May 2018 Issue No. 308
Missional Voice 2018
by The Rev. Dr. Jill Walters, Associate Rector, St. Andrew's, Amarillo
On April 19, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry kicked off Missional Voices 2018. Although the gathering was held in Indianapolis, they agreed to share a livestream with anyone who wanted to be involved. St. Andrew's, Amarillo participated in the sessions through livestreaming.

The sessions were provocative and inspiring. Various groups shared their ministries and what they have learned from their successes and failures. They also emphasized that we increase our awareness of the impact of our ministries on people of color. In particular, each group agreed that the key is listening and engagement. We may think we know what people need, but we need to stop “doing ministry” long enough to be “in ministry” with those who are in need by giving them a voice and making sure they do not remain invisible. 

Missional Voices is a valuable and powerful tool. One of the practical issues we learned is that livestreaming was difficult in terms of people’s schedules. Fortunately, the Missional Voices website has videos from each of the gatherings. 2018 should be posted soon. We ended up watching some of the videos from 2017 when there were breaks in the livestream schedule. They were wonderful! We’re going to show some of those during the year during our Christian Formation time ( http://mvng.org/videos/) . For more information on Missional Voices, click on this link .    
Why Education for Ministry and Why Now?
by Richard Partney

Soon Education for Ministry (EfM) mentors around the diocese will begin recruiting new members to join established groups. Why respond to this invitation? In my opinion, the parish member that clergy appreciate is one who has a better theological understanding of religion and why we gather together for worship. Group studies and the exchange of/and appreciation of diversity help to clarify individual appreciation of Biblical studies and corporate worship. 

Why now? 

There can be no better time than the present for the present is what our Creator has given us. The past is gone and the future can only be hope and prayed for, Christian life is lived in the present, by words and deeds.

Education for Ministry is a four year study of Old Testament, New Testament, History of the Church, and a Study of Theology. There are many helps which make the study more user friendly, because, honestly, there are readings which can seem daunting and for those with full time jobs and homes/children to care for, it can appear overwhelming. Take heart, fellow participants with audio and video assistance will make the mountain shrink to a mole-hill! There are no tests. There are no papers to write. There is a lot to think about. It is not required that the years be consecutive - many take years off and return to complete the series, I personally took time off because of teaching demands.

What do current EfM participants think about the studies?  

From Midland : The group continues to enjoy the RRG very much (the Reading and Reflection Guide , the support book each participant gets). It is helpful both for preparing for the class and for use as we discuss during class. 

From Lubbock:  A sense of challenge is the overall opinion of this year’s class, but in a good and constructive way. This year we have three denominations represented, one being a very mainline, fundamental and literal practice of faith. One other being protestant, but very conservative in theological interpretation and practice. These mixed in with our Episcopalian members has presented some very interesting and often challenging points of view. We have more than once reviewed our guidelines of respecting all opinions without judgment and honoring the dignity and choice of all people. Although it has placed us in a new arena of conversation and reflection, we have all been challenged and have grown through the process. It is the expression of all in the class that even with the challenge of our demographics, our weekly sessions are eagerly anticipated and the high-light of everyone’s week. All have described a sense of strength and energy which comes from being in communion through EFM.

Do the EfM groups just meet at the Church for the entire year? 

No, in fact, Sewanee/The University of the South, the source of training and materials, recommends that groups meet outside of the study area at times for change and other activities. 

From Midland:   The group is in the process of planning our highlight for the year. We have one labyrinth in town - at the hospital. During the time that we will be reading our interim reading, we will meet at the hospital, learn about the labyrinth, walk the labyrinth, and then go in to a meeting room - with a catered meal - and discuss the Verna Dozier book.  

From Amarillo:  One week after a particularly meaningful theological reflection, we met at a local pizza establishment for reflecting and refreshments. We have previously ended our study year with a corporate worship at the Columbarium using a worship form discovered from around 100 CE.

Prayerfully consider Education for Ministry now. Talk with a mentor (a list of mentors can be found here ). If your parish does not have an EfM group, contact me about starting one. If you attend a parish that is small and far from established groups contact me about joining an online group. I can be reached at 806.681.2544 or rdpart@att.net.

Richard Partney is the Diocesan Coordinator for Education for Ministry
Youth News
by Renee Haney, Diocesan Youth Coordinator
Don’t Miss The Bus! 

The bus for Camp Quarterman will be heading to Colorado June 10th-16th for youth who have completed grades 7-12 (and youth in 6th grade who choose this camp over Camp Quarterman Jr.). That’s only a little more than a month away! The bus trip begins with a stop in Lubbock to pick up youth from the southern part of our diocese, then on to Amarillo to pick up youth from up north. Then, it’s off we will go! The full camp experience really begins on the bus ride (all 8 plus hours) to camp. Meeting new friends, catching up with ones we haven’t seen all year, playing games, eating, sleeping, watching movies, etc. takes up our time on the bus. It really makes the ride go by quickly and by the time we arrive—we have made new friends and are ready to get the week started.  

Camp Quarterman Jr., for youth who have completed grades 2nd-5th (and those 6th graders who choose this camp) will gather at Ceta Glen near Happy Texas, June 24-30. Youth will be dropped off on Sunday, where the counselors will help the campers get settled for a super fun week. CQJ offers swimming each day, along with our other activities (including Human Hungry Hungry Hippos). When parents come for pick up, we will have our final Eucharist and share our slide show from the week. 

The theme for both weeks of camp is “Who Dat Saint? Stories of Some Heroes of the Faith.” We will learn about saints who are “famous” and some who we may never have heard of before. 

Each day we will spend time in worship, learning, singing, hiking, crafts, and playing games. Some of the “old favorite” games—Human Clue, Counselor Hunt, Fun Noodle Hockey, and Capture the Flag, will be on the schedule each week along with a few new ones. We end each week with a talent show.  

To register download the registration packet here . For more information, contact Renee Haney, Diocesan Youth Coordinator at 806-445-3667. Financial assistance is available because everyone deserves the ability to attend camp.  

Spread the word…we can’t wait to welcome our campers this summer!  
Project Resource 2.0
by Anthony Wilson
Giving is a sacrament, just as surely as the Holy Eucharist, baptism and confirmation are. And yet, too many of us don’t view our giving to the church – and to God – as the transformational experience it is meant to be. Rather than recognizing our gifts as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace, too many of us mistakenly see our giving as a financial transaction for religious goods and services delivered by our parishes. 

Led by Bishop Mayer, our diocese has a newly formed team to help teach about the life-changing nature of sacrificial giving for the spread of God’s work in this world.

Last month, the Bishop called five of us from across the diocese to attend 2½ days of instruction on giving. Hosted by the Episcopal Church Foundation at Camp Allen in Navasota, we learned how we can more effectively talk about sacrificial, transformational giving within Northwest Texas’ parishes. 

In addition to me, the group included two other lay leaders – Carla Holeva, former senior warden of Holy Trinity in Midland, and Elizabeth Thames, senior warden at St. Stephen’s in Lubbock and Diocesan Administrator. Our group was rounded out by two priests – the Rev. Jim Haney, rector at St. Paul’s on the Plains in Lubbock, and the Rev. Robert Pace, rector at St. Andrew’s in Amarillo. 

ECF’s Project Resource 2.0 included lessons on annual giving campaigns, major gifts and planned giving. Among the takeaways: 

  • Giving is a ministry, so it’s healthy for us to talk about it more than once a year. In fact, we should talk regularly about how giving – of our time, our talents and our treasures – unlocks our hearts to God as we share in the repair of the world.

  • Giving is not about the amount given, but about creating connection with God. The main question we should be asking ourselves is, “Is my gift transformational?” For some people, that’s $1 per week.

  • A family’s inability to give could signal a pastoral need our priests need to be aware of.

  • Annual giving is a part of our stewardship, but it is not to be confused with stewardship. Stewardship is the work of the church. Thus, it’s misleading to refer to our annual giving campaigns as stewardship.

  • Christ spoke to us about the ministry of giving, in Matthew 6:21. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Note that Jesus didn’t say our money should follow our heart. 

The group agreed we will try some of what we learned at Camp Allen during this year’s annual giving campaigns in our parishes. Afterward, we will regroup to debrief, learning from one another what worked well, what should be refined and what should be scrapped. And we will share those experiences with other parishes in an effort to help them tap into the transformational power of giving. 

We also agreed to share an annual giving theme among our five congregations as a means of creating connection across the vastness of our diocese. (Plus, we can share in the costs of any graphic design that our campaigns might share.) We welcome other congregations who would like to join in on this. Just contact Elizabeth at the diocesan office to learn more.

This year’s theme is meant to reflect the sacrificial, communal and life-changing power of giving: Fishes and Loaves. 

Last year, I heard the Rev. Jared Houze, vicar of All Saints', Colorado City and St. Stephen's, Sweetwater, explain the story of how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two small fish. I had always imagined Jesus performed some magical and mystical feat. But Father Jared explained there was no voodoo involved; once the crowd saw what was happening, they began to share. So this person ate a portion of what he had with him and shared the rest with his neighbors. And so did she. And so did they. And in the end, everyone ate and was satisfied … and 12 baskets of leftovers were collected. A ripple effect of sacrificial giving had spread throughout the crowd. In the process, individual lives – and a community – were changed for the good. That is, they were transformed. 

With the Holy Spirit’s help, perhaps we can spark a God-fueled movement that is just as powerful, is filled with just as much grace, and is just as transformational … right here in Northwest Texas. 

Anthony Wilson is the senior warden of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo. Contact him at awilsoneditor@msn.com .
Transitions
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, The Reverend Beverly Couzzourt was installed as Vicar of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Canyon. 

Beverly was raised up for ministry at St. George’s and has served there as a Liturgical Priest and Sacramentalist since being ordained in 2006. In 2017 the Bishop appointed Beverly as Vicar, which was celebrated and certified at the service last week. The Rev. Claire Field preached at the service and The Rev. Deacon Mildred Rugger served as Bishop’s Deacon.  
Position Title: Director of Youth Ministries
Immediate Supervisor: Curate 

Position Summary:
The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas, is seeking a Director of Youth Ministries. The Director will be responsible for developing a vibrant youth group and programs for students in middle and high school. This Youth Minister will guide the youth group to be a community where students grow deep roots in Jesus and each other, where they are safe to be themselves, and where they can have fun while learning to integrate their faith into all aspects of life. The position requires mature leadership, the ability to collaborate, and the skills to respond appropriately to the developmental needs of teenagers.

The ideal candidate will have these qualities:
  • An open, warm, outgoing, and energetic personality.
  • A love of, and appreciation for, middle school and high school students.
  • A commitment to engage students in order to develop relationships and nurture spiritual growth.
  • A respect and appreciation for the Episcopal expression of faith.
  • A lifestyle that reflects an authentic commitment to Christ, and one that sets an example for children and youth in the Parish and the community.
  • A desire to work with and learn from young people and their parents/caregivers.
  • Ability to recruit and raise up leaders.
  • Ability to work and serve well with others.
  • Ability to manage time, complete tasks/assignments, and initiate new ideas.

Responsibilities and Duties:
  • Plan and lead engaging, community-building, and spiritually meaningful activities weekly.
  • Identify, recruit, train, and motivate adult volunteers to serve as sponsors, assisting with youth programs.
  • Foster an environment in which students are encouraged to be themselves, are respectful of one another, and are excited to be together.
  • Provide pastoral care for students via calls, texts, and visits to schools for lunch, school events, and other extracurricular activities.  
  • Encourage students to attend Diocesan youth events.
  • Communicate with students and parents via telephone, e-mail, mailings, and social media.
  • In collaboration with the Communication Coordinator, communicate with the wider Parish about activities and events for youth through Heavenly Rest’s print media and website.
  • Keep records of youth participation.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings.
  • Manage youth ministry budget, in collaboration with Heavenly Rest’s Manager of Operations.
  • Attend Safeguarding God’s Children training.
  • Ensure all adult volunteers are trained in Safeguarding God’s Children.

Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or University.
  • Self-initiative work style.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work well with a diverse group of volunteers, co-workers, staff, and parishioners.
  • Highly organized with excellent record-keeping skills.

Compensation: Full-time salary with benefits

To apply: Send a cover letter and resume to chrepis@heavenlyrestabilene.org .
Last month we informed our readers that Anna Mora was resigning as the Diocesan Finance Manager due to health issues. Well.....that aint happenin!

Anna has felt so good due to a change in medication since her last hospitalization that she has decided to remain on staff full time and our team is thrilled. Anna has been a valuable part of this staff for over ten years and her knowledge and skills are above par. We are blessed to be able to keep her!!
Promise Project Update
by Todd Baxley and Mary Emeny
Dear friends in the Diocese,
 
We want to be the first to tell you about the next step in the evolution of Happy Camp/Promise Camp, the diocesan project that started at Quarterman Ranch nearly 30 years ago to serve children who have parents incarcerated in Texas. After Quarterman Ranch was closed, we created a 501(c)3, not for profit organization called Panhandle Promise Project to continue the work and legacy of Promise Camp in Amarillo. Over the past five years Promise Project has served over 70 children with summer camp and monthly activities. Now it is time for another transition, one we are excited about.  Family Support Systems of Amarillo has agreed to take over Promise Project and merge it into their ongoing work with at-risk students. FSS has resources Promise Project never could muster, like regular mentoring and equine therapy. They will not do camp this year as they have found it more effective to provide several one night sleepovers than a four day camp.
 
Thank you for your role, whatever it has been, in ministering to at-risk children throughout the diocese. The organization will be different going forward, but the work continues. Allelujah!
 
Resources
How the new tax laws could affect Episcopal charitable giving
 [Episcopal News Service]  

“Oh, you can deduct it.” That saying has reverberated across clothing donation boxes at the Salvation Army to the checks we write to our favorite social causes for the last century. While we give because God calls us to, it doesn’t hurt when there are tax benefits as well. Read more .
Thy Kingdom Come

What would happen if thousands of people, in languages and cultures around the world, prayed for others to come to know Jesus Christ? From May 10 to May 20, 2018 (Ascension to Pentecost), Christians everywhere will join in Thy Kingdom Come, an international and ecumenical global call to prayer.

Thy Kingdom Come is an invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, that began in 2016. Now people from around the world will come together in prayer for 11 days to strengthen their own lives in Christ and to pray that the world will come to know Him.

To hear Bishop Curry's message about Thy Kingdom Come, click on the picture above. Add your light to the global map by pledging to pray at  Pledge 2 Pray. Th en find resources for ways you, your church, and your family can carry out your commitment with daily scripture, Morning and Evening Prayer, a prayer journal, and more suggestions at www.thykingdomcome.global .
The Church Pension Group (CPG) Spring Health and Wellness Guide for spring 2018 is out.

This quarterly publication has great articles on ways to strengthen our physical, mental, spiritual, and financial health. Also included are healthy recipes and great tips. The title of the latest issue is Exploring Strength in Community: Fortifying your financial, emotional, and communal foundation . Click on the picture to access articles in this issue.
A Little Humor
EVENTS for the DIOCESE
(Items in Purple indicate the Bishop's Presence)
 
May
4-6                 SOM, St. Paul’s, Lubbock
7-9                 Fresh Start Retreat, DeFalco Center, Amarillo
24                   Trustees, HEC, 10 am            
25                   Standing Committee, HEC, 10 am
28                   Memorial Day, HEC Closed
31                   Celebration of New Ministry, St. Mary's, Big Spring, 7 pm
 
June
3                     Visitation, St. Mark’s, Coleman
8                     General Convention Deputies Meeting, Lubbock
10-16             Camp Quarterman, Colorado
17                   Visitation, St. Peter’s, Borger
21                   Celebration of New Ministry, St. Nicholas', Midland, 7pm
22                   General Convention Deputies Meeting, Lubbock
22-24             Women’s Retreat, Christ the King Retreat Center
24                   Visitation, St. John's, Clarendon
24-30             Camp Quarterman Junior, Ceta Glen
 
July
3-13               General Convention, Austin, Texas
 
 The full events calendar for the Diocese can be viewed here .
Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas
Attn: Elizabeth Thames
1802 Broadway
Lubbock, Texas 79401
806-763-1370