Letter from the Missioner for Outreach

Dear Friends,

In April of 2008, Episcopal Community Service Network (ECSN) was commissioned by the Executive Council with oversight from Bishop Paul E. Lambert. Since that time, the committee comprised of clergy and lay leaders have met monthly to develop a plan for how the Diocese can be a resource to churches in order to serve those in need in their communities.

There is a lot going on in the Diocese already including feeding and clothing the homeless, multiple community gardens, building and renovating homes for the elderly, angel food ministries and multiple other efforts involving church and school partnerships.

Much of ECSN work is based on “externally focused church” concepts as introduced by Eric Swanson of Leadership Network. It is the committee’s hope that as we move forward, we will have the opportunity to share these learnings, enhance communications between churches and share best practices. What a better way to live out the gospel than by joining hands with others to do good deeds in the community.

Please take a look at the website. You will find more detail on the three (3) key strategies for ECSN as well as resources and tools available to assist your efforts.  If your church has not already heard from me, you will! My goal is to visit each Diocesan church to learn more about what churches are doing in their communities as well as to assist and support your efforts in meaningful ways. But don’t wait for me to call, feel free to contact me at any time and I (or one of the committee members) will be glad to schedule a visit!

I continue to be blessed with this opportunity to work for the Diocese and I look forward to joining hands with mission and parishes as we work together to transform our communities.


  Dabney Dwyer
  Missioner for Outreach
  Episcopal Community Services Network
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 Click here to see a video about ECSN


Overview of Episcopal Community Service Network

I. Purpose

The purpose of Episcopal Community Service Network (ECSN) is to be a resource to diocesan churches and missions supporting their efforts to reach out and serve those in need within their communities.  

Three key strategies to guide the future work of ECSN are:

•    Enhance Education and Training about what the bible says and about “externally focused church” concepts.

•    Provide Practical Resources and Tools for developing and implementing outreach projects.

•    Promote Partnerships and Collaboration in the community and among churches.

Currently, ECSN is comprised of clergy and lay leaders from various churches within the diocese. the 2008 October Diocesan Convention drafted a resolution to establish ECSN and approved its theological statement (see Resources and Tools)


ECSN Committee 2008/2009
Bishop Paul E. Lambert
Dabney Dwyer
Rev. Mary Lessman
The Rev. George Monroe
The Rev. Kevin Huddleston
The Rev. Gene P. Baker
Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr.
Lydia Landrum
Susan Fisk
Deacon Dorothy Budd
Archdeacon Diana Luck
Hon. Douglas Lang


II. Strategies

What ECSN Can Do for Your Church

As a resource to Diocesan mission and churches, ECSN can assist your outreach efforts in several ways:

Initial Visit:
One or more of the committee members (Committee Coaches) will come visit your church to learn about your current outreach efforts and discuss future opportunities.


Committee members can provide a short 20- minute presentation exploring five (5) paradigm shifts in thinking that can lead churches to become more externally focused.


Consider a workshop for your vestry or outreach team that can help explore critical questions or develop strategies to move efforts forward.



III. Resources & Tools

Resources include:

•    Body Building Presentations. (2008/09)

•    A six-week bible study about the poor and neglected and others who are needy (see BCP, pg 826).
•    Population and Demographic Resources.

•    Agency Discovery Tool for when visiting agencies in the community

•    100 Bible Verses regarding the poor, the widowed and orphaned.

•    Six Planning Steps for being the best church for the community.


Bio for Dabney Dwyer

Dabney Dwyer began Dwyer Business Strategies in 2000 with the purpose of offering affordable facilitation and strategic services to nonprofit organizations.  Dabney has over 25 years of experience in strategic and business planning, operations, management and consultative services in the health care industry, the nonprofit sector and related industries. Dabney has served on several nonprofit Boards and was President of the Board for Our Friends’ Place; an organization in Dallas that serves abused and neglected girls. She is also a contract consultant for the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas and Transitional Management Services in San Antonio.

In 2008, Dabney was employed by the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas as Missioner for Outreach to lead an initiative for supporting Diocesan churches and their efforts to get more involved in serving those in need within their communities. In this role she chairs an advisory and working committee, Episcopal Community Service Network.

Dabney received a B.A. in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Women’s College, an M.A. in Urban Studies from Virginia Polytechnic and State University and a certificate in Gerontology and Geriatrics from UT Southwestern Medical Center. She has also received formal facilitation training by the Wildworks Group and received a Certificate in Mediation in 2002.

Dabney resides in Dallas with her husband, Tom and they have a son, Christopher who is in Medical School at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.