San Antonio Area
2014 joint annual conference
finished June 14
The annual conferences of 2014 are history. And history was made. At 11:30 a.m., Saturday, June 14, 2014 the final sessions of the Rio Grande Annual Conference and the Southwest Texas Annual Conference were adjourned. The two conferences met in joint session for worship, fellowship, learning, the election of delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference, and the conducting of the business necessary to prepare for the beginning of the Río Texas Annual Conference on Jan. 1, 2015.
In reflecting on the joint sessions I have such a mixture of reactions. There was some frustration at times, great exhilaration, exhaustion, anxiety, some confusion, some humor, relief, tears, laughter, anticipation, even some dancing and a tremendous sense of gratitude.
However, leaving Corpus Christi, the predominant feeling inside me was one of tremendous gratitude.
The work necessary to stage and produce one annual conference session is complex and tedious. Adding to the complexity was the necessity of holding two simultaneous sessions.
The Rio Grande and Southwest Texas conference staffs did an unbelievable amount of work and did it with grace, understanding and good will. There were rough spots, but those were smoothed over with professionalism and grace. Thank you to all involved, particularly David Seilheimer, Abel Vega, and Virgilio Vasquez-Garza as they led this effort.
The technical aspects of the sessions were extremely well done, even with multiple venues. The visuals, sound system, videos and presentations were presented without confusion and seeming great ease. This happens with skill, expertise and planning. Thanks to Thomas Monahan, Randy Mahoney, Dan Conroy and their crew. A job very well done!
At the heart of any annual conference session is the community in worship. Paul Escamilla and the worship committee did an outstanding job of handling all the details related to the proper planning and execution of multiple worship services in
multiple locations. Roberto Gomez and his team planned and coordinated an outstanding Rio Grande Conference service of Thanksgiving and Sending Forth. Thanks to all involved.
God was glorified through it all! The preaching for the conferences was engaging and Spirit-filled. My appreciation to Denise Barker, Bishop Joél Martinez, Lizzie Wright and Marcus Freeman. Dr. Freeman graciously stepped in at the last minute and offered a powerful word for our Opening Worship Celebration. Ruben Saenz Jr. led the conferences through an extremely valuable reflection on the book of Acts. Thanks be to God for these faithful proclaimers of the Good News.
A conference cannot proceed without efficient and effective conference secretaries. My deepest appreciation to Edgar Avitia of the Rio Grande Conference and David Seilheimer of Southwest Texas for their competence and good spirits in making sure everything was done appropriately and in good order.
Finally, I want to express great fondness and appreciation to retired Bishop Dan Solomon, for his willingness to preside over two sessions of the Southwest Texas Conference while I presided over the concurrent session of the Rio Grande Conference.
He presided with his gracious good will, West Texas humor and professionalism. Muchas gracias, Obispo!
Through it all the Spirit was clearly and unmistakably present. And for that very reality I am certainly the most grateful! God has blessed both annual conferences for many years.
God blessed our sessions this year and led us through to a joyous conclusion and Service of Ordination.
As we now begin to look to the future and the Río Texas Annual Conference I give thanks for all those servants named and all those unnamed for the sacrificial offering of themselves during this year’s sessions. I also give thanks to Almighty God for leading us this far. I am even more thankful for the sure knowledge that God has only begun to bless our ministry in this Area. Thanks to all for a wonderful joint session of the conferences of the San Antonio Episcopal Area.