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Recent news and updates from the Communication's Office 

June-July 2017                                                                             No. 299
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!

To view a video presentation about this unique area, created 
by Weiman Meinzer, renowned photographer in the State of Texas, and the late Doug Smith, local pianist,
click on the graphic above.

As depicted in the  pectoral cross of Bishop J. Scott Mayer  (right), the stars, moon, and sun are representative of the beauty one may find in this region ofTexas.  

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.
(For more information about the events, click on the blue underlined links.)

June 25-July 1  Camp Quarterman Jr.
July 4                Hulsey Episcopal Center closed
July 10-14         EYE in Oklahoma City, OK
Sept. 8-9           Northwest Texas Deacons' Retreat

A Prayer for our Country

Collect 17: For the Nation
Book of Common Prayer, p. 258

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Have a safe and happy July 4th celebration!
Ordinations in NW Texas

June has been a busy time for Bishop Mayer, and the parishes that held ordinations. The first ordination, on June 3rd, was the ordination of Deacon Claire Makins, to the priesthood. The service was held at Church of the Heavenly Rest (CHR) in Abilene, where she will  now   serve as the Curate for the Heavenly Rest family. Mtr. Claire was sponsored by Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo, her home parish. She graduated in May, from University of the South at Sewanee School of Theology, with a Master of Divinity. Mtr. Claire and her family have relocated to Abilene as they begin the next chapter in their lives as clergy family. 

The second ordination also took place at Church of the Heavenly Rest, this time for Becca Kello
, who was sponsored by CHR. She was ordained to the transitional diaconate on Wednesday evening, June 14th. Deacon Becca attended college in Abilene, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree from Abilene Christian University.  She has recently completed a one-year course of studies at   Virginia Theological Seminary , and graduated on May 18th, 2017.   During seminary in Virginia, her focus was Anglican Studies, and she served her Field Education assignment at St. John's Norwood, an Episcopal parish in Chevy Chase, MD. Deacon Becca will serve at Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, KY, and will also serve as the Chaplain with the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Western Kentucky University.

Fr. Justin-family
Likewise, Deacon Justin Gibson, who has been living in Dalhart, and serving St.James' Episcopal Church, was ordained to the priesthood on the evening of June 15th, at St. James'.  Fr. Justin graduated from Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, in 2016, and was ordained to the transitional diaconate on June 4th, 2016, at St. Paul's on the Plains Episcopal Church. Since graduation and diaconal ordination he has been working with CareNet Pregnancy Center in Dalhart, as their Executive Director, and has also served St. James' under the guidance and mentorship of the Rev. Phil Ray, the current rector of St. James'.

To view photos of the events, click on each photo in the article, which will redirect you to a Google photo album. Congratulations and best wishes to all the new ordinands in their lives of service to God!

Noteworthy News 
Clergy Transitions

On May 25th, 2017, during the regularly scheduled meeting of the St. Nicholas' Vestry, the Rector, the Rev. David Huxley, shared news of his recent diagnosis of Early Onset Dementia. Due to the onset and the conditions he must endure daily, 
Fr. Dave will retire in November. The news was greeted with great sorrow, as well as offers of prayer and support on the part of all present at the meeting. On Sunday, May 28th, Fr. Dave announced it to the c ongregation.

Fr. Dave has a blog in which he writes about his experiences to help parishioners and friends know what he will go through, and has gone through, to bring him to this diagnosis. You may keep up with Fr. Dave through his blog at

To find out more about Early Onset Dementia, its signs and symptoms, please follow this link to a .pdf document on

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated as Fr. Dave and Cookie prepare for his retirement in November.

Also transitioning... The Rev. Jennifer Holder, who has functioned as  the  chaplain for the Canterbury Campus Ministry at Texas Tech,  as well as the Priest-in-Charge for St. Christopher's, Lubbock, will leave her Canterbury position to concentrate more fully as rector for St. Christopher's, effective July 1st. The church is very excited to have a new, permanent rector in place, although she has actually served at St. Christopher's since April of 2016, in her prior position. Congratulations to Mtr. Jennifer and to St. Christopher's on their exciting, new relationship.

Of course, Mtr. Jennifer's transition to St. Christopher's Church, left the diocese with an opening at Canterbury Campus Ministry. Rather than call a part-time clergy person to the position, which would have its challenges, Bishop Mayer chose to align Canterbury with St. Paul's-on-the-Plains Episcopal Church, located just across the street from Canterbury, at 1510 Ave. X.  Fr. Jim Haney V will now serve Canterbury as the part-time chaplain, with Deacon Becky Orem, the deacon at St. Paul's, serving as the co-chaplain. 

St. Paul's has always had a close relationship with Canterbury due to its proximity to the ministry. Seaman Hall, the building named for the Rt. Rev. E. Cecil Seaman, the second Missionary Bishop of North Texas, was built in its current location in the 1930's, with a United Thank Offering Grant, from the National Women's Auxiliary. In the early 1940's, the current St. Paul's building was constructed just across the street. Now, the two will be linked together in ministry to God's people. Best wishes to Canterbury and St. Paul's in their new relationship.

Missions from NW Texas

On June 2, 2017, a brave and adventurous young woman from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Amarillo, Alecia Litchfield, answered God's call to serve on a medical mission to several Guatemalan villages. The mission team provided healthcare to over six hundred people in just five days. Three hundred people were given eye exams and were fitted for glasses, and sixty people accepted Jesus as their Savior! What an amazing and impactful few days!

Even more amazing is the way Alecia described her call, how she came by it, and how has it impacted her life. To read her report in it's entirety, follow this link:

To view additional photos from her trip, click on this photo.

Retired Clergy of NW Texas -  DON'T FORGET!!
Enriching Your Retirement is coming to the Diocese of Northwest Texas

Maintaining your overall well-being is so important at this stage of life. The Enriching Your Retirement presentation is a unique opportunity to learn about your pension and medical benefits, how to stay healthy, and the programs and services that can support you. You'll also hear how your colleagues are doing as they transition into retirement.
T opics will also include the status of The Church Pension Fund, financial and estate planning, and b eing your own healthcare advocate.
Enriching Your Retirement is for beneficiaries of The Church Pension Fund. It will be presented by the Church Pension Group in collaboration with your Chaplain to the Retired.  Your spouse or partner is invited to attend with you.
The presentation will be offered on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 3 S. Randolph, San Angelo, and again on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1101 Slide Road, Lubbock. Lunch will be provided.  Registration for the event will be open in August. 
(Click on the blue links to view a Google map of each location.)
For more information:
Contact your Chaplain to the Retired, The Rev. Bill Wright at 325-340-6204 or .   You can also learn more by visiting

Employment Opportunities  In Northwest Texas
Summer is a time when many people transition to  new employment situations. Thus, a new webpage has been added to the diocesan website to make job postings by the various churches in  our diocese  available  to our constituency . The webpage is linked from a front page article on the website, as well as from the drop-down menu under the RESOURCES tab.

There are currently two positions available in the diocese -  both  part-time, and both in parishes. 
  • The Director of Children's Ministry, at Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene
  • Parish Administrator, at St. Christopher's, Lubbock.

For more information, please visit the webpage.

DNWT Youth

Camp Quarterman Sr. Wrap-up
by Renee Haney, Youth Coordinator

"Jesus: Tell Me a Story" was the theme for Camp Quarterman Summer Camp at Cathedral Ridge, Colorado, June 4-10.  With the bus loaded, we headed northwest to cooler temperatures, mountains, and a week of learning a few of the parables Jesus told his followers. Leading the teachings were Father Matt Rowe and Father Jared Houze. Counselors acted out the parables in skits to reinforce the teachings. Also, Bishop Scott confirmed two of our counselors, Natalie Escobedo and Zach Fernandez, while he was with us. 
Our music team of Father Jim Haney, Jimmy Haney, Sequoyah Perry, and Lisa Haney led us in singing old camp favorites ("Pharoah, Pharoah" and "Lord of the Dance") and in learning some new songs. We made cool crafts and ended our week tie-dying bandanas! Games of Human Clue, Capture the Flag, and Counselor Hunt were played with enthusiasm till we reached exhaustion. Some campers hiked Red Rock Canyon while others went horseback riding. Thankfully, we did get to rest each day.
A talent show on Thursday, with enthusiastic acts from our campers, clergy and counselors was a huge hit. Friday we ended our week at camp with the annual dressy dinner followed by the dance, caterpillar hug and then s'mores around the campfire with songs and  "words of wisdom" from our graduating seniors. 
Heading home after a week of camp is always hard. It really is a mountain top experience at Camp Quarterman in Colorado. On the bus, I heard the kids talking about plans to stay in touch during the year, and plans for next summer.  2018... here we come!
To view a short slideshow of photos taken at camp, click on the graphic. You will be redirected to the Youth Facebook page. The children in the video belong to Fr. Jared and Ericka Houze. The entire family enjoys assisting with camp!


Additional photos are posted on two diocesan Facebook pages:

2. And the diocesan youth Facebook page @

Daughters of the King

The  Daughters of the King (DOK), St. Catherine of Siena chapter, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Lubbock, installed four new members on May 7, 2017. The Rev. Jennifer Holder, rector of St. Christopher's, presided at th e service of installation. Diocesan President, Anna Marie Wanasek, from the St. Brigid of Kildare chapter, St. Paul's, Lubbock, was present for the installation. 

New members* include Calder Thomas, Madeline Spencer, and Shirley Webb, and  Mtr. Jennifer . All of the new members attend St. Christopher's Church. Congratulations to the St. Catherine of Siena chapter and to all their new members.


In the photo, left to right-

Row 1:  Carolyn Jones, Angie MacDonald, Frances Lohmann-Smith, Suzanne Copeland, Nancy McReynolds (our current president)
Row 2: Calder Thomas*, Anna Marie Wanasek (our regional president from St. Paul's Episcopal in Lubbock), Candia Thew, Linda Lawson (our VP), Jane Barnes (our Secretary), Debbie Maines, The Rev. "Mother " Jennifer Holder * (our rector)
Row 3: Madeline Spencer*, Billie Becknal, Shirley Webb* and Julie LaCombe.

keep calm_weargreen

The Season of Pentecost - The Long "Growing" Season

And from the Wider Church...
Resources from The Episcopal Church
Episcopal Shield

From Episcopal Church Vital Practices

EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP - Discipleship in the Episcopal Church Today
What are the spiritual practices of Episcopalians? What beliefs have a hold on their hearts? What motivates Episcopalians to be of service in the world? How are church leaders supporting them in addressing these questions?

These are the kinds of questions explored through RenewalWorks, a ministry of Forward Movement. RenewalWorks seeks to make spiritual growth the priority in parish life, building cultures of discipleship in our Episcopal congregations. That work fits well with the vocation of Forward Movement, which for more than 75 years has sought to reinvigorate the Episcopal Church by supporting individual spiritual practices. As Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement, often says: "We are in the discipleship business."

RenewalWorks has worked over the past four years with almost 200 Episcopal congregations, gathering insights from more than 11,000 Episcopalians. The goal of the work is simple: to encourage Episcopalians in discipleship, in the confidence that this will build spiritual health and vitality in our denomination. Through the research of RenewalWorks, a portrait of a distinct Episcopal culture is emerging. We have learned that we are an older denomination (75% over 50 years of age). Our parishioners have long tenures in their churches (54% longer than 10 years). 47% of the churches surveyed reported membership of 101-350 parishioners. Many congregations are much smaller. And we are gaining insights into the beliefs and practices of Episcopalians, described later in this article.

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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visits Mizeki festival in Zimbabwe, delivers sermon
from Episcopal News Service


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry traveled this month to Zimbabwe to attend an annual festival for the  martyred 19th century missionary Bernard Mizeki; and delivered a sermon there to more than 15,000 pilgrims from across Central and Southern Africa.

Curry was invited to the festival by Bishop William Jay Lambert of the  Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who first attended in 2015. Lambert called Curry's June 17 sermon "the best sermon he's ever given."

"I had hoped that that crowd would fire him up and he in turn would fire them up, and that's what happened," Lambert told the Episcopal News Service by phone.
Curry spoke of the Jesus Movement, one of his recurring themes as presiding bishop, and he emphasized Matthew's account of the Great Commission, saying "go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations." The repetition of that passage in Curry's sermon eventually prompted to the crowd to respond by chanting "Go!" over and over.

"The energy was palpable, and the depth of feeling profound," said the Rev. Chuck Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry beyond the Episcopal Church. Robertson was part of the American delegation that traveled to Zimbabwe for the Mizeki festival.

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Photo: Chuck Robertson                                                      Article: David Paulsen

Applications accepted for Stewardship of Creation grants

[June 19, 2017] The  Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation is accepting applications for grants that focus on local faith-based projects for mitigating climate change and safeguarding the integrity of Creation.

This marks the next cycle of grantmaking by the Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation, enabled by Resolution  A030,  Create Task Force On Climate Change, approved at General Convention 2015 and charged with the responsibility to develop a grant process to support local ecologically responsible stewardship of church-related properties and buildings.

Recommendations will be made for grants up to $10,000.

Further information regarding this grant process and how to submit an application is available  here.  Deadline for applications is August 20.

Episcopal Church congregations, seminaries, schools, monastic communities, non-profits, dioceses, provinces, etc. are encouraged to develop projects that find and establish connections between eco- and social justice, engaging the local community as partners and participants. The projects should seek to foster cooperation between communities of faith, civic, scientific and educational organizations. Projects should have specific outcomes which create lasting impact, enhance faith formation andsocial understanding and serve groups and/or regions that are vulnerable and/or underrepresented in the church. Projects including intergenerational engagement, demonstrating innovation and creativity, and promoting churchwide learning, understanding and practical application are welcomed. Projects should not be solely focused on materials, salaries, or capital expenses.

The Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation will make recommendations to the Episcopal Church Executive Council for its October 2017 meeting, and final grant decisions will be announced in November with the funds released in December.

Seminary News and Updates

Bishop Rob Wright, dates, announced for 2017 Blandy Lectures

Seminary of the Southwest and the Southwest Alumni Association recently announced  The Right Rev. Robert "Rob" C. Wright as the featured speaker at the  2017 Blandy Lectures and Alumni Convocation. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of this annual gathering created to honor The Very Rev. Gray M. Blandy for his ministry and work as the first dean of the Seminary of the Southwest.

The announced dates for the convocation are  Tuesday, September 26, 2017, and  Wednesday, September 27, 2017. 

The two-day convocation will take place on the Seminary of the Southwest campus. The full schedule will be made available at the beginning of June. Please check back for more details here: To learn more, click the photo.

Sewanee Banner

2017 Dubose Lectures

The annual 2017 DuBose Lectures will be held on Sept. 27 and 28, 2017, on the campus of the University of the South's School of Theology. This year the School of Theology will welcome Mark McIntosh as the guest lecturer. All lectures will take place in Guerry Auditorium.

The Rev. Professor Mark McIntosh, Endowed Chair of Christian Spirituality at Loyola University, Chicago, holds degrees in history and in theology from Yale, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the interface between systematic and historical theology, on the one hand, and the history and theology of Christian spirituality and mystical thought. Most recently he held the post of Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University, a joint appointment as canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral. In 2014, he rejoined the Department of Theology at Loyola, where he had taught for 16 years. A priest in The Episcopal Church, McIntosh has also served as chaplain to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church and canon theologian to the 25th presiding bishop.  To learn more, click the photo.

Upcoming Events


4            Hulsey Episcopal Center closed - Happy Indepen dence  Day! 
8            Diocesan Youth Group Task Force Meeting, HEC, 10:00am-3:00pm
10-14     Episcopal Youth Event - Oklahoma City, OK


19          Installation of the Rev. Jennifer Holder as Rector, St. Christopher's,
              Lubbock, 10:30am
20          Visitation, St. George's, Canyon
23          DNWT Board of Trustees, HEC, 10:00am
24          Executive Council, HEC, 10:00am

25-27     School of Ordained Ministry, St. Paul's, Lubbock

27          Visitation, St. James', Dalhart

(Dates in purple italics indicate the Bishop's attendance.)
The Office of Communications | EDNWT | 806.763.1370 | 
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EDITOR - Deacon Nancy Igo
Director of Communications and HR
Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas
(806) 763-1370