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Mar 07, 2013 | EDOT Staff

Diocese Plans THE Conference


The Diocese of Texas kicks off THE Conference on May 3-5, 2013, featuring a slate of dynamic speakers who will inspire and equip participants both personally and as leaders in their congregations.


Planning began months ago to offer a new kind of conference that would combine several conferences with a core curriculum for leadership to take their congregations to new heights of formation, evangelism and stewardship.


Bishop Andy Doyle asked the planning group to step beyond the normal workshop format and so speakers will offer longer seminar classes on each topic that will allow participants time to go deeper than a normal one-hour workshop. Additionally, a roundtable “speed-dating”-type format on formation, evangelism and stewardship is planned. For two hours, participants will chose several topics from 15 moderated tables to meet for 20 minutes each to learn and share new ideas with experts in the three topics, then switch for several rounds of discussion. 


Bishop Doyle plans an “Actor’s Studio”-type conversation with Bill Tully, the former rector of St. Bartholomew’s, New York City, and Bill Miller, former rector of St. James’ Austin and Trinity, Houston. Tully grew his congregation from several hundred to several thousand during his tenure. Miller’s book, The Gospel According to Sam, tells how to share the Word in a skeptical culture. Miller’s innovations in Austin, Houston and now in Hawaii have resulted in sustained church growth and he continues to author exceptional material for congregational development.


Bishop Greg Rickel, who authored an article in the diocese’s most recent Diolog magazine, brings a profound sense of stewardship to THE Conference along with his engaging demeanor. Judy Fentriss Williams, professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, rounds out the cast of speakers and will kick off THE Conference on Friday with her plenary. Bishop Doyle will preach at the closing Eucharist.


For the first time, THE Conference will continue through Sunday morning. Participants will feast on a gourmet breakfast, hear a final plenary and worship with some of Austin’s finest jazz musicians providing the music. Attendees may stay at Camp Allen to ride horses, hike or swim before heading home on Sunday afternoon. Plan now to join fellow Episcopalians for a conference experience that will be transformative both personally and for your church. Bring a group of leaders from your parish to take new ideas and renewed energy back to your congregations and importantly, build new networks with other church members to continue to strengthen our call to be One Church in the Diocese of Texas.


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Draft Schedule

May 3-5, Friday evening to noon Sunday



4 p.m. registration

6 p.m. dinner

7:30    plenary followed by a comedy improve group and refreshments



9:00 a.m. eight one-hour workshops concurrent with three 2.5 hour seminars on Evangelism, Stewardship and Formation

12:00 p.m.    lunch

1:00 p.m.      plenary

2:30 p.m.      15 rotating table talks

optional ice cream social

6:30 p.m.      Bishop Doyle, Bill Tully, Bill Miller in studio conversation

7:30 p.m.      book signing and refreshments



9:00 a.m.      gourmet breakfast

10:00 a.m.    final plenary

11:00 a.m.   closing jazz Eucharist



$175 per person

$125 for clergy


Every fifth registration from a congregation is free. This includes the program, lodging for two nights and all meals. The diocese is subsidizing this conference so that congregations can bring teams of people to best utilize the large amount of information. Register Now.