[Episcopal Diocese of West Texas] The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed was installed as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas during a Eucharist service held Feb. 28 at the 111th annual Diocesan Council. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presided over the service and the installation.
There is no specific liturgy in the Episcopal Church for a previously ordained bishop to be installed as bishop coadjutor. Hence, Reed compiled the liturgy for the installation after he visited high-school-age students at Camp Capers, a diocesan camping and retreat center, in January. During the visit, he asked the teenagers three questions: How can I support you in your life in Christ? What kind of bishop do you and your church need me to be? How can you help me be a better bishop?
Reed molded their answers into the Collect for the Day, prayers for the installation and the Prayers of the People.
As he knelt before Jefferts Schori, Reed prayed, “O Lord my God, I am a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming; yet you have called me to serve as bishop and shepherd.” The prayer continued, and the entire service can be read here.
Guest preacher Bishop John McKee “Kee” Sloan of the Diocese of Alabama opened his sermon with a quote from Reed’s prayer. The annual theme of the Diocese of West Texas is “Called to Serve,” and this theme was introduced during Diocesan Council, and it resonated in all the events and ministry reports.
Entertaining the 1,000-plus-member congregation with stories of his youth, Sloan said God knows Reed better than anyone else, and he has called him because of who he is. “David Reed is such a genuinely humble, nice, gentle, sincere, authentic man,” Sloan said, to applause from the congregation.
Sloan said that God calls everyone to preach the Gospel, to strive for justice and peace, and to respect the dignity of every human being. “God knows us and sees us, knows our faults and our shortcomings, and yet he calls us to ministry, he calls us to serve,” said Sloan. (His sermon is available in audio format here.)
The host church for Diocesan Council was St. John’s, New Braunfels, which assembled a 100-member choir that included singers from around the diocese and young boys of the Chapel Boychoir from San Antonio.
A diocesan youth band was also formed, and the musicians and 20-plus youth singers led the congregation in three contemporary songs during the Eucharist. Reed invited the youth musicians to serve in this capacity to ensure their lively joy and energy would be part of Council and the installation service.
“Today marks a transition – and the beginning of a transition – in the life of our diocese, in which continuity and change are interwoven, a familiar territory for Christians,” said Reed. “Continuity and change, remembrance and hope, dying and rising, gathering together and being sent out, leaving home and finding home – this is how we travel together on the Way of Christ.”
Reed was elected in October 2014, and he is the first bishop suffragan of the diocese elected bishop coadjutor. Reed will continue to serve alongside Diocesan Bishop Gary Lillibridge until Lillibridge’s retirement in 2017.
— Laura Shaver is communications officer for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.