EDOD Convention 2020
In this 125th year of the diocese, the convention moved online as the threat of the Covid pandemic forced social distancing for the approximate 400 delegates and clergy. Morning Prayer was recorded from various outposts of the diocese, and from the preacher, the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen, Bishop of Honduras. The Rt. Rev. George Sumner recorded his address, and much of the voting took place ahead of time by mail. A small panel of leaders, including Sumner, livestreamed the rest of convention from St. Matthew’s Cathedral with safety protocols in place.
In his speech, Sumner addressed the spiritual aspects of the pandemic and how to frame it in a Christian context. “My message to you is this: “What we as Christians, are going through this time is a kind of initiation. All the elements are here: distance, for sure, testing and trial, and for many, suffering, teaching in old formats and new, by our faithful clergy of this diocese,” he said. “And all of this is to the end that we claim anew what we already had, our identity as disciples of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. That is what is really happening.”
Sumner went on to say these days of trial are in the hand of God a summons to discipleship and a gift of grace. “There is a theological principle here,” he said. “God rules over everything, and He gives his world freedom, and He has the power to use even a pandemic for his loving purpose. Remember those words of Joseph to his brothers: ‘you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’ “
In his sermon, offered in both English and Spanish, Allen echoed Sumner’s message of discipleship and advised the delegation to tell others about God’s plan, talk about God’s remedy – the cross, and to receive Christ, as a way to respond to the pandemic. “Some of us are mourning a friend or family member during the Coronavirus pandemic – a spouse, a child, someone who’s inspiration and encouragement meant so much for us,” he said. “some are not mourning anyone in particular but rather the great sum of losses piled on top of each other.”
Remember that you are blessed, Allen said. “We are blessed because we are all called to this mission of evangelizing those who are working hard around Dallas to bring peace to those who are in trouble, and for walking and talking like Jesus did.”
Also, during convention, Canon Carrie Headington launched an online donation platform to collect money for those in food lines in the greater North Texas area. The diocesan initiative includes leadership from Deacons Jennifer Smith and Rosemary Trei. This effort is part of a larger EDOD initiative called Project US: Unite and Serve, which seeks to share resources diocesan-wide to care for the poor during this time of Covid. “The needs are great in North Texas. Since March our food lines have not abated,” Headington said. “In the midst of this hardship, the church shines even brighter as we come together to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We can do much together to feed the hungry and bring hope to a hurting world. It is an inspiring time watching EDOD come together to be good news in word and action.”
In other business, the Very Rev. Rob Price announced the following changes in clergy since the last convention:
Ordained deacon:The Rev. Logan Hurst; The Rev. Trent Pettit
Ordained priest:The Rev. Chase Skorburg; the Rev. Lorenzo Galuska; the Rev. Ryan Jordan
Deaths: The Rev. Thomas Keithly; the Rev. Canon George Luck; the Rev. David Holland; the Rev. Raymond Ball.
New-to-the-diocese: The Rev. John Alier, non-parochial; the Rev. Christopher Thomas, St. Thomas the Apostle in Dallas; the Rev. Jonathan Totty, Annunciation in Lewisville; the Rev. David Halt, St. James in Texarkana.
Newly Licensed: The Rev. Janice Honea, St. Peter’s McKinney (left off last the list last year); the Rev. Ebenezer Ayodeji Fasusi, non-parochial; the Rev. Joseph Dewey, Incarnation; the Rev. Terest Terry, Ascension in Dallas; the Rev. Paulette Magnuson, St. Andrew’s in McKinney.
Secretary of Convention: Bob Buchanan, St. Michael and All Angels
Standing Committee Clergy: The Rev. Dr. Samira Izadi Page, Holy Nativity in Plano
Standing Committee Lay: Stevi McCoy, St. Philip’s in Frisco
Executive Council Clergy: The Rev. Mark Anderson, St. Luke’s in Dallas; The Rev. Paul Nesta, St. David of Wales in Denton
Executive Council Lay: Hope Anderson, St. Augustine’s in Dallas; Tim Boswell St. Dunstan’s in Mineola; Martha Lange, Incarnation; Kelly Reddell, Saint Michael and All Angels
Trustee University of the South: Dallas Gingles, Transfiguration in Dallas
Corporation of the Diocese: Tim Boswell, Pat Bostian
Audit Committee: William Peeler, Wendy Skorburg, Mary Sonom
Commission on Ministry: Joan Fabion; the Rev. Mark Hall; the Rev. Kathy Heitmann; the Rev. Craig Reed; Wendy Skorburg; Rebecca Wellborn
Commission on Episcopal Schools: The Rev. Michael Hurst; The Rev. Clayton Elder
As the diocese gears up for a new year, Sumner pointed to the diocese’ future life together going into 2021 as the pandemic lingers. He called for continued adaptation and creativity for discipleship and worship. “Covid has been a time of ingenuity. Paul in I Corinthians says ‘when we are tried, we are also shown the means of escape so that we endure.’ The constraint can provoke the creativity,” he said. “I have over these months seen such ways and means in our congregations, networks of Bible study and check in, of backyard church school, of cottage industry mask-making or zoom alpha. As we enter a particularly demanding phase of the trial, our reserve of adaptation will be called upon again.”