Friday, February 21, 2014

Diolog: EHF Survey Reveals Healthcare Troubles, Absalom Jones Celebration Coming, and More

Join the Celebration!

Come Saturday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m. to St. James', Houston, to celebrate Absalom Jones, America's first Black priest. Click above to learn more.

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A Statement from the United Thank Offering Board
The members of the board of the United Thank Offering have issued the following statement: click here.

Canon John Newton Pens "New Clothes: Putting on Christ and Finding Ourselves"
This new book written by our Canon for Christian Formation, the Rev. John Newton, addresses traditionally un-Episcopal questions that Episcopalians (and Christians in general) are asking today. You can order online here.

2014 Austin Urban Pilgrimage, Now Accepting Applications!
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship invites students and young adults ages 18-30 to come to Austin March 17-23 for an Urban Pilgrimage focused on intentional community, worship, and social justice. Pilgrims will visit local organizations serving some of the most marginalized persons in Austin, spend time each day in Bible study and Taizé-style worship and reflect on what it means to do justice in their home communities. Pilgrims will also take part in the Austin Taizé gathering. Click here for a flyer. Cost is $150 plus transportation to and from Austin, but financial assistance is available. Apply online by March 1st. Contact for more information.

National Task Force on Study of Marriage Wants Your Videos
The Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage wants videos from Episcopalians Throughout the church. Click here for more info.

Free Newcomer Ministry Training Available in Austin & Houston in March
Inviting, welcoming, and connecting persons in our congregations are vital steps for building healthy, vibrant, and growing churches. The Newcomer Ministry Project (soon to be published by Forward Movement) has brought new energy and spirit to congregations, and sustained real growth in membership where the essentials of INVITE-WELCOME-CONNECT are being followed. Register for one of the following newcomer trainings by emailing Mary Parmer at There is no charge and lunch will be provided.

Monday, March 10 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Christ Church Cathedral, Houston

Wednesday, March 12 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Seminary of the Southwest, Austin 

Southwest Showdown BBQ in Austin Benefits Episcopal Relief & Development
The 2014 Southwest Showdown Charity Barbecue Competition will be held on Saturday, February 22 on the campus of the Seminary of the Southwest. Click here to learn more.

The Rev. Carter Heyward, One of the First Female Priests, Speaking at CCC
The Rev. Carter Heyward, Ph.D., will speak at a forum on "Rethinking Christianity in a Multi-Faith World" at Christ Church Cathedral, February 22. The forum will feature a Muslim, Budhist and Jewish woman's perspective as well. Heyward is one of the "Philadelphia Eleven" who opened the door to women's ordination in the Episcopal Church. Click here to learn more.

Episcopal-Lutheran Meet & Greet Luncheon in Houston, February 20
Our Lutheran (ELCA) ecumenical partners have invited all Houston-area Episcopal clergy and heads of congregations to a luncheon on February 20, noon-1:30 p.m. at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4930 West Bellfort, in Houston. Bishops Doyle and Fisher and ELCA Bishop Michael Rinehart will each tell of their respective judicatories, talk about the future of the church, offer some visions for observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, and more.  RSVP to or 713.723.3509.

Lyn Fraser Book Signing at St. George's, Austin, on March 1
On Saturday, March 1, from 2 to 4 p.m., Lyn Fraser will be selling and signing copies of her new book, Debits and Credits, recently published by Mainly Murder Press. Lyn, who is the granddaughter of the third Bishop of Texas, is known to many in the Diocese. The book is set in Austin and its protagonist is a newcomer at a multicultural Episcopal Church. Primarily a fun read, it includes underlying themes of social justice and, in keeping with that tone, Lyn is donating the profit from sales at the event to Foundation Communities. For more information, contact The Rev. Judith Liro (

FREE Transportation Provided for Abundant Living Conference, March 10-12
Download this pew sheet for your congregation. This conference for seniors will feature outstanding speakers and activities. The entire three day/two night conference has been underwritten so that the entire cost for a early bird registrant is $185 including all meals, lodging, and socials at Camp Allen. You can register at or by calling Heather Lundy at 936.825.7175.

Join a National Gathering to Challenge Violence, April 9-11
Presentations, workshops and panel discussions examining violence in all its forms in American society, with a hard look at what can be done, are the elements of  a special Episcopal Church gathering: Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence. Bishops, clergy and laity from throughout the Episcopal Church are invited to gather April 9 – 11 at the Reed Center and Sheraton in Oklahoma City, OK (Diocese of Oklahoma). Read more.

ECW Spiritual Growth Workshop in Salado on March 15
Join the ECW at St. Joseph Episcopal Church, 881 N. Main St., Salado for a free Spiritual Growth Workshop entitled "Tending Your Spiritual Garden" on March 15 at 10 a.m. The Rev. Mary Koppal from Good Shepherd, Austin, will share her advice on taking care of ourselves so that we may better take care of others. Workshop stations will include making bath crystals, rock salt potpourri, prayer beads, lotions and recycled paper with wildflower seeds. The workshop is open to all women. Gather your best friends for a relaxing day in Salado. This is a free event, but please register here.

Can I Quote You on That? Learn to Manage Your Message During a Crisis
It is more important than ever that organizations understand what to expect when they find themselves the lead "breaking news" story. Here's your chance to hear from the experts! Join other faith community leaders on March 27 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston for this conversation hosted by Interfaith Ministries. Learn more.

Taizé Brothers Visiting Texas in March and April
Join them in Austin March 21-23, Dallas April 4-6, or Houston April 25-27

Dallas Benedictine Experience Takes Place on June 25-28
The 17th annual multi-denominational Dallas Benedictine Experience will take place at The Catholic Conference and Formation Center in Dallas. This monastic experience is presented by Friends of St. Benedict, Washington, DC and is open to men and women, laity and clergy of all denominations. Click here to learn more.

More Upcoming Events

February 22 - Bistro Tomaso, Houston

February 22 - SSW BBQ Showdown, Austin

February 22 - Houston Prisons & Jails Offensive

February 27 - Plastic Paradise Documentary Screening, The Woodlands

February 28 - St. Andrew's Downtown Dialogue, Bryan

Click here for a full calendar.

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Black History Spotlight: St. Luke the Evangelist, Houston's first Black Episcopal Church [more]

Prepare for Lent Madness: The Saintly Smack Down [more]

Austin Charity Barbecue Competition and Acoustic Concert Returns [more]

Black History Spotlight: St. Augustine's, the First African-American Episcopal Church in Texas [more]

Council Wrap-up: Bishop Highlights a Growing, "Tenacious" Church [more]


  • "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