have convened as the foundation’s “Kitchen Cabinet” to discern how we may collaborate to create healthy communities and to work as advisors and ambassadors. What has impressed me the most about the Kitchen Cabinet is its diversity and spiritual commitment to one another and to the future of the Church. As the foundation seeks to cultivate leadership that can build health and improved health outcomes, the Church is looking to bring wholeness to a broken world. Each has the potential to light the path of the other. Racism, mental health, poverty and community organizing are priority concerns affecting health throughout the Diocese. Our working groups develop focused ways in which congregations can work with Episcopal Health Foundation to address each of these important community concerns. Through careful facilitation, we used a results-based framework to establish a desired result for each focus area and identified strategies for engagement: • ensure that congregations are active partners in building broader civic engagement in communities • focus on mental health stigma reduction and increased access to peer support for people with mental health needs • target low-income communities often affected by many aspects of poverty to increase students' educational achievement and opportunities for low-income families to secure living wages and family stability and • begin to address the history of racism in Texas, which continues to create barriers to health. Baldwin-McGinnis is associate rector at St. Andrew’s, Houston 20 |


Lexi Nolen, PhD, MPH, Vice President for Impact, teaches congregational engagement growth.

Episcopal congregations have a long, deep history of involvement and commitment to making their communities healthy places to live, work and pray. The Episcopal Health Foundation helps congregations organize and focus their efforts to have the greatest impact on their communities’ health. Our work strives to help congregations go beyond church walls and engage communities to take charge of their health.

Priority Areas for Collaboration • • • • • •

Poverty relief Racial reconciliation and health Civic engagement and community organizing Children and youth Mental health and behavioral health Community development

How Episcopal Health Foundation Can Support You: Consulting, Technical Support & Training • • • •

Skills for community engagement Creating sustainable ministries Connecting faith and community action Learning about the needs and assets in your community • Strategic planning and coalition building

Funding for Church Community Outreach Projects • Financial assistance to develop and expand sustainable initiatives that support community health

Connect with the Episcopal Health Foundation


• Visit episcopalhealth.org • Like Episcopal Health Foundation’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Health4Texas • Sign up for Congregation Connection monthly e-newsletter at www.episcopalhealth.org • Join the Episcopal Health Foundation Churches group on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/ EHFChurches

Contact EHF Congregational Engagement Staff Congregations@episcopalhealth.org. 832.807.2587 Lisa Madry, lmadry@episcopalhealth.org Eric Moen, emoen@episcopalhealth.org Melodee Toles, mtoles@episcopalhealth.org Diolog

| 21 | DECEMBER 2017


Health Care CEO Credits Faith

Dr. Roland Goertz

Dr. Roland Goertz is senior warden at St. Paul’s, Waco. He’s currently CEO of the three foundations that oversee all operations of the Waco Family Health Center and was instrumental in reorganizing the Center and certifying it as a Federally Qualified Health Center in 1999. Since 1986, Goertz held positions as program director of the family practice residency program in Corpus Christi, Texas; medical director of a health plan in Austin, Texas; chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center; and chief medical officer of a 740-physician group partnership practice of the Houston Medical School and the then Hermann Hospital. He was also board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians that represents more than 100,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. Goertz spoke with Brian Sasser, Director of Communications at Episcopal Health Foundation. 22 |


BS: Who influenced your faith? RG: My parents and my maternal grandmother,

BS: How do you see your faith at work in your

who was the only grandparent I had an opportunity to know. She lived with us until she died when I was 10 years old. Both sides of my family were German immigrants and came to Texas in the mid 1800's. They were partially persecuted because of their faith.

RG: My faith has provided me an ethical basis

BS: Did your faith influence your decision to become a physician?

RG: It is my contention that one's faith always influences one's career. In my case, I watched my grandmother die due to a stroke in 1965 and wondered why more could not be done. In retrospect, I am fairly certain this experience stimulated my interest in a healthcare career.

BS: How did you move from private practice to leading the work of the Waco Family Health Center? RG: My original intentions were to return to my home to be a community physician for the rest of my life. I did and practiced there briefly in the mid 1980's but much was changing in healthcare and the small hospital in Bastrop struggled to stay open. I moved shortly before it closed and was [encouraged] to pursue a teaching career in family medicine by a close colleague and mentor who had the precedent position to the one I currently hold. I followed his advice and the rest is "as they say," history. I kept up with medical literature and learned everything I could about management and effective organizations. I earned an MBA in 2003 from Baylor University when the Board of our Center and the leadership of Baylor both decided to support my learning efforts.

BS: Who does the clinic serve? RG: The Center may see anyone who needs care. Our target population, and the one we receive federal and local support dollars for, is the 96,000 individuals in our service area who live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (annual income of $48,600 for a family of four). In 2016, we saw more than 53,000 unduplicated patients that produced more than 230,000 visits. Of the total patient number, more than 85 percent were members of the target population. Photos: Cameron Akin

current work? to make difficult decisions related to care delivery and to the operations of the Center. Some problems, no matter how much they are studied or researched, have no obvious "correct" solution and have several "possible" solutions. Only some of those solutions seem "good," yet a decision is required. In these situations, a firm grounding in your faith can provide assistance in choosing the solution to pursue. It has been said that "modern medical science has created many ethical dilemmas, but solved virtually none of them.�

BS: How does your clinic address the underlying causes of poor health in the Waco community?

RG: I am firmly convinced that any caring family physician working in a community quickly realizes that what he or she does has limited impact on a patient's health unless their family and community also supports them. In earlier times, this environment of care and support was much easier to identify and influence because the dominant delivery method was usually through a "general practitioner" in one’s community who knew the social structures present and had more influence over them because barriers related to cost and specialization were not as prevalent. That model "went away" in the 1960's for the most part, and is now mostly present in smaller communities. Today, we have multiple levels of care delivery, ever more segmented, specialized and costly, that focus most often on the unique science or discipline related to a certain disease. That model has certainly furthered scientific discovery, but it also shifted focus away from the communities’ social determinants of health that often-time are much more significant predictors or hindrances of good health. It is my hope and prayer that we are beginning a new era where integration of the scientific and public health model will be dominant. It will take that to solve the most vexing issues of cost, quality and access to care we face.




On a Wednesday mo Alief community of Sout

Some had come to H away. Together, they each

They are the uninsure out of work. They may sp have access to high-qual East Texas aren’t as fortu

HOPE Clinic is an Ep Federally Qualified Heal It provides health service

24 |


s of the Health Crisis in Texas

hours. 42 patients. From 13 countries.

orning, photographer Michael Moon set up a makeshift photo booth inside HOPE Clinic located in the thwest Houston. One by one, patients sat down for a special kind of portrait.

Houston from Vietnam, Iraq, Nigeria and Burma. Other patients were born in Houston just a few miles h represent a small story of the health crisis facing Texas.

ed and those who have inadequate health insurance. They are the working poor and people who are peak fluent English or none at all. Without places like HOPE Clinic, these patients likely would not lity, affordable, preventive health services. Many Texans from downtown Houston to Palacios to rural unate.

piscopal Health Foundation grant partner and serves more than 13,000 patients each year. As a lth Center, it provides a wide range of health care services to all, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. es in 14 different languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic and Spanish.


| 25 | DECEMBER 2017


Six Churches Launch Diversity of Sustainable Ministries with Holy Currencies Model by Lisa Madry

Six congregations from the Diocese of Texas came together to dream big about new ministries they are developing in partnership with Episcopal Health Foundation. Using the Holy Currencies model, congregations examine and build plans that address the “currencies” of time and place, gracious leadership, relationship, truth, wellness and money to help ensure that their initiatives are both sustainable and will have a meaningful impact in their communities.

Currency of Relationship



The incubation period for an initiative is six months Currency and begins with a two-day orientation workshop that of Money includes regular meetings and webinars. The effort culminates with the teams presenting their “business plans.” Working with the Kaleidoscope Institute (KI)’s Holy Currencies model Currency of developed by the Rev. Eric Law, teams of four to six congregational Time & Place leaders from each church proposed new initiatives in 2017 and will use the Holy Currencies model to further develop and refine their plans.

Currency of Truth


Currency of Wellness

Currency of Gracious Leadership

The process helps congregations better understand how their outreach initiative can draw from a variety of assets, skills and approaches to strengthen the benefit to the community, while developing the structure to support a sustainable ministry. Community health and development ministries in this cohort include: food security and nutrition, child and youth programs, mental health and community planning. The Holy Currencies teams started the orientation thinking about which currencies would improve their outreach. “I think the currency we’re developing right now, and what the program is helping us most with is ‘gracious leadership,’” said Steven Gallington of St. John’s, LaPorte. “Like so many other small churches, there’s a very small subset of people who seem to do everything. Through this work, we are raising up leaders; some of the leaders are within the church, but most of those leaders are the people we’re actually serving.” Other teams pondered what their strongest currencies are, which sparked ideas for their work. “The relationship currency kicked us off," said Rita Marquess of Trinity, Marble Falls. "The passion and idea for creating a hunger-free Burnet County came from an individual who then got others interested in our ministry and outreach. We began going out into the community and talking to and partnering with the different groups and organizations to feed people now.” 26 |


PROCESS LEADS TO DIFFERENT MINISTRIES IN 2017 Holy Comforter, Spring: In response to the community’s need for mental and behavioral health resources, Holy Comforter has partnered with community and social service organizations. The Holy Currencies incubation program will support the congregation in developing an approach to improve outcomes for youth with mental health needs. San Pedro/St. Peter’s, Pasadena: Since the Rev. Pedro López joined San Pedro, the congregation has built relationships within the community through organizations such as The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) and Mi Familia Vota. The Holy Currencies process will help the congregation focus on supporting children’s needs. St. Andrew’s, Pearland: For more than a decade St. Andrew’s has been intentional about its community-focused ministry. Their Mosaic In Action organization will use the Holy Currencies model to refine their work serving unmet needs in the community by partnering with other outreach organizations and providing hands-on volunteer efforts.

St. John’s, LaPorte: The congregation decided to take a “Jubilee,” or sabbatical this year from its long-standing after-school program for church and community youth. The incubation process helped St. John’s redevelop their afterschool program and plan Holy Healthy families, a series of initiatives informed by community needs to supplement their reformed program. See story, page 28. Trinity, Marble Falls: Over the past year, the congregation has worked to organize the Burnet County Hunger Alliance. Through this process, the congregation hopes to fight hunger by meeting the needs of the populations they serve and exploring strategies for better food coordination and distribution. EHF, along with technical assistance from the Kaleidoscope Institute, will support these six congregations to learn and apply the Holy Currencies model. Combined with Episcopal Health Foundation’s orientation to build healthy communities, the effort will help congregations incubate their specific outreach ministries. Participating congregations may be selected to receive up to three years of financial and coaching support.

St. Isidore, The Woodlands: As missional communities, St. Isidore hopes to use Holy Currencies to develop its poverty and food insecurity work in the community.

Madry serves as Congregational Engagement Officer at Episcopal Health Foundation



Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Spring: improve outcomes for youth with mental and behavioral health needs in partnership with Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM)

St. Cyprian's Lufkin: community garden and other ministries in partnership with a local African American congregation

Mosaic Center - St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Pearland: supporting the special education community. They are now applying their Holy Currencies skills to develop a post-Harvey disaster relief ministry. St. Isidore Episcopal Mission, The Woodlands: Addressing poverty and food insecurity work with the Tamarack Pines housing complex residents, building lasting relationships and wellness St. John’s Episcopal Church, LaPorte Holy Healthy Community: Including the re-envisioned St. John’s After School Program and the addition of St. John’s Living Compass Wellness Center. Trinity Episcopal Church, Marble Falls: goal of ending hunger in Burnet County.

Holy Comforter, Angleton: community development with a farmer’s market St. James', Austin: East Austin Wellness Center / Welcome Table St. James', Houston: conducting community needs assessment, support for seniors and their care givers St. Dunstan's, Houston: Tiny House Initiative Christ Church, Tyler: (2nd Campus) Youth mentoring ministry (including exploration of a social enterprise potential) Holy Spirit, Waco: Community Wellness ministry


| 27 | DECEMBER 2017


Community Connecting with the

St. John’s, La Porte

After 20 years, St. John’s, La Porte made a bold decision to push the pause button on its longstanding after-school program. But what followed went far beyond one church ministry. A deep commitment to listening to nearby families and partnering with the community has transformed the congregation’s service to their neighbors.

“St. John’s isn’t doing this to grow our church,” said the Rev. Viktoria Gotting, rector at St. John’s. “We are doing it because that’s what a church is supposed to do. It’s supposed to be a community center of love where people can come with no strings attached and receive care, support and information and take that into their communities.”

St. John’s began its renewed community engagement process as John's built the trust needed and wanted by their community,” church leaders evaluated the after-school program. They wanted said Troy Bush-DiDonato, EHF’s community engagement officer. to see how the congregation was meeting the needs of their “More importantly, the respect and dignity of inviting neighbors neighbors. After specific training and coaching support from to work with them as partners is making the biggest impact in Episcopal Health Foundation, St. John’s set out to meet parents, the community’s willingness to trust one another.” educators, neighboring churches and other organizations serving The community's most-identified challenges were related to the families and children of La Porte. economic issues—including having an affordable safe place The congregation held several community meetings. Many for kids when they're not in school. Staying healthy was also a neighbors who attended said they felt isolated and didn't have significant challenge, along with affordability of healthcare and a safety net for their families. Neighbors also said that prior health insurance. Neighbors mentioned tutoring, teaching kids to these conversations, many groups didn’t seem interested in to be good citizens, and providing spiritual education as top becoming too deeply involved in really understanding their suggestions for after-school programs. EHF compiled the ideas community’s broader problems. and community surveys into a comprehensive report St. John’s could use to make decisions moving forward. “By their willingness to listen and to establish relationships, St.

28 |


Photos: Paulette E. Martin

It’s really changing the way the city sees us.

"My understanding of ministry is now more focused on the individuals in the community," said Tina Lippincott, director of the newly-formed Children’s and Family Outreach Ministry at St. John’s. "Reaching out to others in the community changes our ways of thinking. We have to go to where people are.” Because of the congregation’s deep community engagement work, St. John’s re-opened its expanded after-school program this fall. The program will now be one offering of the new Holy Healthy Community Program, which includes St. John's Living Compass Wellness Center. It's all part of the church's broader, more community-focused vision for its Children’s and Family Outreach Ministry. With multiple community partners, schools, neighboring churches and parents working together, the St. John’s Holy Healthy Community and Wellness Center supports children with after-school and other diverse childcare options. It also provides services to help adults and families access education, fitness

classes, nutrition information, parenting education, arts enrichment and health services. More than 20 certified Community Wellness Advocates lead Living Compass Wellness Circles on and off the church campus. St. John’s also hosts meetings with other churches and community organizations to facilitate community-serving collaborations.” “It’s really changing the way the city sees us," Lippincott said. "They’ll now see us as a missional community center, training, facilitating and deploying to offer help, not only as an after-school program. If they need food, pregnancy and parenting classes, marriage facilitators or healthcare assistance, they will experience this church as one with a mission to serve all of La Porte.” For St. John’s, the community engagement goals of building trust, sharing resources and creating two-way communication with neighbors, continues to come together to improve the overall health of La Porte. The congregation's hope is for these partnerships to evolve into lasting collaborations that share the work, rather than the church having sole responsibility for it. “The community engagement opened my eyes to the fact that we are called to extend that love beyond the boundaries of the nave," said Steve Gallington, St. John’s Senior Warden. "Simply, St. John’s was apart from La Porte, now we are part of La Porte. We are moving from us and them, to just us!”


| 29 | DECEMBER 2017





Bishop Assistant Monterroso will provide a reflection in English on Posadas, a Latino tradition during Advent. Sandra Montes will teach participants the traditional songs in Spanish. Visit here to register for free: tinyurl.com/monterrosorothko JANUARY 19 – 20


The Episcopal Diocese of Texas Jr. High Retreat at Camp Allen is a time for youth (grades 6th-8th) to break free in the middle of the year and relax, play, worship, laugh and draw near to God. Visit epicenter.org/youth for additional details. APRIL 17 – 19


The Diocesan Youth Presence Retreat brings together youth delegates for Diocesan Council to discuss their active role in church leadership. They'll be meeting at Camp Allen's Lakeside Cabins. Visit epicenter.org/dyp/ for more info..

Church communicators face greater challenges than ever. Find new tools, awareness and skills to fulfill the ministry. Visit episcopalcommunicators.org to register.

FEBRUARY 15 – 17


DIOCESAN COUNCIL The 169th Diocesan Council will be held at the Waco Convention Center for three days. Visit epicenter.org/council for all of the details.

APRIL 19 – 21

Missional Voices will be a weekend of thinking, planning, and dreaming about the future of missional communities and innovative ministries in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. To register, visit: mvng.org/pages/mv18.

To view a full calendar, go to epicenter.org/cal

THE DIOCESE OF TEXAS IS HOSTING GENERAL CONVENTION JULY 5-13, 2018 IN AUSTIN, TEXAS! We need volunteers to help support the Convention and bring our unique hospitality to the Jesus Movement. Let us know if you can help at www.epicenter.org/edotgc79.

People The Rev. Josh Condon, rector of Holy Spirit, Houston, is now Dean of the West Harris Convocation.

The Rev. Edward Thompson is now assistant rector at Trinity, Galveston. Thompson was most recently priest-in-charge at All Souls, New Orleans in the Diocese of Louisiana.

The Rev. Gena Davis is now non-parochial. Davis was most recently vicar at Grace, Houston.

The Rev. Roy Varghese is now vicar of the Houston Indian Church Plant.

The Rev. Bob Flick is now interim rector at Ascension, Houston.


The Rev. Frank Hughes is now interim rector at Trinity, Longview. The Rev. Mary Ann Huston is now assistant rector at Grace, Georgetown. Huston was most recently associate at St. Mark's, Houston.

The Rev. J. Dean Lawrence is now associate priest for liturgy and outreach at Good Shepherd, Austin. Lawrence was most recently rector at St. Francis', College Station.

The Rev. Joseph Andrew DiRaddo, retired priest of the Diocese of West Texas, died October 10, 2017. DiRaddo served the Diocese of Texas from 1963-1982 as vicar of St. James’, Austin, as rector of Resurrection, Austin, St. Paul’s, Orange, and Epiphany, Houston and in the Department of Stewardship of the Diocese.

The Rev. Christine Mendoza has accepted the call as rector at Good Shepherd, Burke, in the Diocese of Virginia. Mendoza was most recently associate rector at Good Shepherd, Austin.

The Rev. David Patrick McBride, retired, died June 20, 2017. McBride served the Diocese of Texas at Holy Trinity, Dickinson and St. Christopher’s, League City.

Martha Bundy McPherson, widow of the Rev. B. Carroll McPherson, died July 30, 2017, at the age of 103.

Mike Tubbs, husband of the Rev. Suzanne Tubbs, retired, died September 26, 2017.

Please keep these families in your prayers.

The Rev. Agook Kuol is now missioner to the Sudanese in Houston.

The Rev. John Soard is now vicar of the Generation Park Church Plant. Soard was most recently rector at St. Thomas', Wharton. 30 |


The Episcopal Diocese of Texas 1225 Texas Street Houston, TX 77002-3504