Three congregations of the Diocese of Texas North Region have changed their names.
St. Alban’s, Theatre Arlington, is now All Souls; St. Mary’s, Hamilton, is now St. Catherine’s, and the Episcopal Church in Wichita Falls is now Faith Episcopal Church.
In St. Alban’s case, the name All Souls was picked from a list of finalist names by a vote of the congregation. All the names came were suggestions from members of the congregation.
In a recent interview with the Dallas Voice, the Rev. Kevin Johnson explained the thinking.
“It just became too confusing for the community to have two churches with the same name,” the Rev. Kevin Johnson said. “[Church members asked themselves] what name would be reflective of who we are as a gathered people of God? And they chose the name ‘All Souls.’”
The other two congregations went through a similar process, with members suggesting names. In the case of Wichita Falls, whose congregation is worshiping with Faith Lutheran Church, the choice seemed clear. The Rev. Ernie Barr, Lutheran pastor, cares for both congregations.
On July 24, Nancy Yates of St. Mary’s, Hamilton, wrote, “After lots of talk, prayer and research, we decided today that we are St Catherine’s.” Catherine of Siena is “one of only four women who were named doctor of the church, meaning that her writings, including the mystical The Dialogue and her prayers and letters, have special authority in Roman Catholicism.”
Among other things, she is the patron saint of nurses. St. Catherine’s celebrated their new name with a worship service and luncheon on September 18. Pastor Teresa Davis, the Lutheran pastor who serves St. Catherine’s joined with the Rev. Beth Fain, missioner for congregational vitality, who celebrated; and the Rev. Joann Saylors, canon for mission amplification, who preached. Both Fain and Saylors are from the Diocese of Texas.