Did You Know?: Reflections on a Day in the Life
Did You Know?: Reflection on a Day in the Life
An Education & Communication Series from the Bishop Nominating Committee*
Featuring a reflection by the Rt. Rev. David Reed
The ministry of a bishop is to represent Christ in his Church, particularly as an apostle, chief priest and pastor of the diocese. Each day a bishop in the Diocese of West Texas will likely encounter such a varied schedule - with items planned ahead of time as well as unscheduled and unexpected things - that remaining focused on the mission to be an apostle in all instances can be a challenge. The bishop’s day may begin in the office or on the road. With 87 congregations and well over 120 clergy active or regularly engaged in ministry, each day demands both a pastoral heart and an administrative mind.
The Diocesan Profile included a page about the travel schedule of the bishop. No two days are exactly the same. Many miles and many events were attended, including camp visits, preaching and confirmations, vestry meetings and congregational gatherings.
Less visible and less “glamorous” than the travel is the bishop’s pastoral ministry- the care of individuals and congregations - exercised in a steady stream of weekday meetings, appointments, email correspondence, and phone calls, taken from the diocesan office and from the road. In a typical week, the bishop’s calendar includes many meetings - meetings to plan meetings, the meetings themselves, and meetings to follow up on meetings!
There are similarities to the ministry of a parish priest, but it is not as simple as congregational ministry multiplied by ten. The pace tends to be quicker, and the timeline for planning tends to be longer.
While much of parish ministry is built around the Church’s calendar, the bishop’s ministry has its own peculiar rhythm. Apostolic ministry seeks unity for the sake of mission, and many of the bishop’s meetings are about bringing people together and trying to help various congregations and ministries become resources to one another.
It’s difficult to describe a “typical” week in the office for the bishop, but it might unfold something like this:
- Phone calls to a priest recovering from COVID-19; a clergy spouse recovering from surgery; an anxious Senior Warden; a rector planning for the bishop’s upcoming visit; and a person who wants to begin a new ministry.
- In-office meetings with staff - World Missions, Camps and Conferences, Immigration and Refugee Ministries, Communications, Budget and Finance.
- Lead Tuesday diocesan staff meeting.
- Preach and celebrate at Wednesday Eucharist in St. John's Chapel at the Bishop Jones Center.
- Meet with Bishop Rayford High to share observations gleaned from Sunday visits.
- Meet with the Discernment Committee to support their work of shepherding those who feel called to ordained ministry.
- Meet with the Bishop’s Executive Assistant to review appointments and add events to calendar.
- Lunch meeting with Development Committee chairs to discuss possible restructuring.
- Meet with the Archdeacon to review status of search processes around the Diocese.
- Meet with the Canon to get update on churches facing financial challenges.
- Meet with leaders from a parish about their master plan.
- Make notes for upcoming Sunday visit.
- Review and approve liturgies for upcoming worship services.
- Bless a cross to be presented to one of our clergy.
- Lunch meeting with people engaged in humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
- Participate in Episcopal Church Foundation in West Texas meeting.
- Commission the Board of Good Samaritan Community Services.
- Meet with a Vestry whose rector is leaving.
- Travel to St. Andrew’s, Brackettville for midweek evening service.
- Celebrate Eucharist and consecrate new Altar at the “Sidewalk Saturdays” ministry at Christ Church, San Antonio.
- Travel to All Saints’, Pleasanton to preach and celebrate on All Saints’ Day.
- Attend a benefit luncheon for Morningside Ministries.
- Return missed phone calls from a Bishop’s Warden having a hard time finding a supply priest; a bishop in another denomination struggling with a church in conflict; a woman inquiring about exorcism; and a parish priest with a question about remarriage.
Though there are certainly quiet moments, and even quiet days, the bishop’s ministry is fairly relentless in its pace and quantity. As one of our former bishops often wrote in his Journal: “Got home late. Tired, but grateful.”
Photo credit to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Brackettville.
More Information & Resources
- Click here to read the Diocesan Profile online.
- Click here to review the Discernment Timeline.
- Click here to read recent written and video communications from the Standing Committee.
- Click here to open the Bishop Election webpage.
- Click here to subscribe to the Diocesan General Interest email list, which will receive all Standing Committee communications.
*Bishop Nominating Committee
The Standing Committee Members
President - the Rev. Dr. Ben Nelson, TMI Episcopal, San Antonio
Mrs. Nancy Beauchamp, Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi
The Rev. Scott Brown, TMI Episcopal, San Antonio
Dr. Liz Manning, Holy Spirit, Dripping Springs
Mr. Richard Mosty, St. Peter’s, Kerrville
The Rev. Matthew Wise, St. Mark’s, San Antonio
The Assisting Members
Mrs. Thurma Hilton, St. Richard’s, Round Rock
The Rev. Alex Holloway, St. Margaret’s, San Antonio
The Rev. John Inserra, St. Alban’s, Harlingen
Ms. Andrea Knight, Resurrection, Windcrest
The Rev. Karen Morris, Emmanuel, Lockhart
The Rev. Arnoldo Romero, St. James, Del Rio