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News, Updates, and Events
Stay connected with the mission and ministries of the Diocese with this weekly newsletter. Requests for coverage may be sent to communications@dwtx.org.
The Big Give SA: September 10
The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas will participate in The Big Give SA, an online day of giving supporting nonprofit organizations in South Central Texas on September 10, 2020; funds raised will support Camps & Conferences, one of the diocesan programs greatly impacted by the effects of COVID-19. View the donation page to make a donation now, or during the online day of giving.
Diocesan Congregations Respond to Community Needs During Pandemic and Coinciding Crises
Diocesan churches are leveraging existing relationships, and Outreach Grants from Episcopal Relief and Development, to meet immediate needs in their communities affected by the pandemic and other simultaneous crises. Additionally, Immigration Ministries has deployed the Emergency Immigration Housing Fund to house a recently released, refugee family near the hospital where its newborn twins are receiving intensive care. Working together, local churches are actively serving their neighbors and their communities even while remaining physically distanced.
Church & Other Ministry Events
Migrant Cycle of Prayer: September 10
Join the diocesan Immigration Ministries in prayer for everyone impacted by the crisis at our border, led each Thursday by diocesan clergy. This weekly, online gathering for fifteen minutes of prayer begins at 7:00 p.m. CST, on Thursday, September 4.
Click here for more information.
Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for Our Wisdom Years Information Session: September 11
Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for Our Wisdom Years, hosted by Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, is an ecumenical, certificate program designed for more mature seekers who desire to mindfully embrace the challenges and opportunities of aging by accessing the deep wisdom embedded in the world's great mystical and contemplative tradition. This two-year program of education and formation will be led by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, the Rev. Mary C. Earle, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, and other invited speakers on transformation and aging.
Contact forestdwelling@ost.edu to register for a Zoom Information Forum, on September 11 at 3:00 p.m. CT, and click here to learn more about the program.
Webinar - Graphic Design for Beginners: September 16
Join Caffeinated Church for their series of Fall Expert-Led Workshops. The second webinar will be led by Ronda Palazzari, a mixed media artist, designer, author, and photographer living in Denver, Colorado. On Wednesday, September 16, 12:00 p.m. CT, Ronda will share her expertise on graphic design for beginners and color theory.
Click here for more information.
"Wisdom Journey: Pilgrims Traveling Together" Online Retreat: September 18
The last third of our lives is not a time of "non-life," coasting towards death, but a new stage of life, a season given to us as a gift. Just when we thought we had lived all there was for us, we discover that God has something more in store for us. On Friday, September 18, join the Wisdom Years ministry for an online retreat engaging with practices to guide us to live more fully in these years than ever before. Led by Ann Hoffman, the day will be constructed around prayer, teaching sessions, Q & A time, and small-group discussion.
Click here to learn more and sign up.
Stewardship Training Day for Rural & Small Congregations: September 19
In collaboration with the Province VII training and planning team, The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) is excited to present a day of learning and fellowship for lay and clergy members of Province VII, on Saturday, September 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., CT. This free, online event will include a plenary training session, topical lunch meeting groups, and discussion/breakout sessions.
Key learnings will include:
  • Strategies for raising money for mission and ministry during the pandemic
  • Best practices for virtual stewardship campaigns
  • Pros and cons of various online and app-based donation platforms
  • Specific strategies for intergenerational congregations and members less familiar with online / streaming technology
  • Best practices for storytelling, small group formation, and preaching on the theology of abundance and generosity
Click here to sign up.
Fall Family Weekends & Retreats at Camp Capers
Registration is open for Fall Retreats at Camp Capers; individuals, couples, and families needing a safe, stress-free weekend getaway are invited to:
  • Mother/Daughter Retreat (Sept. 11-13)
  • Creation Care Family Retreat (Sept. 24-27)
  • Helping Hands, Serving Hearts Family Retreat (Oct. 2-4)
  • Mother/Son & Father/Daughter Retreat (Oct. 9-11)
  • Halloween in the Hill Country Family Retreat (Oct. 29 - Nov. 1)
  • Art & Soul Retreat (Nov. 6-8)
  • A Very Capers Christmas Retreat (Dec. 10-13)

Each retreat will include time to savor the beautiful Texas Hill Country, play in the Guadalupe River, enjoy fun family activities, and share delicious meals. Worship services, including Compline, will be led by Camp Capers staff and chaplains.
Click here for more information about all upcoming Camps & Conferences retreats.
Wounded Warrior/Veteran Family Weekend at Mustang Island Conference Center
Mustang Island Conference Center invites all veteran families to a Wounded Warrior / Veteran Family Weekend, September 25 - 27. Enjoy private beach access, scrumptious island cooking, fun activities, campfire & S'mores, and more. Contact Lynn Corby, at lynn.corby@dwtx.org, for more information and to sign up.
Announcements
Beginning Monday, September 14, 2020 updated COVID-19 guidelines for clergy and congregations will begin. Under Phase 2(b) - a Modified Return to Congregational Life, the congregations of West Texas may begin reinstating in-person activities on church premises in addition to public worship, with proper precautions, and at the discretion of the clergy and Vestry/Bishop's Committee. All clergy and congregations are advised to review the Guidelines to ensure compliance, especially regarding protocols for communion and wearing masks. Click here for more information and the updated Guidelines.

Effective September 8, staff members will return to work at the diocesan office, observing social distancing and sanitation protocols listed in the Diocesan Office Protocols and Guidelines.

Effective September 14, the Bishop Jones Center will reopen to a limited number of outside formation meetings and groups, per diocesan-wide Phase 2(b) guidelines. For more information, contact Melissa Soderberg, Executive Assistant to the Bishop's Office, at melissa.soderberg@dwtx.org.

Save the date for the 15th Annual Bishop's Golf Classic benefiting diocesan programs; the tournament will take place with modifications and pandemic precautions, on Friday, November 6th at Canyon Springs Golf Club in San Antonio. Registration for golfers and more information will be released mid-September, at dwtx.org/events.

The 2020 Fall Women’s Gathering, scheduled for October 16 - 17, has been cancelled. The Commission for Women's Ministry invites all to mark their calendar for the 2021 Fall Women's Gathering, which will take place October 22 - 23 in San Antonio at the Bishop Jones Center.

Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast the same week that marked the 15-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Episcopal Relief & Development is in constant communication with the impacted dioceses working to reach vulnerable populations devastated by the storm. Click here to support these efforts.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry will be the featured preacher Sunday, September 13th on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace. The nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program is also accessible online at Day1.org and by podcast. The program will also include an interview with Presiding Bishop Curry conducted by Wallace. Click here to listen online.

The Episcopal Church offers new resources for congregations interested in following the Way of Love as a way of life by starting small group ministries, including the "Building an Intentional Small Group Ministry" information packet and corresponding infographic, video compilations, and social media graphics. Click here for more information.

Episcopalians are invited to join churches around the world in celebrating the Season of Creation; a time for people of faith to renew their relationship with God and all creation through celebration, prayer, and action from September 1 until St. Francis Day, October 4. The Episcopal Church Office of Creation Care offers Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Resources to help plan. Click here to learn more.
Resources
  • "Vote Faithfully" is an election engagement toolkit with prayers, scripture, tips for advocacy, and action steps for casting your vote and helping others vote as well, produced by The Episcopal Church, available in English and Spanish. Click here to learn more.
  • All three "Becoming Beloved Community NOW" webinars on racial justice hosted by The Episcopal Church are available for viewing, at fb.com/episcopalian. Click here to read more.
  • The newly revised Handbook for Those Who Work with Children and Youth is available online, at dwtx.org/safeguarding.
  • The diocesan Commission on Disaster Preparedness and Response recommends all churches and institutions implement one of three Preparedness Planning Guides provided by Episcopal Relief & Development as a first step towards disaster preparedness.
  • The diocesan COVID-19 Resources page includes communications, Spanish translations, information for leaders, and resources for sustaining ministry while physically distanced from the diocesan Christian Formation committee, the Stewardship Department, the Communications Office, and others. The current items available for purchase through the diocesan Ben. E. Keith account and order form are saved on the page as well.
Job Postings
St. Paul's, San Antonio is seeking a part-time Parish Administrator.
St. Philip's, Beeville is seeking an Organist/Music Instructor.