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Recent news and updates from the Communication's Office 

May 2017                                                                                  No. 298
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.
Is it time to "clean house?"

Let's try something this month. 
Our newsletter, " The Adventure... on the go,"  has over 700 subscribers. Good grief! That's a lot of subscribers, but according to Constant Contact statistics, only about 350 or less of those subscribers actually open their email from us. Some of those  email addresses  listed as unopened email are people who've been active in our diocese, or in their parishes. Are they just reading the preview? OR are they just deleting the email?

This month please help us verify these stats by actually  clicking on your newsletter email to open it up fully before reading it,  rather than using the preview to read it. Doing so will tell us who is actually reading it, and who is not. 

Let's see who reads our monthly newsletter! We appreciate it!

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

May 22-23        HEC CLOSED for offsite staff meeting with Ft.                                   Worth staff
May 29              HEC CLOSED - Memorial Day holiday
June 3               Ordination of Claire Makins to the Priesthood
June 3               Women's Quiet Day - St. Nicholas, Midland
June 4-10          Camp Quarterman
June 15             Ordination of Justin Gibson to the Priesthood
June 25-July 1  Camp Quarterman Jr.
July 10-14         EYE in Oklahoma City, OK

Noteworthy News 


Mark your calendars! Two transitional deacons from Northwest Texas will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests next month, and one seminary graduate will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate. What joyous occasions!

The first ordination will occur June 3rd, 2017, at 10:30 am, at Church of the Heaven ly Rest (CHR) in Abilene. Deacon Claire Makins has been called as the next Curate at Heavenly Rest, thus her ordination, following graduation from the School of Theology at the University of the South at Sewanee, will take place there.  Deacon Claire was ordained to the transitional diaconate on December 3rd, 2016, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo, her home parish.  She and her family have resided in Sewanee since she began seminary studies, and will now relocate to Abilene, where she will serve CHR.


Additionally, Deacon Claire received an award from Sewanee for her academic leadership and achievements, specifically the Bishop Alard Prize for Excellence in Spanish.  W elcome back  home, Deacon Claire!

Likewise, Deacon Justin Gibson, who has been living in Dalhart, and serving St. James' Episcopal Church, will be ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 2017, at 6:30pm, at St. James'. 

Deacon Justin graduated from Emory University 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 he  has been working at CareNet Pregnancy Center in Dalhart, as their Executive Director. He has also served St. James' under the guidance and mentorship of the Rev. Phil Ray, current rector of St. James'. 

Becca Kello , who has been attending seminary at Virginia Theological Seminary, will graduate on May 18th, and will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 14th, 2017, at 6:30pm, at Church of the Heavenly Rest, her supporting congregation and home parish. Be sure to watch for more information in next month's Adventure, about where Becca will serve. To learn more about Becca, follow this link .

Chase Monson , who has served Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo, as their Student and Family Ministries Director for the past year, and for 3 years as the Student Ministries Intern, will be leaving soon for a new position. Chase will serve St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, as the Associate Director of Youth Ministries. To read more about Chase, and this change for both he and Emmanuel, please follow this link to the Emmanuel website. Good Luck, Chase! We'll miss you!

Please keep all these wonderful young  servants of God  in your prayers as they approach the exciting changes in their lives with the Episcopal Church.


Congratulations to Mrs. Field!

In a small service for family and friends in Marble Falls, the Rev.  Claire Cowden was joined in marriage to Steve Field, of Amarillo. The service took place in Marble Falls, at the parish where Claire did her training while attending Seminary of the Southwest.

Steve and Mtr. Claire plan to reside in Amarillo, where Steve works in the real estate market, and where Mtr. Claire will serve as the priest-in-charge of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. She will begin her duties there on August 1st, 2017, after completing her curacy at St. Andrew's in June.

Best wishes for many, many years of joy and happiness!


Retired Clergy of NW Texas - 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



Women's Quiet Day at St. Nick's

"Three Saints Who Broke the Silence"
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 - 9:00am-2:00pm
Cost: $15.00, includes lunch

St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church
4000 W. Loop 250 N.
Midland, TX. 79707

Presenters include the Rev. David Huxley, Rector of St.Nicholas', Midland; the Rev. David Galletly, Rector of Holy Trinity, Midland; and the Rev. Ricardo Lopez, of Midland.




As mentioned in April's newsletter, Betty Gilmore, an outstanding servant leader in Northwest Texas, from St. Nicholas', Midland, was in Houston, at M.D. Anderson Medical Center, to receive diagnosis of and treatment for a newly acquired and serious medical condition. She was transferred back to her home in early May.

Betty joined the saints in Heaven on Wednesday, May 9th, at home. We will miss her gracious smile and gentle spirit, and the twinkle in her eyes. She has truly been an icon for lay servanthood in Northwest Texas. 

A memorial service is planned for Wednesday, May 17th, at 11:00am, at St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church in Midland.

read more details and information button or icon

Rest eternal grant to Betty, O Lord:
And let light perpetual shine upon her.
May her soul, and the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
(BCP p. 502)

Much has been s poken and written in the news lately about climate and preservation of the earth. Some of it is quite controversial, and there are supporters on both sides. But what does stewardship have to do with creation? 

In Genesis, Adam and Eve were given the privilege of caring for our fragile earth, and have passed that privilege on to us. We are the very stewards of creation, and God trusts that we will will honor that responsibility. In his three-pronged approach to the Jesus Movement, the  Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry,   has identified Stewardship of Creation as one of the three areas of concentration for the Movement, asking us to encounter and honor  the face of God in creation, just as we would seek the face of God in every living person.

read more details and information button or icon


DNWT Youth

Time for Episcopal  Church Camp!
Is your child  registered f or  camp  yet?  

Camp Quarterman registration forms are posted now! All  forms may be found on the  diocesan  website  and on the 
youth Facebook page,  NWTX Youth Program . Click the photo on the left to be re-directed to the information page on the diocesan website.

Campers_Smiling faces
Camp Quarterman  will be June 
4-10 in Colorado. 

(for youth currently in grades 7-12.)

Camp Quarterman Jr. will be June 25-July 1 at Ceta Glen
(for youth in  grades 3-5.)

Please contact Renee Haney with questions  at ,   or by mobile phone at 806-445-3667. 


Congratulations to all the graduating seniors 
in Northwest Texas!
Good luck!


Ascension Day - May 25th
By the Rev. Jay Sidebotham

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

Becoming the Beloved Community

Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church's Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice, available  here, is designed as a strategic path through distinct phases that lead to personal and structural transformation.  More information  here.

Thy Kingdom Come

The Episcopal Church has joined the Worldwide Anglican Communion in Thy Kingdom Come, a campaign initiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby calling for prayer by individuals, congregations and families. Info  here.

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day -  May 25 - and Pentecost -  June 4 - for more people to come to know Jesus.  # #ThyKingdomCome
Overview info  here.

The Episcopal Church Asset Map

An ideal way to highlight mission and ministry efforts in your area and region is through the Episcopal Asset Map, an online platform showing the location and ministries of Episcopal churches, schools and other communities. The Episcopal Asset Map is an innovative partnership between the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development that tracks local ministries and shows the location and the array of ministries offered by Episcopal congregations, schools and institutions throughout the church.

Episcopal Asset Map  here. More information is available  here, or you may contact Deacon Nancy Igo in the Bishop's Office.

Presiding Bishop Urges Church to Wake up
from Episcopal News Service


[Diocese of Maryland] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry returned to his old stomping grounds in the Diocese of Maryland, bringing an inspiring message and encouraging Episcopalians to claim their role as members of the Jesus Movement. 

"'Heaven help the devil if the Episcopal Church ever wakes up,'" he said, quoting the famed 20th-century evangelist, Billy Sunday. "Wake up, Episcopal Church. That's what the Jesus Movement is all about."

Curry, who served as rector of St. James in Baltimore for 12 years, has been calling for a new period of evangelism within the church since being elected in 2015. This effort also includes a desire for the Episcopal Church to address some of the systemic race and class issues that plague American society.

"We need to find a way for the grace of God to bear on the deeply rooted system of sin that mires us in a quagmire of racism," he said. Racial reconciliation, evangelism and the care of God's creation are the roots of the Jesus Movement for the presiding bishop.

read more details

Photo: Randall Gornowich for ENS
Episcopal Church Selects Development Partner
for Downtown Austin, TX, Property

Future home of The Archives and Research Center

(April 24, 2017) The Episcopal Church has selected Cielo Property Group to partner in  the development of a church-owned city block in downtown Austin that will incorporate  space for The Archives of the Episcopal Church and an adjoining mixed-use project.

The Episcopal Church purchased the Austin city block bounded by Seventh, Eighth,
Trinity and Neches Streets in 2009 for the purpose of building a national archives facility.  The new 67,000-square-foot home of The Archives of the Episcopal Church will include  research, exhibit and public space. The facility will serve as a national gathering place  where Episcopalians and others can study and celebrate the history, beliefs and work of  the Church and provide a cultural amenity for the broader Austin community.

Online Preaching Resource

At Backstory Preaching, they believe every preacher has the capacity to inspire faith in Christ. The unique way God abides in you is your primary message, and by cultivating your  connection with God, you can authentically inspire the Church to take up Christ's invitation.
lisa_ cressman

Backstory Preaching is an online preaching resource for additional training. It is the only online training available for preaching. It was founded by the Rev. Lisa Cressman, who is currently Adjunct Faculty in Preaching at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. Lisa is a trained spiritual director and Certified Daring Way Facilitator, and holds a BS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin, MDiv from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA., and DMin in Practical Theology from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.

Their unique approach develops your preaching skills while integrating your spirituality.   They offer eCourses, short-term group workshops, one-to-one coaching, and even an in-depth, yearlong mentorship. 

Get started right away by subscribing to the newsletter to receive preaching tips every Monday morning. Then head over to the blog to find tips you can use to improve your sermon this week. 

Seminary News and Updates

Practicing Forgiveness in Difficult Times

June 5-9, 2017 at Seminary of the Southwest

For more information about this unique, 5-day,  interdisciplinary study, follow this link , or click the graphic on the right

Information about instructors, course studies, and registration are available on the study webpage.

Sewanee Banner

A Convocation and Conferring of Degrees

On May 12, the School of Theology graduated 43 seminarians with a variety of degrees and honors, one of whom is Deacon Claire Makins, from Emmanuel
Episcopal Church in San Angelo. After graduation, Deacon Claire and her family will reloc ate to Abilene, where she'll serve as the Curate at Church of the Heavenly Rest. 

Click HERE to read about the honor Deacon Claire received.  Additionally, honorary degrees were presented to three bishops with diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging contributions to the Church. 

Please keep Deacon Claire and her family in your prayers as they make their way to Abilene.

(Read this month's Theology Monthly by clicking the graphic.)

Sewanee Theol Monthly

Upcoming Events

18          Commencement, Virginia Theological Seminary
18          Trustee Committee, HEC, Lubbock, 10:00am
21          Visitation - Heavenly Rest, Abilene      
21          Retirement event for Dr. Mike Bennett, All Saints  School, Lubbock, 2:00pm
22-23      HEC Closed-  Off-site staff meeting with Ft. Worth Staff
22-24     Commencement, Seminary of the Southwest
25          Ascension Day
29           HEC Closed - Memorial Day holiday


3            Ordination of Deacon Claire Makins to the Priesthood, 10:30am,
              Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene
4             Pentecost
4            Visitation, Emmanuel, San Angelo
4-10       Camp Quarterman, Cathedral Ridge, Woodland Park, CO
15          Ordination of Deacon Justin Gibson to the Priesthood, 6:30pm, 
              St. James' Episcopal Church, Dalhart
18          Father's Day
18          Visitation, St. Mark's, Abilene
23          Standing Committee, HEC, Lubbock, 10:30
25-7/1    Camp Quarterman Jr., Ceta Glen Church Camp, Happy TX.
(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