50th Annual Diocesan Silent Retreat - "You Are Anxious About Many Things; One Thing is Needed"
"But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary." (Luke 10:41-42a ESV)
For fifty years, the Silent Retreat has gathered participants from the Diocese and beyond for a weekend of personal reflection and spiritual rest. The weekend community takes shape around a simple schedule anchored in praying the Daily Offices together and celebrating Eucharist each day. Communal silence begins after introductions are made and is nourished by sharing holy space and the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The retreat conductor this year is the Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas. Bishop Reed has long been a friend of this retreat community, sharing dinner with the group on numerous occasions as well as conducting the 2007 Silent Retreat. Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and ordained a priest in 1984, he served parishes in Victoria and Harlingen prior to his 2006 election as Bishop Suffragan. In October 2014, he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of West Texas and became Bishop Diocesan in June 2017 - probably never imagining the challenges that would present themselves during his tenure.
From immigration crises to Hurricane Harvey and on through the COVID-19 era, Bishop Reed has called the people of West Texas time and again to nurture their common life, encouraging congregations to “be the church” in new ways, steadfastly inspiring one and all through scripture and prayers in his videos and pastoral letters.
As he wrote in August 2020: “God is not restricted by the pandemic… I encourage you to open your eyes and pay attention and look for the ways that our Lord is present, and the ways that the spirit is moving in our midst even now, to restore and to bind up and to renew and revive.” No doubt we live in anxious times. How do Jesus’ words to his friends Martha and Mary illumine life as we are experiencing it? In a world crowded with distractions, noise, and competing goods, how do we identify and trust in the “one thing” Jesus says is needed?
The Steering Committee has chosen to step out in faith and plan for an in-person gathering at the T Bar M Conference Center in New Braunfels. Click here to read a letter from the Steering Committee including all protective protocols. Lodging will be in hotel-style rooms with private baths, and registration is capped at 25 participants. All participants will be asked to wear a mask for gatherings and while passing through indoor hallways as a simple and effective way to live into Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Gatherings are scheduled to allow ample personal reflection time between sessions.
2021 Retreat fee is $335, with financial assistance available by request. The registration deadline is Tuesday, October 12.
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the diocesan Silent Retreat, click here to read "A History of the Retreat Society and Silent Retreats in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas."