The annual Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas will convene as a virtual gathering February 26 - 27, 2021 to ensure the health and safety of all involved, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Clergy, as well as lay delegates will participate in closed, secure sessions hosted on Zoom, while individuals wishing to view the business of Council in its entirety and engage online will be able to access a live broadcast streamed on the diocesan Facebook, Vimeo, and website, at dwtx.org/council.
Five online Pre-Council meetings will take place in late January and early February, via Zoom. These meetings will be required for clergy as well as lay delegates and alternates, in order to introduce the virtual check-in procedures for establishing a quorum, to pilot the online voting system, and to present the usual business items including the proposed diocesan budgets, resolutions, and nominations for elected offices of the Diocese.
Certification and registration for delegates will be completed together for Council 2021. In order to certify lay delegates in accordance with the diocesan Constitution and Canons, the clergy or lay person in charge of each congregation must complete and sign three copies of the Council Lay Delegates Certification Form. New this year, each congregation will receive an electronic spreadsheet from the diocesan office in December, indicating the number of Lay Delegates to certify and providing registration instructions for Clergy and Lay Delegates. The deadline to submit these forms is Friday, January 22, 2021.
Due to the nature of the online Council format, when considering lay delegates and alternates for Council 2021, we recommend that congregations communicate the following:
Additionally, congregations may consider certifying fewer alternates than during in-person Council gatherings, due to the shorter time commitment and online platform.
The diocesan office will host five Pre-Council meetings for clergy and lay delegates, via Zoom. These meetings will be required for clergy as well as lay delegates and alternates, in order to practice using the online voting system and to present the usual business items including the proposed diocesan budgets, resolutions, and nominations for elected offices of the Diocese.
Each Pre-Council meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Log-in information will be communicated to churches, delegates, and clergy in January 2021. Click here to view a list of the churches in each convocation. See meeting dates below.
8:00 AM – Online Check-In opens for certified clergy and lay delegates; delegates and alternates may switch for the Friday sessions.
10:00 AM – The 117th Council of the Diocese of West Texas is called to order, by the Rt. Rev. David Reed; Morning Session 1 begins. Morning Session 1 includes Opening Prayers; the Resolutions Committee report regarding Resolution 2021-1; the presentation of new clergy and senior seminarians; Bishop Reed’s theme introduction; the Budgets Report and vote to approve; the World Missions Department report; the Camps & Conferences Department report; the Episcopal Schools Commission report; as well as other videos, presentations, and ballots.
12:45 PM – Noonday Prayer, led by Bishop David Reed, followed by the Necrology.
1:15 PM – Council in recess for lunch.
1:55 PM – Council reconvenes for Afternoon Session 1. Afternoon Session 1 includes the TMI Episcopal video; the Vital University Missions report; the IONA School for Ministry report; the Good Samaritan Community Services ministry video; the Immigration Ministries report; the Episcopal Church Foundation in West Texas report; the Church Plant report; the report from the Archdeacon; as well as other videos, presentations, and any necessary run-off ballots.
3:30 p.m. – Council in recess; delegates and alternates may switch, for the Saturday session.
4:00 p.m. – Helpdesk and delegate/alternate exchange closes.
7:30 AM – Online Check-In opens for certified clergy and lay delegates; delegates and alternates may switch for the final session.
8:30 AM – Bishop David Reed reconvenes Council. Archdeacon Mike Besson leads Morning Prayer; Morning Session 2 begins. Morning Session 2 includes the Bishop’s Address; the diocesan Development Committee report; the Resolutions Committee report regarding Resolution 2021-2; an introduction to and greeting from the Rt. Rev. Rayford High, Assistant Bishop of West Texas; an invitation to Council 2022 from the Church Host Committee; the 2020 Bishop’s Golf Classic results; the Committee on the Bishop’s Address Prayers of the People; the last election and any necessary run-off ballots; the Completion of Election results; and other announcements from Bishop Reed.
12:15 PM – Council is adjourned.
Each year, Diocesan Council is the vehicle through which the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas conducts the business of the diocese under its Canons and Constitution. At the 117th Council we will elect diocesan leadership to the Executive Board, the Standing Committee, The Episcopal Church Corporation, the trustees of TMI Episcopal, and trustees of Sewanee: the University of the South. Every three years, Council will also elect deputies and alternates to attend General Convention and any Synod meeting of the Province of the Southwest (Province VII).
As Christian people we are accountable for the right use of the gifts and skills with which our Father has blessed us. We are called to elect leaders who will help the bishops in guiding the diocesan body, to budget the resources we have been given wisely, and to report back to the people.
Council will also receive and adopt diocesan budgets for the upcoming year, hear reports from ministries, and receive the written reports of all diocesan committees, commissions, and departments.
Questions about Diocesan Council may be directed to email@example.com.