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The Presiding Bishop's Visit 

To the Diocese of Northwest Texas 

Curry Chancel web 
 

The weekend of Palm Sunday was a busy one for the clergy and parishioners of Church of the Heavenly Rest (CHR) in Abilene. The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, made his way to Abilene following a series of events "nextdoor" in the Diocese of Ft. Worth. The first public event was the dedication and consecration of the newest portion of the CHR plant - Gerhart Hall, named for Pastor Willis Gerhart, who served as their rector from 1920-1957. To this day Pastor Gerhart is much beloved and fondly remembered.

"The Adventure" is back!

A new name change for our monthly publication.

When the Diocese of Northwest Texas (DNWT) was in it's infancy, the Rt. Rev. Edward A. Temple, the Bishop of North Texas, initiated the publication of a diocesan newsletter to keep Episcopalians in the region informed. The diocese is, after all, a region encompassing 70,000 square miles, a fact that made it hard for our members to stay in touch atthat time.

The newsletter began in 1922, as 

The weekend of Palm Sunday was a busy one for the clergy and parishioners of Church of the Heavenly Rest (CHR) in Abilene. The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, made his way to Abilene following a series of events "nextdoor" in the Diocese of Ft. Worth. The first public event was the dedication and consecration of the newest portion of the CHR plant - Gerhart Hall, named for Pastor Willis Gerhart, who served as their rector from 1920-1957. To this day Pastor Gerhart is much beloved and fondly remembered.

Joining other clergy and guests were four retired Bishops - The Rt. Rev. Wallis Ohl, and the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey, both retired Bishops of Northwest Texas; as well as the Rt. Rev. Claude Payne, and the Rt. Rev. Rayford High, Jr., both retired Bishops from the Diocese of Texas. Bishop Ohl, Bishop Hulsey, and Bishop High have all served as interim Bishops of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, as they continue to heal after their painful diocesan split several years ago.

The dedication of Gerhart Hall was held outdoors next to the hall, which was dedicated and consecrated by the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry. Following the ceremony, those who processed in the Palm Sunday procession gathered outside the nave doors, and were announced by trumpeter, David Amlung, as the procession entered the nave. The preacher for the Palm Sunday service was Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. A video of his wonderful sermon may be found by following this link: Palm Sunday Sermon.

Quilt

Then, during the announcements, the Rev. Luke Back, Rector of Heavenly Rest, presented Bishop Curry with a beautiful cross as a momento of his time at Heavenly Rest. The cross was designed by artist Nolan Kelley, the same person who designed Bishop Mayer's pectoral cross. Bishop Curry was also given a handmade quilt, which was made for, and given in thanksgiving for Bishop Curry, by Deacon Thomas Keith and his partner, Steve Hennessee, of Grace Episcopal Church in Vernon. Following the service, a luncheon was held for parishioners and guests in Heavenly Rest's lovely, new courtyard.

Later that night, parishioners, clergy, and guests from the southern portion of the diocese gathered to hear the Presiding Bishop speak again. The topic of his presentation was, "I Love to Tell the Story." Before he spoke, he met with the clergy from the southern portion of the diocese, and answered questions they had saved for this special time with their leader. His actual speech was held in the nave of CHR, and opened with an official, warm welcome by Fr. Luke, a hymn, and a glowing introduction by Bishop Mayer. The audience was hopeful, and anxious to his powerful speech, during which Bishop Curry had them all laughing aloud and grinning. Photos of the events in Abilene are available by following this link: Abilene photos. An article about his visit to Heavenly Rest may be found on their website.

After his time at Heavenly Rest, Bishop Curry and his entourage, consisting of the Rev. Canon Michael Hunn, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry within The Episcopal Church; and Tara Holley, the Director of Development for The Episcopal Church, journeyed northward toward Amarillo. (Those who attend diocesan convention will remember Tara as Seminary of the Southwest's former Director of Development, as well as her visits to the diocese for convention.) The group made a brief stop in Lubbock to meet the Bishop Mayer's staff, to tour the Hulsey Center, and to have a light lunch before they completed their drive to Amarillo. During lunch, Bishop Curry indicated that he was overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people in our diocese, and asked for more history and information about the diocese. He kept the staff "in stitches" throughout their time together. 

Upon their arrival in Amarillo, Bishop Curry met with the clergy from the northern portion of the diocese in St. Catherine's room, located in Lowndes Hall, at the south end of the St. Andrew's church complex, and encouraged them to ask questions of him. Afterward the group gathered in the Children's Chapel for formal photos and "selfies", which Bishop Curry not only allows but also seems to enjoy.

clergy_bishops

A delicious seated dinner was held in the dining hall of St. Andrew's  Episcopal School, located across the street from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. As guests finished their meals and conversations, they walked back across the street to the nave of St. Andrew's, where Bishop Curry was to speak. There was a hint of anxious anticipation in the air, and the crowd chatted nervously as they awaited Bishop Curry's speech. The organist and Music Director, Michael Mitchell, performed a lovely organ voluntary, followed by the choir as they sang the familiar hymn, "There is a Balm in Gilead."

The Rev. Robert Pace, Rector of St. Andrew's, greeted the crowd and welcomed them to St. Andrew's, followed by introducing Bishop Scott Mayer, who received a warm round of applause. Bishop Mayer then introduced the gathering to Bishop Michael Curry, who received a standing ovation. During Bishop Curry's presentation, he quoted numerous lines from the Acts of the Apostles, from the Bible, and shared his energy and passion with the people as he spoke about serving our fellow man, and feeling compassion for those less fortunate. Again, he charmed the crowd with his delightful sense of humor, which caused them to laugh, at times, until they had tears in their eyes. He certainly gained the love and approval of the crowd that night, and was given a rousing standing ovation when his speech concluded. Those seated in the chancel that night were the Bishop's staff members - Canon Mike Ehmer, and Deacon Nancy Igo, who sat with Tara Holley on the left; while the clergy of St. Andrew's sat on the right. They processed out to the hymn, "The Church's One Foundation," and gathered in the back of the nave where Bishop Curry and Bishop Mayer greeted everyone as they departed. Once again, many cell phones were snapping photos and "selfies" with Bishop Curry, who undoubtedly enjoyed every moment. As the crowd departed, a beautiful full moon rose in the eastern sky, and was captured through the trees by Deacon Nancy Igo and Canon Mike Ehmer. In all it was a glorious night! Photos of the events at St. Andrew's may be accessed by following this link: Amarillo photos.

The Diocese of Northwest Texas is very grateful for the presence and the insightful words of the Presiding Bishop, who definitely won the hearts of everyone he met. The diocese is also grateful for Bishop Curry's genuine leadership, and the leadership of Bishop Mayer, in these troubled times. Thanks be to God!

bishops_canons

Excitement is in the air in Northwest Texas. Two of our amazing diocesan Episcopal schools have been involved in a search process over the last several months to determine who will "step into the shoes" of their retiring Heads of School.

St. Andrew's Episcopal SchoolJoelBicknell, Amarillo, has recently called Joel Bicknell as their new Head of School, effective July 1, 2017. Joel brings outstanding credentials and sixteen years of experience as teacher, coach, and school administrator. He currrently serves as Head of School at Holland Hall in Tulsa, OK, and holds both an M.A. and an M.Ed. in School Administration, in addition to the National Association of Independent Schools Aspiring Heads Fellowship Program. He will relocate to Amarillo with his wife, Regina, and their four school-aged children. Joel will succeed the current Headmaster, Ron Ferguson, who will retire in July. He joined the school in 2004, and provided excellence in leadship folowinghis time as the Headmaster at Canterbury Episcopal School, in the Dallas suburb of Desoto, for more than 10 years. A retirement service will be held Monday, May 1st, at 11:00am. 

All Saints Episcopal School, Lubbock, has also announced the selection of Bruce Latta, as their new Head of School, Bruce lattaeffective June 15, 2017. Bruce is extremely well-suited for the position due to his extensive background in both his education and experience. He earned a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciencwe from Princeton University; and M.B.A. from the University of Michigan; an M.Ed. in Learning and Technology from Western Governor's University; and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University. Bruce is currently the Middle School Division Head at the Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, FL, where he also served as Upper School Division Head. He and his wife, Emily, and their two daughters will relocate to Lubbock soon. Bruce succeeds the Current Head of School, Dr. Mike Bennett, who joined the school in 2005, after his retirement as the Principal of Monterey High School. Now he can truly retire!

Congratulations to both schools for a successful search process! 

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Due to a change in Constant Contact's webpage design, the archives page has changed. The old page, with newsletters from October 2014 to May of 2016, is still available at:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs127/1103295952624/archive/1112504814505.html

Older versions of the newsletter, from 2010 through September of 2014, are available by contacting Deacon Nancy Igo, Director of Communications at nigo@nwtdiocese.org, or by phone at 806.763.1370.

Archived newsletters from June 2016 to present are available below by clicking the blue links:

JUNE 2016

JULY 2016

AUGUST 2016

 

 

It is with profound sadness that we share the death of a greatly beloved deacon from Northwest Texas. Deacon Roland Rose, formerly of Andrews and Midland, died Saturday, July 9th, at 9:30am, following surgery for a broken leg. His health, which had been fragile for some time, declined quickly after the surgery.

Deacon Roland is known for his faithful work with the summer camp program at Quarterman Camp and Conference Center, known later as Quarterman Ranch. He researched and developed Promise Camp, a summer camp program for children of the incarcerated after seeing a need for ministry to the children of those persons he served in prison ministry. He served as its chair for six years and directed the summer camp arts and crafts activities at Quarterman Ranch for ten years. Promise Camp roland_rose_2012eventually became two camps after the closing of Quarterman Ranch. Promises for Families, a foundation operated by Katy Hoskins of Sweetwater, was a spin off of Promise Camp, as is Promise Project, a camp for at-risk children in the northern Panhandle, which was initially developed from the Promise Camp idea by Deacon Todd Baxley. Deacon Roland greatly impacted the lives of at-risk children of this area in a positive and loving way by allowing them to enjoy life without stress for a short time, when they could actually be "kids" and enjoy the things children enjoy. An article about the ministries of Deacon Roland and his wife, Doña Josie, appeared in the March 2011 edition of The Newsletter. The article is available by following this link.

 

 

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