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Recent news and updates from the Bishop's Office 

December 2017                                                                              No. 303

Advent Blessings!
Taize Worship

Advent  is a time of waiting and anticipation.  It can also be a special time to focus on and  connect to God's presence.   One way to center oneself is to participate in the beautiful meditative form of worship that grew out of the Taize community.
Founded in the 1940s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche (who became known as Brother Roger), Taizé is an ecumenical monastic community located in Taizé, France.  The brothers of Taizé take a vow of celibacy and are committed to a lifetime of simplicity, service, and community. The Taizé official website, states it "wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples."

During World War Two, Brother Roger took in a small group of refugees in the little French town of Taizé. He sheltered Jews, intellectuals, gypsies, homosexuals, and anyone else seeking refuge.  During the madness of that time, an ecumenical way of quiet, meditative and peaceful worship developed in the community. A small bit of sanity was preserved in one tiny corner of a world that was bent on violence. That community continues to this day, and other similar communities have sprung up in the spirit of Taizé around the world.  The form of worship that grew out of the original community is available in many places. 

Taizé prayer services are open to all faiths and all who attend discover a service highlighting silent and spoken prayers combined with beautiful music in a candlelit atmosphere. Emmanuel, San Angelo hosts a weekly contemplative prayer service in the tradition of the Taizé community, every Friday evening, at 5:30pm in their Great Room. St. Stephen's, Lubbock offers a Taizé service with Eucharist and a Healing Rite in the sanctuary on the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm. 

The business and busyness of our daily lives can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially at this time of year.  We are grateful there is the opportunity in the diocese to experience the calm, meditative, renewing worship of these Taizé services.   
DNWT Youth:  Serving Others, Serving God
by Renee Haney, Diocesan Youth Coordinato r

"Serving Others, Serving God," is the theme for the Middle School and High School Retreat being held at St. Paul's in Lubbock January 12-14.  We will be serving others in the community by baking desserts for St. Benedict's Chapel, sorting donations at the Thrift House, making place-mats for the Kairos ministry weekends and other outreach services as they become identified.  We will be studying the scripture, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV). 

We will also spend time exploring ways "outside the box" that we can serve others during the weekend together.  We will also explore what we can do for others AFTER we leave the retreat.  Please join us as we find out how we can ALL serve God and others. 

Please help us get the word out to the youth in your parish.  If you have any questions, please contact Renee Haney, Diocesan Youth Coordinator at 806-445-3667 or

Registration forms can be downloaded here.


Gibson moves to El Paso

The Rev. Justin Gibson has been called to St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso as their Vicar.  Justin, a graduate of Candler School of Theology, was sponsored for ordination by St. James', Dalhart where he has served since June, 2016.  In addition to working part-time at St. James', Justin was the Executive Director of Care Net Pregnancy Center in Dalhart and once a month visited St. Paul's , Dumas as a supply priest.  Click here for a link to the wonderful letter the Bishop's Warden of St. Francis' wrote to the congregation announcing their new Vicar.

Prayers for blessing go with Justin, Kristan and their beautiful family as they move to El Paso to begin this new ministry.  They will be missed!  



Pending the Standing Committee's certification that all canonical requirements have been met, God willing and the people consenting, Bishop Mayer will ordain the following persons in January :

Rebecca Ruth Kello will be ordained to the Priesthood on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Becca, sponsored by Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene, graduated with a M.Div from Abilene Christian University and obtained a certificate in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary.  Becca was ordained a transitional deacon at Heavenly Rest in June of this year and currently serves as Christ Church's Associate Rector and Chaplain to the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Western Kentucky University. 
Alvin Stofel  will be ordained to the Vocational Diaconate on Tuesday evening, January 23, 2018 at St. Christopher's, Lubbock.  Alvin is in his third year of study in our School of Ordained Ministry.

Erin Courtney Jones will be ordained to the Vocational Diaconate on Saturday morning, January 27, 2018 at St. Andrew's, Amarillo.  Courtney is completing her third year of study in our School of Ordained Ministry.

Karen Pisarz Boyd, another third year student in the diocesan School of Ordained Ministry, will be ordained to the Vocational Diaconate on Tuesday evening, January 30, 2018 at Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene.


The Sweet Evolution of Trunk or Treat Over the Years

Outreach can come in many different shapes and sizes.  But, it always brings a smile to those receiving the gift of love and to those offering it!  One ministry at St. Andrew's, Amarillo has grown and grown and grown over the years.  It is their annual Trunk or Treat at Halloween.  From a small parish gathering ten years ago, this event is now a much-cherished community gathering that provides candy and hot dogs to over 1,200 individuals! 

Click on this link for an article on this year's Trunk or Treat by St. Andrew's Christian Formation Coordinator, Lacy Turman.  We can't wait to hear what's in store for next year!!

Advent Resources: Beloved Community
The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs
[November 16, 2017] 
A newly developed Advent resources is now available to help Episcopalians everywhere to take up Jesus' ministry of reconciliation and healing. Every congregation should have received in the mail Preparing to Become the Beloved Community, a multi-fold poster and resource pack with prayers, reflections and activities for each week of Advent. 

Preparing builds on the Becoming Beloved Community vision document and resources, which Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and their supporting officers introduced earlier this year. The document lays out the Episcopal Church's long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation and justice.
"During Advent, Christians focus on how much we need Jesus to bear light, healing and hope in a broken world," noted the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Presiding Bishop's Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care. "This is a mysterious, vulnerable time. We're opening to Christ. We're opening to different neighbors and strangers who are Christ among us. We hope these resources meet the real hunger among Episcopalians to live like Jesus Movement people."

The resource can also be downloaded 
Episcopal Migration Ministries offers  Epiphany Curriculum for 2018
The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs
[November 28, 2017] 

Episcopal Migration Ministries is offering an Epiphany Curriculum, which includes free resources to oversee a faithful and meaningful Epiphany 2018.

"After the celebratio n and joy of Christmas, the Church turns its attention to the Epiphany of Christ, and a season when we remember time and again how God is made manifest in the world," noted the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. "In these important days, Episcopal Migration Ministries invites congregations and faith communities to reflect on the rich history of the Episcopal Church's work among refugees, as we have answered collectively the revealed Son of God's call to be his ministers in a hurting world."  Click here to read more and to access the Epiphany Curriculum.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018
The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs
[November 15, 2017] 

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between January 18 and January 25. It is an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908 as the Octave of Christian Unity, and focused on prayer for church unity. The dates of the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, cofounder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars. He conceived of the week beginning on the Feast of the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant of the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, on January 18, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25.
Downloadable resources are available here.  

The Beecken Center of the School of Theology (Sewanee) is partnering with  Listening Hearts Ministries  to offer an intensive, four-day retreat to train participants in the art of facilitating and mentoring spiritual discernment groups using the  Listening Hearts  approach. Held at the  DuBose Conference Center , the retreat will include communal meditation activities; workshops that teach the practical aspects of teaching spiritual discernment; and a series of discernment sessions, each of which is followed by a reflective review to gain insight into the elements that bring forth fruitful discernment.

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Do you like to travel?

Educational Opportunities Tours has partnered with clergy, leaders, parishes, schools, and ministries of the Episcopal Church to provide a wide range of Christian travel opportunities. They have offerings that include the Holy Land, Europe, cruises, as well as discounted mission trips.  For more information and a listing of some of the 2018 offerings, please click here.  


Upcoming Events 
(Dates in purple italics indicate the Bishop's attendance.)

1          Commission on Ministry, Hulsey Episcopal Center
1-3       School of Ordained Ministry, St. Paul's, Lubbock
4-6       Fresh Start, Christ the King Retreat Center, San Angelo
10        Visitation, St. Christopher's, Lubbock
11        Standing Committee, Hulsey Episcopal Center, 10:00 am
17        Visitation, Trinity, Albany
22-31   Hulsey Episcopal Center closed for Christmas break


1           Hulsey Episcopal Center closed for New Year's Day
10         Visitation, Heavenly Rest, Abilene, 6:30 pm
12-14    Youth Retreat for 6th-12th graders, St. Paul's, Lubbock
15         Hulsey Episcopal Center closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
18         Becca Kello ordination, Christ Episcopal, Bowling Green
19-21    SOM, St. Paul's, Lubbock
21         Visitation, St. Paul's, Lubbock 
21         Visitation, Canterbury at TTU, 6:00 pm
23         Alvin Stofel ordination, St. Christopher's, 6:30 pm
27         Courtney Jones ordination, St. Andrew's, 10:30 am
28         Visitation, St. Matthew's, Pampa
30         Karen Boyd ordination, Heavenly Rest, 6:30 pm 

The full events calendar may be found here.  
The Office of Communications | EDNWT | 806.763.1370 |
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Elizabeth Thames
Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas
(806) 763-1370