Thursday, October 2, 2014

Diolog: Michael Harvey, Pet Blessings, General Convention and more.

Invitation Sunday Founder Brings Insights To Texas

Michael Harvey, the British founder of the international Back to Church movement will speak in several churches in the Diocese of Texas October 18-25 (see schedule in article). Presentations open to all interested.

Important Insurance Reminder from the Diocesan Treasurer

Effective January 1, 2015, any clergy person that joins the staff of a church or institution within the Diocese and has not previously been covered by the Diocese for health care coverage, will be provided single coverage.  Additional coverages for spouses or families will be available but must be paid for by that clergyperson individually. This change was approved and announced last year when the Executive Board approved the single coverage as a standard for all clergy and staff.  Going forward this will bring the Diocese into line with the parity provisions of the Denominational Healthcare Plan.  If you have questions about this policy please contact either Bob Biehl or Debra Klinger in the Diocesan Office.

Changes In The Church? Watch This Webcast October 2

The Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC) will host a church-wide meeting on October 2 at 6:30 p.m. CST to receive responses to proposed recommendations to be brought forward to the 78th General Convention next summer. The meeting, webcast from Washington National Cathedral, will be available live at the Houston Diocesan Center, 1225 Texas St., Houston.

Seminary of the Southwest, 501 E 32nd St, Austin, TX 78705, will also host a viewing location beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Room 210. A discussion led by faculty will follow. Please contact Micah Jackson for more information. 

Questions can be emailed to organizers during the event at  or via Twitter @ReimagineTEC. Please contact Kevin Thompson if you would like to attend this event at the Houston Diocesan Center. For more information on the webcast, visit the TREC website at 

Please Consider Reprinting The Following Announcements In Your Bulletins and Newsletters

Register Now For 2014 Clergy Conference At Camp Allen

The 2014 Clergy Conference, October 20-22 at Camp Allen, features Dr. Elaine Heath, McCreless Professor of Evangelism at SMU Perkins School of Theology; Caesar Kalinowski, founding leader of SOMA, church planter and missional strategist; Michael Harvey, co-founder of Back-to-Church Sunday; Bob Lupton, founder and president, FCS Urban Ministries; Dr. Matt Russell, visiting scholar, Cambridge University, Faculty of Divinity, and more. The Conference will also include a new clergy wellness track and immunizations will be offered. Register online at Click on 'Register for Events Online'.

Houston Area Episcopal 20s & 30s Day Of Service On October 11

On Saturday, October 11, from 12:45–4 p.m., the Houston-area Episcopal 20s & 30s will gather to serve the less-fortunate by volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. This is a great opportunity to do the work commissioned by Jesus, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it is also a great chance for fellowship with young adults from other area Episcopal churches. Participants will meet at the Food Bank (535 Portwall St.) at 12:45 p.m. for check-in and assign individuals to different tasks such as sorting canned goods, packaging rice, organizing fruit, or various other projects. For more information, click here. 

Register Now for ECW Annual Retreat, October 17-19

The 113th Annual Retreat for Women in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas will be held at Camp Allen, October 17-19. This fall event has been expanded to Friday through Sunday, with options to attend for one, two or all three days. More information, including registration, is available here. 

Calling All Golfers: The 13th Annual Youth Projects Golf Tournament, October 18

The 13th Annual Youth Projects Golf Tournament with St. James House and Trinity, Baytown, will be held October 18 at the Evergreen Point Golf Course in Baytown, TX. The tournament is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Cost of entry includes a hamburger buffet, free driving range, sleeve of balls, green fee and cart. For more information and a registration form, click here. To sponsor a hole click here.

Annual St. James House Silver Tea To Take Place October 28

The annual St. James House Silver Tea will be held Tuesday, October 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the home of Melissa and Al Grobmyer, 3720 Inwood Drive, Houston, TX 77019. This year the event will honor The Guild Shop and Louise Symmes, recently retired executive director, for continuing the stewardship started in 1962 by the Sewing Group of St. John the Divine. For more information, please call 281.425.1200.

Cookies Needed For Kairos Prison Ministry

Fancy yourself a baker extraordinaire? Well your chance has arrived. The Kairos Prison Ministry team in Marlin, TX needs donations of cookies that they can take into the prison system as they minister to inmates. If you can help by baking some cookies for a great cause, contact the Rev. Wendy Huber

Episcopal Communicators Membership

If you have communications responsibilities for your church, school or Episcopal institution, consider joining the national Episcopal Communicators, a professional organization that offers a robust network for sharing information and improving your communications skills. Annual dues provide access to the online membership group, resources, eligibility to enter the annual Polly Bond Awards competition and a discount on the annual conference fee. 

Dues are $80 but for a limited time, regular membership, open to anyone with communications responsibilities in the Episcopal Church at any level are $40. Join here and enter the discount code "membership."

Open Enrollment Begins October 6

For those clergy and lay employees receiving benefits from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, open enrollment will begin October 6. Click here for 2015 rate information and the Open Enrollment timeline and meeting schedule. 

Reminder Regarding The Denominational Health Plan Parity Resolution

Please review the important changes effective January 1, 2015. Click here for more information. 

Resources For Ministering To People With Disabilities

For those of you who minister to people with disabilities, here is a list of resources currently available. Please let us know if any other resources of which you may have information.

More Upcoming Events

October 4 - St. Francis Day

October 4-5 - Diocesan Adult Choral Festival, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston

October 5-6 - Little Church Club Meeting, Camp Allen

Click here for a full calendar.

Need a Job?

To see job opportunities, visit our employment page.


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  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball