Who We Are

Who We Are as Anglicans/Episcopalians

Link to Episcopal Diocese of Texas

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As faithful Anglicans, we celebrate what a friend of mine once called “the continuity of Christ.” We trust in the Scripture’s promise that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Risen Jesus we know in Word and Sacrament is the same Jesus who was known and preached by the apostles and who will be “all in all” when He comes again in glory. We proclaim this as Good News because this Jesus comes “to call not the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:13) and is present to us with His forgiving love. We know this Presence most powerfully in the “breaking of the bread”—the Holy Eucharist – and we believe that our communion with Him calls us to be a people who are “living and sharing lives of gift, joy, and thanksgiving.” Thus, Anglicanism names a broad spiritual tradition in which both Word (Bible) and Sacrament (Baptism and Communion) are celebrated and cherished as the center of our common life — a life ordered first and most importantly by prayer and worship.

We live first and foremost as a parish, committed to our mission of sharing Christ’s love with our friends, neighbors, and local community. We also live as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas (www.epicenter.org) under the pastoral guidance of our bishop, and our life as a parish is enriched and fulfilled in our shared ministry with a diverse family of faith that stretches from Austin, through Houston, to the Louisiana border. Thus, “Episcopal” names our denominational affiliation in the United States. Finally, we live as members of the Anglican Communion, a branch of the one, holy Catholic and Apostolic Church made up of more than 80 million souls. We joyfully celebrate our mutual interdependence with Anglicans from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa and we cherish our union with them as one of Christ’s most miraculous gifts.

I encourage you to take a moment and browse our website to get a sense of the many ways in which we are living and sharing lives of gift, joy, and thanksgiving through worship, study, and service. Listen to a sermon, visit our youth page, or see pictures of our members as they engage in ministry. And if you are in our area, I invite you to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) and visit us this Sunday morning. Until then, may God bless you most abundantly.

 

 

St. Dunstan’s History

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St. Dunstan’s beginnings evolved from worship services conducted by The Reverend Douglas W. Hutchings for a small group of Champions area residents on the patio of one of their homes in September, 1966. As a result, on February 12, 1968, 51 Episcopalians formally petitioned The Right Rev’d J. Milton Richardson, Bishop of Texas, to establish a mission to serve the Champions area. The 119th Council of the Diocese of Texas accepted the petition and the mission was formally organized as St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church. The Rev’d Douglas W. Hutchings was named Vicar.

In June, 1969, 4.5 acres of land were purchased as the site for the new mission to establish permanent facilities off Stuebner Airline. An additional 3 acres immediately behind the original purchase were acquired during March, 1970. The first multi-purpose building was completed and dedicated during the fall of 1971.

St. Dunstan’s became a parish in 1972 and the Rev’d Clark Gardiner Lennard was called to be the first Rector, beginning his ministry here on July 1, 1972. The Reverend Clark Lennard was a leader, builder, and was nationally renowned for his vision and leadership in Christian Education. St. Dunstan’s grew and flourished under his guidance and direction.

An additional 1.5 acres was purchased in 1974, and the pipe organ was installed. In 1975, two temporary buildings were purchased to provide additional space for Christian Education.

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007

As St. Dunstan’s flourished, the dream was to have a larger nave to serve our growing ministry. A building program begun in 1979 generated almost one million dollars. In early 1980, construction began for the present nave and the remodeling of the former worship center into a Parish Hall and Education Center.

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007

The first services in the new nave were joyously held during the Christmas season 1980. The facilities were formally dedicated by the new Bishop of Texas, The Right Reverend Maurice M. Benitez on Easter Eve, 1981. An additional building, now named Lennard Hall, was constructed in 1982 and bells for the bell tower were installed shortly thereafter. Cast in Holland, the bells were named Dunstan, Richardson, Hutchings, and Lennard for the four most influential people in the life of our parish to that date.

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Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007

On Sunday, April 1, 1984, the congregation was saddened by the death of their rector, Reverend Clark Gardiner Lennard.

Aided by much help and support from within the Diocese, the established ministry at St. Dunstan’s continued with able assistance from The Reverend Jeremiah Ward, who was waiting to fulfill a commitment to become Rector of Camp Allen. The Reverend John R. Bentley, Jr. accepted the call to be the second rector of St. Dunstan’s and began his ministry here on December 1, 1984.

Scant space for Christian education remained a problem and another temporary building was moved onto the property to accommodate our growing group of young persons.

In 1992 more land was acquired to the south for future building and parking lot expansion. On Sunday, August 7, 1994, ground breaking for a new Education Building and parking lot took place with the Right Rev’d Claude C. Payne, Bishop Coadjutor presiding. The ensuing construction program also included the transformation of Lennard Hall into staff offices, the refurbishment of the Parish Hall building, the provision of a chapel called Canterbury Chapel off the Nave and the installation of a Columbarium. The new facilities were formally dedicated on October 18, 1995 by the Bishop of Texas, the Right Rev’d Claude C. Payne.

In January of 1998, St. Dunstan’s affiliated with the American Anglican Council.

 

On April 15, 2004, The Reverend John R. Bentley accepted a call to become Director of Pastoral Care at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston.

The Education Building was renamed The Bentley Education Center in honor of his ministry on April 4, 2004.

The Bentley Education Center occupies the southwest comer of the courtyard and contains classrooms, kitchens, laundry facilities and a nursery.

On August 1, 2004, The Rev. Nick Dyke arrived as Interim Rector and served until December, 2005.

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The Rev. Robert Price accepted the call to be the third rector of St. Dunstan’s and began his ministry here during Advent, 2005.

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ST. DUNSTAN (c. 909 – 988)

St. Dunstan started his profession as a monk at Glastonbury and became Abbot in 940. He completely reformed the monastery, and under his leadership it became famous for its learning. In 957 he was made Bishop of Worcester and in 960 was named Archbishopof Canterbury. The King and Archbishop together planned and carried out a thorough reform of Church and State.

The restoration of monastic life, which seemed to have been virtually extinct in England by the middle of the 10th century, was almost wholly a result of Dunstan’s efforts. He established several foundations and zealously supported the cause of learning. He achieved fame as a musician, scholar, and metal worker.

St. Dunstan’s Feast Day is May 19.

More than one thousand years later, we celebrate his life, which inspires us to bring light and help to those in darkness.