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October 24, 2022

Discerning Together: Outlining the Next Steps and Announcing Consecration Date

A Letter from the Standing Committee

Beloved People of the Diocese of West Texas,

Thank you for the kind support and feedback that many of you have given the Standing Committee regarding the discernment process leading up to the election of our next Bishop Coadjutor. I am grateful to share with you that the nomination process went very smoothly, and the committee has received a tremendously wonderful pool of potential nominees. In this letter, I hope to clarify what will take place in the coming months and have an exciting announcement to share.

Right now, our potential nominees are in prayer with us and will visit individually with members of the Bishop Nominating Committee this week via Zoom. During these conversations, the committee will present each person with some open-ended questions, intended to help the committee discern with each potential nominee as they move along in the process. I look forward to hearing what this fine group of people will bring to these conversations. The Bishop Nominating Committee will keep this group of names confidential in order to give our potential nominees space to discern the Spirit and their call to this process.

Following the Zoom conversations, the Bishop Nominating Committee will meet the first week of November to discuss what we have heard and seen. From this meeting, we will invite a group of nominees to join us in further discernment and prayer at a retreat in mid-November. This invitation mirrors the practice of our diocesan Discernment Committee, who gather privately with potential seminarians before they continue in that process. During the retreat, the committee and potential nominees will enter into deeper discussions, praying that the Spirit will continue to guide us in choosing a slate of nominees - any of whom would be an excellent leader for the Diocese of West Texas.  

The names of the individuals who attend this retreat will not be made public either. This confidentiality will allow for deeper, more vulnerable conversations for those who continue to be willing to let their names go forth. We hope that it will also allow them to feel less pressure in their daily lives without a spotlight being placed on their discernment of this huge responsibility.

On behalf of your Standing Committee, thank you for the trust you have placed in us for this portion of our discernment process together as a diocese.

In December, we will share the final slate of nominees for Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of West Texas and publish information about each person who has affirmed their call to continue in this process. We believe that each nominee will further our diocesan discussions around leadership and growth in the name of Christ. Regardless of the final outcome, all of the nominees' faithful response to this call will help our diocese grow in service to Christ and in the shared mission of our congregations, schools, and ministries.

Throughout this time and as the election approaches, the Standing Committee will continue to communicate about opportunities to listen for the Spirit in the life and ministry of our nominees. We will offer snapshots of each person through videos, written word, and other mediums.

The Discernment Forums taking place January 27 - 29, 2023  are another opportunity to get to know the slate of nominees and will be open to the public. Friday night will be held at St. Alban’s in Harlingen, Saturday night will take place in Corpus Christi, and Sunday night will be held at St. Thomas in San Antonio. We will livestream and record at least one Discernment Forum to make these important conversations accessible to anyone who cannot attend in person. More information will be released closer to the event dates.

Then on February 18, 2023 the clergy and lay delegates of Council - meeting in Corpus Christi - will elect our Bishop Coadjutor. It will be a day for the diocese to come together in prayerful consideration and the culmination of almost a year of our discernment together. I know that we will all have the opportunity to see the Holy Spirit moving in the process and in the hope we share for the election of a Godly leader for the next chapter in our Diocese’s rich history.

And finally… (and this is BIG, NEW NEWS!) the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has given us the date of Saturday, July 8, 2023 for the consecration of a new bishop in the Diocese of West Texas. On that blessed Saturday, we will come together to celebrate this historic milestone as one diocese, one Body - in the name of our loving, liberating, and life-giving God!  

Please continue to keep the Standing Committee, the Bishop Nominating Committee, our potential nominees, and their families in your daily prayers. Those prayers are felt and mean the world to all of us!

Thank you for your continued connection in this process, and may God bless each one of you, as well as the Diocese of West Texas.

Peace,

Ben Nelson+
President of the Standing Committee

Timeline for Electing Next Diocesan Bishop

October 2022
Nomination Process closes; Nominating Committee conducts interviews of nominees and makes reference calls; background checks conducted

November 1, 2022
Nominating Committee invites selected nominees to Discernment Retreat

November 14-17, 2022
Discernment Retreat - Nominating Committee and Consultant on retreat with selected nominees

December 18, 2022
Final slate of nominees for Bishop Coadjutor published

January 27-29, 2023
Discernment Forums will take place at St. Alban's, Harlingen (1/27), in Corpus Christi (1/28), and at St. Thomas, San Antonio (1/29) with opportunity to attend at least one forum via livestream

February 18, 2023
Election of a Bishop Coadjutor at the conclusion of Diocesan Council in Corpus Christi

July 8, 2023
Consecration of the Bishop-Elect

A Prayer for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, you have called us to a life-giving fellowship in the Diocese of West Texas: Encourage and build up in us the love of Christ Jesus that we might continue to strengthen the legacy of those who have tended and led this diocese with godly courage; look graciously upon us and on your whole Church; by your Spirit, guide the Standing Committee, the delegates, and the clergy who shall discern the one you call to be a bishop for our diocese; send us a faithful shepherd who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

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

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