Letter to the Diocese Regarding the Bishop Transition Details and Dates
“So, teach us to count the days / teach us to make the days count.
Lead us in better ways / somehow our souls forgot.
Life means so much, life means so much.”
—Chris Rice, “Life Means So Much”
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…Can you by worrying add a single hour to your life?...Consider the flying birds and the lilies of the field. God cares for them and they thrive, and he cares even more for you. So seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness, and you will be given all you need. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.”
—Jesus (paraphrased) in Matthew 6
Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace to you, and peace, in these Great Fifty Days of Easter!
As previously announced on April 13, the Diocese of West Texas has received word that our Bishop Coadjutor-elect, the Rev. Dr. David G. Read, obtained the canonically required consents to his election from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees within The Episcopal Church.
Thanks be to God! With that wonderful news, we are now able to begin planning in earnest for the orderly transition from my episcopacy to his, and I am able to give you more details about my own pending resignation (the canonical word for a bishop’s retirement). Our Assistant Bishop Rayford High has made decisions regarding his own “re-retirement” as well, and his letter to you is attached.
Several important dates regarding this transition are listed below, but I will highlight what are likely the most significant dates for you, Father David’s consecration service and my actual, official retirement date, here:
Saturday, July 8, 2023: Consecration of the Bishop Coadjutor-elect
Monday, January 1, 2024: Resignation/Retirement of the Diocesan Bishop
This week, I’ve officially informed Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of my intention to resign. Our Church’s canons require that bishops receive consents to their resignation from a majority of bishops, so a ballot will be sent to them. So far as I know, nobody has ever been denied permission. I doubt I’ll be the first!
Between now and then, of course, the mission and ministries of our Diocese continue. Sunday bishops’ visits continue as usual, through June for me and into July for Bishop High. Meetings with clergy and lay leadership continue, and the working group on Discipleship Formation is beginning its large task, headed up by Archdeacon Mike Besson. The wonderfully dedicated diocesan staff continues its ministry in support of you and your churches. Preparations for busy summers at all three of our camp and conference sites are well underway, and architect’s renderings for Camp Capers' St. Francis Chapel renovations are forthcoming. A Small Church Regional Meeting will be held at St. Paul’s, Brady in May. The Stewardship Department is launching a webinar series, and the Year of World Missions celebrations continue with online and in-person events. Clearly, as a diocesan family we are “continuing to continue…and how!”
Father David has put together a worship planning team for his consecration liturgy—a beautiful and powerful service, with many moving parts! Our Standing Committee has created a Transition Committee to assist as needed in his transition into the Bishop’s office and my transition out. And of course, David and I will continue our decades-long work of untangling the comedy and confusion surrounding our homonymic names.
I'm becoming much more aware that these days are speeding by, and my Sunday visitations with congregations (always a delight and a highlight over these many years) now carry a hint of wistfulness, too. Still, there is much to do, day by day, and much joy in the doing of it, by God’s grace. My hope, and my plan, is to keep showing up for you, for the Diocese of West Texas, and for our Bishop Coadjutor-elect David and his wife Jacqui, until the time has come for me to go.
A part of the experience of Easter is that, by the love and mercy of God, endings that seem so final are often just thresholds to new beginnings, to new adventure, to new and abundant life. The Church in her wisdom gives us fifty days to practice resurrection—fifty days to look for signs of the risen Christ all around us, to share in his resurrection, and to become more fully the Easter people we’ve been baptized to be. I look forward with abiding hope and great joy to practicing with you as we follow our risen Lord.
Love in Him,
Bishop of West Texas
2023 Transition Dates to Remember
- Monday, June 5: Bishop Coadjutor-elect David G. Read begins ministry in the diocesan office
- Sunday, July 2: Bishop David M. Reed’s final Sunday visit as Diocesan Bishop; Trinity, Port Aransas
- Saturday, July 8: Consecration Service of the Bishop Coadjutor; 11:00 a.m. at TMI Episcopal, San Antonio
- Sunday, August 27: Bishop Coadjutor’s first Sunday visit; Redeemer, Eagle Pass
- Saturday, October 7: Diocesan Farewell Party for Bishop David M. and Patti Reed at Camp Capers
- Saturday, November 4: Diocesan Farewell Party for Bishop David M. and Patti Reed at St. Alban’s, Harlingen
- Friday, December 1: Investiture of 11th Bishop of West Texas; 6:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s, San Antonio
- Monday, January 1, 2024: Bishop David M. Reed officially retires; Bishop David G. Read becomes Bishop of West Texas
Click here to save a printable copy of Bishop Reed and Bishop High's letters with the timeline.