On Friday, February 7th, St. Thomas’ delegates, Don and Jackie Lewman, Wes and Christi Bowden and the Rev’d David Browder, registered for the 165th Diocesan Council. In the afternoon, they attended workshops, including the New Delegates Workshop, and visited the various exhibits of vendors and diocesan ministries. Later, they attended the opening Eucharist, a modern service in English and Spanish.
On Saturday, they represented St. Thomas’ at the 165th Diocesan Council Business Meeting, which had 459 lay delegates and 232 clergy in attendance at the Galveston Island Convention Center. They voted on various changes to the diocesan Constitution and Canons and on a series of Resolutions, including Canon 27, in which the references to “St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System” were changed to “Episcopal Health Foundation” as a result of the sale of St. Luke’s. The Episcopal Health Foundation is the organization set up with proceeds from that sale.
The delegates did not vote on any controversial issues. At the request of the Bishop, the authors of two proposed changes to Canon 43 (concerning moral discipline of clergy and Holy Matrimony) withdrew their proposals.
The delegates voted in the Diocesan General Elections of Nominees for Lay and Clergy Positions. One of the candidates for Executive Board was St. Thomas’ own Rob Scholl. Although Rob received a large number of votes, he did not get elected.
Bishop Doyle’s speech to the delegates was very interesting. The theme of his speech was “tenacity”. He said that our churches are growing in Texas because we are a tenacious Diocese. Our mission in Texas is for Jesus Christ. He said that he is thankful for all our help and we are all blessed for this.
Our delegates met a lot of interesting people, some very conservative and some that are not. All in all, they found the convention interesting and learned a lot about the diversity in our Diocese of Texas.