Launching Council 2022
An Invitation to Council 2022 from the Rt. Rev. David Reed, Bishop of West Texas
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is my pleasure to share with you that Diocesan Council will take place in-person February 24 – 26, 2022 at the San Marcos Convention Center, graciously hosted by St. Mark’s Church, San Antonio.
During Council 2022, we will follow all city, county, and convention center safeguards, and align our Council-specific protocol with CDC Public Health Recommendations at the time of the event. It’s very important that all those looking forward to Council understand that there may need to be familiar protocols guiding our behavior while Council is in session and throughout the entire time we are together, especially due to the nature and size of the gathering. And in order to reduce the risk of spreading illness among participants, there will be several adjustments to our customary schedule for the upcoming Council, including, but not limited to self check-in processes and elimination of the traditional evening Banquet and Bishop’s Luncheon.
Clergy, delegates, alternates, visitors, exhibitors - everyone who attends in-person - must be willing to abide by all health and safety guidelines in place at that time, which may include mask-wearing and social-distancing. Conversely, if masks are optional according to CDC Public Health Recommendations for our region in February, delegates and alternates should be willing to gather indoors for the length of each Council Business session with fellow diocesan members who are masked and unmasked.
As clergy and lay leaders begin seeking delegates and alternates to represent your congregation at Council 2022, it is important that this be communicated to and discussed with all prospective attendees.
We will do these things so that we can be together. May all who gather in the Name of our Lord at this Council set aside any private annoyance in order to do the communal business of the Diocese, worship together, enjoy one another’s company, and participate in the building up of the Church. The grace that’s brought us safe thus far -verbalized in our Lord’s command to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” - will allow us to gather freely and joyfully. More information about the specifics of Council 2022 is included on the Council webpage and will be released in the coming weeks.
As we prepare for Council 2022 and another year in the shared life of our Diocese, I have selected a verse from First Thessalonians as our diocesan theme: “Encourage one another and build one another up.” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
I hope this verse, by God’s grace, will provide the steadfast encouragement and focus we all need in order to continue the work of regathering, reconnecting, and being renewed in the Spirit after nearly two years of pandemic. And I know that through the work of building up one another and our churches, Jesus will surely turn our attention toward our fragmented and hurting communities, leading us outwards to those he calls us to serve.
Thanks be to God, we can be together in this way. Let’s not take this gift for granted. Take time to go to church and worship, go from church to serve, and grow as one into the Body of Christ, knit together in friendship and love, encouraging one another and building one another up.
Love in Christ,
Bishop of West Texas
A Word of Welcome from the Host Church
On behalf of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, we invite you to the 118th Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. Council will convene in-person at the San Marcos Convention Center on Thursday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m. and will conclude after the morning business session on Saturday, February 26.
We are honored to serve as the host parish for this Council, especially since it will be an important opportunity to regather with one another in person. What a joy to return as an assembled body to renew our friendships, make new ones, and begin the important work of imagining our future together.
The Bishop has selected a beautiful quotation from First Thessalonians as our theme this year: “Encourage one another and build one another up.” (1 Thess. 5:11) As many of you know, St. Mark’s has been in the business of building up our actual buildings these past two years, after a very unexpected industrial accident in Fall 2019. What we have learned as a community, though, is that the displacement in our physical spaces has actually allowed for new creativity to be sparked in our community. That would never have been possible without an encouraging and deep commitment to one another. This has been true for our diocese as well as we have navigated the pandemic. Our hope for this year’s gathering is that we will take the time to truly savor the joy of being together and allow Council 2022 to be a time of restoration and encouragement of one another.
We are particularly excited about some new activities that our committee has imagined - for example, a Sip 'n' Shop social event highlighting the many vendors in the Exhibit Hall with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and door prizes. We are also thrilled that more than seventy voices from our choirs will be with us for the Council Eucharist, this year on Friday evening.
Our host committee covets your prayers as we continue preparations, and be assured you are in ours as well. We look forward to our time together as we build up and encourage one another.
The Rev. Beth Knowlton, Rector
The Rev. Matt Wise, Associate Rector
The Rev. Ann Fraser, Associate Rector
Mrs. Amy Wise, Planning Co-Chair
Mrs. Holly Zook, Planning Co-Chair
Preparing for Council 2022
Council 2022 information and updates can be found online, at dwtx.org/council, including Pre-Council meeting dates, hotel information, Certification & Registration deadlines, a general agenda, documents, and communications. Individuals wishing to view the business of Council and engage online will be able to access a live broadcast streamed on the website as well as the diocesan Facebook and Vimeo.