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February 17, 2023

Prayers of the People from the Bishop's Address Committee

In response to the 2023 Bishop's Address, the Committee on the Bishop's Address offers the following Prayers of the People.

God who gathers us together,

We give you thanks for sending us faithful pastors who have cared for us and equipped us for ministry, especially for the Bishops gathered at this Council – David, Rayford, Gary, Jim, Pons, Jonathan, and Sue. And we are eternally grateful for the plucky parishes who have hosted this gathering, for clergy of creativity and laity of boundless joy. But most of all, we give you thanks for your Spirit of love which binds this diocese together as one family.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father,

You have showered us with your love and have given us within our Camps holy places to dwell with you.  We are humbled that as we touch the Camp Caper's Bell Tower, we ground ourselves on sacred land and are filled with the joyous recognition of the need to expand St. Francis Chapel to become a roomier homecoming place. We are thankful for your provision in the construction of the Holy Family Chapel at Mustang Island, and for the leadership involved in the forthcoming raising of a Duncan Park Chapel. Help us to share these holy spaces with others as we go, baptize, and make new disciples.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God who is making all things new,

With great joy we give you thanks for the newest addition to our diocesan family, St. Martin’s, Mason. We thank you also for the continuing growth of our church plant, St. Nicholas in Bulverde. These blossoming communities are signs of hope to us. May they inspire us to look for ways that the Spirit is at work in our neighborhoods and energize us to try new things.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God who is close to the brokenhearted,

Some grief is too weighty for words. We bring to you our broken hearts in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde. We know that you are near to the grieving families who lost children and parents, to the community of Uvalde, and to all of us who fear for our children’s safety. Show us how to cooperate with your healing Spirit, following the lead of our brothers and sisters in Uvalde. Embolden us to work together for the common good, with courage and wisdom.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the alien, the sojourner, the immigrant, the widow and the fatherless,

We praise you for sending missionary priests into what began as the Missionary District of Western Texas. As we enter the Year of World Mission, we pray that we may zealously share the love of Jesus Christ with neighbors near and far, listening for your call and going where we are sent.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

God of all ages,

Along with reason and skill, you have gifted us with memory. We ask that as our Diocese observes 150 years of carrying out your mission in West Texas, you grant us quiet reflection on our history, boisterous celebration of this momentous year, and renewed commitment to our great missionary heritage. Make us more inquisitive about the history of our diverse parishes, missions, and worship communities. Through the lessons learned from our brothers and sisters through the ages, please help us to better minister in our own local mission fields.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all wisdom and knowledge,

Thank you for St. Philip’s College, for the visionary aspirations of Bishop Steptoe Johnston and Saint Artemisia Bowden, and for president Dr. Adena Loston, her faculty and staff. Thank you for their dedication to the nurture, encouragement and intellectual development of our youth. May the fruits of their labor produce graduates who flourish and enrich our society in these challenging times, and may we as a Diocese recommit to partnering with St. Philip’s in that good work. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,

You obeyed everything your Father commanded you to do: Send your Holy Spirit that we may fulfill our own Baptismal callings to become disciples who make disciples. Anoint and commission your working group to equip your diocese – that we may help others to be washed in the waters of baptism and joined with you in your death, resurrection, and mission to the world. Be with us always, to the end of the age.  

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd,

Send us a faithful pastor to shepherd this Diocese. You know our needs before we ask and long ago you began preparing Alex, David and Ripp for their nominations: Fill us with gratitude for your provision of these nominees and their faithfulness. Ground us in prayerful humility as we elect a new bishop for the Diocese of West Texas, and unite us together behind our new pastor, that we may continue to carry out the Great Commission. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,

You made your servant David a Bishop in your Church, and he has served faithfully, leading us with steadiness, kindness, and love. We give you thanks for his seventeen years of ministry as a bishop and for his leadership through some of the most difficult times our world has faced. How blessed we are that our Bishop appreciates Monty Python and reminds us of the importance of laughter.

Heavenly father, we give many thanks for Bishop Reed teaching us to see one another, to love one another as brothers and sisters of Christ before anything else. He has shown us how to walk in the presence of Jesus, by how he has chosen to walk through life with Patti and with his children, Kaitlin and Jon. We thank you for Patti and for her ministry to the clergy spouses, and for their children, Kaitlin and Jon, who have been on this journey of ministry together as a family. Give us ample opportunities in the coming year to celebrate the Reed family and give thanks for their ministry in joyous diocesan gatherings this fall.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Committee on the Bishop’s Address: The Rev. Alex Holloway, Chair, the Rev. Jan Dantone, the Rev. Christian Hawley, the Rev. Sam Hunnicutt, Daniel Jaime, Mary Hayden Manning, Margarita Mejia, the Rev. Dr. Claudia Nalven, Shawn Pettus, Jim Sartwelle, and Dan Walker.

  • Click here to save a printable copy of the 2023 Prayers of the People.

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