171st Diocesan Council Highlights [DRAFT]

Friday, February 7, 2020
The Opening Eucharist took place at 7:00 p.m. where Bishop Ryan preached on the topic, “Be a light for the world!” 

Linda Patterson who served as council musician and music director received the Bishop’s Award. 

The worship service was led by a combined Waco choir and the convention center venue was transformed into an appealing room befitting for worship, with beautiful flowers and greenery, and images of stained glass projected onto the screens and walls.

Saturday, February 8, 2020
The business session began at 8:30 a.m., and even with technical issues, our first ballots were taken in the morning.

Election results are below.

Secretary of the Diocese (Elect 1): John A. Logan, Jr., Diocese of Texas, Christ Church, Houston
Treasurer of the Diocese (Elect 1): Linda Riley Mitchell, Diocese of Texas, Trinity, Houston
Standing Committee, Lay (Elect 1): KT Zaharia, Good Shepherd Episcopal Indian Church, Stafford
Standing Committee,  Presbyter (Elect 1): The Rev. Jimmy Abbot, Holy Comforter, Spring
Executive Board, Lay (Elect 3):

  1. Anthony Chapple, St. David’s Austin
  2. Mark Duncan, Calvary, Richmond
  3. Diana Hineman, St. Cyprian’s, Lufkin

Executive Board, Clergy (Elect 2):

  1. The Rev. Rhonda Rogers, St. Francis of Assisi, Prairie View
  2. The Rev. Mitch Tollett, St. Francis, Tyler

Trustee of the Church Corporation (Elect 1): The Rev. Sharron Cox, St. Mary’s, West Columbia
Trustee of the University of the South, Lay (1 year term) (Elect 1): Kristine Devine, St. David’s, Austin
Trustee of the University of the South, Clergy (Elect 1): The Rev. David Goldberg, Iglesia San Pedro, Pasadena
Deputy to General Convention, Lay (Elect 4):

  1. Scott Madison, St. James’, Austin
  2. Darling Membreño, St. Mary Magdalene, Manor
  3. Linda Patterson, Ph.D., St. Andrew’s, Bryan
  4. Caleb Parker, Episcopal Student Center, Austin

Alternates Deputy to General Convention, Lay:

  1. Katie Balke, St. Stephen’s, Beaumont
  2. Frederick Roberts, St. Francis of Assisi, Prairie View
  3. Hayden Paul, St. Andrew’s, Bryan
  4. Bruce McDonald, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston

Deputy to General Convention, Clergy (Elect 4):

  1. The Rev. Canon Christine Faulstich, Diocese of Texas, Palmer Memorial, Houston
  2. The Rev. Pedro López, San Pedro/St. Peter’s Pasadena
  3. The Rev. Samantha Smith, St. Mark’s, Houston
  4. The Rev. Chuck Treadwell, St. David’s, Austin

Alternates Deputy to General Convention, Clergy

  1. The Rev. Bertie Pearson, Grace, Georgetown
  2. The Rev. Edward Thompson, Trinity, Galveston
  3. The Rev. Sean Steele, St. Isidore, Spring
  4. The Rev. Justin Yawn, St. Luke’s on the Lake, Austin

Update on Church Amplification
The Rev. Canon Joann Saylors provided an update on church plants, missional communities, campus missioners, and the upcoming Metrics and Church Census initiatives. Church Plants, Missional Communities and Campus Missioners are all thriving. Three congregations were approved to ring the Great Commission Bell at Council 2020: Holy Family, Humble (the Rev. John Soard); St. Joan of Arc, Pflugerville (the Rev. David Peters); and Holy Family, East Downtown Houston (Jacob Breeze).

(Additional details regarding Canon Saylors’ presentation will be included in the more comprehensive summary of Council which is forthcoming online.)

The Bishop’s Address: A Storied Church
The bishop’s address highlighted advances in service and evangelism. He offered a recap of the work that has taken place within the Diocese of Texas since Council 2019. He celebrated and thanked the people of the diocese for the commitment to their work.  Click here for slide presentation of 2019 highlights:

Of most significance, Bishop Doyle announced three initiatives that will transform and forward the work of the diocese. Summarized below, additional information will be contained in the more comprehensive summary of Council which is forthcoming online this week.) 

  • Aid to Congregations in Financial Stress: Minding the Gap in Changing Times
    The church is working to relieve the financial burdens and work on vitality. The bishop said, “We must care for each other during unfortunate times.” He shared stories from vulnerable congregations, and situations that amplify such vulnerability related to financial losses. This occurs in churches for a variety of reasons. He wishes to reduce assessments from six percent to five percent, looking at special congregational circumstances where financial decline is problematic. 
  • Unity in Mission in the Midst of Partisan Division: Being Repairers of the Breach
    The bishop discussed the division within society today and how we are living with very little dialogue. He has listened to both clergy and lay people. He declared, “Partisan politics does not govern the unity of our Church. Jesus Christ governs our unity.”  He said that this comes from the “common acceptance of God’s mission”. Bishop Doyle reminded us of Isiah 58:12, where God requires us to be repairers of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in.
  • Commitment of $13 Million for Racial Justices
    In the spirit of being repairers of the breach, the bishop made a resounding announcement that the diocese is committing $13 Million for Racial Justices through a variety of necessary grants, scholarships, and other initiatives to help heal our historically Black churches and its people, as a result of the diocese’s storied past. While he gave great examples of when our diocese was great, he also offered stories of great disappointment from when our diocese participated in disappointing acts related to slavery, lynching and other racial injustices.  He encouraged the Church to own its history so that it can move forward.

    The Bishop announced the Pauli Murray Scholarship, the Talbot Fund for Racial Justice, the Henrietta Wells Scholarship, the Thomas Cain Fund for Black Churches, the David Franklin Taylor Endowed Scholarship, and the Bertha Sadler Means Endowment for Racial Justice, all totaling $13 million. 

The announcement was met with a standing ovation with over 1,000 in attendance. 

He provided even more encouragement stating that, “The $13 million committed to racial justice has received nothing but support in this endeavor.”

“We must step forward as a leader and example to invite others to follow”, the bishop reminded. 

He continued, “The Church is always at its best when it lives with people. This is the work given to do at our time.” The bishop closed, “As your bishop and friend, fellow-baptized Christian, I could not imagine a better group of people to do this work with.”

Click here to see slides from the bishop’s presentation related to these initiatives.

The offering from the worship service was gifted to Waco’s Community Race Relations Coalition. Visit www.crrcwaco.net. Click here to make a donation.

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