AUGUST 2016 
No. 290

Pentecost 2016
The long "growing time"


The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Northwest Texas

WELCOME to the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Northwest Texas--a place where the vast open plains are as wondrous as the big sky above!

by Tom Clark of Lubbock
As depicted in the pectoral cross of Bishop J. Scott Mayer , the stars, moon, and sun are representative of the beauty one may find in this region of Texas.  

The landscape, covering 77,000 square miles is as diverse as the cities and people, with the canyons and rangelands of the Staked Plains; agricultural fields abounding; and the rough and ready country of the Rolling Plains and Permian Basin. The people here are known for their warm and friendly smiles, making one feel like an old and trusted friend.
In This Issue
Quick Links
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Noteworthy News from Northwest Texas
(For more information about the events, click on the blue underlined links.)
August 26-28, 2016 - DNWT Women's Retreat, Christ the King Retreat Center,  
San Angelo    
November 17-19, 2016 - Annual Diocesan Convention in Lubbock

                     July 10-14, 2017 - Episcopal Youth Event (EYE), Oklahoma City, OK

"It's a Quiet Month in Lake Wobegon"                                      by Deacon Nancy Igo

These are the "dog days" of summer. The heat outside has driven us all into the comforting shadows dog_days of trees and buildings, and thirsty animals are scarcely seen during the daytime, unless you find them snoozing in an out-of-the-way place of peace and tranquility. Crops and plants wither as they await the soothing pleasure of a gentle rain, or the blessing of a sprinkler, chop, chop, chopping as it flings cool water on parched land. And humans have migrated to the cooler places, where frigid air cools their fevered brows and allows them, for a short time, to forget about the soaring temperature outside, that is, until they venture out of their sheltered environment. Air conditioners everywhere hum a quiet tune in the heat, sending their gift of cold air into sealed buildings filled with sweaty humans. As Garrison Keillor warned, " It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn't hear the barbarians coming."  

All this is to say it's a quiet time in the diocese right now, and news is as scarce as rain. Enjoy the bliss of a quiet, hot summer month, and get ready. Fall is coming!!   

(Title quote by noted radio entertainer and columnist, Garrison Keillor)

2016 Diocesan Convention Webpage convention_theme

Time is drawing ever closer for the 2016 Diocesan Convention! The Convention will be held in Lubbock again this year, on November 17-19, 2016. A Convention webpage has been added to the diocesan website with information about the location. This year's registration process will be primarily online registration, with the ability to pay online through PayPal, a secure online payment source, or by sending a check to the diocesan office. Registration opens on September 1st, 2016, at 8:00am. At that time a list of hotels will be provided where delegations may make reservations from a reserved block of rooms.

The location for this year's Convention is the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center on the southeast corner of the Texas Tech campus, conveniently located near hotels and this year's place of worship, St. Paul's on the Plains Episcopal Church, at 16th and Ave. X. For more information about the Alumni Center, please visit the diocesan Convention webpage.

The guest speaker for this year's Convention is the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, one of the two houses of General Convention, the governing body of the Episcopal Church. Rev. Jennings is the first ordained woman to be elected to the position. She works closely with the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, and Byron Rushing, the Vice-President of the House of Deputies. According to the Episcopal Church website, "...Gay is committed to fostering a new generation of leaders in the Episcopal Church and encouraging the church to stand with children in need through the actions of General Convention and the work of Episcopalians throughout the church. She works closely with the Presiding Bishop and other church leaders for wholeness, reconciliation and justice in the Episcopal Church and the world."

Stay tuned for more information as it is released!

Seminary Bound

Two young women from our diocese will enter seminary this fall. Both women have been through all the initial processes and are postulants, meaning they are on track for ordination after completion. Leann Wigner, her wigner_family husband, Dann, and their son, Clark, arrived at Sewanee - The University of the South School of Theology - just days ago to begin her course of studies to obtain a Master of Divinity. The Wigners hail from Lubbock, where they have attended St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. Leann has been active at church, having served as a Eucharistic Minister and acolyte, a Sunday school teacher, and has worked as their administrative assistant. Leann's also a talented photographer, and has served as the unofficial parish photographer for St. Stephen's. She assisted Deacon Igo with Diocesan Convention photos in 2015.

Leann attended Wayland Baptist University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, a Master of Arts in Religion, and a Master of Christian Ministry. She and her husband come from a Baptist background, but found the Episcopal Church several years ago, feeling immediately like it was a good fit. Dann also has his Master's degree from Wayland, and a PhD. in Theology from Durham University, Durham, England. Dann plans to pursue writing, teaching, and theology while living in Tennessee.

becca_kello Rebecca (Becca) Kello will attend Virginia Theological Seminary this fall to earn a certificate in Anglican Studies. Rebecca, or Becca, as her friends know her, is single and hails originally from Tennessee, where she and her family attended the Church of Christ. Becca was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 2013, and is a member of Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, where she has served Heavenly Rest as a teacher and Eucharistic Minister.
She has worked in early childhood education, and during her time in Abilene she has been deeply involved with Abilene Interfaith Council.

Prior to arriving in Abilene, Becca earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee, and has recently graduated from Abilene Christian University, where she earned a Master of Divinity. Rounding out her theological education with the Certificate in Anglican Studies will enable Becca to eventually become ordained in the Episcopal Church. 

Please keep these two outstanding young women in your prayers as they follow their call to ordination through their seminary studies.

Best of wishes, ladies, from everyone in the diocese! 
DNWT Youth Events                             
youth_jumpingThe diocesan Youth Coordinator, Renee Haney, has released the dates of this school year's activities for the youth of Northwest Texas. Locations for some of the events have not been released, however, information will be available on the youth events webpage of the diocesan website as it becomes available. Be sure to visit the DNWT youth webpage!

September 10, 2016 - 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Lubbock Planning Meeting for Youth Council/Youth Exec Committee

October 14-16, 2016 - Fall Retreat for Middle School and High School - Place TBD

November 4-6, 2016 -
Primary Retreat for youth in Grades 2-5 - Place TBD

January 13-15, 2017 -
Midwinter High School Only Retreat - Place TBD

March 24-26, 2017 - Spring Fling for Middle School and High School Place TBD

July 10-14, 2017 - Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) - Oklahoma City, OK     
Icon Workshop Opportunity                                
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Lubbock, will sponsor an Icon Workshop with renowned iconographer, the Rev. Peter Pearson , from Monday, September 19th - Saturday, September 24th, 2016.

Instruction will be held at St. Christopher's, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm each evening, and from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday. If you wish to reserve a spot, send a deposit check for $50 to the church office to reserve a place. Make your check payable to St. Christopher's Episcopal Church. Please put "Icon Class" in the memo line of the check, and be sure to include your email address with your check in order to receive class communications.

Church address: 
2807 - 42nd St.
Lubbock, TX  79413-3223

Class details:
$300 total - all supplies furnished
Balance due at first class.
Bring your own food.

For more information contact:
Tom Hicks
A Humorous Thought - Summer Tours 
by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham
Conference Opportunity
To view the flier in a larger format or to download, please click the graphic.
Vital Practices
Church as Village Green
By Sarah Bartenstein, part of the Vestry Papers issue on Buildings & Grounds [& Mission] (July 2016) farmers_market

The village green...the public garden...the town square. Before suburban sprawl became a prominent feature of American life, churches were often placed at the geographic heart of their communities. Today in Virginia, if you drive through a small town, you'll likely see a historic Episcopal church on the main street, near the courthouse, or in some other prominent public space.

Sadly, many churches have lost that sense of being the hub of community life. But while it is situated in a suburban Richmond neighborhood, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is demonstrating that it's still possible to be a "village green." Parish buildings are not only full throughout the day on Sundays, the buildings and grounds are also alive on weekdays with people participating in small groups or coming for a meeting or a speaker; volunteering in the food pantry or the Episcopal Church Women's gift shop; shopping in the church bookstore; rehearsing in a choir; or attending Morning Prayer or Evensong.
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Seminary Updates
Blandy Lectures
Seminary of the Southwest and the Southwest Alumni Association are honored to welcome Mr. Bryan Stevenson, widely acclaimed public-interest lawyer and author, as the 2016 Blandy Lecturer. The annual Blandy Lectures and Alumni Convocation are hosted by the Southwest Alumni Association and held over the course of two days on the seminary campus in the fall of each year. This year, the convocation will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27th, thru Wednesday, Sept. 28th.

For more information visit


Sewanee Banner 
2016 DuBose Lectures

The annual DuBose Lectures will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28th,  and on Friday, Sept.  29th, 2016, on the campus of the University of the South's School of Theology. This year the School of Theology welcomes Dr. Rowan Williams as the esteemed guest lecturer.
Bonhoeffer Revisited: from Christology to Politics

Dietrich Bonhoeffer still attracts attention and admiration as a thinker and as a Christian witness. There has been much excellent new biographical study but some aspects of his theology still need drawing out. During the 1930s, even as he was shaping his responses to the political crisis of the age, he continued to wrestle with the theological roots of public commitment. These lectures will look at developments in his thinking in the hope of clarifying how he saw his resistance to political tyranny not just as a matter of discipleship in general, but as the center-point of a Christological politics.

For more information on the lectures, Dr. Rowan Williams, or to register, follow THIS LINK.

For more news and information from Sewanee visit the Seminary website.

Diocesan Events Calendar
1-31        Bishop Mayer on Sabbatical  
18           DNWT Budget Committee, HEC, 10:30am
19-21      School of Ordained Ministry, St. Paul's, Lubbock
23           DNWT Trustees, HEC, 10:00am
25           Executive Council, St. Stephen's, Lubbock, 10:00am


1-30       Bishop on Sabbatical 
5             Labor Day Holiday - HEC Closed
9-10        DNWT Deacon Retreat, St. Stephen's, Lubbock
9-11        School of Ordained Ministry, St. Paul's, Lubbock
10           Youth Exec Council Planning Meeting, St. Paul's, Lubbock, 10:00am
12-14       Fresh Start Retreat, Christ the King Retreat Center, San Angelo

(Items in purple indicate Bishop Mayer's presence.) 
Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

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Newsletter Editor

Deacon Nancy Igo
Director of Communications and Human Resources

Diocese of Northwest Texas 

(806) 763-1370  x. 5