Dear Clergy of the Diocese,
Once upon a time, in accordance with the Clergy Manual, members of the clergy of the Diocese of Texas chose from a list of approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in order to satisfy the annual CEU requirement. In the past, if members of the clergy wished to claim CEU credit for an offering that was not listed, written permission had to be made with prayers for approval. The diocesan leadership beheld the system and said: “We hear the cries of our clergy. Let us create some parameters for what constitutes a CEU credit and trust the members of the clergy to choose wisely and report their choices to the diocese.” The CEU parameters were posted on the diocesan website, along with an automatic reporting form due by the end of August each year. Then the members of the clergy rejoiced and pursued and reported their CEUs.
As time passed, members of the clergy became forgetful of the need to report CEUs. Then the pandemic came, and in-person conferences and retreats became more rare, reducing the opportunities for continuing education.
However, it is time to gently remind the clergy of the CEU requirement and encourage them to return to the faithful practice of earning and reporting CEUs.
We, Bishop Fisher and Canon Hines, vow to study the CEU reporting form and process, seeking to amend, update, and repair any remaining cumbersome flaws.
We urge you now to read again the parameters posted on this website, and harvest your calendar for evidence of Zoom classes, workshops, clergy groups, spiritual direction, and therapy sessions, in which you participated since September 2020. Please note descriptions, dates, and hours spent in learning and reflection, so that you may enter the events on the automated form before August 31, 2021.
We proclaim that the same plague that prohibited travel has inspired new highways of virtual learning that remain open even now that we emerge from our homes and venture into public byways.
We bid you to glean Episcopal News, the Out of the Ordinary, the websites of seminaries and institutes, and well-resourced churches, near and far, for education classes and webinars, some of which are offered gratis. We also ask that you share your findings with other members of the clergy, via social media or other avenues.
Thank you for listening to our tale.
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Jeff Fisher and Canon Lisa Hines