"We Will Continue" - A Call for Papers
"Nevertheless the Kingdom of God Has Come Near" - A call for papers reflecting on our life and ministries together following the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the long months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the people and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas have experienced loss, frustration, disappointment, and anxiety. We have also discovered, or rediscovered, new priorities, sources of hope and strength, an ability to adapt, and unexpected blessings. We have known all of these things and more, personally, in our churches, and in our communities.
In the midst of everything, the Church’s identity and mission have not changed. The Lord of all creation continues to call us by name, to gather us as the Body of Christ, and to send us out in the power of the Holy Spirit “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855)
As we continue to re-emerge and regather, I am issuing a “call for papers” to all the clergy, laity, and youth of West Texas. This request is another opportunity for us to speak and listen to one another across the Diocese of West Texas, to reflect theologically and practically on what we have lost and found during this season as well as consider ways the Church can live faithfully in the coming years. The categories and prompt for these papers are guided by the questions of the Baptismal Covenant, listed below.
The [extended deadline] for consideration is Sunday, August 15th (revised 8/2/21). Submitted work will be considered by a panel of clergy and laity, then compiled in order to share throughout the Diocese. The work will assist congregations and the Diocese as we consider and plan for next steps together.
I look forward to reading your reflections and the ongoing conversations inspired by this season of our shared life together.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
David M. Reed
Bishop of West Texas
Written Response Instructions
Prompt: "How will the pandemic experience inform how we live into our Baptismal Covenant moving forward?"
In your written response to this prompt, focus on one question from the Baptismal Covenant (listed below) and reflect biblically, theologically, pastorally, liturgically, missionally, and/or ethically on how we as the Church may answer that question in the post-pandemic world to come.
Prizes will be awarded for the top selection in each category, with separate divisions for youth in high school, middle school, and elementary school. Submissions may be written in English or Spanish.
Categories, please choose one:
- Continue: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
- Persevere: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
- Proclaim: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
- Seek: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
- Strive: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
- The extended deadline for submission is Sunday, August 15, 2021. (revised 8/2/21)
- Response length should stay between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
- Use the following style specifications: Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced, and endnote citations for non-scriptural references or quotes.
- All sources should be cited; scripture within the text, and others in endnotes, in order to help readers who may want to pursue the topic further.
- Any accompanying or stand-alone multimedia submissions (artwork, photography, video, music, etc.) will be considered for inclusion in the diocesan compilation, but will not be judged by the panel.
Determined by participants' age/grade for the 2021 Fall Semester.
- Adults: participants currently over the age of 18
- High School: rising 9th through 12th grade students
- Middle School: rising 6th through 8th grade students
- Elementary School: rising 1st through 5th grade students
- Younger authors or artists may submit creative works in response to the prompt for potential inclusion in the diocesan compilation, but will not be judged by the panel.
For more information, please contact the Rev. Alexandra E. Holloway, chair of the Panel of Readers, at firstname.lastname@example.org.