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Oct 25, 2018 | Carol E. Barnwell

Beth Fain Joins Diocesan Staff

Following an extensive, nationwide search, the Rev. Beth Fain has been named Missioner for Congregational Vitality for the Diocese of Texas. Fain, rector of St. Mary’s, Cypress since 1997, will begin the new position in February 2019. The position will focus on building healthy, vibrant congregations.

Fain comes with more than two decades of parish ministry and a deep background in leadership training. She has been part of a Lilly Endowment grant since 2002, Women Touched by Grace, a spiritual renewal program for women pastors serving congregations, and has been part of the team creating the newest part of the program, WTBG: Thriving in Ministry.

“I’ve learned how important it is as a priest to have a healthy spiritual practice and to constantly build leadership qualities. I did a great deal of research for the Lilly grant,” Fain said, adding, “We want to know what causes clergy to thrive in ministry, what are we doing or not doing right? How can we create that system in the Diocese of Texas? So I am really happy to put my knowledge to work for our congregations.”

In addition to her work with the diocesan Curate Camp for a number of years, Fain helped found the IONA School for Ministry and served as chair of the committee that established the diaconate in the Diocese of Texas in 2004. She feels strongly about the ministry of deacon. “I first sought holy orders as a deacon,” Fain said, “but Bishop [Ben] Benitez encouraged me to be open to the priesthood and in my junior year I discerned that call.”

“I love working with a team and I love creating new things, so this seems to fall very naturally into my area of expertise,” Fain said.

In her new position, Fain said she hopes to be “a bridge for clergy to help them access resources to build healthier congregations.” She said she feels this particular ministry has been “cooking for a long time,” and that she has all the pieces to make it flourish.

“We’re very happy to be the beneficiaries of Beth’s deep knowledge and wisdom,” said the Rev. Joann Saylors, Canon for Mission Amplification for the Diocese. “I know our congregations will gain great insight from her experience and ministry.”

Previously, Fain served as an assistant rector at St. Dunstan’s and before attending seminary served in all areas of special education for two decades. She received her Master of Divinity at the Houston Graduate School of Theology and a certificate in Anglican Theological Studies from Seminary of the Southwest. She also holds a bachelors in elementary and special education and a masters as an educational diagnostician from Texas Women’s University.