We Will Continue - And How!
The Rt. Rev. David Reed invites everyone to We Will Continue - And How! - a diocesan festival of fellowship and revival taking place September 16 and 17 at the San Marcos Convention Center. Join together with friends from all corners of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas for two days of Good News, worship, music, workshops, exhibits, and celebration, featuring the Rev. Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms as keynote speaker.
The festivities will begin on Friday night with Eucharist followed by a celebration dinner. Saturday morning will kick off with the Rev. Becca Stevens' Keynote, followed by "We Will Continue" conversations exploring ways our churches can move forward faithfully into this new season. After lunch, dynamic workshops will equip participants with resources to continue ministry and outreach in their local congregations and communities. Then Bishop Reed will commission and send everyone back out into the world, ready to "encourage one another and build each other up."
Keynote Speaker - the Rev. Becca Stevens
The Rev. Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home. Twenty years later, the organization continues to welcome women with free residences that provide housing, medical care, therapy and education for two years. Residents and graduates earn income through one of four social enterprises.
The Global Market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, and the national network has more than40 sister communities. Becca has been profiled on PBS NewsHour, The Today Show, CNN, ABC World News and in The New York Times. Her many awards include CNN Hero, White House Champion of Change, Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America, Tennessee Human Rights Outstanding Service Award, and induction into The Entrepreneur Center’s Hall of Fame, and Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame.
A graduate of the University of the South and Vanderbilt Divinity School, Becca has received alumnae distinction awards from both. she has also been conferred multiple honorary doctorates.
Becca lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons.
Workshops will include:
"Leading with Love" Session 1
The Rev. Becca Stevens
There has been much written about daring leadership, servant leadership, and inspired leadership. Leading with love can change workforces, marketplaces, and communities of faith.
"Revolutionary Crafts" Session 2
The Rev. Becca Stevens
Building community, changing the narrative, healing the world.
Small church, BIG mission "It Might Just Work for Us!"
Bishop Rayford High, the Rev. Dexter Lesieur, the Rev. Claudia Nalven, the Rev. Sam Hunnicutt, the Rev. Susan Burnham, the Rev. Betsy Stephenson, the Rev. Gina Yochem.
This workshop will offer fifty minutes of crazy and not-so-crazy ideas that just might encourage your church to bloom where they are planted. Topics include, “A Tale of Two Churches”, “Organization for small churches”, “Will you be my neighbor”, “Becoming a tithing church”, and “Theology on Tap: God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy”.
"An Invitation to Spiritual Growth in the Last Third of Life"
Marjorie George, the Rev. Patricia Riggins, Carla Pineda
In this workshop, The Wisdom Years team will present some of the ways it has successfully built a community of companionship and care among individuals from around the diocese and beyond. The team will offer a model for engaging the spirituality of aging and provide resources for individuals, small groups, and congregations to use in their own communities.
"It is Time for a Mental Health Ministry at Your Church"
The Revs. Ann Fraser and Justin Lindstrom
In this workshop, you will experience how and why mental health, physical health, and spiritual health are linked together. Discover what this means for the ministry of the church. Learn the steps to take in developing a Mental Health Ministry alongside the Pastoral Care and Spiritual Life of the church. Discern how clergy and lay ministers can be effectively trained as Mental Health chaplains. It is time for us to reduce the stigma of mental illness, care for those who are hurting, and be companions along the way.
The Revs. Beth Wyndham, John Inserra, David Read
As congregations emerge from Covid and enter a new season, this workshop explores practical tools for how to rebuild community within the congregation, re-engage with the community around your congregation, and renew your congregation’s unique mission and ministry in order to thrive in God’s Kingdom.
"The Evolving DNA of Latino Ministry: How is This Reflected in Our Diocese?"
The Rev. Al Rodriguez, Margarita Mejia, Raymond Reynosa, the Rev. Will Wauters, Marco Jimenez
This workshop will help to raise the cultural competency of diocesan clergy and lay leaders regarding Latino/Hispanic ministry as reflected in the current Latino socio-demographics and to provide a status update on the work of the diocesan Hispanic Ministry Commission.
"Bible Study Leader Tips and Tricks"
The Revs. Reagan Gonzalez and Nancy Springer
This workshop is for lay persons interested in leading a Bible study, Sunday School, small group, or other formation class for adults. During the workshop members of the DWTX Christian Formation Committee will share tools, resources, and ideas needed to begin leading a study at your church or to continue to lead with renewed energy.
"Finding Your Spiritual Path: A Different Approach to Spiritual Practices"
The Revs. Mike Marsh and Jonathan Wickham
We hear and read a lot about spiritual practices; things like prayer, study, church attendance, small groups, outreach, giving. The obvious question for most of us is, “What should I do?” This workshop will offer a different approach to spiritual practices. Rather, than telling you what practices you should do (that’s yours to figure out) we will offer some tools by which you may find your own particular path. The sacred traditions of the world recognize that the spiritual path by which we nurture and express a relationship with God is not the same for every individual. It is a unique expression of each individual’s life, and yet we can see patterns within those unique paths. In this workshop we will consider three distinct patterns by which people journey to God: the path of action, the path of devotion, and the path of reflection. Who are you? And which path resonates with your life? “Come and see.”
We Will Continue - and How! Agenda
A Diocesan Festival of Fellowship & Revival
Friday, September 16
3:00 p.m. - Exhibits Open
5:00 p.m. - Childcare Opens
5:00 – 5:45 p.m. - Hospitality
6:15 – 7:30 p.m. - Eucharist, Guest Preacher the Rev. Becca Stevens
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. - Buffet Dinner and Music by Radney Foster
9:30 p.m. - Childcare Closes
Saturday, September 17
8:00 a.m. - Exhibits Open
8:30 a.m. - Childcare Opens
9:00 a.m. - Keynote Speaker the Rev. Becca Stevens
9:40 a.m. - Break
10:00 a.m. - We Will Continue Conversations
11:45 p.m. - Lunch
12:45 p.m. - Workshop 1
1:55 p.m. - Workshop 2
3:00 p.m. - Update from Standing Committee regarding Bishop Coadjutor Election Process, Final Words, Commissioning and Sending Out by Bishop Reed
We Will Continue - and How! Festival - $100
Childcare will be provided during the event, with required pre-registration available online through September 1. Click here to sign-up for childcare.